Blog

Shop Early For A Stress Free Holiday

October is the New December

Shop Early, Shop Local: October is the New December

Why Shop Indie Local early this holiday season? 

Supply and staffing shortages mean locally owned businesses face even more challenges this year. While we won't run out of books, we may run out of specific titles and not be able to restock due to hiccups in the supply chain. And please chat with our staff if you don't see the title you were looking for, we probably have more than one recommendation to make to replace that out of stock title, or surprise someone with a book they'll love that they hadn't even heard of. Our neighboring businesses are facing similar challenges, so we encourage you to shop local and shop early for the holiday season. 

Let’s ensure that our local independent businesses can stick around for holidays to come:

  • Pre-order gifts and supplies today
  • Buy a gift card
  • Support fundraising campaigns - you can find our tshirt campaign on Bonfire!
  • Share on social media how much you love locally owned businesses (tag your post with #shopindielocal)
Blog Tags: 

Meet Our Bookseller: Kaycee

Meet Kaycee!

"I help organize the children's section. I keep up to date with the newest books so that I can best help customers, and because I really enjoy children's literature. I like when I hook a kid into a new series because I get to see them come back and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I like to think I am personally responsible for the Redwall revival here in town. I read Young Adult titles for the Reading the West Award short list in 2021. I also nominate titles for Indie Next, and write reviews for Libro.fm! 

I love to cook and bake things from scratch, especially breads. I also love to swim and try to go twice a week at minimum. I play a lot of board games with friends. I am a HUGE fan of punk music. My friends and I were constantly going to local shows around Montana. I grew up with it, and I still blast it everywhere I go. Especially Queerpunk, that's my bread and butter." 

Check out Kaycee's "Not Quite Horror" recommendations here!

If you need a children's book recommendation, or a horror book recommendation, or a scary children's book recommendation, Kaycee is the Bookseller for you. Find some of her favorites this year in the list below.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Iron Widow Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735269934
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Penguin Teen - September 21st, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781683692348
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Quirk Books - April 27th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
The Bad Muslim Discount: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780385545259
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Doubleday - February 2nd, 2021

Meet Our Bookseller: Emi

      Meet Bookseller Emi banner

Meet one of our newest booksellers, Emi! "I'm an avid nordic skier, I love to rock and ice climb, run and mountain bike. Anything that gets me out in the mountains! I also love to knit and read about empire and colonialism. I did competitive gymnastics for 12 years, and I eat kimchi with almost every meal. 

As a bookseller I love getting to help people find books that they will love. Learning what it is about books and reading that gets folks interested and excited always leads to great conversation. I also enjoy introducing readers to new authors, and books with great representation."

Click here to heck out some of Emi's favorite Asian Women Writers with her If/Then list,  along with some of her other favorites!

Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month!

Book cover of El Cucuy is Scared TooCelebrate Latinx Hertiage Month starting on September 15th with some incredible children stories from these #ownvoices authors. September 15th is the anniversary of independence of several Latin American countries who declared independence in 1821. "This celebration has become a vital opportunity to dispel ignorance, prejudice and fear through education about multiculturalism and the history of the countless contributions of Latinx communitites"-Milagros Chirinos, Human Rights Campaign. These are some of our staff's favorite picks, but please feel free ask us about more books and titles that we can provide to futher celebrate the many Latinx communities from around the world.

In El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Ramón is too nervous for his first day of school to go to bed. His monster, El Cucuy (el ku-koo-ee), who lives in the cactus pot, can’t get to sleep either. Together, they work through their anxieties about living in a new home in a healthy, affirming way. It’s great to see a book where their feelings are validated and respected, but also they work toward overcoming their fears of new beginnings. Great for kids who recently moved to a new home or are starting their first day of school!

Book cover of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura BelprePlanting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré is the beautiful story of the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. Belpré was the first mainstream author to have Lainx story books published in the United States. She was also a librarian, puppeteer, and advocate for social change. Learn about the incredible life story of the woman who changed the world by planting literary seeds across American libraries. 2021 is the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Literary Award and I would highly recommend the 2021 winners and nominees, such as Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisnernos, Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera, and ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat by Raúl Gonzalez for your bookshelf.

