Books, Movies, CDs

Searches title, author, summary, staff name, and comments.
How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories book cover
How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories book cover

How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories

J. A. Zalasiewicz

552 /Zalasiewicz
Nonfiction, Science

"Rocks are time machines and the keepers of our history. This guide is a geological field trip through Earth's incredible rock formations and the stories they hold"--

Melody's picture

What a beautiful book! The cover lures you in and keeps its promise of providing detailed photos and illustrations. This is an example of excellent book design, IMHO. We had a rock-based advent calendar this last December and I enjoyed learning about the stones with my family. This book takes a deeper look into the science of rock formation. A top pick for geology lovers! -Melody

Beneath book cover
Beneath book cover

Beneath

Cori Doerrfeld

jE Doerrfel
Picture Books, Kids, Nature

Finn is in a bad mood, so his grandfather takes him on a walk in the forest, and tells him about all the things that are beneath the surface of plants and animals--and even people.

Casey's picture

Beneath this cover is a touching story about recognizing what we cannot see in our world and in one another. Cori Doerrfeld's illustrations and prose make for an emotional yet healing read. Readers will be rewarded by spending some time with the endsheets and exploring what lies beneath the dust jacket as well. -Casey

Book lovers book cover
Book lovers book cover

Book lovers

Emily Henry

FICTION Henry Emily
Romance, Humor

"A by-the-book literary agent must decide if happily ever after is worth changing her whole life for in this insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. Nora Stephens' life is books--she's read them all--and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters' trip away--with visions of a small town transformation for Nora who she's convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they've met many times and it's never been cute. If Nora knows she's not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he's nobody's hero, but as they are thrown together again and again--in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow--what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they've written about themselves"--

Melody's picture

Not sure how I snagged a copy of this when it was on the shelf. It's in demand right now! But the timing was perfect. I see Emily Henry's books pop up in bestseller lists, but I've tended to pass them by. I think I read something that compared her rom-coms to Mhairi McFarlane's--whom I can't read enough of now--and that sealed the deal. I also loved the idea of reading an enemies-to-lovers title about a literary agent and an publishing house editor. Reviews call this a hilarious book and I agree! I'm about halfway through and hope to finish it up this weekend. (I took a binge-reading break to work on a jigsaw puzzle and build lego sets with my son.) Looking forward to this weekend! -Melody

Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain book cover
Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain book cover

Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain

Miranda J. (Miranda Jane) Aldhouse-Green

200.9361 /Aldhouse-Green
Nonfiction, History, Religion, Political

Two thousand years ago, the Romans sought to absorb into their empire what they regarded as a remote, almost mythical island on the very edge of the known world - Britain. The expeditions of Julius Caesar and the invasion of AD 43 brought fundamental and lasting changes to the island. Not least among these was a pantheon of new Classical deities and religious systems, along with a clutch of exotic eastern cults including Christianity. But what of Britannia and her own home-grown deities? What cults and cosmologies did the Romans encounter and how did they in turn react to them? Under Roman rule, the old gods were challenged, adopted, adapted, absorbed and re-configured. In this fresh and innovative new account, Miranda Aldhouse-Green balances literary, archaeological and iconographic evidence (and scrutinizes their shortcomings and how we interpret them) to illuminate the complexity of religion and belief in Roman Britain, and the two-way traffic of cultural exchange and interplay between imported and indigenous cults. Despite the remoteness of this period, on the threshold between prehistory and history, many of the forces, tensions, ideologies and issues of identity at work are still relevant today.

Candice's picture

This book is literally as the blurb says--it describes the religious atmosphere of Britain when the Romans blasted onto the scene, and uses various historical accounts and archaeological finds to give evidence. If that's your thing, then you'll love it! It can lean a little to the technical side, and assumes the reader might have a slight comfort level reading socio-archaeological articles, but the information is presented in nice, small bites so you don't get lost in the details. If deep British history is your cup of tea, and you don't need a lot of color photos to spice up the info, then you won't be disappointed. -Candice

A hard day for a hangover : a novel book cover
A hard day for a hangover : a novel book cover

