Young Readers League 2015!

by Jessica on October 7, 2015

Vroman’s is pleased to announce a new Young Readers League program and selection,
sponsored by the Friends of the Pasadena Public Library!

This exciting program, in the spirit of One City, One Story
was designed as a school-wide community reading extravaganza.
Last year over 1,000 children in the Pasadena community participated in some aspect of our program –
by reading the book or attending one of our events, which included cape making,
comic book workshops, a pajama party and more.

Our Fall 2015 Selection is… Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

This wonderful debut novel gives us a new spin on a fairy tale classic.
Rump has never known his full name – his mother died before she could tell him.
So all his life he’s been teased and bullied for his half-a-name.
But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change.
For Rump discovers he can spin straw into gold.  Magical gold.

His best friend Red Riding Hood warns him that magic is dangerous – and she’s right!
That gold is worth its weight in trouble.
And with each thread he spins, Rump weaves himself deeper into a curse.

There’s only one way to break the spell:
Rump must go on a quest to find his true name,
along the way defending himself against pixies, trolls, poison apples, and one beautiful but vile-mannered queen.
The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship – and a cheeky sense of humor – Rump just might triumph in the end.

Rump is available now!
You can stop in and grab a copy or give us a call at 626-449-5320.

This fall, Vroman’s Bookstore and the Pasadena Public Library will be hosting all kinds of special Rump events and activities.
In November we’re pleased to bring author Liesl Shurtliff to Pasadena where she will visit local schools, the Boys & Girls Club and the Pasadena Central Library (to meet you!).

Upcoming Young Readers League Events:
Please note the location of each event and registration information.

Thursday October 8, 5:30pm
Teacher Appreciation Night at Vroman’s Main Store

Saturday October 17, 4:00pm
Rump Kickoff at Vroman’s Main Store

Join us for an afternoon of Rump-inspired crafts!
Learn to paint with “straw” to create your own masterpiece,
make your own gold putty and decorate a square for our story quilt.

Wednesday October 21, 7:00pm
Mother Daughter Book Club at Pasadena Central Library

Discussion of Rump. Girls and moms,
join us to discuss books that inspire compassion, self-esteem, and courage
in the face of social pressues, as we explore what it means to be a strong, confident young woman!
To register call 626-744-4066 option 4.
(For girls 10 and up and their mothers or an adult guest of their choice.)

Tuesday October 27, 10:00am
Fairy Tale Storytime at Vroman’s Hastings Ranch

(Ages 3+)

Sunday November 1, 2:00pm
PARTY WITH RUMP at Vroman’s Main Store

Our friend Rump (aka Rumpelstiltskin) is throwing a party at Vroman’s!
Come prepared for surprises and special guests.

Tuesday November 3, 4:00pm
Gnome Home at Hastings Branch Library

Legend has it that if you build a tiny house in your yard, you just might attract a fairy or gnome.
Grab a basket and head outside to gather your building materials.
Bring all your materials to create a fantastic structure, to be envied by all the neighborhood gnomes.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the supplies, additional building materials will be provided.
Registration required. 626-744-7262. Ages 10+

Wednesday November 4, 11:00am
Magic Show at San Rafael Branch Library

Like Kessler, the traveling magician in Rump,
join us for a magic show!
For all ages.

Thursday November 5, 4:00pm
Treasure Dig at Vroman’s Hastings Ranch

Rump and his friends spend their days digging for gold in the mines.
Put your digging skills to work in our sand pool filled with golden treasures.
Exchange your gold for more games and prizes, but beware of the pixies…
Ages 4-12.

Thursday November 5, 6:00pm
Family Fairytale Night at Vroman’s Hastings Ranch

Our monthly trivia night takes a fairytale turn.
Bring a team to test your knowledge, munch on snacks,
and possibly find a place on our Wall of Fame!
(Ages 10+ and adults)

Monday November 9, 4:30pm
Rump’s Restaurant at Cental Library, Studio on 4th

Come have food filled fun as we create food and food-structures.
We’ll make butter to put on Miller’s bread, build a spaghetti tower for Rump’s gold and
create some tasty troll sludge. Yum!
To register call 626-744-4066 option 4. Ages 8+

Wednesday November 11, 4:30pm
Kids Book Club at Pasadena Central Library, Children’s Room

Join as we discuss and have fun with this year’s Young Readers League book: Rump.
Register and pick up your book at the Children’s Desk.
Call 626-744-4066 option 4. Kids in grades 3-5. 

Thursday November 12, 3:00pm
Teen Discover Day at Allendale Library

To celebrate Young Readers League, Allendale Library invites students to discover something about the novel, Rump.
Will we weave gold? Will we make gones or pixies to creep through the dark forest?
Come and see – you may be surprised! For teens.

Thursday November 12, 3:30pm
Gold Rainbow Looms at Santa Catalina Branch Library

Want to be like Rump and weave your own bracelet?
Kids ages 7 & up are welcome to make their
very own bracelets using the Rainbow Loom!

