New Harper Lee Novel to be Published July 14, 2015

Word reached Square Books today that a second Harper Lee novel -- Go Set a Watchman -- is to be published by HarperCollins this summer.  The approximately 300-page book is set to arrive at Square Books July 14 and is available for pre-order at the price of $27.99. Or call or email Square Books now to reserve a first edition copy.  We look forward to celebrating this event with all readers who have loved To Kill a Mockingbird.  For further information a press release is attached here.

Christopher Scotton With THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH - Thursday the 15th, 5pm

Thursday, January 15, at Off Square Books, Christopher Scotton will be on hand to talk about The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, the number 1 national Indie Next pick for the month of January.   14-year-old Kevin,  whose younger brother's death has torn his family apart, moves to his grandfather's house in a small town which is itself torn apart by mountaintop removal mining.  Booksellers and critics across
the country have been heaping praise on this powerful debut novel.

Shortly before Lyn Roberts introduces Mr. Scotton, Square Books owner Richard Howorth will give a VERY brief “State of Square Books” report to the public which will include an acknowledgment of local writers who contributed to the bookstore and the community in 2014.

As is the custom at special events, a special punch will be served.  Be there and be Square. 

Young Adult Bestsellers

2014 was another great year for teen, or young adult, literature with a few authors dominating the scene.  No surprise that John Green's The Fault in Our Stars was number 1 and his Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines were numbers 5, 8 and 10 respectively.  Maze Runner (#2) by James Dashner, Divergent (#3) & Insurgent (#4) & Allegiant (#7)  by Veronica Roth, and If I Stay (#6), Gayle Forman, The Book Thief (#12), Markus Zusak,all were popular even before the movies premiered.  Thirteen Reasons Why (#11) was bolstered when Jay Asher came to Oxford on his 50 states tour.  Kiera Cass, The Selection (#13) and Ally Condie, Matched (#15), Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (#16) & Catching Fire (#14), Cinder (#17), Marissa Meyer, all evidenced the continuing popularity of dystopian and speculative fiction in young adult fiction  as it is enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Jr. Chapter & Middle Grade Bestsellers

Obert Skye's first in a series of chapter books of wacky book mash-ups, Wonkenstein, was the top middle grade seller at Square Books Jr. for 2014 followed by Jeff Kinney's 9th Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Long Haul, John Grisham's 4th Theodore Boone, The Activist, was number 3.  Tim Green held number 4 with New Kid and Sheila Turnage, who will be back in March, followed with Three Times Lucky.  Jon Scieszka's visit put his Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor at number 6.  A regular on the list, Kate DiCamillo had Flora & Ulysses at number 7 followed by Rick Riordan, The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Name of this Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch, and Andy Griffiths, who traveled here all the way from Australia for the 13 Story Treehouse.

Square Books Jr. Picture Book Bestsellers

Our number one 2014 book in the picture category at Square Books Jr, was a 2013 favorite as well, Where Do They Go On Gameday?, Laurie Fisher's delightful story of the squirrels in the Grove, and number 2 Goodnight Ole Miss by Courtney Solon Brown, Andrea Lee and Matt Gardner made for a nice pairing.  Chris Van Allsburg's visit moved his latest, Misadventures of Sweetie Pie, to number 3, and his classic, Jumanji, made a return to the top 20 as well.  Aided by Drew Daywalt's visit during the Oxford Conference for the Book, The Day the Crayons Quit finished at number 4.  Sarah Frances Hardy's second book, Paint Me!, made number 5.   Judy Schachner's visit for Skippyjon Jones Snow What spurred sales and excitement about Adam Rubin's forthcoming visit in March put Dragons Love Tacos put them on the list.  "Frozen" books of all sorts were popular, and store favorites, The Pout-Pout Fish, Pete the Cat, and How Rocket Learned to Read, appeared on the list, and perennial classics like  Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go, Green Eggs & Ham, The Giving Tree, The Real Mother Goose and Pat the Bunny were at the top of the list reminding us that good books never expire.

Square Books' Annual Top 100 -- Part 1

2014 was a very good year for Square Books, with many strong new books and writers from near and far bringing you to us. Tasmanian Richard Flanagan and his Booker Prize-winning The Narrow Road to the Deep North made # 13 on our list, just behind Let Me Be Frank with You (12) by Richard Ford, who was here December 11. Michael Pollan’s memorable appearance served up Cooked (37), as did Megan Abbott (The Fever93) and Mary Miller (The Last Days of California16), both Grisham writers-in-residence; and John Darnielle (Wolf in White Van20); Paul Finebaum (My Conference Can Beat Your Conference, 17); Elizabeth Spencer (Starting Over35); Greg Iles (Natchez Burning3); Susan Minot (Thirty Girls21); and Josh Weil (The Great Glass Sea, 99). 

Writers right here in Oxford contributed significantly: Ben McClelland (Lifesaving Labradors, 93); Curtis Wilkie (Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians and Other Persons of Interest, 10), and The Fall of the House of Zeus33); Ace Atkins (The Forsaken15); the King Twins (Our Josephine (61); Inside My Italian Kitchen by Luisa Arico (63); Tom Franklin, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (51) and, with Beth Ann Fennelly, Tilted World (39), Michael Henry, Finding Ishmael (78); Larry Brown’s timeless first book, Facing the Music (91), Neil White’s In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (41), Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth (2), and The Search for Good Wine by John Hailman (46). Dean Faulkner Wells’ great Oxford memoir, Every Day by the Sun (64), shines alongside her famouser uncle – As I Lay Dying (44) and Selected Short Stories (43) by William Faulkner.

Not that the author has to be from or come here in order for a book to do well – witness The Boys in the Boat (90), How Not to be a Dick (38), Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See (50), Gone Girl (34), Killing Patton (55), and Rebecca Solnit’s book on New Orleans, The Unfathomable City (42), Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Golden Book (60), Wild (59) and Unbroken (56). And there were signed books we got from publishers whose authors did not come here – those by Jan Karon, George Will, George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Donna Tartt, Haruki Murakami, Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler all found a place among our top sellers, as did Carsick by John Waters, who did not come here this year but plans to this March immediately following the Oxford Conference for the Book.