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Email Newsletter No. 17: July 6th, 2018
 
In the months leading up to the store's opening, and in the couple of months after the store opened, I wasn't able to get much reading done. That was a paradox of sorts - the person running the bookstore isn't reading! Sad!

Things have changed in the past month or so. Whether it's because the store has settled into more of a routine, or because I've just decided to work a little later so I can read more, who's to say? It's best not to analyze things like that too deeply. The bottom line is that I've been reading more. Some are books that are already out, and some are books that haven't come out yet. Here's are some brief thoughts on each of the books I've read in the past couple of months.
 


Iver & Ellsworth, by Casey Robinson: This delightful book from a debut Maynard author strikes home for me, partially because it's loosely based on the Polar beverages polar bear by Rt. 290, but mainly because it's such an endearing story. It's also the store's all-time bestselling book! I can't wait to see Casey's next project - no pressure, Casey!!!

The Optimistic Decade, by Heather Abel: This one struck a chord with me because it's set mostly in Colorado, and my wife and I lived in Colorado for eight blissful years before we moved back home to Massachusetts. It's a tale of summer camp, and finding oneself, and it's just beautifully done by Heather, who recently moved to western Mass.

Gale Force, by Owen Laukkanen: A good old-fashioned thriller, this one was hard to put down. It tells the story of a salvage crew, helmed by McKenna Rhodes, who inherited her boat and crew from her father when he drowned on their last high stakes salvage operation. After years of poking around with safe, low stakes jobs, it's hard for McKenna and crew to stay afloat financially. Unless that is, they land one big score.

Feast of Sorrow, by Crystal King: This story of ancient Rome is both captivating to the mind and the stomach. Crystal, who is also a local author, did a ton of research on what is essentially the world's first cookbook, and spun a beautiful novel around it.

The Magic of Melwick Orchard, by Rebecca Caprara: You may know Rebecca. She lives in Boxborough, and her parents owned the Acton School of Ballet for a generation. So I was already excited for this book no matter what. But then I read it, and it was actually, legitimately fantastic. The story of a young girl who just can't be a priority in her parents' lives because of her ill sister is heartwrenching, but it is infused with a magic that will keep you up late at night finishing it. The book doesn't come out until September, and we are so excited for it.

Uncharted, by Erin Cashman: Erin is also a Boxborough resident, and this is her second book. It tells the tale of teenage Annabeth, and a secret society that may have found the fountain of youth. But the book is so much more than that, as Annabeth grapples with love and loss, and has to summon the strength inside of herself to be brave and do what's right, all while trying to unravel a mystery that has far more twists and turns than you would expect.

Erin's book also debuts in September, and we'll be having Rebecca and Erin out for a joint event on Sept. 12. Save that date!

Shark Lady, by Jess Keating: My daughter loves this book, about a scientist, Eugenie Clark, who wouldn't take no for an answer, and became one of the world's leading shark experts, through dogged research and determination of will. My daughter is at the age where she just likes looking at the pictures of the sharks as a way of learning, but for older readers there is a whole section at the back with cool facts about Clark and sharks.

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, by Louise Miller: I mentioned recently Louise's upcoming book, which releases this month. I was excited for that one, so I of course had to go back and read her first book, and it didn't disappoint. Margaret Hurley instantly became one of my all-time favorite movie characters.

Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer: The first part of the Southern Reach trilogy. I was incredibly impressed with the imagination and thought that went into this first-person narrative about four women scientists who enter a quarantined area to try and discover its secrets, and how to stop its footprint from further encroaching on decent society. I was disappointed with the movie, which more or less left out the main plot from the book, though I've read some good reviews of the movie. If you saw the movie, which came out in March and starred Natalie Portman, be warned -- the book is drastically different.

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare, by Shannon and Dean Hale: This one comes out in September, on the same day that Josh Funk's new Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast book comes out (stay tuned for details on that day, Sept. 25. We're going to have ourselves a little party that day) The Princess in Black has been a favorite in my household for awhile. I was first introduced to it when my son was in his first grade -- his whole class was obsessed with the book. When he moved on to longer books, he passed them on to his sister, who also loves them. They just love yelling "Twinkle twinkle little SMASH!" when the Princess in Black wages battle. Which she does, in this latest installment, when a monster is discovered growing inside a science fair project.

Louisiana's Way Home, by Kate DiCamillo: "Curtains should be state-appropriate. Lots of things, in fact, should be different from how they are." True indeed - the world is not a perfect place. Luckily, we have this book to help us remember to smile, which is not something I thought I'd say in the middle of this book, as it is profoundly sad in places. But the bravery displayed by titular main character Louisiana will be inspiring to young people (and maybe some of the adults who read along with them). This one comes out in the fall as well, and is sure to be just as popular as DiCamillo's other favorites.

---
 
I haven't been the only one reading upcoming books, of course. Our aforementioned bookseller Dana just finished reading The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon, which comes out on July 31st. .
 

Here's what she had to say about it:
 
"The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon is a novel of emotional extremity and intense atmosphere. R.O. Kwon uses vivid imagery and short, impactful chapters to portray themes that range from religious fanaticism to grief to sexual violence. This novel will appeal to fans of rich writing, unreliable narrators, and long-lasting intrigue."

You can read Dana's full review on her Goodreads page.

Dana also recently wrote up a review of The Magic of Melwick Orchard for Nerdy Book Club. Head over there to read her very well written review!
 
Don't forget about Summer Reading. We've got all the summer reading books that ABRHS and RJ Grey recommend for their students, as well as all of the Massachusetts Book Award nominees, which are perfect for younger chapter book readers!


Email Newsletter No. 16: June 29th, 2018
 
This has been a great month. We held 16 events this month, our single-highest monthly total, and we launched out Summer Reading program (if you haven't picked up a Summer Reading form for your child, fear not, we have plenty, and they're out in the store at all times). One thing we haven't yet started is publicly hosting Book Club groups. That'll change in July.

We have two Book Club events on the books for July, one at the store and one online. The first is a Book Club that came to us, organized locally by a mom who is excited her son and his friends have developed a love of reading. The Rick Riordan Book Club, which grew roots during the school year, will have its first meeting at the store on July 10th, and the plan is for it to meet weekly. Riordan has lots of books to choose from, and now his own "Rick Riordan Presents" imprint with exciting titles as well, so this is a Book Club that should have material for quite some time.

The second, online, combines my two passions -- books and baseball. The FanGraphs Book Club already has 200+ members on Facebook, and will host an online chat for its first "meeting" on FanGraphs on Mon, July 23rd. The book we're reading is The Only Rule Is It Has To Work, which is a fantastic New York Times-bestselling book by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller. Ben and Sam have graciously agreed to participate in our chat, which should make it extra special.

Beyond that, we're noodling on other Book Clubs we can organize. Our store's younger employees are planning on hosting a Young Adult Book Club at some point in July, though with school just concluding we haven't nailed down the details for the first meeting just yet. And there are all sorts of other Book Clubs that have crossed our minds, from broad topics like fiction and non-fiction, to more specialized things like sci-fi or mother-daughter book clubs. At this point, we aren't committed to any of those, but we're always thinking of ways to bring the community together. If you have an idea for a book club, or would like to host your book club at the store, let us know!
 
July is Where's Waldo? month. All throughout the month, you'll be able to find Waldo and friends all around our store, and be able to win prizes. And we'll have a Where's Waldo? party at the end of the month to bring things to a close!
 
