Ep. 29: Laura Vanderkam, Author of Juliet’s School of Possibilities

One of my favorite authors, Laura Vanderkam, returns to the podcast this week to discuss her new book, Juliet’s School of Possibilities, which is a time management fable. Laura is the author of several other time management and productivity books, including Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done as well as I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours. Laura’s work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Fortune. She is the host of the podcast Before Breakfast and the co-host, with Sarah Hart-Unger, of the podcast Best of Both Worlds. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and four children, and blogs at LauraVanderkam.com.

Juliet's School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities by [Vanderkam, Laura]

I am always on board for a new title by Laura Vanderkam. Her books have completely changed the way I approach managing my time and I can’t recommend them highly enough. When I heard that her next book was a fable, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it completely exceeded my expectations. Juliet’s School of Possibilities has the feel of a novel, while also imparting key aspects of Vanderkam’s time management philosophy.

Since it is a quick, enjoyable read, this is a perfect book to dip your toe into Vanderkam’s work and finish feeling motivated to make some changes. It would also be perfect to read as a staff and then discuss.

You can also listen to this episode on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Shownotes:

You can visit Laura Vanderkam’s website at lauravanderkam.com.

Juliet’s School of Possibilities 

I highly recommend Laura Vanderkam’s podcasts:  Best of Both Worlds and Before Breakfast.

Other Laura Vanderkam Titles:

Off the Clock

I Know How She Does It

168 Hours

Get Started With Bluprint at mybluprint.com

Laura’s Recommended Read:

I’m Fine And Neither Are You

If you’re enjoying the podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate and review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Celebrate Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, this week I’m sharing a post from last April:

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April is Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading poetry with the children in your life or by picking up an adult collection. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Children’s Collections:

For collections that celebrate poetry and reading, try Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poetry by Kwame Alexander and Book Speak!: Poems About Books by Laurie Purdie Salas:

 

 

 

 If you’re looking for a funny poetry book, try A Light in the Attic or anything else by Shel Silverstein, Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian, and I’m Just No Good At Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris.

 

 

 

Travel the world, celebrate sports, and explore animal life in these collections: The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Edited by J. Patrick Lewis, Amazing Places with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky.

 

 

For fun, creative pairs of poems that can be read in reverse I recommend Mirror Mirror, Follow Follow, or Echo Echo, which are all by Marilyn Singer and are based on fairy tales and greek myths.

 

 

 

You could also celebrate Poetry Month by reading a novel in verse. These also make fantastic choices for listening to as audiobooks.

Novels In Verse:

From Kwame Alexander’s Crossover (Plus Booked and Rebound), to Sharon Creech’s Moo and Another Day As Emily there is great kids’ realistic fiction in verse! (Bonus for Poetry Month: Another Day As Emily’s Susie decides to try living like poet Emily Dickinson).

 

 

For a historical read in verse try Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai or Jacqueline Woodson’s incredible memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

 

 

 

 

For a beginning chapter book in verse read Gone Fishing (Also Gone Camping) or the sweet, funny series of books beginning with Like Pickle Juice On A Cookie by Julie Steinberg.

 

 

I also adore “A Child’s Garden of Poetry” which HBO created with the Poetry Foundation. You can watch video clips of some of the poems on The Poetry Foundation’s website. 

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Check out “Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson, read by Claire Danes and also shared with sign language. It’s one of my favorites.

 

Poetry for Adults

I usually spend so much time sharing children’s poetry during April, that I haven’t made enough time for adult poets! This year, I picked up two collections from my local public library, Yeats’s When You Are Old: Early, Poems, Plays, And Fairy Tales And Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry:

 

 

 

What books are you reading and sharing during Poetry Month? Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

 

April Showers and Reads with May Flowers

On this rainy Tuesday, I’m throwing it back to a post from last spring. Here are books with plenty of flowers to get you through all those showers. Enjoy!

 

 

perennials

I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but luckily in this case, Perennials’ gorgeous design did not disappoint. I completely fell into the story of Lovey Sutherland, who is called back to her family’s farm in Oxford, Mississippi and finds it might be time to try to make peace with the past. Compelling and heartfelt, I think this novel is perfect for fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Jojo Moyes. Julie Cantrell also brings this lush setting to life and the descriptions of the flower gardens central to this story will make you want to go start planting immediately–a perfect choice for spring. Bonus: Mississippi authors Eudora Welty and William Faulkner are weaved into the story. Highly recommended and I already have my library holds in for more books by Julie Cantrell!

 

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As I was soaking up all of the beautiful flower descriptions in Perennials, I kept thinking back to the book I pored over last spring: Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest & Arrange Stunning Seasonal BloomsThis is not your typical gardening book. The photos in here are absolutely stunning and you will you want to start digging up your yard immediately

 

 

 

Here’s a peek at Floret Farm from when owner and Cut Flower Garden author Erin Benzakein was interviewed after winning Martha Stewart’s “American Made”:

 

Last year I discovered I don’t exactly have the greenest thumb (I’m really better at the planning and research phase!), but I’m going to try again and this year I want to involve my toddler in the flower garden. She did just receive her own set of gardening tools from a family member, so my little helper will be all set to help water and play in the dirt!

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If you have an older child, they could look at Cut Flower Garden or another gardening book with you and help choose what you’re going to plant. Reading a gardening book together would also be a great example for kids of a “How To” book, which I know students at my elementary school practice writing. Check out the gardening section of your local library and bring home a stack!

