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Newsletter 4.5.18: Ride Into April!

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

I've noticed that there are more literary western novels coming out now than I’ve ever seen before. And by western I don’t mean John Steinbeck’s epic novels. I mean horses, six shooters, wagon trains, hardship, and vengeance.

It could be that populism is leading us back to this great American invention. Maybe we are attracted to the trials and victories of a simpler time. Either way, I couldn’t be more thrilled that some of the best novels of the year (so far) are set in an environment ruled by grit, dust, and desire. 

Whether you want man vs. man, man vs. nature, or man vs. society, there is nothing that crystallizes conflict better than the stark values and methods of the great American western.

West Carys DaviesWest 

by Carys Davies

This small-scale American epic poetically explores destiny, empire, displacement, and rebirth. What initially seems to be a typical Western proves to be much, much more. Read Brian's review.

Join us for a discussion with Carys Davies on 4/28 at 7pm!


The Hunger by Alma KatsuThe Hunger 

by Alma Katsu

Don't let "Donner Party" scare you away from this unique telling of the infamous tale. Knowing the conclusion allows one to explore the conflicts within the group that may have added to its demise. 

Read Jill's review. 


The Which Way Tree Elizabeth CrookThe Which Way Tree 

by Elizabeth Crook

This literary page-turner follows a teenage boy and his younger sister on an epic Texas panther hunt. Great for fans of man vs. nature stories told with a central voice and a strong female character. 

- Andrew


Only Killers and Thieves  by Paul HowarthOnly Killers and Thieves 

by Paul Howarth

Set in the Australian bush of the 1880s, this book is a gritty coming-of-age story in a rough-and-tumble environment. The story is charged and searing; the writing is as raw as it is transporting. 

Read Ethan's review.

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

Spring is all about beginnings, so let’s start at the beginning: who are you? Are you a quiet kid with an unusual pet? Or a middle grade good friend with a secret? Or are you just discovering that you aren’t quite who everyone else thinks you are?

From picture books through young adult, stories can help kids discover who they are, even as they grow and change. Meet a few new characters this spring and see which ones feel as familiar as a look in the mirror.

Ages 0 - 3

Animal ColorsAnimal Colors 

by Christopher Silas Neal

I laughed so hard reading this book! Complete with silly names, introducing new colors to kids has never been so fun. A great read for an older board book reader.

- Lindsay


Cuddle BugYou're My Little Cuddle Bug 

by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Natalie Marshall        

A sweet bedtime tale to read to a little one. Cuddle up with this heart-warming rhyming book!

- Lindsay


Ages 3 - 6


Randal The ElephantRandal the Elephant 

by Ciara Gavin    

Randal the otter desperately wants to be accepted as one of the elephants in this encouraging story about being whoever you want to be. 

- Lindsay


Alma and How She Got Her NameAlma and How She Got Her Name 

by Juana Martinez-Neal

Alma has TOO MANY names! A lovely story of a girl learning about her rich family history and the meanings behind the names she has been given. 

Read Kelly's review.


Ages 6 - 8

Beep and bobToo Much Space! (Beep and Bob #1) 

by Jonathan Roth

Life can be tough for a fourth grader of the future! In this new chapter book, Bob becomes the laughing stock of his space school. Find out if Bob decides to change his personality... or be true to himself. 

- Lindsay


Bat and the Waiting GameBAT and the Waiting Game 

by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Charles Santoso

BAT faces the challenges of being a good friend, dealing with a big sister who loves the spotlight, and deciding when it's a good idea to sneak a skunk into an auditorium, all while remaining uniquely himself. 

Read Laura's review.


Ages 8 - 12


Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World  by Ashley Herring BlakeIvy Aberdeen's Letter to the World 

by Ashley Herring Blake

I was blown away by this touching and powerful story of finding out who you are and accepting yourself. An important read for anyone still discovering themselves. 

Read Lindsey's review.


Bone's GiftsBone's Gift 

by Angie Smibert

A fascinating story of a girl named Bone trying to learn the secrets of her mystical powers. A great story that blends fantasy and mystery!

- Lindsay


Ages 12+


I Was CleopatraI Was Cleopatra 

by Dennis Abrams

This fictional memoir about Elizabethan stage actor John Rice details the trials and triumphs he encountered while portraying a woman onstage. Gender fluidity and sexuality are key topics in this mesmerizing and intricate tale.

- Lindsay


Finding Felicity 

by Stacey Kade         

Struggling with social anxiety is never an easy road. Caroline deals with it by using the characters from the TV show “Felicity” to create a whole new world for herself. Great for fans of Fangirl!

- Lindsay

Spring is for Biking!


How will you get outside this April?

Whether you're biking, bird watching, or simply walking -
we hope these colorful bicycle illustrations inspire you
to open the door and spend some time outdoors!

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!