If Dominican Were a Color Book Cover“If Dominican were a color, it would be the sunset in the sky, blazing red and burning bright. If Dominican were a color, it’d be the roar of the ocean in the deep of the night, With the moon beaming down rays of sheer delight.If Dominican Were a Color by Sili Recio is a beautiful poem about the different colors of the Dominican Republic. The pages paint a story of self-love and acceptance that celebrates the author's hertiage. The author's note gives personal insight to the racism and colorism Recio faced as a child and gives comfort to those who have felt the same. 

 

 

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419744457
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - July 13th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
If Dominican Were a Color Cover Image
By Sili Recio, Brianna McCarthy (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534461796
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748683
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperCollins - January 15th, 2019

Efrén Divided Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062881694
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Quill Tree Books - June 8th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat (World of ¡Vamos!) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781328557049
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Versify - March 24th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Lupe Wong Won't Dance Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781646140039
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Levine Querido - September 8th, 2020

Storytime for Future Scientists

Photo of Storytime for Future Scientists display

Conquer the great unknowns from outer space to the deep sea below with our Storytime for Future Scientists picks. Our bookseller Kaycee picked stories that inspire and encourage creativity, exploration and growth in young readers.

Book cover of The Octopus Escapes by Maile MeloyThe Octopus Escapes by Malie Meloy is a powerful, beautiful story of an octopus trying to find his way back home. Captured in the wild and brought into captivity, the octopus tires of boring food and easy puzzles, and desperately makes his escape to get back to his ocean cave. This book teaches compassion and empathy, while also encouraging growth and passion for underwater environments. Book Cover of the Tree in Me by Corinna Luyken

The Tree in Me by Corinna Lukyen is the greatly anticipated follow up to My Heart. Every human is like a tree, we require nurturing, resilience, and connections to others. This powerful picture book in verse is a great gift for all ages and will captivate you with its beautiful illustrations. “The tree in me is strong. It bends in the wind, and has roots that go deep…to where other roots reach up toward their own trunk-branch-crown and sky.”

Book Cover of The Night Flowr by Lara HawthorneDid you know the Saguaro Cactus only blooms one night a year? In Night Flower by Lara Hawthorne, animals of all shapes and sizes have come to see the beautiful white petals of the rare desert flower. I had fun looking for all the different, uniquely illustrated animals on each page. This book has an informative and beautiful rhythmic verse that tells the story of the animals coming to visit.

 

 

 

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
The Octopus Escapes Cover Image
By Maile Meloy, Felicita Sala (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781984812698
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - May 11th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
The Tree in Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593112595
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Dial Books - March 16th, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus Cover Image
By Lara Hawthorne, Lara Hawthorne (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781536206166
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Big Picture Press - March 12th, 2019

Back to School

Bookseller Kaycee

Backpack? Check. School Supplies? Check. A new book to read? CHECK! Our booksellers Kaycee and Christina shared some of their favorite back to school titles to celebrate the beginning of the school year. 

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Cover ImageKaycee: Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar was a favorite of mine growing up. Imagine going to a school that’s 30 stories tall, where kids read upside down and everyone is preparing for the Ultimate Test. All four books of this series are fun, whimsical, and sure to make you L.O.L. 

A Book for Escargot Cover Image

Christina: Join Escargot, your favorite French snail, in A Book for Escargot by Dashka Slater. Escargot embarkes on a journey through one of the most magical places: a library! Books can take you to faraway lands and introduce you to all sorts of characters. Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect book, so it is up to you to write your own.

Kaycee: Teachers belong in their natural habitat. Rescuing Mrs. Birdley by Aaron Reynolds follows the story of Miranda, who spots her teacher in the grocery store - that’s not where teachers belong! She sets up a series of elaborate traps, inspired by her favorite show Natural Joe Animal Show, to catch Mrs. Birdley and release her back into the school. The illustrations are adorable and charming! 

