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Our physical store is closed, but you can still shop online!

DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF SALES & THE LIMITED NUMBER OF BOOKSELLERS THAT CAN SAFELY BE IN THE STORE WE ARE RUNNING SEVERAL DAYS BEHIND IN PROCESSING ONLINE ORDERS. This is a wonderful problem to have and we are so thankful for your support. Please see the website for more details.
Shelf Stable: June 22nd
"I have only to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer – its dust and lowering skies."― Toni Morrison,  The Bluest Eye
Well, the good news is, when it’s this hot I don’t even WANT to go outside, and I REALLY don’t want to be near any people. Social distancing enforced by being sweaty and gross! Nature is beautiful. 

The bad news is it’s pretty unpleasant being sweaty and gross, especially with a mask. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a hell of a lot more pleasant than getting sick, but ugh, my mouth is so uncomfortable so much of the day. And I get so THIRSTY and then I have to awkwardly maneuver a straw under the mask in order to take a drink as carefully as possible. All I want to do is lie in a room that has air conditioning and read. Maybe knit, but even the light wool thing I’m making is a little hot for the time being. 

Hope you’re all staying cool. Personally, I just really feel like getting some ice cream right now. Or making some! Did you know that in addition to all of the other cookbooks we have, there are some actually about ice cream? Check out  The Ice Cream Book  and  The Salt and Straw Ice Cream Cookbook . I haven’t tried them yet, but wow, am I tempted to today. Let me know of your results if you do!Anyway, my brain is a little melted now, so I think it’s naptime. Take care of yourselves!

Join our next virtual events!
Jamie Pacton with Jennifer Dugan, The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly - Wednesday, June 24th at 7PM
Join Porter Square Books for a virtual event with Jamie Pacton, author of May staff pick  The Life and Medieval Times of Kit Sweetly , in conversation with Jennifer Dugan, author of  Verona Comics  and  Hot Dog Girl ! This event is free and open to all, and takes place on Crowdcast.

Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.

Working as a Wench—i.e. waitress—at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a Knight like her brother. But company policy allows only guys to be Knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place, clobbers the Green Knight, and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But this Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. 
A People's Guide to Greater Boston - Thursday, June 25th at 7PM
Tune in to a virtual talk with Eleni Macrakis, Suren Moodlair and Joseph Nevins, co-authors of  A People's Guide to Greater Boston ! This event is free and open to all, and is hosted on Crowdcast.

A People's Guide to Greater Boston  reveals the region’s richness and vibrancy in ways that are neglected by traditional area guidebooks and obscured by many tourist destinations. Affirming the hopes, interests, and struggles of individuals and groups on the receiving end of unjust forms of power, the book showcases the ground-level forces shaping the city. Uncovering stories and places central to people’s lives over centuries, this guide takes readers to sites of oppression, resistance, organizing, and transformation in Boston and outlying neighborhoods and municipalities—from Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn to Concord and Plymouth.

It highlights tales of the places and people involved in movements to abolish slavery; to end war and militarism; to achieve Native sovereignty, racial equity, gender justice, and sexual liberation; and to secure workers’ rights. In so doing, this one-of-a-kind guide points the way to a radically democratic Greater Boston, one that sparks social and environmental justice and inclusivity for all.
Phone a Friend!
Miss getting great recommendations from your favorite booksellers? Never quite got the hang of the whole online orders thing? Now you can sign up for a time slot to chat with a bookseller! Currently available on Saturday and Sunday between 10-4 pm.

Up this weekend: Josh on Saturday and Meaghan on Sunday!
Antiracism Books: A Place to Start
Digital Audio Books:
A terrific way to support local indies!
The Power of Preorders!
Preorders are a great way to support PSB and the authors you love! You can see all of the books from the future we're excited about here. But you can preorder more than just what we're excited for! Simply look for "Available for Preorder" in the inventory status.
Virtual Bookseller
Want book recommendations, personalized just for you?

