Updated Staff Picks, Q&A with Russell Rowland and More!


Hi New York Times Fans - we just received word that the papers did not arrive today, and so will not be making their way to JOE'S PARKWAY MARKET this afternoon. We are hoping they will make it tomorrow afternoon. Thanks for your patience and understanding.


Friday, May 1st, 2020

We have updated the website to reflect what our staff are currently recommending, and added more resources for Kids and YA. First, we added new faces to our staff recommendations. Please give our booksellers Kaycee and Maris a big welcome, and check out what books they loved.

Barn 8 by Deb Olin UnferthKaycee just finished reading Barn 8 by Deb Olin Unferth . “Witty, dark, passionate, and absurd. This novel had me suddenly engulfed in a plot to steal thousands of chickens and the perps behind it. It was a sheer joy to read, but I would not recommend it to the faint of heart. I switched to the Libro.FM audiobook about halfway through so I could listen to it on my way to work, and it really made the words come to life.”

Maris picked Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer. “I am gripped by Joshua Hammer's The Falcon Thief, a new true crime/wildlife adventure book that follows the exploits (both hair-raising and ire-provoking) of a man who stole rare birds and rare bird eggs from the wild to sell on the black market. Along the way, I'm learning about wonderful birds of prey, the history of wildlife crime and the inexplicable fascination some people have with rare eggs.”

We're working on a virtual reading with local author Russell Rowland and his new book Cold Countrysubmit your questions about Cold Country and his writing here. Get your questions in by Monday, May 4th

Lastly, do you need a card with that? Add Mother’s Day or graduation cards to any book purchase, or individually on their own for $5 each. Click the links to see photos and for more information. More cards coming to our website soon or ask a bookseller to pick something out for you.


Happy Reading,

Country Bookshelf

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Updates on Pick Up and Not Quite Re-Opening

Monday, April 27, 2020

Dear Country Bookshelf Readers,

Big thanks to all of you for your continued support! Our staff have been working hard filling your orders safely, delivering and shipping them to you. Please keep the orders coming! Just be patient that it takes a bit longer than usual for us to respond, and our suppliers and delivery companies are taking longer to fulfill orders on their ends.

Although we now have permission to be open to the public, we have decided not to open immediately for the continued safety of our staff and our community. Before we can reopen, we will have to make a lot of changes in the store, and these will take time. Watch our email newsletter, website, and social media for updates.

The good news is that we are offering pick up service again! Once you have been notified that your order is ready, and if you have selected the Pick Up option, we will send you a link to sign up for a pick up time slot. We are offering pick up from 12-4pm Monday through Friday and other times by special appointment. Pick up orders will be placed on a table at the front door, labelled with your name. Just open the door and grab your order. We are not open for browsing or in-person transactions at this time. And remember that orders can’t be ready immediately, so please wait to hear from us. We are also still offering local delivery and shipping around the country.

We are also now doing our best to answer the phones between 12pm and 4pm Monday through Friday, and other times as we are able, so please call to have a bookseller personally assist you! Note that we have limited staffing on weekends and are less able to answer the phones these days.

The Sunday New York Times will continue to be available at Joe’s Parkway Market until further notice, though the last two weeks the Saturday evening flight they arrive on from Seattle has been cancelled, and we expect that to continue which means that papers are not available until around 4pm on Sundays. 

Thank you again for keeping us slinging books! Watch for other news coming soon.


Happy reading,

Country Bookshelf




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An interview With Author Grady Hendrix

Bookseller Harry is back with a review of Grady Hendrix’s new release The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. “We’re a book club. What are we supposed to do? Read him to death?” A group of tired and unappreciated moms get together to read true crime, drink wine, and form meaningful friendships when a vampire moves to town. We've all been there, right? I honestly can't tell you how much I loved this book. This book kept me up many a sleepless night as I finished just one more chapter, got actually frustrated at antagonists, and cheered for the protagonists. I feel like Grady gets better and better with each new book, and I never wanted this story to end. I was able to ask him a few questions about The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. Check it out!

