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 installment of Words Matter. It’s finally summer and we wanted to highlight some of the books we’ve enjoyed recently that have an air of outdoor adventure and wanderlust. We also included a feel-good favorite and some books for younger readers that tackle harder topics with grace and style. We hope you enjoy!

~ From the team at Word After Word Books






The High Sierra: A Love Story
by Kim Stanley Robinson

Robinson positions himself as a modern John Muir in this intimate yet epic ode to the Sierra. Having made over a hundred trips to various parts of the area, Robinson’s newest book is part memoir and part hiking journal as he fondly recounts his own experiences. But it is also a geological and nuanced historical analysis of the region. Robinson looks at the formation of the mountain range, as well as its geological features, its ecology, its conservation, its first people and their legacy, the legendary figures that have passed through or called the mountains home, and the culture of outdoor recreation. The High Sierra is a love story where science and poetry are fused to create a sweeping panorama of the mountains we call home. 

Valley of Giants: Stories from Women at the Heart of Yosemite Climbing
by Lauren DeLaunay Miller

Yosemite Valley is one of the most iconic areas in the rock-climbing world, so fundamental to the history and evolution of Western climbing that it has its own lore and heroes of the sport. Enter Lauren DeLaunay Miller, who during copious climbs in Yosemite noticed that the valley’s epic tales of climbers included women only as a footnote, as girlfriends and belayers, rather than a focus. Miller discovered that the women climbers of Yosemite were missing from our collective imaginations not because they were absent or unaccomplished, but because they were unsung. To fill in the gaps of climbing history, Miller collected journal excerpts, poetry, essays, interviews, and archival information to create this anthology of women climbing in Yosemite Valley from the 1930s to the present. Full of heartbreaking losses as well as soaring joys on the legendary granite walls, this book traces the women who crafted their own equipment, made first ascents, established routes, and shifted climbing techniques forever.

Nowhere for Very Long: The Unexpected Road to an Unconventional Life
by Brianna Madia

This is a memoir of a young woman looking for her place in the world, traveling with her big orange van named Bertha across the deserts of the American West. Madia seeks a path of her own, but quickly discovers van life is not always glamorous. She leans into the realities of van life and is frank with her mental health struggles, but writes with a lovely lyrical quality that puts you right in the desert with her dogs. This memoir is raw and emotional, perfect for fans of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild or Carolyn Highland’s Out Here. Faced with tough choices and hard truths, Madia is heartfelt and honest as she navigates the ups, downs, inevitable regrets, and surprising victories of life.

The Patron Saint of Second Chances
by Christine Simon

Told with engaging dialogue, sweet relationships, loveable characters, and slapstick comedy, this debut novel will have you laughing out loud as it warms your heart. The Patron Saint of Second Chances is a wonderful novel that transports you to a sleepy, backwater Italian town, where the meddling but well-meaning self-appointed mayor is determined to save his hometown. Signor Speranza gets the entire town of 212 involved in a faux-film project and realizes he just might be able to pull it off after all. A light, uplifting summer travel novel in the vein of Fredrik Backman.

The Firekeeper’s Daughter
by Angeline Boulley

For young adults this summer, we’re recommending the thriller The Firekeeper’s Daughter by debut author Angeline Boulley. We follow Daunis Fontaine, the biracial daughter of a White mother from a wealthy French family and a hockey protegee father from the local Native American Ojibwe community. Born of a scandal, she is unenrolled but highly involved in her tribe and struggles to simultaneously fit the molds of both her maternal and paternal families’ expectations. When personal tragedy shakes her world, Daunis finds herself embroiled in an undercover criminal investigation. Boulley does an exceptional job of balancing a thrilling plot with a heartwarming exploration of self, family, culture, and community.

by Christie Matheson

When tragedy strikes Maya’s family, she has a secret that makes some days feel impossible. After her father is injured in a car accident, Maya’s family can no longer afford rent and moves to a family shelter. Set in San Francisco, Matheson looks at homelessness through the eyes of a young girl as we follow her through the ups and downs of her day navigating the bus system alone and facing a bully at school. Maya is realistic but always optimistic as she discovers that love, friendship, and family can feel like home, even if you don’t have a house. Written with emotion and empathy, Matheson offers a compelling read both for kids who might see themselves in Maya, and kids who can gain some understanding of the complex situation of those who are homeless or housing insecure.

~ In the historic Truckee Mercantile Building at 10052 Donner Pass Rd. in downtown Truckee, Word After Word Books offers a curated selection of new and used books with an emphasis on local authors and interests. We carry indie best sellers in fiction and nonfiction, and our Kids’ Room is amazing! We’re also home to Truckee’s vinyl record store, Rock Cellar Records. Learn more and find out about upcoming special events at wordafterwordbooks.com and rockcellarrecords.com. 

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


Our summer reading program is back. Come in and pick up your boards! We will be running Bookopoly through September. Kids can participate to encourage them to read more this summer by tracking their reading and winning prizes!

Aug. 2: Todd Borg Book Release & Signing

Todd Borg is back with the 20th installment in his Owen McKenna Mystery Series! The award-winning series follows Det. Owen McKenna around Tahoe on his thrilling cases. Borg will be signing his newest mystery, Tahoe Moon, at the event!


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