91 Comments
Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

Saintly Moms: 25 Stories of Holiness by

Kelly Ann Guest.

Easy to read and offers encouraging stories about Saints who were called to the vocation of motherhood.

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Just here to say thanks, as a new bookstore owner. Can't wait to get your books in the store, Claire!

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Maybe one day I can make it there for an event!!! ❤️

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You have a standing invitation! Just give us three or four weeks notice and we’ll set up a reading/event here at the store!

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I live in Wisconsin. I have recently ordered most of my books from The Bookshelf in Thomasville Georgia to support Annie Jones. But now that you’re a bookstore owner, I’m going to also give you some of my business. Wishing you and Maile the best in your new venture!!😊

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That’s awesome. Thanks, Jody!

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Shawn, I was thinking of you as I read this post! Claire is one of my favorite authors.

How fun to see two people I follow meet.

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Where’s your bookstore? 😊

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It's called Nooks, and it's in Lancaster, PA! You can find us on Instagram @noooooks :) Thanks!

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I had my first book published last fall for middle grade readers - Detective Thomas and the Biggest Question through Our Sunday Visitor publishing. I'd love people to check it out. I'm reading Argylle right now and really enjoying it!

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I just ordered your book through bookshop.org :) I hope my kids love it!!

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Thanks so much- I hope so too!

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Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

Some books I’ve recently read and loved: The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn, and Awaking Wonder by Sally Clarkson.

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I keep trying to get people to read Cloud Cuckoo Land. It was such a dream.

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I was intimidated at first by its size, but now it’s easily one of my top ten!

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I really liked The Whalebone Theater too - quirky but really well developed

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The prose in that book is just so, so beautiful to me. Her descriptions of the beach!!! 🌊

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I'm in the middle of the Stationery Shop, and just borrowed Cloud Cuckoo Land from the library! I actually didn't finish TWT ... but will add Awaking Wonder to my list!

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Well, I just finished your book, Claire, and I thought it was FAR superior to social media in general and everything on Facebook specifically. I enjoyed it!!

I reread Jane Eyre this year for the first time since a college professor ruined it for me 20+ years ago and I'm so glad I did.

Also, highly recommending Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome, which I read aloud with my kids this year. We all loved it.

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hahahaha thank you, my friend. Someone ruined Jane Eyre for you?!?! RUDE. That's one of my all time favorites. I've probably read it 5-6 times.

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Sigh, I did...but I kept my beautiful copy I bought with babysitting money in high school, and I'm so glad I did. I love it now, again.

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Thanks! I just ordered S&A through bookshop.org and will read it to my kids this summer :)

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So glad you gave it another chance! Jane Eyre is a top 5 book for me. It improves every time I read it.

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I’m hoping to listen to Jane Eyre on a long car trip later this year. I’ve tried to get through it for years and just have so much trouble - but I will eventually prevail!

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I listened to the podcast series on Jane Eyre from The Close Reads Podcast. It helped a lot!

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That’s a great idea! I totally forgot about that podcast, but it did help a lot when I was reading the Odessey.

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Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

I just finished reading A Body Made of Glass which has the subtitle A History of Hypochondria - it is that, but it's also the account of the author's own experience with health anxiety and sort of a reflection on medical care and science and what we expect and are promised from both. Really good.

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This book sounds wonderful, Julie! I’ve added it to my TBR.

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That sounds very interesting, Julie!

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Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

I don’t have a book to toot about (how I wish!) but I did want to comment and say THANK YOU for writing about bookstores and Independent Bookstore Day. Here in Connecticut, it’s celebrated as a weekend and there’s a contest where you’re encouraged to visit shops across the straight for prizes. Now, Connecticut is one of our smallest states (though certainly not the smallest) which means visiting 20+ shops is one weekend is doable — tricky maybe but doable. It strikes me that perhaps having a bookstore is a labor of love. As Kathleen Kelly was a lone reed, I hope that independent booksellers can be the same. (It always bums me out that she closed—could she not afford the rent after a while? Even though Fix Books had that giant children’s section, HER store had the atmosphere and history.

