Along for the Ride…a great intro to summer reads!

I really think Sarah Dessen and I could be best friends. She’s fun and quirky and writes amazing books. Plus, I hear she really likes dessert. We’re meant to be! She’s also a brilliant author that can truly channel the teen mind and the need for “real” fiction. Though I love them all, Along for the Ride is definitely my favorite and the perfect book to get teens geared up for summer vacation!

Auden is an incredibly smart girl, a girl with a great head on her shoulders, but also a girl forced to grow up quickly to impress her academic parents, even after they divorced. Always studying, always doing the right thing. This summer, Auden is just sick to death of putting up with her overbearing, uncaring mother and all the graduate students that flit in and out of the woman’s life, so she decides to go spend the summer at her father’s beach house, with his new wife, and new baby sister.

 Taking a job in her stepmother’s fancy beach boutique is about the last thing Auden planned to do, as were falling in love with both a guy and her baby sister, or forgetting to study all summer long. But work, fall in love, and become a “real girl” she does, and the experience is both satisfying and terrifying. Her simple, lonely life has become one filled to the brim with people and emotions and Auden isn’t quite sure how to live anymore.

 In true Sarah Dessen fashion, the reader gets a perfect YA book experience. The characters feel like they could be kids you go to school with (and they all have fabulous names), the situations are ones that teens today really find themselves in, and the connections Dessen makes between plot, character, and reader is truly remarkable.

Plus, cute guys and the beach?? You all need this book.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen; $9.99; Penguin Group USA; Ages 14+

Our Indie Next picks

In the independent bookstore world, we have something called the Indie Next List, in which booksellers from all over the country submit reviews of the books they’ve been enjoying, which are then published into a newsletter and sent to all the indie bookstores across the country. It’s great word of mouth for both the books and for the store, if someone from your store happens to have one of their reviews featured.

Our staff spends a lot of time submitting reviews for books, because we love to spread the word on ones we loved reading. Here are a couple of our recent reviews that were chosen to be published in the Indie Next Newsletter:

Legend, by Marie Lu; $17.99; Penguin Group USA; Ages 14+

“Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, 15-year-old June is a military prodigy committed to her country. Her complete antithesis is a 15-year-old Day, the country’s most wanted criminal and the prime suspect in the murder of June’s brother. June sets out to capture Day, but, in a shocking turn of events, the teens discover a sinister conspiracy that pits both o them against the government. Filled with action and suspense!”

Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen; $16.99; Balzer + Bray; Ages 3+

The town where Annabelle lives is a very boring place–a dull gray city where nobody wheres anything colorful at all. One day Annabelle finds a box full of yarn, so she knits herself a sweater. But she finds that she has extra yarn left over. Soon, she is knitting sweaters for everyone and everything (even a pickup truck!) and her town is becoming brighter by the stitch. Somehow, she always has extra yarn!”

The Fault in Our Stars: A must have!

John Green has made quite the name for himself in the YA world, with novels like Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska. His latest was just released this week and is already getting lots of positive buzz in the book world. Several of us have read it and absolutely love it!

Hazel and Augustus meet in the most unusual place — a cancer support group. Though the setting alone may lead a reader to believe the story will be heavy and depressing, it’s anything but. Filled with sarcasm and hysterical wit, you’ll be both laughing and crying through the entire book. Sometimes both at the same time!

Teens and adults will each take something away from this heartfelt and honest novel of first love, whimsy, and raw soul. Buy it for everyone you know!

We have lots of copies in stock, ALL of them signed! We’d be happy to set one aside for you (or ship you one if you’re out of the area). We also have copies of Green’s other titles for you to purchase, as well. Just give us a call! 703-548-4092.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; $17.99; Dial Books; Ages 14+

Megan K’s Favorites of 2011

Megan had a huge list of favorites for the year, proving that 2011 was a GREAT year for publishing! After some crafty picking and choosing, she was able to pick just a few of her favorite books to share with you:

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver; $16.99; HarperCollins; ages 8+





Everything Goes On Land by Brian Biggs; $14.99; HarperCollins; ages 3+

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer; $16.99; Penguin Group; age 10+

You Are My Work of Art by Sue DiCicco; $11.95; Running Press Books; ages 2+

Red Sled by Lita Judge; $16.99; Simon & Schuster; ages 3+

Cristi’s Favorites of 2011

Cristi loves finding the perfect book for customers and will always go out of her way to make sure you’re happy with your purchase! She loved a lot of books that were published this year and had a hard time choosing just a few! These are the ones that really stood out for her:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness; $28.95; Penguin Group; Adult Fiction

It’s a Little Book by Lane Smith; $7.99; Roaring Brook Press; ages 2+

The Man in the Moon by William Joyce; $17.99; Simon & Schuster; ages 3+

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein; $19.99; HarperCollins; ages 8+

Goodnight Ipad: A Parody for the Next Generation by Ann Droyd; $14.95; Penguin Group; ages 5+

Come to our “Holiday Picks” event!

On Friday, November 4th, we’re having an exciting event to kick off our holiday shopping season and YOU are invited!

At 5:30, Barbara Kurland, a local reading specialist, will be demonstrating her Three Ps Reading Improvement Program. Great for struggling readers or parents/teachers that want to take a new approach to teaching reading.

From 6:00-7:00 we’ll be having an exciting presention by three publishing reps, each showcasing some of their favorite holiday picks for gift giving. We’ll be featuring books from Penguin, Random House, and Scholastic. Come meet the people who help us fill our shelves with great titles!

We’ll also have wine, cheese, and other refreshments, so come join us for a night of food, fun, and BOOKS!

R.S.V.P. by calling the store or sending us an email. 703-548-4092/

What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur

With the holidays quickly approaching and many people wanting to not only make purchases for their family members and friends, but also help those in need, this fabulous new book gives readers the best of both worlds.

Filled with stories by some of the most popular authors and poets in the world today, the central theme is “wishes.” Each story is different, some serious, some funny.  R.L. Stine, John Green, Joyce Carol Oates, Ann M. Martin, Jane Yolen, and Alexander McCall Smith are just a few of the awesome contributors to the collection, which includes a foreword by Mia Farrow.

A purchase of What You Wish For will benefit Book Wish Foundation, an organization which helps to build libraries in Darfuri refugee camps. All of their proceeds are donated to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. What could be better?! If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing organization and tracking the progress of the libraries, I encourage you to visit Book Wish Foundation.

This would not only make an excellent gift for someone you know, but for those gift exchanges where you really don’t know the person you’re buying a gift for! Helping a wonderful organization do awesome work in our world, while providing a beautifully written story collection will please any gift recipient.

What You Wish For: A Book for Darfur; $17.99; G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Ages 12+