15 New Releases to Add To Your Summer Reading List

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to be reading.

Is there anything better than sitting on the beach or poolside with a great book? (Or if you’re in my stage of life, sneaking outside during naptime to read!)

Here are 15 new books to pick up this summer. Get those library holds ready!

1. City of Girls

by Elizabeth Gilbert

“In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest.”


2. With the Fire on High

by Elizabeth Acevedo

“Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.”


3. The Stationery Shop

by Marjan Kamali

“Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?”


4. The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

(*Coming July 16, 2019)

“As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is “as good as anyone.” Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides “physical, intellectual and moral training” so the delinquent boys in their charge can become “honorable and honest men.”…The tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys’ fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.”

5. Mrs. Everything

by Jennifer Weiner

“Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?”


6. Lost Roses

by Martha Hall Kelly

“The million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, 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.”

7. Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Lonelinest Horse Race

by Lara Prior-Palmer

“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 re-creates 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.”


8. The Bride Test

by Helen Hoang

“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…”

9. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

by Balli Kaur Jaswal

“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.”

10. Chances Are…

by Richard Russo

(*Coming July 30, 2019)

“From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo–in his first stand-alone novel in a decade–comes a new revelation: a gripping story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship.

One beautiful September day, three sixty-six-year old men convene on Martha’s Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn’t have been more different then, or even today–Lincoln’s a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin’ age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971. Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives and that of a significant other are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo’s trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . .also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader’s heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship’s bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.”


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11. Summer of ’69 

by Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of '69 by [Hilderbrand, Elin]“Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.”

12. Ayesha At Last

by Uzma Jalaluddin

“A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.”

13. The Farm

by Joanne Ramos

“Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here—more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks—or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on the delivery of her child.

Gripping, provocative, heartbreaking, The Farm pushes to the extremes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.”

14. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

by Kim Michele Richardson

“The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything―everything except books, that is.  Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own  traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. 

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however,  she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble.  If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler. 

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage,  fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere ― even back home.”

15. The Wedding Party

by Jasmine Guillory

(*Coming July 16th)

“The new exhilarating romance from The New York Times bestselling author of The Proposal! Maddie and Theo have two things in common: 1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each otherAfter an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa’s wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they’re comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won’t fade…But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don’t fall in love.”

If you’re looking for bookish ideas for you and your family this summer, subscribe to A Bookish Home and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


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!

Summer Reading Resources for Kids…

As an elementary school librarian, I always spent the end of the school year encouraging students to read over the summer. This time of year can be magical for reading, with more free time and the opportunity to hopefully curl up with a book outside.

But it can also be challenging for kids to maintain an active reading life. Without their teachers and classmates, kids might have a harder time figuring out what to read next and without classroom and school libraries they may have less access to books.  That freedom also means less structure, without built in time to read every day at school.

You can support your child as a reader this summer by connecting them with books they enjoy as well as by making reading part of your family’s routine.


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Your local public library is a great resource for this. Visit the library as a family each week to check out books and find out what summer reading programs your little ones can participate in. In addition to fun activities for kids to take part in over the summer, many public libraries also create reading challenges to inspire kids to read during vacation.

Often libraries have summer reading lists available for kids. These are great tools for moments when kids are stuck for an idea of what book to read next. You can also stop by your local bookstore and stock up on books for the whole family to read over the summer.

15 Summer Themed Books for Kids:

1. Baby Loves Summer!

by Karen Katz

“Little ones will love lifting the flaps in this new Karen Katz book to reveal a big yellow sun, flip-flops, an ice cream cone, and everything else that Baby loves about summer! The sturdy format and easy-to-lift flaps make this a perfect summertime treat for parents and children to share.”


2. Hush, Little Beachcomber

Written by Dianne Moritz, Illustrated by Kelly McGee

“Hey, Little Beachcomber, what do you say? Let’s take trip to the beach today! Cold root beer athe pier, seagulls, wuick dips, beach-sand pies..Hush, little beachcomber, and don’t say a word..Just enjoy the day!”


3. Jabari Jumps

by Gaia Cornwall

“Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.”


4. Saffron Ice Cream

by Rashin

“Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family’s new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well — a subway train, exciting music… and maybe even a new friend!”

 5. The Honeybee

by Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault


“Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.”


6. Backyard Campout

The backyard campout is tonight. Jada and Jamal Perkins have never slept in a tent before. Neither have their best friends, Carlita Garcia and Josh Cornell. Camping is going to be so much fun. Or is it? It’s really dark in the backyard. And what’s that noise? It’s coming from the bushes.  

7. Like Bug Juice on A Burger

“In this sequel to Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited, but when she gets there she finds bugs, no electricity, and terrible food. And worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with the other campers. But as the days go by, Eleanor realizes that life is full of special surprises—even after some belly flops.”


8. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters

by Lenore Look

“Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is back, and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and . . . pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too.”



9. The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

by Karina Yan Glaser

“While Isa is off at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney are stuck at home in the brownstone with nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. But when catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbor, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant as the Vanderbeeker children band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They will create the most magical healing garden in all of Harlem.”


10. The Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

“When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?”


11.Where the Heart Is

by Jo Knowles

“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.”

