Quarantine Fatigue Reading List

Between the incredibly cold temperatures and the social distancing, it’s easy to feel a little bit of cabin fever these days - so we have compiled a list of recommended reading for your quarantine fatigue.

Wintering by Katherine May released during the holiday rush, but it’s message of stillness and reflection resonated with several of our booksellers who enjoyed listening to the audiobook from libroFM.

Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is a hilarious memoir/self-help book from Tara Schuster that brings the observations of You Should Really See Someone with the biting wit of The Daily Show. Full of wholly relatable stories, and useful tips, this is a great read to find some self-love. 

Sub-zero temperatures aside, The Nature Fix by Florence Williams illuminates the fascinating neuroscience behind the seemingly universal decisions to go for long walks, take up gardening, and go bird watching that characterized early quarantine socializing. Make sure you and the dog have mittens before reading this. 

Burnout by the Nagoski Sister Emily and Amelia gives readers transformative tools for interrupting the stress cycle and resetting our nervous systems and behaviors and explains why rest, human connection, and befriending your inner critic are keys to recovering and preventing burnout.

The Listening Path from beloved author Julia Cameron takes readers on a journey to deeper, more profound attention and creativity. This is a great companion to one of our favorite early pandemic reads How to Do Nothing by Jenny O’Dell, herself an artist looking at the attention economy through a more sociological and philosophical lense. 

At the top of our fiction list is anything with a happy ending! Our romance section is packed with great historical, western, paranormal, and contemporary happy endings - even if it’s just happy for now. Jessica recommends Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert to feed your fake dating needs after marathoning Bridgerton on Netflix. 

Do some armchair globetrotting with the pulitzer prize winning Less by Andrew Sean Greer which is great for a satirical laugh, too. 

Visit a reimagined England full of magic with CL Polk’s Witchmark - a delightful, and cozy, speculative fantasy full of mystery, romance, and bicycle chases. 

Take a long slow nature walk with Richard Powers in The Overstory - a generational saga that incorporates not just humans, but generations of trees as well. 

Break out the prosecco and solve some crime with Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Girodano! This effervescent mystery series set in Italy will truly transport you. 

Our booksellers love the lush atmosphere of Lily King’s Euphoria - described as intense, seductive, intellectual, and exhilarating. Take your brain on a trip through time to the 1930s, and the tropical setting of New Guinea.

Jump on a spaceship and take The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This cozy science fiction warms the heart and explores a wide variety of social and anthropological questions with a great found-family cast of galactic pathmakers. 

And finally, if you’re the type to poke a bruise, check out Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death - a tour de force of historical fiction and crime thriller, starring a Jewish female physician and set in Medieval England. 

You can find all of these books with our digital audiobook partners - Libro.FM - and we made a playlist - Check it Out! There were a few titles that many folks picked up at the onset of the pandemic that still offer strong support for quarantine angst, so don’t be afraid to check out some of those backlist titles, or ask a bookseller for a recommendation.


Books in Common NW: Bruce Byers

Dive into the Human-Nature relationship in The View from Cascade Head with Bruce Byers and the team behind Full Ecology - Gary Ferguson and Mary Clare

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Books in Common NW explores the science of biospheres with ecologist Bruce Byers in his new book The View from Cascade Head. As laboratories for understanding how humans affect ecosystems and models for how we can heal the human-nature relationship, biosphere protection, like the reserve at Cascade Head, are part of a world-wide effort to understand changes to our natural world.

		Books in Common NW: Bruce Byers image

Cascade Head, on the Oregon Coast between Lincoln City and Neskowin, has stunning ocean views, abundant recreational opportunities, and a rich history of ecological research and conservation. Its landscape and seascape support a multitude of species, some of which are threatened, such as the Oregon silverspot butterfly, spotted owl, and coho salmon. In The View from Cascade Head, Bruce Byers tells the fascinating story of this special place and the people who have worked to protect it. Drawing from his lifelong relationship with the Oregon Coast and recent experience living and working at Cascade Head, Byers weaves together personal observations, ecological science, and the history and philosophy of nature conservation in a series of interconnected essays.

