Thomas Christopher Greene to sign/read at Bradford Public Library, Sat. March 6, noon-2pm

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Come Sat., March 9, 12-2pm at the Bradford Public Library, Bradford, VT & meet Thomas Christopher Greene, author of six novels, including the international bestseller The Headmaster’s Wife. His newest book is Notes From the Porch, written during Covid lockdown. … Continue reading

More Galleries | Leave a comment

Buy online with Star Cat Books!

Just about every book in print (and journals and DVDs and audiobooks and games and, and, and!) are in our online store! Click on the blue BOOKSHOP image to the right of this post, and you’ll go to the page affiliated with our online store. We hope you’ll use this throughout the year for books for you, for friends, family, neighbors, your pets, whoever! Our books at Bookshop are often discounted (just like the Big A), are mailed directly to you (or wherever you want), and you can find just about every book in print!

Note that at the very bottom of the web page, there is a link to Gift Certificates, which you can send to anyone with an email address. Give the gift of books any time of the year!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Review: Such a Bad Influence

Book By: Olivia Muenter
Review by: Mae Vincent
March 7, 2024
Mae’s rating: 4/5 stars

Content warning: Eating disorders, abuse, death, trauma

Such a bad influence is a thriller that follows Hazel, the older sister of prominent social media influencer Evie Davis. The book begins with Evie disappearing on a live stream. We follow Hazel as she tries to connect the pieces of her sister’s disappearance while simultaneously confronting the complicated relationship with her mom, sister, and the people in Evie’s life.

I really enjoyed this book. It was an overall fast-paced read, with a few slower spots throughout. I’d say this is common with most thrillers. The reader gets to delve into the action, and then relax a little as the story continues to build.

The story gives lots of insights into the inner workings of social media. With fictional threads from different social media platforms. The realistic comments from Evie’s fans really pulled me in, to the point I forgot she wasn’t a real person. “Do I miss hating her now? Yes.” (Muenter, 222) This quote perfectly captures the relationship so many people have with influencers. It’s clear the author did her research, or, if she’s like me, spends a lot of time on the internet.

I appreciated the spotlight on common criticisms of children on social media. Things like predators, exposure to the harmful expectations of internet beauty standards, and the financial burden on kids too young to be worrying about it. This has been a hot topic on the internet the past few years, especially with TikTok becoming a huge platform for child influencers.

As I was reading, I found myself drawing a lot of connections to Sharp Objects by the popular thriller writer Gillian Flynn. Both books center the eldest daughter returning to their dysfunctional home, while struggling to unravel a series of mysteries. This comparison is a compliment to both writers, as I loved the themes and topics throughout.

I did only give this book a four out of five stars for one reason. The ending is not super clear, and leaves a lot up to the reader’s imagination. For some, this may be their favorite part, others may end up throwing it across the room. I’m somewhere in the middle, I didn’t hate the ending, but I also wanted more, and so my rating reflects that.

Otherwise, the writing was quite good, so was character development. For someone who wants to curl up with an intriguing page turner, I’d most definitely recommend this. This book was Olivia Muenter’s debut and I cannot wait to see what else she writes!

Work Cited
Muenter, Olivia. Such a Bad Influence. Quirk Books, 2024.

Posted in book reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

I Hope to Have a Daughter like Hazel Sharp in Daughter of Mine 

Written By: Sable Quinn

Sable’s Rating: 5/5 stars

Content Warning: this novel references three different deaths in different manors, one being a malicious homicide.

Daughter of Mine, Megan Miranda. MarySue Rucci Books, April 9, 2024. 354 pp.  