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I know. I do love how realistic it was though. Like, yeah...that is what happens to most indie bookstores, and it's devastating. 😭

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

You're sweet to let us join you in tooting our horns! I have published a novel called A Song For The Road, about a Catholic musician (a very imperfect one) on a cross-country road trip to honor the family she lost. Like you, Claire, I operate in multiple genres, with Intentional Catholic as my faith-based and my fiction under my own name, Kathleen Basi. Can't wait to read the other recommendations!

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I'm currently enjoying Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want To Come about the introverted author's attempts to extrovert more. She coins the term "shintrovert" (aka shy introvert, or "also a pervert who is very into lower legs")...hilarious. I just requested your book from the library, Claire. Normally I'm not cool enough to request actually popular books, but 25 people are waiting for it before me, so go you!

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I have Sorry I’m Late on my book pile, perhaps to read this summer! I don’t know why, but I love reading Jess Pan’s Substack so much, it’s hilariously enjoyable to me I guess.

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I listened to the author read it and really liked it.

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I just read How To Stay Married, which I learned about in your newsletter! I’m not a huge reader, but you wouldn’t know that by how fast I devoured this one! Anyone have similar recs?

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You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith is always the one I rec if people liked How to Stay Married! Fair warning, it has quite a different ending, but it's still a beautifully written book + deals with a lot of ideas about love + marriage + family.

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Apr 23·edited Apr 23

I also loved How to Stay Married and would recommend The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. It is a novel, but de Botton is uniquely present as the narrator throughout, directly using the story to point out what is broken in the vision of modern romanticism. He says early on in the book that "love is a skill rather than an enthusiasm" and he gets to work telling the story of an ordinary marriage. I've never read a book like it. It is fiction, but long swathes of it read like non-fiction too.

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Apr 25·edited Apr 25

Adding this to my TBR list! Thank you! :)

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Ooh that sounds really good…

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Hi Michaela! I'd also recommend Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun as a pairing with Key's book!

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Apr 23Liked by Claire Swinarski

Why oh why doesn’t Substack have an edit comment feature????

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Hello all!

I'm a Catholic author of two books (soon to be three!) Thanks for the opportunity to share about our work, Claire! Anyone interested can check out my substack or website!

Substack: https://authorallisonramirez.substack.com/p/welcome

Website: author-allison-ramirez.com

I write devotional-journals on the Rosary and am getting ready to release book #2 in my YA dystopian trilogy this June! I'm looking forward to getting some more book ideas to add to my TBR from you all!

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If anyone on substack has not seen you’ve got mail they’re, like, really missing the memo here

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I have a question! I love the idea of shopping at an independent local bookstore but….i don’t have one anywhere nearby. So I am curious, where does Barnes&Noble, or a website like ThriftBooks, fall on your spectrum between Amazon and the cute local indie? I haven’t looked into ordering online from an indie not-near-me so that is also intriguing.

The book that surprised me most, recently, was Dune by Frank Herbert. My husband recommended it, I didn’t even know there were movies, I rolled my eyes and then picked it up…I LOVED IT. I don’t usually read sci-fi, but it was such a well-thought-out and interestingly-told story!

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Your local Barnes & Noble still feeds into your local economy so I personally would put that ahead of Thriftbooks (I do both if my local indie/library doesn't have a book). IMO anything is better than Amazon 😑

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I loved Funeral Ladies! Besides that, A Place to Hang the Moon and Everything Sad Is Untrue are 2 books I've read this year that I loved + would recommend. (Both were added to my TBR list from the booklists last year). I didn't know it was indie bookstore day this weekend, what a good excuse to go buy some books!

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I also appreciate being able to support indie bookstores I love from afar via bookshop.org! I have tried to shift nearly all book ordering I do from amazon to that platform. I recently reread Alain de Botton's The Course of Love via audiobook and loved it even more than when I read it the first time- not from a Christian worldview and I have some substantial disagreements with his ruminations on fidelity and monogamy but so many profound insights and genuinely just delightful to read. Currently reading Trust, by Hernan Diaz along with the Close Reads podcast community and I'm hooked!

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