History Repeats Itself (In Literature Anyway): What Is It About 1969?

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Call it coincidence or maybe synchronicity, but 1969 just keeps coming up in books this year. Read the rest of this entry »

Authors in Real Life: A Quick Quiz with Leigh Bardugo and Traci Chee

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What do your favorite writers do when they’re not writing? Where do they go? What do they watch, eat, and think about when they’re not living and breathing their work? We gave two creators of young adult fiction — #1 New York Times bestselling author Leigh Bardugo and rising star on the YA scene Traci Chee — the Authors in Real Life quiz to find out what makes them tick. Their answers will surprise and delight you. Read the rest of this entry »

Book People Are the Best People: How 100+ Authors and Illustrators Rose to the Occasion in a BIG Way

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Parnassus Books manager of books for young readers, Stephanie Appell, with piggy banks decorated and donated by Veronica Roth, Nina Laden, Cece Bell, Andrea Beaty, RJ Palacio, and Jeff Zentner.

If you’re a bookseller whose life has been turned upside down by illness, natural disaster, or other sudden misfortune, the folks who write the books you sell have your back. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from Ann: The Read Harder Challenge

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I was talking to my friend Gail Vinett at Ingram Content Group — the distributor where the store gets a lot of our books — this week while I was there to sign 1,800 copies of Commonwealth. (Yes, eighteen hundred copies. Lucky me! Poor me! Take your pick.) Gail was there to keep me company and she told me that, along with her family — her husband in Nashville, a son in Auckland, and a daughter in Oakland — she was doing the Book Riot 2016 Read Harder Challenge. She said it was proving to be an excellent two-continent family bonding exercise. Because it takes a long time to sign 1,800 books, she had time to pull out her phone and started reading off the list. I got so into it! Read the rest of this entry »

43 Books to Read Right Now

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Sometimes, when we know there’s a slew of spectacular books coming out later in the season,  we have to force ourselves to slow down and savor the books we can enjoy today. Are there some awesome books coming our way later this fall? Yes, indeed. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! Here are some of our booksellers’ current book-crushes — brand-new September releases, new-in-paperbacks, and even a few old favorites.  Read the rest of this entry »

Glennon Doyle Melton: Warrior in the Trenches of Love

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Glennon Doyle Melton’s new memoir, Love Warrior — like her first, Carry On, Warrior — might remind you of a time back before everyone had blogs and social media, when friends wrote heartfelt, candid emails to one another and then forwarded them to other friends, creating lengthy threads headed with lines like, “Read this — she understands.” They are the sort of books you can imagine women passing to one another and saying, you need this. (In fact, we’ve done just that with the early copies we received.)

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“None of it happened and all of it’s true” – Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth

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Ann Patchett in the back storeroom at Parnassus Books with her dog, Sparky (photo: Heidi Ross)

Those of us who work and shop at Parnassus Books have a unique perspective on Ann Patchett’s novels, because we witness their creation at somewhat close range. We’re here in the store when Ann comes in to pick up a stack of books she has ordered for research. We’re hanging around when she finishes a morning of writing and brings her pup Sparky over to run around the shop. We weigh in on characters’ names and book cover designs, and we celebrate when the manuscript has finally been turned in. But we’re not inside Ann’s head. We know some things about the story, but we don’t know all the ins and outs and whys and hows — unless, of course, we ask. Read the rest of this entry »