Danville's Rakestraw Books celebrated its 47th birthday this week, and while staff had to refrain from throwing a big celebration, they did take the opportunity to provide a list of recommended reading for book lovers to enjoy during their shelter-in-place.
While in-person visits have been shelved for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, Rakestraw is still offering 24-hour book sale service online at www.rakestrawbooks.com and plans to continue to offer book recommendations as well as online events for the duration of the order.
"It's hard to believe we're not in the shop celebrating with balloons and champagne and a fancy author event, but the work of the shop -- thanks to all of you -- continues," president and owner of Rakestraw Books Michael Barnard said on Wednesday -- the day of Rakestraw's anniversary.
All recommended books can be purchased at Rakestraw online or via phone, and include such titles as the following:
* "Darling Rose Gold" by Stephanie Wrobel. A fictional take on the true story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, a young woman who as a child had been medically abused by her mother, "Darling Rose Gold" follows the life of a young woman who practically lived at the hospital for 18 years believing she was chronically ill with an unknown ailment. Turns out however, that her mom is just a really good liar.
* "It's Not All Downhill from Here" by Terry McMillan. From number one New York Times bestselling author of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Waiting to Exhale", Rakestraw staff say "It's Not All Downhill from Here" follows a remarkable woman and her loyal group of friends try to figure out what she’s going to do with the rest of her life after a sudden change of plans.
* "Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes and Stories" by Fanny Singer. Daughter of food icon and activist Alice Waters, "Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes and Stories" chronicles a unique world of food, wine and travel, wrapped up in an intimate portrait of her mother and herself.
* "The Boy from the Woods" by Harlan Coben. A shocking thriller from the number one New York Times bestselling author of "A Run Away", "The Boy from the Woods" follows Wilde, who 30 years after being found as a boy living feral in the woods, still has no memory of where he comes, an issue that becomes more relevant as another child goes missing.
* "Code Name Hélène" by Ariel Lawhon. New York Times bestselling author Lisa Wingate says "Ariel Lawhon delivers in 'Code Name Hélène.' This fully animated portrait of Nancy Wake... will fascinate readers of World War II history and thrill fans of fierce, brash, independent women, alike. A stark exploration of the remarkable difference one person, willing to rise in the face of fear, can make."
For a little extra personal touch, book lovers can call the shop at 837-7337 and leave a voicemail asking for a book recommendation. Callers should leave their name and number, and Rakestraw staff will return their call with a unique recommendation.
Rakestraw is also offering story time everyday at 1 p.m. on its Facebook account, and is currently looking for a new book to read aloud to the public. After wrapping up "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norman Juster, Rakestraw staff are asking residents to vote between "A Bear Called Paddington" by Michael Bond; "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo; or "Matilda" by Roald Dahl. Readers can vote online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VZWFS8W.
"We miss all of you so much. We miss your smiling faces, your enthusiasm for books, your kids and your dogs. We missed how eager and excited some of you are. We even miss how grouchy some of you are! To say that the last days have been a challenge is to understate it, we have deep concerns about the future of the shop and much more, but I am deeply moved by how many have continued to support the shop," Barnard said.
"Whether you’re watching our shows on Facebook Live, ordering books online, calling the shop at 925-837-7337 to leave messages, or -- maybe best of all -- ordering gift certificates, you’re helping Rakestraw Books to continue to pay rent, staff, and suppliers, and to serve you and our community."
Books can be reviewed and purchased online at rakestrawbooks.com, requested books can be shipped. Orders over $25 qualify for 99-cent Media Mail shipping, while orders under $25 will still go out by regular ground. Special orders can be made by calling Rakestraw Books at 837-7337.