Rescuing Mrs. Birdley Cover Image

The Cool Bean Cover Image

Christina: There are so many wonderful lessons to be found in The Cool Bean by John Jory. Learn about the power of friendship and kindness, the freedom to be yourself, and how lending a helping hand is truly the coolest!  

 

For a full list of back to school titles, as well as some super cool school supplies, check out our display in store or ask a bookseller for more information. 

 

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Sideways Stories from Wayside School Cover Image
By Louis Sachar, Adam McCauley (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780380698714
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperCollins - March 26th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Wayside School Is Falling Down Cover Image
By Louis Sachar, Adam McCauley (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780380754847
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperCollins - March 26th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger Cover Image
By Louis Sachar, Adam McCauley (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780380723812
Availability: Backordered
Published: HarperCollins - March 26th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom Cover Image
By Louis Sachar, Tim Heitz (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062965417
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperCollins - June 1st, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
A Book for Escargot Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780374312862
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 7th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Escargot Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780374302818
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 11th, 2017

Staff Pick Badge
Rescuing Mrs. Birdley Cover Image
By Aaron Reynolds, Emma Reynolds (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534427044
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - June 30th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
The Cool Bean (The Food Group) Cover Image
By Jory John, Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062954527
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - December 3rd, 2019

Blog Tags: 

Meet our Bookseller Frances

Meet Our Bookseller Banner with a portrait of Frances

Meet Frances!


My favorite thing about working at the bookstore is helping customers find their next favorite book. Everyone is different and it's always so exciting to see what journey peoples' requests take us through the store. Outside of the bookstore, I'm a big crafter (knitting, doodling, embroidering), writer, hiker, runner, rock climber. A book about my life would be titled What Happens When You Leave New Jersey.

Favorite Genres: Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+, Sociology

Favorite Authors: Zadie Smith, Carmen Maria Machado, Ocean Vuong, James Baldwin

Favorite Books: Disappearing Earth by Julia Strong, Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala, The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Frances joined our bookselling team in the spring of this year and we are so excited that Big Sky country enticed them away from the east coast. Fun Fact! They've been to Hobbiton in New Zealand. That love of heights shows in some of their favorite hikes around town, including Storm Castle and anything around Hyalite. You might also spot Frances at Wild Crumb, or the Tap Room, or at one of our favorite local lunch spots - Fabers Deli! You can chat more with Frances this month when they lead our book club on Monday, August 23rd at 6pm for Sharks in the Time of Saviors

They shared one of their favorite bookish memories with us.

When I was in 7th grade I got to meet my favorite author Wendy Mass (mostly because my best friend was our librarian and she knew she was my favorite author and wanted to make that happen for me) and it was definitely the highlight of my middle school experience.

 

Be sure to ask Frances what their favorite Mincing Mockingjay card is that day. Scroll below to see more great recommendations from them!

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535287
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Riverhead Books - September 1st, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Interpreter of Maladies Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780358213260
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Mariner Books - October 22nd, 2019

The Moor's Account Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804170628
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 18th, 2015

Staff Pick Badge
Touch Cover Image
By Adania Shibli, Paula Haydar (Translated by)
$13.00
ISBN: 9781566568074
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clockroot Books - November 10th, 2013

Staff Pick Badge
The Boat: Stories Cover Image
By Nam Le
$15.95
ISBN: 9780307388193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 11th, 2009

Staff Pick Badge
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

Staff Pick Badge
In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781644450383
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Graywolf Press - December 1st, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780525562047
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Penguin Books - June 1st, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
Heartstopper: Volume 1 Cover Image
By Alice Oseman, Alice Oseman (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781338617436
Availability: Backordered
Published: Graphix - May 5th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Red at the Bone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525535287
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Riverhead Books - September 1st, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Touch Cover Image
By Adania Shibli, Paula Haydar (Translated by)
$13.00
ISBN: 9781566568074
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clockroot Books - November 10th, 2013

Staff Pick Badge
Claire of the Sea Light (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307472274
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Vintage - July 1st, 2014

Staff Pick Badge
The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101971383
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Anchor - August 4th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Leave the World Behind: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062667632
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Ecco - October 6th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780060838676
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Amistad - March 19th, 2013

