October’s here, BookFriends, can you believe it? It’s one of the busiest times at BookPeople, what with the Texas Teen Book Festival and Texas Book Festival happening in the same month (wow!), but we’ve always got time to talk about new books. This week we’ve got our plates full with a couple of stellar reads for upcoming events, a few titles that have been making a buzz around the book-stagram and book Twiter (I’m looking at you, Ben Lerner, Jasmine Guillory, and Garth Nix!), as well some blurbs from Kids Marketing and Events Director Eugenia that we couldn’t pass up. Read on for more!
Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday
The acclaimed author of Ego is the Enemy and The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday, returns with a new book about finding success through slowing down.
Holiday unpacks the tenets of Stoic and Buddhist philosophy, outlining a path for achieving this ancient, but urgently necessary way of living. As well, he draws on a wide range of history’s greatest thinkers; from Confucius to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius to Thich Nhat Hanh, John Stuart Mill to Nietzsche, he argues that stillness is not mere inactivity, but the doorway to self-mastery, discipline, and focus.
More than ever, people are overwhelmed. They face obstacles and egos and competition. Stillness Is the Key offers a simple but inspiring antidote to the stress of 24/7 news and social media. The stillness that we all seek is the path to meaning, contentment, and excellence in a world that needs more of it than ever.
If you’re looking to hear more about this philosophy, come out to BookPeople on October 29th at 7PM for a reading and signing with Ryan Holiday!
Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs
From New York Times bestselling author and beloved memoirist Augusten Burroughs comes another stunning memoir that is tender, touching and just a little spooky.
Toil & Trouble recounts the possibly supernatural happenings in Augusten Burroughs’ life (knowing things he shouldn’t have known, manifesting things that shouldn’t have come to pass) and delves into the roots of his family tree steeped in witchcraft and wizardry.
From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man’s journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few coincidences, as you will learn.
Here’s a title that our booksellers have been clamoring for and we think you’re just going to love it. If this is the kind of story you’d love to get spooky season started with, be sure to purchase a copy of Toil & Trouble today and get your signing line tickets to see Augusten Burroughs in-store on October 4th at 7PM!
The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary & Chelsea Clinton
The Book of Gutsy Women is the first book written by the mother and daughter pair, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. In it, they take us on a survey of the gutsy women who have had courage throughout history to challenge the status quo and build a more equitable and just world.
Looking to the likes of Civil Rights activists Dorothy Height and Edie Windsor, writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, trailblazers Harriet Tubman, Malala Yousafzai and so many more, The Book of Gutsy Women is an essential compendium that celebrates the women of the past and present and encourages all of us to take the lead and follow their example.
Get your tickets today to join us for an exciting conversation between the Clintons on November 3rd at 3PM at the Riverbend Centre – act fast, tickets are going quickly!
Angel Mage by Garth Nix
The latest from BookPeople favorite, fantasy author Garth Nix! Angel Mage comes highly recommended by many of our booksellers, including Rachel R, who says, “Garth Nix is so good at creating complicated and nuanced fantasy worlds, and Angel Mage is no exception. Even at almost 600 pages, I wanted the book to be longer!” Will B says, “I highly suggest this to both fans of The Three Musketeers as well as those looking for a new fantasy novel to enjoy!” Tomoko says,”The magic system, inspired by actual angelology, is absolutely fantastic–I’m an artist and I loved that I could picture myself in the University of Belhalle painting angelic icons…” Tommy: “I’m completely obsessed with Catholic history and mythology…this book combined two of my favorite things so there’s no way I wasn’t going to love it. Action, adventure, politics, love…Nix hit’s every high of romantic adventure fiction in Angel Mage, and hit’s them so well that I want more of it right now. ”
One Fox by Kate Read
Kids Book Buyer Meghan says, “Under the light of the moon, two sly eyes and four padding paws stalk toward the henhouse. As danger nears, readers will relish the perfectly paced suspense—and dramatic reversals of fortune—in this riveting counting book thriller!”
We’re thrilled to have Reinhardt’s Garden on shelves today, the dazzling new book from author and fellow indie bookseller, Mark Haber!
Oozing with notes of László Krasznahorkai and Saul Bellow, Reinhardt’s Garden is a twisted quixotic journey of madness in the search for the essence of melancholy. Jumping from Croatia to Germany, Hungary to Russia, and finally to the Americas, the quest of Jacov Reinhardt and his nameless scribe reads like an epic deserving of a thousand pages, but Haber’s deft hand compacts it into less than two hundred.
Told in one breathless paragraph, this book may drive you crazy, but it will continually delight you.
This title is also one of Uriel’s favorite books of the year, he says, “Reinhardt’s Garden is a mesmerizing, drug-addled trot down a path of madness that strings you along page by page…I couldn’t get enough of it.” Be sure to catch Haber at this year’s Texas Book Festival!
Dry County by Jake Hinkson
Jake Hinkson’s Dry County is October’s MysteryPeople Pick of the Month, and we’re excited to get this title in your hands today!
Dry County takes us to a small town in the Arkansas Ozarks where Richard Weatherford, a father, husband, and small-town preacher comes face to face with the corrupting forces looking to undo him. Not only is Richard being blackmailed by a former lover, he’s also up against a suspicious spouse and congregants who are watching his every move as he maneuvers a scheme to load up on cash.
Set against the 2016 election, Dry County explores a singular moment in our country when we are more divided than ever. Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott M. calls Jake Hinkson’s writing “A cross between Jim Thompson and Flannery O’Connor… [Dry County is] some of his finest work.”
Her Own Two Feet by Meredith Davis & Rebeka Uwitonze
It’s a local author debut! Meredith Davis will be here on October 19th at 2PM to tell us about this nonfiction book that she co-authored with Rebeka Uwitonze.