JULY & AUGUST EVENTS PREVIEW!!!
More info on all of these will be posted to our website and to Facebook early next week, but for now, here's all of the events we currently have on tap for July and August (we may add more later).

July 10, 7 pm: Community Event: Rick Riordan Book Club

July 12: Community Event: Pajama Story Time!!!

July 17, 6 pm: Special Baseball Author Event with children's authors David Kelly, Ballpark Mysteries series & Heather LangAnybody's Game

July 18, 6 pm: Author Event: First-ever Silver Unicorn Bookstore Poetry Night

July 19, 5-8 pm: Community Event: Silver Unicorn at Littleton Third Thursdays

July 23, 9 pm: FanGraphs Book Club live chat at FanGraphs.com

July 24, 7 pm: Author Event: Jane Healey, The Saturday Evening Girls Club

July 26, 6 pm: Author Event: Dina Vargo, The Hidden History of Boston

July 28, 1 pm: Author Event: ESPN Baseball Analyst Keith Law, Smart Baseball

July 31, time TBD, Community Event: Where's Waldo? Event

Aug. 11, 11 am: Author Event: Debbie Michiko Florence, Jasmine Toguchi series, & Kara LaReau, Unintentional Adventures of Bland Sisters & Infamous Ratsos series'

Aug. 16, 5-8 pm: Community Event: Silver Unicorn at Littleton Third Thursdays

Aug. 23, 6-8 pm: Community Event: Blanchard School Night at Silver Unicorn

Aug. 28, time TBD: Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas Release Party


Email Newsletter No. 15: June 22nd, 2018
 
I scream, you scream, we all scream for free ice cream!!!!
 
It's been a long June for the Acton-Boxborough school district, hasn't it? It seems like we're the last school district to finish school. So, let's finish with a bang!!! After the final bell sounds next Wednesday, June 27, come on down to the bookstore for some free ice cream. What's better than free ice cream? Especially on a warm summer day? Nothing, when you think about it.

Why are we giving away ice cream for free? Well, for starters, it's because we really do want to reward the kids (and parents and teachers) who really worked hard until the final day of school. But, secondly, it's so that we can have a big kickoff to our Summer Reading Program!!!

Reading during the summer is important for kids. "Summer slump" is a real thing, and reading over the summer is one of the best and most fun ways to combat it. Kids don't need to read textbooks all summer, but they should read something. To that end, every child entering grades K-12 in the fall who comes down to get one of our fabulous Summer Reading forms and reads eight hours this summer will receive a $5 gift card to our bookstore. But wait, there's more!

We've joined forces with 15 neighborhood businesses to incentivize kids to read this summer! Our partners are:
 


Some have donated gift cards, some have donated swag -- all have gone above and beyond for the A-B and West Acton community, and we can't thank them enough for their support. So, every kid who finishes their eight hours will not only get a $5 gift card from us, but will also be entered into a raffle (to be drawn at the start of the next school year) to win a larger gift card from the bookstore, and also prizes from our neighborhood partners as well. And let me tell you, there's some good stuff to be won!

So, come down to the store on Wednesday to celebrate the end of the school year, get some free ice cream, and get your Summer Reading form! It's a win-win-win!
 
Of course, the next question is, which books should kids read during the summer? We've got you covered there too. We have recommended reading lists for ABRHS, RJ Grey and the Massachusetts Children's Book Award (MCBA) 2018-2019 nominees, which are great for younger readers!
 
Meet The Staff: Daphne Wong
The second person to start working at the bookstore, Daphne has been here since the very beginning -- since the very first books were being shelved. On her first day, she helped devise the shelving system for the non-fiction section!

In the time since, it has become clear that Daphne is not only a model bookseller, but she also knows just about everyone in both Acton and Boxborough, though she's too modest to lay claim to that herself. A rising junior at ABRHS, we asked Daphne to tell us a little about herself and her reading habits:

Favorite Book: The hardest question. I'd have to say it's Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. It was the first book that kept me up with a flashlight until the last pages. I had a hard time believing it was fiction.
Favorite Genre: Mostly fiction and biographies/memoirs for me. I recently got into poetry after reading My New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood and after shelving some books of poetry at the store. I'm re-reading No Matter The Wreckage by Sarah Kay right now.
Who would you pick to write a novel based on you? Probably Jesmyn Ward, the author ofSing, Unburied, Sing which is my June staff pick.
Who's on your literary Mt. Rushmore? L.M. Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gablesseries. Jennifer L. Holm, Penny from Heaven, Madeleine L'Engle, Linda Sue Park. 
What book(s) are you reading right now? I'm reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant right now. I'm only a few pages in but I love the character descriptions and narration so far.
Do you read one book at a time or do you have a few you go back and forth between? I find that when I multitask books, I end up liking one better than the other and resenting the other one. And so I tend to stick to one, but during the school year I'm often juggling a few required reads and some of my own choice.
What book are you looking forward to reading next? Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver. 
FINAL JUNE EVENTS
Author(s) Event: Celebrating Summer with Books!
Sat., June 23: 11 am
 
Join us as we celebrate summer with four local authors -- Shennen Bersani, Joannie Duris, Joanne Roach-Evans & Kate Narita -- who have written non-fiction picture books aimed at getting kids outside and enjoying nature. They are: We are excited to celebrate all four books, one of which -- 100 Bugs! A Counting Book -- will be released on June 12! This won't just be a normal storytime though, there will be a scavenger hunt and activities for the kids!

Join us so we can kick off summer the right way, by getting kids out into nature!
 
Author Event: Ammi-Joan Paquette
Sun., June 24: 3 pm
Local author Ammi-Joan Paquette has written 15 books, including two this year -- the middle-grade novel The Train of Lost Things, and children's non-fiction book, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries. We'll be celebrating the latter with this event, as the book is set to be released two days later!

The second book in the buzzy new middle grade non-fiction series, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries presents some of the most crazy-but-true facts about history, geography, and human achievement, as well as a handful of stories that aren’t true—and challenging readers to discover which are which!

Paquette has written six picture books, including Bunny Bus and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, and nine novels/non-fiction books, including the first Two Truths And A Lie book, Two Truths And A Lie: It's Alive! Come join us to celebrate her latest releases!
Community Event: Summer Reading Kickoff Party
Sun., June 24: 3 pm

 
I scream, you scream, we all scream for free ice cream!!!

Following the last day of school for Acton-Boxborough students, come down to the bookstore and get a free ice cream, and your summer reading form! We have partnered with 15 West Acton businesses to make Summer Reading a real treat this summer (pun very much intended)!!!
 


Email Newsletter No. 14: June 15th, 2018
 
As an independent bookstore in New England, we are a member of NEIBA, which is the New England Independent Bookseller's Association. Every so often they hold events for their members, and yesterday was one of those events. At it, we got to hear about 10 books from New England authors (well, OK, one was from New York) about their books. Many of them will be published this summer, though a few, including A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker and The Lost Family by Jenna Blum, have just recently been released. Both of those books are fantastic (and we have copies of both!), but today I wanted to highlight three of the forthcoming titles that we are excited about.
 
Louise Miller, The Late Bloomer's Club
Release Date: July 17th

Louise's first book, The City Baker's Guide to Country Living, a story about a Boston pastry chef who quite literally lights her building on fire and escapes to a country town in Vermont, earned praise from The New York Times Book ReviewReal Simple and Bon Apetit. Her second book, The Late Bloomer's Club, which takes place in the same Vermont town, but not with the same main characters, looks to be just as entertaining.

