When we first heard about Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus from our head buyer, Gerry, we were skeptical. It sounded a bit fantastical for our sensibilities. But his defense was swift. "I don't usually read books about... well, circuses," he said, "or books that could be described as magical or romantic. But this one is an exception to the rule. Read it. It's amazing." We promptly complied and then thanked Gerry profusely. We were bewitched. At Book Expo America in June, it became apparent that booksellers from across the country felt the same way. And the critics haven't been far behind; in a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved, "Debut author Morgenstern doesn't miss a beat in this smashing tale of greed, fate, and love set in a turn-of-the-20th-century circus....[A] giant, magical story destined for bestsellerdom. This is an electric debut." We're also excited to include Megan's interview with Erin Morgenstern, wherein the author admits, "It's funny, everything anyone ever told me never happened to debut authors is happening to me."
Jill was also charmed by a very early advance reader's copy that seemed to be a good fit with The Night Circus — it has magic, darkness, whimsy, and flat-out great writing. The Vanishers, by acclaimed novelist and Believer editor Heidi Julavits, is the remarkable story of Julia, a student, at an elite institute for psychics, who is attacked (psychically, but with devastating physical effects) by her one-time mentor. At the same time, she's also trying to unravel the mystery of her mother's life. The Vanishers is original, whip-smart, and extremely funny, and not due out until March of next year — so you can enjoy it a full six months before the rest of the world does.
Finally, all the circus talk had us salivating for caramel corn. So, from Salted Caramel — the Chicago-based company "where sweet meets savory" — we include a bag of their irresistibly tasty Smoked Pecan Bourbon Caramel Corn. We're happy to share the sweet, sticky — and literary — magic.
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A collective of high muckamucks, the Panjandrums largely spend their time in competitive Bananagram duels and negotiations regarding Pie Friday — not to mention painstakingly designing each installment of Powell's subscription club, Indiespensable, with the help of independent publishers and local merchants. From time to time, they find it entertaining to give you a look at the hows and whys behind the what. But, if you're yearning for more, send questions, suggestions, and random anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org. (They especially like stories about pets, babies, and pie fillings.)
Books mentioned in this post