Saturday November 14, 11:00am
Gnome Painting at Linda Vista Library

Families are invited to build their very own magical Gnome!
Call 626-744-4066 to register.
Ages 7 +

Saturday November 14, 4:30pm
Kids Writing Workshop at Pasadena Central Library, Children’s Room

Are you a dreamer? Do you love to write?
It’s never too early to start writing your own stories.
Call the Children’s Desk to register.
626-744-4066 option 4.
Ages 8-12.

Sunday November 15, 2:00pm
Rhyme Off at Vroman’s Hastings Ranch

Rump is a master of rhymes, so at this event,
we’ll do a writing exercise to create our own rhymes.
Participants can share their best rhymes
out loud and the most clever performers will win prizes.
(Ages 8+)

Sunday November 15, 4:00pm
Tribe of Endless Reading Book Club at Vroman’s Main Store

Join us for a discussion and snacks at this special meeting of our middle grade book club.
Meet upstairs by the Squishables.
Ages 9-13.

Monday November 16, 3:00pm
Maleficent Movie at Allendale Library

Angelina Jolie stars as a teenager who is a powerful princess and
respected winged fairy helping to rule a magical land full of strange creatures.
Rated PG. Runs 94 minutes.

Tuesday November 17, 4:30pm
Tween Book Club at Hastings Library

Students ages 9-12 are invited to read great books and
make new friends by participating in a special book club just for Tweens.
Sign up by calling 626-744-7262.

Tuesday November 17, 6:00pm
Meet the Author at Central Library

Meet the author, learn the truth, search for gold! Celebrate Rump!
Meet author Liesl Shurtliff, go on a scavenger hunt, don disguises in the photo booth,
snag a prize, and munch on themed snacks. Free event!

Thursday November 19, 3:30pm
Trees of Gold at Hill Avenue Library

Create a tree or a whole forest withs leaves of gold.
All materials are provided. For all ages.

Thursday November 19, 4:30pm
Teen Hand Lettering at Central Library, Studio on 4th

Transform your handwriting into artful drawings.
Style a phrase or your name and develop an illustrative concept that matches its mood and tone.
Led by Alethea Allarey.
For teens. To register call 626-744-4246.

Saturday November 21, 3:00pm
Doll Making at Lamanda Park Library

Sew your own Rump inspired doll with artists Liane Shih.
Call 626-744-7266 to register. Ages 8+


The famous Clifton’s Cafeteria is on the verge of opening back up and the excitement is through the roof! Edmond J. Clinton III has just published a book about the story of Clifton’s. We just so happen to have him for a book talk and signing on October 11 at 4pm. We were lucky enough to pick his brain on a few things ranging from his favorite Clinfton’s dish to the process of writing the book. Take a look at his answers below and we can’t wait to see you on the 11th!

Q: After all these years, why was now the time to write and release a book on Clifton’s?

A: With all of the excitement of Clifton’s Cafeteria re-opening I wanted Los Angeles to know the story of my grandfather who was the man who started it all. His is a fascinating story. As the oldest grandchild of Clifford and Nelda Clinton, I felt it was time to step up and tell an insider’s account of the Clifton’s story. Having a full-time medical practice, it has taken me seven years to research and collect materials to contextualize Clifford Clinton’s important place in Los Angeles history.

Q: Why is Clifton’s important to the history of Los Angeles?

A: Clifton’s was a beacon of hope and a source of nourishing food in the Depression era. It continued its mission of providing healthful food for the body and soul throughout its life span. Because of the renown of the restaurant, Clifford Clinton was able to use his influence to uncover corruption in local government and set the city on a course of reform.

Q: Did you run into any challenges while working on the book?
How were those overcome?

A: The biggest challenge was to establish a timeline of events described in my grandfather’s unpublished memoirs in the context of Los Angeles history (which was complicated at best). This was helped immensely by the esteemed Los Angeles historian Tom Sitton who provided guidance and orientation in the evolution of this story. Dr. Sitton also wrote the Foreword to the book. Many hours of valuable research in libraries including the Huntington Library, USC and UCLA provided primary sources to support my efforts.

Q: What was your favorite part about working and being a part of Clifton’s?

A: I worked for Clifton’s during vacations in high school and college. I learned by doing with many associations with Clifton’s workers, managers, and my father, aunt, and uncle. In retrospect, these connections were very valuable in later life.

Q: What is your favorite dish served at Clifton’s?

A: Strawberry pie—without a doubt.

Q: Can you narrow it down to just one favorite memory of all the years of Clifton’s?  

A: No—there were so many! But, if I get really practical, I guess it was writing job descriptions during my college summer break with the assistance of my dear Aunt Jean who was in charge of food operations. That’s a skill I’ve used many, many times throughout my career—one you don’t learn in medical school.



