Reading Round-Up: Main Street Booksellers

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Normal People
by Sally Rooney
Release date: April 16
Recommended by Jessica

Normal People tells the story of Connell and Marianne, two high school students from different social groups who start a secret relationship (his choice) and follows as they come of age in university and beyond. They both have individual traumas and struggles and find in each other a place of home and belonging. Heart wrenching and tender. I highly recommend!


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Light from Other Stars
by Erika Swyler
Release date: May 7th
Recommended by Jan

Swyler has a deft touch and the skill necessary to capture the complexities of families. Loss, love, friendship, the search for connection play out against space travel and a science experiment gone very wrong. Science is the vehicle but it's the passengers you will fall in love with.


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The Satapur Moonstone
by Sujata Massey
Release date: May 14th
Recommended by Adah

Sujata Massey has been a favorite writer of mine for years. This new series joins the ranks of thoughtful mysteries. Her main character is complex and of her time. This mystery unfolds like a blossom, revealing layer after layer of intrigue and secrets. Highly recommended


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Lanny
by Max Porter
Release date: May 14th
Recommended by Eleanor

I was worried Grief Is the Thing with Feathers would be the only book where Max Porter could put his singular writing style, a lyrical blend of poetry and prose that dances around loose narrative dappled with the surreal or mythical, to use. But I was (mercifully) so very wrong. Lanny, Porter's second book, is just as disarmingly strange and dazzlingly beautiful. Readers are transported to a small village in England, where a unique - some might say odd - boy disappears. His village, already teeming with both beauty and obscenity, responds to his disappearance with the full gamut of human emotion and propriety.


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Magic for Liars
by Sarah Gailey
Release date: June 4th
Recommended by Becca

A highly readable and engaging mystery/magical crossover. Dark humor and realistic characters make this debut novel a real winner. Flawed human beings navigate a world in shades of grey.


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Grace Will Lead Us Home
by Jennifer Hawes
Release date: June 4th
Recommended by Jan

Beautiful and devastating. Hawes' account of the events leading up to and the aftermath of the shootings at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. Compassionate but uncompromising in its detail, her account broke my heart over and over. A fitting tribute to those who died and those who still struggle with loss.


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The Right Sort of Man
by Allison Montclair
Release date: June 4th
Recommended by Jan

Smart, compelling new mystery series. I loved the combination of an aristocratic widow and feisty ex-spy turning detectives after a client of their marriage bureau is murdered. Set in post-WWII England, both women have complex backstories. The plot has plenty of twists - can't wait for the next one.


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Roughhouse Friday
by Jaed Coffin
Release date: June 18th
Recommended by Jan

Ever wondered why anyone would take up bar boxing given the pain and limited rewards? Coffin's memoir sheds light on one man's choices. This is a thoughtful look at his very complex relationship with his father, being of mixed heritage in mostly white Maine and mostly Native Alaska. More art than action, more reflection than analysis, you'll carry his story with you beyond the last page.


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The Substitution Order
by Martin Clark
Release date: July 9th
Recommended by Jan

Don't be surprised to find yourself humming Scott Joplin's The Entertainer after reading Clark's twisty tale of complex cons and turned tables. In just 3 months, Kevin Moore slid life as a high-riding lawyer to a soon-to-be-divorced jailbird. Things only get worse when a high-stacks scam organization puts him in their sites. Moore fights back, pulling every favor and every trick he knows abetted by his rescue pup, Nelson. Clark's best work yet.

Between the Lines: Mary Laura Philpott

Mary Laura Philpott is a Davidson College graduate, indie bookstore guru (she works at Anne Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus!), and deeply talented writer.

Her debut essay collection, I Miss You When I Blink, features a charming, quirky, self-conscious, introspective, and hilarious narrator, who grapples with the complexities of everyday mothering, working, spousing, neighboring, friending, and simply living.

Put this book on your bedside table. Then give a copy to everyone you respect, admire, or simply like enough to share your ice cream with. But first, enjoy this interview.

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Writer John Gimlette Has Much to Offer Armchair Travelers

Armchair travelers have a lot to see in the books of John Gimlette. A British barrister based in London, Gimlette has produced a handful of excellent travel books concerning some of the most unexpected places in the world. His skill and meticulous research reveal how absolutely fascinating these infrequently traveled locales turn out to be.

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Black Futures Month

In a piece for the New York Times, local author Patrice Gopo wrote, “in a society with an abundance of stories featuring white characters, my daughter needs to see herself reflected in the pages. She needs me to help her find stories that expand our country’s typical narrative about black people — beyond slavery, segregation and the civil rights movement. She needs to see people who share her race existing in a variety of books — happy, carefree, fantastical ones, as well as stories of strife.”

This February, we shifted our gaze ever so slightly, so that it rested not only upon black histories but also black futures, curating displays and collections that showcased myriad Black narratives set in the past, present, and future.

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Winter Institute Wrapped by Adah and Eleanor

Adah and Eleanor traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for Winter Institute, a week of workshops and networking for booksellers, publishers, and authors from across the nation. It was book nerd’s dream and resulted in exposure to A TON of new titles we can’t wait to read and authors we can’t wait to be friends with. Read on for a sampling of some of the most promising books and writers we encountered.

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