Daughter of Mine is Megan Miranda’s newest thriller.** This novel surrounds Hazel Sharp and the mysterious secrets that are uncovered in her hometown of Mirror Lake when a drought strikes the East Coast. When I tell you that I have never ripped through a thriller so fast, I unequivocally mean it. I have not been this enraptured in a novel, rapt attention, since The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. I sat in the bookstore I work at (Star Cat Books in VT!), for the entirety of the regular slow February day, and I DEVOURED this entire book. Ask my boss, I had sunk into the armchair in the corner and was saying ‘wtf’ and ‘holy sh*t’ every five minutes. The intricate weaving that Miranda is able to create within this thriller, Daughter of Mine, is mindblowing. 

We start with the main character, Hazel Sharp, an interior designer that lives in Charlotte. She is brought back to her hometown of Mirror Lake, to deal with her father’s, the police chief, affairs after he suffered a sudden heart attack and passed away. Coincidentally, while Hazel is in town, the drought that has been creeping on the East Coast has finally caught up with Mirror Lake, and a sunken car is discovered in the waterway/dam that leads into the hills out of town. The car has no plates, the VIN has been scratched off, etc. The car has clearly been tampered with to conceal the identities of anyone who may have been involved. As the story progresses (in which Miranda sprinkles in foreshadowing events, crazy important background information, and twists and turns around every corner—effectively keeping you on the edge of your seat and inexplicably invested) another sunken car is uncovered as the water levels continue to recede. This time, Hazel unintentionally aided in the discovery of the second sunken vehicle, and dun dun dun, it turns out to have been sunken in the lake directly behind her father’s former house–the house she grew up in!

Another wild part of the story that comes into play quite early is that Hazel is not actually her “father’s” daughter. Hazel’s mother met Holt when Hazel was around eight years old, the same age as Holt’s youngest son, her brother Caden. Hazel’s mom, Libby, and Holt fell in love and married, in which Hazel essentially became Holt’s daughter and they never looked back. However, another freaking twist(!!), when Hazel was a preteen, on a random weekday her mom stole all of the valuables out of their house, withdrew all of the money in all of their accounts, and seemingly just split, leaving Hazel in the process. The only piece of her mother she had after that point was a letter that her mother had left under her pillow. The letter was addressed: “Daughter of Mine,” a nickname that Hazel’s mom used quite often when addressing her daughter. All that was written in the letter was “I hope one day you can forgive me.” 

So many different aspects and plots contribute to this story, I am honestly one hundred percent in awe of Megan Miranda and her pure genius writing skills. This story was expertly and artfully crafted and you absolutely need to RUN to the closest bookstore on April 9, 2024, to buy Megan Miranda’s newest thriller, Daughter of Mine

I’ve essentially summarized the entire plot of the novel for you, but you will be sitting on the edge of your seat for the entire novel. You will be second-guessing whomever you think the antagonist is with every turn of the page. It took me only a day to read this book from cover to cover. I so desperately would like to write an in-depth review of this novel, but I will painstakingly wait until the novel has been in bookstores for some time before I let my fingers run wild with the spoilers. 

Daughter of Mine is the newest thriller written by Megan Miranda. This next hit will be in bookstores on April 9, 2024. It is a masterfully woven tale that enraptures the reader from the first page. Be prepared to portray a zombie-like state while reading this novel because if y’all are anything like me, you will ignore the entire world for the duration it takes you to absorb every word betweens these covers. 

**Content Warning: this novel references three different deaths in different manors, one being a malicious homicide. 

Posted in ARCs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Days I Loved You Most by Amy Neff Has Already Become the 2024 Book I Love the Most

The Days I Loved You Most by Amy Neff Has Already Become the 2024 Book I Love the Most

Written By: Sable Quinn

Sable’s Rating: 5/5 stars

Content Warning: there is mention of chosen suicide due to a terminal illness.

The Days I Loved You Most, Amy Neff. Park Row Books, July 30, 2024. 336 pp.

Review on Amy Neff’s The Days I Loved You Most, her newest romance/women’s fiction novel, set to be in stores by July 30, 2024. This newest romance revolves around Joseph and Evelyn, our pair of soulmates. We can watch flashes of their journey of falling in love together and the beautiful life they build for themselves. When Evelyn is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, however, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Release date: July 30, 2024.