We are pretty dang excited to be hosting Greg Renoff for his new book, Van Halen Rising on 10/9! He’s also be bringing a special guest along with him that we can’t quite disclose at this moment. In order to get YOU all more excited about this event we asked Greg 6 questions about the writing of this book and the process behind it. Take a read and join us on the 9th!

1. What sparked the idea for an all-encompassing Van Halen book?

I grew up a big Van Halen fan, and then went on to be a historian. Over the years, I’d read every Van Halen interview I could get my hands on and every Van Halen book that had appeared. But I was struck by the fact that there was one big gap in the band’s history: their early years in Pasadena. I thought if that period of time was investigated, fans like me would get a good understanding of how the band’s talents developed to a degree that they could record a debut that to date has sold 10 million copies and steal the show from a veteran act like Black Sabbath when they toured together in 1978. I figured as a historian and a fan, I was the right person to take this project on.

2. How was the research for this kind of book?
How long did the whole process last? I did more than 230 interviews with everyone from their earliest fans to luminaries like former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, and visited archives from coast to coast. This included stops at Pasadena City College and the New York Public Library. I got started in 2009 and delivered the manuscript to ECW Press in the fall of 2014.

3. Did you find out anything surprising while putting the book together?
Lots of things, but probably the most surprising thing was how important David Lee Roth was to shaping the band’s radio-friendly sound. Since guitarist Edward Van Halen wrote the vast majority of the band’s music, it was illuminating to discover that Roth pushed Edward and the others in the band to write commercial material rather than more traditional heavy metal music.  Another surprising discovery was that many of the stories I’d heard about the GIANT backyard parties that Van Halen threw in Pasadena in the early 1970s were largely true!

4. Were there any major challenges that came about while in the process?
If so what were the solutions to those? There are always setbacks along the way; I think one challenge was trying to make the case to presses that an academic historian with a PhD could tell this tale in a way that would be engaging to a broad reading audience. The solution came once my book proposal got into the hands of the good folks at ECW Press. They believed in me and my project.

5. The readers must know…what’s your favorite Van Halen song/and or album?
It’s hard to choose, but today I will say, “I’m The One” from Van Halen’s 1978 debut album.

6. What’s next for you?
I’ve got a number of ideas, but I think it’s likely
that I’ll write a sequel to Van Halen Rising.


Batman Day – In Photos!

by Jessica on September 30, 2015

Batman Day was this past weekend on 9/26/2015. We hosted a little soiree of our own here. We had special guest Paul Dini give a little talk and book signing to some awesome fans. He also played a trivia game with the crowd and gave away some really great prizes. Some that aren’t event out yet! It took us a few days to recover from how much fun we had but here’s a little recap in photos! Can’t wait for Batman Day 2016! 

Of course there were Batman themed treats!

The 170+ fans in attendance wait patiently for Paul Dini!

The man of the hour, Paul Dini!

A crowd shot of Paul speaking!


The Promise by Robert Crais!

by Jessica on September 28, 2015

The wonderful crime writer, Robert Crais has a new book dropping on November 10th (making this his 20th novel! What?!). We’re big fans of him and his work over here and can’t wait for a new read! The Promise joins his series characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike with the heroes of Suspect: LAPD K-9 officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie.

In honor of Maggie, special tags were created to showcase in all different ways. They’re not just for your pets (though they look great on them) they can also be used as earrings, necklaces…you name it.

We hopped onto the Maggie tag train to show our support for The Promise. I modeled the tags with my 25 lb. tuxedo cat, Jamal (BFF necklaces!).

Booksellers are encouraged to post similar pictures on Crais’ Facebook page,
website or Instagram (@robertcrais)!

We’ll be hosting him the day after the release of The Promise
on 11/11 at 7pmso be sure to mark your calendars for that one.
See you then!

To read a full description of The Promise click HERE!

— Jess


Banned Books Week 2015!

by Jessica on September 23, 2015

Every year around this time we have the privilege of celebrating
Banned Books Week!
This year we are celebrating from
Sunday Sept. 27-Saturday Oct. 3.

If you’re not quite sure what exactly Banned Books Week is here is a little background.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Even today books get challenged more than you would think. Luckily, for us and the work of the people mentioned above we are able to keep these challenged books out in the public. Definitely worth some celebrations!

The Children’s Department at the Main Store always does a spectacular display every year and of course this year is no different. This display takes up a whole wall and really should be seen in person but here are a few photos so you can get a glimpse of it!

Over at our Hastings Ranch location there are a number of events throughout the week to help celebrate. The full list of events is below and we hope you’ll be able to make one, two or all of them! It’s a great week to get involved in the community.

Tuesday September 29, 10am
CENSORED Storytime at Hastings Ranch! 

We’ll be reading some of our favorite picture books that have been banned.
The titles are sure to surprise you!

Wednesday September 30, 9am
CENSORED Day at Hastings Ranch!
Say the code word CENSORED at our Book Information desk and receive a special Banned Books pin made by our booksellers.