There are also so many wonderful picture book read alouds with gardening inspiration for this time of year that you can read together:

 

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I adore My Garden by Kevin Henkes and for fans of Perennials, this is the perfect children’s book pairing! A child likes to help her mother in the garden, but also dreams of her own magic garden where things like jelly beans, chocolate, and seashells would grow. When I read this book to my students and ask them what would grow in their own magical garden their imaginations run wild–book trees, candy flowers and more! The illustrations in this book are also so bright and colorful. Highly recommended.

 

MissRumphius Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney is a recent favorite that I received from another librarian as a baby shower gift. As a child listening to her grandfather’s stories, Miss Rumphius says, “When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea.” And she does–traveling the world and having many adventures before settling in Maine and deciding it’s time to “make the world more beautiful” with the simple act of planting many, many lupines. A lovely, inspiring read.

 

thegardener

Set in the 1930s, this historical fiction picture book by Sarah Stewart is told in a series of letters. The Gardener is a Caldecott Honor winner that tells the story of Lydia Grace, who is sent to go live with her uncle in the city after her father loses his job. She uses her gardening skills, a passion of hers, to help brighten the world around her and hopefully cheer up her curmudgeonly uncle.

 

 

Do you have a favorite read with “May flowers”? Share it in the comments or let me know on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

Boston Author Event Roundup: April

 

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

Kwame Alexander presents The Undefeated,

joined by Lamar Giles, Raul the Third, and Kip Wilson

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes Newbery Medal–winning author KWAME ALEXANDER for a celebration of the launch of his new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint, Versify, and the release of his new picture book The Undefeated.

He will be joined by Versify authors LAMAR GILES, RAÚL THE THIRD, and KIP WILSON, who will be presenting their respective new children’s books The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, and White Rose. The event will be a special 45-minute program focused on spreading the word about how books can empower young people to imagine and create a better world. It will be followed by audience Q&A and a signing with all four authors.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – 7:00pm at Trident Books, Boston

First Draft with Sarah Enni Live: In Conversation With Sara Farizan and Katie Cotugno

“Join us for an in-conversation event with local authors Sarah Enni, author of TELL ME EVERYTHING, Sara Farizan, author of HERE TO STAY and IF YOU COULD BE MINE, and Katie Cotugno, author of HOW TO LOVE, 99 DAYS. This will be a lively chat including discussions of the themes connecting all of their books, writing young adult fiction, and an audience Q&A. This event will also be recorded and released as a bonus episode of the First Draft podcast.”

Thursday, April 4, 2019 – 7:00pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Julie Berry, Lovely War

“We are extremely excited to welcome Printz Honor author Julie Berry to share her newest YA novel, Lovely War.

They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

Author Julie Berry’s critically-acclaimed writing has been called “haunting and unforgettable” by New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys and “utterly original and instantly engrossing” by Publishers Weekly.

Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlistedAll the Truth That’s in Me, and many other acclaimed middle grade novels and picture books. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives in Southern California with her family.”

For more information visit the event website.

– 11am at Blue Bunny Books

Hayley Barrett, Babymoon

“The Blue Bunny welcomes Hayley Barrett to share her forthcoming picture book, Babymoon. Hayley’s debut picture book encourages growing families to take time together to rest and fall in love. In a perfect gift for new and expectant parents (and siblings), a gentle story pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn. Once an aspiring nurse-midwife, Hayley honors the arrival of any child, whether newborn or older, by birth or by adoption, as a momentous event.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

 at Blue Bunny Books, Dedham

Book Release Party with Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple,

A Kite for the Moon

“Meet the New York Times bestselling mother-daughter author team of Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple for a special event marking the release of their new picture book, A Kite for Moon.

The book tells a heartfelt story about a young boy’s fascination and unlikely friendship with the moon. With whimsical illustrations by award-winning artist Matt Phelan, the story begins when the little boy, who is flying his kite, notices a sad Moon. He sends up kites to her, even writing notes to Moon promising he will come see her someday. This promise propels him through years and years of studying, learning, and training to be an astronaut!

Dedicated to Neil Armstrong, this is the perfect children’s book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United States moon landing.”

For more information visit the event website.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – 7:00pm at Trident Books, Boston

Steven Rowley in Conversation with William Kuhn,

The Editor

“In 2016, Steven Rowley’s smash debut, Lily and the Octopus, was a publishing phenomenon. The magical tale of grief and friendship sent shock waves through the literary world and was heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. Sold in translation in nineteen languages, Rowley’s remarkable book made The Washington Post’s list of Notable Fiction for 2016 and is currently in development as an Amazon Studios feature film.

Rowley now delivers on the soaring promise of that debut with The Editor, a stunning exploration of the complicated bond forged within families and a tribute to the serendipitous relationships that shape and define us—perfect for admirers of Less and The Nix.”

 

Saturday April 13th- 11:00AM at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Saturday Morning Story Time:

Andrea Wang, Magic Ramen

“This Saturday morning we explore the origins of ramen noodle soup and the story of Momofuku Ando.  Andrea Wang will read from her new picture book,Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando.

Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II.
Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab–a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.

Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting.

With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

Performance ergobaby carriers are great for warmer climates and outdoor activities

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 – 7:00pm at Belmont Books

Louis Bayard, Courting Mr. Lincoln

“When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one’s shortlist to be president. Rough and reticent, he’s a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. “I can only hope,” she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, “that his waters being so very still, they also run deep.”

