Looking for a great book to read?
Whether you belong to a book club or just read for fun, we’ve got you covered.
We asked Paul Swydan, owner and operator of The Silver Unicorn Bookstore in Acton, to share his picks of the week.
Find everything from adult to children’s books, nonfiction to graphic novels, all in one place.
“True Biz,” a novel by Sara Novic, is Swydan’s pick of the week.
“Enter the walls of a school for deaf children and follow three main characters – a new student who has never met another deaf person, the school’s golden boy, and the school’s headmistress, who can hear but has deaf parents – as they set on a collision course that will change all of their lives forever. Simply put, this is one of the best books of 2022, ”Swydan wrote in an email to Wicked Local.
Something for book clubs
Looking for something new for your book club to read? Try “One True Loves” by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
“This great read by Acton native Taylor Jenkins Reid is partially set in Acton, and the movie – starring Simu Liu (star of ‘Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’) is in post production and expected to be released later this year , ”Wrote Swydan.
Nonfiction books for adults and young adults
If you’re into history and concerned about climate change, “Paradise Falls” by Keith O’Brien might fit the bill.
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“This story of moms fighting for climate justice in the late 70s / early 80s in Niagara Falls really resonates to today’s climate fight, and because of all the things these women won not just for their community but the entire country makes this book the perfect embodiment of the old saying, ‘all politics is local,’ ”Swydan wrote.
For the young entrepreneur, Swydan suggests “Become an App Inventor” by Karen Lang and Selim Tezel.
“Looking to keep kids occupied this summer vacation? This great how-to guide from two of the key members of the MIT App Inventor team can teach anyone how to build and publish their own phone apps, no prior experience required, ”Swydan wrote.
Mystery books for adults, young adults
Adults who crave intrigue and suspense might want to dive into “Two Nights in Lisbon” by Chris Pavone.
“Few do international intrigue like Chris Pavone and this tightly wound thriller about a woman who wakes up in Lisbon to find her missing husband is no exception. She has to ask herself what [she really knows] about her new and much younger husband, ”Swydan wrote.
“You’ll Be the Death of Me” by Karen M. McManus is just a mystery for young adults.
“You can never go wrong with local author Karen, the queen of the young adult mystery novel. Her first book, ‘One Of Us Is Lying,’ has spent 227 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, but this, her most recent title, is her first set in and around Boston, ”he wrote.
Best graphic novels for just about everyone
Swydan has only good things to say about the adult graphic novel “Fine” by Rhea Ewing.
“This comic about gender started out as a small project, with the author interviewing people in her Midwest town about what they felt gender was, and exploded to encompass people all over the country. It is a stunning and beautiful work, and one of the best graphic novels of the year, ”he wrote.
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Young adults might enjoy “Slip” by Marika McCoola.
“This coming-of-age graphic novel follows young Jade as she heads off to a summer art camp, full of questions about what art she will create, and who she will become. When her art starts coming to life, it forces her to focus on both questions, with heartwarming results, ”Swydan wrote.
For children, “Mapmakers and the Lost Magic” by Cameron Chittock packs a punch.
“This inventive and transformative kids graphic novel follows a young girl faced with an impossible choice – unleash a powerful magic to help save her home town from its new overlords, or run away like she’s always dreamed of doing. Local author Cameron is a star on the rise, ”he wrote.
Best books for children
“Iver & Ellsworth” by Casey Robinson is a children’s picture book worth taking a look at.
“This is our store’s all-time favorite picture book, and it is authored by our events manager, Casey. It just came back into print after being out of print during the initial stages of the pandemic, and is the absolute sweetest friendship story you will ever find, ”Swydan wrote.
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Older readers might enjoy “Worst-Case Collin” by Rebecca Caprara.
“This middle-grade novel in verse follows a boy whose father has compulsively hoarded items in their house ever since his mother died in a car accident two years earlier. The story, by local author and leader of our store’s Middle Grade Book Club, is a great, quiet story of self discovery and redemption for both Collin and his dad, ”Swydan wrote.
New author pick of the week
“A Comb of Wishes” by Lisa Stringfellow is Swydan’s pick for a book written by a new author.
“This debut middle-grade novel from a local author and teacher was selected by a panel of independent booksellers from around the country as one of the best debut books of 2022. It follows young Kela around the fictional Caribbean island of St. Rita, where she has found a mermaid’s ancient magical comb, and has to decide what wish she will choose to make before giving the comb back to its rightful mermaid owner, ”he wrote.
The Silver Unicorn Bookstore is at 12 Spruce St. in Acton. For info: silverunicornbooks.com.