Staff Pick Badge
The Deep Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534439870
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 4th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
The Memory Police: A Novel Cover Image
By Yoko Ogawa, Stephen Snyder (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101911815
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Vintage - July 28th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
Sharks in the Time of Saviors: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250787316
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Picador - March 2nd, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
Disappearing Earth Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525436225
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Vintage - April 7th, 2020

Staff Pick Badge
A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143124870
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

Staff Pick Badge
The God of Small Things: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812979657
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - December 16th, 2008

Staff Pick Badge
Speak No Evil: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780061284939
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - March 5th, 2019

Staff Pick Badge
The Fire Next Time (Vintage International) Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780679744726
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Vintage - December 1st, 1992

Blog Tags: 

#Black Voices Event Series

You're invited to experience some essential #BlackVoices! Join Country Bookshelf, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and Ingram as we share this great opportunity to hear from under-represented voices in publishing. The #BlackVoices series seeks to amplify books, authors and stories that are centered around Black people and culture.  We're excited to share this virtual event with Vanessa Riley for Island Queen on Wednesday, August 18th at 5:30pm.  

Register at Ingram 

Save your spot for more in this fantastic series of live virtual events: 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm CT - Virtual event with Propaganda for Terraform Building A Better World

 

Looking to connect with a favorite author?

Check out these two past events in the #BlackVoices series, which feature bestselling authors and fresh new voices in kidlit, in an engaging and accessible format.

#BlackJoy with Paula Chase forTurning Point, Tanita S. Davis for Serena Says, Lisa Moore Ramée for Something to Say, and Janae Marks for From the Desk of Zoe Washington

#BlackJoy with Featuring Nancy Johnson for The Kindest Lie, Helena Andrews-Dyer & R. Eric Thomas for Reclaiming Her Time, Chanelle Benz for The Gone Dead, and Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Elijah Cummings – We’re Better Than This

Books: 
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063142992
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - September 28th, 2021

When the Reckoning Comes: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780063035041
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Harper Perennial - August 3rd, 2021

Staff Pick Badge
Island Queen: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063002845
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: William Morrow - July 6th, 2021

Terraform: Building a Better World Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780063036246
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: HarperOne - June 8th, 2021

Blog Tags: 

Bookstore Romance Day 2021

Celebrate Bookstore Romance Day!

Bookstore Romance Day is a day designed to give independent bookstores an opportunity to celebrate Romance fiction—its books, readers, and writers—and to strengthen the relationships between bookstores and the Romance community. There is an amazing slate of virtual events for every flavor of Romance fan, so check out the schedule below and register on eventbrite.  August 20th through 22nd recieve 10% off Romance titles, while we donate 10% of all sales to Haven! 

Saturday August 21st

8:00am MT - Wake Up to Harlequin Women's Fiction with authors Sarah Morgan, JoAnn Ross, and RaeAnne Thayne.
Start your Bookstore Romance Day morning off with this trio of Harlequin women's fiction authors. Join Sarah Morgan, JoAnn Ross, and RaeAnne Thayne for coffee and conversation.

9:00am MT - Danger! Bang! with Jen Prokop, Sarah MacLean, Adriana Anders, Nana Malone, and KJ Charles
Join Jen Prokop (aka: Jen Reads Romance) and authors Sarah MacLean, Adriana Anders, Nana Malone, and KJ Charles to talk about the most logical response to finding your life in grave peril--the DANGER! BANG! Pinned down by gunmen? DANGER! BANG! Becalmed at sea with no instruments and no fresh water? DANGER! BANG! Trapped in a dingy motel while running from the mob? DANGER! BANG! You know it. You love it. You can't get enough of it, and this panel is right there with you. Join us for what is sure to be a b-a-n-a-n-a-s hour(-ish).

10:00am MT - A Little Bit Gothic - Susanna Kearsley, Diana Billier, Leanna Renee Hieber, and Laura Joh Rowland with moderator Emily Kelly of Third Street Books get spooky.
Sometimes, falling in love can be a little scary and sometimes it's just the ghosts. Authors Susanna Kearsley, Diana Biller, Leanna Renee Hieber, and Laura Joh Rowland aren't afraid to litter the road to love with ghosts and time slips and even murder. Moderator Emily Kelly, bookseller at Third Street Books in McMinnville, OR will talk with them about striking the right balance between the spooky and the swoony.