The Later Bloomer's Club will trace the relationship between two sisters, one who never left her hometown and one who left as soon as she possibly could. When they unexpectedly come into money, they are left with a decision that will shape not only their personal futures, but those of the town as well. In the middle of all of this is a lost dog.

This sounds like an awesome follow-up book, and fans of Louise's debut will recognize some of the townspeople that make their way in and out of the story.
 
Keith O'Brien, Fly Girls
Release Date: August 7th

In the 1920's and 1930's, it wasn't quite forbidden for women to fly, but any who tried were ridiculed loudly and coarsely by men. But there were some who strove forward in the face of this criticism, and in this book, Keith O'Brien chronicles five of their stories -- some which may have been lost forever without his reporting. Among them is Amelia Earhart, whose story has more layers to it, as well as four women whose names you probably haven't heard, but won't be able to forget after you read this book.

Reporting is something Keith is quite good at. An award-winning journalist, he has contributed to The Boston GlobeNPR, Politico, the New York Times Magazine and This American Life, to name a few. 

Release Date: August 7th
Seaweed ChroniclesSusan Hand Shetterly, 

If you loved H Is for Hawk and/or The Soul of an Octopus, you are going to love this book. Susan, who has lived in Downeast Maine her whole life, is a renowned science writer for both children and adults, and has dug quite deep on one of nature's most fascinating and important plants in the world.

Far more than the stuff that sticks to your legs at the beach, seaweed is a valuable natural resource that is now being harvested to the point that its global demand has outstripped its supply. Susan takes us through the plant's lifecycle, to the people who harvest it, and explains in detail why it's so important to our ecosystem.
 
Do you like Batman? What about Mad Libs? Or games where the rules change part of the way through the game? Or how about games where you make up a story? Then you'll love these new games we've just stocked from Looney Labs! Come check out them today - they make great gifts!!!
OUT-OF-STORE JUNE EVENTS
  1. Fifer's Day, June 16, 11 am - 5 pm: We'll be at the 52nd annual Fifer's Day selling books, with special guest Casey Robinson, who will be signing copies of her new, debut picture book, Iver & Ellsworth.
  2. Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market, June 17, 10 am - 1 pm: We won't be selling books at this event, but we will be raffling off gift cards and books. Come stop by and see us!
  3. Littleton Third Thursdays, June 21, 5-8 pm: This fun event has become a staple in Littleton, and we will be joined by special guest Kris Asselin, who will be signing copies of her new book, The Art of the Swap.
IN-STORE JUNE EVENTS
Community Event: Acton Barn Cooperative Preschool Storytime
Sat., June 16: 11 am - 1 pm

 
Join us as teachers from the Acton Barn Cooperative Preschool, including Barn director and expert storyteller Nancy Tang, read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from 11 am - 1 pm on this day will go directly to the Acton Barn.
Author Event: Susan Tan
Mon., June 18: 6 pm

In local author Susan Tan's new middle-grade novel, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is a Classic, we get reacquainted with the lovable third-grade author who we fell in love with in Tan's debut, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire.

Both installments in this series have garnered much praise from the literary community. This Book Is a Classic has received a starred review from Booklist, and earned praise from School Library JournalKirkus Reviews, and notable authors like Rachel Renee Russell (Dork Diaries) and Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon).

“Heartwarming and poignant! Meeting Cilla felt like making a new best friend. I can't wait to share the book with my own daughter.” —Grace Lin 

“[Cilla Lee-Jenkins] is 50% Chinese, 50% Caucasian and I think 100% wonderful. . . . I suspect young readers will want to reach into the pages and hug her!” —Rachel Renee Russell, #1 New York Times—bestselling author of Dork Diaries.

“Tan, who grew up in a mixed-race family, does a lovely job of showing how Cilla finds joy in both sides of her heritage.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
Community Event: McCarthy-Towne School Appreciation Night
Wed., June 20: 6-8 pm

Join us as teachers from McCarthy-Towne School read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go directly to McCarthy-Towne School.

Legend Cafe will also be participating in the fundraiser, so be sure to grab a bite to eat there from 3-8 pm as well!

Come out for a fun night and support our schools!
Class: Codewiz "Modding Minecraft" Class
Cost: $30 (includes Modding Minecraft book)
Thur., June 21: 1:30-3:30 pm
Do you want to learn how to code in Minecraft? Then you're in luck! Discover fundamental programming concepts while making cool mods and building Minecraft games with local business Codewiz!

Codewiz, a team of passionate, smart and dedicated women who are all about inspiring the next generation, are based in Westford and owned by Ruth Agbaji. Ruth will run this class.

The class will run for two hours, and the book Modding Minecraft is included in the $30 class fee. The class will be limited to 10 participants, and a link to sign up will be available soon (we will post on social media when the link becomes available).
Author Event: Peter Brannen
Thur., June 21: 7 pm
Acton native Peter Brannen's book, The Ends of the World, will be released in paperback on June 19th. Come celebrate the paperback release with us, as Peter discusses all of the research that went into this fabulous and terrifying book!

The Ends of the World takes readers on a tour of Earth’s “Big Five” mass extinctions, the past worlds lost with each, and what it all can tell us about our not-too-distant future. The book earned praise from The New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, the Boston Globeand many others.

The Boston Globe called the book "Clear-eyed, urgent, and eloquent," and said, "Brannen offers an important education, making an argument for how better understanding what’s happened can help us determine how to move forward.”

Brannen is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic, The Washington PostWired, Aeon, The Boston GlobeSlate and The Guardian among other publications.
Community Event: ITC Center Storytime
Fri., June 22: 11 am - 1 pm
 
Join us for a storytime to benefit the Infant Toddler Children Centerof Acton, better known as ITC! A portion of the proceeds from 11 am - 1 pm on this day will go directly to ITC.
Author(s) Event: Celebrating Summer with Books!
Sat., June 23: 11 am
 
Join us as we celebrate summer with four local authors -- Shennen Bersani, Joannie Duris, Joanne Roach-Evans & Kate Narita -- who have written non-fiction picture books aimed at getting kids outside and enjoying nature. They are: We are excited to celebrate all four books, one of which -- 100 Bugs! A Counting Book -- will be released on June 12! This won't just be a normal storytime though, there will be a scavenger hunt and activities for the kids!

Join us so we can kick off summer the right way, by getting kids out into nature!
 
Author Event: Ammi-Joan Paquette
Sun., June 24: 3 pm
Local author Ammi-Joan Paquette has written 15 books, including two this year -- the middle-grade novel The Train of Lost Things, and children's non-fiction book, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries. We'll be celebrating the latter with this event, as the book is set to be released two days later!

The second book in the buzzy new middle grade non-fiction series, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries presents some of the most crazy-but-true facts about history, geography, and human achievement, as well as a handful of stories that aren’t true—and challenging readers to discover which are which!

