Wellesley Books Newsletter | March 1st, 2023
It was a dark and stormy night--a.k.a. yesterday--when Wellesley Books was visited by a tall, witty and only slightly sinister apparition. He regaled us with dazzling tales for an hour before vanishing, leaving only a stack of signed hardcovers and a scattering of stardust in his wake. If you skipped our event with Rupert Holmes, you missed out on a real treat, but it's not too late to pick up a signed copy of his latest novel. It was the sort of evening that can only be brought to you by in-real-life bookstores, and reminded us all of the value of what we do.

If you're feeling a sense of FOMO right now, that's totally understandable. But our Spring events calendar is packed with an abundance of bookish magic, if you'll only read on...
Upcoming Events
Please note that we are now featuring a mixture of online and-in-person events.
For further details about each event, please click the author photos below.
Tomorrow! Thursday, March 2nd at 7 PM (in-person)
Join authors David H. Autor, David A. Mindell, and Elisabeth B. Reynolds as they discuss their fascinating and well-researched new book, The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.

"This book provides a road map for how we can shape the future so that it is innovative, equitable, and prosperous. Leaders from every realm—business, government, education, and social organizations—have much to learn from this book!"
–Ginni M. Rometty, former CEO of IBM
Saturday, March 4th at 2 PM (in-person)
Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate comics and middle-grade book series, presents his new collection of comics, Big Nate: Nailed It.

This collection includes over 170 full-color comics and abundant laughs for the whole family, especially young readers ages 8 to 12.
Sunday, March 5th at 1 PM (in-person)
Join illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot) and author Marc Colagiovanni (The Reflection in Me) to celebrate the release of their new picture book, When Things Aren’t Going Right, Go Left.

Told through creative language play, and with depth and whimsy, this picture book reminds readers of their own agency and the power they have to direct their own path.
Monday, March 6th at 7 PM (in-person)
Emma Fedor presents At Sea, her riveting and powerful debut that explores the fierceness of first love and how far one woman will go to learn the painful truth about her family.

"A wonderful, haunting and original read, full of longing and watery strangeness. Fedor perfectly captures the fever dream of first love. I was immersed and didn't want to come up for air."
–Katherine Faulkner, author
Monday, March 6th at 7 PM (online)
Katherine May, author of Wintering, discusses her new book, Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age, an invitation to rediscover the feelings of awe and wonder available to us all.

"Beautifully written and profoundly reasoned, this introspective search for meaning will appeal to readers seeking wholeness and community."

Katherine will be in conversation with Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters.
Tuesday, March 7th at 7 PM (in-person)
G.R. Macallister, author of Scorpica, joins us to discuss the latest in her Five Queendoms series, Arca.

As iron and magic clash on the battlefield and powerful women scheme behind the scenes, danger and violence abound. Can anyone stop chaos from ripping the Queendoms apart?

Event coordinator Ashleigh says, of Scorpica: "In a matriarchal world, what would happen if there was a drought of girls? This epic fantasy explores before, during, and how the women of the five queendoms stop giving birth to girls with ferocity, imagination, and political intrigue. For those who love their books with found family, magic, ancient grudges, LGBTAIQ rep, diverse casting, and non-stop adventure, this is for you."

Greer will be in conversation with Amanda Foody and C.L. Herman, authors of All of Us Villains.
Wednesday, March 8th at 4 PM (online)
Susan Gravely, Founder and CEO of VIETRI, Inc. (a lifestyle brand of Italian artisan-crafted dinnerware and home and garden accessories), presents her debut cookbook, Italy on a Plate: Travels, Memories, Menus. Susan will be in conversation with Frances Mayes, author of the classic, Under the Tuscan Sun.

This online event will be hosted by Book Passage on their YouTube page. (Please note that since Book Passage is on the West Coast, you may see the start time listed as 1 p.m.; the event begins at 4 p.m. Eastern time.)
Tuesday, March 14th at 10 AM (in-person)
Author Megan Litwin joins us for Storytime with the Author to read her new book for young readers, Dirt and Bugsy: Bug Catchers. Meet Dirt and Bugsy--best buds who catch all kinds of bugs--in this fun early reader!

"An excellent choice for nature lovers and newly independent readers due to its short, concise, and repetitive sentences."
–School Library Journal
Thursday, March 16th at 7 PM (in-person)
Julie Gerstenblatt presents Daughters of Nantucket, a gripping saga of the days leading up to Nantucket’s historic fire of 1846 and its dramatic aftermath.

Authentic and engaging, Gerstenblatt’s debut fiction creates a vivid portrait of three women’s lives converging at a prime inflection point in the history of Nantucket, and the history of American commerce, civil rights, and social change.

