Root and Press Newsletter Worcester's Independent Blog, Cafe and Bookstore
Root and Press Newsletter
  Root and Press News and Notes
  Book Industry News
  New Releases 8/18
  Kid's Corner
Root and Press News and Notes

• This week is Lobster Fest at Root and Press! We have lobster rolls, lobster paninis, and lobster mac and cheese. The sandwiches come with chowder and chips, the mac and cheese with a side salad. We have been selling a ton of these the past few days - order online this weekend!

• ICYMI - Root and Press has collaborated with Refugee Artisans of Worcester by carrying some handmade goods produced by refugees from Iraq, Syria, and many other nations with either civil or wartime strife. I saw a video of the artisans producing these crafts, including one where a grandmother custom-made a loom to teach her granddaughter how to loom. Come down and pick up a card, bag, or basket next time you are down the shop to support these local artisans. 

• We are conducting a serious sale right now on some overstock and hardcover ⇒ paperback books (these are indicated in-store by an orange dot.) Some are discounted up to 80% off. We have a few ways to for you to save. You can purchase 3/$35 (hardcover) or 3/$20 (paperback.) Alternatively, you can select another pricing structure if it suits your purchase better - purchase 4 books, you get the 5th free. Come take a stack home! 

• Some of you may not know this - we have signage in store but many of you are purchasing online or doing quick pickups - but we have a Book Membership Program (15/$15) where you pay $15 and get 15% off applicable books for a full year. It is a great deal if you are a frequent shopper!

• We have started selling gift baskets. We can custom make these for a special occasion for a loved one! We love to assemble these. We have some streamlined baskets such as a "Root and Press Basket" (featuring a gift card, tee-shirt, a bag of our coffee, and a mason jar) or a "Worcester Basket" (with a Worcester Map coffee cup, a few Worcester cards, and a Worcester mug.)

The funnest baskets are those where you let us know a few things about the person you are shopping for and we pick some items out of our inventory or work with our multiple partners who have a litany of unique items. We then assemble a basket, deducting a few dollars off than if you had purchased the items separately. For the process to work best, we would have a week or so heads-up (especially if you want specific items in the basket) but we have inventory to put together quick baskets where you can pick up as quickly as the next day.

Some popular baskets include tea baskets, local food baskets, and nature baskets. (Some pictured below.) Most importantly, we can customize for price range. SO, please think of us for baby birthdays (we have lots of kids baskets!), housewarmings, birthdays, holiday gifts, grab gifts, and friendly thinking-of-you gifts!

Book Industry News

• Did you feel like there was a lack of new releases this spring? Us neither, but we are due for a flurry of new titles this fall as publishers release books they held back because of the onset of COVID-19. 

• Trump books, volume 954 - Bob Woodward has announced the release of Rage on 9/15, Michael Cohen unveiled Disloyal, A Memoir ("coming soon"), Sean Hannity's Live Free or Die currently sits atop the NY Times Bestseller list.

• The Booker Prize announced its longlist for 2020 (shortlist will be out 9/15.) 

• My nephew reads a lot of Jason Reynolds but I have not read any of his work myself. That will change in 2022 when he is due to publish his first adult novel.

• Some quick news about book releases these last few weeks: 1) A review of Life of a Klansman (Edward Ball) in the WSJ. 2) My read of the week is Caste by Isabel Wilkerson - and also Oprah's newest Book Club book. We will have more in stock soon! (WaPo review here).

Root and Press New Release Picks (8/18)

The Organ Thieves by Chip Jones

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks meets Get Out in this landmark investigation of racial inequality at the core of the heart transplant race.

In 1968, Bruce Tucker, a black man, went into Virginia's top research hospital with a head injury, only to have his heart taken out of his body and put into the chest of a white businessman. Now, in The Organ Thieves, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Chip Jones exposes the horrifying inequality surrounding Tucker's death and how he was used as a human guinea pig without his family's permission or knowledge. The circumstances surrounding his death reflect the long legacy of mistreating African Americans that began more than a century before with cadaver harvesting and worse. It culminated in efforts to win the heart transplant race in the late 1960s.

Featuring years of research and fresh reporting, The Organ Thieves is a story that resonates now more than ever, when issues of race and healthcare are the stuff of headlines and horror stories.

