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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Claire L is hyped for the new Kiera Cass novel - check out her review below.

Ever since catching the attention of King Jameson, Hollis has been waiting for his attention to shift to another girl. To her surprise, the King finally seems to have settled on who will be his queen, Hollis. At first, Hollis is pleased that the King has chosen her. Unlike the girls before her, she has the privilege to join him on outings, wear specially chosen jewels, and even move into the Queen’s apartments. But as her world becomes more glamorous, Hollis realizes that being Queen is not all it is made out to be, especially when she makes the acquaintance of someone who can promise her a life where she can be her whole self.

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass is a fresh take on stories centered around the Crown. Set in the 1500s, the glamour of gowns, jewels, and courting are the backdrop to this intriguing book. More than a story about the elegance of royalty, The Betrothed questions and challenges the role a Queen plays in her marriage. I appreciated the feminist undertones that are especially present in thoughtful Hollis, who dares to change her fate. Furthermore, the unexpected friendships that develop add to the overall appeal of the story and allow the reader to see the opulence of royalty in a new light. Kiera Cass’ return with The Betrothed is triumphant with her care in writing perceptive characters and glamorous settings.

Books: 
The Betrothed Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062291639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - May 5th, 2020

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Claire L has caught the Shadowhunter bug and is diving in with The Infernal Devices Series! Check our her review of book #1 in the series below.

When Tessa Gray travels to London to visit her brother, she discovers that he is missing. Suddenly, Tessa is thrown into a world she never knew existed: a world of danger. In this world, Shadowhunters, descendents of the Angel Raziel, battle demons to save the human race. Guiding Tessa through this confusing new world are Shadowhunters Will and Jem. Together, they race to find her brother and unravel the secrets that have entrapped him. As she learns about her new environment, Tessa learns more about herself.

Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel, the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, the prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, is set in the late 1800s in London. The fantastical and historical elements of the story work to create a lush world in which the reader is quickly immersed. Although this is not Clare’s first book about the Shadowhunters, her consistent and detailed world-building allows new readers to be able to begin with this new trilogy and still understand the intricacies of the Shadowhunter world. Furthermore, Clare’s technique of incorporating serene moments in between intense fighting helps balance the story. She also begins to develop possible romances that further engage the reader. Cassandra Clare’s expertly crafted Clockwork Angel integrates rich story lines and compelling characters, making it hard for the reader to leave this magical world.

Books: 
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781481456029
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 1st, 2015

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor

Here's more from Marly B - 

After Lydia’s terminally ill mother dies, she is uprooted from her home and moves in with her Aunt Brat in a tiny farming town in Connecticut. As she adjusts, a beautiful yellow dog finds its way into the home of Lydia’s new family. The dog whines all night when crated, pees on rugs, has found a way to slip out of his collar, and proves to be a general nuisance. Lydia expects the dog to figure out how to behave eventually, but he’s not showing any signs of improving. The key to training him could be knowing his past, but with only the phone number of his old owner, Lydia will have to do a bit more digging to find out where the dog that stole her heart came from.

After reading Leslie Connor’s previous book, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, I had fairly high expectations for A Home for Goddesses and Dogs. Conner absolutely destroyed them and wrote an amazing book centered around grief and growing up. It felt like a breath of fresh air with its amazing characters and beautiful plot. 

One of the first things I notice about A Home for Goddesses and Dogs is that the cast is almost entirely female. The second thing I noticed is all of the female characters are incredibly fleshed out and diverse. I don’t think I could name a middle-grade book that comes close to having better written females. The characters' interactions with each other are hilarious and realistic and just lovely in general. The relationships throughout were very tender and heartwarming which was helped by the brilliant character designs and developments. Also, the fact that there was no mean-girl troupe was appreciated greatly. We need tons more books with healthy female relationships and this book covers that very very well, both with Lydia’s parental figures and her friendships with the other girls at her school.

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs handles grief in a pretty unique way. Since Lydia’s mother was terminally ill, Lydia already had time to come to terms with her death for the most part, so it mostly handles adjusting after a loved one dies. It shows Lydia missing her mom, but it also shows her learning to form relationships with the new adults in her life. It deals with grief in a way that feels very real, showing it as an adjustment in life rather than an end to it. 

I give Leslie Conner so much respect for writing realistic preteen/teen conversations. Authors have a tendency to either make preteens sound like preschoolers or tiny fifty-year-olds, but Conner definitely avoided that. Not only does she write teens well, she writes thirteen-year-olds well. The discussions Lydia has with her friends feel like things my friends and I would have talked about when we were thirteen. She totally captures that weird between middle and highschool stage perfectly and brilliantly.  

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs is a book everyone should consider reading. It’s heartwarming and hilarious and just amazing in general. Despite its subject matter, it’s really a pretty happy read. I give A Home for Goddesses and Dogs a 4.75/5. Go read it!

