Happy Banned Books Week!


-Astoria Bookshop, NY

Here’s the banned books week website.

What are some of your favorite banned books? I might say Great Gatsby and Huck Finn, both hugely important, if not arguably the most important pieces of American literature.


Brilliant Books Offering Refund on “Go Set a Watchman”

Wow. This statement release by Brilliant Books of Michigan is everything I’m feeling about this Harper Lee publishing debacle.

“We at Brilliant Books want to be sure that our customers are aware that Go Set A Watchman is not a sequel or prequel to To Kill A Mockingbird. Neither is it a new book.  It is a first draft that was originally, and rightfully, rejected. The book, and some of the characters therein, are very much a product of this era in the South.

We suggest you view this work as an academic insight rather than as a nice summer novel. This situation is comparable to James Joyce’s stunning work A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and his original draft Stephen Hero. Hero was initially rejected, and Joyce reworked it into the classic Portrait. Herowas eventually released as an academic piece for scholars and fans—not as a new ‘Joyce novel’. We would have been delighted to see Go Set A Watchman receive a similar fate.

It is disappointing and frankly shameful to see our noble industry parade and celebrate this as “Harper Lee’s New Novel”.  This is pure exploitation of both literary fans and a beloved American classic (which we hope has not been irrevocably tainted.) We therefore encourage you to view Go Set A Watchman with intellectual curiosity and careful consideration; a rough beginning for a classic, but only that.”

Full article here:

Why Brilliant Books is offering refunds to customers who purchased Go Set A Watchman


Interactive First Chapter of “Go Set a Watchman”

So, I know a lot of you are really excited about this. I just found this this morning. It’s an interactive first chapter of Harper Lee’s much anticipated Go Set a Watchman. You can listen to it narrated by Reese Witherspoon or read it.

Exclusive extract

Chapter one

Go Set A Watchman

by Harper Lee


I was reading an interesting article about how the release of this book is a little bit worrying. I guess Harper Lee has always been a recluse and often got tricked into signing away her writing. Her sister, who was a lawyer had represented her and protected her and this book was signed mere months after her death…

Here is that article if you’re interested: Be Suspicious of the New Harper Lee Novel

Great New YA Book, Explores New Topics


Pub Date: June 16, 2015 Disney-Hyperion


If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.”

This isn’t a review but I just wanted to draw attention to this book. I recently received an email from NetGalley about it and I am so so happy to see that it talks about a part of OCD that is rarely discussed or portrayed in media. When we think of OCD we usually think of the compulsive side, i.e. the checking locked doors and tapping/touching/counting, whatever it may be. But the obsessive dark/forbidden thoughts are silent and people you know may suffer from it and you wouldn’t even know. I myself suffer from this form of OCD and although it is not debilitating for me I cannot read this book because it makes it a lot more difficult for me to control when I see other people’s obsessive thoughts. I know I just got more personal than I ever do but this is a really important book and it already has almost five stars on GoodReads so check it out!

Attention All Souls Trilogy Fans!

Hello fellow bibliophiles! I was just checking out Deborah Harkness’ Facebook page and it turns out the BBC bought the rights to the All Souls Trilogy and is in “conversation” to turn it into a TV show!!! Now I know it will be a very long time (writing the script, finding actors, filming) but this definitely means that we have not seen the last of Diana and Matthew’s world. I’m super excited. And the BBC is awesome. The British just do everything better don’t they?? 😀 Well just wanted to let you guys know! Also if you’re great at writing and have $5,000 to spare Deborah Harkness is hosting a writer’s retreat talking about the benefits of using history  in your writing, it’s all inclusive and supposed to be amazing.


Who do you think should play Matthew? Somebody mysterious and gorgeous I hope. I know there’s a whole youtube dedicated to it.