Ep. 37: Lisa Graff, Author of Far Away

This week I’m sharing an interview with the wonderful middle grade author, Lisa Graff.

Lisa Graff is the award-winning author of A Clatter of Jars, Absolutely Almost, A Tangle of Knots, Umbrella Summer, among others. Her new book is called Far Away.

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

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Far Away

Absolutely Almost

A Tangle Of Knots

Umbrella Summer

Lost in the Sun

The Thing About Georgie

Shark Lady

Up For Air

To learn more about Lisa Graff you can visit her website LisaGraff.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @lisagraff or on Facebook @lisagraffauthor.

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @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 something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

Watch This? Read That!

Are you looking to read more this summer? This week I’m throwing it back to a post from last year, using your taste in movies and television to choose your next read. Enjoy!

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Looking for the next book to add to your TBR list?

Check out these suggestions for fans of The Crown, This Is Us, Big Little Lies, and more.

 

Watch Gilmore Girls?

Read The Late Bloomers’ Club 

If you’re experiencing Stars Hollow withdrawal, this heartwarming novel set in the equally charming small town of Guthrie, Vermont is for you. Nora runs the Miss Guthrie diner (think Luke’s). Life takes a surprising turn when she mysteriously inherits a local farmhouse and her free-spirit younger sister comes back to town. (Stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)

 

Watch Grey’s Anatomy?

Read The Queen of Hearts

If the tight-knit, complicated relationships between doctors on Grey’s Anatomy has had you hooked for years, try The Queen of Hearts by Kimmery Martin. Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist and Emma, a trauma surgeon have been best friends since their medical school days. When a former colleague resurfaces, they are forced to reexamine decisions from the past and a secret threatens to destroy their friendship.

 

Watch The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society?

Read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 

Did you recently watch the delightful adaptation of The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society and wish it wasn’t over? Of course, if you haven’t read the book yet, head straight to your local library or bookstore to pick up a copy. Otherwise, I recommend another small-town story where books change the lives of the inhabitants. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is full of heart and will have you alternately laughing out loud and tearing up.

 

Watch Mozart in the Jungle?

Read The Ensemble

Do you want to go behind the scenes in the world of professional musicians? Check out The Ensemble by Aja Gabel. Henry, Jana, Brit, and Daniel  begin playing in a string quartet together in their twenties. Told from alternating points of view, the novel takes us into their lives as ambitious musicians and traces the evolution of their complex relationships with one another over the course of twenty years.

 

Watch This Is Us?

Read A Place For Us

If you love the way This Is Us weaves together the present and the past and the perspectives of parents and siblings to form the picture of a family, this new novel is for you.  A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is another carefully woven deep dive into the inner workings of a family and shows how the small everyday choices parents and children make strengthen or weaken familial connections and change the course of lives.

 

Watch A Chef’s Life?

Read The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

If you are eagerly awaiting a new season of A Chef’s Life, read The City Baker’s Guide to Country LivingFollow another talented (pastry) chef, who leaves the prestigious, big city restaurants she has been working in and comes to deeply appreciate life in a tight-knit, rural community. The descriptions of food in this novel are stunning and the characters will quickly find their way into your heart. (Again, stay tuned for an interview with author Louise Miller coming up soon on the new A Bookish Home podcast!)

 

Watch The Man in the High Castle?

Read American War

If envisioning an alternate, frightening course of history for America in The Man in the High Castle has kept you clicking “Next Episode”, read American War, a novel by Omar El Akkad. In this enthralling and dark, dystopian read we meet Sara Chestnut, who is six years old when the Second American Civil War begins in 2074. As the years go on Sara ends up in a refugee camp in Mississippi and eventually becomes swept up in a resistance movement.

 

Watch The Crown?

Read The Royal We

Can’t get enough of the royal family in The Crown? For a lighter fictional take try The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. This novel is loosely based on the courtship of Kate Middleton and Prince William. A pure joy to read and impossible to put down.

 

Watch Big Little Lies?

