In The News

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Preorder by April 24

Posted by on Mar 19, 2016 in In The News | 0 comments

Reserve your copy today

All orders MUST be in by April 24th

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Join us on July 31st for a special midnight launch party!

So many surprises…!harrypotter

Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh Author Visit

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in In The News | 0 comments

The Hunterdon County Library welcomes New York Times best-selling author Kathryn Aalto on Sunday March 13 at 2pm at the Hunterdon County Library Main Branch on Route 12. Ms. Aalto is the author of the recently released The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh (Timber Press), a vivid guide to the Ashdown Forest in England, the area that became A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard’s Hundred Acre Wood where Christopher Rob- in and his friends could be found.

Kathryn Aalto is a writer, landscape designer, historian and lecturer. For the past twenty-five years her focus has been on places where nature and culture intersect: teaching literature of nature and place, designing gardens, and writing about the natural world; she is also the author of Nature and Human Intervention.

This event is co-sponsored by the Book Garden of Frenchtown; books can be ordered in advance at or 908-996-2022.

The event is free to attend but reservations are recommended. Contact the Hunterdon County Library at 908-788-1434 or visit and click on the Calendar of Events.



Mystic Poets Visit Frenchtown

Posted by on Mar 4, 2016 in In The News | 0 comments

The Book Garden continues its celebration of stories through poetry with a special visit by Marshall James Kavanaugh and Stephanie B on their regional spoken word tour.

When: Monday, March 7

Time: 6pm to 8pm

Where: The Book Garden, Frenchtown

Kavanaugh will be sharing his new collection of poetry, Travel By Haiku, Volumes 1 through 5: Still Trippin’ Across the States. His performance will bring the audience along on the road with him across the country taking brief pauses to admire the air, the sunsets, the beaten earth, the tall trees on high mountains, and the breath of the ocean surf. Video projection and audio accompaniment will add to the audience’s dream cycle. Samples of his work can be found at

Stephanie B. is a native farmer from New Jersey, who takes cues from the earth, her voice, and the human body to create an exciting narrative between modern humanity and our primordial roots. Her newest work titled Letters To Aunt Lucy, uses the letter form to create an often personal reminiscing on where the human species originated from and how far it has to go. Samples of her work can be found at


Refreshments will be served. Let us know you will be there:


Kitchen Conversation February Book Selection

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in In The News | 0 comments

Our Kitchen Conversation book club pick for February is Me, My Hair, and I. But we won’t be meeting in the kitchen this month. Join us on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd at Purotu Salon next door – what better place to let your hair down and talk about, well, hair!

This terrific collection of essays will make you laugh a lot, and cry a little.

Email us if you want to be part of the discussion.

hair book

A Look Back at a Great Year

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in In The News | 0 comments

Before we jump into another year we wanted to take a look back at 2015 –wonderful moments, fantastic stories, amazing friends. Thank you to everyone who made this year so special.

Our World Explorers Kids Club got their monster on with the authors of Peanut Butter and Brains and The Monster Under My Bed. They also visited The Spinnery to learn about all things soft and woolly and threw a Curiosity Day birthday party for their favorite curious monkey! They’ll be doing a little cooking at The Lovin Oven later this winter.

Carrie Rollwagen, fellow Indie bookshop owner and author stopped by for a visit and shared some of the many values of supporting neighborhood businesses that she outlines in her action-provoking book, The Localist.

We teamed up with the Hunterdon County Library to host out-of-this-world authors/illustrators for our first Hunterdon Comic Fest. The event was a huge success. Mark your calendars for second Comic Fest on August 6, 2016!

The Book Garden kicked off the summer with a Frenchtown Celebration to thank everyone who helped make our history book, Frenchtown, NJ: History Along the River, a reality. The Frenchtown Celebration is now our annual welcome to summer. Stay tuned for the 2016 date. Fairies, dragons and other mystical creatures visited the Imaginarium Summer Campers and other galaxies were explored during the Radio Theater Teen Summer Workshop. Speaking of radio theater – the River Town Radio Theatre troupe was featured quarterly on WDVR and performed live at Virginia Napurna Cultural Arts Center.

Bastille Day Fete, Riverfest and Milford Alive brought some of our favorite local authors out to share their work and The Book Garden showcased many of our favorites during our first Local Authors Salon. Among those were Mark Lyons who we would like to congratulate once more for his collection, Brief Eulogies at Roadside Shrines, being honored as one of the “Best Books of 2015” by Kirkus Reviews.

The Book Garden was the setting for book launch celebrations for Tommy Reynolds and Laurie Wallmark, proud authors of The Game: Baseball and America, Growing up Together and Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, respectively.

Around the neighborhood we welcomed Mary Lou Quinlan as keynote speaker at the Hunterdon Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Summit, and partnered with the Delaware Valley Education Foundation to bring award-winning CNN Correspondent Tom Foreman, and acclaimed author of 22 books, Beth Kephart, to the high school to discuss their work. Beth also taught a memoir workshop at the National Hotel that was so well received we hope she’ll come back in 2016. Pulp Vegetarian Juice Bar was the setting for an emotional evening of poetry with Douglas Piccinnini and Ross Gay, whose latest collection, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, was a finalist for a 2015 National Book Award.

The year wouldn’t have been complete without a visit from our hometown favorite Elizabeth Gilbert. Liz signed copies of her New York Times Best Seller, Big Magic, and spent a magical afternoon engaged in a kitchen conversation on living a creative life.

These are just the highlights of a fabulous year. Thanks to all of our guest authors and friends for enriching our lives. We have a feeling 2016 is going to be another great chapter for The Book Garden and for Frenchtown. Thank YOU for being part of our ongoing celebration of stories and all the best to you and yours for 2016.

See you in the New Year!


Caroline & Robert

(Katie and Ollie too!)




November Literary Events in Frenchtown

Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in In The News | 0 comments

Frenchtown continues to be a draw for writers and readers and welcomes several poets and authors throughout the month of November.

National Book Award Finalist Ross Gay and acclaimed poet Douglas Piccinnini will be reading on Sunday, Nov. 8, at Pulp Vegetarian Juice Bar and Cafe. This will be a very special evening of poetry in Frenchtown starting at 5 p.m.

Gay is the author of three collections of poetry: “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), “Bringing the Shovel Down” (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011), and “Against Which”(Cavankerry Press, 2006). He currently teaches at Indiana University and in Drew University’s Low-Residency MFA program in Poetry and Poetry in Translation.

Piccinnini is the author of a book of poems, “Blood Oboe” (Omnidawn, 2015) and “Story Book”: a novella (The Cultural Society, 2015). Piccinnini’s writing has been featured by The Academy of American Poets, Antioch Review, Lana Turner,, The Poetry Project Newsletter and The Seattle Review—among other publications. He lives and works in Lambertville.

Earlier that day, The Book Garden will be hosting author Tommy Reynolds from 1-3 p.m., for a book discussion and signing of his new novel. Reynolds’ debut novel, “The Game: Baseball and America Grown’ Up Together,” follows the Miller family as they chase the American dream from the green fields of Ireland to the heartland of America. Trace the paths baseball and America take as they grow and struggle in unison over time. Tommy Reynolds lives in Clinton, with his three children.

On Sunday, Nov. 15, award-winning author Beth Kephart will be teaching a memoir workshop at The National Hotel followed by a signing at The Book Garden. Kephart is the author of 21 books. She most recently launched “Love: A Philadelphia Affair,” a collection of essays and photographs. The memoir workshop will be held from 1-4 p.m. For details or to register visit or call 908-996-2022.

Young readers will want to join the World Explorers Kids Club on Friday, Nov. 20, at The Spinnery on Race Street where they will learn where the yarn in their scarves and sweaters comes from and read some warm and fuzzy stories too! The fun is from 4-5 p.m. and World Explorers welcomes children 6ish to 11ish.bethk

Debut Novel Follows the American Dream, and the American Game – Baseball

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in In The News | 0 comments

The Book Garden in Frenchtown will be hosting author Tommy Reynolds on Sunday, Nov. 8th for a book discussion and signing of his new novel.

Reynolds’ debut novel, The Game: Baseball and America Grown’ Up Together, follows the Miller family as they chase the American dream from the green fields of Ireland to the heartland of America. Trace the paths baseball and America take as they grow and struggle in unison over time. As baseball becomes a part of the American fabric as the country becomes a world power, with baseball ahead of the curve on some of the issues of the times; capitalism (the good and the bad), civil rights, unions, personal liberties. Reynolds takes readers on a thoughtful (and often funny) gallop across three centuries, fraught with laughter and irony.

Tommy Reynolds is a lifelong, passionate baseball fan, who was pulled in hook-line and sinker as a kid by Chris Chambliss’ 1976 pennant-clinching home run, which sent the Yankees to their first World Series in twelve years. In the midst of a successful business career, he has finally written the novel about his greatest passion, America’s pastime. In his spare time he plays racquetball and umpires men’s league baseball games.   He lives in Clinton, N.J. with his three children.

The Book Garden in Frenchtown welcomes author Tommy Reynolds for a book signing and discussion on Sunday, November 8th from 1pm to 3pm. Come out and meet a local author and hear what inspired his great American story.

The Book Garden is located at 28 Bridge Street in Frenchtown, NJ. For details, contact the store at 908-996-2022, www.bookgarden.bizor or visit The Book Garden on Facebook. Refreshments will be served.1926706_1047361698649677_5165392956790662188_n

Fall is a Great Time for Book Lovers in Frenchtown

Posted by on Oct 28, 2015 in In The News | 0 comments

Book lovers of all ages are invited to join in the Book Garden’s celebration of stories this fall. The Indie bookshop located in Frenchtown, will be hosting several notable authors over the next several weeks.

Every kid wants to meet this monster – join us for a little reading and Halloween fun before Trick-or-Treating! The Monster Under My Bed author Tom Gilleece will be stopping by on Oct. 31st from 1pm to 3pm for reading and crafts!

Hometown favorite, Elizabeth Gilbert, will be visiting The Book Garden for a signing on Sunday, Nov. 1, from 2-5 p.m.. Her recently released title, “Big Magic,” hit the top of the New York Times Bestseller list days after it was published.

Tommy Reynolds will be launching his first novel, The Game: Baseball and America Growin’ Up Together on Sunday, Nov. 8 with a celebration and reading from 1pm to 3pm. That same evening National Book Award Nominne Ross Gay and acclaimed poet Douglas Piccinnini will be reading at 5pm at Pulp Vegetarian Restaurant.

Author Beth Kephart will be teaching a memoir workshop at The National Hotel on Sunday, Nov. 15, followed by a signing at The Book Garden. She also will be a guest instructor at Del Val High School on Nov. 16. Kephart is the author of 21 books. She most recently launched “Love: A Philadelphia Affair,” a collection of essays and photographs.
To purchase tickets or RSVP for any events go to or call 908-996-2022.

Banned Book Week Highlights Harper Lee’s Contribution to Life and Literature

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in In The News | 1 comment

By Robert Rando
Published in the Bucks County Herald (Opinion and Editorial Page)
September 24, 2015

Banned Book Week is just around the corner – Sept. 27 to Oct 3 – and the added awareness brings to mind an array of titles that have been deemed inappropriate for a variety of reasons, some more obvious than others. The banning of books is usually seen through the eyes of elected school boards and defined by the local and stoic regional governments where political correctness is the rage. Eventually though, victory is written by the winners. The problem for those of us living in the moment is the drifting winds of the politically correct fashion police.

When To Kill a Mockingbird emerged from the mind of Harper Lee in 1960 it moved in two streams. In one it garnered rave reviews from the likes of The New Yorker and Time magazines, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961. In the other stream it entered the classroom (1963) and immediately became the focus of controversy.

Racial slurs, profanity, and blunt dialogue about rape led people to challenge its appropriateness in libraries and classrooms so often that, today, the American Library Association reports that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most challenged classics of all time.

What is poison to some is the elixir of change to others. To Kill a Mockingbird is literature using fiction to bring the community discussion around to community needs. It painted real-life pictures of a complex time in American history. Why is this so important as written, racial slurs and all? Look and see. We are almost 100 years post Atticus defending the alleged rapist and we are still mired in financial uncertainty for large segments of our population; rapes still occur on a daily basis (anyone want to go to college); and racial strife continues to permeate many if not all aspects of social interaction.

Harper Lee showed us how the moral compasses of those living in Maycomb/Monroeville were being challenged both from within the focal community and from the higher authorities which wished to rule from afar. And, while this small enclave in Alabama was front and center, it was by no means irregular. Our Nation as a whole suffered these same multilayered and multileveled problems.

Now 55 years later we have another installment from Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman. Unfortunately, the investigation of this book’s storyline became, for a while, sidelined by the side story; did she really want this book printed. According to some, the heavily hyped appearance of this book reflected an ambitious publishing venture.

What eventually became Go Set a Watchman everyone knows was Harper Lee’s first attempt and, as one can attest from the masterwork which followed, not her best but, it is now out in public domain and needs to be read.
It is interesting to note that Go Set a Watchman was her first work and as so, her first description of Maycomb yet when Jean Louise gets off the train and drives to Atticus’s house with Henry we, like Scout, are back home.

There are some problems with the book itself, drafts usually do have problems. Certain sections might be hard to read through if one was not familiar with her second work. For example, if you don’t know Atticus as a hero how could you understand his morality shaping itself to both the law and his upbringing which dictates a slower pace of change? Atticus is a credible hero but, you might have to read both books to know that. As the story threads begin to coalesce in Go Set a Watchman, the pace picks up and the complex personal and societal struggles are placed on the table for all to discuss and argue about.

It is also likely those with politically correct mindsets will complain but, while political correctness is good for polite conversation, it does not help one really understand the mindset at large throughout history. Good literature is needed for this.

Those who are interested in what is certain to be a spirited conversation about both books should mark their calendars for a book discussion that will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21st at the Early Bird Espresso & Mercantile in Frenchtown.

The event is being organized by The Book Garden and those interested in attending should email A $5 refreshment fee is being requested of all attendees.