Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day!

Did you know there are more than 550 independent bookstores in 49 states celebrating Independent Bookstore Day with parties, author readings, in-store events, and exclusive day-of merchandise?

Independent Bookstore Day marks its fifth year of celebrating independent bookstores nationwide on Saturday, April 27th, with literary parties around the country.

The fifth annual National Independent Bookstore Day is sponsored in part by Penguin Random House, Ingram, and The American Booksellers Association. Last year participating bookstores saw an average increase in sales of 200% on Independent Bookstore Day, with some stores up as much as 1000% over their average Saturday sales in April. In just five years, Independent Bookstore Day has become a book-buying holiday, increasing book sales on a national level.

The 2019 IBD author ambassador Tayari Jones says, “Indie stores stock books by hand and sell them the same way. They know what we want and need to read because they know us, as people. A writer is not a machine. A reader is not an app. We are human beings and so are the independent bookstore workers who show up each day and place books in our hands.”

VISIT the 3 CHAIRS ONLINE BOOKSTORE TODAY!

OR LOOK FOR OUR BOOKS…
at the following independent bookstores and local retailers!

CONNECTICUT

Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355

Clinton Art Gallery
Poetry Place
20 E Main St
Clinton, CT 06413

Martha Link Walsh Gallery
188 North Main Street
Branford, CT 06405

Rock Garden
17 South Main Street
Branford, CT 06405

The Shop at Guilford Art Center
411 Church Street
Guilford, CT 06437

MASSACHUSETTS

The Brewster Book Store
2648 Main Street
Brewster, MA 02631

Titcomb’s Bookshop
432 MA-6A
East Sandwich, MA 02537


Read More! Join me?

As you may have guessed, I’m a big fan of the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year, it helped me reads more than 50 books; see Goodreads: A Year in Books (2018).

This year, I’m hoping to get to even more of the books on my To Read list.

Join me? Visit Goodreads to sign up today!

(If you’re a Goodreads members, click here and we can follow each other’s progress!)

Goodreads: A Year in Books (2018)

Several years ago, actress Lena Dunham tweeted “Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading.” Would that it were possible, right?

Lacking an eighth day, we’re left to our own devices to make time for reading. For me, there are treasured Sunday mornings — pre-dawn, coffees at the ready, reading side-by-side with my boyfriend Matt. Then good habits, like carrying a book in my purse, weekly visits to the library, and reading before bed help keep the spirit alive through the work week right back around to those quite Sunday hours.

And all of that good reading mojo has paid off…for the first time in six years, I exceeded my personal Goodreads Reading Challenge goal, reading 54 books in 2018! This year’s tally of 15,121 pages included fiction bestsellers and some classics, one cookbook, poetry and nonfiction, along with a handful of self-published books by some amazing local authors.

Following closely in the footsteps of 2017, you’ll find several Young Adult novels on my list again, including Ransom Riggs’ new book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series: A Map of Days. (“Fair warning: you’ll realize about 2/3 of the way in that you’re going to finish the book soon and you’ll have to wait – again – for the next in the series to magically appear! Pace yourself.”)

Another fun find this year was the Penguin Drop Cap Series, 26 collectible hardcover editions of classic works of literature, each featuring on its cover a specially commissioned illustrated letter of the alphabet by type designer Jessica Hische. This year I read H, Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. My local library seems to have a good selection of these special titles, and it’s fun to try to spot them on the shelves. Click here to see all 26.

According to star ratings, some of my least favorite books in 2018 were Brida by Paulo Coelho (“insipid romance”) and The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri (“Nope. Nope. Nope.”). I disliked 1984 by George Orwell so much — “a terribly wretched book” — it completely subverted my attempt to read the 100 books featured in The Great American Read.

Brida was not the only “insipid romance” that earned one or two stars. I was also not a fan of The Atomic Weight of Love (Elizabeth Church), An Obvious Enchantment (Tucker Malarkey), or An Itailan Wife (Ann Hood). Which is not to say I don’t like a good love story. I adored The Course of Love by Alain de Botton — “This should be required reading. For everyone. Period.”

New reads from some of my favorite authors included Keri Smith’s uber-clever book The Wander Society (“Solvitur ambulando!”), Anne Lamott’s Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers (“A balm, antidote, inspiration…Wow! and Thanks!”), and Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone (“We need this kind of thoughtful examination and heartfelt solutions now more than ever!”).

I recently recommended One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd (Jim Fergus) to a friend, and realized it was one of the most memorable books I read this year. (“we want this to be a true story…and are ever-surprised that it is not”)

Other books that stand out include Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy (“a clever piece of dystopian fiction”), Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffengger (“Wonderfully, weirdly delicious!”), and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (“I savored it slowly… ”).

But if asked specifically, I would put at the top of my list The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley (“Magically, magically good!!”)

It was, apparently, a good year for reading. But I suspect I’ll run out of superlatives if I don’t stop here. You can read my complete list of 2018 books on Goodreads (click here)…but I want to know about you, too. What were your favorite books in 2018? List them in the commend section below!

HAPPY READING!


A “Best Fiction” List

BuzzFeed News has compiled a list of its favorite novels and short story collections, presented by Arianna Rebolini. Click here to read the full list with reviews.

Have you read any of these? Do you agree with the list?

1. Severance by Ling Ma
2. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
3. Belly Up by Rita Bullwinkel
4. There There by Tommy Orange
5. Circe by Madeline Miller
6. Insurrecto by Gina Apostol
7. A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
8. The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apekina
9. The Overstory by Richard Powers
10. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
11. My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
12. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
13. The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
14. Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg
15. The Wildlands by Abby Geni
16. An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
17. Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
18. Kudos by Rachel Cusk
19. French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
20. Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
21. Mem by Bethany C. Morrow
22. She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
23. The Pisces by Melissa Broder
24. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
25. A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley
26. Milkman by Anna Burns
27. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
28. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

BOOK REVIEW: A Map of Days

A Map of Days
by Ransom Riggs

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery….Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom….New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children.


I savored the idea of this book from the moment I heard about it until I finally opened the Amazon box—and it was worth every anticipatory moment! This series of books sets me right down in my own loop—circa 1970s, when reading was pure, delicious childhood pleasure and the adventuring kids were The Boxcar Children, and Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy in Narnia. I devoured the first three books and A MAP OF DAYS, too, which picks up seamlessly from the third and whoosh! whisks us right back into the lives of our favorite Peculiars. Despite a darkness that hits maybe a little too close to home sometimes (we live in dark days too, after all), I LOVED this book as much as the others, especially the new collection of oddball photos! Fair warning: you’ll realize about 2/3 of the way in that you’re going to finish the book soon and you’ll have to wait (again) for the next in the series to magically appear! Pace yourself.  — Jen Payne