We have a bit of administrative material to deal with first. Namely that the deadline for nominating booksellers for James Patterson's Holiday Bonus for Booksellers is the end of next week. If you need to drop by and refresh your memory as to which of your local booksellers is your favorite, this coming week would be a good time to do that. Nominations can be submitted here:

Completely unrelated, Patterson has a new book out this week. 

Come on. Reading this as shameless toadying up to Mr. Patterson is too easy, even for us. Besides, we also mentioned this the week he didn't have a book out, so there really is no relation between Patterson putting out books and Patterson making so much damn money from selling books that he has to give some of it back to the very people who shill his product in the stores. That's gratitude, dear readers, that what that is. To which we say: thank you very much, and may this eternal cycle continue unabated until the heat death of the universe. 

No, seriously. He's got books scheduled out that far. 

Anyway, Patterson totally hits the marketing bullseye this week with The 19th Christmas, which checks a bunch of boxes as it extracts money from your wallet. What's going on in this one? Well, it's the Women's Murder Club, one of his better-known series (co-written with Maxine Paetro), and this time around, the gals in SF need to stop a nasty fellow named "Loman" from wrecking Christmas morning for everyone. It's like How the Grinch Stole Christmas meets Se7en

And speaking of mashups, Renee Ahdieh's newest book, The Beautiful, takes place in New Orleans during the later part of the 19th century, where strange things lurk in the shadows of the seasonal carnival. Our resolute protagonist falls in love with the city when she arrives, but all too soon, she's fallen under the spell of the darker side of New Orleans. It's been more than forty years since Interview With The Vampire and almost fifteen since Twilight, so we're due for a revival of the blood-sucking immortal romance story, aren't we? (Oh, and a hundred and twenty-two years since Dracula, which is nothing in vampire years, of course.) While the relationship between the main characters in The Beautitful isn't new (four hundred and twenty-plus years since Romeo & Juliet, by the way), Ahdieh creates a marvelously vibrant and gothic New Orleans that paints it all in a new light. 

And speaking of 19th century adventure stories, clever clever Melville House has reissued James Glaisher's Travels in the Air with a new title that matches the film starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones which is currently making the film festival circuit. The Aeornauts recounts Glaisher's efforts to touch the ceiling while riding in a balloon, and by "ceiling," we mean "the edge of space." Naturally, in 1862, when Glaisher made his attempt, no one really knew what was up there, and as you can imagine, attempting this feat in a hot-air balloon is rife with all sorts of problems. Many of which, we are sure, Glaisher discovered during his "travels." 

Meanwhile, Markus Zusak's latest is out in paperback now. Why? Because everyone has apparently read The Book Thief now, and, well, it's time, right? This one is called Bridge of Clay, and all we really know is that it is probably just as life-changing as The Book Thief, and it tells the story of five brothers. One of them is named "Clay" and has a penchant for bridge building. The rest is up to you to find out. 

And speaking of dangling reads in front of you, Jojo Moyes is back this week as well. She's brought with her The Giver of Stars, which is a story of librarians, horseback riding, Kentucky countryside, and bonding, all set against the backdrop of the Great Depression. It's an emotional rollercoaster sort of book, and not an actual rollercoaster. Plan accordingly. 

And speaking of planning accordingly, the latest of Jim Kay's artful and magical work is here. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Illustrated Edition drops this week. It's been a two-year wait, we know, but come on, Kay had a lot of dragons to draw, didn't he? Well, we won't bother saying anymore about this one as you are probably already halfway to the door . . . 

And when you get here, don't forget to check out our seasonal pop-up shelf, because it is that time of year, after all. Marvelous little books of perfectly cut pictures that spring forth when you turn the pages. 

(And yes, there is a Harry Potter one; and no, it isn't out for another few weeks yet.)

(And yes, there is also one for the National Parks, which looks to be marvelous; and no, it isn't out yet either.)

Anyway, Yevgeniya Yeretskaya's magical Christmas decorations and snowflakes are back in Flurry: A Mini Snowflake Pop-Up Book. This one is almost small enough for a stocking stuffer . . . 

And speaking of small things, Julie Fogliano's marvelous Just in Case You Want to Fly is out this week. Delightfully illustrated by Christian Robinson, Just in Case You Want to Fly is a soon-to-be classic children's book that encourages tiny ones to dream big. We give this idea our biggest stamp of approval. 

And finally, we have The Little Book of Otter Philosophy. Written by Jennifer McCartney, the Little Book of Otter Philosophy is a little wordy, but still very on the nose in regards to how to approach life as otters do, which is with more delight, more playfulness, and more attention to enjoying your true self. As Hodge and Podge would say: do as otters do and not as they do0—do0—be—do0. 

Overheard At The Store »»

COLBY: Okay, so all the Random Thing in a Box boxes boxed?

HODGE: They are! 

COLBY: And stacked by the register? 

HODGE: Stacked!

COLBY: Ready for customer purchase? 

HODGE: Ready! In fact, we've sold quite a few already. 

COLBY: Excellent. I always appreciate a plan when it actually works. 

HODGE: Aye, a plan planned is a well-planned plan. 

COLBY: That's—yes, what you said. 

HODGE: I did. 

COLBY: Okay. . . . Where's Podge? 

HODGE: He's, uh, he's tidying up. 

COLBY: He is? Well, uh, excellent. 

HODGE: Yes. 

COLBY: . . . 

HODGE: . . . 

COLBY: Is there something else? 

HODGE: No, no. 

COLBY: Are you sure? 

HODGE: Well . . . no. No, no. 

COLBY: Are you sure? 

HODGE: Quite sure. 

COLBY: And Podge . . . ? 

HODGE: Tidying. 

COLBY: Right. 

HODGE: . . . 

COLBY: He's in one of the boxes we sold today, isn't he? 

HODGE: I fear that may be the case. 


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