11:00am MT - Double The Fun With Cross-Genre Romance with SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy and authors Amanda Bouchet, Jennifer Estep, Grace Draven & Darynda Jones
As any Romance reader knows, the genre is not a monolith, but crosses over with every other conceivable genre. What may be less known is that the current president of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is Fantasy Romance author Jeffe Kennedy. Jeffe will be joined by Amanda Bouchet, Jennfier Estep, Grace Draven, and Darynda Jones to talk all things cross-genre Romance.

1:00pm MT - Bookstore Romance Day Ambassadors Kit Rocha with Christina Lauren Two best-selling author teams, one great conversation. 
Christina Lauren (Christina and Lauren) will be in conversation with this year's Bookstore Romance Day Ambassador, Kit Rocha (Bree and Donna). Both writing teams got their start in the fanfiction community and have had great success in traditional publishing. While we may not know for sure what they'll talk about, the odds are good that fanfic and what it's like writing with a partner will be on the agenda.

2:00pm MT - Ghouls, Golems, and Giggles - Humor in paranormal and supernatural romance  with Gwenda Bond, Gail Carriger, Sarah Kuhn, & Angela Quarles and moderator Annie Carl of The Neverending Bookshop
If you're tired of brooding vampires, dour superheroes, and demons so evil they verge on caricature, we have your remedy. Join authors Gwenda Bond, Gail Carriger, Sarah Kuhn, and Angela Quarles as they talk about how to make a protagonist both intimidating (phenomenal cosmic powers) and relatable (itty bitty living space). Annie Carl, owner of The Neverending Bookshop, will moderate.

3:00pm MT - Love is Queer - with authors Olivia Waite, Adriana Herrera, Cat Sebastian, and Roan Parrish moderated by Shane P. Mullen of East Bank Books.
Love is love is love is love is love. Celebrate queer Romance with authors Olivia Waite, Adriana Herrara, Cat Sebastian, and Roan Parrish and moderated by Shane P. Mullen of East Bank Books.

4:00pm MT- Historical Mystery, with Love -  with Deanna Raybourn, Sherry Thomas, YS Lee, & Tasha Alexander moderated by BrocheAroe Fabian of River Dog Book
There is a significant overlap both in readership and even structure and tropes employed between historical mystery and Romance. Join authors Deanna Raybourn, Sherry Thomas, YS Lee, and Tasha Alexander as they discuss those commonalities with BrocheAroe Fabian, owner of River Dog Book Co.

5:00pm  MT - Harlequin Happy Hour with Marcella Bell, Audrey Carlan, Sheila Roberts, and Maisey Yates.
Pour yourself your drink of choice and kick back for a Happy Hour chat with authors Marcella Bell, Audrey Carlan, Sheila Roberts, and Maisey Yates.

7:00pm MT - Bookstore Romance Day After Dark - Join romance authors Xio Axelrod, Kristen Callihan, Robin Covington, Ann Aguirre, and Naima Simone for games, music, and more after all the fun of Bookstore Romance Day!

Sunday, August 22nd

10:00am MT- Small Town Romance with Harlequin - with Michelle Major, Lee Tobin McClain, Jo McNally, and Naima Simone
Join Michelle Major, Lee Tobin McClain, Jo McNally, and Naima Simone as they discuss the enduring appeal of the small town Romance.

11:00am MT - Soap Opera Drama with Harlequin - with Hudson Lin, Angelina M. Lopez, Mona Shroff, and Synithia Williams
Who doesn't love a little drama--or a lot of drama? Join Harlequin authors Hudson Lin, Angelina M. Lopez, Mona Shroff, and Synithia Williams as they dish all things High Drama, High Emotions, and Sky High Heels.