I don’t want this ARC review to sound too fangirly. I just contain too much unexpected (in a good way!) love and passion for The Days I Loved You Most by Amy Neff.

There are so many things I admire about this book. If we’re being honest, I would die to develop an author’s voice and magic like Amy Neff’s when I grow up. We will start by discussing her main characters and soulmates, Joseph and Evelyn. Neff is extremely talented at bringing their romantic relationship to life. Her writing successfully transported me into this world; it felt as if Joseph and Evelyn were my own parents.

We start at the Oyster Shell Inn (the Inn that has been in Joseph’s family for generations) when Joseph and Evelyn share their tragic news with their three children. Evelyn has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. From this diagnosis, Evelyn has decided that in a year, she will live her final days to the fullest and consequently end her life in one year. Joseph, deciding he could not live without his beloved soulmate, reveals that he, too, is ending his life with Evelyn in a year. 

Wait – that’s completely ridiculous and insane?

Here’s the backstory: Evelyn was never close with her mother while growing up and later on into adulthood. However, Evelyn’s mother was the first to get diagnosed with Parkinson’s, Evelyn becoming essentially the ‘default caretaker’ due to no other family in the picture. Therefore, Evelyn had a front-row seat to how this disease ravages a person’s mind and body. She was present when her mom started struggling to recognize Evelyn or forgot her daughter’s name, etc. Evelyn had to endure her mother’s newly failing memory while still witnessing the millions of ways Parkinson’s wittles a person down until they are nothing more than a shell. 

Evelyn had a difficult decision to make. She felt the only way she could exit this life with her pride and dignity still intact and without leaving as merely a shell of a person. She needs to end her own life on her terms. Once you read this gorgeous love story, you will understand why Joseph felt he needed to join Evelyn. There is no Joseph without Evelyn, just as there is no Evelyn without Joseph. 

A brief look into Joseph’s mind on the matter:

“This has nothing to do with how much we love you all, please know we love you so much. But you have your own lives, separate from ours, and those lives will go on. Our lives—” I gesture at Evelyn “—have always contained each other. I’ve only known this world with your mother in it. A world without her, frankly, isn’t one I want to wake up in”

(Neff, 75)

Instant tears. 

The next GIANT elephant we need to address in our metaphorical room is the AUDACITY Amy Neff has to write something this beautiful and heartbreaking. I am being entirely literal when I tell you that I could barely go five pages without breaking into tears. The writing voice Neff holds, paired with the flashback and present-day alternating perspectives, helped flesh out a connection from novel to reader. For me, the first time I truly connected with this novel, the quintessential point when the book sucks you in, and from that moment, you cannot press play on life again until you finish this book.

My moment struck here:

“What are you doing?” She blushes as she asks.

“Memorizing you, at sixteen.” It jolts me as I admit it, sixteen, the way it makes me want to see her at every age, to file a his one away for later

(Neff, 41)

I will be forwarding my therapy bills to Amy Neff for the foreseeable future.

Okay, okay. Enough of my fangirling! The Days I Loved You Most, the newest romance/women’s fiction novel by Amy Neff will be in stores on July 30, 2024. This novel is one of the most beautiful works I have had the privilege to read, and it made me feel so much. Do yourself a favor, read Neff’s newest novel, and find out whether it means as much to you as it now means to me!

**Content Warning: there is mention of chosen suicide due to a terminal illness.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Bridge to Bat City, by Ernest Cline, illustrations by Mishka Westell. Little Brown, 308 pp., hardcover $17.99, publication date April 2024. Ages 8 to 12.

Review by Mae Vincent 10/28/23

Bridge to Bat City is a fun adventure about a girl named Opal who loses her mom and moves in with her uncle. The pair end up befriending a colony of bats and working throughout the story to find a safe place for them to live. 

