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Bookmarked Adventures

Michelle Hayes Uhlfelder

Posted on Jun 21, 2023

As an avid reader, bookseller and branding professional at the beloved family-owned bookshop in Seaside, it's safe to say that books pulse through my veins. I am passionate about weaving magic within the stories we tell, whether through literature that enriches a family's vacation experience or narrating Sundog Books' story to listeners all around the world. It’s a pretty sweet gig.

But what happens when I actually take a vacation and become a tourist? Well, like many of our own visitors to Sundog Books, I’ve learned that I can’t resist the siren call of a bookshop or library no matter the location or inconvenience to traveling companions.

During our last excursion to New York City, in just four days I had dragged the family through no less than 16 literary emporiums. Or when in London, I schlepped the crew all the way to Paris via the Chunnel for my singular purpose of visiting the famous Shakespeare and Co. bookshop across from Notre Dame.

Any bookworm would agree, exploring literary sanctuaries is pure bliss. But these trips also provided invaluable insights into the experience our beachgoers feel when they step through our own beloved Sundog Books doors.

Indie bookshops like Sundog Books offer a magical refuge from the everyday, providing an outlet for creative exploration and allowing visitors to tap into their innermost thoughts. They are one of the last places alive where daydreaming can be done freely and openly. And what better way to feed the brain than by immersing yourself in pages of possibilities or seeing another person’s point of view? And to do the exploring with a pile of literary gems, a stool and jazz music humming in the background — book heaven!

If you are looking for the perfect read to lounge around with poolside in Seaside, come say hello at Sundog Books. Our beachside bookshop has been serving this community for over 36 years. Allow us to find you a story that will make memories as magical as this beautiful place itself.

Bookmarked Adventures

Michelle’s Upcoming Summer Reads

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women: A Novel by Lisa See

Genre: Historical Fiction

“Lady Tan's Circle of Women” is an inspiring tale by one of my favorite authors, Lisa See, recounting the incredible story of a 15th-century Chinese woman physician. Despite traditional conventions forbidding female doctors to treat patients, Yunxian and her best friend Meiling bravely vow to help women in need. When tradition attempts to keep them apart with predetermined marriages, they must find their own paths towards freedom and empowerment, aided by the unshakable power friendship provides.

Always Isn’t Forever by J.C. Cervantes

Genre: YA Romance

In J.C. Cervantes' YA romance, love doesn't die easily. Hart Augusto and Ruby Armenta were the perfect high school couple until tragedy struck and tore them apart forever ... or so they thought. An extraordinary turn of events leads to a mysterious divine intervention that gives Hart one more chance at being with his beloved Ruby in an unexpected way — inhabiting another body: that of local bad boy Jameson. Can true love really conquer all? Or will fate keep these soulmates from bridging the gap between their lives? Find out if it’s time for heartache or happily ever after in this sparkling tale of forbidden attraction between two star-crossed lovers who fight against all odds to be together again.

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende

Genre: Literary Fiction

From the New York Times acclaimed author of “A Long Petal of the Sea” comes “The Wind Knows My Name,” a captivating story that takes place in the past and present. In 1938, six-year-old Samuel Adler is forced to flee Nazi Germany on his own aboard Kindertransport with nothing but his violin in hand. Eighty years later, Anita Diaz takes an entirely different journey when she’s forcibly separated from her mother at the U.S. border fleeing their home in El Salvador for refuge — only able to take comfort by escaping into a world within her imagination crafted back home with her sister. When these two lives collide, Samuel discovers he has family ties between both stories. It results in this beautiful narrative that sheds light on what parents go through, all while creating worlds fit for dreams, never meant to be silenced no matter how tumultuous life may get.

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Genre: Fiction

Elin Hilderbrand has a way of making novels light yet engaging enough to keep me flipping pages. In “The Five-Star Weekend,” Hollis Shaw’s seemingly perfect life unravels after tragedy strikes. But in gathering four friends from different phases of her life for an unforgettable weekend on Nantucket, tensions, emotions and unexpected secrets come to light. With the bestselling author of “The Hotel Nantucket” at its helm, this book promises a captivating story filled with friendship, love and self-discovery.

The Whispers by Ashley Audrain

Genre: Fiction

“The Push” messed me up in such a good way. Ashley Audrain has a gift and if you’re ready for another one that puts that feeling in the pit of your stomach, buckle up buttercup. In the affluent neighborhood of Harlow Street, four families with perfect lives are suddenly thrown into upheaval when an unexpected tantrum from their popular hostess sets off a devastating chain reaction. “The Whispers” is a gripping story that shows what can happen in only three days as each mother grapples to make sense of her unchecked impulses — while one young boy’s life hangs precariously in the balance.

About Michelle Hayes Uhlfelder:

Take a "page" from Michelle's book and discover the story of Sundog Books as she serves not only as one of our booksellers, but spearheads the branding of the bookshop. From WaterColor where has resided with her family for over 15 years, she’s an avid reader of pretty much all genres and always loves swapping book recs with visitors and locals of all ages. If you can't swing by, check out her "favorites shelf" full of instant must reads or visit her Instagram book account @thebookdarling.