Paquette has written six picture books, including Bunny Bus and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, and nine novels/non-fiction books, including the first Two Truths And A Lie book, Two Truths And A Lie: It's Alive! Come join us to celebrate her latest releases!
nl 13


Email Newsletter No. 13: June 8th, 2018
 
We love our little bookstore. We want to share it with everyone. So, to that end, we're taking it on the road. Three times this month, we'll be bringing the bookstore to the people.
  1. Fifer's Day, June 16, 11 am - 5 pm: We'll be at the 52nd annual Fifer's Day selling books, with special guest Casey Robinson, who will be signing copies of her new, debut picture book, Iver & Ellsworth.
  2. Acton-Boxborough Farmers Market, June 17, 10 am - 1 pm: We won't be selling books at this event, but we will be raffling off gift cards and books. Come stop by and see us!
  3. Littleton Third Thursdays, June 21, 5-8 pm: This fun event has become a staple in Littleton, and we will be joined by special guest Kris Asselin, who will be signing copies of her new book, The Art of the Swap.
We hope you'll join us out in the world!
 

Near the front of the store, we have a bookcase for staff picks, book club selections (both national and local) and all-time staff favorites. The book club selections come with a 10% discount. Be sure to check them all out! We'll be starting in-store book clubs ***very*** soon!
 
IN-STORE JUNE EVENTS
Author Event: David Wanczyk
Sat., June 9: 1 pm

Do you know Beep Baseball? It is baseball for blind people, and it is awesome! It's played right here in Acton, at Miracle Field at NARA Park.

David Wanczyk has written the first and definitive account on the sport in Beep -- which is a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection -- and we're excited to host him here for an event.

Says David Roth of Deadspin: “Beep is a fun and funny and supremely humane piece of sportswriting, a reminder of what sports are for. Wanczyk tells a great story, one that's alternately gripping and goofy, that’s not only about a particular game and the people that play it, but about why we play games in the first place.”

David Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With balls tricked out to squeal three times per second, and with bases that buzz, this game of baseball for the blind is both innovative and intense. And when the best beep baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, takes on its international rival, Taiwan Homerun, no one’s thinking about disability. What we find are athletes playing their hearts out for a championship.

Wanczyk follows teams around the world and even joins them on the field to produce a riveting inside narrative about the game and its players. Can Ethan Johnston, kidnapped and intentionally blinded as a child in Ethiopia, find a new home in beep baseball, and a spot on the all-star team? Will Taiwan’s rookie MVP Ching-kai Chen—whose superhuman feats on the field have left some veterans suspicious—keep up his incredible play? And can Austin’s Lupe Perez harness his competitive fire and lead his team to a long-awaited victory in the beep baseball world series?

Beep is the first book about blind baseball.
Author Event: Pam Lowell of Action Together MA
with Orange Door Kitchen
Sun., June 10: 2 pm

The Resistance Cookbook was dreamed up by Action Together Massachusetts, who is seeking to be the voice of change. Pam Lowell, one of the cookbook's authors, will be in store to discuss the cookbook, and her and the group's activism.

As an added bonus, our friends at Orange Door Kitchen will also be on hand, and will be preparing one of the dishes from the cookbook. Join us for this fun and enlightening event!
Author Event: Alison Goldberg
Thu., June 14: 6 pm

Local author Alison Goldberg has lovingly crafted this car-and-truck-and-train-filled picture book that compares the enduring power of love to various vehicles.

Goldberg's picture book debut, this I-love-you book is perfect for children who love vehicles that dig, carry, and lift. Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Goldberg compares the abilities of vehicles like trains, planes, cars, boats, and construction equipment to the never-ending love a parent has for their child.

Join us to celebrate this local author, who may just have a craft for kids to do as well!
Community Event: Acton Barn Cooperative Preschool Storytime
Sat., June 16: 11 am - 1 pm

 
Join us as teachers from the Acton Barn Cooperative Preschool, including Barn director and expert storyteller Nancy Tang, read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from 11 am - 1 pm on this day will go directly to the Acton Barn.
Author Event: Susan Tan
Mon., June 18: 6 pm

In local author Susan Tan's new middle-grade novel, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is a Classic, we get reacquainted with the lovable third-grade author who we fell in love with in Tan's debut, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire.

Both installments in this series have garnered much praise from the literary community. This Book Is a Classic has received a starred review from Booklist, and earned praise from School Library JournalKirkus Reviews, and notable authors like Rachel Renee Russell (Dork Diaries) and Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon).

“Heartwarming and poignant! Meeting Cilla felt like making a new best friend. I can't wait to share the book with my own daughter.” —Grace Lin 

“[Cilla Lee-Jenkins] is 50% Chinese, 50% Caucasian and I think 100% wonderful. . . . I suspect young readers will want to reach into the pages and hug her!” —Rachel Renee Russell, #1 New York Times—bestselling author of Dork Diaries.

“Tan, who grew up in a mixed-race family, does a lovely job of showing how Cilla finds joy in both sides of her heritage.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
Community Event: McCarthy-Towne School Appreciation Night
Wed., June 20: 6-8 pm

Join us as teachers from McCarthy-Towne School read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go directly to McCarthy-Towne School.

Legend Cafe will also be participating in the fundraiser, so be sure to grab a bite to eat there from 3-8 pm as well!

Come out for a fun night and support our schools!
Class: Codewiz "Modding Minecraft" Class
Cost: $30 (includes Modding Minecraft book)
Thur., June 21: 1:30-3:30 pm
Do you want to learn how to code in Minecraft? Then you're in luck! Discover fundamental programming concepts while making cool mods and building Minecraft games with local business Codewiz!

Codewiz, a team of passionate, smart and dedicated women who are all about inspiring the next generation, are based in Westford and owned by Ruth Agbaji. Ruth will run this class.

The class will run for two hours, and the book Modding Minecraft is included in the $30 class fee. The class will be limited to 10 participants, and a link to sign up will be available soon (we will post on social media when the link becomes available).
Author Event: Peter Brannen
Thur., June 21: 7 pm
Acton native Peter Brannen's book, The Ends of the World, will be released in paperback on June 19th. Come celebrate the paperback release with us, as Peter discusses all of the research that went into this fabulous and terrifying book!

The Ends of the World takes readers on a tour of Earth’s “Big Five” mass extinctions, the past worlds lost with each, and what it all can tell us about our not-too-distant future. The book earned praise from The New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, the Boston Globeand many others.

The Boston Globe called the book "Clear-eyed, urgent, and eloquent," and said, "Brannen offers an important education, making an argument for how better understanding what’s happened can help us determine how to move forward.”

Brannen is an award-winning science journalist whose work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Atlantic, The Washington PostWired, Aeon, The Boston GlobeSlate and The Guardian among other publications.
Community Event: ITC Center Storytime
Fri., June 22: 11 am - 1 pm
 
Join us for a storytime to benefit the Infant Toddler Children Centerof Acton, better known as ITC! A portion of the proceeds from 11 am - 1 pm on this day will go directly to ITC.
Author(s) Event: Celebrating Summer with Books!
Sat., June 23: 11 am
 
Join us as we celebrate summer with four local authors -- Shennen Bersani, Joannie Duris, Joanne Roach-Evans & Kate Narita -- who have written non-fiction picture books aimed at getting kids outside and enjoying nature. They are: We are excited to celebrate all four books, one of which -- 100 Bugs! A Counting Book -- will be released on June 12! This won't just be a normal storytime though, there will be a scavenger hunt and activities for the kids!

Join us so we can kick off summer the right way, by getting kids out into nature!
 
Author Event: Ammi-Joan Paquette
Sun., June 24: 3 pm
Local author Ammi-Joan Paquette has written 15 books, including two this year -- the middle-grade novel The Train of Lost Things, and children's non-fiction book, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries. We'll be celebrating the latter with this event, as the book is set to be released two days later!