I really liked the book, it was emotional, funny, and entertaining. There isn’t a dull moment and it’s hard to put down. I think kids age 8 to 12 would really appreciate this book but it’s a good story for all ages. The art in the book is also very cool. Lastly it’s educational with information about the history of music and bats in Austin, Texas. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Four Four-Letter-Words to Praise Gretchen McNeil’s Newest Novel, Four Letter Word: Rich, Real, Eerie, Wild

Four Four-Letter-Words to Praise Gretchen McNeil’s Newest Novel, Four Letter Word: Rich, Real, Eerie, Wild

Written By: Sable Quinn

Sable’s Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Content Warning: there is mention of the ‘Casanova Killer’s’ victims, the gory details of some of the cases, and how he brutally assaulted and murdered the women.

Four Letter Word, Gretchen McNeil. Disney Hyperion, March 5, 2024. 320 pp.

Review on Gretchen McNeil’s Four Letter Word, her newest thriller, set to be in stores by March 5, 2024. This newest thriller is based around Izzy Bell and her small hometown of Eureka, California. The audience is given Izzy Bell, her swoon-worthy and gorgeous love interest, a study-abroad student the Bell family is hosting from Florence, Italy, and a serial killer terrorizing the West Coast, nicknamed the ‘Casanova Killer,’ what could go wrong? Release date: March 5, 2024.


My absolute favorite thing about McNeil’s writing style is her knack for description. It does not matter if she is introducing a new character or detailing the charming Bell house (a charming Queen Anne Victorian, if you will) her detail seemingly allows their readers to be transported directly into whichever scene she is presenting us with. I know not only the entire layout of the Bell house, but I can also vividly see all of the tiny quirks and small intricacies of the different rooms; Harry’s workshop represents his inner turmoil with endless unfinished projects and scraps of materials littered everywhere, Izzy’s bedroom in the attic and how it represents both her safe haven and her prison, etc.

Not only is McNeil’s attention to detail causing flutters in my stomach, but her characters are some of the most layered characters I have come across, so much so that I can still sense who each character is and what they embody.

Izzy is our lost lamb. She does not know who she is, what she wants, or how to stand up for herself. She plans her life out just to appease her mother’s long-lost dreams. Those long-lost dreams of Beth Bell’s rapidly became Izzy Bell’s future: studying abroad in Florence, Italy, and majoring in Art History. This is not the future that Izzy wants. She isn’t even sure what she wants in her future. Instead, Beth is using her daughter to vicariously live the life she never got the chance to live. Izzy goes along with her mother’s plan, the Italian Scheme, as we call it, just to ensure that Beth remains happy and peace restored throughout the Bell household. 

Beth is despair, heartbreak, and fraying seams all wrapped into one person. She met Harry Bell in college, where she was on track to study Art History in the rolling, golden hills of Florence, Italy. However, as life does, it interrupts Beth’s plans. She ended up falling pregnant with Izzy’s oldest brother, Taylor, and just like that, her Italian dreams were shattered. She ended up leaving her New England hometown and moving across the country to the small fishing village of Eureka, California, with Harry. It is perpetually overcast and an extremely slow-living community within Eureka, i.e. Beth Bell’s personal Hell. Having been trapped in Eureka for almost thirty years, Beth is now made up of nothing more than isolated loneliness and bitter resentment. 

Jake, my lovely, selfless, darling Jake Vargas. This guy undoubtedly became my favorite character, other than Izzy, of course. He is the embodiment of a ‘gentle giant.’ From the moment Jake returns from his internship in Monterey and is introduced, it is like a missing puzzle piece is found. He is the only character within this entire novel that has actually given a single shite about our lovely Izzy (which is bs!), he is the only one that truly knows Izzy, and he is the only one who takes any time to make sure Izzy is okay. Jake is the only thing that has brightened the colors and turned the sounds up in Izzy’s world. 

We must protect Jake Vargas at all costs. 


