Trilogy Spotlight

by Jessica on March 9, 2018

By Rebecca

Hello Literary Enthusiasts!

Let’s talk about a word that makes all book lovers giddy: trilogy. It’s that word we all hope to hear after we’ve finished a particularly good book and are praying for a sequel. It’s the neat package that great stories, especially fantasy stories, come in. So what is about trilogies that makes them so appealing? Could it be the promise of a fascinating story continuing on? Or maybe it has to do with knowing exactly what sort of ending we’re heading towards. Maybe it’s just the tidiness of the number three. Whatever it is, here is a list of some of the best trilogies out there.

The Lord of the Rings

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t read these books as a child. I read The Hobbit years before I read the trilogy which, in a way, is fitting considering the 17 year gap between the publication of The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring. Just about every reader of fantasy knows that this series is the benchmark that set the standard for the future of the genre. The Lord of the Rings is what made trilogies cool, so to speak. In terms of world-building and just a wealth of detail, Tolkien is unsurpassed. Of course, part of what makes this series so brilliant is that it appeals to the reading-for-pleasure crowd as well as the scholarly crowd. After all, Tolkien was an expert in Medieval Studies and used medieval culture as the inspiration for Middle Earth. There is plenty for academics to focus on, but Tolkien isn’t trying to show off how smart he is. You don’t need to be a history major to get wrapped up in the story.

The Magicians

Often referred to as “Harry Potter for grown-ups,” The Magicians trilogy uses tropes familiar to the fantasy genre, but turns them on their head. We have a group of young adults attending a magic college. We have a beloved children’s book series featuring a magical land that turns out to be real. Sounds familiar, right? It might seem so at first, but author Lev Grossman specifically writes within these well-known parameters of the genre in wonder to satirize them. It’s not all wonder and magic-fixes-everything in Grossman’s world, but not for a moment is this series dull. Though the set-up is familiar, the story doesn’t follow a predictable pattern. If you love those types of stories but are looking for something original and inventive, The Magicians trilogy is well worth the read.

The Passage

This is the sort of post-apocalyptic story that doesn’t feel the need to sugar coat the end of the world. Think McCarthy or Atwood. A military experiment decimates the population. North America is a wasteland. Infected people stalk the landscape. This series provides no guarantees as our heroes fight for their survival in an unrecognizable world. Author Justin Cronin keeps the story engaging with an interesting, detailed backstory to the apocalypse and the fighting spirit of the main characters. The series is dark without being depressing and keeps the reader invested. Plus, Stephen King said it was “one of the greatest achievements in American fantasy fiction.” I mean, if that doesn’t convince you what will?

All Souls

Witches, vampires, daemons, and ancient magical manuscripts? Yes please! I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for a story involving a hidden world of magic existing unseen within our own world. I mean, it’s completely possible, right? Author Deborah Harkness’s background in academia gives the story it’s grounding in the real world. Even if you’re not an expert in ancient texts, you can tell she knows what she’s talking about which gives the story even more depth. It always sounds like a cliché when people say they couldn’t put a book down, but I was so wrapped up in this story that there was something disappointing about closing it and re-entering the ordinary world. If you love the fantasy genre, this is one of those series that should not be missed.


Consider this my nod to a trilogy of the future in terms of my reading career. I haven’t yet started this series, but it is the next one on my list. Knowing Margaret Atwood’s work, I can’t imagine it’s anything short of brilliant!


What other trilogies have you loved/wept over/raged at/gotten overly invested in?

By Kelly

Happy Women’s History Month! Here are a few events around town to help you celebrate!

Friday, March 2

7:00 PM – 10:00pm – Tucasa: An Art + Music Night – Women’s History Month
Location: Sabor y Cultura 5625 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028
Price: FREE

Celebrate Women’s History Month with an art and music night featuring women. VixKytten Galore Handmade, will also be bringing some of her amazing handcrafted products for purchase!

7:00pm – Brittney Cooper, in conversation with Morgan Parker, discusses and signs Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower
Location: Vroman’s Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA
Price: FREE

Attend a discussion between author Brittney Cooper and writer Morgan Parker about Brittney’s new book Eloquent Rage. The book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one’s own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again. Brittney will be available to sign books after the talk. Get more info or buy the book here.

