Spring Reads


Recommendations from Your Local Indie Bookshop

Hello from Word After Word Books, your local Truckee/Tahoe bookshop. We are excited to partner with Moonshine Ink to provide our book recommendations for this debut installment of Words Matter. Conveniently located in historic downtown Truckee, we offer a curated selection of new and used books with an emphasis on local authors and interests. We carry a variety of indie best sellers in fiction and nonfiction, and our Kids’ Room is amazing! We’re also home to Truckee’s only vinyl record store, Rock Cellar Records. Looking for a good book or some new (or new-to-you) music? Just come in and browse. All of these books are available on site, and if you’re not able to visit right away, our expanded website has more than 12 million titles, too. Shopping local has never been so good.

~ From the team at Word After Word Books

On the Trail of the Jackalope by Michael Branch


Look for local author, humorist, and environmentalist Branch’s new book On the Trail of the Jackalope: How a Legend Captured the World’s Imagination and Helped Us Cure Cancer. In this latest work of nonfiction, Branch explores the Jackalope, a mythological creature from the American West that is part jackrabbit and part antelope. With his usual humor and insight, Branch gets to the root of the myth: horned rabbits whose genetics have assisted development of antiviral cancer therapies. He will be at Word After Word Books to discuss and sign his newest book on May 12!

Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties by Suzanne Roberts

From local travel writer, memoirist, and poet Roberts comes a new collection of essays about loss and the link between death and desire. Roberts is vulnerable and honest in her short memoir pieces, using her life experiences to explore the despair and repair cycle that comes with loss. Through Salamanca’s cobbled streets, the Mekong River’s floating markets, Fire Island’s windswept beaches, Nashville’s honky-tonks, and the Sierra Nevada’s snowy slopes, Roberts grapples with her experiences with loss and holds a mirror up to the reader to examine their own experiences with grief. 

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

If you loved Where the Crawdads Sing, you need to add Black Cake to your TBR list. In this heartfelt family drama and mystery, siblings Byron and Benny are mourning the loss of their beloved mother when they discover she left a voice recording for them. As they listen together, their late mother weaves a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. Byron and Benny work through their grief as they unwind the tale of heartbreak and uncover family secrets. Through the historical perspective of their mother’s story and the current-day reminders in her home, the siblings begin to understand the significance of their mother’s secret past and the Black Cake recipe she shared with them throughout their childhood.

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

Debut author Juhea Kim has burst onto the historical fiction scene with Beasts of a Little Land, a sprawling saga of interconnected characters in Korea during the Independence Movement. The epic tale of love, war, and redemption follows a young courtesan and a penniless son of a hunter, as well as a cast of intriguing side characters. Even more than a love story, Beasts of a Little Land uses the Korean concept of inyeon, a connection like fate or destiny. Kim uses the concept to weave together the lives of multiple characters across time and space in stunning yet believable ways.

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barbara Higuera

Higuera’s The Last Cuentista is stunning, both as a physical book and as a story. Petra Peña is a young girl who embarks on a journey as humanity’s last hope when Haley’s Comet heads on a collision course with Earth. This recent Newbery Medal winner combines dystopian fiction with Mexican folklore to demonstrate how culture, heritage, language, and storytelling are the best parts of humanity. Petra is a phenomenal protagonist; she’s brave, smart, and has a lot of heart. She perseveres through a lot of loss but remains hopeful enough to buoy and uplift the remainder of the
human race.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

We can’t leave out young adult readers. Deonn’s Legendborn is a phenomenal young adult fantasy that follows Brianna “Bree” Matthews as she starts at UNC (Chapel Hill’s Early College Program) just a few months after her mother’s untimely death. When she discovers the magic of Arthurian legend is real and might have something to do with her mom’s death, she dives headfirst into the secret society of the Legendborn. Deonn strives not only to create an engrossing fantasy world by mixing Arthurian legend with Southern folk magic, but also to explore themes of grief, ancestral trauma, and Black motherhood and daughterhood. Bree is tenacious and brave — almost to a fault — as she risks everything trying to remedy her grief by burying herself in a mystery whose truth she might not want to discover. 

Content provided by the team at Word After Word Books and Rock Cellar Records. Email inquiries to info@wordafterwordbooks.com. 

What’s Happening at Word After Word Books and Rock Cellar Records?

March 30: WAW Virtual Book Club via Zoom featuring Laura Newman’s short story collection: Franklin Avenue Rookery for Wayward Babies. Purchase Laura Newman’s fantastic short story collection at Word After Word Books or online at wordafterwordbooks.com and join our Facebook group during March for discussion questions and interactive posts. On March 30, join us via Zoom for a chat with the author. All WAW Book Club picks are discounted during the book club month. 

April features both Independent Bookstore Day AND Independent Record Store Day. We will have exclusive merchandise and other super fun stuff in store both weekends.

April 23: Independent Record Store Day is the day to come by Rock Cellar Records. You’ll find a great selection of Record Store Day exclusives, plus our curated collection of new and used vinyl. And don’t miss out on turntable deals!

April 30: What better day to show your support for your local indie bookstore — Word After Word Books — than on Independent Bookstore Store Day? Stop by the shop for exclusive Independent Bookstore Store Day offers.

May 12: Visit Word After Word for two exciting book author events with Michael Branch and Suzanne Roberts. Read below for info on their newest books that you can get on our website at wordafterwordbooks.com. Event details to come.

Find Word After Word Books and Rock Cellar Records in the historic Truckee Mercantile Building at 10052 Donner Pass Rd. and online at wordafterwordbooks.com and rockcellarrecords.com.


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