We’re inching closer and closer to the holidays, so this month we’re excited to share some new releases that we think will make good gifts!
Shit, Actually by Lindy West
I’ve been a Lindy fan since she was writing at Jezebel and I will read anything she writes. After two pretty heavy and hard hitting books, it’s like surfacing from a deep dive and taking a gulp of fresh air to get a collection of funny, yet thought provoking, witty and irreverent film reviews. While I may not agree with each one (even the rankings being based on The Fugitive), I loved them all and was delighted to have a book from her that made me laugh more than cry.
New York Times opinion writer and bestselling author Lindy West was once the in-house movie critic for Seattle’s alternative newsweekly The Stranger, where she covered film with brutal honesty and giddy irreverence. In Shit, Actually, Lindy returns to those roots, re-examining beloved and iconic movies from the past 40 years with an eye toward the big questions of our time: Is Twilight the horniest movie in history? Why do the zebras in The Lion King trust Mufasa-WHO IS A LION-to look out for their best interests? Why did anyone bother making any more movies after The Fugitive achieved perfection? And, my god, why don’t any of the women in Love, Actually ever fucking talk?!?!
From Forrest Gump, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Bad Boys II, to Face/Off, Top Gun, and The Notebook, Lindy combines her razor-sharp wit and trademark humor with a genuine adoration for nostalgic trash to shed new critical light on some of our defining cultural touchstones-the stories we’ve long been telling ourselves about who we are. At once outrageously funny and piercingly incisive, Shit, Actually reminds us to pause and ask, “How does this movie hold up?”, all while teaching us how to laugh at the things we love without ever letting them or ourselves off the hook.
Shit, Actually is a love letter and a break-up note all in one: to the films that shaped us and the ones that ruined us. More often than not, Lindy finds, they’re one and the same.
Billions of Besties by Peggy Panosh & Susie Arons
We could all use some positivity these days and what better way to share it than by celebrating awesome friendships! The ones included range from the well known (Gayle and Oprah) to more ideological (Lizzo and The Truth). It’s a great collection and will be an adorable gift book for your BFF this holiday season!
This beautifully illustrated and joyful tribute celebrates famous friendships (both real and fictional) and proves that there is no relationship more important than friendship.
Our best friends are our soulmates. They understand us when no one else does, lift us up, and bring out the best in us. It’s a relationship based on a bond that can’t always be described, but is always magical.
Billions of Besties shines a light on some of the most engaging, funny, inspiring, and sometimes unexpected sets of friends. In this gorgeous and playfully illustrated volume, creators and besties Peggy and Susie highlight more than 100 besties, both real and fictional, from all walks of life. From the comedic powerhouse of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, to the unexpected camaraderie between RGB and Antonin Scalia, the glamourous friendship between Anna Wintour and Roger Federer, or the fictional ride-or-die bond between Thelma and Louise, this book is a timeless salute to friendship in all its forms.
Uplifting and charming, Billions of Besties celebrates the power and vitality of friendship—from bromances to work wives—reminding us that when we have each other’s backs, we have the power to change the world.
Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry
WISHES AND WELLINGTONS is such a delightful and charming story with sassy and smart kickass heroine that makes me laugh and cheer. The story itself is a well-told adventure full of magic, friendship, one snarky djinni, and three amazing oddballs, and really is there any better story than that? This book made me smile and feel like the odd one in instead of the odd one out. Books that make you smile are always wonderous, and this book is that amazing of a read!
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Julie Berry comes a brand new middle-grade fantasy adventure full of humor and heart.
Be careful what you wish for …
Maeve Merritt chafes at the rigid rules at her London boarding school for “Upright Young Ladies.” When punishment forces her to sort through the trash, she finds a sardine tin that houses a foul-tempered djinni with no intention of submitting to a schoolgirl as his master.
Soon an orphan boy from the charitable home next door, a mysterious tall man in ginger whiskers, a disgruntled school worker, and a take-no-prisoners business tycoon are in hot pursuit of Maeve and her magical discovery. It’ll take all of her quick thinking and sass to set matters right. Maeve Merritt is one feisty heroine you won’t soon forget.
No Ordinary Thing by G. Z. Schmidt
Adam is one of my new favorite middle-grade protagonists. He’s awkward, loves books, lives in a bakery, and has a time traveling snow globe. What’s not to love I ask you? The story itself is told in a very literary, almost oral storytelling tradition, and gives you a very Narnia-esque vibe. Reading it truly transports you on a magical adventure!
Twelve-year-old Adam is whisked away from his imperfect but quiet life with the arrival of a stranger and a magical promise in this time travel mystery.
It’s 1999 and Adam doesn’t mind living at his uncle’s bakery, the Biscuit Basket, on the Lower East Side in New York City. The warm, delicious smells of freshly baked breads and chocolate croissants make every day feel cozy, even if Adam doesn’t have many friends and he misses his long dead parents very much.
When a mysterious but cheerful customer shows Adam a snow globe and says that adventures await him, it’s too strange to be true. But days later, an unbelievable, incredible thing happens. Adam finds a similar looking snow globe and immediately travels back in time, first to Times Square in 1935, then a candle factory fire in 1967.
But how are these moments related? What do they have to do with his parents’ death? And why is a tall man with long eyebrows and a thin mustache following Adam’s every move?
In her debut novel G. Z. Schmidt has crafted a world filled with serendipity, mystery, and adventure for readers of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket.
This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
This book is a total love letter to any independent bookstore! There were so many quotes in here that I found myself marking so that I wouldn’t forget them, and I never do that with books. Being stuck at home has made me miss being at my own bookstore, and this book has helped me fill that void a little. I loved when the characters talked about the daily customers that they become used to seeing every day, and I have so many at my own store that I think fondly of at my own store. The little things like that and how much the characters found a home for themselves at their store really made this book relatable and realistic for me. The three main characters were strong independently, but together with the other cast of characters they sort of fell apart. I liked their inner monologues a lot but their side plots and interactions with other characters fell apart a bit for me. It seemed a bit thrown together, but it was still an overall enjoyable read for me! I would totally recommend this for anyone who has their own little independent bookstore that owns a piece of their heart, just like I have one that I love.
Set over the course of one day, Aminah Mae Safi’s This Is All Your Fault is a smart and voice-driven YA novel that follows three young women determined to save their indie bookstore.
Rinn Olivera is finally going to tell her longtime crush AJ that she’s in love with him.
Daniella Korres writes poetry for her own account, but nobody knows it’s her.
Imogen Azar is just trying to make it through the day.
When Rinn, Daniella, and Imogen clock into work at Wild Nights Bookstore on the first day of summer, they’re expecting the hours to drift by the way they always do. Instead, they have to deal with the news that the bookstore is closing. Before the day is out, there’ll be shaved heads, a diva author, and a very large shipment of Air Jordans to contend with.
And it will take all three of them working together if they have any chance to save Wild Nights Bookstore.