Kelly

kelly staff picks picture

Updated 12/1/21

Kelly bought Fountain Bookstore in January 2008 after managing it since 2000 and she has been a professional independent bookseller since 1989.

Kelly is currently serving a third term on the board of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance and just concluded her second term as president for the same organization.   She works often with the American Booksellers Association serving on various committees and is a regular speaker at bookseller gatherings on topics ranging from brand building to utilizing the newest technologies for bookstores.  

In 2019 she was awarded one of three Booksellers Without Borders scholarships to the Turin Book Festival where she addressed Italian booksellers on the topic of Amazon's effect on the American bookselling market and the potential threats posed to Amazon on international markets in the future.

She loves to talk to folks about books, audiobooks, and the book business, food and bev, business and management theory in general (a real geek about that, actually), cats, overproduced action movies, and life in general.  Just ask!!

She's an omnivore of a reader, rarely refusing to at least try reading any category of book. Unfortunately, we also suspect she eats them.

For more on Kelly's history with Fountain and Fountain history in general, see this great article in Richmond Magazine online!

Books: 

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A Season for Second Chances Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593085417
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - October 19th, 2021

I truly adored this second chance at romance story set on the stormy coast of England. A restauraneur in her mid-late forties has finally had enough of her compulsively unfaithful husband and business partner. She starts a new life with a temporary lease in a cottage in a small seaside village and quickly feels at home despite run-ins with the grouch nephew of the elderly landlady. He is determined to sell the historic property to a developer for leveling. Most of the first half of the book is spent with our heroine forging an empowered identity with the help of a group of women friends and her adult twin sons. In the smoldering second half, the landlady's nephew and she start sparking and action of all kinds ensues! I truly loved this book. Made me want to cheer!!!


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Disorientation: Being Black in the World Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609457396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Compass - November 30th, 2021

Disorientation is a book to be read slowly and with care. Ian Williams best-selling author of my staff favorite novel Reproduction (remember the amazing cover???). I also really loved his collection of poetry Word Problems from last year. Using his formidably flexible writing chops, Williams invites us to an urgent conversation on race and racism in this collection of essays that draw directly from his experience of life as a Black man. He covers all subjects from the merely annoying to the tragically deadly aspects of racism from a worldwide perspective having lived in Trinidad, Canada, and the U. S. This book is approachable for all readers and is intended to be a civil conversation about the ugliest of subjects. It's illuminating, dizzying, and intensely personal. I can't recommend it highly enough. Also, exceptional in audio: read by the author.


Small Things Like These Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802158741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - November 30th, 2021

American Christmas Stories Cover Image
By Connie Willis (Editor)
$29.95
ISBN: 9781598537062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Library of America - October 26th, 2021

I'm Dreaming of a Chris for Christmas: A Holiday Hollywood Hunk Coloring and Activity Book Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781637740200
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Smart Pop - November 2nd, 2021

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Nives Cover Image
By Sacha Naspini, Clarissa Botsford (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609456665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - May 4th, 2021

Nimbly translated from the Italian, this slim read features an unlikely heroine in Nives (pronounce KNEE-vus). Nives lives in a very, very small town in Tuscany and recently found her husband of 50 years dead in a pig trough. She doesn't cry when she finds him or at the funeral. Eventually, she does get a bit lonely and takes in one of her farm’s chickens into the house to keep her company. The chicken gets sick and she calls the local drunk veterinarian. The majority of the action takes place almost entirely in one tense phone call in the middle of the night. I've never read anything like it. The closest thing I can compare it to might be Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf except funny. In the course of this call she exposes all the dirty little secrets of the last 60 years in this small town. She rails about the unfairness of love, the limit of her gender, parenthood, aging, and lost opportunities and betrayals. Shocking and raw, melancholy and side-splittingly funny: Nives can be read in one sitting. Great for book clubs!


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The Santa Suit: A Novel Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250279316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 28th, 2021

SIGNED COPIES

Mary Kay Andrews has done it again! 