Saturday, March 3

12pm-International Women’s Day March and Rally
Location: Metropolitan Detention Center 535 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Price: FREE

This year’s march will start at the Metropolitan Detention Center at Alameda and Aliso Streets and will end at Los Angeles City Hall. Join us starting at 11am for pre-march activities, including live screen-printing and art-making. Organized by Af3irm.

2:00 PM – 3:30pm – Women’s History Month: Cultural Icon
Location: Norwood Library 4550 N. Peck Rd. El Monte, CA 91732
Price: FREE

Canvas picture, RosieIn celebration of Women’s History Month, come by and create an art piece inspired by the iconic Rose the Riveter.  Also, learning a little history on this cultural icon. All programs are for teens ages 12-17 years old. More information available here.

Wednesday, March 7

7:00 pm – Who Am I? How Media Stereotypes Shape Gender Roles and What We Can Do About It
Location: Caltech – Beckman Institute Auditorium
Price: Tickets are $10

This talk will highlight the media’s impact on the way women see themselves, media literacy strategies to critically analyze media images and messages and tools to empower women and their children in the digital culture.

Please RSVP @

Thursday, March 8th

7:00 pm – Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by author Nathalia Holt. (One City, One Story: 2018)
Location: All Saints Church 132 N Euclid Ave, Pasadena, CA
Price: FREE

Holt will discuss her experiences writing Rise of the Rocket Girls. A question and answer session led by Pasadena Public Library Director Michelle Perera will immediately follow. Holt’s books will be available for sale and signing following the program. Find out more information here.

Saturday, March 10

9:00am to 12:00pm – SUPERCODERS CAMP – Girls Coding and Game Making Workshop
Location: Supplyframe 30 E. Del Mar Ave. Pasadena, CA 91105
Price: Tickets are $10

Girls grades 1-4 are welcomed to attend this 1-day workshop in celebration of Women’s History Month. Girl coders will learn the basics of coding and participate in a game making session where they will design and code their own superhero games.

Tablets will be provided for all participants who will also receive free access to codeSpark Academy for 6 months (valued at $48) and will receive giveaways including T-shirts, stickers and booklets. Food and refreshments will be served. You can sign up for the workshop here.

3:00 PM – 5:00pm Women who Shaped Pasadena hosted by Pasadena Walking Tours

Location: Tour will depart from Pasadena Public Library 285 East Walnut Street Pasadena, CA
Price: Tickets are $10

On this tour you’ll walk in the footsteps of some of the women who inspired and were inspired by the City of Roses, and hear stories about their experiences and contributions to the life and growth of Pasadena, California.

Come learn about these fascinating people, make some new friends, and enjoy a pre-dinner stroll through Pasadena. All ages are welcome on this tour.

There will also be a tour Monday, March 12, 2018, from 4 pm – 6 pm if you cannot make it Saturday. Get more info or purchase tickets here.

Monday, March 19

7pm – Karen Karbo discusses and signs In Praise of Difficult Women: Life Lessons from 29 Heroines Who Dared to Break the Rules
Location: Vroman’s Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA
Price: FREE

Karen Karbo presents her new book In Praise of Difficult Women which explores the extraordinary legacies of 29 iconic women who forged their own unique paths in the world. Karen will be available to sing books after the talk. Get more info or buy the book here.

Wednesday, March 21

6pm – Chelsea Clinton signs She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History
Location: Vroman’s Bookstore 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA
Price: Tickets are $23.04 and include one copy of She Persisted Around the World.

This event is a book signing only. Chelsea Clinton will be signing her new children’s book which introduces readers to a group of thirteen incredible women who have shaped history all across the globe. Women featured include Marie Curie, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Viola Desmond, Sissi Lima do Amor, Leymah Gbowee, Caroline Herschel, Wangari Maathai, Aisha Rateb, J.K. Rowling, Kate Sheppard, Yuan Yuan Tan, Mary Verghese and Malala Yousafzai. Get more information or purchase tickets here.

Thursday, Mar 29

6:30 PM – Telling My Stories: The Pioneering Fiction of Octavia E. Butler
Location: Pasadena Museum of History 470 W Walnut St, Pasadena CA
Price: Tickets are $10 for Members and $15 for General Admission

Join Natalie Russell, Assistant Curator of Literary Collections at the Huntington Library and curator of the recent Huntington exhibition, Telling My Stories: The Pioneering Fiction of Octavia E. Butler, for this lecture in celebration of Womens History Month and in conjunction with the new exhibition Dreaming the Universe.

