The Bookies Newsletter
The Bookies Monthly Newsletter
January 2015
As the dust settles after the holiday season, we take a look back at last year with our 2014 Bestsellers for children and schools - and a look forward with a January Reading Challenge. We spotlight our Parenting section and, of course, we have plenty of suggestions for you to read on these long, dark January nights!

Bookies 2014 Top 10 Bestsellers - Children
Where is the Green Sheep? Toddler power won out this year, with the highest sales for the year coming from a tiny, but charming, board book - Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox. Local author Paul Aertker came in second with Brainwashed. In fourth place is Linda Kranz's Only One You, a book championed by The Bookies when it first came out. Young adults (and a few adult readers too) make their first appearance at number eight with John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. Disney phenomenon Frozen reached into our bestsellers, with a tie-in book Big Snowman, Little Snowman coming in at eighth and another, A Day in the Sun, at tenth.

1. Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox, Judy Horacek

2. Brainwashed by Paul Aertker

3. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers

4. Only One You by Linda Kranz

5. Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

6. Mercy Watson to the Rescue Kate DiCamillo, Chris van Dusen

7. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

8. Big Snowman, Little Snowman by Tish Rabe

9. The Cat on the Mat is Flat by Andy Griffiths

10. A Day in the Sun by Frank Barrios

Intimate Strangers As for adults, our top bestseller was Jules Amer's Intimate Strangers: Stories from a Lifetime of Practicing Medicine. Jules Amer is a local pediatrician who it seems treated almost everybody in Denver - judging by the number of customers who say 'he was my doctor'! Apparently we are also Little Golden Book readers, with Diane E Muldrow's witty look back Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book taking second place for adult sales.

Bookies 2014 Top 10 Bestsellers - Schools
Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction Math came out on top in 2014, with our number one school bestseller being Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction by Marian Small. Soil and crayfish were also popular topics to study in school this year, according to numbers two and three on our list. Other school bestsellers included Colorado's 2014 One Book 4 Colorado, Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, and perennial school favorites Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan and The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Curtis. Veronica Roth's Divergent appeared at number nine, and that other regular school favorite Lois Lowry's The Giver just missed our top 10, coming in at number 11!

1. Good Questions: Great Ways to Differentiate Mathematics Instruction by Marian Small

2. Soil by Cassie Meyer

3. Life Cycle of a Crayfish by Bobbie Kalman

4. The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Curtis

5. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

6. Wood by Cassie Mayer

7. Sing Down the Moon by Scott O'Dell

8. Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

9. Divergent by Veronica Roth

10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

As for games and toys, our number one bestseller was Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty! The popularity of Where is the Green Sheep? influenced our product sales, with the cuddly green sheep toy from the book coming in at number two. And at number three (only one sale behind the green sheep!) was the fun dice game Tenzi.

Join our Reading Challenge: The January Genre Change!
The long dark nights of January are made for reading! And this month, we thought we'd challenge ourselves to do something different by reading at least one book outside our usual genres. We challenge you to join us! Visit our Facebook page and let us know what you normally read, and what you pledge to read this January. Ask us for suggestions if you're stuck! Or, this article has great suggestions for how to branch out of your usual genres. And don't forget to look below for our Great January Reads - perhaps you will find something there.

Here is what we will be reading:

  Rapunzel's Revenge

The Healing Code Susan L

January Genre Change: self-help - The Healing Code by Alexander Loyd and Ben Johnson 


Susan says: The self-help category is a rare pick for me - I'll let you know what I think!   

The Nazis Next Door

January Genre Change: non-fiction - The Nazis Next Door: How America became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men by Eric Lichtblau - recommended by Larry at The Bookies

Shona says: I normally only read fiction! I have no idea what I will think of this, but I'm willing to give it a try.

I Hate Picture Books!

January Genre Change: picture book - I Hate Picture Books by Timothy Young 

Larry says: I read in every genre, so it took a bit of thinking to come up with something new. Then I realized I never read picture books - and the title of this one grabbed me!

January Genre Change: fiction - Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, recommended by his wife

Steve says: My wife thinks I should read this, because Stephenson writes intelligent people well!


The Dovekeepers

January Genre Change: historical fiction - The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Shelly says: Not my usual choice of time and certainly a new place!


January Genre Change: 'trending fiction' -Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Jessica says: I like to come to what's trending in my own time--if I ever do. I resisted reading Americanah mainly because I'd heard so much about it!


January Genre Change: thriller - Descent by Tim Johnston

Midge says: Girl is abducted while on vacation in the Colorado Rockies. This is usually the genre my husband loves! Can't wait to stay up all night turning the pages.

Brown Girl Dreaming

January Genre Change: poetry - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Missy says: I'm not a regular poetry reader!