Ivy Perkins has left the big city of Atlanta after a messy divorce that had her walking away from her business. Looking for a new start, she buys an old farmhouse in a small town and tries to start over. Her fixer-upper is way more of a project than she anticipated and getting a new company off the ground is proving to be a challenge as well. 

Cleaning her new home, she discovers an old Santa suit with a moving note stuffed in the pocket in a child's hand. In a story that is part mystery, part second chances, and all heart, Andrews checked every box for me in this one. I finished it with a deep sigh, a happy smile, and ready to spread some holiday cheer of my own. I would be delighted to wrap copies for you to give as gifts. These signed copies will make a wonderful present! 


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The Matzah Ball Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780778311584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mira Books - September 28th, 2021

This book hit it out of the park for me! Meltzer has delivered a dream of a novel worthy of rereading more than once. Rachel Rubenstein is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she has written dozens of bestselling Christmas romances under the name Margot Cross. The daughter of a Jewish Manhattan power couple rabbi and doctor, she lives in fear she will be found out. Jacob Greenberg reenters her life after an 18 year abscence. They were first loves then bitterest enemies at summer camp when they were 12. Both have held a grudge all this time, but beneath it sparks fly. Rachel is also combatting chronic illness. Will Rachel learn to be true to herself and her family? Will she find true love? This is a clean romance I can hand to anyone and I love the Hanukkah happy ending! 


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African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781616209001
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - October 19th, 2021

This is a book written for kids 9-12, but anyone could benefit from this general introduction to these great figures from African history pre-colonialism. I know almost nothing about African history because I had an average public school education in the 70s and 80s. That's true of a lot of people. Expand your horizons with this exceptionally well-written and informative portrayal of 10 figures who lived from ancient history like Aesop (yes, he was African...I didn't know either) to the 16th century queen of Benin. Inventors, scientists, military leaders, and more. Buy one for yourself, sure, but while you're at it, buy another or a couple more to donate to schools, libraries, community centers, or to give to freinds and family. Outstanding book! Beautifully illustrated as well! 


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I Eat Poop.: A Dung Beetle Story Cover Image
By Mark Pett, Mark Pett (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250785633
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - October 26th, 2021

Dougie the Dung Beetle has been pretending to be a ordinary ground beetle and hiding his lunch so the other bugs in his class don't find out he eats poop.  He knows he should be proud of who he is, but he really wants to hang out with the popular bugs so he continues to hide his true nature and might even humiliate his old friend from bug pre-school Herman Housefly just to maintain the lie. Instead, he admits he eats poop with a big bite of his poop sandwich and suddenly all the bug are shouting their secrets: a second-grader praying mantis "So, my mom ate my dad.", "I have ears in my armpits" Manuel Moth, "I breathe through my butt" Tammy Tick. Endpapers have all the bugs and their weird traits. I love this book! 


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Fan Fiction: A Mem-Noir: Inspired by True Events Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250274366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 12th, 2021

Yes. This is Data from Star Trek Next Generation.

This semi-autobiographical thriller from the television icon is a meditation on the relationship between a celebrity and his fans. Set in 1991 as STNG cast him into global fame, the actor receives a package and a bunch of creepy letters. The result is a fast-paced novel where the character Brent Spiner is in fear for his life and his c career! 

This book was an awful lot of fun and had a slightly noir feeling between the zaniness. A must for Star Trek fans (me) and a good read for the general sci-fi/comic-mystery reader. 


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Sid Meier's Memoir!: A Life in Computer Games Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393868296
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 7th, 2021

I am only a casual gamer (things you can pop on your phone), but I really loved this book. 

Over his four-decade career, Sid Meier has produced some of the world’s most popular video games, including Sid Meier’s Civilization, which has sold more than 51 million units worldwide and accumulated more than one billion hours of play. Sid Meier’s Memoir! is the story of an obsessive young computer enthusiast who helped launch a multibillion-dollar industry. Writing with warmth and ironic humor, Meier articulates his philosophy that a video game should be “a series of interesting decisions”. Meier also shares his perspective on the history of the industry, the psychology of gamers, and fascinating insights into the creative process, including his rules of good game design. Good gaming is good storytelling. I think that's why I liked this book so much. 