I do have to take a moment to show my appreciation to McNeil for not only avoiding making the Bell family a ‘hallmark’ family. Instead of creating the idea of what a ‘normal’ family looks like, McNeil inserted real-life problems into their dynamic. 

I am particularly grateful and impressed that she has Beth Bell struggles with Bipolar II within the novel. I feel that mental health is not introduced enough in fiction; it is usually understated and glossed over or overstated and exaggerated. The representation of mental health within literature has improved with time, but having one of the main characters in Four Letter Word representing Bipolar Disorder is phenomenal.

Not only does McNeil include Bipolar Disorder in her novel, but she describes the illness the best that I have witnessed so far. As aforementioned, Bipolar is usually understated or overstated within literature, and McNeil successfully avoids doing either. Not only does she weave Bipolar in pretty well which represents Beth’s fluctuating moods, manic episodes, hair-trigger temper, and major depressive episodes, but she also inserts Jake’s dad dealing with PTSD from active duty. McNeil expertly and seamlessly includes these details in her excellent writing style. 

Four Letter Word and Gretchen McNeil, are incredibly real and authentic for including this information. She also introduces the serial killer into the story well. The serial killer is almost happening in the background for the first few chapters, only really coming into the story when mentioned in Izzy’s brief true crime podcast episodes in the beginning. The serial killer is a more pressing topic once Alberto enters the story. McNeil slowly introduces the serial killer aspect to the story, which I love, rather than dramatizing the serial killer angle like most books tend to do. I find that most novels tend to compare serial killers of any type to dramatized versions like Criminal Minds. McNeil, however, does the opposite.


As the book starts to pick up, around the time Alberto arrives to stay with the Bell family (about page 50), I constantly feel like the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up while reading this book. Any encounters the reader ended up witnessing with the ‘Casanova Killer,’ my fingertips were white from gripping the book so hard, I was quite literally sitting on the edge of my couch, and my sweet little grandmother was getting pretty annoyed with my high-pitched chatter as I rambled and freaked out during the more intense scenes later in the book.

During the essential ‘thriller scenes,’ McNeil impressed me with the unfolding of the serial killer’s actions, making sure to weave a brilliant and articulate plan for the killer. Every reader lives for the moment the entire novel and plot click together. The feeling is as if every question I have ever thought up is answered without the questions ever passing my lips.


Unfortunately, I do need to leave you guys with some mystery to uncover for yourselves when Four Letter Word, the newest thriller by Gretchen McNeil, is released on March 5, 2024.

The only complaint – not necessarily a complaint – would be the slow take-off. As aforementioned, the book started to pick up around the fifty-page mark for me. The only reason it is such a gradual take-off is because McNeil is so invested and skilled with her backstory and details throughout the novel. However, this quickly became one of my favorite books because of the phenomenal writing, the clever and intricate way the thriller aspect of the book unfolded, and simply because my heart is bursting and rooting for Izzy and Jake. 

Four Letter Word, the newest thriller fiction novel that Gretchen McNeil created and will be sharing with the rest of the world, will be in stores on March 5, 2024. It is an intricately woven thriller with a hint of a love story to give my fellow hopeless romantics’ bleeding hearts some action of their own.

**Content Warning: there is mention of the ‘Casanova Killer’s’ victims, the gory details of some of the cases, and how he brutally assaulted and murdered the women.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Send an e-gift card!

Want to send a gift card for Star Cat Books to someone via email? We have you covered!

Just click the link below & choose a gift card today. They don’t expire, and you can buy a friend an e-gift card in any amount from $10 to $500!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Last Pride is a Pandemic of Emotions and an Innate sense of Belonging with The Z Word’s Ragtag Group

The Z Word by Lindsay King-Miller

Happy Snow Day from Star Cat Books! We thought that since we had to take a snow day, that we could still cozy up with a nice ARC and share our thoughts with our lovely customers and friends! Without further ado…

Written By: Sable Quinn

Sable’s Rating: 5/5 stars

Content Warning: there is a brutal scene involving Wendy, Sam, Aurelia, and Logan when the police are called outside of the pharmacy. The scene does show an instance of police brutality that some readers may prefer to skip.