12:00pm MT - High Stakes/ High Emotions - with Sharon Lynn Fisher, Everina Maxwell, Jessie Mihalik, and Elizabeth Lim and moderator Candice Huber of Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Books
Authors Sharon Lynn Fisher, Everina Maxwell, Jessie Mihalik, and Elizabeth Lim explore the risks and rewards of falling in love while you're trying to save the realm/world/galaxy. Moderated by Candice Huber, owner of Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Books.

1:00pm MT- Young Adult Romance with Inkyard Press- featuring Tashie Bhuyian, Dana L. Davis, Abigail Johnson, Whitney D. Grandison, & moderator Eric Smith
We all love a good YA swoon-fest. Join moderator Eric Smith and authors Tashie Bhuyian, Dana L. Davis, Abigail Johnson, and Whitney D. Grandison from Harlequin's Inkyard Press for a discussion of the genre we never outgrow.

2:00pm MT - Book Your Perfect Match - with authors Jay Coles, Leah Johnson, Brianna Bourne, Molly Knox Ostertag, and Debbie Rigaud
Find your perfect book match Scholastic and I Read YA celebrates Bookstore Romance Day with Jay Coles, Leah Johnson, Brianna Bourne, Molly Knox Ostertag, and Debbie Rigaud.

This event will be hosted on the I Read YA YouTube. Links to come soon.

An Indies Introduce Q&A With Catherine Raven

Ariana had a few questions for Montana author Dr. Catherine Raven, about her new book Fox & I. Catherine Raven is the debut author of Fox & I, a Summer/Fall 2021 Indies Introduce adult selection and a July Indie Next List pick. Be sure to Join us for our live virtual event with Dr. Raven and Outside magazine editor Tim Cahill. Register here. Book cover of Fox & I by Catherine Raven

“Read this book for the story of Fox, stay for the story of the author and how we all are nature. An examination of our relationships with other animals, plants, each other, and the world, Fox & I is a beautifully-written, thoughtful blend of memoir and nature writing that will inform and inspire and make you feel,” said Ariana Paliobagis, the owner of Country Bookshelf in Bozeman, Montana, who served on the bookseller panel that selected Raven’s book for Indies Introduce.

Raven is a former National Park Ranger at Glacier, Mount Rainier, North Cascades, Voyagers, and Yellowstone National Parks. She earned her PhD in biology from Montana State University and is currently an assistant program director and professor at South University in Savannah, Georgia.

Here, Paliobagis and Raven discuss how the author found her memoir voice to tell the story of her friendship with Fox.


Ariana Paliobagis: Fox & I starts with the acknowledgement that foxes live short lives, so the reader always has an anticipation of an ending, and Fox’s life is just a short part of your life. How did this affect how you approached writing and structuring this book?

Catherine Raven, photo by Bill BurkeCatherine Raven: When I decided to write Fox’s story, we were still seeing each other every day. Because the book was meant to be about him, not me, the original structure was chronologic, and Fox was in every chapter.

I intended to write a true story about a fox who changed my views on anthropomorphism, became my first real friend, and inspired me to think more like an animal.

A published writer explained to me that Fox and I was not simply a true story, it was a memoir, as much about me as about him. I very much respected this writer (or I wouldn’t have asked her opinion), so I set out to turn my true story into a memoir. I changed the structure to include scenes that resonated with my own life experiences.

Fox altered my life in important ways. He is responsible for my choice to live in the country and to seek a purpose-driven life. In order to honor Fox, I had to share enough of my own story so that readers could see how greatly he influenced my life.

AP: As someone who has done lots of scientific and academic writing, how did you find your memoir voice? 

CR: I do have two voices; one is for scientific communication. I did not use that voice in my memoir. Two jobs helped develop my memoir voice: guiding and teaching undergraduates.

I’ve been guiding and instructing field classes in Yellowstone National Park for 20 years and I work hard to avoid jargon and “science speak.” Instead, I use my natural voice, one that is like the voice in the memoir.

When I started the book, I was teaching upper division classes for biology majors. I purposely switched to lower division classes designed for non-majors. I knew this would help with my writing. And, truly, I have come to enjoy teaching non-majors a lot more, just as I have come to enjoy writing.

