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October Is the New December, So Start Your Holiday Book Hunting Now

Holiday gifts

You’ve heard the news. Now’s the time to jump on your holiday book buying. Supply chain delays are affecting many industries, including the book industry. Some new books you’ve been waiting for may not make it to bookstores in time for the holiday, and hot sellers may be sold out by December and not reprinted in time. On top of that, what’s thrown a wrench into the works is—wait for it—the pandemic. Who saw that plot twist coming? (We’d probably be in less of this mess if everyone got vaccinated, but hey, let’s not digress.) So, gifts you would typically start buying in December may not be available. That’s why we, along with your favorite authors and bookstores, are recommending that you get started now if you haven’t already while bookstores are stocked up with your favorite titles.

October is the new December. Trust us: This is not like seeing Christmas decorations in Walmart before Halloween.

We’re starting you off with some selections for the season from our catalog. Take a look!



Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
Imani Perry

Breathe is what is says it is, a letter from a mother to her sons, but it is more than that. It’s a meditation on child-rearing, world-building, fire-starting, and peace-building. Imani Perry combines rigor and heart, and the result is a magic mirror showing us who we are, how we got here, and who we may become.”
—Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage


Dance We Do

Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance
Ntozake Shange

“A gorgeous last offering from one of our most gifted and multifaceted artists. Her passion for dance, just like her passion for words, is among the many reasons she will be missed, though these insightful interviews, ruminations, and reflections will continue to be a balm, across generations, from her to us.”
—Edwidge Danticat, author of Everything Inside


How to Love a Country

How to Love a Country: Poems
Richard Blanco

“This clear-seeing and forthright volume marks Blanco as a major, deeply relevant poet.”
Booklist, Starred Review


Man's Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl

“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”
—Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360/CNN


One Drop

One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race
Yaba Blay

One Drop presents a nuanced exploration of racial identity that serves as a practical guide for thinking critically about what it means to be Black in the twenty-first century.”
—Tarana J. Burke, author, activist, and founder of the MeToo movement


Owls and Other Fantasies

Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays
Mary Oliver

“Oliver has gained enormous popularity in recent years for the accessible yet highly articulate and profound treatment she gives each poem . . . This title will bring much pleasure to the many readers who claim Oliver as their favorite poet, as well as to people new to her work.”
Library Journal



Gayl Jones

“This story shimmers. Shakes. Wails. Moves to rhythms long forgotten . . . in many ways: holy. [A] masterpiece.”
The New York Times Book Review


The Price of the Ticket

The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction: 1948-1985
James Baldwin

“With burning passion and jabbing, epigrammatic acuity, Baldwin fearlessly articulates issues of race, democracy, and American identity.”
—Toni Morrison


Prophet Against Slavery

Prophet Against Slavery: Benjamin Lay, a Graphic Novel
David Lester with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle

“David Lester’s raw, expressive visual approach perfectly delivers. Prophet Against Slavery is a crucial account of abolitionism’s religious framework, its courage and moral clarity often recast as sin or insanity, and the necessity of taking outside risks in pursuit of justice and equality.”
—Nate Powell, National Book Award–winning artist of the March trilogy about US congressman John Lewis


The Radiant Lives of Animals

The Radiant Lives of Animals
Linda Hogan

“Linda Hogan’s work is rooted in truth and mystery.”
—Louise Erdrich


A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories

A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories
Compiled and edited by Bettye Collier-Thomas

“Here was a veritable who’s who of Black writers, whose powerful stories and poems ran the gamut of literary expressions—from the tragic to the comic, fables to romance. A book for all seasons, these stories are bound to amuse, educate, and inspire all kids, from one to ninety-two.”
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams


Until I Am Free

Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America
Keisha N. Blain

“[A] riveting and timely exploration of Hamer’s life. . . . Brilliantly constructed to be both forward and backward looking, Blain’s book functions simultaneously as a much needed history lesson and an indispensable guide for modern activists.”
New York Times Book Review


Here’s what you can do as we get through this season.

  1. See something you’d like a loved one to have? Buy it now!
  2. If you aren’t too blitzed by Zoom fatigue and working remotely, consider buying it as an e-book or audiobook.
  3. Are your eyes set on a title that’s not coming out for another few months? Smash that preorder button now! Your authors and indie bookstores will love you and appreciate you for this.

Which brings us to the next point. Speaking of indies, we need to really show up for them and for venues like Bookshop, Indiebound, and our personal favorite, InSpirt UU Book and Gift Shop. Publishing delays are likely to hit them harder than large chain bookstores. Holiday season keeps indies afloat during the slower seasons. The pandemic hasn’t made this any easier for them.

We’re all in this together. We thank you, your authors thank you, and your indie bookstores thank you.

Holiday gifts