New Releases – September 21, 2021

If it’s a Tuesday, it’s New Release Day! Check out what we have coming into The Haunted Book Shop this week!

Young Adult


Lori Palmer is the new kid in school, just trying to survive senior year by blending into the background as best she can in a sea of appearance-obsessed peers. Missing her old school, where her artistic talent was celebrated and valued, she meets Jake, a popular jock helping out at her brother’s school. The meeting propels Lori into this new world, where her relationships with her family evolve and her artwork goes in a challenging new direction. With themes of body positivity, family, acceptance, and self-love, Jo Watson’s Big Boned will get readers thinking as they follow Lori’s adventures.

A novel in verse, When We Make It by Elisabet Velasquez is “a love letter to anyone who was taught to believe that they would not make it.” Sarai is an eighth grader and first-generation Puerto Rican growing up in Brooklyn. Along with her older sister Estrella, she navigates family traumas, toxic masculinity, and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. While questioning the world around her, Sarai struggles to define and celebrate herself when she has been taught the opposite. Readers will enjoy seeing Sarai’s story unfold.


Now available in paperback, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix follows Susan Arkshaw, a young girl looking for her missing father in a slightly alternate 1983 London. When Susan meets Merlin, a young left-handed bookseller, she is thrust into a world of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World as it intrudes upon the modern world.

In She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster, four teenagers, each looking for redemption and revenge, attempt to steal a cursed sword rumored to be at the bottom of an ancient shapeshifting king’s tomb. What they find, however, is that some things, including secrets, should stay buried.


Helena Hunting is back with her latest romance, When Sparks Fly! Avery Spark is living the dream running Spark House, the hotel and event space her family has owned for years. Avery and her sisters have turned it into a premier destination in Colorado Springs; it’s hard work but Avery is happy with work, her friends, and living in her condo with her best friend Declan. But things go awry when Avery is in a car accident that leaves her immobile for weeks. Declan decides he will be her caretaker, and lines long drawn between friendship and romance begin to blur.


In the mesmerizing sequel to Gideon the Ninth, Tamsyn Muir continues the story of the penumbral Ninth House in Harrow the Ninth. Full of mystery, murder, magic, and mayhem, fans new and old will eagerly turn pages to see how Harrowhark will handle having the universe on her shoulders.


TJ Klune’s latest novel, Under the Whispering Door, introduces Walter, a ghost who refuses to cross into the afterlife. Walter faces further problems when he realizes he is falling in love with the ferryman sent to escort him to the great beyond.


Best-selling author Rick Bragg introduces readers to the poorly behaved, half-blind stray dog who changed his life in The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People. Speck has been a destructive force since he first showed up on the ridgeline behind Bragg’s house, starved, half-dead, and “seventy-six pounds of wet hair and poor decisions.” But Speck arrived right when Bragg needed it, helping him through uncertainty and health crises. Readers will enjoy this heartwarming story about the bond between a man and his dog.


Natalie is back in Absolutely Nat, a companion to Maria Scrivan’s bestselling novel Nat Enough! Nat finds herself at summer camp, where nothing is like it was advertised in the brochure. Instead of spending the summer with her BFFs Zoe and Flo, Nat is stuck at camp with ex-BFF Lily and the horrendous Millie Flatbottom. Constantly pushed out of her comfort zone and facing her fears (and dealing with millions of mosquitos), Nat might find that camp might just be the summer she needs.

With lyrical language accompanied by gorgeous illustrations by Loren Long, Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by presidential inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman will show readers that amazing things can happen when we come together and use our voices and talents.

Ginger the Halloween Witch is back in Merry Witchmas by Petrell Marie Ozbay and Tess La Bella! Ginger may be a witch who crafts spells and flies on her broom, but unlike most witches she loves Christmas! Her biggest wish is that Santa will visit her, but Santa doesn’t believe in witches, even ones like Ginger that delight in good deeds and endless cheer. Will Ginger get her wish? Find out in this fun twist on a holiday story!

In Narwhal on a Sunny Night, book #33 in Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series, the treehouse takes Jack and Annie to Greenland, where they are tasked with saving a narwhal. Along the way they meet explorer Leif Erikson, who has other ideas aside from helping Jack and Annie.

We get a lot of people into the bookshop asking about tarot cards – if we stock them, books on how to use them, etc. Tarot for Kids, written by Theresa Reed and illustrated by Kailey Whitman, is a kit geared toward middle grade readers ages 8 to 12. With a guidebook and modified deck (the “death” card is “change” here, and “lovers” is “friends”) the kit provides “a resource for advice, decision-making, understanding how to help someone, avoiding drama, creative thinking, and more.”

In Uni and the Perfect Present, Uni is so excited to give Silkie the perfect present – until it gets lost on the way to the party! Can Uni find the gift or is it lost for good? Can she find a different gift? Featuring basic vocabulary and simple sentences perfect for early readers, fans of Uni’s other easy reader books will enjoy seeing how Uni solves the problem in this Level 2 adventure!

The latest book in the popular Who HQ Now series, What is Black Lives Matter? outlines the history of the political and social justice movement known as Black Lives Matter. Readers will learn about the history of the movement that advocates for non-violent civil disobedience and protests against racially-motivated violence against Black people.