Break It Up - by Richard Kreitner

The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: The United States has never lived up to its name--and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as Break It Up shows, the seduction of secession wasn't limited to the South or the nineteenth century. It was there at our founding and has never gone away.

With a scholar's command and a journalist's curiosity, Richard Kreitner takes readers on a revolutionary journey through American history, revealing the power and persistence of disunion movements in every era and region. Each New England town after Plymouth was a secession from another; the thirteen colonies viewed their Union as a means to the end of securing independence, not an end in itself; George Washington feared separatism west of the Alleghenies; Aaron Burr schemed to set up a new empire; John Quincy Adams brought a Massachusetts town's petition for dissolving the United States to the floor of Congress; and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison denounced the Constitution as a pro-slavery pact with the devil.

From the "cold civil war" that pits partisans against one another to the modern secession movements in California and Texas, the divisions that threaten to tear America apart today have centuries-old roots in the earliest days of our Republic. Richly researched and persuasively argued, Break It Up will help readers make fresh sense of our fractured age.

The Smallest Lights in the Universe - by Sara Seager

Sara Seager has always been in love with the stars: so many lights in the sky, so much possibility. Now a pioneering planetary scientist, she searches for exoplanets--especially that distant, elusive world that sustains life. But with the unexpected death of Seager's husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. Suddenly, at forty, she is a widow and the single mother of two young boys. For the first time, she feels alone in the universe.

As she struggles to navigate her life after loss, Seager takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets and the technical challenges of exploration. At the same time, she discovers earthbound connections that feel every bit as wondrous, when strangers and loved ones alike reach out to her across the space of her grief. Among them are the Widows of Concord, a group of women offering advice on everything from home maintenance to dating, and her beloved sons, Max and Alex. Most unexpected of all, there is another kind of one-in-a-billion match, not in the stars but here at home.

Probing and invigoratingly honest, The Smallest Lights in the Universe is its own kind of light in the dark.

The New American - by Micheline Aharonian Marcom

The epic journey of a young Guatemalan American college student, a "dreamer," who gets deported and decides to make his way back home to California.

One day, Emilio learns a shocking secret: he is undocumented. His parents, who emigrated from Guatemala to California, had never told him.

Emilio slowly adjusts to his new normal. All is going well, he's in his second year at UC Berkeley...then he gets into a car accident, and--without a driver's license or any ID--the policeman on the scene reports him to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Once deported to Guatemala, Emilio is determined to get back to California, the only home he has ever known. It is an epic journey that takes him across thousands of miles and eventually the Sonoran Desert of the United States-Mexico border, meeting thieves and corrupt law enforcement but also kind strangers and new friends.

Inspired in part by interviews with Central American refugees, and told in lyrical prose, Micheline Aharonian Marcom weaves a heart-pounding and heartbreaking tale of adventure. The New American tells the story of one young man who risks so much to go home.

When These Mountains Burn by David Joy

When his addict son gets in deep with his dealer, it takes everything Raymond Mathis has to bail him out of trouble one last time. Frustrated by the slow pace and limitations of the law, Raymond decides to take matters into his own hands.

After a workplace accident left him out of a job and in pain, Denny Rattler has spent years chasing his next high. He supports his habit through careful theft, following strict rules that keep him under the radar and out of jail. But when faced with opportunities too easy to resist, Denny makes two choices that change everything.

For months, the DEA has been chasing the drug supply in the mountains to no avail, when a lead--just one word--sets one agent on a path to crack the case wide open . . . but he'll need help from the most unexpected quarter.

As chance brings together these men from different sides of a relentless epidemic, each may come to find that his opportunity for redemption lies with the others.

Kid's Corner

• We have lots of new kids books in the week. For new releases, we have I Promise by LeBron James - "a perfect back-to-school tool for students and teachers who need an encouraging boost to start the year."

• For series, we have just brought in the Owl Diaries, Star Wars, Pokemon, and The 39 Clues.

Release of the week:

Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery

"Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.

In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.

Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.

Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow thousands of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland's "charmingly busy art" (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author's share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown."

Activity of the Week:

presented by Kristen Amato @thepreschoolproject:



Root and Press
623 Chandler Street
Facebook Twitter Instagram
Modify your subscription    |    View online