The Z Word, Lindsay King-Miller. Quirk Books, May 7, 2024. 256 pp.

Review on Lindsay King-Miller’s The Z Word, a new spin on the horror genre. A story surrounding the bisexual main character, Wendy. The audience is thrown directly in the middle of gay drama, the start of the apparent zombie apocalypse, disgusting hard-seltzers, and all of it coming to you from what has been dubbed the ‘Last Pride.’ Release date: May 7, 2024.

When one hears the collective words ‘zombie apocalypse,’ ‘gay pride,’ ‘outbreak,’ etc, you know this new novel, The Z Word by Lindsay King-Miller, will either be the next book to write home about or it will be the cheesiest god-forsaken thing ever to grace this Earth. I mean, hell, even if you hear the words ‘gay’ and ‘apocalypse’ being even briefly mentioned in the same vicinity of each other, the hair stands up on the back of your neck just because this could have the potential to be the literary world’s worst nightmare if not executed properly.

King-Miller falls into the former category because The Z Word is an intricately crafted story of life interruptions and what it means to be human. All the while, King-Miller also has her audience experiencing an entire range of emotions throughout the entire journey of her latest work. I swear I transitioned through a whole spread of emotions while reading this lovely book, even the ones I only break out for special occasions!

I wasn’t sure whether King-Miller’s writing would even catch my attention at first, simply due to the misleading, slower introduction to the book. The first scene starts with the first Pride party of Pride weekend. Our married couple, transgender Aurelia and lesbian Sam are hosting it at their house (side note: I am LIVING for the inclusivity King-Miller brings to the table within her new book. The amount of new knowledge and phrasing she has introduced me to about the queer community as a fellow queer person myself is enlightening and phenomenal. I felt, while reading this book as if I were progressing my knowledge and awareness while simultaneously enjoying the book and doing what I love).

We first meet our main character, Wendy, while she rummages through the Seabrook hard-seltzers. Seabrook is a hard-seltzer company that only just recently started trying to make a difference within the queer community strictly due to their association and good publicity/sales that comes from sponsoring this Pride event. We are artfully informed of this through King-Miller’s weaving of subtle information and her use of flashback chapters to help us fill in their histories with each other and Seabrook within their friend group.

As the party continues late into the night, we are introduced to all of the convoluted queer drama and our main characters: Wendy, Aurelia and Sam, Leah (Wendy’s ex-girlfriend that is kind of now participating in a poly-relationship with Aurelia and Sam — awkward!), Logan (our drag queen goth god — hearts for Logan!), Sunshine (our she/they pizza delivery driver who is a wet dream themselves and completely slays the entire zombie apocalypse), and our very butch-lesbian bestie Beau! All the while King-Miller is laying the land for us, she is also creating vague and strange behavior within others that starts in our peripheral vision during the party. This upcoming release is a crazy, entertaining, heart-warming, hilarious, and even romantic Horror book. 

As aforementioned, King-Miller has a certain mastery of her craft so she can emote directly off the page and into our emotions. Let me just tell you this: the contempt I first felt toward Aurelia, Sam, and Leah was unmatched; the heartbreak I could feel echo in my chest during the **police brutality scene in front of the pharmacy was earth-shattering; I felt deeply the deafening and isolating loneliness, crippling regret, and involuntary self-sabotage that follows Wendy everywhere she goes as well as the giddiness Sunshine undoubtedly has swimming in their stomach.

King-Miller is an insanely talented author. She is particularly gifted with her world- and character-building, but the life she can breathe into her complex, damaged, and downright relatable characters is an extremely rare talent that only a few seem to truly do well. 