It’s not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and a respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield.

Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents.

Louis Bayard, a master storyteller at the height of his powers, delivers here a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.”

 

50% Off First 3 Months Bluprint Subscription at mybluprint.com through 4/7/19.

For more information visit the event website.
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Get to the Top of the Library Hold List: Spring 2019 New And Forthcoming Books

One of the best ways to have a steady stream of great books to read is to frequently request books from your public library. And the sooner you put new and popular books on hold, the better chance you have of getting to the top of the list!

Here are some titles to consider adding to your family’s library holds:

Picture Books:

We Are the Gardeners

by Joanna Gaines and Kids

(March 26, 2019)

You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family’s story of becoming gardeners in Joanna’s first children’s book—starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family’s love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden.

Julianna Swaney’s illustrations bring the Gaines family garden to life with colorful, whimsical watercolors and invite you to enjoy the beauty of a thriving garden.

A Piglet Named Mercy

by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

(April 2, 2019)

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“Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture-book prequel to the New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson series.

Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive — and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.”

The Little Guys

by Vera Brosgol

(April 2, 2019)

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An adorable cautionary tale from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol

We are the Little Guys.
Yes, we are small. But there are a lot of us.
Together we are strong, and we can get all we need.

The Little Guys might be small, but they aim to be mighty.

As they head off to find breakfast, they can conquer anything through teamwork―cross deep waters, dig through obstacles, and climb the tallest trees. Nothing can stop them!

But as they begin to amass more than they need, the creatures in the forest ponder―what happens when no one can stop the Little Guys?

This slyly funny and rambunctious read-aloud explores how strength in numbers only works when the whole community unites together.”

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Tomorrow Most Likely

by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Lane Smith

(April 2, 2019)

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Rather than focusing on going to bed—and what kid wants to think about going to bed?—this book explores all of the dreamy, wonderful, strange things the next day might bring.

Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

(April 2, 2019)

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“The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree.

Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.”

Middle Grade and Young Adult:

(March 26, 2019)

“Pricilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins has already written a “Bestseller” and a “Classic”―now it’s time for her to write an Epic Story. Epics are all about brave heroes overcoming Struggles to save the world, and this year, Cilla is facing her toughest struggles yet:

· Cilla is in fifth grade and, unlike her classmates, not at all ready to start middle school
· She has two younger sisters to look after now and they don’t exactly get along
· Her beloved grandfather YeYe has had a stroke and forgotten his English, and it’s up to Cilla to help him find his words again

With humor, heart, and her mighty pen Cilla Lee-Jenkins will use her powers to vanquish every foe (the mean girls in her class), help every citizen (especially Ye Ye), and save the world.”

Far From Agrabah

by Aisha Saeed

(April 2, 2019)

“This stunning original novel will tell an all-new story set in the world of the new film, featuring Aladdin and Jasmine. A magic carpet ride full of adventure, suspense, and wonder written by New York Times Bestselling author Aisha Saeed, this story will be a must-read for any Aladdin fans who find themselves drawn into and enchanted by the magical world of Agrabah and beyond.”

Where the Heart Is

by Jo Knowles

(April 2, 2019)

“It’s the first day of summer and Rachel’s thirteenth birthday. She can’t wait to head to the lake with her best friend, Micah. But as summer unfolds, every day seems to get more complicated. Her “fun” new job taking care of the neighbors’ farm animals quickly becomes a challenge, whether she’s being pecked by chickens or having to dodge a charging pig at feeding time. At home, her parents are more worried about money than usual, and their arguments over bills intensify. Fortunately, Rachel can count on Micah to help her cope with all the stress. But Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship, and though Rachel almost wishes for that, too, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy — or what that means. With all the heart of her award-winning novel See You At Harry’s, Jo Knowles brings us the story of a girl who must discover where her heart is and what that means for her future.”

All for One: The Alex and Eliza Trilogy

by Melissa De La Cruz

(April 9, 2019)

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“1785. New York, New York.

As a young nation begins to take shape, Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler are on top of the world. They’re the toast of the town, keeping New York City buzzing with tales of their lavish parties, of Eliza’s legendary wit, and of Alex’s brilliant legal mind.

But new additions to Alex & Eliza’s little family mean change is afoot in the Hamilton household. When they agree to take in an orphaned teenage girl along with Eliza’s oldest brother, John Schuyler, Eliza can’t help but attempt a match. It’s not long before sparks start to fly…if only Eliza can keep herself from interfering too much in the course of true love. After all, she and Alex have an arrival of their own to plan for, though Alex’s latest case brings a perilous threat that may destroy everything.

The sweeping love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler comes to a close in All for One, the riveting final installment of the New York Times bestselling Alex & Eliza trilogy.”

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Spy School: British Invastion

by Stuart Gibbs

(April 30th 2019)

“Stranded in Mexico after nearly capturing the leaders of SPYDER, thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley desperately needs to take a shower. But even more so, he and his spy school friends need to come up with a new plan to defeat their enemies, their only clue a key that opens…something.

The Mission: Go rogue from the CIA, join up with the British MI6 to locate the leader of SPYDER, the enigmatic Mr. E, and bring down the evil organization once and for all.

Only it won’t be easy. They’ll have to deal with rival evil splinter factions, devious double-crosses and learning to drive on the opposite side of the road. But they have no other choice: this is their last and final chance to crack the code on SPYDER.”

