Chicken Soup for the Reader’s Soul

Mass social distancing has us sitting on our respective couches and beds wondering what we’re going to do now that we’ve got all this time on our hands. Fortunately, we’ve taken this question into consideration and have drafted up several reading lists just for you. Yesterday’s list packed the giggles — today, we’re hoping to provide you with a figurative stuffed animal/cozy blanket in the form of titles that’ll comfort you. What follows are reads to help you cope with solitude, celebrations of the wonders that abound in nature and life, and testaments to the uplifting power of family and friends.

Recommendations were made by BookPeople booksellers and with a little help from our friends outside the store.

9781612197494_b9bbfHow to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

“Reading How To Do Nothing helped reassure me I’d be mentally prepared for the notion of solitude. Our attention is needed in every direction right now, and it’s equally important for each of us to slow down.

Odell’s reserach explores how “nothing” benefits the way we can think, reflect, heal, and sustain ourselves — ‘individually or collectively.’

Allow this book to hold your attention if you, like me, want to rest into reading and thinking while staying safe at home.”

— Colore L., Community Selection


9780525535270_ae8ecRed at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

“In Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson once again takes her understanding of people – their love and their pain – and commits it to the page. She lays it all out, yet there are spaces between the words that say even more. Beautiful prose from a brilliant writer.”

— Consuelo W., Adult Books Buyer


“I know most of us were already aware of this, but my God, Jacqueline Woodson is greatness. Truly. We are witnessing GREATNESS. Red at the Bone is a gripping, masterfully crafted story focusing on three generations of a family and how their lives come together and fall apart with and without each other. Through Woodson’s powerful language, we enter the minds of these characters and hope and grieve right alongside them. The author has given us so much in these pages– love and loss, desire and ambition, light and dark, and sentences you will want to revisit time and time again.”

— Eugenia V., Kids Marketing & Events Director


“I found myself tearing up at this book more times than I’d previously anticipated. Red at the Bone is a disarming story that explores an unplanned pregnancy, family dynamics, social classes, race, and how we wrestle with the unimaginable. At just the age of 17, Iris finds herself in an uncharted situation: a teenage pregnancy. Aubrey, Iris’ boyfriend, only wants what’s best for them, yet he is also battling with his own challenges at home; a dying mother and an uncertain living situation. Sabe and Po’Boy devoted their whole lives and dreams to assure that Iris could have the best future they could provide. Despite the unrest that will follow, their lives will come together for baby Melody. A beautiful book that left me wanting more, just as each character is left desiring more from the life they will have to part from.”

— Cristina L., Marketing & Events Manager


9780143038092_a98a7The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

“One of the most enriching books I’ve read to date. The Joy Luck Club chronicles the travails of four Chinese mothers and their four Chinese-American daughters. The book lends itself to each of their stories and by the end you witness the bridging across the geographic and psychic divide that’s been keeping them at a distance from each other. It’s the kind of book that gives you that sense of familial warmth when you need it most.”

— Uriel P., Event Logistics Manager


9781644450109_a9cc5Homie by Danez Smith

“Homie is a love letter to friendship, the push and pull of it, the give and take, the good and bad…they [Smith’s pieces] bring an incredible level of depth and craft to writing about the friends we can’t live without, the friends who are just passing through our lives, the differences that create borders between us, the things we try to make peace with so we might survive.”

— Roxane Gay on Homie



9781948226196Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer

Rough Magic is a life-affirming read that brims with a boundless sense of wonder. Here, Lara Prior-Palmer recounts her week-long trek across the punishing Mongolian steppe riding the “world’s longest and toughest horse race.” This is an adventure story just as much as its a journey of self-discovery; a candid, and often humorous, musing on nature, memory and the inescapable desire to be free. This ride feels true and gallops away with your heart.”

— Uriel P., Event Logistics Manager



9780374117948_55778The Cactus League by Emily Nemens

Sports has been cancelled through the country and world. Lucky for us, we can immerse ourselves in the wondrous world of baseball Emily Nemens has wrought in her stellar debut — The Cactus League.

“Spring Training is here for the LA Lions, bringing a cadre of players, coaches, agents and hangers on to the desert-scape of Arizona. And for nine chapter-long innings we’re taken ’round the diamond looking to get the full story on fading baseball phenom Jason Goodyear from those who know him best and those who don’t, but think they do. It’s a story that, like a season of MLB ball, unfolds incrementally, full of dramatic peaks and valleys, and, when it matters most, reveals the character of those stepping up to the plate.
Emily Nemens hits it out of the park with this no-doubt, moonshot of a debut. The Cactus League brims with heart and a ferocious sense of humor!”

— Uriel P., Event Logistics Manager


9781982102807_90f71I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

“Raw, funny, and truthful. I Miss You When I Blink is a down-to-Earth re-telling of everyday life and a reminder that maybe we’re all just figuring it out as we go. Its only goal is to make you feel better and you’ll find yourself revisiting anytime you wish to feel better.”

— Cristina L., Events & Marketing Manager




9781101946152_40a64Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

“I could hear Tom Hanks’ voice in my head, narrating this charming collection of stories of slice-of-life Americana. Just as his film career has been spent portraying the everyman, he continues his exploration of that theme in fiction that is surprising and full of heart.”

— Consuelo W., Adult Books Buyer



All of these titles and more are available on our shelves today! From now through March 22nd, we can send ’em to you free of shipping cost or you can try out our curbside pick-up service through March 29th for more immediate assistance.

Happy reading! Happy shopping!

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