Read What Alice Forgot

Are you a fan of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and the series adaptation on HBO? Check out What Alice Forgot, one of Moriarty’s other books–and my favorite of hers. After an accident in spin class, 39-year-old Alice wakes up with an entire decade erased from her mind. In her last memory, she is 29, pregnant with her first child and happily married. Now she must figure out how to suddenly navigate her life as a separated mother of three and face the choices she has made.

Watch Downton Abbey?

Read The Summer Before the War and 

The War I Finally Won

If you are missing the wonderful Downton Abbey (and awaiting the movie in the works!) here are two books for you. My adult pick is The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. Set in 1914, the story of Beatrice Nash and her arrival in the small village of Rye in England has the heart, wit, and class struggles of Downton. For the kids in your life and for middle-grade fans, read The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. In this sequel to the stunning, Newbery Honor title The War That Saved My Life, Ada is back and must share her small home with Lady Thornton (think Lady Grantham).

 

Do you have a read-alike for a favorite show? Share it in the comments or on Twitter @ABookishHome. And don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home, to never miss a post. Happy reading!

Ep. 36: Mary Kay Andrews, Author of Sunset Beach

This week I’m delighted to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Kay Andrews to A Bookish Home to discuss her new book, Sunset Beach.

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels including The Weekenders, Beach Town, Ladies’ Night, and Summer Rental and has been dubbed “The Queen of Beach Reads”. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she received a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia and was a newspaper reporter for 14 years.

Booklist says of Sunset Beach, “ Andrews’ latest annual big beach read combines mystery, family secrets, a hint of romance, and a little bit of home renovation…” and  Book Trib said, “Sunset Beach delivers the perfect beach read you’ve been scouting for.” I couldn’t agree more!

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

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Sunset Beach

Hissy Fit

The High Tide Club

The Gown

Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Where The Crawdads Sing

To learn more about Mary Kay Andrews you can visit her website marykayandrews.com.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook @MaryKayAndrews.

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @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 something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

Celebrate the Bookish Birthdays of Two Potters…

This week I’m reposting some ideas for celebrating Harry Potter and Peter Rabbit. Enjoy!

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Are you looking to add a dose of literary fun to your family 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.

 

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!

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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

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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

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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!

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Ep. 35: Jerry Craft, Author of New Kid

This week I’m excited to welcome Jerry Craft to the podcast to discuss his latest book, New Kid.

Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His latest book, New Kid, is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus Reviews which called it “An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.” Jerry has won five African American Literary Awards, is the creator of the award-winning comic strip Mama’s Boyz, and is co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.

newkid

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

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Books Mentioned On This Episode:

New Kid

Dear Justice League 

Piecing Me Together

The Voice In My Head

To learn more about Jerry Craft you can visit his website Jerrycraft.net. You can also follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @JerryCraft.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @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 something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

Ep. 34: Summer Reading Preview With Bookseller Paul Swydan

This week Paul Swydan returns to the podcast. Paul is the owner of Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, Massachusetts. We chatted about some of the books he is looking forward to recommending in the store this summer. Get your TBR lists ready!

 

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

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Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Iver and Ellis

The Bride Test

The Kiss Quotient

The Proposal

The Wedding Date

The Wedding Party

The Stationary Shop

The Nickel Boys

Shatter The Sky

Three Women

How to Be An Anti-Racist

City of Girls

Mrs. Everything

The Poet X

With the Fire On High

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

Sorcery of Thorns

Midsummer’s Mayhem

The Next Great Paulie Fink

Chesire Crossing

Dog Man

The Pigeon HAS to Go to School

Lena’s Slippers

A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

If you’re in the Boston area, I hope you go stop by Silver Unicorn Books in Acton. You can also follow the store on Instagram and Facebook @silverunicornbooks and on Twitter @SilUnicornActon.

 

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @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 something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

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

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!

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

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“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!

 

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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

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 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.

 

Get Started With Bluprint at mybluprint.com

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.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home yet? 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!

 

 

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.

MENU:

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.