Local Reads & Can't-Miss Titles

August 22, 2022

by Kelly McCandless

As summer winds down, kids start heading back to school, and the general summer vibe starts to fade, I find myself longing for more time and more material to read. Cozy weather, perfect for curling up with an excellent book, is not far off!

To help add to all of our “to be read” lists, I talked with Julie Schultz with This House of Books, a cooperative bookstore. That means it is community-owned by over 500 individual owners (and counting!), including about 75 local and regional authors. This House of Books carefully curates its inventory; so much so that an individual human chose every single item they have for sale. Not only do they carry popular books, but they also carry a wide variety of regional literature and inventory that supports events happening around town (eg, movies showing at the Babcock, plays at NOVA, performances at the Alberta Bair). 

This House of Books recently moved to a new location at 116 North 29th Street, Ste B. The location is just a few blocks from their old one, keeping them downtown and able to fulfill their mission of engaging with the community.

As summer winds down, Julie shared some of these must-read titles. Take a look and head over to This House of Books to find your own copy and get lost in the pages. 

  1. Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects is a recent nonfiction title from the Montana Historical Society including descriptions of 50 objects from the Historical Society's collection as well as activities (art projects, writing prompts, games) associated with each object. (ages 6-12)
  2. Thunderous is a new graphic novel by former Montana Poet Laureate M.L. featuring Natalie Peeterse that tells the story of a youngster who is more interested in texting her friends than in hearing stories about her Lakota heritage...until she suddenly finds herself in the Spirit World and must find her way back home. (ages 8-12)
  3. Maddie McDowell and the Rodeo Robbery is by Gallatin Valley author LuAnn Rod. It’s great for mystery fans and is both fun and historically accurate. (ages 8-12)
  4. Carry Me Home tackles a difficult subject in a compassionate way. Written by Bozeman author Janet Fox, the book introduces homelessness and foster care.
  5. Elk Morning at the Battle of Arrow Creek is illustrated by Kevin Red Star and is the latest installment in the Elk Morning series. The title is due out in late August and pairs Apsaalooke memories of the battle with Red Star's amazing art.
  1. Trash: A Love Story is a great novel that tackles the problem of plastic with two interlocking narratives of people trying to address the dilemma. Environmental sustainability is topical, especially with the Yellowstone flooding, and Billings author M. H. Van Keuren's take on the topic is a can’t miss. 
  2. The Glacier Mysteries series by Flathead Valley author Christine Carbo is set in and around Glacier National Park and has a touch of Scandinavian-noir darkness that keeps things tantalizing.
  3. Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law is by Mary Roach who writes hilarious nonfiction. This book is her latest and it comes out in paperback at the end of August.
  4. Shutter by filmmaker Ramona Emerson is a new mystery/thriller out in early August about a forensic photographer and her struggles with the ghosts she has been seeing since she was a child.
  5. We Are All Perfectly Fine, a medical memoir by Jillian Horton, M. D., is a finalist in several categories of the High Plains Book Awards, which will be held at the library and MSUB on Saturday, October 8th. It is getting high marks from local readers!

A few NEW & NOTABLE without any commentary!

  • What Feelings Do When No One's Looking (Picture Book)
  • Chickadee: Criminal Mastermind (Picture Book)
  • Lumberjackula (graphic novel for ages 8-12)
  • Megabat and the Not-Happy Birthday (chapter book for ages 7-10 recently out in paperback)
  • Horse (historical fiction by Geraldine Brooks)
  • Lucky Turtle (fiction by Bill Roorbach - with a Montana connection!)
  • An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us (Ed Yong)
  • Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods (Lyndsie Bourgon)

Jamie Ford: The Great Falls' author releases The Many Daughers of Afong Moy, a family saga with an intertemporal twist. It is the #1 Indie Next pick for August, which means every single independent bookstore in the country is carrying it. (Also, Jamie will be at the Billings Public Library on Wednesday, August 31st at 6pm to talk about the book and sign copies for people!)

Use the special discount code: SIMPLYSUMMER22, and mention it when you shop at This House of Books or enter it in the "coupon code" section when you order online at www.thishouseofbooks.com, through September 30, 2022. 

Never miss an issue, check out SLM's digital editions here!  

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