Cascade Head is Oregon's only biosphere reserve, part of the international network of biosphere reserves coordinated by UNESCO. Biosphere reserves around the world are laboratories for understanding how humans affect ecosystems and models for how we can heal the human-nature relationship.

The View from Cascade Head illustrates three main lessons: the actions and efforts of committed individuals can make a difference; ecological mysteries still abound despite decades of scientific research; and our worldviews--how we think about our place in nature--shape our individual and collective effect on the ecosystems we inhabit. Byers helps us understand how these lessons apply everywhere and can lead us toward a more sustainable relationship with our home planet.

		Books in Common NW: Bruce Byers image

Bruce A. Byers is an ecologist and consultant who advises NGOs and government agencies around the world on forest management, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, and environmental communication.

These Days are Really

We’re in full celebration mode this weekend with Winter Crazy Days, Valentines Day, Black Literacy Day, and Presidents Day! We’ll be queueing up great deals alongside the rest of downtown Bozeman for Winter Crazy Days with an additional 25% off bargain books and fresh markdowns on great cards and gifts so we can make room for new Spring and Summer items. Of course we’ve got the best goodies for all your loved ones - including cards, books, gifts and more. We’ve been especially inspired by Kathy’s recommendation to pair one of our beautiful flower books with an essential oil for a perma-bouquet. We’ve also got some fantastic floral puzzles that make for great moments of togetherness. 

We are probably the most excited to join our indie bookstore colleagues from Chicago in celebrating Black Literacy Day! The brainchild of Chicago’s Semicolon Bookstore, Black Literacy Day aims to support literacy efforts for Black communities, recognizing that literacy is the cornerstone of individual and social growth, and that the book community isn’t just for white folks. We are celebrating by donating 20% of sales of some of the Montana Racial Equity Project’s book club selection to MTREP. So grab Four Hundred Souls by Ibram X Kendi, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, The Black Women’s History of the United States by Daina Ramey Berry, and join MTREP for their virtual book club. You can also grab titles for younger readers, like Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi, or The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez. Be sure to check out our website for more ways to support literacy for our local BIPOC communities. 

Wishing you safe and warm celebrations this holiday weekend, curled up with a good book.

Books in Common NW: Annalee Newitz

This Thursday, 2/11 @ 7:30pm - Books in Common NW is thrilled to welcome acclaimed science journalist and writer Annalee Newitz to share their new book Four Lost Cities. In Four Lost Cities, Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz will be joined in conversation by The Atlantic staff writer Sarah Zhang.

Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing a mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia.

Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate. You won’t want to miss this! 

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Let's Read Aloud!

Grab a book, find an audience, and read aloud! We’re excited to celebrate World Read Aloud day on Wednesday, February 3rd, and everyday. We love stories, big and small, but more than that we love sharing them. Reading aloud has many wonderful benefits for developing minds and lifelong readers, but it’s also a fun activity for the whole family, pets included. Here are some fun tips for reading aloud, whether that's to a child, a friend, or your dog!

  • Prepare a Comfy and Roomy Read-Aloud Area. It's important that your area is large enough that everyone can sit and see comfortably. Plus, who doesn’t love a blanket fort?!

  • Give It All You've Got! Dramatic and fun sound effects, hand motions, facial expressions, and changes in tone invite listeners to become a part of the story with you.

  • Help the Listener "See" the Story. Listeners who are attentive to the visual details of a book learn how to use visual clues to get meaning from everything on the page. Point out details in illustrations, layout, and characterizations to help listeners become keen observers, and discuss what they notice.

  • Invite Listeners to Use Their Senses. Help listeners imagine not only the sights in a story but the sounds, smells, tastes, physical sensations, and emotions, as well. 

  • Develop Ways to Respond to Questions. Folks love to ask questions while you are reading. Some questions are important and need to be answered right away, other questions will be answered in the story itself. Find an easy balance so you don’t stop the flow of the story.

