I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and relaxing break.
January is a strange month where I lose track of dates and days - everything slows down (especially me). Maybe it is the body and mind recovering from that mad run up to Christmas and the end of the year? It feels like we are only a week into the new year, but February is looming...
Do you spend time in January reflecting on the past year and planning for the new one? For many people, 2022 wasn't one to dwell on, so I hope 2023 is an improvement. It was a mixed one for my family, some sad events and some very happy ones. I am spending time thinking about how this year will look for The Yass Book Store. Hopefully we'll spend the year in our current location and can continue to connect book lovers with great reads.
I look forward to continuing to collaborate with others in our community on creative workshops, book clubs, author events and cat rescue this year. I'll be promoting local authors and makers in the shop and supporting other local businesses. The new Yass Valley Gift Card, a new art gallery and framers are all exciting changes in our town
Indie Book Awards
The shortlist has been announced for the 2023 Indie Book Awards, with the winners announced on 20th March.
The books are nominated and voted for by independent booksellers like me, across several different categories. Our favourites often differ from the major chain and online bookseller top sellers. These are the books we and our customers have enjoyed, not what has been popular or sold the most.
One of my goals this year is to hold regular creative workshops, inspired by our favourite books. The first one is being held on Sunday 5th February and will be run by the fabulous artist Akka Ballenger. Please come along and have a great time, making and learning.
Local author Kelly Cameron is about to release the 2nd book in her Yass Valley series, Walking in Wildflowers (out on 31 January). The first book in the series, Dancing with Dandelions was our best selling book last year.
2022 best sellers
Dancing with Dandelions - Can One Wish Change Everything? by local author Kelly Cameron
*My Father and Other Animals: How I Took on the Family Farm by another local Sam Vincent
*The Winter Dress by Lauren Chater
The World of Jane Austen: A Jigsaw Puzzle with 60 Characters and Great Houses to Find
*Questions Raised by Quolls by Harry Saddler
*The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
*The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
*The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan
Exiles by Jane Harper
Horse by Geraldine Brooks
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
* Still Life by Sarah Winman
*Book club or author event books
December 2022 best sellers
Exiles by Jane Harper
The Tilt by Chris Hammer
My Dream Time: A Memoir of Tennis & Teamwork by Ash Barty
Willowman by Inga Simpson
The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland
Bulldozed by Nikki Savva
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
2023 new releases
There have been other great books released already this year and so many more to come in the next few months. Pip William's new book The Bookbinder of Jericho is out in April, it is a companion to her last book The Dictionary of Lost Words.
As people go back to school and work, and the year gets underway, we will return to reduced opening days, closing on Sunday and Monday.
From 1st Feb we will be open Tue - Fri 10 - 4 and Saturday 10 - 2.
We discussed our January book My Place by Sally Morgan last night at the Last Wednesday Book Club. It was released in 1987 and has become an Australian classic. It was very timely to read, or reread for some of us and discuss, with debates around Australia Day and the Voice on people's minds.
Next month we are reading another Australian classic, Cloudstreet by Tim Winton.
The Queer Book Club is continuing from February so watch out for news on the next read.
It is warming up outside but the shop is nice and cool, so I am looking forward to the next few months. I am reducing the price on some of my stationery and sending books back to the publishers to make way for new stock.
In between book club books, I am currently reading The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding and loving it. Let me know when you thought, if you have read it.
Remember, if there is a book you have spotted online or heard about and I don't have it I am happy to order it in.