The second book in the buzzy new middle grade non-fiction series, Two Truths And A Lie: Histories and Mysteries presents some of the most crazy-but-true facts about history, geography, and human achievement, as well as a handful of stories that aren’t true—and challenging readers to discover which are which!

Paquette has written six picture books, including Bunny Bus and The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, and nine novels/non-fiction books, including the first Two Truths And A Lie book, Two Truths And A Lie: It's Alive! Come join us to celebrate her latest releases!


 
Email Newsletter No. 12: June 1st, 2018
 
 

"What should we get dad?"
"...Sigh...I don't know. Dad doesn't like ***anything.***

Have you ever had this conversation with your mother or sibling(s)? I know I have. Dads rarely tell you what they want. But, believe it or not, they do want stuff. You just have to think about it for a minute. Or don't!!! That's what we're here for. We've put together 50 recommendations for you in our Father's Day Gift Guide -- 49 specific books, and a general recommendation to skip the neckties and get dad one of the pairs of fabulous socks we have in store.

You can see the 49 books we're recommending on the front page of our website. Don't think these are right? Come on down and hash it out with one of our marvelous booksellers. We'll make sure dad actually enjoys his gift this year!
 
Store owner Paul has been in New York City this week at Book Expo, one of the publishing industry's biggest yearly events. From special events, to education sessions, to a massive trade show, there has been a lot to learn and see. He is coming home with a lot of ideas and a lot of new energy for the store. You can follow along with Paul on the store's Instagram and Twitter accounts.
NEXT WEEK'S EVENTS
Author Event: Katie Slivensky
Wed., June 6: 7 pm

Local author Katie Slivensky has written the follow-up to her 2017 middle-grade novel, The Countdown Conspiracy. The book comes out the day before our event, so it will be brand new! Join us to help celebrate Katie's new book! Booklist says, “Slivensky masterfully blends geology and fantasy to create a provocative adventure. Even readers with little science background will be pulled into this riveting story.”

-- 

Seven kids. One supervolcano. One chance to save the world. This thrilling and accessible science adventure is sure to rock your world! 
 

Brianna Dobson can’t wait to spend her summer working with world-famous geologist Dr. Grier in Yellowstone National Park. That is, until Dr. Grier reveals the real reason she’s invited Bri and the other science-savvy kids on the top secret project: a supervolcano in the park is about to erupt, throwing Earth into a nuclear winter that will destroy nearly all life on the planet. Bri and her new friends are the only ones who can help stop it. But unexpected dangers loom, threatening to foil their efforts.
 

It’s up to the Seismic Seven to defy nature, stop the disaster, and save the planet.

Author Event: David Wanczyk
Sat., June 9: 1 pm

Do you know Beep Baseball? It is baseball for blind people, and it is awesome! It's played right here in Acton, at Miracle Field at NARA Park.

David Wanczyk has written the first and definitive account on the sport in Beep -- which is a 2018 Junior Library Guild selection -- and we're excited to host him here for an event.

Says David Roth of Deadspin: “Beep is a fun and funny and supremely humane piece of sportswriting, a reminder of what sports are for. Wanczyk tells a great story, one that's alternately gripping and goofy, that’s not only about a particular game and the people that play it, but about why we play games in the first place.”

David Wanczyk illuminates the sport of blind baseball to show us a remarkable version of America’s pastime. With balls tricked out to squeal three times per second, and with bases that buzz, this game of baseball for the blind is both innovative and intense. And when the best beep baseball team in America, the Austin Blackhawks, takes on its international rival, Taiwan Homerun, no one’s thinking about disability. What we find are athletes playing their hearts out for a championship.

Wanczyk follows teams around the world and even joins them on the field to produce a riveting inside narrative about the game and its players. Can Ethan Johnston, kidnapped and intentionally blinded as a child in Ethiopia, find a new home in beep baseball, and a spot on the all-star team? Will Taiwan’s rookie MVP Ching-kai Chen—whose superhuman feats on the field have left some veterans suspicious—keep up his incredible play? And can Austin’s Lupe Perez harness his competitive fire and lead his team to a long-awaited victory in the beep baseball world series?

Beep is the first book about blind baseball.
Author Event: Pam Lowell of Action Together MA
with Orange Door Kitchen
Sun., June 10: 1 pm

The Resistance Cookbook was dreamed up by Action Together Massachusetts, who is seeking to be the voice of change. Pam Lowell, one of the cookbook's authors, will be in store to discuss the cookbook, and her and the group's activism.

As an added bonus, our friends at Orange Door Kitchen will also be on hand, and will be preparing one of the dishes from the cookbook. Join us for this fun and enlightening event!


 


Email Newsletter No. 11: May 18th, 2018

On Saturday, we’re going to have our first party. A launch party, to be precise. Yes, we had our Opening Day, but that was kind of a whirlwind. The floor was still littered with boxes, and we didn’t even have our speakers set up yet. There was Independent Bookstore Day, but as much fun as that day was, it was an industry-wide day – it wasn’t really ours. Saturday will be.

We’ll be celebrating the launch of Casey W. Robinson’s brand-new, debut picture book, Iver & Ellsworth. This has been in the works since late February, before we even had an opening date, we were planning this launch party. It’s going to be a great time. Casey has a great support group around her, and they’ve constructed a clay Iver and a stuffed Ellsworth, both of which are pretty amazing.



On Saturday, we’re going to have cookies, apples, balloons (!!!) and just a whole lot of fun. But the real star of the show will be Casey – did we mention Casey is a Maynard resident? – and her fabulous new book. I won’t lie to you, dear reader, I teared up not just the first time I read this book, but also the second time I read it. Perhaps the bookstore was just dusty both times (bookstores accumulate a lot of dust, donchaknow) but I don’t think that’s why.

This is a tender story about the magic of friendship that you and your children are certain to love. And the fact that the story is loosely inspired by the Polar Beverages polar bear that sits atop their headquarters near Rt. 290 adds that little extra dash of local flair that makes this book extra special for us Massachusetts residents.

Every event we have at the store is special, and we’re certainly looking forward to our events tonight with Owen Laukkanen and Sunday with local teacher Sarah Marie A. Jette, but Saturday is our first launch party, and it’s going to be special. We hope you’ll join us!
 
By popular demand, we are now stocking all of Janet Tashjian's "My Life As A..." series. There's seven books in all ("My Life as a Joke" is on its way), and given how many requests we've had for these, we think you'll love all seven!
Meet The Staff:
Nancie Boudreau

A city girl who moved to the suburbs to have a family, Nancie is mom to kids Dylan and Lucy and dog Molly. She loves to be at the beach with a good book. When she's not here, you can find her working down the street at Douglas School, where she's held just about every position in the building!

- Favorite book: Paint the Wind, by Cathy Cash Spellman
- Who would you pick to write a novel based on you? My husband, Mark Boudreau
- What is your favorite cookie? Italian wine cookies
- What book(s) are you reading right now?Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
- What book are you looking forward to reading next? The Girl with all the Gifts, by M.R. Carey
MAY EVENTS
Author Event: Owen Laukannen
TONIGHT!!!
Fri., May 18: 7 pm

Owen's new book, Gale Force, is on sale May 8th. Bestselling author C.J. Box says, "Owen must have seawater in his veins and he's struck gold with Gale Force.