Thursday October 1, 6pm
CENSORED Trivia at Hastings Ranch! 
Our monthly trivia night will include a special section on banned books.
So brush up on your literary knowledge before attending!

Friday October 2, 4pm
CENSORED Bookmark Craft at Hastings Ranch! 
At this kids’ craft, we’ll start with a brief discussion about what Banned Books Week is,
followed by all making bookmarks celebrating the week.

Saturday October 3, 6pm
CENSORED Mixer at Hastings Ranch! 
Join us for open mic readings of our and your favorite paragraphs and poems from books that have been banned. Sign up for a slot in advance by emailing Danielle at,
or show upand we’ll squeeze you in that night.
We’ll also have some Censored Cocktails (as in mocktails, no alcohol).

Celebrate Banned Books all this coming week but really every day! If you’re celebrating in any patricular way let us know! We’d love to hear what everyone is doing.
To visit the official Banned Books site to find out what’s happening in other parts of the world
click HERE


Quench your thirst with these drought picks written by our President, Allison Hill!
The full article is below but you can also see it HERE.

Summer may be almost over but the heat and the drought continue with no sign yet of the much anticipated El Niño. The headlines and sound bites offer only a drop in the bucket when it comes to understanding our serious drought, so here’s my list of required drought-related reading.


SoCal residents talk about conservation now the way we used to obsess about secret routes and beating traffic: Astroturf lawns. Buckets for rain water. The dirty car pledge ( But for more specific tips than the “Serious Drought, Save Water” signs on the freeway, check out “The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape” or“Water: Use Less — Save More: 100 Water-Saving Tips for the Home.” Both are great practical guides for adults, and for children I recommend: “Why Should I Save Water?”


For a better understanding of how our modern urban water systems even work (How does water get to our faucet?!), “Water 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource” is a thorough explanation from one of California’s own: Berkeley professor and co-director of the Berkeley Water Center, David Sedlak.


When “Cadillac Desert” was published, The Washington Post said, “ ‘Cadillac Desert’ is timely and of national importance. Hurry up and read this book.”

That was 1993. This oldie but goodie, still relevant today, is a beautifully written and researched book that discusses the economics, politics, and ecology of water in the American West.

Like many SoCal residents my knowledge of L.A.’s history with water derived mainly from the film “Chinatown” until I read this next book. “Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles” is the amazing true story behind how Mulholland brought water to L.A. Like “Chinatown,” it’s a powerful tale of greed, secrets and lies.


And if you can’t handle the truth, or prefer to wash your truth down with a little fiction, there are some great drought-inspired cautionary tales and water war dystopian novels that will definitely inspire you to reduce your showers to five minutes:

J.G. Ballard, the author known for “dystopian modernity,” first published “The Burning World,”later renamed “The Drought,” in 1964. Typical of Ballard, the story is thoroughly original but still depicts a scene that is a little too close for comfort: a global drought, brought on by industrial waste, has brought the world to the brink of disaster.

“Memory of Water” is a similar concept — global warming, brought on by industrial waste, has brought the world to the brink of disaster. But this is a more lyrical approach: As wars are waged over water, 17-year-old Noria Kaitio is following in her father’s footsteps to become a tea master and keeper of the hidden water sources. Emmi Itäranta manages a rarity: a dystopian novel with hope.

Then there’s this summer’s “The Water Knife,” the much anticipated, dystopian drought thriller that was one of the buzz books at this year’s BookExpo America.

Water is the new oil as rain evaporates before it hits the ground and the rich are defined by their access to water. Edgy and cinematic, with three fascinating characters, a lot of violence, and an ending you won’t soon forget.


And if you long for a simpler time when severe drought/climate change was simply “a long dry spell,” then I recommend the Texas classic, “The Time it Never Rained.”

Written by one of the great western writers, with 40 novels to his credit, Elmer Kelton tells the story of a drought that devastates a small Texas town in the 1950s and the rancher who rages against it — a true man vs. nature conflict.

Allison K Hill is president and chief executive officer of Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena and Book Soup in West Hollywood, and a contributor to The Huffington Post book section. Reach Hill through her website,, or follow her at


BIG Day of New Releases TODAY!!

by Jessica on September 15, 2015

These temps just won’t quit! But the rain is a little reprieve. What’s better than browsing a bookstore as the rain pours down outside? Not much! Check out the new releases hitting the shelves today!


The Art of the Memoir
by Mary Karr
Lit Crit

For thirty years Karr has also taught the form, winning graduate teaching prizes for her highly selective seminar at Syracuse, where she mentored such future acclaimed authors as Cheryl Strayed, Keith Gessen, and Koren Zailckas. In The Art of Memoir, she synthesizes her expertise as professor and therapy patient, writer and spiritual seeker, recovered alcoholic and “black-belt sinner,” providing a unique window into the mechanics and art of the form that is as irreverent, insightful, and entertaining as her own work in the genre.

