Independent Bookstore Day marks its fifth year of celebrating independent bookstores nationwide with literary parties around the country on Saturday, April 27th. We'll be celebrating with authors who will share their favorite books and bookstore love-stories. Check out the authors, their books (below), and the times they'll be here as we update our schedule! Plus we'll offer exclusive day-of merchandise created especially for Indie Bookstore Day.
2019 IBD author ambassador Tayari Jones (An American Marriage) says, "Indie stores stock books by hand and sell them the same way. They know what we want and need to read because they know us, as people. A writer is not a machine. A reader is not an app. We are human beings and so are the independent bookstore workers who show up each day and place books in our hands."
Take a look at what we have going on and join us!
11 am: Veera Hiranandani
We're incredibly pleased to welcome author Veera Hiranandani as a guest on Indie Bookstore Day! Her latest kids' novel, The Night Diary, is a 2019 Newberry Honor winner, Spring 2018 Kids' Indie Next List pick, a Cellar Door staff pick, and a beautifully written and intimate story about the Partition of India.
What books did you love as a kid?: I grew up on a steady diet of Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, E.B. White, Judy Blume, Sydney Taylor, Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle, pretty much what everyone was reading back in the 70s and 80s.
What books do you love right now?: Some of the most memorable books I've read recently (and I'm certainly not alone) are The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Ghost Boys by Jewell parker Rhodes, Mercy Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, Educated by Tara Westover, and Trevor Noah's Born a Crime. A book I'm rereading that I haven't read in a long time, but love very much, is Moon Palace by Paul Auster.
What books are you excited about next?: I'm excited about Samira Ahmed's Internment, Dani Shapiro's Inheritance, and have been waiting to read Arundhati Roy's The Ministry of Utmost Happiness for a while. New middle grade books that I'm excited about are Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya and The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman.
Veeria Hiranandani is the author of several children's novels, including The Night Diary and the chapter book series Phoebe G. Green. She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute and lives with her family in a little town on the Hudson River.
12 pm: Tina Athaide
We're pleased to welcome local author Tina Athaide as a guest author! Her new book, Orange for the Sunsets, is a soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, as two best friends living under Ugandan President Amin’s divisive rule must examine where—and who—they call home. She'll be here to promote her debut book as well as talk about her other favorite books!
What books did you love as a kid?: Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms, Naughty Amelia Jane, and The Adventures of Pip.
What books do you love right now?: Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krisnaswami, Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, The True History of Lindie B. Hawkins by Gail Shepherd, and Just Like Rube Goldberg: The Incredible True Story of the Man Behind the Machines by Sarah Aronson.
What books are you excited about next?: The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala, Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel, and Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Alisha Rai.
Tina Athaide was born in Uganda and grew up in London and Canada. While her family left Entebbe just prior to the expulsion, she has memories of refugee family and friends staying with them in their London home. The stories and conversations she listened to through the years became the inspiration for her book Orange for the Sunsets. Tina now lives in California with her husband, Ron, and their daughter, Isabella.
2 pm: Liz Harmer
We had the pleasure of hosting Liz Harmer earlier this month for the release of her book, The Amateurs. In the style of Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood and Dave Eggers' The Circle, this Cellar Door staff pick is a post-apocalyptic examination of nostalgia, loss and the possibility of starting over. If you missed the chance to see her, don't miss her on Indie Bookstore Day!
What books do you love right now?: Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman, The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang, Normal People by Sally Rooney, and The Book of Job translated by Robert Alter.
What books are you excited about next?: Even That Wildest Hope by Seyward Goodhand, Heavy by Kiese Laymon, Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design & Pattern in Narrative by Jane Alison... and Woolf's Diaries.
Liz Harmer is an author, college professor, and freelance editor. Her stories and essays have been published in The Malahat Review, PRISM, Grain, The New Quarterly, Little Brother and other journals. She won a National Magazine Award in Personal Journalism and was nominated for another NMA, both in 2014. She was also one of the key organizers of the Women's March in Riverside. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she now lives with her husband and their three young daughters in southern California.
3 pm: Ayize Jama-Everett
One of our local writers within the black speculative movement, Ayize Jama-Everett is the author of The Liminal People - a Cellar Door staff pick and book club pick - The Entropy of Bones, and The Liminal War. We're pleased to have him as a guest author on Indie Bookstore Day leading up to his in-conversation with Sarah Gailey this June!
What books did you love as a kid?: Comics!! My life goal is to have as grand an impact on comics as Chris Claremont's run on the X-Men did. Also, Ursula K. Le Guin's The Wizard of Earthsea series and Piers Anthony's The Incarnations of Immortality. And strangely enough, The Count of Monte Cristo. It was the first big adult book I found, consumed, and loved all on my own.
What books do you love right now?: Just finished Children of Time and loved it. I loved The Power. I'm re-reading Parable of the Sower.
What books are you excited about next?: There's a sequel to Children of Time that I'm excited to check out. There's more, but right now I'm writing like a fiend!
Ayize Jama-Everett writes problematic books. He holds a Master’s in Divinity, a Master’s in Clinical Psychology, and a Master’s in Fine Arts, Creative Writing. His work has been written of favorably in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and received starred reviews in Kirkus. All his characters have failed elocution classes and are always on the wrong side of something.His plots start halfway through the end of the story, usually. Ayize's problematic books are speculative, racial, Subaltern, radical, and often times quite funny. Just like him.
3 pm: Carley Besl
Please join us in welcoming local poet Carley Besl as a guest writer! She's read her poetry at Cellar Door as part of UCR's Creative Writing MFA Open Mic Night, but now you can get the chance to pick her brain about what's she's reading and loving right now.
