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Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia Of Faeries

Do you believe in faeries? What if you lived in a small village surrounded by them? What if they started to steal children? When it comes to faerie folk, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett is a detailed accounting of one researcher’s quest to find the answers.
The story follows the journey of Emily, a scholar and researcher who ventures to the frigid cold confines of a far-off arctic village to study the local folk – including the faeries of the woods. While Emily’s expertise lies in folklore and fairies, her interpersonal skills could be better. The villagers aren’t fond of outsiders, and upon her arrival, she’s met with reception almost as cold as the weather. But the villagers warm up when her rival, Wendell Bambleby, a somewhat more refined academic, joins her. Wendell, who excels in areas where Emily struggles, adds a dynamic twist to the story. They stumble into trouble and adventures with the faerie folk, and Emily’s character begins to transform. As she seeks answers to her questions, Emily realizes she can open her mind and heart to embrace the world around her.
This story is a refreshing departure from the norm. The story unfolds through Emily’s academic journal entries. While a few of these entries got a little long, this was a unique and engaging storytelling approach. Wendell Bambleby’s unexpected and unwanted arrival at Emily’s cottage adds a dynamic energy that perfectly complements her unique character. Their (often witty) banter combined with nail-biting adventures had me eagerly turning the pages. I particularly enjoyed the encounters with the faeries, each adding a new layer of intrigue. And, with their unique quirks, the villagers also added a delightful element to the story.
I really enjoyed reading this book. If you’re a fantasy fan, like fantastic characters, and enjoy unique storytelling, I think you’ll like it, too.

Hearthside Books and Uptown Bar & Grill Pop Up A Pop-Up Book Fair!

There was a sunny, cloudless sky and a crisp breeze on the outside, but inside the Uptown Bar and Grill in Waverly, Minnesota, things were starting to heat up on this early Sunday afternoon. Book people were setting up. Book people were lining up. And we were all there to try something a little new, with fingers crossed it would work out.

A Pop-Up Book Fair!

Tash and Judd, owners of the Uptown Bar and Grill, conceived of this idea a few months ago, hoping to bring something a little fun and different to downtown Waverly to break up the doldrums of winter.

Fingers crossed.

Then the questions started.

“Is it just for kids?” Nope, this book fair would be for everyone – sort of like a school book fair for everybody!

Will there be books I like? The shelves will be stocked with literally hundreds of titles. If you like to read, you’ll find a book.

Will there be more than books? There’ll also be artisan wares, wine from Fountain Hills Winery in Delano, Girl Scout cookies, and delicious hometown eats.

Then, the big question. Will people come?

Fingers crossed.

Yes! People came. They lined up all afternoon! And they shopped, ate, drank, and talked books. It was literally a book lover’s paradise and so much fun!

Everyone was beaming with smiles and packed bags when we finally closed up shop. Simply put, it was a wonderful day.

I can’t thank Uptown Bar and Grill enough for hosting. Everything was perfect. I’m still at a loss for words on how this event went. Eric and I already have some fun ideas for next time.

This event was such a big deal for me. I got to share my joy of books with so many people. Thanks to all who came out. Thanks for being kind, and thanks for loving books! I love seeing new faces and making new friends. We hope you’ll soon stop by our store in Watertown.

To Tash and Judd: All those months ago, when you emailed me asking about doing a book fair, I was excited and, I’m not gonna lie, a little scared. We had just opened Hearthside Books, and the thought of an event like this was a little overwhelming.

Now that the fair is over, I am sending an enormous thank you to EVERYONE at Uptown Bar and Grill and their unique and kind staff. This event would have never happened if it weren’t for you guys, and I am so glad it did.

I wanted to thank Fountain Hill Winery and the Girl Scout troop for joining the fun, though we were too busy to spend much time together.

I also want to thank my business partner, Eric, for jumping aboard with this crazy idea. If it weren’t for you, my dream of owning a bookstore would have never come true, and I don’t think I will ever be able to thank you enough.

And to all who pitched in to help – THANKS!

Most importantly, thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed the afternoon with us! We’re already looking forward to next time.