**Jo Knowles will be a guest on an episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast in September!**

12. The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island

by Dana Alison Levy

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island (Family Fletcher Series) by [Levy, Dana Alison]

“The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it’s clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who’s never actually painting? And FOURTH, there’s now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations? “


13.  The Lotterys Plus One

by Emma Donoghue

“Meet the Lotterys: a unique and diverse family featuring four parents, seven kids and five pets – all living happily together in their big old house, Camelottery.Nine-year-old Sumac is the organizer of the family and is looking forward to a long summer of fun.

But when their grumpy and intolerant grandad comes to stay, everything is turned upside down. How will Sumac and her family manage with another person to add to their hectic lives?”

14. Junior Ranger Activity Book

by National Geographic Kids

“Calling all explorers and nature-lovers! From Acadia to Zion, discover all 59 of the United States’ amazing National Parks in this jam-packed book of games, trivia, jokes, fun facts, and so much more, all inspired by the National Parks outdoor-based Junior Ranger Program. Great for generating pre-trip excitement, long car rides, poking around historical sites, or general learning, these fun and sometimes silly activities will entertain while they draw kids into the majestic and historic importance of America’s national parks. Check out the most amazing park habitats, plus awesome sights and animals you might see, from birds to bears. Fun facts are jam-packed onto every page, so kids learn something amazing about each cool park.”


15. Smithsonian Maker Lab Outdoors

by DK

“Twenty-five science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids’ creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning.

Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, weather, water, and physics, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. Young scientists can build a wormery and learn about compost, crack rocks with water and learn about freezing and thawing, build and launch a water rocket to see Newton’s laws in action, and more.”

In addition to connecting the kids in your life with great reads, you can look for other ways to bring books into your summer routine.

Your family could visit a local bookstore,  listen to audiobooks in the car together, attend an author event, or read together outside.

Bring bookishness into any summer travels as well. Check to see if your destination has a local bookstore or public library your family can visit.  Don’t forget to check the events offered as well!




Finding books you love to read during the summer is important as well. Modeling an active reading life for your children is so valuable and of course means enjoyable reading time for you!

Stay tuned for summer reading recommendations for adults in next week’s post.

And of course, if you are looking for book ideas for you and your family, subscribe to A Bookish Home and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


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 had the best of bookish problems. My nightstand and living room are overflowing with books I can’t wait to read.

Library holds that I’ve been pining for for ages are coming in all at once and I’m also reading so many wonderful books for upcoming podcast episodes.

Here are a few kidlit and adult books I’ve really enjoyed lately…


The Great Believers

by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers

I was fortunate enough to hear Rebecca Makkai speak at a writer’s conference called Muse and the Marketplace, here in Boston. I love when writers talk about the journey from there to here and talked about carving out time on weekends to write her first novel at Starbucks. She’d have to pump for days in advance to make that time happen and also remind herself that this wasn’t a silly hobby. Fast forward a few years and this completely absorbing, heartbreaking book about the AIDS epidemic in Chicago is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist. This is truly one of the best books of adult fiction I’ve read in a long time and it’s one that I’ll be thinking about for years to come.

“In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.”



The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays With Crafts & Recipes

by Jean Van’t Hul

I love this book of arts and craft ideas from the creator of the blog, The Artful Parent. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, this book will have you breaking out the art supplies with your little ones in no time. The photography is also beautiful and I love that the ideas are divided into seasons.

“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun! The book includes.


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The Next Great Paulie Fink

by Ali Benjamin

I was a huge fan of Ali Benjamin’s first book, The Thing About Jellyfish so I was thrilled to see that she had a new one coming out. Ali captures that middle grade voice and the dynamics between kids so well in this quirky, thought-provoking read. I’m really looking forward to having Ali Benjamin on the podcast to discuss her creative process and writing journey.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Ali Benjamin.

“When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at the rural Mitchell School–where the students take care of real live goats and study long-dead philosophers, and where there are only ten other students in the entire seventh grade–it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink.

Depending on whom you ask, Paulie was either a hilarious class clown, a relentless troublemaker, a hapless klutz, or an evil genius. One thing’s for sure, though: The kid was totally legendary. Now he’s disappeared, and Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school’s next great Paulie Fink. With each challenge, Caitlyn struggles to understand a person she never met…but it’s what she discovers about herself that most surprises her.

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

Words by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad

From the first pages, the rich, vibrant illustrations in this picture book completely grabbed me. I looked up the illustrator and realized that it’s no wonder. Julie Morstad is also the artist behind several other books whose illustrations I adored– House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery, How To, Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, and When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons. If you’re looking for a captivating read aloud about an inspiring woman in history, look no further.

A dazzling picture book biography of one of the world’s most influential designers, Elsa Schiaparelli.

By the 1930s Elsa Schiaparelli had captivated the fashion world in Paris, but before that, she was a little girl in Rome who didn’t feel pretty at all. Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli is the enchanting story for young readers of how a young girl used her imagination and emerged from plain to extraordinary.”