"A masterclass in historical fiction."
–Whitney Scharer, author

Julie will be in conversation with Jenna Blum, author of Woodrow on the Bench and The Lost Family.
Bookseller Recommendations
Booksellers recommend:
I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai
Ashleigh says:
A scorching, compelling read, this is a calling out of violence against women: how it's reported, poorly prosecuted, lightly punished, sensationalized, ignored, held against us, and so deeply ingrained in our culture. A New England prep school is the perfect setting for this collision of podcasts, old secrets hidden deep, racism, sexism, growing pains, and the lenses we have, shed, and change as we grow. Julia Whelan's narration is, as always, phenomenal. I could not stop listening--this is a 10/10 for me.

Tracy says:
There is a lot happening in this ambitious book. Bodie Kane, a 40-something successful podcaster, returns to her elite New Hampshire prep school to teach a short class on podcasting. One of her protégés expresses interest in researching a murder that happened when Bodie was a student at the school. What follows is a commentary on true crime reporting, social justice, gray areas of consent, inequity in the distribution of caregiving, cancel culture, the unreliability of memory, and the abuse of women in historic Hollywood. This one left me with plenty to think and talk about and I found myself racing to the end for multiple reasons.
Nadia recommends:
The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone
The Blackhouse is a deeply atmospheric and thoroughly dark Scottish thriller. Maggie MacKay is haunted by the murder of a man named Andrew MacNeil, a man she's never met, a man she's not sure ever existed. The mystery brings her to a remote island in the Outer Hebrides, where she finds more questions than answers.
I found this book to be an incredibly satisfying read. Johnstone writes a gripping but unrushed story that teeters on the edge of the supernatural. I was shocked by how much I came to care about her characters, their stories, and even their demons. Perhaps my biggest selling point is her vivid descriptions. I felt like I could see and feel exactly what her characters were experiencing. If you can't make a mystery-filled trip to see the Hebridean islands, reading this story is the next best thing!
Sally recommends:
The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan
This beautiful and heartfelt novel tells the stories of four generations of strong, independent women living together on a patch of family land in rural Ireland. Told in short, two-page chapters, Donal Ryan’s glorious writing reveals the happiest of times as well as the heartaches and betrayals of this tightly bonded family. A real gem of a read!
New In Hardcover
Rupert Holmes
Jonathan Wilson
Anne Glenconner
Will Schwalbe
Christopher C. Gorham
Veronica Roth
Kelly Barnhill
Cheryl A. Head
Lynne Olson
Diane Marie Brown
Alyssa Wees
New In Paperback
Sara Nović
Anne Tyler
Annie Hartnett
Claire-Louise Bennett
NoViolet Bulawayo
Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
Lucy Foley
Annabel Monaghan
Amy Bloom
Imani Perry
Meghan O'Rourke
Bookseller Recommendations for Young Readers
Amy recommends:
This Little Kitty by Karen Obuhanych
Don't tell my two dogs, but this book brings me great joy! I read it whenever I'm in its vicinity and it makes me laugh every time. Anyone who currently lives with or has lived with cats will completely relate to the feline antics. And the illustrations are hilarious – every cat has its own personality and you are sure to find your cat represented. The last page is my favorite; I remember as a child being woken up from a sound sleep by the sharp-as-pins teeth biting my ankles and toes through my bedspread. I think that's why I now have dogs.
Colleen L. recommends:
The Windeby Puzzle by Lois Lowry
Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry has penned a story of early feminism, portraying a strong young woman of the Iron Age in northern Germany. She has written both a historical account as well as a fictional story in this new middle grade selection. The structure of this work draws readers in with Lowry presenting essentially a history lesson of bog bodies (some 2,000 years old!) while at the same time, letting the reader get a glimpse of her writing process and what drives her story-crafting. Once you have this foundation, the second part of the book is the fictionalized story of a young girl named Estrild who yearns to be a warrior. You will be immediately transported back in time and feel a part of a special friendship between Estrild and Varick (a physically challenged orphan) as she prepares to stand her ground, take up her uncle’s shield and become the first woman warrior. However, differences are not tolerated and this is how her body is found perserved in a German bog some 2,000 years later. The conculsion, part three, contains a bit more fascinating history and actual photographs as well as Lowry’s windup of her own tasks to be able to write this book for all of us to enjoy. A great read that nourishes knowledge and affairs of the heart!
New Books for Kids
Stuart Gibbs
John Patrick Green, Christopher Hastings & Pat Lewis
Aden Polydoros
Lincoln Peirce
New Books for Teens
Kate J. Armstrong
Liselle Sambury
Michael Gray Bulla
Dana Schwartz
Nic Stone
Trang Thanh Tran
Gabe Cole Novoa
In the Gift Department
Send your loved ones a hug, snug in a mug.
What We're Reading Now...
publishes March 7th

Tracy A.
publishes March 14th
Dog of the Week
Maugus is a 2-year-old Bernedoodle who's a Wellesley Books regular. In fact, we see him so often, we'd taken it for granted that he'd already been a Dog of the Week! His family likes to say that he has mismatched socks and a hound's nose (because he's always sniffing). He loves, naps and plays intensely.
Thank you for supporting your community independent bookstore!
Rebecca Stimpson
82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482