Fill out our form with your likes and dislikes, genres and favorites, and we'll crowdsource a bunch of great picks for you with our crack team of real life booksellers. Give it a whirl!
Old Hollywood:  From Page to Screen
The 1980’s
The age of the blockbuster movie continued into the 1980’s and many literary adaptations were left up to television to produce.  PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre aired many books to TV titles such as:  Bleak House, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Jewel in the Crown, Northanger Abbey.

The  Star Wars  franchise provided two of the decade’s top moneymakers –  The Empire Strikes Back  (1980) and the  Return of the Jedi  (1983).   E.T.  The Extra-Terrestrial  (1982) became the decade’s highest grossing film. Some of the other blockbusters that ruled the box office in the 1980’s were the  Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Batman, Ghostbusters  franchises.

Besides blockbusters 1980’s brought a resurgence of thrillers such as Stephen King’s  The Shining  (1980);  Fatal Attraction  (1987) based on the James Dearden novel of the same name with Glenn Close and Michael Douglas.  

On April 29, 1980 the Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock died in Bel Air, California at age 80.

Some of the books to screen productions included:   Ordinary People  (1980) novel by Judith Guest;  Sophie’s Choice   (1982) based on the William Styron searing bestseller and starring Oscar-winner Meryl Streep. Interesting trivia:  Ursula Andress and Liv Ulmann were considered for the role of Sophie. 

The first woman to win a Golden Globe Award for directing was Barbra Streisand for her work on  Yentl  (1983) based on the short story (and play) by Isaac Beshevis Singer. 

A Passage to India  (1984) based on E. M. Forester’s brilliant novel starred Dame Peggy Ashcroft (who won an Oscar); Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning  The Color Purple  (1985);  Out of Africa  (1985) inspired by the autobiography by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) won the Best Picture Oscar.

On November 29, 1986 the world lost one of the most extraordinary actors in Hollywood: the sublime Cary Grant died of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 82.

1987 brought  The Witches of Eastwick  (1987) – John Updike’s dark fantasy; Bernardo Bertolucci’s  The Last Emperor  (1987) based on the 1964 autobiography of Puyi, the last Emperor of China and winner of the Best Picture Oscar; the epic film  Pelle the Conquer  (1987) was a Swedish film, novel by Danish writer Martin Andersen; it won the  Palm d’or  at the Cannes Film Festival, as well the Best Foreign film Oscar.

Daniel Day-Lewis, the only actor in Oscar history to win four Best Actor statutes won his first in 1989 for  My Left Foot  based on the book by Christy Brown.  The same year Alfred Uhry’s 1987 off-Broadway play,  Driving Miss Daisy , was filmed winning the Best Picture Oscar.  Interesting trivia:  Jessica Tandy became the oldest winner in history to win Best Actress; she was 81 years old. 

This decade saw fewer literary adaptions more emphasis on big, overly produced films.  There was less plot and character development and many  movies were action packed with the use of more and more special effects and technical trickery.

-- Nathan

Next up:  Wilde for the Movies
Audio Book of the Month
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, narrated by Amir Abdullah

Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.

"Tristan Strong is a book about memory & storytelling, a clever reimagining of African & black American mythology, & a fun, fast-paced ride! Boxer Tristan feels he's failed his best friend & let down his family. When he accidentally punches a hole to another world, he'll have to rediscover his strength as he fights alongside legends like John Henry, Brer Rabbit, & Anansi. Tristan's voice is tough, tender, & hilarious; his story will appeal to adventure lovers of all ages."
-- Kate, about the hardcover version
Need Some Inspiration?
I'm ready to for 2021: paper planner edition!