In the high-stakes world of deep-sea salvage, an ocean disaster can mean a huge payoff—if you can survive the chase. The book is an electrifying thriller of treachery and peril on the high seas featuring a dynamic new heroine. Laukkanen has been described as a "talented painter of individual scenes" by USA Today, and Kirkus Reviews said Gale Force "combines great storytelling with deep compassion for the underdog.”

A Vancouver native who hails from a family of fishermen, Laukannen has previously written six novels, and has been nominated for a bevy of awards, including a Barry Award.
Author Launch Party: Casey Watt Robinson's Iver & Ellsworth
Sat., May 19: 4 pm
Come celebrate the release of Casey's debut picture book, Iver & Ellsworth. This book, loosely inspired by Polar Beverage's Polar bear that can be seen from Rt. 290 in Worcester, will absolutely melt your heart.

We think Casey is going to be super successful, and are so excited to share this book with you a few days before it's actual release!
Author Event: Sarah Marie Jette
Sun., May 20: 3 pm

Local author Sarah Marie Jette has written a wonderful debut novel, perfect for middle grade readers! Join us and help us celebrate the release of What the Wind Can Tell You!

When Isabelle enters the magical world of Las Brisas with her wheelchair-bound brother, her eyes are opened to a future of new possibilities.

Isabelle is fascinated by wind. And this year, she's determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine. She's just as determined to have her brother, Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, serve as her assistant. But after Julian has a grand seizure, everything changes. Isabelle is suddenly granted entry into Las Brisas, a magical world where Julian's physical limitations disappear, and one, she discovers, that he visits every night. The more Isabelle explores Las Brisas, the more possibilities she sees?for Julian, and for herself?and the more she finds herself at odds with her parents.

Debut author Sarah Marie A. Jette has told, with remarkable insight and humor, a powerful story of a family struggling to love without fear.

 


Email Newsletter No. 10: May 11th, 2018
 
There’s still time to get Mom the perfect gift. We have books, of course, and we would love to talk to you about what your mother likes reading and find the perfect book for her. But we also have tons of other options – socks, scarves, mugs, tote bags, candies. Of course, we have special Mother’s Day greeting cards. And beyond that, we have gift cards, we have store memberships, and we have subscriptions.

Our subscriptions work like any other kind of subscription – magazines, beer of the month, etc. – except with books. You choose the category you want – we offer fiction, non-fiction, children’s and young adult – and we hand pick a book to send out each month. Nice and easy, and we offer our subscriptions in six- and 12-month increments. Let’s face it, finding the right book can be time consuming, so if you’d prefer, we can do that work for you!

Support Local!
We were very happy last week to sponsor the Douglas School Fun Run. It was a fantastic event that raised a lot of money for the Douglas School community. And seeing our logo on a t-shirt was pretty sweet as well.
 


This week, we find our logo in a recital program for the first time, as the DNE School of Dance celebrates their 22nd anniversary this weekend. Good luck to all the dancers this weekend!
 
We had lots of new books come in this week! Some brand new, some newly out in paperback, all fabulous!
Meet The Neighbors -
Orange Door Kitchen

We’ve only known Chris and Meredith Powell for a short time, but we’re extremely confident that they’re going to be a fixture of the West Acton community. Chris and Meredith are opening The Orange Door Kitchen very soon! Their Community Open House will be on Thursday, May 24th from 4-7 pm. We will be there for sure, and we would encourage you to attend as well. Orange Door isn’t going to be a typical restaurant.

They are doing many creative things with their space on Arlington St., but their Supper Clubs, classes and events are going to be what makes them stand out. Recently, the couple recreated the seven-course meal for the Game of Thrones Red Wedding, and thanks to their background, they know a lot of people in Boston’s culinary scene. They already have one such event on the books, with Chef Michael Leviton. They're also very philanthropic. In short, Orange Door Kitchen is a place you’re going to love. Check them out more at their website.
 
NEXT WEEK'S EVENTS
Community Event: Conant School Appreciation Night
Mon., May 14: 6 pm

 
Join us as teachers from Conant School read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go directly to Conant School.

Teachers who will be reading include:
  • Mairin Gulliver (Grade 1)
  • Mary Tsacoyeanes (Grade 2)
  • Ann Marie Pastor (Grade 3)
  • Sara Wilcox (Grade 6)
Come out for a fun night and support our schools!
 
Author Event: Evan Drellich
Thur., May 17: 6 pm

Veteran Red Sox reporter Evan Drellich has compiled a book chronicling the 50 people and events that have made the Red Sox the Red Sox. From Ted Williams to Mookie Betts, the early 1900s through 2004 and everywhere in between, this is one Red Sox book you won't want to miss!

Drellich currently writes and makes television appearances for NBC Sports Boston, and can be found frequently on the radio at WEEI. He has written for the Houston ChronicleBoston Herald, and MLB.com, among others.
Author Event: Owen Laukannen
Fri., May 18: 7 pm

Owen's new book, Gale Force, is on sale May 8th. Bestselling author C.J. Box says, "Owen must have seawater in his veins and he's struck gold with Gale Force.

In the high-stakes world of deep-sea salvage, an ocean disaster can mean a huge payoff—if you can survive the chase. The book is an electrifying thriller of treachery and peril on the high seas featuring a dynamic new heroine. Laukkanen has been described as a "talented painter of individual scenes" by USA Today, and Kirkus Reviews said Gale Force "combines great storytelling with deep compassion for the underdog.”

A Vancouver native who hails from a family of fishermen, Laukannen has previously written six novels, and has been nominated for a bevy of awards, including a Barry Award.
Author Launch Party: Casey Watt Robinson's Iver & Ellsworth
Sat., May 19: 4 pm

 
Come celebrate the release of Casey's debut picture book, Iver & Ellsworth. This book, loosely inspired by Polar Beverage's Polar bear that can be seen from Rt. 290 in Worcester, will absolutely melt your heart.

We think Casey is going to be super successful, and are so excited to share this book with you a few days before it's actual release!
Author Event: Sarah Marie Jette
Sun., May 20: 3 pm

Local author Sarah Marie Jette has written a wonderful debut novel, perfect for middle grade readers! Join us and help us celebrate the release of What the Wind Can Tell You!
 

When Isabelle enters the magical world of Las Brisas with her wheelchair-bound brother, her eyes are opened to a future of new possibilities.

Isabelle is fascinated by wind. And this year, she's determined to win the middle school science fair with her wind machine. She's just as determined to have her brother, Julian, who has a severe form of epilepsy and uses a wheelchair, serve as her assistant. But after Julian has a grand seizure, everything changes. Isabelle is suddenly granted entry into Las Brisas, a magical world where Julian's physical limitations disappear, and one, she discovers, that he visits every night. The more Isabelle explores Las Brisas, the more possibilities she sees?for Julian, and for herself?and the more she finds herself at odds with her parents.

Debut author Sarah Marie A. Jette has told, with remarkable insight and humor, a powerful story of a family struggling to love without fear.



 


Email Newsletter No. 9: May 4th, 2018
 
It’s been a busy week here! We’ve introduced a Monday morning storytime and we sold books at an offsite location for the first time! We had an opportunity to sell books for the Discovery Museum at their event Tuesday at Temple Beth Elohim. Katherine Reynolds Lewis gave a captivating lecture centered on her new book, The Good News About Behavior.

