Dear Readers,

Happy Friday. Just like that, the calendar flips and we're another month older, another month wiser, and hopefully another month closer to being able to gather together in person. This month brings a whole host of thought-provoking new releases including the much-anticipated release of Amanda Gorman's The Hill We Climb , an essential volume for your home library AND the perfect graduation/housewarming/host/
birthday/really anytime gift.

We have two very special events coming up next week; please take a moment to scroll all the way to the bottom for details on how to join us for both.

Don't forget you can always find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And for those observing Passover or preparing to celebrate Easter this weekend, our warmest wishes for a lovely holiday.

Be well.
Friday Five
This week's Friday Five kicks off with a book that after sitting in my TBR pile for several weeks I tore through in a 48-hour period. I'll admit it, I picked the book up for the looks but I am recommending it for what's in between the gorgeous cover art. Libertie
follows a free young Black woman (Libertie) in Reconstruction-Era Brooklyn, the default apprentice to her mother, a respected doctor. Instead of fulfilling her mother's dream and taking up an expected place in a female-led medical practice, Libertie decamps for Haiti, married to a man whose homeland and idea of a woman's place offers Libertie the polar opposite of her mother's dream. Of course the rebellion isn't straightforward and neither are the subsequent events that follow Libertie's decision to flee. Highly recommended for lovers of literary and historical fiction.

Libertie got me thinking about expectations placed upon young people from parents, families and society at large and how, despite the best of intentions, these children often fail to fulfill the expectations of their elders. Another new book, one that takes no more than a couple of hours to breeze right through on a sunny afternoon is How to Order the Universe. The starring role is occupied by young M, a girl who becomes the unexpected sidekick to her traveling salesman father. Misguided choices by parental units lead M through a questionable childhood and cause her to rail against both as she struggles to understand her place in her family unit and the country (Chile) of her birth that's undergoing a metamorphosis of its own.

The third pick, Sharks in the Time of Saviors was one of Sheila's (and, in case you track things such as this, Barack Obama's) favorite books last year and rightfully so. Another gorgeous piece of fiction that secures you squarely in place, this book brings to the forefront a story of a family orbiting around a young boy who, after falling overboard a ship during a family vacation and being rescued by a shark becomes imbued with supernatural powers that have the supposed ability to heal all manner of ills. Gorgeously wrought, this novel dives deep into family dynamics and how we all, for a variety of reasons, place hope in easy absolution.

Iza's Ballad by Magda Szabo is my fourth pick of the week. A New York Review of Books Classics original, the book follows relationship between a mother (Ettie) and daughter (Iza) in rapidly modernizing Communist Hungary in the years after World War II. While both Ettie and Iza aim to care for each other in the best way they know how, they were raised in vastly different circumstances and hold divergent opinions on what it means to lead a good life. Lauren Groff says: "Some books, like some people, require great patience and attention to fully understand their complexity and beauty. Szabo teaches us lucky readers this very lesson through Iza’s Ballad... ."

Finally, The Code Breaker, a timely pick because we are hosting the author Walter Isaacson in conversation with Founder and Former CEO of Teach For America, Wendy Kopp. Why does this book make the list about young people railing against expectations? You need look no further than the inside cover: "When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback, titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the building blocks of life. Even though her high school counselor girls didn't become scientists, she decided she would." Talk about proving people wrong. It's a true delight to follow Doudna's trajectory to winning the Nobel Prize in 2020 as her role in the development of CRISPR opens a whole new world of possibility.
New on the Shelf: Fiction
New on the Shelf: Nonfiction
Featured: Children's Picture Book
Buildings, bridges, and books don’t exist without the workers who are often invisible in the final product, as this joyous and profound picture book reveals.

Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is an eye-opening exploration of the many types of work that go into building our world. An architect may dream up the plans for a house, but someone has to actually work the saws and pound the nails. This book is a thank-you to the skilled women and men who work tirelessly to see our dreams brought to life.
New on the Shelf: Middle Grade
New on the Shelf: Young Adult
Featured Event
Wambui Ippolito + Jennifer Jewell
Tuesday, April 6
Barrett Bookstore and Darien Library are thrilled to welcome Wambui Ippolito and Jennifer Jewell for a virtual event. Jennifer will discuss her beautiful book, The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants and engage in conversation with Wambui about the  people, places, plants that grew her into the designer, scholar, and activist she is in the plant world. 
Featured Event
Walter Isaacson + Wendy Kopp
Wednesday, April 7
Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Community Association are honored to present Walter Isaacson and Co-Founder + CEO of Teach For All Wendy Kopp in virtual conversation about Walter's newest book, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race. This is a NOT-TO-BE-MISSED conversation.

β€œThe Code Breaker is another Walter Isaacson must-read. This time he has a heroine who will be for the ages; a worldwide cast of remarkable, fiercely competitive scientists; and a string of discoveries that will change our lives far more than the iPhone did. The tale is gripping. The implications mind-blowing.”—Atul Gawande