Over the course of the last year, it’s been hard to explore the world and connect with our communities in the same capacity that we used to. It has been inspiring to see people persist despite this and come up with creative solutions to maintain connection and curiosity. Here at Country Bookshelf, we see this everyday in people exploring different books and exploring the shelves. Even the most adventurous of us haven’t gotten to explore the boundless expanse of our store. That is why, we are going to take you on safari through the bookstore, and maybe we’ll even spot some staff picks along the way…
There are many different ways to venture through the jungle of the bookstore--some swim in the seas of our card racks when first entering the store, while others are easily distracted by the brightly colored covers of our fiction section. You can’t miss the orange cover of There There by Tommy Orange, which bookseller Cassie would recommend to anyone. “It's a very insightful and action-filled book detailing many different facets of modern American Indian experiences and lifestyles. It taught me a lot about the range of different sub-cultures and experiences across different nations,” she says.
Your eye might also be drawn to the vibrant cover of Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing. There is Jeanette, gushing over it right now! “A beautiful multigenerational story that tells a history of slavery and colonialism from the east African coast in Ghana to the US. The tales of each character are so singular and beautiful, and Gyasi has a masterful way of getting you invested in everyone's story, even if you're only getting a snapshot of their lives. Some people are just so good at writing!”
Other adventurers head straight upstairs, whether drawn to the philosophical voices, social commentary, or a record of historical events. There is Anna, restocking our vast history section! She recommends Mudlark by Lara Maiklem.
Want to read about the lives of some of your favorite writers? We do too. Our biography and memoir section is filled to the brim with voices, both well known and heard for the first time. You can see Kasey there right now! Rebecca Solnit’s Recollection of My Nonexistence is in her hands. “If you've ever felt like a person, in the world, just living your life, this book will resonate with you.”
Did you hear that sound coming from beneath the stairs? We better go investigate...
A wild Matthew appears in our humor section! He recommends Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh. “Humorous and relaxed, it's the perfect book for unwinding from the stresses of the world,” he cries. Ariana can’t help but laugh as she stands right beside him in our essay section. She’s holding one of her favorite books, Book of Delights by Ross Gay. “It's the kind of book you can pick up when you need a pick-me-up or something to ponder, and the delights range from encounters with people to the plants in his garden. This book will make you stop and notice delight every day.” We certainly know how to delight one another here!
You can never go wrong with a classic, but there are always so many new and exciting titles lining our shelves! Kaycee is by our “Hot off the Press” display, telling anyone who will listen how great Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M Masood.
Waiting for the book to come out in paperback so that it doesn’t weigh you down on your travels? We have just the shelf for you! Our “New in Paperback” section is for all the patient folks who have been waiting for the books on their list to come out in soft cover. There’s Frances, with the newly out in paperback Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn. “There is a magic in this novel that seems unexplainable to the characters and maybe even the author. But it is there with every word and every action. You are sure to feel it too,” Frances says with a twinkle in their eyes.
And no bookstore would be complete without some fantastical escapism. Head over to our SciFi/Fantasy section to find your perfect dose of alternate reality. There’s our beloved Jessica with a copy of The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. “This book is a literal cinnamon roll of goodness, all about self-discovery and acceptance, family (and falling in love with family) and community and belonging,” she says. “It's a slow burn, not unlike the time it takes to make delicious cinnamon rolls, but worth every moment.”
We here at Country Bookshelf love books about connection. Whether it be the familial connections in The House in the Cerulean Sea, Ross Gay’s daily joyful connections to the world in Book of Delights, or the connection of artifacts to history in Mudlark. And we love connecting with our customers.
Didn’t see a title that excites you here? Not to worry. Come on in and celebrate community, and curiosity with us. We’ll connect you with your next favorite book, and if we’re lucky, some new bookish friends too.