Wendy, King-Miller’s main character, feels as if she were an extension of myself. I am confident that King-Miller has created an infinite and wholly relatable main character that will resonate with a specific part of her sapphic audience. I hope I was able to help give you a sneak peek at the truly genius story that King-Miller created. In this book, she shares a novel with us that represents a lot of the different types of drama that all Queers have experienced at one point or another, which intrigues her audience even further but also aids in healing our own experiences. I hope Lindsay can sweep you off your feet as she did to me!

The Z Word, the newest horror fiction novel that Lindsay King-Miller created and will be sharing with the rest of the world, will be released on May 7, 2024. It is an immense and captivating sapphic horror with a hint of a love story! Feel free to use our Star Cat Books Bookshop to order your copy of The Z Word! Stay safe during the snow day we’re having! Books always keep me warm and safe inside, just saying!!

**Content Warning: there is a brutal scene involving Wendy, Sam, Aurelia, and Logan when the police are called outside of the pharmacy. The scene does show an instance of police brutality that some readers may prefer to skip.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Pray For the Night Notes from the Porch is Released

Hi, Hello, Howdy!

My name is Sable Quinn, I’m the newest edition to Star Cat Books! I’m currently pursuing a BA in English Literature, hopefully then moving on to obtain my MA next. I own two cats, Ari and Edgar, and an eight month old puppy, Padraic, who’s not necessarily a puppy anymore! I actually grew up coming in to Star Cat with my grandmother; ten years later and here I am as Nancy’s newest bookseller and website contributor! I will be sharing my book reviews right here on the Star Cat website, so stay tuned:))

Notes from the Porch, Thomas Christopher Greene. Rootstock Publishing, February 20, 2024. 130 pp.

Review on Thomas Christopher Greene’s Notes from the Porch, a collection of essays from the pandemic that not only helped Greene survive the pandemic with his sanity intact but also helped himself and others through some of the lowest of the lows. Release date: February 20, 2024.

Sable’s Rating: 4.5/5 stars.

I’m going to be honest with you. I’ll tell you my secret. I’m not the biggest fan of reading nonfiction. I am no scholar. I am simply a girl who reads fiction. However, something about Thomas Christopher Greene’s Notes from the Porch had my attention in a chokehold.

Maybe it’s this nonsensical idea of the future and love that his essays were able to connect and relate with my reader’s brain. The entire book, after reading it and sitting with the stories and his voice for a few days, just emanated a house that is filled with warmth like the peak of the sun when you’re tanning. The entirety of your skin feels freshly baked and incredibly good, filled with laughter that makes your abdominal muscles clench with pain the day after, filled with a love that wraps around your entire being – his book embodies the sense of what home feels like. 

Thomas Christopher Greene, you, sir, have compiled one hell of an essay collection. A pandemic essay collection, no less. The undertone that is present throughout each of his essays, the soul that lives in these stories, is love. He expertly weaves an all-encompassing sense of whole and genuine love within each essay. It’s as if this man has a prized custom-carved loom that weaves all of his gorgeous tales for him. 

I adored the essays that Greene picked to include in Notes from the Porch. Unfortunately, a girl has to leave some of the mystery for you to uncover yourself. Alas, I will only share and discuss my sappy thoughts, big feelings, and outrageous opinions regarding my top two favorite essays with you, just to give you a little taste of the magic.

I’m going to start with our runner-up, a very close second-place recipient: “Strangers.” I am particularly attached to the balance of descriptors that help the audience orient themselves with our setting (i.e. warm enough to work on the porch, having our setting be the infamous porch, the neighborhood of old Victorians, downtown Montpelier, VT, a “front porch culture,” women pushing strollers, our former garden designer, our favorite neighborhood boy, etc) and his setting scene for a smooth inclusion of his thesis. Within this particular essay of his, he is reminiscing and sharing with us his memory of witnessing two older strangers basking in the spontaneity of life and two souls finding one another again. 