Nature All Around: Trees

by Pamela Hickman, illustrated by Carolyn Gavin

Cover image for Nature all around. Trees

I love this new children’s nonfiction title. I’m trying to be more outdoorsy with my toddler and we often go “say hello” to the different trees in our yard. This is the perfect book to read together and then try to identify nearby trees, learn about some different types, and explain some of the science behind the changes we witness from season to season.

“This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated introduction to trees and the important role they play is part of the essential Nature All Around series. The book first explores the parts of trees, their life cycles, the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, leaf types and the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Then it takes readers through a year in the life cycle of trees, describing what happens during each of the four seasons. Readers will discover the many ways trees are vital to the environment and how various animals can share one tree as a home.”

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle

This is a book that has really grown on me as a parent. At first, I didn’t see what the fuss was about, but watching how much my toddler adores it, I’ve come around. It’s the perfect book for little ones to gain some confidence “reading” aloud to you, with it’s simple sing-songsy text and bright, bold illustrations.

“A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck–all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.”


What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski


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10 Author Events Coming to the Boston Area in June

Are you in the Boston area and looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

These are just some of the fabulous authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area next month. Some of these events require tickets so be sure to book your spot soon!

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list and get to the top of the library holds list. And be sure to check the events calendars for your local libraries and bookstores.

Chris Van Dusen

“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.”

For more information visit the event website.

Rajani LaRocca

Midsummer’s Mayhem

“Please join us on Sunday, June 2 at 3pm, when Rajani LaRocca launches her middle grade novel, Midsummer’s Mayhem!

Rajani LaRocca was born in Bangalore, India, and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was a baby. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from Harvard with both a BA and an MD, and has worked as a primary care physician since 2001. She lives in Concord with her family.”


“An Unlikely Story is hosting a launch party like no other, with not one but TWO beloved authors! Jenna Blum will launch the paperback of The Lost Family in conversations with New York Times bestselling author Jane Green, who will be introducing her latest novel, The Friends We Keep. Please join us to celebrate—and bring your book clubs! Appetizers and cocktails from both books will be served.

Ticketing information to come!”

For more information and tickets visit the event website.

Sarah Dessen

“Legendary YA author Sarah Dessen will be here to discuss and sign her new book, THE REST OF OUR STORY, a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t known since she was a little girl – and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer. 

Ticketing information will be announced soon!”

For more information and for tickets visit the event website.

Jennifer Weiner

“From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.”

For more information and for tickets visit the event website.

Scott Magoon

Linus the Little Yellow Pencil

“Scott Magoon will be visiting to read, draw and present his new picture book LINUS THE LITTLE YELLOW PENCIL.

Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own!

This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.”

For more information visit the event website.

Meg Medina

“Listening to a good author speak is like riding a bike—you never forget! An Unlikely Story welcomes middle-grade author Meg Medina to talk about her 2019 Newbery award-winning book, MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS. In the book, sixth-grader Merci is trying to balance feeling alone at her private school and feeling confused at home about the strange changes in her grandfather’s behavior. At the event, Meg will talk about her thoughtful coming-of-age novel, answer audience questions, and sign books.”

For more information and to register visit the event website. 

Author Dinner Party with Whitney Scharer, Marjan Kamali, and Grace Talusan

Age of Light, The Stationary Shop, and The Body Papers


“We invite you to join The Silver Unicorn Bookstore and three local authors for a unique celebration of food and fiction at Orange Door Kitchen. Novelists Marjan Kamali, Grace Talusan and Whitney Scharer will sit down with guests for a delicious meal inspired by their recently published works and then linger over coffee for book signing and more conversation.


ONE // The Body Papers // Lumpia Shanghai (Filipino egg roll) with sweet and sour dipping sauce

TWO // Age of Light // Moules Mariniere with smoked paprika, tomato and feta

THREE // The Stationary Shop // Persian Spiced Chicken with jeweled rice

FOUR // Rose Cardamom Avocado Ice Cream with cinnamon pastry

Tickets include a copy of the novel of your choice plus non-alcoholic beverages and a four-course meal prepared by Orange Door Kitchen. All three novels and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.”

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

Stay tuned for a summer reading preview episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with Paul Swydan, owner of Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, MA.



An Interview With Author Louise Miller and Book Giveaway of The Late Bloomers’ Club

Today I’m sharing a special author interview and book giveaway!

Gilmore Girls fans, get your library requests and bookstore orders ready. Louise Miller is the author for you.

Miller, a Boston-based pastry chef is the author of this year’s standout summer read, The Late Bloomers’ Club and the completely charming, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living (2017).

Both novels are set in small-town Vermont. Once you enter the world of Guthrie–Miller’s version of Star’s Hollow–you will not want to leave. I brought The Late Bloomers’ Club on vacation, devoured it in two days and then rushed to download The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living on my Kindle. Utterly delightful.

In The Late Bloomers’ Club we meet Nora, owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner (think Luke’s) and lifelong Guthrie resident.  Life takes a surprising turn when Nora mysteriously inherits a local farmhouse with 200 acres of land and her free-spirit younger sister comes back to town.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living offers a view of the people of Guthrie through the eyes of an outsider, Livvy Rawlings–a Boston baker who comes to work at the local inn. The way Livvy’s relationship with the town and her stern boss Margaret (a kindred spirit of Marilla from Anne of Green Gables if there ever was one) will melt your heart.

