“I Love . . .”

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We asked our booksellers to finish that sentence, and the results range from new fiction releases to classic novels to historical adventure, and — yes — even a few love stories. If you’re looking to fall in love with a book, here’s your list of 30+ great reads.  Read the rest of this entry »

Color Your Own Shop Dog Valentines!

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Coloring books are all the rage these days, so the shop people say. And we get it — everyone likes to disappear into a creative activity and relax. But you know what else is relaxing? Patting a shop dog. Also, giving a shop dog a biscuit. Reading a story to a shop dog, too. All of these activities are just as relaxing as coloring, if not more. Read the rest of this entry »

Could This Debut Novel Be the Next “Book Thief”?

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When Random House told us months ago that they were really excited about a new novelist named Gavriel Savit and his first book, Anna and the Swallow Man, we were intrigued. When they said, “If you liked The Book Thief, you’ll love this,” we were skeptical. That’s quite a comparison. Could it possibly be true?  Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t Look Away: Good Books about Bad Things

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In his song “Honest With Me,” Bob Dylan sings, “Some things are too terrible to be true.” But what about the things both terrible and true? Read the rest of this entry »

Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell Pair Up for Literary “Kinship”

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Attention, fans of memoir and music: There’s still time to get your tickets to Kinship: An Evening with Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell, coming up on February 6. It’s the annual fundraising party presented by The Porch Writer’s Collective, and we’re going. Join us? Read the rest of this entry »

Could This Be the Best Elizabeth Strout Novel Yet?

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(photo by Dario Lasagni)

The first time I met Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout in person was last fall, at the Texas Book Festival. She and another of my favorite writers, Elizabeth McCracken, were discussing the art of storytelling in the sanctuary of a Methodist church, the only venue large enough to hold everyone who had come to see them. It had been a while since I’d been inside a church, I admit, and as I sat in that pew among hundreds (thousands?) of other book-lovers, listening to these two brilliant, kind, funny people discuss how they create their stories, I thought, Now this is a church I would attend regularly: The Church of The Elizabeths. Read the rest of this entry »

The Time Travel Book for People Who Don’t Like Time Travel Books

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Well, no wonder Passenger debuts at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list today. It has just about everything you could possibly ask for in a young adult novel, and then some. As the glowing Times review says, it “succeeds as an adventure, as a romance and as a comparison of cultural norms. This is the sort of book that gracefully walks the fine line between excitement and instruction.” Yes, please. Read the rest of this entry »