Anchored by excerpts from her favorite memoirs and anecdotes from fellow writers’ experience, The Art of Memoir lays bare Karr’s own process. (Plus all those inside stories about how she dealt with family and friends get told and the dark spaces in her own skull probed in depth.) As she breaks down the key elements of great literary memoir, she breaks open our concepts of memory and identity, and illuminates the cathartic power of reflecting on the past; anybody with an inner life or complicated history, whether writer or reader, will relate.

The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray
by Robert Schnakenberg

He’s the sort of actor who can do “Hamlet” and “Charlie’s Angels” in the same year. He shuns managers and agents and once agreed to voice the part of “Garfield” because he mistakenly believed it was a Coen brothers film. Bill Murray’s extraordinary career is rich with fascinating anecdotes, contradictions, and mystery, from his early success on “Saturday Night Live” and the biggest blockbusters of the 1980s (“Caddyshack, Stripes, Tootsie, Ghostbusters“) to his reinvention as a hipster icon in the early 21st century (in films like “Lost in Translation” and “Moonrise Kingdom“). And now you can get your fill of Bill: part biography, part critical appreciation, part love letter, and all fun, “The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray” chronicles every single Murray performance in loving detail, relating all the milestones, yarns, and controversy in the life of this beloved but enigmatic performer.These pages are packed with color film stills and behind-the-scenes photography.

The Blue Guitar
by John Banville

Equally self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating, our narrator, Oliver Otway Orme. An absurdity. You could hang me over the door of a pawnshop ), is a painter of some renown and a petty thief who has never before been caught and steals only for pleasure. Both art and the art of thievery have been part of his endless effort at possession, but now he’s pushing fifty, feels like a hundred, and things have not been going so well. Having recognized the man-killing crevasse that exists between what he sees and any representation he might make of it, he has stopped painting. And his last act of thievery the last time he felt its secret shiver of bliss has been discovered. The fact that the purloined possession was the wife of the man who was, perhaps, his best friend has compelled him to run away from his mistress, his home, his wife; from whatever remains of his impulse to paint; and from a tragedy that has long haunted him and to sequester himself in the house where he was born. Trying to uncover in himself the answer to how and why things have turned out as they have, excavating memories of family, of places he has called home, and of the way he has apprehended the world around him ( one of my eyes is forever turning towards the world beyond ), Olly reveals the very essence of a man who, in some way, has always been waiting to be rescued from himself.

Building Art (Frank Gehry)
by Paul Goldberger

From Pulitzer Prize winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger: an engaging, nuanced exploration of the life and work of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. This first full-fledged critical biography presents and evaluates the work of a man who has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture in his innovative use of materials, design, and form, and who is among the very few architects in history to be both respected by critics as a creative, cutting-edge force and embraced by the general public as a popular figure.

Fates & Furies
by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies” is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation. Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years. At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

My Pantry
by Alice Waters

In this sweet, petite collection of essays and recipes, Alice Waters showcases the simple building-block ingredients she uses to create gratifying, impromptu meals all year long.
In her most intimate and compelling cookbook yet, Alice invites readers to step not into the kitchen at Chez Panisse, but into her own, sharing how she shops, stores, and prepares the pantry staples and preserves that form the core of her daily meals. Ranging from essentials like homemade chicken stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato sauce to the unique artisanal provisions that embody Alice’s unadorned yet delightful cooking style, she shows how she injects even simple meals with nuanced flavor and seasonal touches year-round. From fresh cheeses to quick pickles to sweets and spirits, these often-used ingredients are, as she explains, the key to kitchen spontaneity when combined with simple grains, vegetables, and other staple items. With charming pen-and-ink illustrations by her daughter, Fanny and Alice’s warm, inviting tone, the latest book from our most influential proponent of simple, organic cooking ensures a gracious, healthy meal is always within reach.

Never Broken
by Jewel
Music Biography

Hear Jewel speak in person on 9/26 at our sister-store Book Soup!!

New York Times” bestselling poet and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Jewel explores her unconventional upbringing and extraordinary life in an inspirational memoir that covers her childhood to fame, marriage, and motherhood. When Jewel’s first album, “Pieces of You,” topped the charts in 1995, her emotional voice and vulnerable performance were groundbreaking. Drawing comparisons to Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, a singer-songwriter of her kind had not emerged in decades. Now, with more than thirty million albums sold worldwide, Jewel tells the story of her life, and the lessons learned from her experience and her music.

The Pentagon’s Brain
by Annie Jacobsen
US History

The definitive history of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, from the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51. No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department’s most secret, most powerful, and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history about the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents, and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or “the Pentagon’s brain,” from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.
This is “the” book on DARPA–a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.