With the Fire On High

by Elizabeth Acevedo

(May 7, 2019)

“With a daughter and her abuela to help support, Emoni Santiago knows she doesn’t have time for her school’s culinary arts class, and that she shouldn’t be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But once Emoni starts cooking, she can’t help but let her talent break free.”

Adult Fiction:

The Editor

by Steven Rowley

(April 2, 2019)

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“After years of struggling as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally gets his big break when his novel sells to an editor at a major publishing house: Jackie Kennedy. Jackie, or Mrs. Onassis as she’s known in the office, has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

With her shrewd drive and intuition, Jackie pushes James to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. But when a long-held family secret is revealed, he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page…”

Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

(April 9, 2019)

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“The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker’s treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.”

The Peacock Emporium

by Jojo Moyes

(April 9, 2019)

“In the sixties, Athene Forster was the most glamorous girl of her generation. Nicknamed the Last Deb, she was also beautiful, spoiled, and out of control. When she agreed to marry the gorgeous young heir Douglas Fairley-Hulme, her parents breathed a sigh of relief. But within two years, rumors had begun to circulate about Athene’s affair with a young salesman.

Thirty-five years later, Suzanna Peacock is struggling with her notorious mother’s legacy. The only place Suzanna finds comfort is in The Peacock Emporium, the beautiful coffee bar and shop she opens that soon enchants her little town. There she makes perhaps the first real friends of her life, including Alejandro, a male midwife, escaping his own ghosts in Argentina.

The specter of her mother still haunts Suzanna. But only by confronting both her family and her innermost self will she finally reckon with the past–and discover that the key to her history, and her happiness, may have been in front of her all along.”

Normal People

by Sally Rooney

(April 16, 2019)

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“A wondrous and wise coming-of-age love story from the celebrated author of Conversations with Friends

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.
Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.”

50% Off 1st 3 Months Bluprint Subscription + 12 FREE Own-Forever Classes through 3/13/19 at myBluprint.com.

Fumbled

by Alexa Martin

(April 23, 2019)

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“A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.”

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

by Balli Kaur Jaswal

(April 30, 2019)

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“The British-born Punjabi Shergill sisters—Rajni, Jezmeen, and Shirnia—were never close and barely got along growing up, and now as adults, have grown even further apart. Rajni, a school principal is a stickler for order. Jezmeen, a thirty-year-old struggling actress, fears her big break may never come. Shirina, the peacemaking “good” sister married into wealth and enjoys a picture-perfect life.

On her deathbed, their mother voices one last wish: that her daughters will make a pilgrimage together to the Golden Temple in Amritsar to carry out her final rites. After a trip to India with her mother long ago, Rajni vowed never to return. But she’s always been a dutiful daughter, and cannot, even now, refuse her mother’s request. Jezmeen has just been publicly fired from her television job, so the trip to India is a welcome break to help her pick up the pieces of her broken career. Shirina’s in-laws are pushing her to make a pivotal decision about her married life; time away will help her decide whether to meekly obey, or to bravely stand up for herself for the first time.

Arriving in India, these sisters will make unexpected discoveries about themselves, their mother, and their lives—and learn the real story behind the trip Rajni took with their Mother long ago—a momentous journey that resulted in Mum never being able to return to India again.”

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World

by Fredrik Backman

(May 7, 2019)

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“Things My Son Needs To Know About The World is a tender and funny series of letters from a new father to his son about one of life’s most daunting experiences: parenthood.

In between the sleep-obsessed lows and oxytocin-fuelled highs, Backman takes a step back to share his own experience of fatherhood and how he navigates such unchartered territory.

Part memoir, part manual, part love letter to his son, this book relays the big and the small lessons in life. As he watches his son take his first steps into the world, he teaches him how to navigate both love and IKEA and tries to explain why, sometimes, his dad might hold his hand just a little bit too tightly.

This is an irresistible and insightful collection from one of the world’s most beautiful storytellers.”

Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race

by Lara Prior-Palmer

(May 7, 2019)

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For fans of Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk, this is the extraordinary debut memoir of a young woman who traveled to Mongolia to compete in the world’s longest, toughest horse race, and emerged as its youngest and first-ever female winner.

At the age of nineteen, Lara Prior-Palmer discovered a website devoted to “the world’s longest, toughest horse race”—an annual competition of endurance and skill that involves dozens of riders racing a series of twenty-five wild ponies across 1,000 kilometers of Mongolian grassland. On a whim, she decided to enter the race. As she boarded a plane to East Asia, she was utterly unprepared for what awaited her.

Riders often spend years preparing to compete in the Mongol Derby, a course that recreates the horse messenger system developed by Genghis Khan, and many fail to finish. Prior-Palmer had no formal training. She was driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses. She raced for ten days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families.

Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each dawn she rode out again on a fresh horse, scrambling up mountains, swimming through rivers, crossing woodlands and wetlands, arid dunes and open steppe, as American television crews chased her in their Jeeps.

Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic captures the extraordinary story of one young woman who forged ahead, against all odds, to become the first female winner of this breathtaking race.

The Bride Test

by Helen Hoang

(May 7, 2019)

“From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.”

Mistress of the Ritz

by Melanie Benjamin

(May 21, 2019)

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“Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel’s director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests–and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Go�ring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For the falsehoods they tell to survive, and to strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone–the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.”