Eric’s review: “Yumi And The Nightmare Painter” by Brandon Sanderson

Our first book review of 2024 is also the book of the month for January!

Eric picked Yumi and the Nightmare Painter by Brandon Sanderson.

There’s no denying that Brandon Sanderson is Eric’s favorite science fiction/fantasy author, and for good reason!

This book follows Yumi, who spends her life bestowing power to aid her society, but she longs to be normal. Painter patrols the streets, dreaming of being a hero. Suddenly tossed together, Yumi and Painter must strive to right the wrongs in both their lives. If they cannot fix the world, then they risk losing the bond that they have created and the worlds they have always struggled to protect.

“I was so excited when Brandon Sanderson announced that he would be releasing four secret novels. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter was his third release last year. It felt a little slow to start as he took the time to set up the world, but the more I read, the deeper I got invested. Like most of us, the characters take a journey as they are confronted with the doubts and fears of having to question everything they believe. I found what they discovered about how, why, and when to hold to your convictions and when to be open to new growth and learning incredibly compelling.

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter is a beautifully written story about what it means to be human.”

What do you read on vacation?

This week, I wanted to do something a little different. I’m about to go on vacation, and I was wondering what books everyone else brings along. Here are just a few that I plan on bringing. I probably won’t read all these, but hey, I can’t be without a book!

The first book I’m bringing is Dune by Frank Herbert. I decided on this book because I am going to Mexico where it’s hot and I want to read it on the beach. This book takes place in the desert, so I figured it would be fun to read.

I decided to bring Ink by Elizabeth Hunter for the simple fact that it’s my book club pick, and well, I have to read it at some point, so why not on a plane or on a beach?

I am also bringing Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett. I honestly don’t know much about this book besides it seems cozy and a fun fantasy read!

I really like to read thrilling books like The Only One Left by Riley Sager. Riley Sager is good at keeping you sucked in. So, I decided to pick up his newest book finally!

Lastly, I picked Making It So By Patrick Stewart because I love this actor and because he also narrates his own book and has an interesting voice. So, I couldn’t help but put this on my list.

I have many more, but they are just random books I had on my Kindle. Let me know what books you would bring on a vacation. What Genre do you stick with?

Char’s review of “The Serpent And The Wings Of Night” by Carissa Broadbent

Today, I want to talk to you about a fantasy with a bit of romance. The Serpent and the Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent, is like Hunger Games meets vampires. The story follows Oraya, the vampire king’s adopted human daughter. She joins the games of Kejari in hopes of winning so she can be granted a gift from the goddess. However, being the only human in the games made for vampires, she has her work cut out. Soon, she realizes that she needs an ally. Raihn is dangerous. He is a ruthless killer and an enemy of her father’s crown. Oraya feels a weird connection with Raihn, but will that connection be the doom of the kingdom?

I read this book based on a friend’s recommendation, and let me tell you, I couldn’t put it down! I was pulled in from the very first chapter. I liked that the Vampire King had a small role to play in everything, and all the side characters were very well written. I also enjoyed that everything came to light in the end, and even the smallest of characters meant something. The games were brutal but fun to read. I also liked that Oraya was the underdog, but it didn’t really seem like it. She is smart. If you like a fantasy story with a slow-burn romance and a lot of battle action, I suggest this book to you!

Char’s review of “First Lie Wins” by Ashley Elston

Today’s review is First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston. This book is a thriller with a puzzle for you to figure out.

This book follows a girl of many names, but you first meet her as Evie Porter. At first glance, it looks like Evie has everything: the perfect boyfriend, a house with a garden and a white picket fence, and a great group of friends. The only catch is that Evie Porter doesn’t exist. When things on her job start to unravel, Evie must try to keep the only thing she wants clean – her actual identity. So, she has to think on her feet. The story jumps between current and past jobs, and things begin to fall apart.

I found this book hard to get into in the beginning, but I ended up loving it! All the twists and turns and figuring out who Mr. Smith is was so much fun. I enjoyed the depth of the characters; that is a make-or-break factor for me. The writing was so smooth and well done. I would definitely give this one a go!