The latest in the Beastars series, Volume 14 continues the story of Beastar horse Yahya, a student at a high school divided into predators and prey. Yahya still holds a vendetta against Komodo dragon Gosha by tormenting his grandson, gray wolf Legoshi. Dwarf rabbit Haru is in college where she finds another herbivore dating a carnivore. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing how the latest adventures play out in this story by Paru Itagaki!


The highly-anticipated follow-up to The Antiquarian Sticker Book, The Antiquarian Sticker Book: Bibliophilia features thousands of gorgeous stickers for anyone who loves the beauty of nature, books, or both! Decorate your journal, stationary, or collage with quotes from your favorite novels. Have fun getting the creative juices flowing!

Visit our website for information on these titles and more! And don’t forget – if we don’t have a book in stock we are more than happy to order it for you, or you can visit our Bookshop page!

We hope to see you soon!

Benefits of Hobbies: Books to Help You Find Your Next Favorite COVID-Pastime

While we’re all living this COVID-crisis together, our experiences of it are different. Whether we’re essential and working our job harder than ever, a working/e-schooling -from-home parent juggling more apps than should be humanly possible, or suddenly bereft of human companionship and needing something more constructive to do than washing day pjs, exploring hobby options can be beneficial.

Hobbies help you find your people. Nowadays may not be the best time to meet new people in real life, but you can connect to all sorts of people online who get excited about the same things you do. Even solitary hobbies can unite you with others.

Hobbies encourage purposeful mental breaks. Focusing on one thing can lead to brain-fatigue which means grumpy and unmotivated people. Having a hobby helps you change thinking gears so you’re having fun with purpose. We may recall from the Highlights magazines of our youth that fun with purpose is what it’s all about. Hobbies give you an outlet for stress.

Hobbies can challenge you and boost positive stress. Called eustress, this kind of stress gets you excited about life and what you can achieve. And with accomplishing any challenge, there’s a rush involved when you master a new skill or concept. It can change your perspective too which is always a positive thing. Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.

Hobbies help you stay present. When you’re in the moment—and thoroughly enjoying it, it’s difficult to worry about the future or dwell in the past.

Hobbies are good for your body, just as much for your mind. Research shows that participating in activities you enjoy may lead to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. It also shows correlation to lower levels of depression and higher levels of positive psychosocial stages, such as intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, ego integrity vs despair.

Obviously, everyone knows reading is the very best pastime. But what if you need to expand your horizons and find a new COVID-hobby? The Haunted Book Shop wants to help with a few suggestions.

Click on the links for more info on each recommendation.

Bird Watching Birds of Alabama Field Guide, What It’s Like to Be A Bird, or if your tastes run more humorously, Effin’ Birds: A Field Guide to Identification and The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America. In our kid’s section, we have Look and Learn Birds PBS Kids for ages 4 and up.

Gardening If you’re trying to steer clear of the overcrowded grocery produce section, try Southern Fruit & Vegetable Gardening. If your gardening preferences run a little more magical, Garden Witchery. If you’ve always wanted to combine botany and a drinking hobby, we recommend the The Drunken Botanist. We have many more used books that run the gamut of composting and camellias, to the best plants for any sort of garden. For kids, Jam and Jelly combines gardening and cooking for ages 8 and up.

Poetry/Creative Writing/Memoir Writing We have an entire Writer’s Room full of new and used books on craft how-tos and inspiration. Including Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, Writing Picture Books  and so many more. For our young authors, Write Your Own Story Book and Story Writer’s Ideas Journal for ages 8 and up gets the creativity flowing.

Crafting/Knitting/Sewing Geek Knits is perfect for fantasy and science fiction fans. For any age, we have Paper Crafting with Harry Potter Origami and Paper Planes to Fold and Fly.

Cooking This is a great way to learn about other cultures too! Check out our extensive new and used cookbooks. Making your own sourdough? Ferment will help. Still have Moon Pies left over from Mardi Gras? Check out the recipes and vignettes in Death By Moon Pie. Want to add a little magic to your meals? Try Wiccan Kitchen. Enjoy cooking for your pup? Check out The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook. For the kiddos, our selection includes Kid Chef Junior for ages 4 and up and The Vegetarian Cookbook for ages 8 and up.

Survivalist/Outdoor Skills Studies show the benefits of being outside, especially practicing social distancing, far outweigh the risks. We have local author, Joe Cuhaj’s Best Tent Camping: Alabama. How To Camp in the Woods and How to Stay Alive in the Woods are a popular series. We have books on Metal Detecting. Want to learn how to tie knots? Why not? Try Know Your Ropes for Better Boating. From the kid’s section, we have books such as My Very First Outdoor Book for ages 3 and up, and Survival! for ages 9 and up.

Get Active–Hiking & Biking Be sure to check online before heading out as some parks are closed. In the meantime, read Hiking the Gulf Coast , or if you want to bring your best friend, Best Dog Hikes of Alabama. For kids, try Lift-the-Flap: Nature to get young ones involved.

New Pets While not technically a hobby, with time home on their hands, many people are finally getting that dog they’ve always wanted. Become the best dog-parent with Dog Body Language: 100 Ways to Read Their Signals or Why Do Dogs Sniff Butts?

What new activities & interests have you picked up while self-isolating?

Support local, shop local. During this corona-crisis, we’re offering no-contact curbside pick-ups, porch drop-offs in select neighborhoods, and free local shipping. We’re also opening up by appointment so if a hobby of yours is sniffing books (we totally aren’t judging you), book your time slot today.

Stay safe, stop the spread, and happy reading!