 

What new releases are you requesting from your local library? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

What I’ve Been Reading…

Lately I’ve been drawn to a wide variety of books–from Laura Vanderkam’s new fable, to St. Patrick’s Day read alouds, and books to help me plan this year’s garden. I’m always thankful for my local public library, but especially during months like these when my interests are certainly bigger than my book budget!

Here are a few of the titles I’ve been enjoying:

Juliet’s School of Possibilities:

A Little Story About the Power of Priorities

by Laura Vanderkam

Juliet's School of Possibilities: A Little Story About the Power of Priorities by [Vanderkam, Laura]

I am always on board for a new title by Laura Vanderkam. Her books have completely changed the way I approach managing my time (168 Hours and I Know How She Does It in particular) and I can’t recommend them highly enough. When I heard that her next book was a fable, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it completely exceeded my expectations. Juliet’s School of Possibilities has the feel of a novel, while also imparting key aspects of Vanderkam’s time management philosophy. Since it is a quick, enjoyable read, this is a perfect book to dip your toe into Vanderkam’s work and finish feeling motivated to make some changes. It would also be perfect to read as a staff and then discuss.

**I’m excited to share that Laura Vanderkam will be coming back on A Bookish Home, the podcast soon to chat about Juliet’s School of Possibilities. **

In the meantime you can listen to Ep. 12: Laura Vanderkam, Author of “Off the Clock”.

“Riley Jenkins is in trouble. An ambitious, hardworking consultant in her late twenties, she’s used to a lifetime of nearly perfect evaluations – until she gets a terrible performance review from her boss. How is that possible when Riley does everything her clients want – including answering emails 24/7 – faster than they expect it?

That’s precisely the problem: she’s spread too thin. Despite her insane hours and attention to detail, Riley can’t produce the thoughtful work her clients expect. Now she’s been given thirty days to close a major deal, or she’s out. Meanwhile, her personal life is also on the edge of disaster, with her boyfriend and close friends losing patience with her chronic unavailability.

The last thing Riley wants, at a stressful time like this, is to attend a women’s leadership retreat with some of her colleagues. But she can’t get out of her commitment: a weekend in New Jersey at some silly-sounding place called Juliet’s School of Possibilities.

Yet before long, Riley is surprised to find herself intrigued by Juliet, the lifestyle maven who hosts the conference. How does a single mother of two run a successful business while acting as if she has all the time in the world? The answer may lie in one of Juliet’s Zen-like comments: “Expectations are infinite. Time is finite. You are always choosing. Choose well.”

By the end of this story, you’ll join Riley in rethinking the balance between your present and your future, between the things you have to do and the things you want to do. Like Riley, you can free yourself from feeling overwhelmed and pursue your highest possibilities.

The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book

by Anda Korie

The Spoonflower Quick-Sew Project Book is full of ideas for using up your fabric stash. The projects are creative without being overly complicated and the design and photographs are beautiful, making this a joy to flip through for inspiration.

“Discover all that you can make with just a yard or two! Spoonflower —a create-your-own/print-on-demand fabric company known for its unique, clever, and must-have designs— presents dozens of brand new projects that can be completed in just a few hours. Get inspired and turn your favorite fabric into a lovely garland, stylish tote, children’s tent, and all sorts of other accessories for your home and more. With step-by-step tutorials and projects that span a wide-spectrum skills, this book is perfect for both new and experienced sewists.”

 

50% Off 1st 3 Months Bluprint Subscription + 12 FREE Own-Forever Classes through 3/13/19 at myBluprint.com.

Annuals, Perennials, and Bulbs: 377 Flower Varieties for a Vibrant Garden

‘Tis the season for dreaming of spring flowers! Around here, there is still plenty of snow on the ground, but I’m poring over gardening books and planning for warmer days. Annual, Perennials and Bulbs was perfect for browsing, with plenty of colorful photos and information on a wide variety of flowers.

“This lavishly illustrated book shows how to grow plants from the “great garden triumvirate” and provides foolproof design techniques for any garden or landscape.

An extensive section on using color in the garden provides guidance for the tricky process of plant placement and selection.

Practical techniques are emphasized, too. You’ll learn how to care for soil, start plants from seeds, grow and care for plants in containers, and maintain plants and gardens.

Sections on dividing plants, lifting bulbs, and saving seeds are also included.”

 

Blended

by Sharon M. Draper

Sharon Draper is one of my favorite middle-grade authors (I could rave about Out of My Mind and Stella by Starlight for days) so I was happy to get to read her latest, Blended. Isabella’s story is relatable, full of heart, and one that children navigating divorce in particular will really resonate with.

“You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?”

Eleven-year-old Isabella is used to these kinds of comments – her father is black, her mother is white – but that doesn’t mean she likes them. And now that her parents are divorced (and getting along WORSE than ever), Isabella feels more like a push-me-pull-me toy. One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.

Being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. If you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?”

Circle 

by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen

In my book, author/illustrator team Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen can do no wrong. From The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse to Extra Yarn and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, their picture books are some of the best being published today and are consistent crowd pleasers for kids and adults alike. Happily they have a new book with their trademark humor to add to a list of winning read alouds–Circle, the final book in their shapes trilogy.

“This book is about Circle. This book is also about Circle’s friends, Triangle and Square. Also it is about a rule that Circle makes, and how she has to rescue Triangle when he breaks that rule. With their usual pitch-perfect pacing and subtle, sharp wit, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen come full circle in the third and final chapter of their clever shapes trilogy.”

