Wellesley Books Newsletter | January 6th, 2021
First off, a wild and heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported Wellesley Books this holiday season and this year. Thank you so much for showing up, whether in person, on the phone, or over the web!

Like many of you we heard from over the last nine months, we've also had a hard time reading during the pandemic. Some titles that carried us through 2020 were mysteries, like Pretty Things and The Sun Down Motel (two of Jess' favorites), the true crime title We Keep the Dead Close (Peter couldn't stop talking about this one), and the historical novel The Paragon Hotel (one of Ashleigh's raves). Not to mention store favorite Hamnet, or Megha Majumdar's debut A Burning. We hope you're enjoying the books you received this holiday, but we also bet you're looking forward to all the new books due out in 2021. We've gathered several forthcoming titles for you below that we're eagerly awaiting, and we think they will excite you, too!

In the children's department, Lauren has put together a display of activity books from The Kids' Book of Chess to Paint by Stickers: Unicorns and Magic to 101 Things for Kids To Do Screen-Free. We hope to also keep your kids and grandkids busy in the coming months!
Upcoming Online Events
Friday, January 8th at 7:00 PM
Kids, don your jammies and join us for a Bedtime Story with the author/illustrator herself! Monica Arnaldo reads Time for Bed's Story, her engaging, laugh-out-loud-
funny picture book in which a child's bed tells it like it is.

This free online event will take place through Zoom. In order to gain access, attendees must register by clicking the link below:
Friday, January 15th at 7:00 PM
Kids, don your jammies and join us for a Bedtime Story with the author/illustrator herself! Julia Denos reads Starcrossed, a resonant story of two friends trying to maintain their relationship from afar with dazzling results, filled with wishes, curiosity, and bravery.

This free online event will take place through Zoom. In order to gain access, attendees must register by clicking the link below:
Friday, January 22nd at 7:00 PM
Kids, don your jammies and join us for a Bedtime Story with the author herself! Sy Montgomery reads Becoming a Good Creature, the picturebook adaptation of her memoir, How to Be a Good Creature, based on her decades-long career traveling the world and writing about its animal inhabitants .

This free online event will take place through Zoom. In order to gain access, attendees must register by clicking the link below:
Monday, February 1st at 7:00 PM
Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent, joins us to celebrate the paperback release of his bestselling 2020 novel, The Last Trial. Scott will be in conversation with Hank Phillippi Ryan, author of The Other Woman and her latest, The First to Lie.

This ticketed online event will take place through Zoom. In order to gain access, attendees must register by clicking the link below:
Thursday, February 25th at 7:00 PM
The pandemic has scuppered many long-awaited travel plans. If you or a loved one will be kept home this year, fear not! Wellesley Books has just the solution: a moderated Zoom soirée to talk about books and dream of being in the City of Light!

This ticketed online event will take place through Zoom. In order to gain access, attendees must register by clicking the link below:
Bookseller Recommendations
Peter recommends:
The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell
Paraic O'Donnell leavens the dark foreboding of a truly sinister, otherworldly mystery with distinctively clever storytelling and a decidedly marvelous cast of characters. You are in the best of hands with the odd couple of Inspector Cutter and Gideon Bliss on the case, along with the intrepid and resourceful reporter Octavia Hillingdon. Beautifully done!
Ashleigh recommends:
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
For fans of Kate Morton, Sarah Waters, and creepy houses, “Plain Bad Heroines” spices up gothic tradition with wit, camp, Hollywood dazzle, and a spectacular coastal New England setting. The five heroines will charm and infuriate.Their well-developed humanity is a highlight of the book, as are the vivid illustrations of the supporting cast – the peculiar, creepy, and downright deadly things keen on foiling the five. Our heroines are connected by two things - Mary MacLane’s scandalous 1902 memoir exploring her sexuality and the Brookhants School for Girls in Little Compton, Rhode Island. In 1902, Libbie Brookhants and Alexandra Trills are dealing with the fallout from three tragic student deaths at Brookhants School, all under bizarre circumstances and within curious proximity to the MacLane book. Between the two women are also years of love, secrets, and tensions that will spiral to disastrous consequences. In 2015, mercurial wunderkind author Merritt Emmons’ debut book about Brookhants has been optioned for film. Harper Harper, indie-sweetheart and Instagram’s favorite celesbian, has signed on as producer and lead actress. Audrey Wells, B-listed and suffocating under her mother’s scream queen shadow, somehow lands the other. Curious and unsettling circumstances immediately envelop the film and its stars. A cheeky narrator guides us between perspectives, centuries and locations while supplying mostly trustworthy information and reminding us that curses, history, and women are rarely as they appear.
Books for Your Future Shelf
Available 2/2/21
Kristin Hannah
Available 1/12/21
George Saunders
Available 3/23/21
Jacqueline Winspear
Available 2/2/21
Jane Harper
Available 1/12/21
Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar
Available 1/26/21
Cicely Tyson
Available 3/2/21
Kazuo Ishiguro
Available 1/19/21
Ladee Hubbard
Available 2/16/21
Patricia Lockwood
New in Hardcover
Robert Jones, Jr.

Karl Ove Knausgaard
Mateo Askaripour
Rachel Hawkins
Daniel E. Lieberman
New in Paperback
Judithe Little
Jenny Odell
Diane Keaton
Chris Bohjalian
Hank Phillippi Ryan
Beth O'Leary
Ann Patchett
Tom Clavin
Picture Book Subscription Club: A Perfect Gift!
A Child's Library is a subscription service for children ages 0-5, or anyone who loves picture books! Each month, our children's book buyer, Lauren, will select one newly released picture book to be sent or picked-up from the store. The goal of A Child's Library is to help foster a love for books within the child's home. It makes a great baby shower gift!

The January 2021 pick is Moose, Goose, and Mouse by Mordicai Gerstein. To find out more about our subscription service, click here.
Bookseller Recommendations for Kids
Rachael recommends:
Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable
Set in a New York City where Superheroes (and villains) are real, Katie the Catsitter poses the question: what would happen if Selina Kyle was in need of a catsitter. Of course, in this case, Selina Kyle isn’t Selina Kyle at all but a beautiful and mysterious young woman with 217 cats and a “job” that keeps her out late at night. And her catsitter, Katie, is a twelve-year-old girl determined to make enough money to spend the summer at camp with her best friends. Katie the Catsitter is an uproariously funny start to a series about friendship, growing up and, naturally, cats. Lots and lots of cats. Colleen AF Venable and Stephanie Yu have knocked it out of the park and I cannot wait to find out what their next book has in store for Katie.
Ashleigh recommends:
By the Book by Amanda Sellet
In Amanda Sellet’s YA debut, Mary Porter-Malcolm is the new girl at the public school. She is kind and awkward, a bookworm from a literary family who speaks like it’s 1800 and relates better to book characters than her IRL classmates. At first, I found her a bit too uncomfortable, until I realized she reminded me of myself at 15…but I digress. After a disastrous first day, Mary overhears three girls – Lydia, Arden, and Terry - discussing the school’s romantic prospects. When she warns that Terry’s apparent crush is “a Vronsky” and to be avoided, the other girls are confused and fascinated. They integrate Mary into their group and develop The Scoundrel Survival Guide based on literature’s most infamous rogues, cads, and Lotharios. The girls are supportive, fun, and fiercely loyal; in return for her wisdom, they plot Mary’s ‘debut season,’ full of shopping and sleep-overs, and culminating with the Winter Formal. Things become more complicated when “The Vronsky” (aka Alex Ritter) befriends Mary and she finds herself falling for him. Is it possible that Mary cast him as a villain without understanding him, thus giving poor advice to her new friends? And does that make Mary more of an Emma than she realized? Just what would Jane Austen do? I adore Mary; the trio made me laugh and wish I could high-five them, especially Lydia; the Porter-Malcolm family is complicated, but provide Greek Choir-like insight, assistance, and humor; and the romances in the book are sweet, but ultimately take a second seat to the bonds of friendship and trusting yourself
Books that Got Us Through 2020
Victoria Jamieson &
Omar Mohamed
Katherine Applegate
Jason Reynolds &
Ibram X. Kendi
Stuart Gibbs
Ann M. Martin &
Gale Galligan
Varian Johnson &
Shannon Wright
Ryan T. Higgins
Books for Your Future Shelf
Available 1/12/21
Angie Thomas
Available 1/12/21
Sarwat Chadda
Available 1/19/21
Kristin Cashore
Available 1/25/21
James Patterson

Available 1/19/21
Meena Harris
Available 1/19/21
Nnedi Okorafor
Available 3/2/21
Tui T. Sutherland
Available 2/2/21
Ann M. Martin
Available 3/23/21
Dav Pilkey
In the Gift Department: Board Game Recommendations

We want to thank everyone who stopped by our Annex over the holiday season! You can catch the sale items and what's left of our holiday goodies back in the bookstore.

Now get ready! New merchandise is arriving even as we speak. New candies, new socks, new puzzles, and everything will be on display in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes on our social media for the latest, or stop by our window displays - or come in!
What We're Reading
Dog of the Week
Meet Maple
Maple is a one year old Aussiedoodle who lives in Boston and enjoys visiting Wellesley. His favorite sport is soccer. He knows how to give a paw, roll over, and play dead–which all came in handy when he learned we had treats!
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Wellesley Books
82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482