Renee’s Top 10 (Kind of) Frontlist Reads

Hello readers!

How is quarantine treating you? My extroverted-introvert butt goes back and forth between good days and bad, but I’m staying mostly sane! Hope you are, too.

The last time I blogged for you, I had gone through my shelves to see what books had been languishing away, constantly overlooked and passed over in favor of the new fancy shiny books just coming out, or, as is usually the case for booksellers, books that are coming out in a few months. Now that those backlist titles have had their time to shine, let’s talk about the new fancy shiny books!

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
I’m not saying there is a bad time to read romance (there is never a bad time to read romance) but right now is a particularly good time to read romance. Christina Lauren swiftly became one of my favorite authors of the genre. The stories are fun and the characters are vibrant and charming and oh so relatable on many levels. I expect nothing less from her (technically their) newest book!

Nature’s Best Hope by Douglas W. Tallamy
I think it is fair to say that I am sort of the store’s resident conservationist/nature enthusiast, which is not to say my bookselling fellows don’t also support these things. But in terms of what we read, I’m usually the one to pick up things like this book. The world is changing (especially now) and as we move forward it is important to remember we must consider the rest of the world as we do. And we all have a responsibility to the world around us. Reducing that responsibility to a manageable scale, like our backyards, is important, I think, to keep us from getting overwhelmed and complacent feeling like we can’t do anything to affect change.

This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are Ruining the American West by Christopher Ketcham
This author visited Fort Collins last year to celebrate the release of this book. Super cool dude, ruggedly handsome, laid-back speaker. If you live anywhere in the West, you are probably at least peripherally aware that there is some shady…stuff…going on with public lands. Many of the things taking place, both on the political side and on the actual land, bleed out and affect a lot of areas. It’s a topic I have some knowledge of (as you might have guessed based on my super vague explanation), and I hope Chris’ book gives me a better understanding of what exactly is going on and what we all can do about it.

The Night Country by Melissa Albert
Sequel to the deliciously creepy and haunting Hazel Wood? Yes, please! I feel like that’s all I really need to say on this one, but if you haven’t read the first in this series I highly recommended it! It’s like Grimm’s Fairytales but they’re real and the fairytales are even darker and creepier and very unsettling.

10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
Sandhya Menon is a friend of the store and a writer of fantastic swoony rom-coms. This will be the third book in the Dimple-verse series (is that what we’re calling it?). I’ve loved all her other books, but Pinky is the rebellious, doesn’t-care-what-people-think, death-to-the-patriarchy character and I am here for it. Plus the book is named after one of my favorite 90s teen rom-coms so…there’s that.

Seven Endless Forests  by April Genevieve Tucholke
I loooved The Boneless Mercies. It is a feminist Beowulf retelling. Tucholke’s latest book is a feminist King Arthur retelling. Sooo much yes!!! This is sure to be another book full of adventure and danger with kickass heroines and strong female friendships. Just what I need right now.

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
This is the second book in a series (the first being Girls of Paper and Fire, which my boyfriend just picked up and started after seeing the ARC for the second book on my desk). This is a great romance story but also full of magic and a rich fantasy world and an evil emperor. This next installment takes readers to a world outside the palace walls where a storm is fast approaching…

Civilized to Death by Christopher Ryan
This book intrigues me but also makes me feel a bit uncertain about what it might contain. I certainly don’t try to hide the fact that I think a lot of things that humankind has invented and done are terrible, not only for us humans but the rest of the world. So of course I would be drawn to a book that validated my feelings and potentially gave me even more ammunition to throw out when bashing the most harmful members of the human race. I just hope it doesn’t wind up being too…extreme.

Clean: The New Science of Skin and the Beauty of Doing Less by James Hamblin
I feel like this may be a good book to pick up in a post-COVID-19 world, but I have yet to read it, so I’ll let you know! I am often skeptical about many fads and practices I see that don’t seem like they have much scientific backing. And I’m also just a person interested in science and the human body and taking care of my skin (it is our biggest organ!). Hopefully this doesn’t turn me into a germaphobe by accident.

Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
Ah, a book about bookselling. Usually fiction books about booksellers don’t interest me too much. But this is a memoir from the owner of a bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. And I love Scotland so there was no avoiding this book. I have actually started it! It is written in journal entries, one for each day of the year 2015. Thus far, it feels part like that book Weird Things Customers Say In Bookstores and a bit like if Bernard Black from the show Black Books kept a diary. It is a bit different than my experience bookselling as it is a second-hand shop. But nevertheless relatable.


You can purchase or preorder any or all of these books by clicking on their titles above. If your order is more than $20, you’ll get free shipping while we’re closed for isolation!

Stay safe, and happy reading!


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