Tickets include light refreshments and entrance to the exhibition Dreaming the Universe: The Intersection of Science, Fiction, & Southern California starting at 5:30 pm. You can purchase tickets here.


10 Songs Inspired By Your Favorite Books

by Jessica on February 26, 2018

By Kelly

Did you know that some of your favorite books inspired songs by some of your favorite artists? Keep reading for 10 songs based on literary works!

1. “1984” By David Bowie – Inspired By 1984 By George Orwell

Books Inspired By Songs

This song by David Bowie highlights the novel’s totalitarian government and even mentions the telescreens featured in the book.

“Someday they won’t let you, but now you must agree/
The times they are a-telling, and the changing isn’t free/
You’ve read it in the tea leaves, the tracks are on TV/
Beware the savage jaw of 1984/
They’ll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air/
And tell that you’re 80, but brother, you won’t care.”

2. “White Rabbit” By Jefferson Airplane – Inspired By Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Songs Inspired By Books

Listen closely and you’ll catch references to everyone’s favorite rabbit and the “who are you” caterpillar. Jefferson Airplane even make reference to Alice herself, and her size changing adventure.

“And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall/
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call/
And call Alice, when she was just small.”

3. “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” By Green Day – Inspired By The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Songs Inspired By Books

Green Day does a great job of capturing the feeling of being an outcast in this ode to Holden Caulfield.

“There’s a boy who fogs his world and now he’s getting lazy/
There’s no motivation and frustration makes him crazy/
He makes a plan to take a stand but always ends up sitting./
Someone help him up or he’s gonna end up quitting.”

4. “Banana Co.” By  Radiohead – Inspired By One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez.

Songs Inspired By Books

The title and subject of this song is a direct reference to the corrupt company in One Hundred Years of Solitude.

“Oh, Banana Co./
We really love you, and we need you/
And oh, Banana Co./
We’d really love to believe you/
But everything’s underground/
We gotta dig it up somehow/
Yeah, yeah.”

5. “Ramble On” By Led Zeppelin – Inspired By The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Songs Inspired By Books

Lord of the Rings fans will recognize the name of Mordor, a region in Middle Earth, as well as the references to magic, the character Gollum and the ring itself.

“Mine’s a tale that can’t be told/
My freedom I hold dear/
How years ago in days of old/
When magic filled the air/
This was in the darkest depths of Mordor/
I met a girl so fair/
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up/
And slipped away with her.”

6. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” By Bruce Springsteen – Inspired By The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

Songs Inspired By Books

This homage to Tom Joad from Grapes of Wrath takes lines directly from his famous speech in the novel about working together as a community and justice.

“Now Tom said, “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beating a guy/
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries/
Where there’s a fight against the blood and hatred in the air/
Look for me, Mom, I’ll be there/
Wherever somebody’s fighting for a place to stand/
Or a decent job or a helping hand/
Wherever somebody’s struggling to be free/
Look in their eyes, Ma, and you’ll see me.”

7. “Pet Sematary” By Ramones – Inspired By Pet Sematary By  Stephen King

Songs Inspired By Books

The Ramones originally wrote this song for the 1989 movie adaption of Stephen King’s novel. It captures the ambiance of the terrifying cemetery perfectly.

“The smell of death is all around,/
And the night when the cold wind blows,/
No one cares, nobody knows./
I don’t want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,/
I don’t want to live my life again.”

8. “Moon over Bourbon Street” By Sting – Inspired By Interview with the Vampire By Anne Rice

songs Inspired By Books

Sting takes on the perspective of one of Anne Rice’s blood sucking characters from the book and describes walking around the city in the moonlight.

“It was many years ago that I became what I am/
I was trapped in this life like an innocent lamb/
Now I can only show my face at noon/
And you’ll only see me walking by the light of the moon.”

9. “Yertle The Turtle” By Red Hot Chili Peppers – Inspired By Yertle The Turtle By Dr. Seuss

Songs Inspired By Books

The Red Hot Chili Peppers channeled Dr. Seuss to write this song about his character Yertle the Turle. It even rhymes!

“I’m Yertle The Turtle/
The things I now rule/
I’m king of a cow/
I’m king of a mule.”

10. “Wuthering Heights” By Kate Bush – Inspired By Wuthering Heights By Emily Brontë

Songs Inspired By Books
After catching part of the 1967 BBC series of Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush was inspired to write this song  from the point of view of Cathy Earnshaw.