I’m thrilled to be able to share a conversation with Louise Miller on episode 4 of the new A Bookish Home Podcast.

You can also find this episode on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Be sure to subscribe to make sure you never miss an episode.


I’m giving away a copy of The Late Bloomers’ Club to one lucky winner! To enter, follow A Bookish Home on Twitter and retweet the giveaway by Monday, September 10th.


Louise Miller Author Events

If you live in the Boston area, you have some exciting upcoming opportunities to see Louise Miller in person!:

Saturday 9/15/18 at Belmont Books , 4pm


“The Great Belmont Books Bake-Off returns! To celebrate special cake in The Late Bloomers’ Club, [Louise Miller] will be judging a cake baking contest at Belmont Books. There will be prizes. Reading, Q&A, Book Signing and Bake-Off”

Thursday 9/20/18 at The Maynard Public Library, 7pm

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“Authors Louise Miller and Stephen McCauley will visit the library to talk about their most recent books. Reading, Q&A, and book signing”

Saturday 10/13/18, Boston Book Festival, time TBA

logo_BBF_100x120.pngLouise Miller is coming to the Boston Book Festival! Mark your calendars, this phenomenal (and free!) annual event is a must for anyone who can get to the Boston area. You can hear incredible adult and children’s book authors speak about their work and celebrate all things bookish.

Saturday 11/17/18 Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, 7pm

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This special event put on by my local bookstore sounds like the perfect night out for bookish foodies: “This is our first ticketed event ever, and it’s going to be a blast. Our three authors here have written three books that revolve around food in some way, and so of course we need to have them out for a dinner party! Orange Door Kitchen will be cooking a three-course meal — one course for each book — and the authors will rotate tables and talk with guests from course to course. Tickets will be $90, and will include signed copies of the three books — The Lost FamilyFeast of Sorrow and The Late Bloomer’s Club.”



Books and Authors Mentioned on This Week’s Episode:


Order on  Amazon or Indiebound


  • The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living


Order on Amazon or Indiebound


  • Belong To Me


Order on Amazon or Indiebound


  • The Last Letter From Your Lover


Order on Amazon or Indiebound

You can find Louise Miller on her website: http://louisemillerauthor.tumblr.com, on Twitter and Instagram @LouisetheBaker, and on Facebook @LouiseMillerAuthor

If you read The Late Bloomers’ Club or The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living and love them as much as I do, reach out! You can find me on Twitter @ABookishHome. Happy Reading!


Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I also participate in the Indiebound Affiliate program.

An Interview with Anne Boyd Rioux, Author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story Of Little Women and Why It Still Matters

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. For devoted fans of the March sisters, I can think of no better book to add to your shelf than a new title by Anne Boyd Rioux– Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story Of Little Women and Why It Still Matters.  The book comes out  on Tuesday, August 21st.

Anne Boyd Rioux appeared on a panel I attended at the annual Summer Conversations series put on by Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts. Rioux, a writer and professor at the University of New Orleans, offered insights on the relevance of Little Women in today’s world and one of my favorite topics– where the Alcotts end and the Marches begin. Although Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy isn’t officially available yet, I was thrilled to be able to pick up one of the early copies being sold at Orchard House.

As a lifelong Little Women fan, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy was pure joy to read.  If you spent your childhood struggling to decide who got to be Jo and who was Beth, this is the book for you.

Interview with Anne Boyd Rioux

Anne Boyd Rioux and I spoke about the book earlier this month.  I’m excited to be able to share our conversation as the first episode of the new “A Bookish Home” podcast. 


We discussed how fiction meets reality in the March sisters, Marmee’s relevance to mothers today, Jo’s impact on American women writers and much more. I hope you enjoy hearing Anne’s insights as much as I did!

Episode 1: A Conversation with Anne Boy Rioux, Author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy



I think you will really love Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story Of Little Women and Why It Still Matters. Get your library holds and bookstore orders ready! Anne Boyd Rioux is also offering some very exciting preorder giveways on her website.  You could win copies of Anne’s previous books, Little Women swag from Orchard House, and more. If you are looking for your next book club pick, there is also a special opportunity to have Anne virtually visit your book club if you order six or more books.

For more ways to embrace all things Alcott, check out my post: 18 Ways to Celebrate Little Women’s 150th Anniversary Year. Anne also mentioned that Little Women is a choice in the Great American Read from PBS. To learn more and find out how to vote visit another post Vote for “The Great American Read”!

I will have more interviews with authors, booksellers, librarians and more coming up soon on A Bookish Home, the podcast. You can subscribe in the iTunes Store to make sure you never miss an episode. And if you like the podcast, I would really appreciate it if you could submit a review to help people find it.

If you read Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and enjoy delving into the world of the Marches as much as I did, reach out. You can find me on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy reading!

Celebrate the Bookish Birthdays of Two Potters…


Are you looking to add a dose of literary fun to your life this week? Celebrate one of these upcoming bookish birthdays!

Two wonderful literary Potters, Harry and Beatrix have birthdays coming up. Harry Potter was born on July 31st and Beatrix Potter on July 28th.