Rebeka Uwitonze was born in Rwanda with curled and twisted feet, which meant she had to crawl or be carried to get around.
At nine years old, she gets an offer that could change her life. A doctor in the US might be able to turn her feet. But it means leaving her own family behind and going to America on her own. Witness through her eyes, the moving story of a young Rwandan girl and the risk she takes for the chance to walk on the bottoms of her feet for the first time.
Blowout by Rachel Maddow
From acclaimed television host and writer Rachel Maddow comes an all new book indicting Big Oil and the industry’s corroding effect on American Democracy.
With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about how and why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election.
Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one, or it disappears.”
Act quickly and get your hands on signed copies while we’ve got them!
From Eugenia: “Are you kidding me with this book?!!!! A picture book hasn’t made me laugh this hard in a long, long time. Matthew Forsythe’s illustrations are bursting with energy and joy! He communicates so much emotion through the eyes, Pokko’s and his parents’ alike. Pokko and The Drum is about a family of frogs living in a mushroom. Pokko and The Drum is about art. Pokko and The Drum is about finding your community, your people. Pokko and The Drum is my new favorite book. That’s it, I found it, it’s done!”
Redwood & Ponytail by K. A. Holt
New from Austin-based author K.A. Holt, this book is about two girls who, at first glance, fit very different stereotypes look past appearances to find connection, then friendship, and then the spark of something more in an empowering story about finding the courage to follow your heart.
Ivy, from our Teen Press Corps, calls it “a brilliant novel from an incredibly gifted author.” We’re hosting the author October 7th at 7PM!
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
Imaginary Friend is the first new work of fiction from The Perks of Being a Wallflower author, Stephen Chbosky, in more than twenty years! Chbosky gives us a gargantuan horror epic in Imaginary Friend, the saga of seven-year old Christopher Reese who for six days goes missing and returns utterly changed. Egged on by the voices in his head, young Christopher must construct a tree house or the community he lives in will suffer dire consequences.
This title already has our booksellers raving. Joe calls this one “perfect for the Stephen King/Stranger Things crowd,” while Will B. says “[Imaginary Friend is] a good read to get in the Halloween spirit. Chbosky has a deft hand at keeping the narrative flowing so there are never any spots that trip you up to the point of slowing down, you want to keep sprinting to find the answers to your questions.” Get those pumpkin spice lattés and weighted blankets ready, you’re going to need them on this wild ride.
Also, did we mention we have signed copies? Get at ’em now!
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Jasmine Guillory continues her Wedding Date series with her hardcover debut in Royal Holiday!
In this installment Vivian Forest travels across the pond, joining her daughter Maddie on a work trip to style a royal family member. Vivian’s been out of the country a grand total of one time, so she’s excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn’t expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain Private Secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality.
Enter Malcolm Hudson, the dashing secretary, who is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year’s Day…or are they?
Royal Holiday hits our shelves just early enough so that you can get in the holiday spirit with this fabulous new entry in a series that has enchanted booksellers and readers alike!
Full Throttle by Joe Hill
A little door that opens to a world of fairy tale wonders becomes the blood-drenched stomping ground for a gang of hunters. A grief-stricken librarian climbs behind the wheel of an antique Bookmobile to deliver fresh reads to the dead. Two young friends stumble on the corpse of a plesiosaur at the water’s edge, a discovery that forces them to confront the inescapable truth of their own mortality . . . and other horrors that lurk in the water’s shivery depths.
This is only a taste of the thrills and chills you’ll get when you read Joe Hill’s Full Throttle, a collection of thirteen ingenious stories from one of today’s very best horror writers.
Full Throttle features a bevy of haunting delights that made Horns and N0S4A2 instant bestsellers as well as a contribution Hill’s father himself, the Master of Horror himself, Stephen King. Uriel says, “If you weren’t convinced yet of Hill’s greatness, Full Throttle will change that. The weird and dark things that haunt us are on full display here…and the writing is stellar!”
And don’t miss out on signed copies!
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
From Blurb Queen, Molly: “This is what a coworker of mine would call a “Male Novel,” as modern modes of white masculinity inform the structure, tone, content, and relationships of this book, as well as its author, who is diving all the way in.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the hell out of reading and thinking about the layered, acrobatic, personal, blisteringly intelligent ideas, forms, and themes on display here. The novel revolves around a family — Adam, the debate prodigy and Lerner stand-in; Jonathan, the father, a groovy, philandering psychoanalyst,; and Jane, the mother, famous for writing several feminist psychology books — and Darren, a young man with developmental disabilities, with the POV shifting between the four in lead-up to a cataclysmic event in the Topeka community.
Freestyle and extemporary debate both take up major space in the novel, extending even to the flow of language, which is propulsively rhythmic and often thrillingly associative to the level of prose poetry. Some ideas present include the volatility of male competition and insecurity; the insularity of the nuclear family; the easy misuse of intelligence and language; the lack of protection for the vulnerable. It left me wanting to debate myself, while also yearning for Oprah. A thoroughly provocative read.”
Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy
From Eugenia: “Oh my goodness! Julie Murphy’s voice fits in beautifully in middle grade– it’s a seamless transition from her fresh, charming characters in contemporary YA. Sweet Pea sounds and feels like a real kid, with concerns and fears about her recently divorced parents and her former BFF.
Plus, she’s agreed to help her neighbor, local newspaper advice columnist Miss Flora Mae, while she is out of town… and ends up responding to a few letters on her own! A fun, sweet, and smart story for fans of Shannon Hale and Kate DiCamillo, Dear Sweet Pea reinforced my love for Julie Murphy and this lovely world she’s created. Watch out for a little Puddin’ easter egg!”
Be sure to check back with us next week when we dish out a fresh new lineup of titles we don’t want you to miss out on!