Harry J: Best Friend's Exorcism and Southern Book Club's Guide both have a strong theme of overcoming monsters with the power of female bonds. Is there a specific reason for this? 

Grady Hendrix: Unhappy endings always feel like you stopped telling the story too early, because life goes on and I always want to know what happens next. Unhappy endings just feel cheap and unrealistic to me. Cynicism is a sad and pointless way to look at the world. 

HJ: How much is the protagonist in The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires based off of your actual mother? 

GH: Every character I write is based on a real person, whether it’s someone I know or someone I see on the subway, but by the time they make it to the page, they’re virtually unrecognizable. Patricia has some things in common with my mom — they’re both former nurses, they both belong to book clubs, they’re both parents — but Patricia is a lot more naive than my mom. On the other hand, she’s also a lot more likely to try to kill a vampire than my mom.

HJ: You seem to favor strong female protagonists fighting against paranormal odds in your books. What inspired this? 

GH: I have no idea why I seem incapable of writing male characters. It’s clearly something I need to address with my therapist! Guys just don’t interest me as much.

HJ: What gave you the idea for The Southern Book Club's Guide? 

GH: I’ve always wanted to write a book about adult friendship and I’ve known the women in my mom’s book club since I was a kid. The longer I knew them the more interesting they became, but when I initially suggested this book to my editor they really pushed back against it, telling me that no one was interested in reading about a bunch of middle-aged housewives. That sealed the deal: I was going to write this book no matter what.

HJ: If Southern Book Club’s Guide became a movie or tv series, what would be your ideal casting? (Mine would be Winona Ryder for Patricia and Chris Sarandon for James Harris.)

GH: I like the Winona Ryder idea, but I have a hard time with these kinds of questions because I feel like I’ll jinx things. But if Patrick Wilson was younger, he’d be a great James Harris, and I’d love to see Octavia Spencer as Mrs. Greene. 

HJ: You've already covered a number of horrifying things; vampires, demons, Ikea. What's the next monster that you'd like to (forgive the pun) sink your teeth into?

GH: I actually already have a monster and their book is slated for publication in June 2021. So I’m not saying anything until closer to that date. But I will say that the one monster I really want to write and can’t find a way into: werewolves. I love werewolves but I just can’t seem to find that extra piece that makes them work for me. But maybe I’m just not inspired enough? I’m going to keep wandering around the moors at night and waiting to be bitten.

Staff Pick Badge
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781683691433
Availability: Backordered
Published: Quirk Books - April 7th, 2020

Good News: Sunday New York Times

And then the Bad News...

4/19/20 9:00am update. The New York Times did not make it here yesterday. Its flight from Seattle was cancelled -- as are so many flights these days. We are hoping it will be on the flight arriving this afternoon, in which case, it should be at Joe's Parkway Market around 4pm. Please note that we may not be able to answer your email immediately, and Joe's Parkway staff are not responsible for this delay, so please be kind and patient. We will put all future updates about the New York Times on our Facebook page: 

Thank you for your support. We apologize for any inconvenience. 


Sunday New York Times now at Joe's Parkway Market

Dear Bookshelf Friends & New York Times Readers,

We're thrilled to announce that the Sunday New York Times will be available again starting this Sunday, April 19th thanks to a partnership with another fabulous local business, Joe's Parkway Market

Until further notice, you can pick up the Sunday New York Times at Joe's Parkway Market, 903 West College, from 10am to 7pm daily. Papers are now $8, and will be cash only unless you add the paper to a grocery order. Sounds like a lovely way to get Sunday brunch goodies!

While open to the public, Joe's Parkway is also offering -- and highly encouraging --  curbside pick up, so call ahead at 406-586-2005, and plan to have exact change for one of their great staff to meet you outside. 