What books do you love right now?: I read a lot of poems these days. Some of my obsessions are: Slow Lightning by Eduardo Corral, everything by Allison Benis White (most recently Self-Portrait with Crayon and Please Bury Me in This), Against Which and Bringing the Shovel Down by Ross Gay, and Hum by Jamaal May (to name a few). I also really love Ayize Jama-Everett's exhilerating Liminal series of novels. And I'm halfway through the novel The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes, and it is so engrossing.
What books are you excited about next?: I read once and can't wait to reread Emily Skaja's inaugural book of poems, Brute. And also Ilya Kaminsky's most recent book of poems, Deaf Republic. Some fiction I'm looking forward to reading is The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell.
Carley Besl is a poet and runner from Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently earning her MFA in Poetry from UCR, she has poems published in Stone Highway Review, The Helix Magazine, and elsewhere.
4 pm: Isabel Quintero
Have you heard? Local author Isabel Quintero has written a kids' picture book, a celebration of the love between a father and daughter and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, called My Papi Has a Motorcycle! She'll be here to talk about and promote her new book, and to share some of her other favorite books.
What books did you love as a kid?: So many! I read all the Ramona Quimby books, and even wanted to be addressed as Ramona. Judy Blume, of course. My favorite was Starting Sally J. Freedman as Herself, and I reread that multiple times in elementary school.
What books do you love right now?: A few weeks ago I finished City of Night by John Rechy, which came out in 1963, and I am still having so many feelings over it. It was such an unabashed look at loneliness and all we do to try to fill it in lieu of being vulnerable. It's beautifully written and heartbreaking and all the things you want in a book. I can't believe I had it on my shelf for so long and hadn't read it. I also just finished A Cup of Water Underneath My Bed, a memoir by Daisy Hernandez, and goddamn. This book articulated so much of what I sometimes feel in terms of being a writer, my sexuality, and how that ties in with family. In terms of YA the latest book I read was Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera and it's just a great read and interesting critique of power structures set in a dystopian future where girl gangs rule the land. Oh, and lastly, I also read G. Neri's Grand Theft Horse. It's a graphic novel about his aunt who stole a horse to save its life. So good.
What books are you excited about next?: I am looking forward to reading Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. I have the ARC (advanced reader copy) and so I'll be reading it soon. It sounds like a great contemporary read. The other book I'm looking forward to is Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. I am in awe of his poetry and cannot wait to see what he does with language in this novel.
Isabel Quintero was born and raised by Mexican immigrant parents in Southern California's Inland Empire. She earned her B.A. in English and her M.A. in English Composition at California State University, San Bernardino. Her debut YA novel, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, won the 2015 Morris Award for Debut YA Fiction, the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, and is a Cellar Door staff pick.
4 pm: Alicia Mosley
You may remember Alicia Mosley from the art classes for kids we've hosted over the past few summers. Now we're pleased to welcome her as a guest author on Indie Bookstore Day!
What books do you love right now?: Sula by Toni Morrison, Brother Bullet by Cassandra Lopez, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante, and Your Black Friend and Other Strangers by Ben Passmore.
What books are you excited about next?: There Should Be Flowers by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and There, There by Tommy Orange.
Alicia Mosley is a fiction writer and poet living in Riverside, California. She is a recipient of the Third Year Graduate Fellowship and is an MFA candidate at UC Riverside. Her work has appeared in The Sun Magazine and Los Angeles Review of Books. She is currently working on her first novel.
Time TBA: Nalo Hopkinson
Nalo Hopkinson is back again! If you haven't already heard, the first volume of House of Whispers, one of the new ongoing series expanding Neil Gaiman's Sandman universe, is set to publish this July. And Hopkinson will also be returning to Cellar Door this June for an exciting panel on women within the graphic novel world alongside Roxane Gay and Rachelle Cruz!
Nalo Hopkinson is an award-winning novelist linked with the afrofuturism literary movement, including works like Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber and The New Moon's Arm. Hopkinson teaches fiction writing at the University of California, Riverside, where she is a member of a faculty research cluster on science-fiction.
And don't forget about our booksellers! We've had some new faces join the Cellar Door team this year, so make sure to say hello and see what books they're excited to talk to you about.
What books do you love right now?: Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, Hitch-22 by Christopher Hitchens, The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, and Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima.
What books are you excited about next?: Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, The Tradition by Jericho Brown, and Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse.
What books did you love as a kid?: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
What books do you love right now?: Women Talking by Miriam Toews, The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister, and Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
What books are you excited about next?: The Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (out in July), The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (out in August), and The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (out in September).
What books did you love as a kid?: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix, and The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan.
What books do you love right now?: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James, The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson, Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, and I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan.
What books are you excited about next?: Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky (the sequel to Children of Time), The Book of Flora by Meg Elison (the third novel in the Road to Nowhere series), and The Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss (the final installment of the Kingkiller Chronicles).
What books did you love as a kid?: Harry Potter, Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan, and Falling Up by Shel Silverstein.
What books do you love right now?: Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi and The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray.
What books are you excited about next?: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and House of Whispers by Nalo Hopkinson.
What books did you love as a kid?: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton, and Bunnicula by James Howe.
What books do you love right now?: The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth, Photographic by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, and Arclight by Brandon Graham, and You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian.
What books are you excited about next?: The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark, Finding Baba Yaga by Jane Yolen, The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht, and Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
Watch this space as we finalize more plans for Indie Bookstore Day!