AP: Other than Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Herman Melville, and Mary Shelley, who you reference often, are there other writers who influenced you?

CR: Several memoirs inspired me. Imagination runs wild in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Woman Warrior, a super creative memoir about living simultaneously in two different worlds. This was the first memoir that resonated with me after Fox died, reminding me that I, too, was living in two worlds, one with Fox and one when I entered the “real world” of serious, professionals, hawk-eyed on their lookout for violators of the anthropomorphism taboo. In a voice that blends hope and horror, Kingston brought me inside the dreams and struggles of a girl-child in a Chinese-American family.

In A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah of Sierra Leone, like Kingston, shows me a world that I knew nothing about, in the same way that I assumed science and biology would be a new world to the readers of Fox and I. Beah’s is the voice of innocence among almost unbelievable terror. I believe his story because his writing is clear enough to highlight his honesty and earnestness. Beah has more right to preach, rant, and rage about an immense humanitarian crisis than anyone in the world. He doesn’t. So, I saw how to address important issues without writing in an opinionated, editorial tone. Importantly, before I found Beah’s memoir, I thought all memoirs were written by professional writers looking for their next topic. Like me, Beah experienced something so profound that he became a writer in order to tell the story.

In Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a voice very different from mine, I found a memoir with a creative structure that inspired me to finally start Fox and I. Reading Dave Eggers’ memoir, I realized there are no limits on structure if the writer is sincere and the story is well-told. He moves seamlessly in the first, second, and third person voices. This book freed me from the fear of writing a tightly structured book, which had to follow writerly rules that I had not learned.

I enjoy third person. Readers will notice this in the sections I wrote from Fox’s point of view. My favorite third person novels are so excellent, I sometimes pick one up and read a chapter chosen at random. I strongly recommend everyone reads Hilary Mantel’s trilogy (Wolf HallBring up the BodiesThe Mirror and the Light), Anthony Doerr’s All the Light we Cannot See, and Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries. But you’ll need to avoid these spectacularly entertaining books if you have an ego. I can’t tell you how many times I stopped, mid-paragraph to announce out loud, “I will never, ever write this well.”

AP: You write eloquently, passionately, and forcefully about how humans aren’t just part of nature, we are also nature, we are also animals. Can you talk a bit about why this philosophical distinction is so important? What changes once we realize we are not separate from nature?

CR: On a practical level, I worry about folks experiencing loneliness. I want them to realize that Nature isn’t a mother, it’s a community, and that they are inherently part of this community. It’s their birthright. When they realize they are part of this community, it’s unimaginable to me that they could be lonely. Humans might not have a welcome place for everyone at any given time, but the community I call Nature will always have a spot somewhere. I have found comfort with a slug on a forest floor. Would you turn your nose at a housefly? If not for that one dancing fly, Fox and I may never have connected when we did.

On a philosophical level, I think it’s helpful to reassess our common understanding of anthropomorphism. The term assumes that certain personality — or non-physical — traits are the exclusive domain of Homo sapiens. For example, an appreciation of beauty, or the ability to discern something that is visually pleasing. What happens if we believe that animals are more like us than we once imagined? Will we treat them better? I wish I were that naïve. But let’s face it, sometimes our own parents treat us worse than complete strangers; closeness doesn’t translate to kindness.

But I am optimistic enough to believe that some people will treat some animals better, and others will at least start thinking about it.

As a community, I find that people are anthropomorphobic. And so, we have created an artificial divide between humans and non-human animals. We fear the image of animals acting like people, but more so, and more concerning, we fear the image of people acting like animals. A small change leads to many possibilities. For example, what would you do differently, if, like other animals, you thought about your optimal habitat instead of just picking a career and following it to wherever?

AP: If you could have more time with Fox, how would you spend it?

CR: When you finish the book, you’ll know that I did a terrible thing to Fox. You’ll understand that I wasn’t the friend I should have been. I would have liked more time to make it up to him and more time to experience the responsibilities of friendship.

Books: 
Staff Pick Badge
Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781954118003
Availability: On Our Shelves as of 9am Today
Published: Spiegel & Grau - July 6th, 2021

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Blog