 

 

How to Catch a Leprechaun

by Adam Wallace, Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

Looking for a read aloud for St. Patrick’s Day? How to Catch a Leprechaun is an engaging picture book that comes with a bonus for the kids in your life: inspiration to follow-up with a hands-on activity in the form of building their own leprechaun trap. An activity guide is available from the publisher.

“You’ve been planning night and day, and finally you’ve created the perfect trap! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you’ll finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick’s Day tradition with this fun and lively children’s book.

How to catch a leprechaun?
It’s tougher than you think!
He’ll turn your whole house upside down.
He’s quicker than a wink!”

 

There Is a Bird on Your Head!

by Mo Willems

I never tire of reading Elephant and Piggie books out loud. Partly because it always fills me with book joy to see how much kids love them! In my experience, even 2nd and 3rd graders will laugh out loud at Elephant and Piggie’s antics. My toddler is proving no different and we are really enjoying reading this series together.

“Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In There Is a Bird On My Head!, Gerald discovers that there is something worse than a bird on your head-two birds on your head! Can Piggie help her best friend?”

What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home? Sign up to receive an email every time there is a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Boston Author Event Roundup: March

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

“An eye-opening, inspiring, and timely account of the complex relationship between notable suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in Alice’s fight for women’s equality. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? reveals the inspiring, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America.”

For more information visit the event website.

Tuesday Mar. 5th 6:00 pm at Brookline Booksmith

Valeria Luiselli in conversation with Christopher Lydon, Lost Children Archive

“Valeria will be in conversation with Christopher Lydon, the host of WBUR’s Radio Open Source.

From the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border – an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.”

Wednesday, March 6th – 6:30 PM at An Unlikely Story in Plainville

Soman Chainani, The School for Good And Evil: A Crystal of Time 

“Soman Chainani will introduce the fifth installment in his New York Times bestselling fantasy series, the School for Good and Evil. Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story. While you’re waiting for the event, you can enroll at the School for Good and Evil and take the entrance exam!”

For more information visit the event website. 

Wednesday, March 6th- 7pm at First Parish Church, sponsored by Harvard Bookstore 

Gretchen Rubin, Outer Order, Inner Calm

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

“Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated writer and podcaster GRETCHEN RUBIN—bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before—for a discussion of her latest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 11:00am at Belmont Books

Josh Funk’s 10th Book Celebration!

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“Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight–after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread

With laugh-out-loud dialogue and bold, playful art (including hidden search-and-find fairy-tale creatures), this Hansel and Gretel retelling will have kids giggling right up to the delicious ending.”

Sunday, March 10th- 2pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

MarcyKate Connolly and Monica Tesler

Sunday, March 10 – 3pm at Concord Bookshop

Jabari Asim, We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival

We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival Cover Image

“Please join us on Sunday, March 10 at 3pm, when acclaimed author Jabari Asim presents We Can’t Breathe, Insightful and searing essays that celebrate the vibrancy and strength of black history and culture in America.”

For more information visit the event website.

ShoutLaurie Halse Anderson

SHOUT

“Harvard Book Store welcomes LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON, the award-winning, bestselling author of Speak, for a discussion of her new memoir, SHOUT—a searing poetic memoir for the #MeToo era. Anderson will be joined in conversation by a special guest, to be announced.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

Monday, March 18, 2019 – 7:00pm at Porter Square Books

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light 

 

Tuesday, March 19th- 6pm at Belmont Books

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time

“For fans of the Royal Diaries series and Gail Carson Levine, Newbery Honor-winning author Kathryn Lasky delivers the first enchanting adventure in a compelling new middle grade series about a newly orphaned girl who finds herself time-travelling between the present day and the court of the two most memorable English princesses in history.”

Sunday, March 24, 2019 – 10:00am at An Unlikely Story in Plainville

LeUyen Pham, The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Cake

“Suit up for some monster-fighting fun with LeUyen Pham, the illustrator of THE PRINCESS IN BLACK series! Her colorful illustrations always bring alive the humor and action in the stories and the newest installment, THE SCIENCE FAIR SCARE, is no different. In the book, when a goo monster threatens the interkingdom science fair, only Princess Magnolia’s monster-fighting alter ego, Princess in Black can save the day. At the event, LeUyen will give a presentation and do a drawing demonstration, followed by a signing.”  

For more information visit the event website.

 

Watch yoga classes at myBluprint.com

 

Tuesday March 26th – 7:00 PM at Harvard Bookstore

Laila Lalami, The Other AmericansThe Other Americans: A Novel

“Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer LAILA LALAMI—author of Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Moor’s Account—for a discussion of her new novel, The Other Americans. She will be joined in conversation by MIN JIN LEE, author of the celebrated National Book Award–finalist Pachinko.”

An Afternoon with Lynda Mullaly Hunt

 

“Come spend an afternoon with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, the award-winning middle-grade author of One for the Murphys and the New York Times bestseller, Fish In a Tree. We can’t wait for this event!”

For more information visit the event website.

Sunday, March 24th at 3pm at Concord Bookshop

Melissa Stewart and Sarah Brannen present Seashells: More Than a Home

Seashells: More Than a Home Cover Image

“Please join us on Sunday, March 24 at 3pm, when author Melissa Stewart and illustrator Sarah S. Brannen will be here with their new collaboration, Seashells: More Than a Home.”

For more information visit the event website.

Repost: 10 Bookish Reads to Cozy Up With Next

This week I’m sharing a post from last winter on one of my favorite topics: books about books. Happy reading!

