Catching Up with Cross-Country Friends - A Rapid Fire Q&A
Updated: Apr 22
We miss seeing you every morning for storytime, and surely you miss us. But maybe, just maybe, the perspective of your local bookseller has started to feel stale (No, Never!). We know it’s unlikely, but just in case, our store manager, Mariana, has teamed up with Brooke from Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston, IL for a rapid fire questionnaire. Enjoy some recommendations and fun facts from both your beloved local bookseller AND a fresh voice from far away!
What is your top recent read?
Mariana: I really liked THE MERMAID THE WITCH AND THE SEA! So much diversity and such a unique world and mythos! But my absolute favorite recent is THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA! I love Lucy! Such an adorable antichrist! The author also has a YA coming out that I’m really excited for, but I started reading it and forgot to keep going. #thingsabooksellersays
Brooke: I just read THE BLACKBIRD GIRLS and I adored it. It’s heavy, I mean the setting is Chernobyl and it deals with goverment cover ups and child abuse, but it’s so beautifully written and the friendship at the center of the story left me crying and texting my best friend. (Mariana: books that make you cry and text your bestie are the best books)
What is a top selling book at your store?
What’s a book you’ve been trying to sell but haven’t found the right customer for?
Mariana: Vicious by V.E. Schwab - it’s one of my favorite alternate superhero book! It’s dark and twisty and more about villains than heroes and I NEED more people to read it so we can discuss! (Brooke: READ THIS BOOK!)
Brooke: I Am Bat by Morag Hood! It’s one of the cutest picture books and I love to read it at storytime, but it just hasn’t found a home with the right family yet. (Mariana: HOW DARE I AM BAT IS PERFECT)
What’s your quarantine drink and a book that pairs with it?
Mariana: SO MUCH homemade cold brew with oatmilk and homemade lavender brown sugar syrup - to fuel my late night gaming (Animal Crossing, anyone? What fruit do you have?). Also White Claw because it’s 70 degrees out and I have no shame. To pair with my bougie cold brew: THE CITY WE BECAME by N. K. Jemisin. To pair with raspberry White Claw: THE EXTRAORDINARIES by TJ Klune
Brooke: Tea with a truly appalling amount of sugar (I’m from the South, I come by it naturally.) Pairs wonderfully with THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES by Grady Hendrix. Also, mimosas. Orange juice is healthy, right? Goes well with LAYOVERLAND by Gabby Noone, which is a book that feels very fun and brunchy.
What’s your quarantine snack and a book that pairs with it?
Mariana: Pineapple chunks! Pairs with any book you can hold in one hand because I always end up treating them as finger food.
Brooke: Oreos and a glass of milk. Pairs well with Goldie Vance: the Hotel Whodunit, which is a middle grade mystery that feels like a book I’d read in a blanket fort with cookies and milk!
Do you have pets and what books do they like, and what are their names?
Mariana:I have two cats! Lila loves any book with a sassy and kick-butt lady character with a good glare, Muffin loves any book she can sit on.
What book is silently glaring at you you from your nightstand, judging you for not reading it yet?
Mariana: I have no nightstand. I have a packed 3-level library cart that haunts me. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY need to get to BLACK WINGS BEATING by Alex London.
Brooke: I also have no nightstand, but I do have at least 3 books in bed with me and several bookshelves of unread books.
What is an audiobook you’ve loved?
Mariana: TO SPEAK FOR THE TREES by Diana Beresford-Kroeger was so lovely, and so different from my usual fare.
Brooke: It’s really hard for me to focus of audiobooks, but I loved the reading of Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Mallory Ortberg.
What is a good cookbook for the times?
Mariana: Chef Gino’s Taste Test Challenge -- perfect for getting your kids involved!
Brooke: How to Cook a Wolf by MK Fisher. Originally published in 1942, when wartime rationing was at its worst, Fisher has some of the best prose and joyful writing about food ever.
Socks or slippers inside?
Favorite comfort read?
3 upcoming releases you’re excited for? (selected in May)
3 backlist that is underrated?
Brooke: literally anything by Terry Pratchett, Bunnicula by James Howe, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World
Favorite read-aloud for kids?
Favorite read-aloud for the whole family?
Book you secretly haven’t read yet even though everyone assumes you have?
Favorite thing about Second Star to the Right Books?
Mariana: Seeing babies grow up via storytimes!
Brooke: It’s basically a kid’s wonderland! It truly feels magical.