For each of the many years I interviewed Autumn I always made the long journey to her glade in order to speak with her. Not this year. This autumn I had the great pleasure and good fortune of having her come to the store for our interview!
Kenny: Thank you so much for making the trip to DDG.
Autumn: Delighted to come. I love the trees in your window, by the way. I feel right at home!
Kenny: That’s lovely to hear but what brought you to Farmington? I never expected my annual requests for an interview to take this turn.
Autumn: Well Kenny, I may have teased you often enough, but really you have been a good friend to me and when I learned of all the supply chain issues affecting bookstores, I thought at once of all the squirrels in my arbor gathering supplies for the coming winter season, and I thought it might be helpful for me to see your preparations for myself and make sure you are laying in the right books for the challenging holiday season ahead.
Kenny: I’m most touched!
Autumn: Don’t press your luck and go soft on me.
Kenny: Not at all. In fact I have often thought of the squirrels as I’ve been gathering in stock for the holidays. Most often, though, I’ve thought of the store as a ship setting out for a long voyage with no surety of fresh supplies at a port along the way. Are not our back room and overstock shelves much like the hold of that ship?
Autumn: An apt metaphor. Let’s have a look.
Kenny: Sure, here we have our regular overstock shelves. As you can see they are loaded to the brim.
Autumn: Ah yes, you have quite a mix of great new titles like Stephanie Garber’s Once Upon a Broken Heart and Chris Colfer’s A Tale of Sorcery along with extra stock of established store favorites like Diane Magras’s The Mad Wolf’s Daughter and Lynne Rae Perkins’s Nuts to You. Very good.
Kenny: Well spotted! Next we’ll go to our college shelves and college cart which we have converted to an overstock area for key holiday season titles.
Autumn: Ah ha! Now we leave the peripheral chaos and lean more into the meat of the matter as it were. Hmmn, I see you have big stacks of Betty Culley’s terrific Down to Earth, Allison Croggan’s sublime Threads of Magic, and B.B. Alston’s excellent Amari and the Night Brothers. You wouldn’t want to head to sea without those. Well! It’s gratifying to see a nice stack of She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker Chan’s exceptional historical novel. I see you have laid in plenty of Naomi Novick’s absorbing entertainment of a novel, A Deadly Education in paperback, and I’m pleased but surprised to so many copies of P.G. Bell’s imaginative romp, The Train to Impossible Places?
Kenny: Yes, I chose that as a title to feature this year for strong young readers reading above grade level and for a family read aloud pick.
Finally, we completely cleaned out our back room shelves for extra overstock space. Have a look.
Autumn: Ah this is well. You have not stinted on that glorious picture book, Bear Is a Bear. Oh and here is a tall stack of my favorite psychological thriller, Vera Kurian’s Never Saw Me Coming. It has a Hogwarts for psychopath thing going, so many deliciously unreliable narrators. And I see plenty of copies of that stupendously genre defying tour de force, James Hans Matson’s Reprieve. These are the right stores for the store, to be sure.
Kenny: I’m glad we are of one mind on those books! But what of what isn’t here. Do you have any suggestions?
Autumn: I do indeed. You’ll be wanting to lay in a big supply of Jan Brett’s Nutcracker of course. There is a young adult powerhouse of a novel coming out, All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, that you’ll want to bring in in force. If Inga Moore’s A House in the Woods means anything to you, you’ll be wanting a big pile of its sequel, Moose’s Book Bus. Such a worthy and wonderful follow-up.
Kenny: A House in the Woods is an all-time favorite by any measure. I will lay in a towering stack of Moose’s worthy new story straightaway. Thank you Autumn!
Autumn: It was a pleasure this year, Kenny. Good luck on your voyage.