Words Matter

Recommendations from your local indie bookshop


By Aimee LaGrandeur

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 edition 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 range of indie best sellers in fiction and non-fiction, and our kids room is amazing! We’re also home to Truckee’s 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 at Word After Word Books, and if you’re not able to visit right away, our expanded website has over 12 million titles. Shopping locally has never been so good.

~ From the team at Word After Word Books

Burnt: A Memoir of Fighting Fire by Clare Frank
Every Californian has been impacted by wildfire in one way or another, but very few of us know fire as well as Clare Frank. Her memoir covers her 30 years in the firehouse, from joining as an emancipated 17-year-old to becoming Cal Fire’s first and (so far) only female chief of fire protection. A Tahoe area resident since her retirement, Frank has written an intimate and expansive look into her life and career. Burnt is an invaluable window into what it’s like to define yourself by something that could destroy you, and the pressures and joys of being a trailblazer. These days, we’re all living with the threat of wildfire; we should know the stories of those that fight it, and there’s no better way than through Burnt.


The Hard Parts by Oksana Masters
In her new memoir, American multi-sport Paralympic athlete Oksana Masters chronicles her childhood as an orphan in Ukraine, and later with her adopted mother in Kentucky. We follow her as she adjusts after two above-the-knee amputations, then discovers and falls in love with adaptive rowing, followed by cycling and Nordic skiing. Masters persists through surgeries, injuries, and mental health issues to compete, and win, in multiple Paralympic Games. She is adamant that sharing her story empowers her and she wants it to empower others as well. Masters encourages us to see ourselves as a sum of our parts, especially the hard parts, in order to rise beyond what has happened to us and own our stories.

To Die Beautiful by Buzzy Jackson
Former Truckee local Buzzy Jackson breaks into the fiction scene with her debut novel, To Die Beautiful, based on the true story of “the girl with the red hair,” a nickname given by Hitler. Johanna “Hannie” Schaft starts out as a shy law student in Nazi-occupied Holland. As conditions rapidly deteriorate, Hannie is morally incensed and joins the resistance. As an armed member, Hannie works to assassinate Nazis and bomb munitions factories, becoming so notorious she makes Hitler’s most-wanted list. Jackson’s background in nonfiction writing shines through in how thoroughly researched the story is, while never losing its heart. Hannie is well characterized in her unflagging bravery and wit, and the narrative is engrossing as it captures the realities of the hardships, deprivation, and horror in Holland under the Nazi regime.

Happy Place by Emily Henry
In her latest romance, Emily Henry chronicles the romance of college sweethearts Harriet and Wyn and their college friend group. During their yearly getaway with their pals to a cottage in Maine, Harriet and Wyn are in quite the predicament — they’ve been broken up for five months, but they can’t break it to their friends and ruin what may be their last group trip. After years of being in love, how hard could it be to fake it for a week? When unresolved feelings resurface, they realize the plan might not be as easy as they thought. Happy Place is the perfect summer romance, full of fun, friends, and nostalgia. Henry hits home with another swoon-worthy, heartwarming romance.

 Select by Christie Matheson
Twelve-year-old Alex loves soccer. She loves it so much that she joins a prestigious club team on a scholarship, hoping it will help her to pursue opportunities in collegiate soccer and beyond. But the coach of the San Francisco Select team doesn’t treat his team with respect, and even winning isn’t enough to satiate his goal to dominate the league; he pushes his players harder and harder until Alex decides that enough is enough. Select’s fast paced plot and action-packed play-by-plays of the games makes it a great book for soccer players and fans, but the exploration of the true spirit of sports, how to advocate for yourself to grownups, the friendship of teams, and girl power make it a great read for all young athletes.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
Sabaa Tahir’s All My Rage won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature last year, and for good reason. In this cross-generational story, we follow Misbah in Lahore, Pakistan, in the past and Salahudin and Noor in Juniper in present-day California. Salahudin and Noor are best friends, or they were — before the fight. But then later, when Salahudin’s mom dies, the two find their way back to each other. Tahir explores grief and love, old trauma and regrets, why we sometimes hurt the ones we love most, and how we can ultimately find forgiveness. All My Rage might be a young adult novel, but it is a phenomenal story for readers of any age

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

Summer Reading Book Bingo
For our summer reading program this year, we are introducing Book Bingo! It will continue through September, so come on in and pick up your bingo cards. Kids can participate as a way to encourage them to read more this summer by tracking their reading and earning gift certificates. This year, we have a grown-up version too, so everyone can play.

July 28: Buzzy Jackson Book Event
Join us in welcoming back local author Buzzy Jackson to celebrate her debut novel, To Die Beautiful, with a talk, Q&A, and signing from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 28. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance in the store or over the phone.

Aug. 5: Todd Borg Book Signing Event
Todd Borg returns with the 21st installment in his Owen McKenna mystery series. The award-winning stories follow Detective Owen McKenna around the Tahoe area on his thrilling cases. Borg will be signing his newest mystery, Tahoe Flight,
from 4 to 6 p.m.  on Saturday, Aug. 5.

Located in the Historic Truckee Mercantile Building at 10052 Donner Pass Rd.
wordafterwordbooks.com and rockcellarrecords.com



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