Small Strokes

HSP x Barnes & Noble
BOOK PICKS

DECEMBER

HEY there, HERsay Podcast book lovers! Each month, we're sharing the books that we think women will LOVE! We scour the bookshelves of Barnes & Noble for titles by female authors, or that feature tantalizing, relatable female characters, books that inspire us, teach us something new, or that help us face the unique challenges that come with each month. For December, we know that some of us are looking for a great escape from wintery weather and jam-packed schedules, some are looking for baking inspiration for all of the projects(!), not to mention special books to share with kids, AND a trusty tried-and-true book gift to keep wrapped on standby for just about anyone who may have fallen off your list.  Order online or, better yet, stop into your closest Barnes & Noble store to experience IRL that incomparable smell of Starbucks + books and perusing book covers that we just can't get from shopping the internet! Visit us on Instagram to share what you think of our selections and share what you're reading. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading to all!

NEW RELEASE/FICTION If you're looking for a break from the frosty air and holiday to-do's but can't swing a getaway, you'll love this this multi-nominated "best beach read" thriller combining the glamor, glitz, and gossip  of Hollywood with the white sands of the Caribbean. 

 

In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood's most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella's mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone's plans.

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COOKBOOK/BAKING Is it just us, or does it seem like every meeting requires a dish to pass? Make yours an instant hit by tapping the creative talents of Sara Kiefer, author of 100 Cookies, beloved baker behind The Vanilla Bean Blog, and creator of the "bang-the-pan" method. This book offers more than 50 delicious recipes for seasonal brunches, cookie swaps, and all those Christmas, Hanukah, and New Year's Eve parties.

Delight family and friends with edible gifts and whip up some delicious baked goods to treat yourself through the long winter months after the holidays have ended. Recipes include: Triple Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Meyer Lemon-White Chocolate Scones, Pear-Almond Danish Bread, Hot Chocolate Cake, and Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pepita Streusel.

With cozy holiday imagery, a lovely, clean aesthetic, and easy yet innovative recipes, this is a go-to cookbook for baking enthusiasts, and anyone who loves the holiday season.

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ROMANCE Okay, we did cringe a little bit at the title, but sometimes we just want a little fluff, twinkle lights, and the certainty of a happy ending to make our days merry and bright. For this, 12 Men for Christmas does not disappoint!

Set in England, this novel  inspired the Lifetime Original Christmas movie starring Kristen Chenoweth, available now on several streaming apps!

 

Emma Tremayne planned to be wrapped up in Christmas cheer with her boyfriend, but when she finds him in the arms of her boss, she loses her man and her job instead. Determined to find some peace and quiet until she can figure out her next move, she heads to England's enchanting Lake District. But when she lands a new job with the tourist board and ends up responsible for a fundraiser involving handsome naked men and a calendar photoshoot, quiet is the last thing she'll be getting. One of the handsome men playing Santa might be the best man to brighten her holiday, and she's more than willing to try them out one at a time...

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KIDS A terrific book to share with kids about appreciating what's truly important in life, overcoming obstacles, and appreciating the struggles of our neighbors.

Esperanza Rising is an inspiring tale set in the 1930s about a wealthy young girl who is forced to flee Mexico with her mother after her father’s death. Esperanza grows up quickly as she adjusts to her new life on a labor ranch in Southern California. This powerful depiction of one girl’s immigration story is sure to spark important conversations among young readers.

Esperanza thought she'd always live a privileged life on her family's ranch in Mexico. She'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

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NEW RELEASE/MYSTERY 
“Bitingly modern and totally addictive, Lindsay Cameron’s suspense debut is the freshest take on stalker fiction since You.”—Andrea Bartz

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails she sees and becomes enthralled by exchanges between a partner at the firm and his enchanting wife. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away... Find out how far Cassie will go to achieve the life of her newfound dreams. 

Named one of the season's best reads by Oprah Daily, Parade, Entertainment Weekly, Travel + Leisure, PopSugar, New York Post, Frolic, Brit + Co, SheKnows, Create & Cultivate.

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PARENTING Got kiddos in the house for winter break? Get inspired with imaginative holiday-themed activities to spark children’s curiosity and wonder and help families connect with each other in the most wonderful season of the year. 

Wild + Free is a great resource for parents to engage their kids’ creativity using festive, holiday-themed crafts, outdoor activities, and essays that celebrate the warmth of the season. Curated by Wild + Free families around the world, this full-color book is filled with creative and intellectually stimulating ideas and hands-on activities parents, educators, and caregivers can use to nurture their child’s curious spirit and imagination. With step-by-step instructions, lush photography, and family-tested and kid-approved activities, Wild + Free is a valuable guide to helping children spark throughout the holiday season.

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CHILDRENS  At some point or another kids hear about this classic poem  by Clement Clarke Moore but how often do they read or hear the complete original? Jan Brett's gorgeous illustrations bring this holiday classic and home library staple to life, and included with the book is a DVD of Jim Dale reading the poem aloud, featuring Brett's artwork and with original music performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra. Make reading and listening to this keepsake your new holiday tradition for years to come.

"Brett sets her distinctive, lavish presentation of this poem in a Victorian house in a New England village, with an Old World Santa and a couple of stowaway elves who steal the show. Double-page spreads offer much to explore, while the artist's signature "in the border" additions extend the story line. Sometimes the paintings illustrate the words to the poem; other times they highlight the behind-the-scenes activities. Winsome reindeer play along good-naturedly with the stowaways, and their facial expressions and body language are utterly endearing. Brett's elves add a lighthearted dimension to this Christmas classic, while her illustrations maintain the appealing Victorian flair of the original." - School Library Journal

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COOKING First published in 2001, this classic for entertaining is our "perfect standby gift" selection. If this sounds familiar - someone surprises you with an unexpected gift, you've forgotten a hostess/teacher/friend/ colleague on your list, or you want to beef up an almost-perfect gift assortment - Ina Garten's theme, recipe, decorating ideas for parties to host throughout the year is sure to inspire ideas for happy gatherings and renewed creativity for the coming year!

Ina shares secrets she has gleaned from her years not only as a caterer but as a dedicated party giver. The keyword here is fun. Ina's parties are easy to prepare and fun for everyone, including the host. Forget those boring Saturday-night dinners that just won't end. With Ina's advice, you're certain to have all your friends saying, "Wasn't that fun!"

Ina has packed Barefoot Contessa Parties! with plans for pulling off parties like a pro, stories about her own parties, and tips on assembling food (rather than cooking everything) and organizing like a caterer.

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