Over the course of promoting THIS BURNS MY HEART through readings and signings, I had the chance to learn about a number of great bookstores, and even got to meet some of those booksellers in person. Here is a list of some of my favorite independent bookstores, places that support writers with passion and enthusiasm. I hope that as I continue to travel through the country, I can keep adding more names to this list!
BOSWELL BOOKS – One of the most impressive independent bookstores I have set foot in, this Milwaukee institution is an absolute gem. Curated by a terrific staff and led by the amazing Daniel Goldin, Boswell Books introduces writers to readers on a nationwide level.
WOMEN & CHILDREN FIRST BOOKSTORE – A legendary feminist and gay & lesbian bookstore in the Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville, in Chicago, led by the well-known Chicagoans Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon.
MYSTERIOUS GALAXY BOOKSTORE– Led by the amazing Terry Gilman, this bookstore specializes in mysteries, but sells all kinds of books, including literary fiction. Terry is one of my favorite people in the planet, and her store does events with authors all year-long. Watch for her Ladies, Luncheon, and Literacy series, which has hosted folks like Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Eleanor Brown, and yours truly.
VROMAN’S BOOKSTORE – Vroman’s is enormous–the biggest independent bookseller in all of Southern California. If you’re ever in Pasadena, it’s well worth stopping by for its incredibly selection of books, and year-long roster of visiting authors.
BOOK PASSAGE – In San Francisco, right in the touristy ferry building, Book Passage hosts an impressive number of authors year-long, and the staff I met there was amazing and friendly. There’s also a larger main branch in Marin County. One of the highlights of my pre-publication experience was having dinner with owner Elaine Petrocelli and later meeting store manager Ama Wertz, both incredibly kind people.
BOOK SOUP – A Sunset Strip institution, with a particularly impressive collection of books about movies and music, and staffed with really knowledgeable booksellers. You can feel the glam as you soon as you step in. The manager, Paige Garver, is fantastic, and leads a number of events year long.
BANK SQUARE BOOKS – I have never met owner Annie Philbrick, but she has been one of THIS BURNS MY HEART’s best friends. In fact, she started the buzz for the book with her lengthy (and wonderful) blurb and nomination for the Indie Next List–in other words, she really put the book on people’s radar! Her store is in Mystic, Connecticut.
BOOKS, INC – I had the chance to visit the Berkeley branch of this store, and it’s an amazing space–wide open, with a great selection of books. The manager, Calvin Crosby, is fantastic.
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