Seeking your next good read? Emma Snyder, owner of The Ivy Bookshop, offers recommendations for must-read titles for adults and children.


“We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel” (hardcover)
By Quan Barry, Pantheon, 384 pages, $26.95

Acclaimed novelist Quan Barry delivers a tour de female force in this delightful novel. Set in the coastal town of Danvers, Massachusetts, where the accusations that led to the 1692 witch trials began, “We Ride Upon Sticks” follows the 1989 Danvers High School Falcons field hockey team, who will do anything to make it to the state finals — even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers.

“Music for Wartime: Stories” (paperback)
By Rebecca Makkai, Penguin Books, 256 pages, $17

A gem of a short story collection by Rebecca Makkai, penned years before the overwhelming success of her novel “The Great Believers.” Makkai’s ear for ordinary magic is on full display here, as she orchestrates deeply moving stories out of family history, humor, Jewish legacies and, of course, music.


“Sounds Like Titanic: A Memoir” (hardcover)
By Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman, W.W. Norton, 256 pages, $25.95

A surreal, often hilarious coming-of-age story about a sham ensemble of classical musicians. On tour with this chaotic ensemble, Hindman spirals into crises of identity and disillusionment as she “plays” for audiences genuinely moved by the performance and unable to differentiate real from fake.

“The Crying Book” (paperback)
By Heather Christle, Catapult, 208 pages, $16.95

As Heather Christle faces personal grief and impending parenthood, she decides to research the act of crying: what it is and why people do it, even if they rarely talk about it. A deeply personal tribute to the fascinating strangeness of tears and the unexpected resilience of joy.

Young Adult (ages 14+)

“The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures” (hardcover)
By Noelle Stevenson, HarperTeen, 208 pages, $19.99

In a collection of essays and personal mini-comics that span eight years of her young adult life, author-illustrator Noelle Stevenson charts the highs and lows of being a creative human in the world.


“Old Rock (is not boring)” (hardcover)
By Deb Pilutti, G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 40 pages, $17.99

Old Rock has been sitting in the same spot in the pine forest for as long as anyone can remember. But fabulous tales of adventurous travel, exotic scenery, entertaining neighbors, and more from Old Rock’s life prove it has been anything but boring.

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