We're so grateful for all the ways our community comes together. Please thank the lovely folks at Joe's!

And for all your book needs, our staff are still hard at work -- fully employed and insured thanks to you! -- filling orders from our website and email. Plus we are also working constantly on improvements to the website, so be sure to check out some of the new features, including lists of recommended books for homeschooling.

Not sure what you want right now? Either email us for suggestions or treat yourself to a gift certificate to use when the mood strikes. 

Be in touch and let us know how we can get great books and gifts to you and yours!

Happy reading,
Country Bookshelf

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Wendy Recommends Pandemic Reads 4/14/20

Hello out there! I’m checking in from where I am hunkered down in the boonies. Today I am launching my blog, Wendy Recommends:  Originally, I was going to talk mostly about mysteries, and I will go there in future posts. However, in light of what’s happening in the world I want to recommend some of my favorite post-apocalyptic novels. Some are classics and some newer, but all are wonderful reads! You’ll see the recurring theme of world destruction (lotsa pandemics), but all of these treat the subject matter in unique and inventive ways. They are in no particular order.

A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller

     Many years after civilization has crumbled, Brother Francis of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz tends the sacred relics of the blessed blueprint and the sacred shopping list.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

            A vampire apocalypse causes society’s downfall, but one of the original twelve victims might just save the world.

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

            After a nuclear strike kills millions, neighbors in a small Florida town try to heal themselves and restore civilization.

Fever by Deon Meyer

            A father and son try to build a community after a virus sweeps the world.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

             When a virulent flu destroys civilization, survivors cope with the aftermath in unusual and creative ways.

The Stand by Stephen King

            99% of the world’s population is wiped out by a flu, so survivors band together, even as an evil cult leader tries to take over.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson

            The last human survivor of a New York City plague tries to stay alive and find a cure.

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

            A lone flu survivor in rural Colorado flies his 1956 Cessna, hangs out with his dog, and looks for hope and a future.

The Postman by David Brin

            Years after a devastating war, a wanderer comes upon an old postal worker jacket, and a new vocation is born.

Zone One by Colson Whitehead (Right? Who knew?)

            After a pandemic, soldiers in New York City are tasked with clearing out the remaining zombies in lower Manhattan.

The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

            In the days leading up to an asteroid strike destined to destroy the world, most people go nuts, but one policeman tries to just do his job. (Technically not a post-apocalyptic novel, but so what?)

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Newsletter 4/10/20

Hi Bookshelf friends!

This period of social isolation has slowed down a lot of things in the book world. Our publishing partners and distributors are taking a little extra time to fulfill our requests so they can keep their staff safe. So too, are our shipping partners, and we are so grateful to our delivery people for helping keep us stocked and books heading out to our community. Switching our business online only has also slowed down our staff a bit, as we take extra safety precautions including wearing gloves and cloth masks and extra time to make in-town deliveries and get books shipped around the country.

We dearly miss face-to-face interaction with all of you, helping with gifts and picking out your next great read in person, but we are still doing all that through our website and email. While our doors may be closed, Bookshelf staff are busy behind the scenes filling web orders and answering your email questions, so keep those orders coming! You can find us open 24 hours a day here on our website or drop us a line at

Our staff are still eager to recommend books, wrap gifts, and celebrate great books. Check out our staff recommendation pages to see what your favorite bookseller is reading, or visit our Kids and YA section for great resources for students learning at home. We miss you, and we want to thank you for all the support you’ve shown us especially these last couple weeks. So let us know how we can help with your reading needs -- or just pop by our Facebook or Instagram and tell us what you’re reading. We can’t wait to hear from you.


Country Bookshelf Staff

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Website Updates and Other News 4/8/20


Our staff has been working on updating our website to make it easier to find the books you need. Today, there is a new "Kids and Young Adults" part of our main menu. We will be working over the next few days to expand this tab to bring you our staff recommendations for kids of all ages. 