Celebrate Harry Potter’s Birthday:

Attend a Harry Potter Birthday Party

If you or the little ones in your life are Harry Potter fans, check your local library or bookstore to see if they have a birthday celebration planned for Harry that you can attend. This is such a wonderful way to engage with the book and spark excitement for readers of all ages. My local library has a celebration planned for Muggles this Saturday:


Harry Potter Birthday Party at the Chelmsford Public Library, July 28th


The Harry Potter Birthday Party at the Chelmsford Library is an annual event that will have “games, crafts, activities, and of course– cake!”.


Harry Potter Escape Rooms at the Brookline Public Library, July 31st

If you live in the Boston area, The Brookline Public Library also has an exciting day planned. They will be having “Happy Birthday Harry Escape Rooms”.  “Witches and wizards of all ages are invited to join us to celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday and the 20th Anniversary of his first adventure arriving on our shelves on July 31 from 10 AM to 8 PM. We will host trivia challenges (O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. levels), wizard games, and an escape the room challenge for teams.”


Can’t attend a Harry Potter birthday celebration? Why not throw your own?

If you’re looking to celebrate at home, I love this Sorting Hat Cupcakes recipe from Little Sugar Snaps. When you bite into them, the cupcake reveals which Hogwarts House you would be in!


Gather your friends for some cupcakes and nerdy Harry Potter debate over whether you’re actually a Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. If you have little ones, I also love the idea of eating these cupcakes during a family read aloud of Harry Potter or while you just chat about your favorite characters.


Read One of the 20th Anniversary Editions of Harry Potter

You can celebrate Harry’s birthday by checking out these new editions issued by Scholastic to celebrate the 20th anniversary of publication. (For more on celebrating this milestone check out Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Year).

The books feature new cover designs by Brian Selznik with the original interior illustrations of Mary GrandPré.


Enter to Win Tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child



I recently learned that there is a weekly lottery for tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! Check out Today Tix Lottery: “Every Friday, we release 40 tickets for some of the very best seats in the theatre at $40 ($20 per Part) for every performance for the following week. Submit your entry from Friday at 12:01AM ET to Friday at 1:00PM ET.” For more information or to purchase general tickets visit: Harry Potter the Play



Celebrate Beatrix Potter’s Birthday:

Have some bookish fun with younger readers in honor of Beatrix Potter’s birthday on July 28th.


Read Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter


I am such a big fan of Peter Rabbit. There is nothing better than snuggling up with my daughter while we read this classic. We’re also automatically in the Beatrix Potter spirit in her room since the nursery has a Peter Rabbit theme! This is a great time to enjoy this book with your children and share the magic of the story.





Watch a Peter Rabbit Read Aloud on Storyline

While the book is the perfect size for tiny hands and one-on-one sharing, I find it doesn’t work as well for reading to a larger group.  I actually love this Storyline Online read aloud with Rose Byrne and have shown it to kindergarteners in my school library. Everyone can see the illustrations and Byrne is a wonderful narrator. Storyline also has many other free read aloud videos.


Enjoy Peter Rabbit Coloring Pages

These Peter Rabbit coloring pages are available for free from Educational Coloring Pages. This would be a fun activity to follow your read aloud!



I hope these ideas add some bookish excitement to your home this week!

What I’ve Been Reading…

Summer is in full swing and these are the books I’ve been enjoying lately from a cozy spot on my porch.

If you’re on the lookout for your next adult read, need a kid lit recommendation, or are on the hunt for a thought-provoking nonfiction title, read on:



A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza


If this book is an indication of what we can expect from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, count me in. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is the most beautifully written, absorbing adult fiction I’ve read all year. The novel opens at an Indian wedding where we meet the bride, eldest daughter Hadia and her parents, sister, and seemingly estranged youngest brother Amar. In flashbacks from various family members Mirza’s novel becomes a carefully woven deep dive into the inner workings of one American Muslim family and how the small everyday choices parents and children make strengthen or weaken familial connections and change the course of lives. As Booklist notes,  “Each complex, surprising character struggles with faith, responsibility, racism, fear, longing, and jealousy, while Mirza conveys with graceful specificity the rhythms of Muslim life, from prayer to wearing hijab, gender etiquette, food, holidays, and values, all of which illuminate universal quandaries about family, self, culture, beliefs, and generational change.” Highly recommended.


For more, you can watch editorial director, Sarah Jessica Parker and author, Fatima Farheen Mirza introduce A Place For Us:




The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections With Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie


When my library hold for The Read-Aloud Family finally came up I was delighted. You may know author Sarah Mackenzie from her Read Aloud Revival blog and podcast. In those resources and in her new book, Mackenzie shares ideas for building strong relationships with your children through family read alouds. In this conversational, approachable guide she offers parents ideas for making read aloud time more fun (good snacks or activities for littlest members like coloring for example), suggestions for starting meaningful literary conversations with kids, and provides a wealth of book ideas chosen specifically for their read aloud merits. This book is certainly a valuable tool for parents looking to build a family culture around reading.

