Savvy Stacks
By Andie Keith and Tara Flanagan

One of the unexpected silver linings of the pandemic has been a renewed love of reading, and while we at Word After Word Books would rather go without a society-altering worldwide health crisis, we’re thrilled by the opportunity to meet the demand and share our love of books! Thanks to delays in publishing over the summer, we’re seeing a whole slew of new releases this fall, and we’ve selected a few of our favorites to add to your TBR list. To-be-read, that is.

If you haven’t been to our new location in downtown Truckee yet, come on in and check it out! The new store is so much bigger and better. We have tons more books, games, puzzles, journals, cards, and an entire room for children’s books! Add to that gift cards and complimentary gift wrapping, all in the beautiful, historic Truckee Mercantile Building, which itself is worth the visit. It dates from 1915 with rock walls, brick floors, tin ceilings with Victorian era fans, and a vintage wooden phone booth. Our friendly booksellers are available to help you find just the right book or gift this holiday season. Read on for some of our favorite new picks.


It should come as no surprise that at the top of our list is Clarity, the gorgeous new photography book by Dylan Silver, presenting a literal deep-dive into the icy blue waters of Lake Tahoe. Right up there alongside it is the latest publication by our favorite tattooed naturalist, Obi Kaufmann, The Forests of California. This is his third release following The California Field Atlas and State of Water, and it’s the first installment of The California Lands Trilogy.


To round out our nonfiction picks, we’re super excited about Barack Obama’s memoir, A Promised Land, out in November. The first of two parts, it encompasses the former president’s early days as an aspiring politician, as well as the transformation, turmoil, and landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency. We have a bunch of these coming in, but they’re going to go fast! Guarantee you score a copy by hopping online now at and placing a preorder!

Moving on to fiction, Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji — about a man essentially telling the story of his own death — was one of this year’s most anticipated books, and quickly became a staff fave. To quote one of our booksellers, Vivek Oji’s story is “raw and heartbreaking and a testament to how hiding or denying who you truly are can have consequences as great as death.” We’re also enjoying Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (of A Man Called Ove fame — he is a master of character development!), and Yaa Gyasi’s follow-up to Homegoing (unanimously loved by all WAW staff), Transcendent Kingdom, which is every bit as rich and powerful as her debut novel.

For those of you who like a little science in your fiction, there are two books topping our list this fall: Frank Herbert’s political sci-fi masterpiece Dune (especially now that you have extra time to read it before the movie comes out next year!), and the brand new space epic To Sleep In a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini. This is Paolini’s newest novel since The Inheritance Cycle series of books that began with Eragon, and we couldn’t be more excited about this departure into adult fiction!

Of course, your TBR piles would not be complete without a couple of picks from the kids and teen section. Lucky for you, some of our favorite books fall into these categories, and we love recommending them. We’ve got new releases from two blockbuster women authors: Marie Lu with Skyhunter, book number 1 in a new sci-fi dystopian series for teens, and Rebecca Roanhorse with Race to the Sun, a new middle grade fantasy inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic (psst: Rebecca has a new release for adults too, Black Sun, which we would absolutely sneak onto your list if we could.)

For the little ones, we’ve stocked up on a whole bunch of fun picture books with corresponding stuffies. Some of the stand-outs are Escargot (a picture book about our favorite friendly snail), It’s Not All Rainbows (pair it with the star of the story, Kevin, the perfect unicorn), and Llama Destroys the World — if for no other reason but to treat yourself to the cutest llama stuffie you’ve ever seen!

We could go on and on recommending books for this renewed season of reading, but we’ll stop and let you come in do some browsing yourself. All of the above titles are available in the store at our new location at 10052 Donner Pass Rd. in downtown Truckee or online at Get your holiday shopping done early this year and grab a book (or three) for everyone on your list. If you like our recommendations, come in and see us — we have so many more choices to tell you about. Finally, thank you so much for supporting us through this challenging time! It’s been a whirlwind, and we couldn’t do it without you. Please continue to support your local businesses and restaurants throughout the holiday season. We are grateful and we are here to stay!

Information and book selections brought to you by Word After Word Books founder and owner Andie Keith and general manager Tara Flanagan.


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