Wellesley Books Newsletter | March 15th, 2023
As of 5 o'clock on Tuesday--not to jinx us tonight--the latest big nor'easter seems to have overpromised and under-delivered. You know what won't be a bust, though? The next two weeks here at the store. We're heading into an April packed with goings-on--with something scheduled for nearly every weeknight--but we're still very excited for our upcoming late-March quartet of historical and contemporary fiction events, as well as a kids' storytime and a visit from not one, but two middle-grade luminaries. There are actually more events than could reasonably fit into one newsletter (that also covers new releases and important dogs), so please click the "see full event calendar" button below for more info.
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.
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.
Tuesday, March 21st 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
Wednesday, March 22nd at 7 PM (in-person)
Leigh McMullan Abramson joins us to discuss her debut novel, A Likely Story.

Wry, wise, and propulsive, A Likely Story is punctuated with fragments of a compulsively readable book-within-a-book about a woman determined to steal back the spotlight from a man who has cheated his way to the top.

"A standout debut about family, secrets, and the costs of protecting a precious legacy."
–Fiona Davis, author

Leigh will be in conversation with Rita Zoey Chin, author of The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern.
Thursday, March 23rd at 7 PM (in-person)
Stephanie Clifford, author of Everybody Rise, joins us to discuss The Farewell Tour, her rich and riveting new novel about one unforgettable woman’s rise in country and western.

"Beautifully written, wise, and true, The Farewell Tour honors the hard-working, hard-living women of country music—their resilience, courage, and powerful devotion to artmaking."
–Elizabeth Wetmore, author

Stephanie will be in conversation with Greer Macallister, author of The Arctic Fury.
Tuesday, March 28th at 7 PM (in-person)
From the acclaimed authors of Hurricane Season and Ana on the Edge, Camp QUILTBAG is an unforgettable middle-grade story about the importance of finding a community. Perfect for fans of Alex Gino and Ashley Herring-Blake.

"Distilling many relatable experiences and engaging with themes of layered identity, this important story highlights the importance of queer camaraderie and education."
–Publishers Weekly

Nicole Melleby and A.J. Sass will be in conversation with Sara Farizan, author of Dead Flip.
Thursday, March 30th at 7 PM (in-person)
Julie Carrick Dalton, author of Waiting for the Night Song, joins us to discuss her new novel, The Last Beekeeper, a celebration of found family, an exploration of truth versus power, and the triumph of hope in the face of crisis.

"Dalton's passion and love for the natural world vibrates gloriously off every page. The Last Beekeeper is not only an intriguing mystery but an important reminder of what we stand to lose."
–Charlotte McConaghy, author

Julie will be in conversation with Jenna Blum, author of Woodrow on the Bench and Those Who Save Us.
Saturday, April 1st at 2 PM (in-person)
Cynthia Delia Coddington and Josephine Provenzano Hoppe join us to discuss their new cookbook for those embracing a gluten-free life, Senza Glutine: Timeless Italian Dishes for the Gluten Free Palate. The event will also feature a tasting of recipes from the book!

Click here to read a recent Boston Globe feature on the authors and their path to gluten-free Italian cooking.
Wednesday, April 5th at 4 PM (in-person)
Jerry Craft, author/illustrator of the Newbery Medal-winning New Kid and Class Act, joins us to discuss School Trip, the new book in his graphic novel series. Craft sends Jordan, Drew, and a small group of students from Riverdale Academy on a school trip to Paris in this story about friendship, growing up, uncomfortable but necessary conversations, and navigating the world.