“Bad dreams in the night/
They told me I was going to lose the fight/
Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering/
Wuthering Heights/
Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy/
I’ve come home, I’m so cold/
Let me in through your window.”

9 Books Set in Pasadena

by Jessica on February 23, 2018

By Kelly

Pasadena is our home, and we love it! And writers seem to love it too, with the city making appearances in multiple novels! Here are 9 books set in our wonderful town of Pasadena.

Books Set in Pasadena1. The High Window by Raymond Chandler

A wealthy Pasadena widow with a mean streak, a missing daughter-in-law with a past, and a gold coin worth a small fortune—the elements don’t quite add up until Marlowe discovers evidence of murder, rape, blackmail, and the worst kind of human exploitation.

Books Set in Pasadena2. Summer Of The Big Bachi by Naomi Hirahara

In the foothills of Pasadena, Mas Arai is just another Japanese American gardener, his lawnmower blades clean and sharp, his truck carefully tuned. But while Mas keeps lawns neatly trimmed, his own life has gone to seed. His wife is dead. And his livelihood is falling into the hands of the men he once hired by the day. For Mas, a life of sin is catching up to him. And now bachi—the spirit of retribution—is knocking on his door.

It begins when a stranger comes around, asking questions about a nurseryman who once lived in Hiroshima, a man known as Joji Haneda. By the end of the summer, Joji will be dead and Mas’s own life will be in danger. For while Mas was building a life on the edge of the American dream, he has kept powerful secrets: about three friends long ago, about two lives entwined, and about what really happened when the bomb fell on Hiroshima in August 1945.

Books Set In Pasadena3. Colorado Boulevard (A CRUSH NOVEL) By Phoef Sutton

When K.C. Zerbe, the honorary brother (and roommate) of LA’s toughest bodyguard/bouncer, Crush, is kidnapped, Crush springs into action. Unraveling the mystery takes him to Zerbe’s estranged billionaire father, who’s obsessed with building California’s long-promised bullet train, as well as to Pasadena’s famed Rose Parade along Colorado Boulevard. Along the way Crush has to revisit a traumatic event from his teenage years that’s come back to haunt him. (This is the third book in the much-praised Crush series full of action, suspense, humor, and mystery).

Books Set in Pasadena4. Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith

Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.
When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay. Now everyone is a suspect—family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own. In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith’s Pasadena is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California’s City of Roses.

Books Set In Pasadena5. The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena (Goosebumps, No 38) by R. L. Stine
(Middle Grade)

Becoming sick of the endless hot weather in their Pasadena home, siblings Jordan and Nicole Blake wish for a real winter and are delighted with an Alaskan family vacation, until they come face-to-face with the Abominable Snowman.

Books Set in Pasadena6. Pasadena: A Novel by David Ebershoff
(Historical Fiction)

From the award-winning author of The Danish Girl and The Rose City, Pasadena tells the story of Linda Stamp, a fishergirl born in 1903 on a coastal onion farm, and the three men who change her life: her jealous brother, Edmund; Bruder, the orphan Linda’s father brings home from World War I; and a Pasadena orange rancher named Willis Poore. The novel spans Linda’s adventurous and romantic life, weaving the tales of her Mexican mother and her German-born father with those of the rural Pacific Coast of her youth and of the small, affluent city, Pasadena, that becomes her home. Pasadena is a novel of passion and history, about a woman and a place in perpetual transformation.

Books Set In Pasadena7. Helen of Pasadena by Lian Dolan

Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit that she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd, never finished that graduate degree in Classics, and never had that second baby. But the rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon fiber artists, even if she’ll never be on the inside.

And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her “forever” house, and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Patrick O’Neill, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O’Neill’s research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to reinvent herself. Ancient mysteries to solve Charity events to plan School admissions advisors to charm If Helen wasn’t so distracted by her incredibly attractive boss, she might be able to pull off this new life.

Helen’s world widens to include a Hollywood star, a gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress, the best Armenian real estate agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O’Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.
With its keen social observations, laugh-out-loud scenes and whip-smart dialogue, Helen of Pasadena delivers humor, insight and wisdom on reinventing yourself.

Books Set in Pasadena8. Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives except Maggie. At 26, she’s still serving coffee at The Beanery Coffee House, while her friends are getting married, having babies, and having real careers. Even Olivia, Maggie’s best friend from childhood, is getting married to the doctor with whom she lives. Maggie’s roommate? Her dog Solo (his name says it all). The man in Maggie’s life? Well there isn’t one, except the guy she has a crush on, Domenic, who works with her at the coffee shop as a bus boy.Maggie and Olivia have been best friends since they were in grade school. Both fatties, they befriended each other when no one else would. Now grown-up, Maggie is still shopping in the “women’s section” while Olivia went and had gastric-bypass surgery in search of the elusive size 2, the holy grail for girls everywhere. So now Olivia’s thin and blonde and getting married, and Maggie’s the fat bridesmaid. Ain’t life grand? In this wonderful debut novel that is sure to remind readers of Jennifer Weiner’s Good In Bed, Liza Orr is both witty and wise, giving voice to women everywhere who wish for just once that they could forget about their weight. (P.S. Vroman’s even gets a shout out in this one!!)

Books Set in Pasadena9. Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition edited by Patricia O’Sullivan

The historic, handsome city in the shadow of Los Angeles has been a creative hotbed since the Arroyo Arts & Crafts scene of the early twentieth century. This literary journal gathers short fiction by such Pasadena-area writers as Michelle Huneven (Blame), Victoria Patterson (This Vacant Paradise), Jervey Tervalon (Understand This), Naomi Hirahara (Snakeskin Shamisen), Lian Dolan (Helen of Pasadena), Ron Koertge (The Arizona Kid), Dianne Emley (the Nan Vining mysteries), and Jim Krusoe (Parsifal).
Produced as a companion to LitFest Pasadena (May 2013), Literary Pasadena: The Fiction Edition is the first in an annual series that will move on to include editions in poetry, essays, humor, and more.

Celebrate Black History Month

by Jessica on February 16, 2018

By Rebecca

Hello Readers!

February is well underway and that means we are in the midst of Black History Month!

One of the best ways to celebrate and honor a culture is by reading its literature, because as we bookworms know, literature is a platform where people can speak their truth and where diverse voices can be heard. Literature is powerful and it dares to get at the heart of things, critiquing society and commenting on the human condition.

There are so many great works out there by black writers that it would be impossible to list them all. Black writers have given us some of the most powerful literary works, some of which have been honored by the National Book Award over the years. Below are a few such books that we at Vroman’s recommend for any month of the year!


black history monthRalph Ellison “Invisible Man” 1953

black history monthAlice Walker “The Color Purple” 1983

black history monthCharles Johnson “Middle Passage” 1990

black history monthColson Whitehead “The Underground Railroad” 2016

black history monthJesmyn Ward “Sing, Unburied, Sing” 2017


black history monthTa-Nehisi Coates “Between the World and Me” 2015


black history monthRobin Coste-Lewis “Voyage of the Sable Venus” 2015

Young People’s Literature:

black history monthJacqueline Woodson “Brown Girl Dreaming” 2014

5 Bookish Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

by Jessica on February 12, 2018

By Kelly

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for us to show and celebrate the love we have for those important to us: our books. We’re just kidding of course. But, there is a way to incorporate your penchant for books when you are celebrating this Valentine’s. Whether you are spending it with your significant other, partner, family, children, friends, or yourself, here are 5 bookish ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Literary Valetine's Day

1. Give a “punny” card.

Demonstrate your love with a pun-tastic Valentine’s Card. Bonus points if the pun is literary, but really any pun will do. Below are some of our favorites that we carry in the store. Or if you are creatively inclined you can always make your own!

2. Go on a blind date with a book.

Blind dates with books can be a fun and adventurous way to broaden your reading horizons. Have someone pick out a book for you to read, without telling you what it is about first. Our booksellers would be happy to help pair you up with the perfect blind date.

Literary Valentine's Day

3. Have a bookish game night.

Gather all your friends for a night of literary themed games. Some fun games to play include Bring Your Own Book, where participants use lines from books to satisfy prompts. We also love Bards Dispense Profanity, which is similar to Cards Against Humanity. But in this version all answers come from Shakespeare’s Plays. And of course, who wouldn’t want to find clues and solve mysteries like Sherlock Holmes?

4. Spend the day in a bookstore.

Treat yourself to a day surrounded by books, and spend Valentine’s Day with us. If you can’t make to us in Pasadena, never fear! With great bookstores like Book Soup, The Last Bookstore, Skylight, Small World Books and all of our other friends, you have access to books no matter where you are!

Literary Valentine's Day

5. Make a dinner inspired by your favorite character or novel.

Nothing says Iove like a home cooked meal. Why not make food straight out of your favorite novel? Whip up some butterbeer or mutton in onion ale broth to share with the ones you love.


No matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, we hope you spend it surrounded by those you love. Happy Valentine’s Day friends.

Take a Listen: Bookish Podcasts

by Jessica on January 26, 2018

Podcasts are all the rage right now. They’re perfect for commuting, working, exercising or when you just want to take a breather and sit around and listen to the radio. There is quite literally something out there for everyone, too. Including us bibliophiles. We’ve put together some of the top rated literary podcasts out there for you to take a listen to.


This is the podcast version of the wonderful KCRW show. It is an absolute must for the serious reader. Bookworm showcases writers of fiction and poetry and covers the gamut from established to new and emerging writers. All hosted by the incredibly soothing voice of Michael Silverblatt. Some of the recent guests have been Anne Fadiman, Jennifer Egan and George Saunders. Subscribe HERE.

Book Riot Podcasts
We are huge fans of Book Riots online content! They have fun lists and information pieces about the literary world everyday. They also have a slew of great podcasts to please your ears. They’re podcasts range from The Book Riot Podcast – a general overview of the literary world with topics like talking about the literary award nominations, to Roxane Gay’s new advice column to audiobook rundowns. They have one called Recommended in which authors recommend books for you! They also have one dedicated to mysteries and one dedicated to Young Adult books. Plus, a few others. Something for everyone. Check ’em out on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or your favorite podcast provider.

Literary Disco
With the tagline, Where Books Come to Dance, you really can’t go wrong! Literary Disco is hosted by Julia Pistell, Tod Goldberg and Rider Strong. Three friends who happen to love books. They read everything, and we mean everything fiction, nonfiction, poetry, plays and more. Then they talk about it! They periodically bring on authors as well. Check out more about them HERE and make sure to subscribe too!

Between the Covers
This one is hosted by David Naimon in Portland, Oregon. He covers fiction, nonfiction and poetry and interviews today’s best writers, both established and up-and-coming. Some of the latest episodes have featured Celeste Ng, Eileen Myles and Peter Rock. Check out his blog HERE.

H.P. Lovecraft Literary
A podcast about the works of H.P. Lovecraft, the writers that inspired him and the literature he inspired. Each episode, the two hosts Chad Fifer and Christopher Lackey discuss a piece of weird fiction. Voice actors bring the texts to life and music helps to create the atmosphere. Super fun listen! More info HERE.


Do you listen to any of these on a regular basis?
Are there any you would recommend? Let us know in the comments!





Feel Inspired This January!

by Jessica on January 22, 2018

Breathe In, Breathe Out. It’s a brand new year after a year that had been a little tougher than others. We’re starting anew, the air seems different. But how can we keep that momentum going?
How can we feel inspired this year?
Inspiration can comes in many forms and come at many different times throughout the year.

Today, we’re talking about some great inspirational books to help catapult us into this brand new year.


The Judgment Detox
by Gabrielle Bernstein
The Judgment Detox
is an interactive six-step process that calls on spiritual principles from the text A Course in Miracles, Kundalini yoga, the Emotional Freedom Technique (aka Tapping), meditation, prayer and metaphysical teachings. I’ve demystified these principles to make them easy to commit to and apply in your daily life. Each lesson builds upon the next to support true healing. When you commit to following the process and become willing to let go, judgment, pain and suffering will begin to dissolve. And the miracles will keep coming. Once you begin to feel better you start to release your resistance to love. The more you practice these steps, the more love enters into your consciousness and into your energetic vibration. When you’re in harmony with love, you receive more of what you want. Your energy attracts its likeness. So when you shift your energy from defensive judgment to free-flowing love your life gets awesome. You’ll attract exactly what you need, your relationships will heal, your health will improve and you’ll feel safer and more secure. One loving thought at a time creates a miracle. Follow these steps to clear all blocks, spread more love and live a miraculous life.

Were my goals my own, or simply what I thought I should want?
How much of life had I missed from underplanning or overplanning?
How could I be kinder to myself?
How could I better say “no” to the trivial many to better say “yes” to the critical few?
How could I best reassess my priorities and my purpose in this world?

To find answers, I reached out to the most impressive world-class performers in the world, ranging from wunderkinds in their 20s to icons in their 70s and 80s. No stone was left unturned. This book contains their answers–practical and tactical advice from mentors who have found solutions. Whether you want to 10x your results, get unstuck, or reinvent yourself, someone else has traveled a similar path and taken notes. This book, Tribe of Mentors, includes many of the people I grew up viewing as idols or demi-gods. Less than 10% have been on my podcast (The Tim Ferriss Show), making this a brand-new playbook of playbooks. No matter your challenge or opportunity, something in these pages can help.

With advice on everything from mastering social media to navigating office politics and the seemingly impossible work/life balance, Work It arms every woman with the courage and skills to achieve success and happiness on her terms.

 In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is–a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited–“not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.


Whatever it is you are looking to do, to improve on, to start –
feel inspired and get to it!
Make it happen in 2018!



Most Anticipated Books in 2018!

by Jessica on January 19, 2018

A new year, a new crop of incredible reads!
Here is a little list of what is coming up this year in books.
There’s a little something for everyone in this list. We’re only covering the next few months.
There is plenty more where this came from for the rest of the year!
What are you most looking forward to?

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden,
by Denis Johnson
(Jan. 16)
The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is the long-awaited new story collection from Denis Johnson. Written in the luminous prose that made him one of the most beloved and important writers of his generation, this collection finds Johnson in new territory, contemplating the ghosts of the past and the elusive and unexpected ways the mysteries of the universe assert themselves.Finished shortly before Johnson’s death, this collection is the last word from a writer whose work will live on for many years to come.

The Hazel Wood
by Melissa Albert
(Jan. 30)
One of the most anticipated debuts of the year! Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away–by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began–and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

The Monk of Mokha
by Dave Eggers
(Jan. 30)
Mokhtar Alkhanshali grew up in San Francisco, one of seven siblings brought up by Yemeni immigrants in a tiny apartment. At age twenty-four, unable to pay for college, he works as a doorman, until a chance encounter awakens his interest in coffee and its rich history in Yemen. Reinventing himself, he sets out to learn about coffee cultivation, roasting and importing. He travels to Yemen and visits farms in every corner of the country, collecting samples, eager to improve cultivation methods and help Yemeni farmers bring their coffee back to its former glory. And he is on the verge of success when civil war engulfs Yemen in 2015. The U.S. embassy closes, Saudi bombs begin to rain down on the country and Mokhtar is trapped in Yemen.

Feel Free
by Zadie Smith
(Feb. 6)
Arranged into five sections–In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free–this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network–and Facebook itself–really about? “It’s a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore.” Why do we love libraries? “Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.” What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? “So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we’d just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes–and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.”

Heart Berries
by Terese Marie Mailhot
(Feb. 6)
Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is Heart Berries, a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father–an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist–who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadows of shame.

The House of Impossible Beauties
by Joseph Cassara
(Feb. 6)
It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.

As mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences.

I Am I Am I Am
by Maggie O’Farrell
(Feb. 6)
I Am, I Am, I Am is Maggie O’Farrell’s astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a disturbed man on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter–for whom this book was written–from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life’s myriad dangers.

by Tara Westover
(Feb. 20)
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing ties with those closest to you. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

“Educated shines a light on a part of our country that we too often overlook.”
–J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
by Michelle McNamara
(Feb. 27)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark–the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death–offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic–and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
(March 6)
Twenty-four-year-old Tomi Adeyemi’s YA debut is looking like a phenomenon. Kicking off a Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone has already reportedly sold film rights around the seven figures and is generating buzz for its sharp racial commentary. The author calls the book an “allegory for the modern black experience,” and finds fantasy the perfect mode for conveying complex ideas without getting preachy.

Whiskey & Ribbons
by Leesa Cross-Smith
(March 6)
Whiskey & Ribbons is told in three intertwining, melodic voices: Evi in present day, as she’s snowed in with Dalton during a freak blizzard; Eamon before his murder, as he prepares for impending fatherhood and grapples with the danger of his profession; and Dalton, as he struggles to make sense of his life next to Eamon’s, and as he decides to track down the biological father he’s never known.

We are so excited to be hosting Deepark Chopra!
He will be discussing his brand new book, The Healing Self.
Tickets are still available and they can be found on Eventbrite.
Pick up yours HERE.