Now, as we head into the weekend, we’re looking forward to Mother’s Day next weekend. We’re getting new stock in the next few days – Sock It To Me socks and Emily McDowell greeting cards. We’re super excited about both. Now that we’ve tackled our book selection, we’ll be adding items like these to help augment our product offerings, and make sure that you find something great to go home with even if you’re not wanting a book!

In fact, we have already received some new stock – Usborne books! Usborne (and its sister company Kane Miller) are fantastic educational an activity books for children. Odds are, you know exactly what they are – their sticker books make great birthday presents. On top of being a great company, they stopped selling to Amazon a couple of years ago, and when they did, their profits went UP instead of down. As a small business owner, it’s gratifying to see that.
Meet The Staff - Hannah Thorpe
Meet Hannah! Hannah was the Silver Unicorn’s very first hire! Hannah has been with us since before the shelves were up – in fact, she helped put a lot of them up! This past weekend, she ran our Harry Potter Trivia contest, which was a huge success, and already has us thinking about other Book Trivia contests (let us know if you have any suggestions!). A sophomore at A/B, we asked Hannah to answer a few questions for the newsletter. Here’s what she said:
  • Favorite Book: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Favorite Genre: Mystery 
  • Who would you pick to write a novel based on you? Maile Meloy
  • Who's on your literary Mt. Rushmore? J.K. Rowling, Agatha Christie, Patrick Ness, Maile Meloy
  • Books I'm Reading Right Now: The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells
  • What book are you looking forward to reading next? The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

 
NEXT THREE EVENTS
Monday's With Rachel
Drop-In Storytime
Mon., May 7 & 14, 11 am

Every Monday at 11 am, join our bookseller Rachel for a fun story time for your littlest ones. And afterward, either enjoy a craft in the store, or take it home with you!
Author Event: Heather Abel
Thur., May 10: 7 pm

Heather's debut novel, The Optimistic Decade, comes out on May 1st! It is an energetic and entertaining novel about a utopian summer camp and its charismatic leader asks smart questions about good intentions gone terribly wrong.

Peter Weller, the author of the bestselling-book The Dog Stars, says "This witty and psychologically astute debut novel could not be more timely.”

Join us to celebrate this local author's debut novel!
Community Event: Conant School Appreciation Night
Mon., May 14: 6 pm

 
Join us as teachers from Conant School read their favorite stories to the community! A portion of the proceeds from the evening will go directly to Conant School.

Teachers who will be reading include:
  • Mairin Gulliver (Grade 1)
  • Mary Tsacoyeanes (Grade 2)
  • Ann Marie Pastor (Grade 3)
  • Sara Wilcox (Grade 6)
Come out for a fun night and support our schools!
 


Email Newsletter No. 8: April 27th, 2018


It's all been building to this!!!

Tomorrow is our store's very first Independent Bookstore Day!!! It's an exciting time. In the morning we have author readings from two very different children's authors. Melissa Stewart focuses on non-fiction books that are rooted in and explain science in a way that children can understand and enjoy. On the other side of the coin, we have Anna Staniszewski, who focuses on fiction. She's written picture books for children as well as novels for middle-grade readers. Both are very good at what they do, and it'll be a real treat to have them both in store at the same time!

Melissa should be starting around 10:30, and Anna around 11:15. As Anna is finishing up, we'll have two of our neighbors here in West Acton painting faces. The forecast says it's going to be nice. If it stays that way, they'll be stationed outside, where we can hopefully all enjoy a little sun!

From 2-5 pm, we'll have be having a Young Adult books sale - all Young Adult books in the store will be 15% off. Come stock up for summer!

At 3:30, we're going to kick off Harry Potter Trivia. One of our booksellers, Hannah, has prepared a myriad of interesting questions, and all participants will walk home with a little something for their efforts!
 


Last but absolutely not least is Erica Ferencik, who wrote the captivating mystery novel, The River At Night. The book was a 2017 Indie Next pick, an Oprah.com "Page-Turning Novels" pick, an Entertainment Weekly "Must List" pick, and Bustle's "most anticipated anticipated thriller of 2017."

The River at Night is a high-stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident. Ruth Ware said, "This book knocked me off my feet." I have personally sold it to people who have come back in raving about it. I'm very much looking forward to hearing Erica speak about it!

Our front sign has lights now!
We have four wonderful events planned for next week, including our inaugural "Mondays with Rachel," a story time for kids who aren't quite old enough for preschool and kindergarten.

Gish Jen's talk on explaining the East-West culture gap that she expertly explored in The Girl at the Baggage Claim (which is just out in paperback!) should prove fascinating on Tuesday night, and I can't put down Crystal King's debut novel, Feast of Sorrow.

On Thursday, we have our second Pajama Story Time! Our first one in April was incredibly well attended, and we expect this to be a monthly tradition!

In addition, we'll be selling books at the Discovery Museum's Speaker Series on Tuesday night - author Katherine Reynolds Lewis will be speaking about her new book, The Good News About Bad Behavior. Unfortunately, registration for the lecture is now closed, but if you have a ticket, we'll see you there!
FYI - for Independent Bookstore Day, the store will open an hour early for members. And remember, you can become a member for just $25!
 


Email Newsletter No. 7: April 20th, 2018


Whew! Last week was an incredible week here. To celebrate our Grand Opening, we had seven author events in seven days, and we had a great time. The turn out was great all week, and our authors were as well.

And yet, we're not done! Next Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day. This is the fourth year that indies are having a day-long celebration, and it'll obviously be the first time we participate. We have author events in the morning and the afternoon, and all sorts of fun activities planned in between:
 


As you can see, we have a lot going on. You can read the full details on the Events pageof our website. One item that we'll be selling special on next Saturday are these fabulous Colson Whitehead Underground Railroad pouches:
 


These won't last long, so make sure to get in early for yours. The store will open an hour early - at 9 am - for those who have purchased store memberships.



Email Newsletter No. 6: April 6th, 2018

Hi, everybody! It’s been a little bit since I last got a newsletter out the door – three weeks! Each week for the past three weeks, I’ve sat down at some point on Thursday or Friday to type up the newsletter, and then – poof! – the world exploded. Boxes of books coming in, publishers to contact, employees to train, you name it. It’s been an exciting time, to be certain. And it has all been building to our Grand Opening next week!

It’s hard for me to overstate just how excited I am for our Grand Opening week. We have seven days of author events lined up. Each event has me equally excited. We kick things off with Matt Tavares, who combines a passion for baseball with an impeccable writing and artistic ability. As a baseball writer, I have a special kinship with Matt’s work, but he isn’t just a baseball writer. He’s written several books about other topics, including Red & Lulu, which spent the last five weeks of 2017 as an Indie bestseller.

The week will conclude with Dr. Lisa Feldman-Barrett, whose work into the science of emotion spawned the book How Emotions Are Made, which is newly out in paperback. This is an intriguing field of study, and Dr. Feldman-Barrett is at the forefront!

In between, we have five more great events lined up! I won’t run down the whole list, but rest assured I am excited for them all, and sort of in disbelief that so many great authors are on their way to us. Earlier this week, Mira T. Lee shared her upcoming book tour on Twitter. In addition to our store, she’s speaking at large events in Palm Beach, Los Angeles and New York, as well as Politics & Prose in Washington DC. If you’re not a bookstore nerd, you might not know Politics & Prose, but it’s regularly listed among the best bookstores in the country. To see our humble little bookshop in such company was very cool.

