WHERE IT ALL STARTED

Our Origin Story

Kathryn and Britni met in 2011 working at a bookstore and haven't stopped talking about books since. Second Story is our way of inviting everyone else into that conversation.

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IN THE LIFE OF PUPPETS BY TJ KLUNE

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Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time

Kelsey Willoughby doesn't have time to pursue her writing dreams. Imagination doesn't pay the bills, and she's busy saving her beautiful bookshop from online competition, hotel developers, and the sneaking suspicion that nobody reads anymore. Not to mention all those voices telling her she doesn't have talent. But then the vacant lot of weeds next door starts to shimmer. When Kelsey stumbles into a luminous nighttime garden party, larger than the vacant lot that holds it and filled with enigmatic guests, she suspects they hold the key to saving the bookshop, and perhaps even to her own mysterious origins.

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The Spellshop

Kiela has always had trouble dealing with people, and as librarian at the Great Library of Alyssium, she hasn't had to. She and her assistant, Caz, a sentient spider plant, have spent most of the last eleven years sequestered among the empire's precious spellbooks, protecting the magic for the city's elite. But a revolution is brewing and when the library goes up in flames, she and Caz steal whatever books they can and flee to the faraway island where she grew up. She's hoping to lay low and figure out a way to survive before the revolution comes looking for her. To her dismay, in addition to a nosy--and very handsome--neighbor, she finds the town in disarray. The empire with its magic spellbooks has slowly been draining power from the island, something that Kiela is indirectly responsible for, and now she's determined to find a way to make things right. Opening up a spell shop comes with its own risks--the consequence of sharing magic with commoners is death. And as Kiela comes to make a place for herself among the quirky townspeople, she realizes that in order to make a life for herself, she must break down the walls she has kept so high.

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Lula Dean's Library of Banned Books

Beverly Underwood and her arch enemy, Lula Dean, live in the tiny town of Troy, Georgia, where they were born and raised. Now Beverly is on the school board, and Lula has become a local celebrity by embarking on mission to rid the public libraries of all inappropriate books--none of which she's actually read. To replace the "pornographic" books she's challenged at the local public library, Lula starts her own lending library in front of her home: a cute wooden hutch with glass doors and neat rows of the worthy literature that she's sure the town's readers need.

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Currently Reading:

Moon Soul

A Cozy Science Fantasy Novella. August has never been good with change and isn't sure who she is beyond her job of reading memories in the sand. When she comes to the conclusion that she has to quit her job, she's left with an overwhelming sense of emptiness. What follows is the quiet chaos of a girl regaining control over her life on a small desert moon.

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Currently Reading:

Shark Heart

A beautifully written debut novel of marriage, motherhood, metamorphosis, and letting go, this intergenerational love story begins with newlyweds Wren and her husband, Lewis--a man who, over the course of nine months, transforms into a great white shark.

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Savor It

Sage Byrd has lived in the coastal town of Spunes, Oregon (not to be confused with Forks, Washington) her entire life. She's learned to love her small world, with the misfit animals on her hobby farm, and her friendships with the town’s inhabitants. But when her 5-year relationship ends and her ex, town-golden-boy Ian, suddenly gets engaged, Sage needs a win―something that will convince everyone to stop pitying her all the time, and to put Ian in his place. The Festival of Spunes, the town’s annual summer competition, would be the perfect opportunity. She just needs a partner.

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Currently Reading:

The Island of Missing Trees

Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he's searching for lost love. Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited--- her only connection to her family's troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.

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Currently Reading:

The Ministry of Time

A time travel romance, a spy thriller, a workplace comedy, and an ingenious exploration of the nature of power and the potential for love to change it all. In the near future, a civil servant is offered the salary of her dreams and is, shortly afterward, told what project she’ll be working on. A recently established government ministry is gathering “expats” from across history to establish whether time travel is feasible—for the body, but also for the fabric of space-time.

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Currently Reading:

Someone You Can Build a Nest In

Shesheshen has made a mistake fatal to all monsters: she's fallen in love. Hunters chase Shesheshen out of her home and off a cliff. Badly hurt, she's found and nursed back to health by Homily, a warm-hearted human, who has mistaken Shesheshen as a fellow human. Homily is kind and nurturing and would make an excellent co-parent: an ideal place to lay Shesheshen's eggs so their young could devour Homily from the inside out. But as they grow close, she realizes humans don't think about love that way.

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Currently Reading:

A Sorceress Comes to Call

Cordelia knows her mother is . . . unusual. Their house doesn't have any doors between rooms--there are no secrets in this house--and her mother doesn't allow Cordelia to have a single friend. Unless you count Falada, her mother's beautiful white horse. The only time Cordelia feels truly free is on her daily rides with him. But more than simple eccentricity sets her mother apart. Other mothers don't force their daughters to be silent and motionless for hours, sometimes days, on end. Other mothers aren't evil sorcerers. When her mother unexpectedly moves them into the manor home of a wealthy older Squire and his kind but keen-eyed sister, Hester, Cordelia knows this welcoming pair are to be her mother's next victims. But Cordelia feels at home for the very first time among these people, and as her mother's plans darken, she must decide how to face the woman who raised her to save the people who have become like family.

WHAT WE RECOMMEND

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