Hartfield's Top 21 in '21

2022 is well underway, but we're still thinking about some of the books that sparked passionate in-store discussion, inspired unscheduled social media posts, and earned places of pride on our staff pick shelves in 2021. We just can't completely leave last year behind until we give them their due (and, believe me, we are ready to leave last year in the dust!).

Sages Reader Spotlight: Jaleigh Johnson

It’s our last Sages Reader Spotlight of the year! We’ve had a great time hearing from some of the amazing book lovers in our community — and getting some excellent recommendations and inspiration for the 2021 Sages Read Challenge! Check out the links below for a final round of recommendations. The deadline for turning in your challenge sheets to Hartfield is Friday, December 31, at 6:00 p.m. Look for the 2022 launch in February! 

A Summer of Romance

Happy Bookstore Romance Day, friends!

In honor of one of our favorite holidays, we're sharing some serious romance reading inspo from two awesome Hartfield customers, Mary and Nick Ramey. I mean, seriously, look how cute they are!! heart

Sages Reader Spotlight: Bob Ross

Sages Reader Spotlights are an opportunity to shout out some of the many amazing book lovers in our community. We think you'll see some familiar faces in these reader profiles and we know that you'll get some great recommendations and inspiration to help you complete your own Sages Read 2021 Challenge. Don't miss the links to this Sages Reader's recommendations below. We've even matched them up to this year's challenge categories for you.

February Midwest Connections Picks

Following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling's search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy, but also endless life.

Midwest Connection: Tola Rotimi Abraham lives in Iowa City and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has taught writing at the University of Iowa.

Perfect for: Readers of literary fiction and stories of family bonds. For fans of Margaret Wilkerson Sexton and Michael Donkor.

Pick this up if you liked: Housegirl by Michael Donkor Stay With Me by Ayò̥bámi Adébáyò̥ She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore

Praise for Black Sunday: "[A] piercing, supple debut . . . Abraham stuffs her novel past brimming, but its sophisticated structure and propulsive narration allow her to tuck in a biting critique of corrupt colonial religion and universally exploitative men . . . Twin sisters cut adrift in a perilous, duplicitous world learn that 'only the wise survive.' A formidable debut."    -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Hartfield's Best of 2019

Our booksellers read a LOT of great books in 2019. If you visited the bookstore last year, you probably saw some of these books in displays, or as featured staff picks, but here they are all together -- our personal favorites of the year.

It's probably no surprise that this list could have been much longer, but we did our best to exercise some restraint and narrow it down to our top five in each category: Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, Young Adult and Middle Grade, Graphic Novels, and Picture Books. If you didn't get to them in 2019, it's not too late! There are some great recommendations here to add to your 2020 reading list.


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