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Newsletter 3.22.18: Spring into Great Fiction!

A Note from Andrew, RJ Julia's Adult Book Buyer:

About a month ago, I introduced you to a number of my favorite new non-fiction releases. As I peruse the shelves for fiction books to mention this month, I’m struck by the books that stand out. 

Though there are plenty of light, entertaining books currently available, the titles of note seem to address the big issues of our time. Police corruption, extreme weather, PTSD, racism, and LGBTQ history anchor the four novels we’re presenting today. 

If you’re a novelist looking for inspiration, pick up a history book or newspaper. The writers below, and countless others like them, explore familiar topics in new and fascinating ways, often getting ideas from a headline or article ripped right from the news.


by Minrose Gwin

I am continually surprised to learn about important events in our country’s past when reading great historical fiction. This powerful story of racism, family bonds, and power puts us in the eye of a tornado in Tupelo, Miss., in 1936. A fantastic read all the way to the last word! 

Read Lori's review.


The House of Impossible BeautiesThe House of Impossible Beauties 

by Joseph Cassara

Fabulous, fierce, tough, tragic. A raw work of queer, trans, and Latinx historical fiction set in the "Paris is Burning" drag ballroom scene of Harlem. Cassara folds slang, profanity, and Spanglish seamlessly into his literary writing. 

Read Ethan's review.


Anatomy of a Miracle Anatomy of a Miracle 

by Jonathan Miles

Based on a true story, Anatomy of a Miracle is an incredibly touching, powerful novel told from a variety of viewpoints including a paralyzed veteran, his care-taker sister, a Vatican investigator, and a film crew. 

Read Barb's review.


Down the River Unto the Sea Down the River Unto the Sea 

by Walter Mosley

Master mystery writer Walter Mosely has blessed us with a brand new character and series. Meet Joe King Oliver, a framed NYPD detective who now works with his teenage daughter as a private investigator. Thrilling and smart. 

Read Andrew's review. 

A Note from Jamie, RJ Julia's Kids' Book Buyer:

A late snow means that when spring comes, it will hit the ground running. The same can be said for several books that have just arrived on our shelves.

From the Young Adult “it” book of the spring, The Children of Blood and Bone, to the incomparable Junot Diaz’s first picture book Islandborn, you’ll be wishing for a few more snow days in which to savor these buzz worthy gems.

Ages 0 - 3

What is Soft? by Susan Kantor,

What is Soft? 

by Susan Kantor, illustrated by Erin Barker

Looking for a gentle read? This calm book shows us many “soft” things in the world. A sweet bedtime book!

- Lindsay


Tough Chicks by Cece MengTough Chicks 

by Cece Meng, illustrated by Melissa Suber           

A great introduction to girl power! This board book explores all the ways girls can be tough, including wrestling, worms, and fixing a tractor. 

- Lindsay


Ages 3 - 6

Islandborn by Junot DiazIslandborn

by Junot Diaz, illustrated by Leo Espinosa        

To discover who she is for a school project, little Lola asks her neighbors for memories of the island she is too young to remember. A moving, joyous, and nuanced story of a past we can all relate to. 

Read Jamie's review.


My Pet Wants a Pet by Elise Broach

My Pet Wants a Pet 

by Elise Broach, illustrated by Eric Barclay

Mayhem ensues as a boy finally gets his wish to take care of an animal. Join in on this crazy pet adventure; a silly read perfect for story time!

- Lindsay


Ages 6 - 8

I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888 

by Lauren Tarshis

Suspenseful and educational, young readers will learn the true meaning of perseverance and courage in the latest historical fiction from Tarshis' I Survived series!

- Lindsay



The Alien Next Door by A.I. NewtonThe Alien Next Door 

by A.I. Newton, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

It can't be easy being the new kid, especially if you happen to be an alien and your neighbor begins to suspect something is amiss. A wonderful science fiction book for early readers!

- Lindsay


Ages 8 - 12

The Night Diary by Veera HiranandaniThe Night Diary 

by Veera Hiranandani

Fans of realistic fiction will be completely drawn in by Nisha's fascinating and informative tale. The more we read about other cultures, the more enlightened and comfortable we become with different traditions. 

Read Susan's review.


The 78-Story Treehouse  by Andy GriffithsThe 78-Story Treehouse 

by Andy Griffiths, illustrated by Terry Denton

Andy and Terry have added to their treehouse and included a GIANT movie screening floor! Fall back into their adventures with the newest addition to a great series.

- Lindsay


Ages 12+

Children of Blood and BoneChildren of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Dive into a diverse fantasy world where magic has disappeared, leaving the maji defenseless against a terrible king. Zelie goes on an epic journey to restore the powers of the maji in an unforgettable tale of romance, betrayal, friendship, and magic. 

Read the full review from Bridey M., age 17


Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi   Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi            

In the fourth book of Mafi's Shatter Me series, all is not what it seems. Juliette has prospered, but when tragedy strikes, she must confront the truth about the darkness. Signed first edition copies available while supplies last!

- Lindsay

Spring Gifts RJ Julia

Happy Spring! Easter and Passover are just around the corner! It's time to start filling those Easter baskets, but not just with candy. How about adding fun socks, Naked Bee moisturizing hand lotion, or an adorable purse?

Spring Gifts RJ Julia

Decorate for spring with adorable spring colored eggs and rabbits that store easily when summer arrives. And don't forget the chocolate! This unique box of gourmet chocolates will look beautiful on display before and after the delicious candy is gone. 

Staff RJ Julia Easter Photo

Spring games RJ Julia

Prepare for Passover with this elegant "Stained Glass" Seder Plate and a soft matzah tray! And don't forget a game or two for the family to play. 

We're delighted to host a gathering of booklovers on a weekly basis and our book clubs are always excited to welcome new members! Learn more about book clubs here and see what they are reading this month!