These two older runners, the man with the thick gray hair and the brunette woman, both of whom are running a route that passes by Greene’s porch, are both running a relatively fast past. Suddenly, they both stop dead in front of each other in the middle of their supposed paths, almost as if the world stopped right then and there with them. They embrace in a quick but passionate kiss before they break apart and resume their separate journeys. 

All the while, Greene has been witnessing this encounter with a front-row seat on his porch. He cannot let go of the strangeness of this situation he has just witnessed, wondering if they somehow knew each other and coincidentally ran into one another or if they were strangers and it was meant to be kismet. His curiosity gets the best of him as he shouts after them, ‘I thought you were strangers!’

To which both the man with the thick gray hair and the brunette woman responded, ‘We are!’

This became my runner-up because not only does Greene’s writing translate into this beautiful poetry that will affect and inspire thousands of people across the world, spreading a little good at a time. However, Greene helps show his audience that love is everywhere, no matter who these two characters were in their current lives, their souls recognized one another. Soulmates in another life who happened to run upon each other and pause the world for one second to be able to connect, even ever so briefly. 

What interpretations did you get from “Strangers?”

My champion, my favorite essay of the entire collection: ‘Regret.’ I believe that this particular essay is one where Greene excelled the most with his craft. His gorgeous way with words transported me directly into the scene he painted. I can feel the faint artificial cool breeze from the fridge door leaning open, I can hear the addictive crooning of the Bahamas playing from his phone ‘I’m lost in the light/I pray for the night/To take me, to take you too…” I can so clearly watch Greene and this willowly, beautiful, brunette looking as if their two bodies were sinking into one. Ever so slowly, they sway to the beat right where the sharp fridge light with a hint of yellow melts with the stark white moonlight on the hardwood in the kitchen.

Greene stealthily coats his words in grief, heartbreak, and longing. As you read, his words emanate the pain we experience alongside these two slow-dancing in the kitchen. Pain because their love is showing the audience the right person, wrong time, type of love. A tragic situation of two beings barely missing each other in their lifetimes. 

Whenever “Lost in the Light” by Bahamas pops up on my Spotify now, I will always think of Greene’s gorgeous essay, “Regret,” and the art of dancing in the dark, with only the refrigerator light shining on things we take for granted.

I hope I helped you gain a vivid idea of what a fantastic literary voice Thomas Christopher Greene has revealed in his latest work. His latest collection of essays, Notes from the Porch, is a collection of essays that he wrote during the worst of the pandemic that helped him and others survive and cope. These short essays will make your heart jump with joy, make your inner child laugh, and make a tear or two escape at least once. Greene created a great work that is sometimes nostalgic, sometimes brings forth great memories, helps you remember to see the good in people, and also helps you feel a little bit better about the world. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I did!

Notes from the Porch, a collection of essays by Thomas Christopher Greene, will be released on February 20, 2024! Greene might be familiar if some of you have read and/or heard of his award-winning book: The Headmaster’s Wife. Feel free to use our Star Cat Books Bookshop to order your copy of Notes from the Porch or The Headmaster’s Wife. Enjoy it curled up with a steaming cup of your favorite coffee (or tea! I don’t judge!). My favorite coffee is a hot hazelnut (or maple if I’m feeling adventurous) oat milk latte. Curl up with your favorite beverage, grab the warmest cat, and enjoy this lovely read! Let me know which essay ends up being your favorite!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unexpected Day Closed: Wednesday, Dec 6

Happy St Nicholas Day!

Star Cat Books apologizes that they will be closed Wednesday, December 6, due to suddenly announced major work on our building by the owner, Jared Shipman – work that surely needs to be done right away (I don’t envy him what he has to do tomorrow!).

Wesley the bookstore cat will get a day off & be ready to help everyone on Thursday and certainly over the weekend. Drop in and say hello – he’s a growing boy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment