Dear Readers,

Recently several customers have mentioned the fleeting days of summer, disappointed that the calendar won't slow down (despite the fact that we humans are moving a bit more slowly in this heavy heat). Despair not, I say! The shelves are filled with so many delightful reads ready to bounce about in a beach bag or be devoured with an icy beverage on the couch. Read on for a sample of what we're reading and loving.

Don't forget, if you're missing us with the less frequent summer e-mail cadence, you can always been in touch on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Until next time.

Friday Five
If you've cast a passing glance at the headlines this week you'll take note of chatter about a UN report highlighting the unnerving fact that climate change is hurtling forward and it's up to us to slow it down. NPR marked the release of the report with a piece on the 50th anniversary of The Lorax and the conflicts this legendary children's book wrestles with. While processing this information, I just so happened to finish up a fine debut of a novel set in 1970s rural California where residents of the redwood forest began to notice some unnerving side effects from persistent pesticide use. All of this leads to a Friday Five set squarely in nature: its glory, its beauty, and the ongoing question of our human relationship to it all.

The New Wilderness was a finalist for the 2020 Booker Prize and was a top pick for me last year. As such, the novel currently resides on our recommended table where it tells the story of a young family who, when facing environmental chaos, makes an impossible choice for their daughter; they must leave behind the life they know and enter a sort of reality show-like expedition where only the savviest survive.

Damnation Spring is the debut novel I mentioned above and while it's not without deep heartbreak, it also extolls the connection we have to one another and the change that can come when a single voice rises above a fractious fray. I adored this novel and it's my favorite handsell of the week.

Next up from science fiction writer extraordinaire, N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season is the first in a trilogy. Winner of the 2016 Hugo Award (science fiction's most prestigious award), this novel struggles with powers of oppression in an apocalyptic world. The plot follows a mother on a mission to save her only living child while wrestling with powers that give her the ability to manipulate seismic energy.

New on the shelf this week, The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us by biologist Meg Lowman takes the reader on a ride to the treetops. If the news has you feeling a bit hopeless, San Francisco Chronicle writer Rachel Zarrow suggests that author Meg Lowman will leave you with a bit of hope: "Though we are now in a climate crisis, Lowman offers suggestions for ways we can fight deforestation and protect the trees, and by the time you reach the last page of the book, you'll either want to climb a tree, hug a tree or both."

Finally, a pre-order teaser that I finished just last night. From Elif Shafak (author of the absolutely extraordinary, read-it-now 10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World) comes an imaginative new novel in which trees play a key role, helping to heal long-simmering rifts. A fig tree takes center stage, bearing burdens too heavy for humans to shoulder. Filled with beautiful prose, The island of Missing Trees expertly unwinds the tension of a long-simmering political conflict and leaves the reader with a beautiful book. You'll be able to pick it up in November.
New on the Shelf Spotlight
Greg Ruth + Ethan Hawke
From the team that wrote the #1 New York Times bestseller Indeh comes a new graphic novel that follows a young boy and his father through a tumultuous day. The story takes place in Huntsville, Texas and follows a downward spiral of action that accelerates due to the father's actions. A relationship tested, the book is billed as a "contemporary crime noir" perfect for fans of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and Terrence Malick's Badlands.
Maggie Smith
Poet Maggie Smith is back with a collection of poems that serves as a balm for these uncertain times. Hers is an aura that exudes love and invites the reader in as she meditates on a myriad of topics including parenthood, solitude, love, and memory.

In a review for NPR, Jeevika Vermna notes: "By considering the act of letting go, the poet reminds us that we can't always have the answers. Sometimes the lesson is to simply keep going...In this way, the book is filled with the poet's unrelenting willingness to learn, to dream of a better world."
New on the Shelf: Fiction
New on the Shelf: Nonfiction + Memoir
Pre-Order Reminder
Renegades: Born in the USA
Barack Obama + Bruce Springsteen
Barrett Bookstore is thrilled to announce an exclusive pre-order opportunity to secure your copy of President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen's soon-to-be released book, Renegades: Born in the USA.

Order NOW and receive a 10 percent discount on copies purchased by MONDAY, AUGUST 23. This book is sure to sell-out so don't miss the opportunity to secure a copy for everyone on your holiday list. Want to learn more? Scroll down for information about the project and a 
behind-the-scenes video featuring this dynamic duo.

Your credit card will be charged at the time of order. 
Books will arrive on October 26, 2021.