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Newsletter: 7.26.18

July 26, 2018

In this Newsletter

Adult Staff Suggestions
Kids' and Young Adult Staff Suggestions
Beach Days Are the Best Days

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

When you come into RJ Julia, turn on your television, or go the movies, what do you see? We are experiencing a preponderance of media that has werewolves in love, interstellar locales, self-conscious superheroes, magic academies, witch wars, premonitions, and cryptozoological oddities. 

Science-fiction and fantasy have been around for hundreds of years, but we are currently in a genre-bending renaissance for fantastical fiction. Popularity is at a high-water mark, and authors and publishers are responding with quality books. Come in to check out the best warlocks, djinn, and mermaids we have to offer. Here are just a few of our favorites!

The City of Brass 

by S.A. Chakraborty

I was immediately pulled into this middle-eastern fantasy of magic, mysteries, and djinn. Unlike anything else I've read, this is a spectacular story with a cliffhanger (fair warning!) that left me literally gasping and wanting the next book ASAP. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. 

Read Lindsey's review.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 

by Douglas Adams

Without Hitchhiker’s, it is doubtful we would have any of the magical realism or comedy horror that populate our bookshelves today. The blending of fantastic elements with preexisting genres all started with this hilarious book. Remember the number 42, bring your towel, and whatever you do, Don’t Panic!  - Andrew

The Oracle Year 

by Charles Soule

What would you do if you woke up one day with 108 predictions in your head? This is exactly what happens to average human Will Dando. To say too much would ruin it, but I will say that this funny, action filled book hooked me immediately and didn't let go. A must read for 2018. 

Read Lindsey's review. 


by C.L. Polk

Is historical fantasy a thing? If it wasn’t before, it is now. Witchmark feels like a historical fiction set during WWI… but takes place in a fantasy world and has magic flowing through. I loved every minute of this slow burn mystery with elegant world building and really interesting magical elements. — Lindsey

Meddling Kids 

by Edgar Cantero

What happens to teenage detectives years after they solve their final lake monster mystery? They come back for more! For a hilarious throwback to a simpler age in crime solving, grab some scooby snacks and get this horror/fantasy/mystery mashup.

Read Andrew's review.

The Mermaid

 by Christina Henry

An excellent tale of a mermaid who comes to land for love, and lives a full life until her husband dies of old age. It is then that she is approached by an associate of P.T. Barnum. Full of sadness, happiness, magic, and hope, The Mermaid is delightful. 

Read Lindsey's review.

Upcoming Adult Author Events


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

I can hear the reluctance in their footsteps up the stairs, as the adult in the group turns to me and says that unfinished sentence: “he doesn’t like to read….” and I get excited because I know exactly how that sentence ends: fiction! Which means we get to head over to the shelves of non-fiction, and suddenly there’s a bounce in all of our steps.

Kids want to know more about Elon Musk! They want to be inspired by a Russian orphan! They want to know what that bug is that’s sitting on their favorite flower on the front porch! 

Our young adults want stories ripped from the headlines. Then, using journals created by authors like Gayle Forman and Rowan Blanchard, they can find a way to process those stories and become active.

Here are some of our most popular nonfiction books this summer. Browse the books below, then come in and find your new favorite!


Ages 0 - 3

First Book of Sushi 

by Amy Wilson Sanger
A great book to spark a child's culinary curiosity or inspire finicky eaters to try new foods. This book has a lot to teach about Japanese food and culture, and it's perfect for helping to teach the all-important lesson: "Don't yuck someone else's yum." - Ethan

Ages 0 - 3

Little Scientist Board Book Set 

by Lydia Ortiz and Patrick Rafanan
Did the new Mom or Dad start out as
pre-med and then switch to psychology? Inspire their prodigy with this adorable bookset. – Jamie

Ages 3 - 6

100 Bugs!: A Counting Book 

by Kate Narita,
illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

Not just a counting book, a play-with-numbers book and a sophisticated look at bugs! While we look at the wonderful pictures, we accidentally learn grouping and addition. - Jamie

Ages 3 - 6

Pocket Bios: Blackbeard

by Claementine V. Baron,
Catherine Nolan, and Bruno Wennagel

This whole collection of little biographies is aimed at a slightly younger child than the Who Was series. A perfect introduction to interesting historical characters, starting with by favorite pirate: Blackbeard. - Jamie

Ages 6 - 8

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate

Hooray for summer science! Read all about the rocket engineer who invented the Super-Soaker in his spare time. For budding inventors, lovers of water fights, and everyone in between! – Laura

Ages 6 - 8

Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney 

by Doreen Rappaport,
illustrated by John Pomeroy

A great biography of Walt Disney for the 6 to 8 year old who wants to know more about the man who created Disney. From his boyhood to the creation of individual characters, you’ll get to know the man behind the films! – Jamie

Ages 8 - 12

Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future 

by Ashlee Vance

Adapted for young readers, nothing will inspire like this detailed look at a young entrepreneur. Told in a conversational style, I like how this book encourages the next generation to take up the baton of innovation! – Jamie

Ages 8 - 12

Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion 

by Jessica Long
with Hannah Long

Looking for a book about a strong female role-model who never gives up and has an incredible adoption story as well? I like that this is not a role model from the last century, but someone you can relate to right now. – Jamie

Ages 12+

Still Here by Rowan Blanchard

Written with raw, uncensored emotion, this book presents a unique account of the experience of emerging from childhood but feeling out of place in the adult world.  Who better to write for young adults than a young adult? Read Ethan's review.


Ages 12+

Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case 

by Chris Crowe
A fascinating look at events that changed the nation. In light of more recent occurances, this is a perfect way to begin to understand the civil rights movement. 

Read Jamie's review.


Upcoming Kids' and Young Adult Events

See our Events Calendar for Fun
Kids' Events throughout the Summer! 

Beach Days Are the Best Days

Beach days are here and we have a few suggestions for what to pack,
including a large, beautiful tote to pack it all in! 

Start with a Turkish towel - light, easy to pack, and perfect for the beach!

As the heatwave continues, remember to stay hydrated! Our brand new RJ Julia Corkcicle Canteen is stylish and triple insulated to keep your favorite beverage cold for up to 25 hours! Prefer a hot drink? It will stay hot for 12 hours in a Corkcicle!

Don't forget a hat! We have two great choices:
fun beach hat inscribed with "I Need a Cocktail" or a Connecticut
pride baseball cap
 featuring a cute heart centered right on Madison!

Happy Summer!