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No Gods, No Monsters (Convergence Saga #1) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781982603724
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blackstone Publishing - September 7th, 2021

I've been struggling with words to describe what a marvel No Gods, No Monster is as a story. It starts as what looks like a simple and all too common case of police brutality and then morphs into a wild and weird tale of monsters of legend living among us disturbed by something enough to reveal themselves. Protests across the globe, an increase in hate crimes and suicides. People are disappearing. It's intense, it's political. I've dog-eared and reread so many pages my copy is broken-spined and fat. There were moments of abject horror followed by passages of surprising tenderness and empathy. Worlds of emotions. Truly impressive. And the monsters! Not since China Miéville have a seen monsters this creative and terrifying.


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Be My Ghost (A Haunted Haven Mystery #1) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781496731357
Availability: Comes From Our Warehouse - Usually Ships in 3-10 Days
Published: Kensington - August 31st, 2021

First in the new Haunted Haven series, this cozy really charmed me! Maureen Doherty, a sportswear buyer for a department store that has recently shut its doors, and her golden retriever Finn have decided to leave Boston for sunny Florida where Maureen has mysteriously inherited an old inn. I could almost feel and smell the sea spray and the sand of this Gulf of Mexico coastal village. The long-time residents of the hotel (both alive and dead) and various guest and townspeople are meticulously drawn and provide a large pool of suspects for the murder victim. The mystery elements are great, but it's the attention to scenic and character detail that has me clamoring for the next installment! Fun!


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Delia Suits Up Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593201619
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - August 3rd, 2021

A young woman working in finance in New York is frustrated by the lack of opportunities for and obvious prejudice against women in that high stakes world. Playing a boozy game of truth-or-dare with her two roommates on the eve of her birthday, she makes a wish to have, um, man parts and she wakes up the next day a dude! Determined to make the best of a surreal situation, Delia (now Richard) goes out in this new body and Power Ranger pink oxford to teach Wall Street who's boss. Freaky Friday meets feminism as our hero(ine) confronts demons inner and outer and throws in a charming romance to boot! In the hands of a lesser writer, this premise could be a disaster. Aksel is up to the task of acknowledging gender spectrums and discriminations whild delivering a saucy, sassy comedy! 


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The Dating Playbook Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781538716670
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Forever - August 17th, 2021

Rochon's follow up to The Boyfriend Project focuses on Taylor, one of the three women who found friendship in that story by getting even with a catfishing jerk who had played them all. I love this series and these full-realized, deep characters. Taylor is trying to build her fitness consulting business and crosses paths with Jamar, a young, injured football player in need of physical and personal rehabilitation. Taylor is battling demons of her own: an undiagnosed learning disorder, financial insecurity, family drama and shame over all of it. Circumstances require the couple to engage in a "fake relationship" which grows increasingly hot with each page. Everything about this book is perfect: the portrayal of supportive women's frienships, a relationship heavily based on consent, super hot love scenes. Touchdown! 


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The Book of Accidents: A Novel Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780399182136
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - July 20th, 2021

Nate and Maddie return to Nate's hometown with their sensitive son Oliver to start a new life in a small town, escaping the stresses and dangers of city life. Nate has inherited his abusive father's home and the family set about making it and the area their home. Nate starts seeing things. Maddie, an artist, witnesses her sculptures come to life before she enters fugue states. Meanwhile, Oliver is just trying to navigate his freshman year in high school without getting ambushed by the local bullies even as he starts to understand he has disturbing powers of empathy. Tensions are high as evidence of a local serial killer emerges decades after his death in the electric chair. Fans of old school Stephen King epics will find much to love here. But Wendig has a voice all his own and his take on the small-town family horror story is not to be missed!