 

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Is there anything better than “books about books”? This is a genre I can’t get enough of. Turning the pages and spotting references to favorite books and authors, finding out the characters inhabit bookstores or libraries each day, and reading loads of dialogue between characters about the titles they love––heaven!

Here are 10 Bookish Reads for you and the little ones in your life. Happy reading!

ajfikry1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

If you are on the lookout for your next bookish read and have not yet picked up this gem of a book, place your library requests or bookstore orders immediately! This is a reading experience to be treasured. I grabbed this book and curled up on the couch with it anytime my daughter was asleep one rainy Saturday and alternated between laughing out loud, reaching for the tissues, and looking for another book dart to mark a passage I loved. A young toddler comes into the life of a thirty-something widower bookstore owner, changing the course of not only their “stories”, but also the entire community’s. Bookish references abound in this one and great reads are at the center of the characters’ lives. This book was also a wonderful fictional look at raising a reader. A.J. Fikry has certainly zoomed to the top of my list of recent favorites–highly recommended.

 

You can also check out this interview with the author, Gabrielle Zevin from NPR:

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FirstImpressions

2. First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett

I got this book recommendation from a wonderful “Lifetime mother-daughter book club” episode of my favorite reading podcast, “What Should I Read Next” with Anne Bogel. (If you haven’t listened to this book recommendation podcast, this would be a great episode to start with. This book was recommended by the mother and daughter on the show sharing their favorite reads and getting book recommendations.) First Impressions is a bookish mystery for Jane Austen fans and Anglophiles, that alternates between Jane’s perspective and modern day Sophie Collingwood’s, a recent Oxford graduate about to take on the greatest literary puzzle she could imagine. Bonus–it will inspire you to re-read Pride and Prejudice. 

 

The Wilder Life

3. The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

Little House on the Prairie fans, this is the book for you! Wendy McClure shares her account of immersing herself in the world of the series and embraces all things Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m fascinated by how Wilder,  like L.M. Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott blended the real stories of her upbringing and family life with fiction. Like Avonlea and Orchard House, the setting of the various Ingalls’ homesteads is also such a rich part of the story and McClure makes pilgrimages to them all–from the Big Woods of Wisconsin, to Plum Creek, and South Dakota. This is a delightful literary travel memoir and reflection on the series. For a more scholarly look at the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder and reality versus fiction in her work, you can also check out Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser.
onetrueloves4. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty or Jojo Moyes and haven’t picked up a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, I highly recommend this author. She writes smart, tug-at-your-heartstrings women’s fiction that is impossible to set down. In One True Loves, Emma Blair has spent her twenties with her high school sweetheart Jesse, traveling the world and having adventures far from their small Massachusetts hometown. After being married for only a year, tragedy strikes and Jesse’s helicopter crashes somewhere over the Pacific. Emma moves back home to rebuild her life and takes over her parents’ bookstore. After several years, she falls in love again with Sam, an old friend, and becomes engaged. When Jesse is found alive, Emma’s world is turn upside down. Keep the tissues handy as you’ll be as torn as Emma about how to choose between the husband she lost and the fiancé she has built a life with. This book also dives into Emma’s complicated relationship with her family as well as the world of the bookstore, which she rebelled against growing up.

 

thelosersclub

5. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

The wonderful Andrew Clements has done it again with another funny, relatable, middle-grade school story–and in this one, he celebrates being bookish! This has taken the top spot as my new favorite Clements book and was a hit when I helped choose it as the 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club pick at my school. Alec is a lifelong bookworm who is actually constantly being sent to the principal’s office for reading too much at school. (Which breaks my librarian heart!) In the after-school program, he’s forced to sign up for a club, but he just wants to spend his time reading. His solution–call the club “The Losers Club” and hope no one else wants to join so he can read in peace. When things don’t exactly go according to plan, Alec makes some interesting discoveries about himself and the people around him. Clements weaves in a stellar book title every few pages and even includes a full list of books read by Alec and his classmates at the end of the story –the young readers in your life will devour this title.

 

AnotherDayAsEmily

6. Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli

This is a quick read that completely warmed my heart. I read it in a few hours one afternoon and couldn’t wait to recommend it to students. Eleven-year-old Suzy researches Emily Dickinson as part of a summer program at the public library. When things don’t seem to be going her way, she decides to channel her inner Emily and live like a 19th-century recluse. Her experiment exasperates her parents and baffles her friends, but left me charmed. This book was in my reading pile because it’s part of this year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award program. 4th, 5th and 6th graders across the state are presented with 25 nominated books. If they read 5, they are eligible to vote for their favorite. Many states have reading programs for elementary kids, and the nominee lists are great places to seek out new books for the little ones in your life.

 

OurStoryBegins

7. Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids, Edited by Elissa Brent Weissman

I flipped through this book gleefully as I saw how many author contributed, from the author of my childhood favorite Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine, to authors and illustrators of incredible contemporary titles like Wonder (R.J. Palacio), One Crazy Summer (Rita Williams-Garcia), Escape from Mr. Lemencello’s Library (Chris Grabenstein), and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Grace Lin). This is a fascinating look at the varying journeys of accomplished authors and illustrators–the childhood sketches, attempts at novels, and encouragement from teachers and parents that got them where they are today. A truly inspirational and entertaining read for kids and adults alike.

 

LibraryBookForBear

8. A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

This delightful picture book makes kids of all ages laugh out loud. Bear is a bit of a curmudgeon and has all the books he could ever need (seven to be exact). Why would he possibly want to go to the library with Mouse? A sweet, funny tale about being open to trying new things and discovering your next favorite book at the library.

 

ReadingMakesYouFeelGood

9. Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr

Why does reading make us happy? Is it being able to read the signs at the zoo? Or sharing a story with a friend? Todd Parr explores the many wonderful reasons why “Reading Makes You Feel Good”. A perfect book to share with the littlest readers in your life. I love to ask my K-2 students why they love to read after sharing this title. They always come up with adorable reasons!

 

TheLibrary10. The Library by Sarah Stewart

Elizabeth Brown was born a bookworm. Her piles of books are her constant companions. She even creates a check-out system for lending books out to friends when she is away at school. (I love that she conducts “midnight raids” to take overdue books back from classmates). When others are out socializing, she’s staying in content with her book. She also reads while grocery shopping and vacumming (if only she’d had access to audiobooks!). As she gets older and moves into a house of her own, the piles of books become towers until she eventually runs out of room. The solution? Create a public library for her town. This is a fun bookish read aloud for kids of all ages and certainly pleases us bookish introverts!

What I’ve Been Reading Lately…

It is so wonderful when you have a stretch of time as a reader when you adore book after book.

Here are some of the books I’ve been over the moon about lately:

Harry’s Trees

by Jon Cohen

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Picking up this book in and of itself was magical for me. This was a recommendation that Anne Bogel gave me during our interview. (A dream come true!) I am a huge fan of her blog and What Should I Read Next? podcast. I had asked for suggestions given that I was re-reading Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, and Pride and Prejudice at the timeThis is exactly the kind of uplifting book I had hoped for, with a quirky cast of characters in a community you come to deeply care about. A+ to Modern Mrs. Darcy! Harry’s Trees also wound up being a January pick for her online book club.

“Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane, lifelong lover of trees, works as an analyst in a treeless US Forest Service office. When his wife dies in a freak accident, devastated, he makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, intent on losing himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She, too, has lost someone—her father. And in the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.

As Harry agrees to help the young girl, the unlikeliest of elements—a tree house, a Wolf, a small-town librarian and a book called The Grum’s Ledger—come together to create the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains…a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open the door to a new life for Harry.

Harry’s Trees is an uplifting tale about love, loss, friendship, and redemption. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove and Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will find in its relentless good humor a much-needed remedy for these fraught times.”

 

Bear Town

by Fredrik Backman

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I wasn’t convinced that a book about hockey would draw me in, but I kept hearing about this book and enjoyed A Man Called Ove, so I decided to finally try Beartown. I’m so glad I did. Fans of Friday Night Lights will find themselves captivated by this small town story, and like me, struggle to put it down.

“People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.”

 

Get 12 Free Own Forever Classes and a year of Bluprint for only $69.99 at myBluprint.com through 2/17/19.

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

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The Poet X is one of the best young adult novels I’ve ever read. Winner of numerous awards including the National Book Award, Pura Belpré Award, and the Michael L. Printz Award, this is an unforgettable coming-of-age story, filled with hope and writing that has to be stopped and savored.

“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

by Meg Medina

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Merci Suarez Changes Gears  was recommended to me by Katie Cunningham, Senior Editor at Candlewick on the podcast. Her praise was spot on and I absolutely adored this book. I revisited Merci recently before my interview with author Meg Medina (coming soon!). This is the kind of story you want to press into the hands of middle schoolers–and the kind of story adults wish they had read during those tumultuous years! I could not have been more thrilled to see Meg Medina win the Newbery Medal for this outstanding book. Fingers crossed we see more of Merci and the Suarez family soon!

“Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.”

Drawn Together

by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

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A boy and his grandfather are unable to speak the same language, resulting in frustration and distance, until they find a different way. Drawn Together is a deeply moving book about family and the power of connecting through stories.  I was so happy to see this book win the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

“When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.”

I Love You, Little Pookie

by Sandra Boynton

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I spotted this book at my local bookstore over the weekend, Silver Unicorn Books and knew I had to get it for my little Valentine! We are huge Sandra Boynton fans around here and I Love You, Little Pookie is a wonderful new addition. This sweet story is sure to be shared on repeat like other Boynton favorites!

“I Love You, Little Pookie is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration—for Valentine’s Day and every day—enlivened with those funny and captivating Boynton drawings. And Pookie’s Mom wisely knows that the best way to say I love you is simply to say it:
Through the days,
through the nights,
come rain or come shine,
I love you, little Pookie.
You’ll always be mine.”

What have you been reading? Share your recommendations! And if you’ve picked up a book after reading the blog or listening to the podcast, I’d love to hear. Leave a note in the comments or find me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Ep. 23: Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Author of “The Good News About Bad Behavior”

This week, Katherine Reynolds Lewis joins me to discuss The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever—And What to Do About It. Katherine is a journalist, author, speaker, and a parent educator. If you are a parent looking for some new strategies, I think you’ll really find this an interesting and useful read.

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

To learn more about The Good News About Bad Behavior you can visit Katherine’s website katherinerlewis.com and there you’ll also find links to follow her social media.

Books Mentioned On This Week’s Episode:

The Good News About Bad Behavior

How to Raise An Adult

Duct Tape Parenting

Crossing to Safety

The Incendiaries

An American Marriage

 

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You can stay up to date on A Bookish Home happenings by following me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase a book through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!