One other thing I’d like to point out is that for our event with Josh Funk next week, we have early access to his next book, Albie Newton. The book doesn’t release until May 1st, but we’ve got a carton of them here in the store for our event with Josh on Wednesday.

Please go to our Events page or our Facebook Events page and check all the events out. I'm equally excited for the events with Kris Asselin and Jen Malone, MarcyKate Connolly and Brendan Mathews!

Next week is a week you don’t want to miss. In addition to our seven author events, we’re also going to be giving away autographed books, gift cards and Red Sox and Celtics tickets! We hope you’ll join us all week!


Email Newsletter No. 5: March 15, 2018

The excitement is building within the bookstore's walls. Our first books got put on to shelves this week. It's been exciting seeing books in real life that until now had only been viewed on spreadsheets and pictures on the internet. Every day, people are squinting through the window or stopping in to say hello. This enthusiasm compounds our own enthusiasm, and it's making the store a very fun place to be right now. We're hoping it will continue to be so for a long time.

People keep asking us for when we're opening. I wish we already were! At the same time, the process of getting open is a slow burn, and we don't want to rush through it. Obviously, we won't have all the kinks worked out when we open, but we want to have as many of them worked out as possible.

So when will the store open? I'm finally ready to say "sometime next week." When we're really open for real, I'll blast out the news on social media. We're very close! I hope you're as excited as we are!

FIRST STORE EVENT!
Ginny Kremer for School Committee!
Join us on Sun., March 25th in the afternoon (exact time to follow) to come hear Ginny Kremer speak. Ginny is a government attorney who has two children in the Acton-Boxborough school district. She is passionate about public education and about AB, so come down to the bookstore to listen and engage with her before the School Committee election on Tues., March 27th.


Email Newsletter No. 4: March 9, 2018

They’re here! They’re finally here! The weather could only wreak havoc with the delivery plans for so long. Now, after a 48-hour delay, the store’s bookcases have arrived in what amounts to our first Truck Day. It’s the beginning of the culmination of the pre-opening planning. Another step will be taken when the books themselves arrive next week. It’s all coming together quickly, and yet not quickly enough. But with the bookcases here, we’re that much closer to opening!

Meet Our Artist!
Acton resident and great friend of the bookstore,Kirsten Spargo of Little Brit Art is creating the store's mural. Dealing primarily in acrylics and inks, Kirsten enjoys dreaming up murals, as well as creating custom superhero art. In fact, I first realized Kirsten was a great artist when I saw her fantastic Iron Man/Captain America painting (at left). Kirsten has done work for the Acton Barn as well as numerous private clients in and around Acton. In addition to her art and raising her two school-age boys, Kirsten competes in Olympic weightlifting tournaments. You can contact her on her Little Brit Facebook page.


Email Newsletter No. 3: March 1, 2018

The movie Armageddon was not an Oscar contender. I was only 19 when it came out, but even I could point out some of its logical fallacies. I generally let those sorts of things slide in the name of entertainment, and I certainly did with this movie. One quote, in particular, has stuck with me. As the oil drillers turned astronauts are about to be launched into space, Owen Wilson’s character Oscar is asked how he feels. He describes his feelings as such:

“I’ve got that excited/scared feeling. Like 98 percent excited, two percent scared. Or maybe it’s more...it could be 98 percent scared, two percent excited. But that’s what makes it so intense.”

That’s the feeling I have right now. At some point in the next 24 hours, I’m going to place my book order. I’ve been working on it for parts of four months. It’s nearly 6,000 titles deep, and I have done my best to scrutinize every single title I’m ordering. I feel confident that it’s a great order, full of books in a wide range of categories that are going to appeal to as many people as possible. I’ve taken every variable I can think of into account.

Yet, at the same time, going through it last night and into the small hours today, I couldn’t help but realize that I’ve learned so much since I started this process back in December. On the one hand, that’s a good thing. It’d be a shame if I had spent this much time on something and not learned anything. On the other hand, I couldn’t help second guessing some of my earlier decisions. Do they still stand up? I have to trust that they do, but that’s where that 98%/2% feeling comes into play.

Soon, those books will be stocked and ready to share with you. I can’t wait for you to come in and find your unicorn – the book that speaks uniquely to you.


Email Newsletter No. 2: Feb. 22, 2018
 
As I mentioned last week, one of my major focuses both in life and with the bookstore, is “shop local.” But as I’ve been researching books for my first big order, I’ve recognized a corollary to “shop local” is “read local.”

We have so many wonderful authors in New England, spanning all genres of books. Surely, some you know about. Writers like Stephen King, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Amy Poehler, Jeff Kinney and Mindy Kaling are household names or close to it in not only these parts, but most parts of the country.

But there are a plethora of writers from all points in New England who may not be quite as famous, but who write fantastic books nonetheless. I’m loathe to start naming names, because inevitably I will leave someone out, but suffice to say, that I am making a sizable local authors list and checking it twice.

I haven’t quite decided how they’ll be featured in the store, but you can rest assured that when you come into The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, you’re going to hear about the many, many talented people in Massachusetts and other points in New England who are writing excellent books.

We won’t be stopping there though. We’re also going to be holding events with as many local authors as I can coerce to come to the store to both read to you and interact with you. I’ve already booked a few of these authors to come and speak at the store, and I have on my to-do list to contact many more.

It’s always great to curl up with a good book. For my money, there’s a little added satisfaction when I know that the author comes from my neck of the woods. It’ll be my goal to show off as many of them to you as I possibly can, so that we can all “read local.”


Email Newsletter No. 1: Feb. 15, 2018

Hi, everybody!

I have to tell you, I’ve been itching to write something. I used to be a sports writer. I’ve been away from that life for a little over a month now, and yet, the itch to write won’t go away. So, I decided this first edition of the newsletter had waited long enough!

Things are progressing very well down at 12 Spruce St., the (future) home of The Silver Unicorn Bookstore. My goal is to have the space looking as perfect as I know how to make it the second you step in the door. That means big things like tearing out the old, stained, brown carpet and replacing it with new flooring, and it also means little things like making sure I have the right type of little tabletop book easels.

Making the store feel warm and inviting has been a big part of my quest thus far, but it’s nothing without the books! I want to make sure I am curating the best selection of books possible. I am putting in countless hours of research to make sure that I have the perfect mix of books – not only in terms of their category and genre, but also in having a selection that tries to represent our community. It’s important for people to be able to see themselves in the books they read. As for categories, the store will run the spectrum – fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children’s. Graphic novels, coffee table books, mystery, humor, gardening, history, you name it!

I want the store to be part of the fabric of Acton’s community. I’ve already signed up to contribute to a few events around town. Likewise, I’m starting to introduce myself to other local businesses, and form relationships. Acton has such a vibrant small business community, and “shop local” is important to me. 

Finally, I want the bookstore to be a space for the community to gather. I have already booked several author events (stay tuned for details!), and the store will also host events with local business and community leaders, as well as children’s story times, adult book clubs and more.

I hope you’ll follow along with me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, as well as here in the newsletter as the store gets closer to its soft opening. Soon, this newsletter will have a lot fewer words and a lot more pictures of notable books. (It’ll also only be a once-a-week newsletter. We won’t flood your inbox. Promise.) But for now, I just wanted to say hello. I look forward to getting the store open and greeting people who come in, browse the shelves, and “Find your Unicorn.”