"With his signature laugh-out-loud storytelling, which teems with nuanced character dynamics, tender moments of acceptance and connection, and a multicultural cast, Craft offers a zestful graphic novel adventure that mixes lighthearted fare with thought-provoking observations on lasting friendship in the face of future-based anxieties." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Bookseller Recommendations
Ashleigh recommends:
The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff
What a conundrum this book created for me! On the one hand, it is a brutally frank call-out of domestic abuse, sexual assault, the Indian caste system, and the role of women in society. On the other hand, it is laugh-out-loud funny, full of twists, brimming with sisterhood and girl power, and a thoroughly murderous romp. It is a thoughtful, darkly hilarious, compelling read. The narration by Soneela Nankani was absolutely superb; I was in tears laughing during the final stand-off as she captured many characters, high tension, and absolute absurdity.
Tracy A. recommends:
What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jiménez
I loved this fun, funny, original book about the women of the Ramirez family. Twelve years after their sister Ruthy goes missing, sisters Jessica and Nina spy a Ruthy look-alike on a trashy reality show. Hijinks ensue as the two twenty-something sisters, their mom, and their mom's church friend drive to the set of the show in Boston from Staten Island to retrieve their long lost sister. Each character's flaws and redeeming qualities are on full display through the alternating narrators--the reader hears from all three sisters and their mom. This book made me smile and laugh despite all the snark, all the fighting, and at-times implausibility of the storyline. I flew through it.
Jerry recommends:
Based on declassified documents, this is the story of the origins of the OSS (precursor to the CIA) Research and Development branch. Stanley Lovett, a renowned industrial chemist, is recruited into the OSS to lead the R&D department in 1942. A fascinating journey begins as all kinds of new/secretive weapons are developed as moral questions are soon overridden by war needs. I was surprised by many of the inventions; chemical and otherwise that seem like James Bond movie fantasies were, indeed, actual real weapons: umbrella gun, poison pens, and many more.
New In Hardcover
Eleanor Catton
Margaret Atwood
Ann Napolitano
Cathleen Schine
Liam Callanan
Donna Leon
Elizabeth McKenzie
Jenny Odell
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Joseph Monninger
New In Paperback
Kristin Hannah
Julie Gerstenblatt
Jennifer Egan
Kate Quinn
Don Winslow
Rachel Barenbaum
Vaishnavi Patel
Stewart O'Nan
Rebecca Serle
Seth Rogen
Roger Lowenstein
Amy McCulloch
Bookseller Recommendations for Young Readers
Tracy A. recommends:
Leeva at Last by Sara Pennypacker & Matthew Cordell
In this heartfelt, funny, and clever book, Leeva Spayce Thornblossom attempts to find out what people are for, dismissing her mother's belief that people are for fame and her father's belief that people are for money. Once she discovers the library next door to her home, the wonderful world of unlimited books at her fingertips, and the deep kindness of the librarian, Leeva begins to shape her worldview. With the help of new friends, a daily supply of fresh-baked cookies, and her desire to make up for all the damage her parents (the mayor and treasurer) have caused to the residents of Nutsmore, Leeva begins to understand that people are for friendship, for looking out for one another, for supporting each other through life's ups and downs, and for sharing. Leeva is easy to love and left a mark on my heart in the vein of Ramona Q.
Nadia recommends:
Prehistoric Pets by Dr. Dean Lomax & Mike Love
Prehistoric Pets is an interactive children's pop-up book about the prehistoric pasts of today's pets! Lomax covers everything from guinea pigs to horses, with many animals in between. The book is full of unique facts, and its illustrations really bring life to each animal and its history. It is the perfect gift for any animal loving kid. The recommended age range is 5-9, though I would tack on a few years to each end of that.
New Books for Kids
Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter

Peter Reynolds & Mark Colagiovanni
Stuart Gibbs & Berat Pekmezci
Matt Tavares
Jennifer A. Nielsen
Karuna Riazi
New Books for Teens
Elizabeth Wein
Colin Kaepernick, Eve L. Ewing & Orlando Caicedo
Sarah Underwood
Catherine Bakewell

Patrick Ness & Tea Bendix
Kids' Book Subscriptions
A Child's Library and Middle-Grade Monthly are our two book subscriptions for children aged 0-5 and 8-12, respectively. Each month, our children's book buyer Lauren and school liaison Amy 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 March 2023 selections are Hoops by Matt Tavares and Rainbow Shopping by Qing Zhuang. Please click on the book covers for more information.
In the Gift Department
The "Nessie" ladle may have gone viral a few years ago, but all of the whimsical kitchen implements from Ototo make us smile, especially the "pasta monster" strainers and tongs.
What We're Reading Now...
publishes April 4th

publishes April 25th
Colleen L.
Dog of the Week--Adopt This Puppy!
We have a *very* special DoTW this week, because she could one day be yours! Daisy is currently being fostered by local writer and animal-mom extraordinaire Nichole Bernier. Once she's grown up a bit, she'll be ready for adoption at Animal Rescue League of Boston, Dedham Branch. She's a mixed breed houndy gal with adorable eyebrows and heterochromia. We can't think of a better place to begin life than in Nichole's home, surrounded by love and foster siblings.
Thank you for supporting your community independent bookstore!
Rebecca Stimpson
82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482