Hello, paper community, who else is ready to start planning for 2021 and leave 2020 behind? Great, I see you! We (PSB) haven't received all our paper planners and calendars inventory yet, but fear not, I have sources where you can purchase them now:
  • 1Canoe2 has stellar options that come in two sizes and beautiful covers to choose from. My fav is the Petaluma Planner at $36 and you can choose which start date suits your needs better, academic or calendar.
  • Rifle Paper Co. is a popular brand for those looking for a way to brighten their day and organise at the same time. My pick would be the Strawberry Fields at $34. Please note, these batch of calendars are for academic (August 2020) start dates.
  • Simplified Planner by Emily Ley is considered the holy grail of planners for many planner users and good reason, they offer daily/weekly/teacher/wedding editions, so there is an opiton for everyone. As a college student, the daily edition worked with my schedule much better because of the extra space provided. As a college graduate, the weekly edition works much better so that I can see my week at a glance and plan accordingly.
  • Hobonichi is a Japanese brand with a cult following. Every year that these planners release, they sell out worldwide because they are simply the best (my bias). If you are new to the Hobonichi, I recommend starting with the original: Hobonichi Techo. Here is more information on the planners (please note, Hobonichi has not yet released new planners for 2021, but if you are interested in getting one, it's best to plan now!)

Happy Planning! -Sinny

Shop the store!
Alert! New bookseller bundles available now!
Our 'get 3 paperbacks' bundle options have expanded to include Caleb, Meaghan, and Shana! Get 3 paperbacks handpicked by the bookseller that fit in with their theme. You can find all bundles HERE.
Journals, Stationery & Crafts
Sometimes a new notebook is what it takes to get the juices flowing!

We have now made a much wider variety of notebooks, journals, and even calendars available for order from our website, like this classic Moleskin . Now, along with items with an inventory status of "On Our Shelves Now," you can order journals, notebooks, diaries, calendars, planners, and more with an inventory status of "Available at Warehouses."
Book Bundle Offerings
Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day approaches! We've come up with a great list of gifts for you to browse from - socks, puzzles, books, joke books, oven mitts - all your favorites from the store! Remember to place your order early in order for us to have it ready for you in time for the holiday itself. Hope your dad or the guardian in your life loves it!
Face Masks
Face coverings are going to be with us for a while, so we’re now offering non-medical grade cloth masks (including kid size) from a variety of makers. Right now quantities are limited, but additional styles are on the way. We’ll keep you posted!
Bedtime Stories
In our Juneteenth issue of Shelf Stable, we were gathering favorite books by Black authors to share among us, and a name that kept coming up? Nnedi Okorafor, whose writing ranges across genres and age groups. Here's Dr. Okorafor herself reading from Who Fears Death. Highly recommend her upcoming middle grade novel Ikenga as well - on sale in August, but available for preorder now!
Support Cafe Zing Baristas!
Although Cafe Zing is its own business separate from ours, we really don't see it that way: Zing workers are part of the Porter Square Books family. They keep us well supplied - very well supplied - with caffeine, kindness, and some great tunes. Sometimes they give us staff picks; sometimes we give them exact change because we've bought the same, perfect, comforting, delicious beverage twice a day five days a week for how long, now?

They're our family, and they could use a hand. If you are able, please considering donating to the Cafe Zing GoFundMe; 100% of proceeds go to baristas. What might you have spent at Zing over the past weeks if it we were in normal times? If that $10 is still in your wallet, consider putting it in their tip jar. We love you, Zing!
June staff picks are live! Please note that many of these staff picks were chosen prior to recent events.
Featured Pick for Kids

 A fun jaunt about a young witch who is continuously underestimated and saves the day (quite literally). Great for a smile and giving your mind a rest for a bit from…everything. Contains combustible, cat-like monsters who live under beds.
-- Stacey
Featured Pick for Adults
The Mercies by Kirin Millwood Hargrave

A beautifully written tale of a 1600s witch hunt and trial on a small Norwegian island. It is a nuanced look at the power of a female community, the toxicity of patriarchy, and the whirlwind of a village descending into madness, eating itself from the inside.This book will sweep you up in its whirlwind. -- Meaghan
We want to hear from you!
What's been the biggest change in your reading habits over the past few months?
I have a lot more time to read!
I just don't have the focus that I used to have.
My reading has become more centered on current events and social issues.
I'm consciously trying to read more diverse titles these days.
I'm reading more in a new format (digital or audio).
My habits have stayed about the same!
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
Did you miss an installment, or want to share with a friend? The Shelf Stable Archive has all our past issues!
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