Why Not Me?
by Mindy Kaling

In “Why Not Me?, ” Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

Yes, My Accent is Real
by Kunal Nayyar

Of all the charming misfits on television, there’s no doubt Raj from “The Big Bang Theory–“the sincere yet incurably geeky Indian-American astrophysicist–ranks among the misfittingest. Now, we meet the actor who is every bit as loveable as the character he plays on TV. In this revealing collection of essays written in his irreverent, hilarious, and self-deprecating voice, Kunal Nayyar traces his journey from a little boy in New Delhi who mistakes an awkward first kiss for a sacred commitment, gets nosebleeds chugging Coca-Cola to impress other students, and excels in the sport of badminton, to the confident, successful actor on the set of TV’s most-watched sitcom since “Friends.”
Going behind the scenes of “The Big Bang Theory “and into his personal experiences, Kunal introduces readers to the people who helped him grow, such as his James Bond-loving, mustachioed father who taught him the most important lessons in life: “Treat a beggar as you would a king. There are two sides to every story. A smile goes a long way. And, when in doubt, use a spreadsheet.” Kunal also walks us through his college years in Portland, where he takes his first sips of alcohol and learns to let loose with his French, 6’8″ gentle-giant roommate, works his first-ever job for the university’s housekeeping department cleaning toilets for minimum wage, and begins a series of romantic exploits that go just about as well as they would for Raj. (That is, until he meets and marries a former Miss India in an elaborate seven-day event that we get to experience in a chapter titled “My Big Fat Indian Wedding.”)
Full of heart, but never taking itself too seriously, this witty and often inspiring collection of underdog tales follows a young man as he traverses two continents in search of a dream, along the way transcending culture and language (and many, many embarrassing incidents) to somehow miraculously land the role of a lifetime.


Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success
by Steve Harvey

It took Steve Harvey years to recognize his personal gift his unique talent of making people laugh, and listen and even then he still struggled, at one point being homeless and living out of his car. But through it all he remained focused on his goals, using his gift and tenacity to achieve unimaginable success. And now, in Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success, he’s paying it forward to help you live your dreams and create your own legacy.

Choose Your Own Autobiography
by Neil Patrick Harris

Seeking an exciting read that puts the u back in aUtobiography ? Look no further than”Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography” “”In this entertaining and innovative memoir, Neil Patrick Harris shares intimate and hilarious stories about everything from his early days in LA, life on the “How I Met Your Mother” set, secrets from backstage at award shows, and family life with David, Harper, and Gideon. In a fresh spin on the typical celebrity narrative, he lets you, the reader, choose which path you want him to follow. All this plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from his time as a child actor, and even a closing song

Family Furnishing
by Alice Munro

These stories encompass the fullness of human experience, from the wild exhilaration of first love (in Passion ) to the punishing consequences of leaving home ( Runaway ) or ending a marriage ( The Children Stay ). And in stories that Munro has described as closer to the truth than usual Dear Life, Working for a Living, and Home we glimpse the author’s own life.
Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet astonishing particularities in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world.

Kids & YA: 

by Julie Murphy
Young Adult

Dubbed Dumplin by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . untilWill takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But sheissurprised when he seems to like her back. Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself.So she sets out to take back her confidence by doingthe most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant along with several other unlikely candidates to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she ll shock the hell out of Clover City and maybe herself most of all.

Island of Graves
by Lisa McMann
Middle Grade Fiction

In Artime, Alex chooses his people over his brother and abandons his search for Aaron, closing the door on that relationship forever. The Artimeans need his focus now more than ever as they face the terrifying power of a new enemy who has taken control of Quill–the notoriously evil Gondoleery Rattrapp.
Desperate to stop her, Alex embarks on a risky mission to enlist help from an unlikely ally, and along the way he’s determined to rescue a lone sailor from monstrous beasts with mysterious origins–a sailor who just might show Alex a different world. As he prepares for an epic war with all of Quill and Artime hanging in the balance, Alex must place his faith in a reckless plan…and hope that he and all of his friends make it through alive.

It’s Your World
by Chelsea Clinton
Young Adult Non Fiction

Join us for a signing with Chelsea Clinton on 10/7! Tickets available HERE

In a book that tackles the biggest challenges facing us today, Chelsea Clinton combines facts, charts, photographs and stories to give readers a deep understanding of the world around them and how anyone can make a difference. With stories about children and teens who have made real changes big and small in their families, their communities, in our country and across the world this book will inspire readers of all ages to do their part to make our world a better place.

Treasure Hunters: Secret of the Forbidden City
by James Patterson
Middle Grade Fiction

The Kidds–treasure hunting family “extraordinaire”–are heading to China, on a journey that will lead them beyond the Great Wall and into the underbelly of Berlin.
Bick and Beck Kidd are desperately trying to secure the ancient Chinese artifact that will buy their mother’s freedom from renegade pirates. But when the kidnappers force them to locate an even greater treasure–priceless paintings stolen by Nazis, the Kidds must rely on their own cunning and experience to outwit the criminals, all while their mom’s life is on the line.