Books: 
A Home for Goddesses and Dogs Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062796783
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - February 25th, 2020

Time to Stay at Home -- Really! updates from the Bookshelf 3/27/20

 

Dear Bookshelf Family,

You are the best! Thank you for all the orders you’ve placed and the lovely notes and kind words you’ve shared with us this last week. You make us blush! We love being your go-to source for everything literary, and that’s not going to change. 

However, there are a few changes to how we will get books and other goodies to you in the next few weeks. Starting Saturday, March 28, our doors will be closed, but our website and email will be open. You can order books online and we will ship them to your house. Visit countrybookshelf.com or email staff@countrybookshelf.com. If you are interested in some of the non-book items -- cards, games, puzzles, kids activities -- that are not on the website, email us, and we will be your personal shoppers. We will not be answering the phones, but we will be happy to still make recommendations and give you all the service you love from our stellar booksellers. 

Saturday and Sunday, March 28 and 29, we are giving our booksellers a much needed rest, and then we will start filling orders again on Monday. Please do continue to place orders over the weekend, but our staff will not be monitoring email or social media these two days, so just be patient with us as we rest and regroup. We will get back to all of you and fill all orders as soon as possible. We are honored to be part of this amazing community. Be good to each other, and stay safe and well. 

Much love, 

Country Bookshelf Staff: Ariana, Anna, Kasey, Jessica, Harry, Kathy, Wendy, Kaycee, Maris, and Nora

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Letter to Readers: Update March 24

 

Dear Bookshelf Friends,

 

We are so grateful for your support now and always. After careful consideration, we have closed the store to browsing. Currently, our desk remains open for pick up orders, but we’d really rather meet you on the curb, deliver to your home in Bozeman, or ship your order. We are offering $1 Media Mail shipping on books nationwide.

We are still answering the phones from 10am-6pm daily (although sometimes you may have to try more than once if our lines are busy), and you can order on our website 24 hours a day: countrybookshelf.com.

We are happy to be your personal shoppers, too, if you don’t quite know what you want or if you just want a lovely surprise. Call or email with your request and one of our amazing booksellers will take care of you. Please note that many of our gift, game, puzzle, and stationery items are not listed on our website, but a call or an email can make all of these accessible to you. We have great kid’s activities and puzzles for all ages to keep everyone entertained!

Please continue to safely support all of the wonderful local businesses that make Bozeman such an amazing community. We are here because of you. And together we can be strong.

 

How to reach us:

Phone: 406-587-0166

Email: staff@countrybookshelf.com

Website: countrybookshelf.com

Facebook: facebook.com/countrybookshelf

Instagram: instagram.com/countrybookshelf

 

In Literary Solidarity,

Ariana and the Country Bookshelf Staff

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Updated Hours & Thank You!

 

Dear Readers,

Starting tomorrow (Thursday, March 19th), we will shorten our hours to 10am-6pm daily. We’ve been rockin’ with the deliveries, curbside pickup and $1 Media Mail. Keep your orders coming! If at some point we must close, we will do our best to continue these services. 

Your support during this time really helps us keep operating, and we can’t tell you how important that is for the long haul. We’ve received so many kind messages of love and support which mean the world to us. Thank you! We are your community bookstore here to support you in any way we can. And we seriously love you and are so impressed in all the ways folks are helping each other. 

Keep checking our emails and social media for updates, entertainment, and links to great bookish content to keep you lit.

In Literary Solidarity,

Ariana and the Country Bookshelf Staff

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Letter to Readers: COVID-19 Edition

 

Dear Bookshelf Friends,

In the midst of worldwide upheaval, we wanted to reach out and let you know that Country Bookshelf is taking a comprehensive approach to keeping our community safe while still providing the power of stories to comfort, enlighten, and entertain. 

Here’s what we’re doing:

  1. Cleaning: While we have always kept a solid cleaning regimen and hand sanitizer for staff, we are increasing the frequency of sanitizing throughout the store, and we have hand sanitizer available for staff and customers at the front counter. Our bathrooms are also well-stocked with hand soap and warm water. 

  2. Shipping, Delivery & Curbside Pickup: We are now offering $1 Media Mail shipping in the U.S. on all book orders. Free delivery to your doorstep within Bozeman daily. If the book is in stock, we will deliver orders received by 2pm that day. Orders not in stock will be delivered as soon as we receive more stock, usually 2-3 business days. If you live in Livingston, we will deliver to a central drop-off point 2-3 times per week. Curbside pickup: pay for your order online or over the phone and select Curbside. We’ll let you know once your order is ready, and then you just call us when you are parked on our block, and we’ll bring it to your vehicle. If you haven’t tried ordering books on our website, now is a great time! 

  3. Staff: Our booksellers are being encouraged to stay home if they feel unwell, and we are offering additional paid sick leave to all staff. Some staff are working from home when possible. But those healthy staff who are here are eager to recommend great books whether you choose to come in or give us a call.

  4. Events: Our only author event remaining in March, the book launch for Betsy Gaines Quammen’s American Zion, has been postponed, but we do have books in stock, and we can get them signed if you want to get your copy and read it right away. We will let you know as soon as we are able to schedule a new date. Book clubs are still happening since we can hold them while letting people remain a safe distance from one another, and we know that some of you will be looking for a little social interaction. However, please stay home if you are unwell or needing to take extra precautions. April events are still currently scheduled, but we will be communicating with authors and publishers and evaluating these on a daily basis and will announce any additional cancellations or postponements via social media. We will not schedule any additional events for April or May at this time. 

We hope that all our readers are doing everything they can to stay safe and keep our community healthy. We believe that books and stories are essential in times of crisis, and that as a community we are strong and will care for one another. Country Bookshelf is here to help in any way that we can. 

Happy reading,

The Country Bookshelf Team

Edit 3/16/2020: All March Book Clubs including the Country Bookshelf Book Club, Young Adult Book Club, and the Wonderlust Mystery Book Club have been canceled. 

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Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Here's Claire L from our Teen Advisory Corps with some backlist love for Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

Emily was looking forward to spending the summer with her best friend, Sloane, until she realizes that Sloane has completely disappeared and only left behind a list for Emily. Though it is not the first list she has received, this one is different because it contains all the things that Emily had been afraid to do before. Usually not one to complete these lists, Emily convinces herself that the only she will see Sloane again is if she can complete each item. In the process, she meets Frank, Dawn, and Collins, who help her to find her courage and support her endeavors. With her new friends, Emily is able to discover new sides of herself in an unforgettable summer.

 

A story of friendship, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is an enjoyable read that I was unable to put down. I loved the whole premise of Sloane’s list for Emily. Though each item was a challenge, I admire the consideration that Sloane put into the list. Furthermore, I enjoyed seeing Emily become more confident with herself as she checked off items. I also loved the friendship that Frank and Emily have. Frank is such a charismatic and kind character who never failed to warm my heart. Moreover, all of the relationships featured in this story feel genuine and real—I would love to be apart of this friend group—and I appreciate Matson’s focus on friendship. Plus, Matson’s writing is wonderful as she is able to make you smile, laugh, and cry all at the same time (in the best way possible). Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson is a heartwarming story about friendship and newly discovered confidence.

Books: 
Since You've Been Gone Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781442435018
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2015

The Black Bull of Norroway by Cat Seaton

Here's Marley from our Teen Advisory Corps charging in with a review of the graphic novel Norroway: The Black Bull of Norroway

Sibylla has always been prophesied to marry the black bull of Norroway, a knight so bloodthirsty he was cursed to live as a bull. When he shows up, claiming her as his wife and telling her to prepare for a long journey, she isn’t surprised. She is however, surprised to learn that there is more to his curse than is told. 

 The Black Bull of Norroway is the first graphic novel in the Norroway series. The plot is based on a Scottish fairy tale, and reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. Short but very sweet, it was a very fun read, both through the art and the writing.

The art style alone is worth the read, it aided in making the entire book feel wonderfully whimsical. This could just be because Beauty and the Beast was on my mind, but the art definitely reminded me of Disney. The clothing looked very flowy and light, and every movement felt fluid. The characters were drawn amazingly, each design unique and detailed. The buildings were especially well drawn. There were a couple of drawings that I spent a couple minutes looking at the architecture and details of the buildings instead of actually reading the book. 

Adding to the great art, the storytelling is great. It’s a retelling, but it adds its own flavor and spice to the original. The characters were fleshed out in a new way and it felt like a completely new story. The personality of every character is thoroughly developed and explored. It doesn’t just retell the story, it adds much more to it.

I do have a very minor critiqu. The characters physical design was unique, but some of the characters felt cliche. They didn’t really offer anything unique from other books’ characters. Sibylla has a bit of a flat personality, which is kind of expected because there wasn’t much time to develop her character but I do hope that in the next book we will see that more. 

I really liked this one, and I definitely want more of it. It’s short, but still manages to progress the plot enough to invest readers. I think the next book has a lot to offer and I’m interested to see how it turns out. I’d give The Black Bull of Norroway a ⅘ and will be looking out for the second book.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Norroway Book 1: The Black Bull of Norroway Cover Image
By Cat Seaton, Kit Seaton (Artist)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534308558
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - November 13th, 2018

Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw

Teen Advisory Corps Marren goes deep into the woods this time with Shea Earnshaws Winterwood

In the mountain town of Fir Haven rumors weave through the people like roots.

Some say rumors aren’t true, but deep down everyone knows that rumors are how we admit the terrifying truths that surround us. Like how on the night of a winter storm a boy goes missing, the power goes out and the only road down the mountain is snowed in. 

Nora walker and all her ancestors are rumored to be witches. Each one of them is born with a shadow side. The part of them that makes them different from everyone else. Nora is convinced she’s the only walker to ever be born without a shadow side, that is until she finds the missing boy in the woods and strange things start to happen. In order to save everyone she loves Nora will need to believe in herself and bring out her shadow side before it’s too late. 

 

Books: 
Winterwood Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534439412
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 5th, 2019

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