We'll report back in February on what we thought of our forays outside our genres. If you're joining us, use our Facebook page to let us know what you thought and we might include your report in the next newsletter!

We're not the only ones making New Year Resolutions around reading - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has announced his intention to read a different book every two weeks, and has created a Facebook page called A Year of Books for anybody who wants to follow his choices. His first pick is The End of Power by Moises Naim - which publisher, Perseus, are now reprinting as fast as possible to meet demand! Reserve a copy on our website and be part of a worldwide book club.

What we were up to in December...
Boogie Board Thank you to everybody who came into the store in December. It was busy, even chaotic at times, as we recommended, searched, sold and wrapped! We did our best to help everybody and hope we succeeded in supporting you and those dear to you to have a wonderful holiday. In the middle of it all, it warmed our hearts to find this message from Henry on the Boogie Board on display at our front counter. Thank you to Henry and to all our customers!

Kristen Cooper Just before Christmas, author Kristen Cooper came into the store for a book signing to promote her picture book: Gorgeoussaurus: Finding Pretty from the Inside Out, in which a little dinosaur discovers the difference between external beauty and the beauty that is in her heart.

Paris Elementary Late in December, we hosted teachers from Paris Elementary, who spent a day picking out new books and games for their students. They impressed us, not only with their energy and fun, but also with their environmental awareness - rather than use paper or plastic bags, they brought their own plastic tubs to carry away their loot!

Bookies with Santa Look at us, we got our picture taken with Santa! Along with many other great local businesses, we took part in Glendale Sports Center's Christmas celebration. We gave out free books to over 500 kids, with adventure stories and joke books being especially popular. We had a fabulously festive time!

Sue birthday And last, but in no way least, we celebrated a December birthday with our owner, Sue Lubeck!


Coming up in 2015...
A New Year means a new awards season. And we're not talking about the Oscars, but the awards in the book world. The Newbery and Caldecott medals will be given at the start of February. New York librarian, Elizabeth Bird, makes great predictions over at her blog - including some of our own favorites. We have special sections in the store to display Newbery and Caldecott winners, and also for the Michael L. Printz awards for young adults. Which books will be awarded the golden medals and join those sections this year? We can't wait to find out!

Storytime with Ryan Storytime with Ryan continues every Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Our photo shows a recent cold, snowy Tuesday, when half a dozen children braved the elements to warm up with our fun stories!

And, of course, lots of great new books are also coming up in 2015 - scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to see some of the best titles for January.

Read the book before the movie!
Mockingjay Coming to our screens very soon...the movie adaptation of almost any book you can name!

Movie adaptations have been huge in recent years, and 2015 will continue the trend with a vengeance. Many are eagerly awaiting the final episodes in The Hunger Games and The Hobbit series, and the second movies in the Divergent and Maze Runner series are also coming out this year.

But that's just the start - many more books will be making their first appearance on the screen this year, including one of The Bookies' favorites, The Martian by Andy Weir. And the BBC is planning to give Bernard Cornwell the Game of Thrones treatment by televising his Saxon series, using the title of the first novel, The Last Kingdom.

We're advocates of reading the book before the movie. Great though many adaptations are, there always seems to be more to the book than the movie. Plus, if you haven't read the original, how can you get involved in the outraged discussions of 'but that's not what happened in the book'?!

Check out this article for a few more titles that will be going Hollywood and come and visit us if you would like to get your hands on the book first.

Spotlight on... Parenting and Family Issues!

Parenting and issues Did you know that we have an enormous section covering parenting and family issues?

Located at the back of the store, this section contains over 2,000 books on all kinds of topics that affect families, from life with toddlers to grandparenting. In between, you'll find information on subjects such as physical problems, psychological issues, dealing with puberty, becoming a big brother or sister and social issues. Every subsection includes not just informational books for parents, but picture books for toddlers, and books especially written for children and adolescents. We designed this area to make your life a little bit easier - and the books below are just a handful of highlights.

Shelly's Outdoor Adventure
Shelly's Outdoor Adventure 
by Kentrell Martin, Jill Ronsley, Marc Rodriguez
$15.99, Shelly's Adventures
Age 4-8

In this charming book, Shelly takes her friends outside and shows them how to describe the world using American Sign Language. It's a great way for children with hearing difficulties to see themselves in a story, and to introduce the world of hearing difficulties to hearing children. The publisher, Shelly's Adventures, has a mission of helping people to learn ASL in a fun way, and will gradually introduce other books and series.

The Reason I Jump
The Reason I Jump 
By Naoki Higashida, Ka Yoshida, David Mitchell
$22, Random House

Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, this is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.