  • Take Time for Discussion. This is the best part! Listeners love to talk about a book they’ve just read or listened to. What did you love? What did you hate? What did you learn? 

Happy Reading!


Booksellers Favorites of 2020

Curious what our booksellers were up to in 2020? Like many folks, Ariana’s reading came in stages last year. “I had ‘before the pandemic reading’ and was keeping track and had a plan, and then the pandemic hit and all I could read was poetry. As the year wore on I found some great narratives and historical fiction that captivated me and really informed my experience of 2020.”

Cassie says, “I stepped out of my comfort zone with this year’s reading. I learned a lot about indigenous cultures with the help of Tommy Orange, Zitkála-Šá, and Leslie Marmon Silko.” 

Jeanette had a similar experience: “Nearly all of my favorite books from last year were written by BIPOC authors, but two that particularly stood out to me were written by indigenous authors: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. Their storytelling is so beautiful and effective and I treasure how much I enjoyed and learned from these books.” 

Kaycee’s reads this year were definitely indicative of some trends we saw for 2020. “I read exclusively Horror this year. Novels like Down Days, Mexican Gothic, and Devolution were comfortable literary escapes. I jumped around from dystopian pandemics to page-turning thrillers, and I don’t regret a single page!” 

A lot of Nora’s reading was for school, “But I have loved everything my English teachers have assigned so far. Other than that, I read light books with fun and easy stories.” 

Comfort was also on Jessica’s mind. “I read so many light and cozy reads this year, with lots of laughs and kissing. I was very grateful for some contemplative reads at the beginning of the pandemic that attuned my attention and observation -- they made for great listening while walking the dog around the neighborhood.” 

Kasey also chose a new reading path. “Typically I read a lot of non-fiction, specifically memoirs and essays, but this year I found myself reading almost exclusively fiction. With social distancing I instead made my social connections through the highly developed characters in Writers & Lovers, Conversations with Friends, and Before the Coffee Gets Cold, among many others.” 

Anna’s favorite books included Wow, No Thank You -- a snarky, raw, and hysterically funny read. “It was a perfect read for the beginning of quarantine.” She also liked Shuggie Bain, and found World of Wonders to be “a great end of the year soul-purging read, a reminder to delight in the natural world.”

Matt says his reading list was “as chaotic as 2020! Which is why the standout for me was the humorous and mindful Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosch.”

Kathy enjoyed tightly plotted fiction with high stakes, the many poets sharing essays, as well as a broad range of non-fiction that included some fascinating nature reading, and true crime. “ In The Magical Language of Others by E.J. Koh - Koh translates letters written to her by her mother – and is mindful of every word chosen.  Using her mastery of language to guide us through four generations of family history, Koh blends feelings of love and longing for her culture and the relationship with her mother. Beautifully written.”

There were many beloved titles from last year, and we hope you can find something from our booksellers to treasure as we did last year. Be sure to check out our 2020 Bestsellers list too. 


Reading Habits Do Good

We’re continuing to reflect on the many challenges and delights of 2020. One thing that kept us going and gave us hope was the outpouring of support we received from our community. We were able to do a lot of things with your support, like keep the doors open and our staff safe. We were also able to share the love with organizations and individuals in our community that needed it. 

The advent of early quarantine procedures spurred our Books 4 Kids program (which is still ongoing). Your generous donations to this program allowed us to help youth across the county have access to books when they couldn’t get to their schools and libraries. We raised over $3,500, which we matched, to donate to Thrive, the Salvation Army, Hopa Mountain, and the Bozeman Public Library Foundation. We also used this money to donate directly to folks affected by the Bridger Canyon Fire. This put more than 800 books into the hands of youth in our community.

We were able to support many other community organizations -- sending more than $12,000 dollars into our community, and more than 200 books. This includes the spotlight giving we did to celebrate Ariana’s 10 year anniversary of owning the store, which saw $500 donations given to the Bozeman Public Library Foundation, the Bozeman Schools Foundation, the MSU Library, the Montana Racial Equity Project, HRDC, Haven, BridgerCare, Cancer Support Community, GVLT, and Thrive. We also sent over $2,000 to local schools through our school book fair program, which we were able to send virtual to several schools this year. 