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Morte (War with No Name #1) Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781641292931
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Press - July 13th, 2021

We have sold over 100 copies of this awesome book in combined formats. It's been a favorite for YEARS! The new one in the series comes out at the end of August 2021 and they've released this one in a $9.99 trade paperback to introduce newcomers to the series! We have discovered there is another sentient species on the planet and it's ants. And they don't like what we've done to the planet. So the weaponize our housepets and it doesn't end so well for the humans. But there are a few of us left. The main action in this first book focuses on Morte, a soldier cat in the ant army who used to be a housecat named Sebastian. These are not cute books. Think Animal Farm meets World War Z. Cats have automatic weapons and they use them. 


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Night Came with Many Stars Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781567927030
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: David R. Godine Publisher - June 8th, 2021

The latest from one of my favorite authors is a multi-generational saga that takes place in rural Kentucky. It goes back and forth between two characters’ timelines.  Carol’s starts in 1933 when she is lost in a poker game by her alcoholic father.  The other follows her grandson Samuel. Crossing both timelines is Carol’s developmentally disabled son Rusty, Samuel’s Uncle. Van Booy’s ability to show the depths of his characters in such spare and crystal clear prose never ceases to astonish me. He is one of the most gifted and empathetic writers I've ever read.  This novel is alternately beautiful and tragic. It details the lives of the people of Appalachia in a way that neither fetishizes them or turns them into caricatures (a common offense even with writers who are originally from the region which the author is not).  These characters are based on actual people the author has known for decades. He has served them well with this haunting novel.

 


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Arsenic and Adobo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593201671
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 4th, 2021

Mia P. Manansala 9780593201671 - Need something light and yummy, but still substantive enough to satisfy? Look no further than this little gem! Filled with delicious culinary food lore and ample Filipino cultural details, this cozy murder mystery set in an Illinois small town is full of red herrings and a full cast of colorful, well-composed characters. Some light romantic intrigue as well. Napakahusay! (Excellent! In Tagalog.)


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The Safety Trap: A Security Expert's Secrets for Staying Safe in a Dangerous World Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250258144
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - May 18th, 2021

Reading The Safety Trap has made me more aware of the dangers that surround me every day, but it has also given me actionable tools to prevent them. This is an incredibly clear and comprehensive guide to personal safety written in direct, no-nonsense prose that is not only informative, it is also empowering.  Coursen not only made me take steps immediately to improve the safety of my person, my information, my loved ones, and property, he made an urgent, approachable task.  His shared personal stories of his own close calls and those of the clients of his security firm and his former military and bodyguard days make learning about these scary topics approachable.  Unpleasant truths make for hard reading, but facing them with this author as your constant ally makes it easier. Highly recommended for all adults.


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The House on Tradd Street Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780593335192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - July 6th, 2021

I love this series and I love it even more with the first book having been re-released in a trade paperback at only $9.99! A real estate agent who can see ghosts and a handsome writer obsessed with mysterious historical secrets meet and sparks fly! And ghosts get dangerous! Set in historic homes of Charleston, these are breezy reads and also suspenseful! Gorgeous setting, great characters and there are soon to be 7 of them so you don't have to wait to dive deep into a great series! And the author's a peach. Bonus! 


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What Could Be Saved: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982150624
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - August 31st, 2021

This was one of those books that got lost in the shuffle due to the fact that our doors weren't open for me to share it with you. Let's try this again now that the paperback is out. What an extraordinary family saga!   I stayed up late several nights in a row because I simply could not put it down.  The story focuses on a family: mother, father, two sisters, and a brother.  It takes place in Thailand in the 1970s when the children were young and spans the decades to 2019 Washington D.C.  The family is shredded by a tragedy in the 1970s and the lies and hidden secrets that reverberate from this one event change their lives forever.  There is also a mystery element.  This book is unique, but the prose and the quiet dread that explodes with unexpected confrontations and revelations brings to mind A Little Life, The Sheltering Sky, Euphoria, Tangerine, and other favorite books of mine.  I cannot recommend it more highly.  Extraordinary!