This includes some exciting new pages, such as: 

Homeschooling Resources: We have a number of different supplementary resources available to help transition to learning from home. We have created new lists of these resources that we have at the store or that we can order. It's separated into two groups to make it easier to navigate between age groups: Preschool - 6th grade, and 7th - 12th grade. These lists are also avaliable if you hover over the tab under “Kids & YA”. 

Kids Indie Next List: We usually carry this list in the store, but now you can browse it from the comfort of your home. Find books reviewed and selected by booksellers from around the country. It's a great resource for finding new reading materials for your young reader at home. 

Staff Recommendations: We will be updating age appropriate pages to include materials our staff have picked as their favorites. This will range from 0-5, 6-11, 12-14, and 14+. We look forward to sharing our recommendations with you. 

We are still working hard to get your orders done in a safe and timely manner, but due to everything taking longer than it used to -- from our suppliers to shipping times to our own processes, please be patient and allow a few extra days. If you would like to request a book for delivery or mail, please email us at or order it through the website! At this time, this is the best and most reliable way to reach us. Our staff members will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you! You are all the best and we appreciate all the support the community has given us during this time. 


Country Bookshelf Staff

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The Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

Claire L is a reading machine - or there are just an amazing amount of good books coming out this summer. Check out her review below!

Lou has always longed for something more than her life in Penlyn, but she has never known exactly what she was searching for. That is until she becomes entranced with the Cardew House. Every so often, people in elegant attire drive over to the Cardew House for that night’s festivities. Curious as to what the parties are like, Lou sneaks over to the house one evening. Unexpectedly, she ends up making the acquaintance of Robert Cardew who seems to have an air of mystery and intrigue about him. The following day, Lou receives an invitation from his sister Caitlin, inviting her to their next gathering. Suddenly, Lou is thrown into the glamorous lives of the Cardews. As she spends more and more time at the house, she begins to learn more about this opulent world, and in turn, herself.

Complete with glamor, parties, and secrets, as well as a spark of romance, A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood is exciting and compelling to read. Set during 1929 in England, flapper dresses and suits describe the sophisticated appeal of the Cardews’ events. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that the story is told from the perspective of Lou, an outsider to the glitzy world. Her thoughts and observations invite the reader to join in the lavish summer schedule of the Cardews. In addition to Lou, there is a cast of interesting characters that are simultaneously fun and mysterious. The result is of new friendships and romances that guide Lou through an exciting lifestyle so different from her own. A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood is an enjoyable read reminiscent of my favorite elements of The Great Gatsby. 

A Sky Painted Gold Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593127223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - June 23rd, 2020

The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

Claire L is reading up a storm! Check out this review:

Alice is in Paris for the summer with her parents to view the apartment her grandmother left her. As she explores the elegant rooms of the apartment, Alice discovers a family never talked about by her grandmother. The biggest mystery is of Adalyn, her grandmother’s sister. When Alice looks through Adalyn’s desk, she finds a diary that begins in 1940—the beginning of Germany’s occupation of France during WWII. Adalyn, a teenager in 1940, is terrified when Germany invades France. Frustrated when it seems no one is fighting for France, Adalyn joins a resistance group to do everything she can for her country. Told through interweaving perspectives, The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor unravels Adalyn’s remarkable story.

Taylor’s effective weaving of Alice and Adalyn’s stories creates an impactful reading experience. The details that Alice uncovers in Adalyn’s diary coincide with the moment Adalyn is living through, making each revelation more meaningful. Together, the reader is able to piece together the truth behind Adalyn’s actions. Taylor’s powerful writing and the way she develops the story of both girls is moving. As well, the poignant remembrance of the bravery of the many Resistance members is a reminder that there are always people who are fighting for what is right even in the most difficult of times. The Paper Girl of Paris is an important story inspired by the courageous Resistance of WWII.

The Paper Girl of Paris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062936622
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - May 26th, 2020


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