Usually, Independent Bookstore Day involves a few more events than it does this year, but that doesn’t mean we love it any less!
Do we miss the prize wheel? Stamping passports? Blackout poetry? The photobooth? We do! We miss it all so much! But most of all, we miss seeing all of you, and hearing about your bookstore adventures -- and, of course, recommending you our favorite books.
So here’s a list of some of the books we wish we could put in your hands on Saturday -- and don’t worry, Indie Bookstore Day will be back next year!
Sigh, Gone Phuc Tran
Using the framework of 12 classic works of literature to tell the story of his childhood, Phuc Tran has written a quintessential memoir of American assimilation. This is the nerdy, punk-rock immigrant story I never knew I needed. A perfect read for anyone who has longed to just fit in. Highly recommended!
Anodyne by Khadijah Queen
This is the only book I’ve been able to read recently. The beauty and consideration of her words has given my anxiety riddled brain some solace, some quiet.
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
The first book in the Binti trilogy is only 56 pages long, but it's 56 pages of magic! Okorafor develops an effortlessly rich, futuristic world that pulls you in so fast you won't know what hit you. And the best part is that you don't have to stop reading once the first book is over since this collection includes all three!
Miss Aluminum by Susanna Moore
Miss Aluminum is a book that shimmers, humming with life. Anecdotes of Moore's Hawaiian adolescence and eventual place in the absolute center of Hollywood's intellectual heyday are intoxicating - the classiest account of LA cool one could imagine.
An irresistible book that steals the reader away with its beguiling effervescence - an absolute enchantment.
The Golden Thread by Ravi Somaiya
This book takes a long look at Dag Hammarskjöld's career and the geopolitical conflicts he was navigating in the Congo during the Cold War in an attempt to solve the decades-long mystery of his death. The urgency and detail with which Somaiya accounts the events leading up to the crash and the evidence revealed in the nearly fifty years since is engrossing. I haven't stopped thinking about it!
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott
Reading these biographical essays made me feel SEEN! I am going to cherish the ehll out of this book for a long time! Each chapter I found myself underlining, taking notes and throwing a fist in the air.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
Murakami has a new story collection coming out next year, so now is an excellent time to get familiar with his work if you aren't already. At 24 stories, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is an excellent entry-point to a master of the form.
Gustavo the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
This big-hearted story about how easy it can be to draw new people into your life once you're fully being yourself and doing what you love -- is a treasure.
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
This book lifted my spirits so high. Meg is a young hand-letterer with some conflict in her life... and she copes by writing messages into her designs. Wicked, but fun!
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
Best YA fantasy I've read from 2020! Lipan Apache author writes a Lipan Apache protagonist who can raise ghosts -- only animals, though! Suitable for upper middle grader readers (10ish and up) if they don't mind a bit of murder. No romance (!!!) but plenty of mystery, superb characterization, and clever, immersive writing.
The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld
If you were here right now I would gush and gush over this forthcoming novel from Evie Wyld. And then I would force you to pre-order it.
What starts as a quiet story of loss and grief quickly pivots into a fierce indictment on the near constant violence women face in all its forms. Paired with Wyld's acrobatic prose and timeline tinkering, Bass Rock is as gorgeous as it is inventive; as chilling as it is empowering.
This comes out on Tuesday and I suggest you clear your schedule.
Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
It's sweet, it's hilarious, it's inclusive (it's out of stock temporarily, so add it to your wish list!).
Writing Wild by Kathryn Aalto
Aalto’s essays, filled with the lyricism and vitality of past natural landscapes and the people that experienced them, are eye-opening and inspiring! With its general focus on the women of the nature writing community—those so often overlooked in the face of the Muirs and Thoreaus— this book is a must-read for any feminists, nature lovers, or bibliophiles looking to add more than 1 great title to their TBR stack (The suggestions for supplemental reading are compelling just on their own).