The Witch’s Boy
by Kelly Barnhill
Middle Grade Fiction

The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his. When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community. Meanwhile, across the enchanted forest that borders Ned’s village lives Aine, the resourceful and pragmatic daughter of the Bandit King, who is haunted by her mother’s last wordsto her: The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his. When Aine’s and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to stop the war that’s about to boil over between their two kingdoms?



What’s New This Week?

by Jessica on September 8, 2015

It’s only the second week of September and we’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’ with these new releases!
So excited for this fall and what’s to come!


Bream Gives Me Hiccups
by Jesse Eisenberg

Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, “Bream Gives Me Hiccups” moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagined scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by his sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide (“The situation reminds me of a little historical blip called the Karadordevo agreement“); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (“she didn t have one of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen“); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (“I ve been calling Mabel all day, she doesn t pick up Yes, of course I dialed the
right number 2

The Magic of Math
by Arthur Benjamin

In “The Magic of Math,” Benjamin does more than just teach skills: with a tip of his magic hat, he takes you on as his apprentice to teach you how to appreciate math the way he does. He motivates you to learn something new about how to solve for x, because there is real pleasure to be found in the solution to a challenging problem or in using numbers to do something useful. But what he really wants you to do is be able to figure out why, for that’s where you ll find the real beauty, power, and magic of math. If you are already someone who likes math, this book will dazzle and amuse you. If you never particularly liked or understood math, Benjamin will enlighten you andwith a wave of his magic wandturn you into a math lover.

Make Me
by Lee Child

Praised by Stephen King in “Entertainment Weekly” as the coolest continuing series character now on offer, Jack Reacher is back in a gripping new thriller from #1 “New York Times” bestselling author Lee Child.

by Chrissie Hynde
Music Bio

Chrissie Hynde, for nearly four decades the singer/songwriter/ undisputed leader of the Pretenders, is a justly legendary figure. Few other rock stars have managed to combine her swagger, sexiness, stage presence, knack for putting words to music, gorgeous voice and just all-around kick-assedness into such a potent and alluring package.

Trigger Mortis
by Anthony Horowitz

Incorporating original, never-before-published material from 007 creator Ian Fleming, New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz returns literary legend James Bond to his 1950s heyday in this exhilarating and dashing thriller.

Two Years Eight Months & Twenty Eight Nights
by Salman Rushdie

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub Stan Lee creation. Abandoned at the mayor’s office, a baby identifies corruption with her mere presence, marking the guilty with blemishes and boils. A seductive gold digger is soon tapped to combat forces beyond imagining.

Wind in the Reeds
by Wendell Pierce

Meet Wendell Pierce 9/30 @ 7pm in our event space! 

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city’s neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce’s family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. The hurricane breached many of the city’s levees, and the resulting flooding submerged Pontchartrain Park under as much as 20 feet of water. Katrina left New Orleans later that day, but for the next three days the water kept relentlessly gushing into the city, plunging eighty percent of New Orleans under water. Nearly 1,500 people were killed. Half the houses in the city had four feet of water in them or more. There was no electricity or clean water in the city; looting and the breakdown of civil order soon followed. Tens of thousands of New Orleanians were stranded in the city, with no way out; many more evacuees were displaced, with no way back in.


The Complete Cosmicomics
by Italo Calvino

We were peering into this darkness, criss-crossed with voices, when the change took place: the only real, great change I ve ever happened to witness, and compared to it the rest is nothing.

The Narcissist Next Door
by Jeffrey Kluger

Narcissists are everywhere. There are millions of them in the United States alone: entertainers, politicians, businesspeople, your neighbors. Recognizing and understanding them is crucial to your not being overtaken by them, says Jeffrey Kluger in his provocative book about this insidious disorder. With insight and wit, Kluger explains the surprising new research into narcissism and the insights that research is yielding. He reveals how narcissism and narcissists affect our lives at work and at home, on the road, and in the halls of government; what to do when we encounter narcissists; and how to neutralize narcissism’s effects before it’s too late.

The Paying Guests
by Sarah Waters

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

by Bill Nye
Life Science

Sparked by a controversial debate in February 2014, Bill Nye has set off on an energetic campaign to spread awareness of evolution and the powerful way it shapes our lives. In “Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation,” he explains why race does not really exist; evaluates the true promise and peril of genetically modified food; reveals how new species are born, in a dog kennel and in a London subway; takes a stroll through 4.5 billion years of time; and explores the new search for alien life, including aliens right here on Earth.

Kids & YA:

Boys in the Boat: Young Readers Edition
by Daniel Brown
American History

Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler.
At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, whose personal quest captures the spirit of his generation the generation that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mad Libs
by Price Stern Sloan

Fans of the”Diary of a Wimpy Kid”book series will go crazy for our brand new Mad Libs, featuring 21 fill-in-the-blank stories starring Greg, Rowley, Manny, and the rest of the gang Pick one up for only $3.99.

Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic
by Jason Segal
Jr. Fiction

Charlie Laird has a dream life.
1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium.
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies.
But Charlie can t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions.Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . . “zombies”? At least, they sure “look” like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means. Things are getting freaky again.


Hi September…What New Reads Do You Have For Us?

by Jessica on September 1, 2015

Oh September Sun, tell us what’s new this week!
It’s that time of year, folks! Lots and lots of new books being released.
Lots of exciting new reads!
Lots of releases for authors that will soon grace our event space!

Kids & YA

Everything Everything
Nicola Yoon
Young Adult

Nicola Yoon will discuss Everything Everything with us on 9/3 @ 6:30pm! 

If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.  My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.  But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.  Maybe we can t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. (Delacorte Press)

Everyone Loves Bacon
Kelly DiPucchio
Picture Books

Egg loves Bacon.Lettuce loves Bacon. Waffle loves Bacon. Bacon is sizzling with popularity. And pretty much everyone thinks he is the best.

Little Robot
Ben Hatke
Graphic Novels

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it’s all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day

The Shepherd’s Crown
Terry Pratchett
Young Adult Sci/Fi Fantasy

Deep in the Chalk, something is stirring. -The owls and the foxes can sense it, and Tiffany Aching feels it in her boots. An old enemy is gathering strength.This is a time of endings and beginnings, old friends and new, a blurring of edges and a shifting of power. Now Tiffany stands between the light and the dark, the good and the bad. As the fairy horde prepares for invasion, Tiffany must summon all the witches to stand with her. To protect the land. Her land. There will be a reckoning. . . .

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need To Know
Adam Bray
Star Wars

“Star Wars(r): Absolutely Everything You Need to Know” is crammed with weird and wonderful “Star Wars” trivia, strange-but-true facts and fascinating “Did you know?” Q&As via a highly engaging infographic design. Find out who cleans the floors of the Death Stars and what takes 1,000 years to digest its victims From movie-making trivia to quirky facts you never knew, this guide will excite new and old fans alike of “Star Wars Rebels ,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and the “Star Wars” movies I-VI.

Kevin Henkes
Picture Books

Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?


Jonathan Franzen

Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother–her only family–is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she’ll ever have a normal life.

Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world–including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

The Man Who Fell From The Sky
Margaret Coel

Margaret Coel is back in our event space on 9/4 @ 7pm! 

New York Times” bestselling author Margaret Coel returns to Wind River with Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O Malley investigating a lethal link between legendary outlaw Butch Cassidy and a present-day murder. When Robert Walking Bear’s body is found in the Wind River mountains, his death appears to be accidental except for the fact that he had been hunting for Butch Cassidy’s buried loot with a map he had gotten from his grandfather, a map believed to have been drawn by the leader of the Hole in the Wall gang himself. It isn’t long before rumors circulate that Robert was murdered by his own cousins to get the map and find the treasure themselves. Despite there being no evidence of foul play, the gossip gains credibility when both Vicky and Father John are contacted by an anonymous Arapaho claiming to have witnessed Robert’s killing. When one of Robert’s cousins falls prey to another deadly accident, Vicky and Father John are convinced the victim is the witness who confided in them, and the hunt for the killer is on in earnest before more die in search of Cassidy’s cache.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web
David Lagercrantz

She is the girl with the dragon tattoo a genius hacker and uncompromising misfit. He is a crusading journalist whose championing of the truth often brings him to the brink of prosecution. Late one night, Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for “Millennium, ” turns to Salander for help. She, as usual, has her own agenda. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals, and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it . . .

Did You Ever Have A Family
Bill Clegg

The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.
On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiance, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke–her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

The Gates of Evangeline
Hester Young

Hester Young presents The Gates of Evangeline 9/11 @ 7pm!! 

When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte Charlie Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.

Girl Waits with Gun
Amy Stewart

Join Amy Stewart 9/28 @ 7pm in our event space! 

Constance Kopp doesn t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared. A smart, romping adventure, featuring some of the most memorable and powerful female characters I’ve seen in print for a long time. I loved every page as I followed the Kopp sisters through a too-good-to-be-true (but mostly true ) tale of violence, courage, stubbornness, and resourcefulness


The Story of the Lost Child
Elena Ferrante

Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, both are adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet somehow this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable.

The First Bad Man
Miranda July

Miranda July pays us a visit on 9/9 @ 7pm! 

In “The First Bad Man,” Miranda July tells the story of Cheryl, a vulnerable, uptight woman in her early forties who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat, unable to cry. Cheryl is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six; she also believes she has a profound connection with Phillip, a philandering board member at Open Palm, the women’s self-defense studio where she has worked for twenty years.

Yes Please
Amy Poehler

Do you ever wish your life was just a little bit more dangerous? Yes Please

Do you look in the mirror and think mean thoughts about your face? Yes Please