How to Babysit a Grandma
How to Babysit a Grandma 
By Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish
$16.99, Knopf
Picture book

A New York Times bestseller! When you babysit a grandma, if you're lucky, it's a sleepover at her house! With the useful tips found in this book, you're guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: how to keep a grandma busy; things to do at the park; possible places to sleep, and what to do once you're both snugly tucked in for the night.) Also available: How to Babysit a Grandpa

I hope you enjoy our book picks for January - and don't forget your January Genre Change! Get your friends involved too -
Sue Lubeck

Join us each Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. for Preschool Storytime. We choose awesome picture books to share and interact with! 

Great January Reads

by Christopher Scotton
$26, Grand Central Publishing

We think this is the first 'must read' adult novel of 2015!!!

After witnessing the death of his younger brother, 14-year-old Kevin is sent to live with this grandfather in the village of Medgar in the Appalachian mountains. Kevin begins by taking his anger and confusion out on his surroundings by setting fires. When he is discovered by local boy, Buzzy Fink, Kevin starts to learn why he should protect the land, rather than destroying it.

Author Christopher Scotton took 15 years to complete this novel, while working full-time. Jessica from The Bookies met Christopher and also reviewed The Secret Wisdom of the Earth for publisher Hachette:

"When I hear a piece of wisdom, it is not a nagging 'I told you so,' but rather the most beautiful reminding of something I already knew - but forgot. In Scotton's wondrous debut novel, he reminds me again, and again, of what I long to remember: how to treat fellow humans with kindnesses, that rough upbringings are hard to shake, there's beauty and magic and a sense of responsibility in the natural world, and good humor makes the journey here bearable (and fun). The writing is suspenseful, graceful, and the pacing near perfect. He's created a mentor character in Pops that's a fierce guide--full of wisecracks and stubborn leadership, he's quietly planning his next move with a cup of mash on his beloved front porch. I finished the emotional read in two nights and hope my face goes as blue as the Kentucky Blue Ridge Mountains telling everyone I know about this book!"
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon
by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Picture book

Another beautiful picture book from the author of Waiting for Winter - a crowd favorite at a recent winter storytime with Ryan.

What happens when Mr. Squirrel finds the moon trapped in a tree? Of course he tries to help it! But it's not easy... Wonderful illustrations help to tell the story.

I Totally Funniest
by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
$13.99, Little, Brown
Grades 3-7

Middle schoolers have to hang on until the end of January for the release of the third in James Patterson's hilarious series 'I Funny'!

It will be worth the wait to catch up with James Grimm's latest adventures as he continues in his ambition to be the world's best kid comic. After his TV appearance in the semifinals, James returns to 'normal life', but all the attention is going to his head! His friendships are suffering and he's struggling to come up with new material for the finals in Hollywood. Can he be the funniest kid in the world and keep his friends and family on his side?
First Snow
by Peter McCarty
$16.99, Balzer + Bray
Picture book

A beautiful book that captures the wonder of a child's first experience of snow. Pedro is worried about the cold - but his cousins know he will have a good time. In the end, it's not just snow that Pedro is enjoying for the first time - it's all the fun that goes with it! He and his friends make snow angels, have snowball fights and ride on sleds.
Deep Down Dark
by Héctor Tobar
$26, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Adult non-fiction

The first pick of the NPR Morning Edition Reads book club!

For Deep Down Dark, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the thirty-three miners trapped for sixty-nine days in the San José mine collapse in Chile, in August 2010. The result is a masterwork of narrative journalism-a riveting, at times shocking, emotionally textured account of a singular human event.

Tobar's account brings to haunting, tactile life the experience of being imprisoned inside a mountain of stone, the horror of being slowly consumed by hunger, and the spiritual and mystical elements that surrounded working in such a dangerous place. In its stirring final chapters, it captures the profound way in which the lives of everyone involved in the disaster were forever changed.


The Revenant
Michael Punke
$26, Picador

The Revenant is one of Larry's picks for 2015. His review:

"A very good novel on the Hugh Glass affair of 1823. Glass was a trapper with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company who was mauled by a bear and not expected to survive. His companions abandoned him, taking his gun and hatchet. Glass not only survived, but dragged himself, literally given his horrific wounds, more than 3000 miles across savage territory in search of revenge. On the way he fought predators, both animal and human, and faced the constant threat of starvation. How Glass survived his mauling and abandonment is a true story of grit and courage, but, beyond that, this book is also a good look at mountain men and the fur trade.

Another book to read the book before the movie - production is underway and Leonardo DeCaprio will star in this one.
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins
$26.95, Riverhead

Another of Larry's picks for 2015! His review:

"The psychological thriller to end psychological thrillers! The story is told from the point of view of three women. All three are strong characters; all three are caught up in the murder one way or another, with one of them being the murder victim. And it becomes clear that all are also telling the story with varying degrees of reliability. Tightly plotted and fast-moving, this book will appeal to Gone Girl readers asking why there can't be other books like it. Personally I like The Girl on the Train a little better!" 


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