This is a snapshot of the good your reading habit supports, and we couldn’t do it without you! So thank you Bozeman from the bottom of our book-loving hearts.


PNBA Award Winners!


The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association is pleased to present the recipients of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards as selected by a volunteer committee of independent booksellers from 400 nominated titles published in 2020. Committee comments for the winning titles can be viewed on the 2021 Book Awards page of the PNBA website

This year PNBA and its member stores will host a free virtual public celebration with the winners of this year's Awards. The Pacific Northwest Book Awards Celebration will be hosted on Wednesday, February 10th at 6pm PT/ 7pm MT. Registration is required

About the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association PNBA is a non-profit trade association that supports independent bookselling in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Each year since 1965, the Pacific Northwest Book Awards have celebrated exceptional books written by Northwest authors. Visit our NWBookLovers blog promoting the authors and independent bookstores of the Northwest region. The site also hosts the Pacific Northwest Independent Bestseller List, a weekly presentation of the bestselling books in the independent bookstores of our five-state region. The list may be reprinted in any publication. For more information, contact

Hungry Hearts by Elsie Chapman

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love, edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond, is a short story collection that shares the impact delicious food can make on one’s life. Anthologies are usually connected by a theme, but I love that the stories included in Hungry Hearts take place in the same world. While each tale is unique, its connection to other stories in the anthology make the overall collection more meaningful to read. For example, characters who are introduced through small roles in earlier stories are featured in a later tale that may provide their backstory. Additionally, all of the stories take place in Hungry Heart Row, a fictitious town that has restaurants of all varieties on every street, so key locations are carried throughout the book. 


I enjoyed reading Hungry Hearts, but three stories particularly stood out to me. In “The Grand Ishq Adventure” by Sandhya Menon, Neha runs a love-related advice column. Despite giving helpful advice to her readers, Neha does not usually have much luck in the love department herself. One day, she decides to take her own advice to become braver: eat alone and try new cuisines. In “Gimme Some Sugar” by Jay Coles, Leo wants to enter a cooking competition to win money to help his mom. His grandmother suggests he cook with one of her recipes. With his grandmother’s support, Leo is able to feel more confident about his cooking in the competition. In "Panadería ~ Pastelería" by Anne-Marie McLemore, Lila wants to tell a childhood friend that she likes him, but does not know how to say it with words. So, she relies on baking. 


In each case, the characters are able to learn more about themselves through cuisine. The reader becomes engaged with the inhabitants and stories of Hungry Hearts Row.

Misfits in Love by SK Ali

Janna’s brother is getting married in a few days and wedding preparations are the only thing on her mind. Well that, and the fact that Nuah, Janna’s crush—who likes her back— is coming home from college for the summer. But things become complicated when Janna meets Haytham, a boy who has an amazing voice, is great at taking care of children, and is good looking. So when Nuah arrives, Janna is surprised that he does not seem to mind her spending time with Haytham. Further complications arise when Janna meets Layth, a mysterious boy who seems to understand her. With the wedding and navigation of new relationships, Janna’s summer becomes busier than she anticipated.


Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali continues the story of Janna from Saints and Misfits. I went into the book without having read Ali’s first book, and while Misfit in Love can be read as a standalone, I was enjoying it so much (I could not put it down) that I wanted to read Saints and Misfits to see where Janna’s story began. 


Misfit in Love explores different types of love: romantic, friendly, familial, and self-love. I appreciate that Ali dives deeper than just the possible romances between Janna and her love-interests by including themes of family too. Janna reflects about the change her family experienced when her parents divorced and considers how it will change again when her brother marries. Though at first unwilling to let new members into the family, she begins to open her heart as she gets to know them better. She also realizes the importance of self-love and listening to her heart. Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali is the love story I have been waiting for.