You can listen to Sarah Mackenzie read one of my favorite chapters, “How to Create a Book Club Culture at Home” in an episode of her podcast from back in March. The chapter starts at minute 2:55:

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Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead


It was perfect to read this next book at the same time as Sarah Mackenzie’s The Read Aloud Family. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is a book begging to be read aloud to the kids in your life. 10-year-old Livy has just travelled from her home in Massachusetts to visit her grandmother in Australia. It has been five years since her family’s last visit–a trip Livy remembers virtually nothing about. When she feels a strange pull toward her bedroom closet she discovers Bob, a zombie-like creature who has apparently followed Livy’s  instructions to wait there for her–for five years. What unfolds next is a story about friendship, growing up, and a little bit of magic. For more, check out this interesting article from Publishers’ Weekly about the collaboration between the wonderful authors Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, “Bestselling Authors Stead and Mass Team Up for a Tale About Friendship”.


I also adored this booktalk video from teacher and kid lit guru Colby Sharp and I think he makes an excellent case for sharing Bob with the kids in your life:


Bob’s book trailer would also be great to use with your students or children to get them excited about reading this book. I will definitely be sharing this as part of a booktalk for Bob in my school library in the fall:




Deep Work by Cal Newport

I read this book after hearing it recommended by Tsh Oxenreider, host of the podcast, The Simple Show. Oxenreider (who is also the author of At Home in the World which I’ve recommended) shared how Deep Work by Cal Newport changed the way she approached her work. After reading Newport’s book for myself, I would have to agree. “Deep Work” is defined by Cal Newport as “Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive abilities to their limit”. Newport makes that case that in our culture of connectivity it is easy to mistake busyness for true productivity. The idea that we sometimes get caught up in managing our days by reacting to our inboxes and staying in a “shallow”, multitasking state instead of carving out time for high priority tasks resonated with me. His book is certainly geared toward business professionals, but regardless of your profession, Deep Work provides a lot of food for thought on how to do meaningful work.

For more, check out The Hidden Brain podcast which recently featured Deep Work and interviewed Cal Newport on their episode, You 2.0: The Value Of ‘Deep Work’ In An Age Of Distraction.


What books have you been reading lately? Share in the comments!





Massachusetts Author Event Roundup: Summer Edition

Are you looking for a bookish event to attend this summer? Add an author reading to your calendar!

Check the events calendar at your local bookstores, libraries, and museums to find authors coming to your area. You can also follow favorite authors on social media or visit their website to see if they have any upcoming events. Attend on your own or bring your child along to experience the magic of hearing from an author in person!


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If like me, you are in the Massachusetts area, here is a round-up of some of the great author events for kids and adults alike coming soon:




Grace Dane Mazur, The Garden Party

Wednesday, July 11th – 7:00pm at Harvard Bookstore


“Harvard Book Store welcomes writer, artist, and biologist GRACE DANE MAZUR—author of Trespass: A Novel, Silk: Stories, and Hinges: Meditations on the Portals of the Imagination—for a discussion of her latest novel, The Garden Party.”

For more information, visit Harvard Bookstore Event





Christina Uss, The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

Thursday, July 12th – 4:00pm at Book Ends Bookstore, Winchester

bicycle-cover.jpg“Please join us on Thursday, July 12th as we welcome author Christina Uss in to discuss her new middle grade novel The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle. Introverted Bicycle has lived most of her life at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, D.C. When her guardian, Sister Wanda, announces that Bicycle is going to attend a camp where she will learn to make friends, Bicycle says no way and sets off on her bike for San Francisco to meet her idol, a famous cyclist, certain he will be her first true friend.”

For more information, visit Book Ends Event



Scott Magoon, Misunderstood Shark

Friday, July 13th – 10:30am at the Eric Carle Museum


Illustrator Scott Magoon will have a special storytime at the Eric Carle Museum to share this very funny picture book. “Every beachgoer knows that there’s nothing more terrifying than a…SHARRRK! But this shark is just misunderstood, or is he? Join illustrator Scott Magoon as he reads from his new picture book Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman. Funny, extraordinarily clever, and full of fun shark facts, this surprisingly endearing story gets to the heart of what it feels like to be misunderstood by the people around you. And with a surprise twist ending, Misunderstood Shark will have kids rolling with laughter!”

For more information visit: Eric Carle Museum Event 



Annemarie Riley Guertin, How the Finch Got His Colors

Friday, July 13th – 11:30am at Belmont Books


 “Our story hour in the children’s room will be hosted by local author Annemarie Riley Guertin. She’ll be reading her debut picture book, How the Finch Got His Colors.

Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray.

The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors of dirt, clay, and stone . . .

. . . until Rainbow descended to bestow her colors on the creatures of the world. Each bird asked for a bright and beautiful color: green for Parrot, red for Cardinal, and yellow for Canary. But will there be any colors left for little Gouldian Finch? He soon learns the power of patience and the beauty of all creatures.

Based on a Belgian folktale, this beautifully told and illustrated tale is a timeless treasure for every collection.”

