The calm before the storm

Newsletter, Aug 12th, 2022

Doesn't it feel like the calm before the storm? The storm of the school year, that is? We're taking advantage of this little lull and taking our much needed Summer Vacation next week. Yay! Thanks to Elliot, our parttime bookseller, the store will be open on and off next 10 days. Please check the site for hours before heading out. And please be patient, this is his first time handling the store by himself. Plus, he's heading back out to college next week :(

Super excited give you a sneak peek at a couple of New Events we are planning:

TEACHERS NIGHT OUT : Teachers have been our BIGGEST supporters and before all of you educators dive back into the nitty-gritty of the school year, we'd like to celebrate the coming year with a special evening out just for you. Refreshments, Raffles and 20% Off ALL Books! Check it out and let all your Teacher friends know - Sep 1 6pm.

CHRISTINA SOONTORNVAT: The Thinking Spot has been selected as one of only 10 bookstores nationwide to host a virtual event with Christina Soontornvat. She is the double Newbery Honor-winning author of A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team. This event will be for her new middle grade novel The Last Mapmaker. I'm excited and nervous at the same time, this will be our first event of this magnitude. We are planning this event in collaboration with our partner and will be scheduling it for sometime in October. More to come!

Current Events

  1. Origami Events : We have one session tonight, with a couple more the week after next. We are planning to learn how to make a Crane tonight and then, starting Aug 26th, we will have material available for everyone visiting to make a Crane to add to our in-store Crane Chain! Let's see how long we can make it!

  2. Grand Day out at the store: There is one more date open - Sunday the 28th. You don't need to be a grandparent to sign up. Parents/Aunts/Uncles - all are welcome to try it out.

  3. STEM Builders - Engineering Workshop is now open August 21st 2p for Ages 7-10. They do need 4 signups to hold the workshop, so if interested, please signup early.

  4. Book Club update - Our Book club will be wrapping up our first book - “Building a second brain” on Sunday the 28th. We've all loved the book so far, had great discussions and hopefully will be able to apply some of the ideas as we read more books and gather more information. We have picked An Immense World by Pulitzer prize winning Author Ed Yong as our next read. First meeting for that book will be Sept 18th. Sign up if you'd like to join.

  5. Battle of the Books - There are still some spots left for the August Battle and a couple weeks to read the books. If you know of a 8-12 yr old that would be interested, send them our way.

Science News of the Week

This week's most heartening news comes to us courtesy of a good friend and supporter of The Spot. Thanks Anish for sharing this story. A high school kid has designed a motor that could make EV manufacturing more sustainable by not using rare earth magnets. Whereas past generations have mostly put innovation first, I love how this next generation of inventors is putting sustainability first! And it absolutely does not take away from the progress we can make. More like this, please!

Book Recommendations

As I pack for my vacation, I feel like digging into a really good story and getting lost in a fictional world. So today's recommendations are for recent Fiction releases that I've been wanting to check out.

Keep reading and see you in-store soon!

Recent Fiction Titles

The Last Mapmaker

By Christina Soontornvat

From Christina Soontornvat, the visionary and versatile author of two 2021 Newbery Honor Books, comes a high-seas adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world.

In a fantasy adventure every bit as compelling and confident in its world building as her Newbery Honor Book A Wish in the Dark, Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman—and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands—a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining—she must weigh the cost of her dreams. Vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, this tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.

Christina Soontornvat grew up in a small Texas town, where she spent many childhood days behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant with her nose in a book. She is the author of many books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor Books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, also a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalist. Christina Soontornvat lives in Austin, Texas.


By Blake Crouch

A Science Friday Book club pick!

An ordinary man undergoes a startling transformation—and fears that all of humanity may be next—in the mindblowing new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and Recursion Logan Ramsay can feel his brain…changing. And his body too. He’s becoming something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human. As he sets out to discover who did this to him, and why, his transformation threatens everything—his family, his job, even his freedom. Because the truth of what’s happened to him is more disturbing than he could possibly imagine. His DNA has been rewritten with a genetic-engineering breakthrough beyond anything the world has seen—one that could change our very definitions of humanity. And the battle to control this unfathomable power has already begun. But what if humankind’s only hope for survival lies in embracing this change—whatever the cost? Which side will Logan take? And by the time it’s over, will he—and the people he loves—even recognize him? Upgrade is a stunningly inventive, ferociously plotted science-fiction thriller that explores the limits of our humanity—and asks what’s at risk when technology lets us reengineer not just the world around us, but ourselves. Story Locale: Near-future United States

Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His novels include Recursion, Dark Matter, and the Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a television series for FOX. Crouch also co-created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He lives in Colorado.