Wellesley Books Newsletter November 8th, 2023

And suddenly, it's November. Skies darken, leaves fall, and thoughts turn to all of those winter holidays. What are we, as an independent bookstore, grateful for this month? For possibly the busiest, most bountiful New Release Tuesday of the entire season (that would be yesterday, November 7th). For the opportunity to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month by highlighting books by Indigenous authors, including works that question and expand our understanding of the season. For the new and familiar faces in our aisles, and the trust you place in us when you ask for our advice or pick up a new author because we said they were our favorite.

Are you free tonight? Come cheer us on at the Wellesley Education Foundation's 34th Spelling Bee! Every year, approximately forty teams gather for an evening of friendly rivalry in support of a good cause. We'll be up against local businesses, educators, and other organizations--no matter who wins the Bee, we all win when we support Wellesley's public schools.

Upcoming Events

TONIGHT! Wednesday, November 8th at 6:30 PM

Susan Lubner, co-author of Noises at Night, joins us for the launch of her new picture book, Drag and Rex: Forever Friends.

"[An] appealing, humorous charmer, the first in a winning new series about a pair of endearing BFFs. . . . Young readers will be delighted by these two and will clamor to join them for forthcoming adventures. The cozy, lively illustrations portray Rex and Drag’s tight bond."–Kirkus

Susan will be in conversation with Anna Staniszewski, author of Beast in Show and Dogosaurus Rex.

RSVP here

Thursday, November 9th at 7 PM

Michael Willrich, Brandeis professor and author of City of Courts and Pox, joins us for the launch of his new book, American Anarchy: The Epic Struggle between Immigrant Radicals and the US Government at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century.

"This is an important, crucial purchase. Readers interested in the U.S. legal system, civil rights, and the history of American radical movements should definitely check out this title."

–Library Journal

RSVP here

Sunday, November 19th at 1 PM

Karen Wilfrid joins us to discuss her new novel, Just Lizzie.

In this beautifully written contemporary middle-grade debut, an eighth grader’s study of asexuality in science class leads her to understand her own asexual identity as she embarks on a journey toward self-discovery and self-advocacy. For readers of Alex Gino and Ashley Herring Blake.

"A powerful, deep dive into a 13-year-old trying to figure out who she is when everything around her is working to convince her she's someone else. Just Lizzie is raw, honest, and absolutely needed."

–Ann Braden, author

RSVP here

Bookseller Recommendations

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Lia recommends:

America Fantastica by Tim O'Brien

I first fell in love with Tim O’Brien with The Things They Carried. Here he re-emerges with a picaresque adventure full of acerbic wit and commentary on a world of liars and mythmakers. “Fantastica” writing draws fully formed characters as they play out Love, Loss, Cars, Guns, Vengeance, Reunion. Enjoy the ride! He’s still got it!

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Jerry recommends:

Day by Michael Cunningham (publishes November 14th)

On the surface a novel about a family and adult siblings living through a single April day in 2019, 2020 and 2021--before, during and as Covid begins to wane. But underneath a deep look at love as the three main characters, Dan and Isabel (a married couple) and Isabel’s brother Robbie each deal with their own complicated relationships, life choices and expectations. As the pandemic hits, the resulting physical isolation only stirs the deep emotional isolation and conflicted feelings amongst the three. The meaning of love and family, dealing with grief, tragedy and anxiety are all key components of this well-written, philosophical and at-times humorous novel.

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Rebecca recommends:

I Must Be Dreaming by Roz Chast

Dreams are the *perfect* subject matter for Roz Chast's cartoons. Something about the contrast between dreams' surreal inner "logic" and Chast's ordinary-looking, even frumpy characters is laugh-until-you-cry hilarious to me. Like, it's a people-will-ask-what's-wrong level of helpless laughter we're talking about. Everyone in my family has read this collection and picked a favorite illustrated dream. (Mine's the one about OJ Simpson's glove, in case you're wondering.)

New in Hardcover

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Alice McDermott

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My Name Is Barbra

Barbra Streisand

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Same Bed, Different Dreams

Ed Park

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So Late in the Day

Claire Keegan

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Stephanie Land

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The Vulnerables

Sigrid Nunez

Click here for more new hardcovers!

New in Paperback

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Dirtbag, Massachusetts

Isaac Fitzgerald

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The Storyteller

Dave Grohl

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The Grand Affair

Paul Fisher

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The Lyrics

Paul McCartney

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The Deluge

Stephen Markley

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Novelist as a Vocation

Haruki Murakami

Click here for more new paperbacks!

Bookseller Recommendations for Young Readers

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Jon recommends:

This Boy by Ilene Cooper

This is a wonderful book for Beatles fans and others interested in the roots of popular music in the 1950s/60s. It covers life in Liverpool in the '50s, the roots of rock & roll, and the impact of the death of each of their mothers. A treat for readers of all ages, from middle grades & up!

New Books for Kids

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Sail Me Away Home

Ann Clare LeZotte

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The Big Cheese

Jory John & Pete Oswald

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The Bad Guys in Look Who's Talking

Aaron Blabey

New Books for Young Adults

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Check & Mate

Ali Hazelwood

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Christopher Paolini

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Sharon Cameron

Click here for more new kids' & YA!

Kids' Book Subscriptions

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A Child's Library and Middle-Grade Monthly are our two book subscriptions for children aged 0-5 and 8-12, respectively. Each month, Lauren and Kali select a newly-published picture book or middle-grade novel. Subscriptions can be purchased on a month-to-month basis, or for a year, and may be shipped to the child's home or picked up in-store. They make a great gift! Our October selections are Mole Is Not Alone by Maya Tatsukawa, and Hidden Truths by Elly Swartz. Please click on the covers for more information.

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In the Gift Department

Who else remembers the kids' table? Set a place at Thanksgiving for the slightly intimidating older cousins with these fun placemats and pumpkin centerpieces.

What We're Reading Now

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Starling House


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The Berry Pickers


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Swimming in the Dark


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God Save Benedict Arnold


publishes Dec. 5th

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The Bee Sting


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The Last Devil to Die


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We Have Always Been Who We Are


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The Wager


Dog of the Week


Daisy is a two-and-a-half year-old Goldendoodle with the plushiest, wooliest coat you've ever felt. Her mom describes her as a "smartie" who's full of fun and silliness; when we ran into her in late October, she couldn't wait to trick-or-treat! If you'd like to feel her amazing fur for yourself, you can often find her in Perrin Park, where she'll be doing her best to avoid the scary birds.

Thank you for supporting your community independent bookstore!


Rebecca Stimpson

Wellesley Books

82 Central Street

Wellesley, MA 02482


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