For more information, visit Belmont Bookstore Event



Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Good News About Bad Behavior

Friday, July 13th – 7:00pm at Porter Square Books


Journalist Katherine Reynolds Lewis will be at Porter Square Books on Friday to discuss her new book, The Good News About Bad Behavior: “Why don’t our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever…To stem this growing crisis of self-regulation, journalist and parenting expert Katherine Reynolds Lewis articulates what she calls The Apprenticeship Model, a new theory of discipline that centers on learning the art of self-control. Blending new scientific research and powerful individual stories of change, Lewis shows that, if we trust our children to face consequences, they will learn to adapt and moderate their own behavior.”

For more information visit: Porter Square Books Event

Tui Sutherland, Wings of Fire #11: The Lost Continent

Sunday, July 15th – 1:00pm at Belmont Books

Young fans of the incredibly popular Wings of Fire series will be excited that author Tui Sutherland is coming to Belmont Books on July 15h! I know the students in my library adore these books.

“We are thrilled to have bestselling author Tui Sutherland join us to read from her latest novel and eleventh book in the Wings of Fire series, The Lost Continent.

For centuries there have been rumors of another continent on the dragons’ planet — another land far across the ocean, populated by tribes of dragons very different from those we know. But there’s never been any evidence, and most dragons dismissed the rumors as fairy tales. Until now. Because it turns out the stories are true. And the other tribes are coming.”

For more information, visit Belmont Books Event.



Summer Conversational Series & Teacher Workshop

 July 15 – 19, Orchard House, Concord

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Calling all Alcott fans: Orchard House in Concord is offering their annual Summer Conversational series featuring Little Women scholars and authors! The week of sessions kicks off with a panel discussion at Trinity Episcopal Church with authors Anne Boyd Rioux (Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters), Megan Marshall (Margaret Fuller: A New American Life), John Matteson (Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father and The Annotated Little Women), Joel Myerson (The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson), and Daniel Shealy (Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters’ Letters from Europe).

“A century and a half has passed since Louisa May Alcott took up her pen in May of 1868, wrote “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” and the classic American novel, Little Women, was born. Although Alcott initially had doubts this book would find a readership, publisher Thomas Niles persuaded her to try her hand at a “girls’ story,” and the gamble paid off:  Little Women has endured the test of time, having never been out of print, translated into more than 50 languages, and transformed into countless stage plays, musicals, films, a television series, opera, ballet, and even anime.

The book’s lasting universal appeal is testament to the vital way it tackles issues that define the human condition:  coming of age, dealing with loss, the importance of family, struggles of conscience — jealousy, anger, pride, vanity — loyalty, friendship and love, charity, independence, social responsibility, and personal empowerment.  Distinguished presenters in this year’s Series will guide participants in an examination of the difference Little Women has made over time in the world of literature, what it means to readers today, and why it is still important.”

Other session highlights include “Little Women at 150: A Conversation” with John Matteson, Anne Boyd Rioux’s “Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters” with a book signing, and  “Dateline Ireland: Behind the Scenes of the Little Women Miniseries” with Alcott expert and Orchard House Executive Director Jan Turnquist.

For the complete schedule and registration information visit: Summer Conversational Series



Debbi Michiko, Jasmine Toguchi: Flamingo Keeper

Tuesday, July 17th – 4:00pm at Eight Cousins Bookstore, Falmouth


Debbi Michiko Florence will be at Eight Cousins Bookstore on July 17th to discuss the newest book in her popular Jasmine Toguchi series for young readers: “Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own—a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep.Next, Jasmine tries to convince her parents that she’s responsible enough for a pet. She cleans her room, brushes her teeth, takes out the trash, and, most importantly, researches everything she can about flamingos. But soon it becomes clear that her wish may never come true! Will Jasmine’s daruma doll ever get its second eye? Luckily her big sister, Sophie, has a surprise planned that fulfills Jasmine’s wish beyond her wildest dreams. Debbi Michiko Florence is at her best in this sweet, special story of sisterhood and new responsibilities!”

For more information visit Eight Cousins Event


Louise Miller, The Late Bloomer’s Club 

Wednesday, July 18th – 7:00pm at Brookline Booksmith

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Louise Miller will be at Brookline Booksmith on July 18th to discuss her new book. A review of the Late Bloomers’ Club from Library Journal declares,  “As warm and cozy as buttered brioche and tea next to the fireplace on a winter morning, Miller’s second novel (after The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living) features two sisters with night-and-day personalities -living in small-town Vermont…A novel about sisterly bonds and the ties that bind a community…will appeal to fans of Jan Karon’s “Mitford” books and Jennifer Chiaverini’s “Elm Creek Quilts” series.”


For more information visit Brookline Booksmith Event



Author Literary Luncheon with Mira T. Lee, Madeline Miller, and Julia Glass

Thursday, July 19th – 12:00pm at Wequasset Resort, Chatham

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“Join us on the Wequassett Resort’s Garden Terrace on Thursday, July 19th at 12pm for a special luncheon with authors Mira T. Lee, Madeline Miller, and Julia Glass, whose respective books Everything Here is Beautiful, Circe, and A House Among the Trees will all be featured.”

 For more information and to purchase tickets visit Where the Sidewalk Ends Event



Rachel Slade, Into the Raging Sea

Thursday, July 19th – 7:00pm at Belmont Books

9780062699701.jpg“On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in thirty-five years. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish—until now.

Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves—whose conversations were captured by the ship’s data recorder—journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro.

For more information visit Belmont Books Event


Casey Robinson, Iver & Ellsworth

Saturday, July 28th – 2:00pm at the Eric Carle Museum

“From a factory rooftop, Iver and his good friend Ellsworth (a rooftop bear) are content to watch the busy world below. ‘Everyone’s going somewhere,’ Iver says. ‘We can see the whole world from up here. That’s enough somewhere for me.’ But after Iver retires, the friends must venture out in search of a new somewhere. Of course, the very best views are those you share with an old pal. Join author Casey Robinson as she reads from her debut picture book Iver & Ellsworth!”

For more information visit Eric Carle Museum Event


Jeff Mack, Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake

Friday, August 3rd – 1:00pm at the Eric Carle Museum

“Mr. Monkey bakes a cake. He can’t wait to win a ribbon! But first he has to carry it to the contest. What could possibly go wrong?

Join author and illustrator Jeff Mack as he reads from Mr. Monkey Bakes a Cake and other titles from his hilarious new picture book series about the lovable Mr. Monkey and his wacky adventures.”

For more information visit Upcoming Eric Carle Museum Events



Zach Schonbrun, The Performance Cortex

Friday, August 3rd – 7:00pm at Porter Square Books

“Why couldn’t Michael Jordan, master athlete that he was, crush a baseball? Why can’t modern robotics come close to replicating the dexterity of a five-year-old? Why do good quarterbacks always seem to know where their receivers are? On a quest to discover what actually drives human movement and its spectacular potential, journalist, sports writer, and fan Zach Schonbrun interviewed experts on motor control around the world. The trail begins with the groundbreaking work of two neuroscientists in Major League Baseball who are upending the traditional ways scouts evaluate the speed with which great players read a pitch….Whether it is timing a 95 mph fastball or reaching for a coffee mug, movement requires a complex suite of computations that many take for granted–until they read The Performance Cortex. Zach Schonbrun ushers in a new way of thinking about the athletic gifts we marvel over and seek to develop in our own lives. It’s not about the million-dollar arm anymore. It’s about the million-dollar brain.”
For more information visit Porter Square Books Event

Maryanne Wolf, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World

Wednesday, August 8th – 7:00pm at Harvard Bookstore


“Harvard Book Store welcomes MARYANNE WOLF—acclaimed researcher, professor, and author of Proust and the Squid—for a discussion of her latest book, Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World.

A decade ago, Maryanne Wolf’s Proust and the Squid revealed what we know about how the brain learns to read and how reading changes the way we think and feel. Since then, the ways we process written language have changed dramatically with many concerned about both their own changes and that of children. New research on the reading brain chronicles these changes in the brains of children and adults as they learn to read while immersed in a digitally dominated medium.”

For more information visit Harvard Bookstore Event




Keith O’Brien, Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds And Made Aviation History

Thursday, August 9th – 7:00pm at Brookline Booksmith

“The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won.
Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.”

For more information visit Brookline Booksmith Event

Grace Lin, A Big Mooncake for Little Star

Sunday, August 26th – 3:00pm at Porter Square Books

9780316404488Mark your calendars: The incredible Grace Lin will be at Porter Square Books on August 26th to share her newest book! I know my students are big Grace Lin fans and would be thrilled to see her in person.

“Join us for the launch of Grace Lin’s newest picture book!

Grace Lin is the award-winning and bestselling author and illustrator of When the Sea Turned to Silver, Starry River of the Sky, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Year of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, Dumpling Days, and Ling & Ting, as well as picture books such as The Ugly Vegetables and Dim Sum for Everyone! Grace is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Massachusetts.”

For more information visit Porter Square Books Event

What author events are on your calendars this summer?

Vote for “The Great American Read”!


Have you cast your vote for America’s favorite book?


PBS launched “The Great American Read” in May by unveiling a list of 100 “most loved” books and airing the first of a series of bookish specials. Voting is open until October 18, 2018 to determine America’s favorite book!



The top 100 books were determined by a combination of survey results and PBS selection criteria. The books all had to be fiction, but did not need to be written by an American or set in the US to be put on the list. The two-hour launch special for the “Great American Read” is available to watch online. I really enjoyed hearing from fellow fans of my favorite books on the list and adding books I’ve missed to my TBR list. Seven more episodes hosted by Meredith Viera are forthcoming, beginning with a “Fall Kick Off” episode on Tuesday, September 11th at 8pm EST. I will definitely be watching.

One exciting voting detail is that you can choose more than one book! PBS allows you to vote for one book per day, so make your voice heard and cast your vote for all of your favorites here.


I’ve narrowed my votes down to Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.



You can also download The Great American Read Book Checklist. This is a wonderful resource for a summer reading challenge for you or the young adults in your life. Check to see how many you have read and add some titles to your TBR list!  So far I have read 38 of the books and will be putting A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Things Fall Apart by China Achebe, and Ghost by Jason Reynolds on my summer reading list.

I’m happy to see PBS promoting bookish enthusiasm and opening up a dialogue about great reads. I’m looking forward to discussing the specials and book list with the readers in my life.


Which books from the “Great American Read” list will you choose?