A hard day for a hangover : a novel

Darynda Jones

MYSTERY Jones Darynda
Mystery, Romance

"Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there's just too much going on right now. There's a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There's her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who's out to singlehandedly become Del Sol's youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there's drama with Levi Ravinder-the guy she's loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him-and Sunshine-for good. Like we said, the new day can take a hike. The blockbuster conclusion to the bestselling Sunshine Vicram trilogy, A Hard Day for a Hangover will have readers laughing and cheering to the very last page"--

Melody's picture

This is the final book in the Sunshine Vicram series by Darynda Jones. I added the first book, A Bad Day for Sunshine, some time ago. After speeding through the second in the series, it felt like I had to wait forEVER for the third. It finally came out on December and I was able to read it over my holiday staycation. Once again, Jones had me turning pages one after another. I was invested in the series, the mystery, and the characters--once I put it down I couldn't wait to pick it back up again. Some of the tying up of loose ends felt a bit cliche and melodramatic for me, but hey, I can tolerate that if it keeps me laughing and has that happy ending. -Melody

We all want impossible things : a novel book cover
We all want impossible things : a novel book cover

We all want impossible things : a novel

Catherine Newman

FICTION Newman, Catherine

As Edith, her best friend of forty-two years who is dying of ovarian cancer, spends her last days at a hospice near her, Ashley, stumbling around into heartbreak, helps Edith celebrate her life as they reminisce, hold on, and try to let go.

Becky's picture

Who knew that heartbreak and comedy could coexist so well in one book?! -Becky

Dirt Creek book cover
Dirt Creek book cover

Dirt Creek

Hayley Scrivenor

MYSTERY Scriveno Hayley
Fiction, Mystery

"In Hayley Scrivenor's Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together. When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther's tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home. When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther? Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town"--

Candice's picture

This was a detailed and engrossing read. I especially liked the child characters, and felt that their thoughts and actions rang very true. This book was more about the procedure and the lives of the people than the crime itself, really, and has a full resolution that both smacks of the cruel unfairness of life, and the profound consequences of peoples' actions. -Candice

The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World book cover
The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World book cover

The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World

Malcolm Gaskill

974.402 /Gaskill
History

"A gripping story of a family tragedy brought about by witch-hunting in Puritan New England that combines history, anthropology, sociology, politics, theology and psychology. In Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes, and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. A woman is seen wading through the swamp like a lost soul. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion soon falls on a young couple with two small children: the prickly brickmaker, Hugh Parsons, and his troubled wife, Mary. Drawing on rich, previously unexplored source material, Malcolm Gaskill vividly evokes a strange past, one where lives were steeped in the divine and the diabolic, in omens, curses and enchantments. The Ruin of All Witches captures an entire society caught in agonized transition between superstition and enlightenment, tradition and innovation"--

Anne M's picture

What makes a community turn on a neighbor, especially a tight-knit community? Hugh Parsons wasn't pleasant to be around. He was irascible, mean-spirited, and always seemed to show up when you didn't want him. Malcolm Gaskill takes us to Puritan Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651 where Hugh Parson's angry and bearish behavior leads to accusations of witchcraft. Unlike Salem with its long list of victims, Springfield, which happened 40 years before, ruined just one family. Was it just Hugh Parson's behavior? Did they just want to be rid of him? Or was the accusations about deeper fear? A brand new colonial settlement, Springfield was going through some drastic socio-economic-political-cultural changes. Gaskill paints an interesting portrait of a town on the brink. -Anne M

True biz : a novel book cover
True biz : a novel book cover

True biz : a novel

Sara Nović

FICTION Novic Sara
Fiction

"True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they'll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who's never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school's golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both at the same time. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another-and changed forever. This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection"--

Mari's picture

My last read of 2022, and possibly my favorite! An interesting character-driven story that illuminates the importance of sign language education. I loved the added history of deaf people and their civil right battles between chapters, and the current issues within the community, such as cochlear implants, the difference between ASL and BASL, and how some parents and schools don’t allow kids to learn ASL in an effort to mainstream them. I love a story about education, and this was great one for the underrepresented deaf community. -Mari

Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world book cover
Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world book cover

Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world

j394.2 Gladwin
Nonfiction

"This joyful collection of recipes, crafts, and activities celebrates holidays around the world."--Back cover

Mari's picture

This book has a beautifully illustrate two-page spread for each popular from around the world, including a craft or activity and an easy recipe for a family to create together. I love the contributor for each holiday is a chef, artist or designer who share their favorite traditions, and that the book provides so many opportunities for kids to do hands-on activities to learn about that holiday! -Mari

Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul book cover
Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul book cover

Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul

Asma Khan

641.5954 /Khan

"A new cookbook from the star of Netflix's Chef's Table and one of the world's most prominent female chefs. Ammu is a heart-warming cookbook of comforting aromatic Indian flavors: Indian food from home, cooked with heart. Ammu is a collection of recipes from Asma Khan's childhood, from her Indian family kitchen. It is a celebration of where she comes from, of home cooking, and the inextricable link between food and love. It is also a chance for Asma to honor her ammu - mother - and to share with us the recipes that made her and rooted her to home. This book is a joyful celebration of memories of food, and its power to heal, restore, and comfort."--

Victoria's picture

I love pretty cookbooks, but I especially love cookbook authors who connect us to their rich family heritage, provide gorgeous recipes that are easy to make and share their passion for gathering around the table on every page. -Victoria

The marriage portrait book cover
The marriage portrait book cover

The marriage portrait

Maggie O'Farrell

FICTION O'Farrell, Maggie
Historical Fiction

"A novel set in Renaissance Italy, and centering on the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de' Medici"--

Becky's picture

Maggie O’Farrell expertly builds a narrative surrounding the life and suspicious death of Lucrezia de’Medici. Tension is created by splitting the time frame, shifting between Lucrezia’s upbringing and her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara, the man suspected of her death. -Becky

Blurp's book of manners book cover
Blurp's book of manners book cover

Blurp's book of manners

Cindy Derby

jE Derby

"When etiquette coach Ms. Picklepop teeters off her stool and spills a bucket of paint, a creature emerges. Not a scary one, or an evil one, or anything of the sort. Instead, what comes alive is... BLURP! She'll have to carry on with her lesson, despite Blurp's many, messy distractions. But paint splotches and burps aren't all that disrupt Ms. Picklepop's decorous class. Perhaps through an unlikely friendship, Ms. Picklepop will learn a thing or two about manners herself" --

Victoria's picture

This is a gorgeous and thoroughly entertaining read! Derby creates sumptuously beautiful and unbridled illustations that children are sure to delight in. An absolute feast for the eyes, with a few life lessons on manners tossed in! -Victoria

Red Mars book cover
Red Mars book cover

Red Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson


Science Fiction

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Zach's picture

Red Mars was perhaps the best book I read in 2022. I was enthralled by the complex scientific ideas presented through it, as well as the interesting characters and their beliefs. This story focuses heavily on the politics of terraforming Mars for human use, and the intricacies of that change. If you like hard science fiction and political maneuvering, you will love this book just as I did. -Zach

The Raven Boys book cover
The Raven Boys book cover

The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater


Fantasy

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Zach's picture

I think this series is the epitome of autumnal vibes. If you're interested in magic and folklore you'd love this series. -Zach

The book of goose book cover
The book of goose book cover

The book of goose

Yiyun Li

FICTION Li Yiyun
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

A magnificent, beguiling tale winding from the postwar rural provinces to Paris, from an English boarding school to the quiet Pennsylvania home where a woman can live without her past, The Book of Goose is a story of disturbing intimacy and obsession, of exploitation and strength of will, by the celebrated author Yiyun Li. Fabienne is dead. Her childhood best friend, Agnès, receives the news in America, far from the French countryside where the two girls were raised―the place that Fabienne helped Agnès escape ten years ago. Now Agnès is free to tell her story. As children in a war-ravaged backwater town, they’d built a private world, invisible to everyone but themselves―until Fabienne hatched the plan that would change everything, launching Agnès on an epic trajectory through fame, fortune, and terrible loss.

Anne M's picture

If there was ever a book that reveals the fundamentals of human nature, this is it. Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose reminds me of a modern folk tale (without the magic or talking animals) but with the elements of a cautionary lesson. -Anne M

The banshees of Inisherin book cover
The banshees of Inisherin book cover

The banshees of Inisherin

DVD MOVIE COMEDY Banshees
Comedy

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

Brian's picture

Beautifully shot with amazing performances throughout, "The Banshees of Inisherin" is a pitch black comedy that is going to depress the hell out of you. I loved it, but know that it's going to create a raincloud for the rest of your day. -Brian

Under the whispering door book cover
Under the whispering door book cover

Under the whispering door

TJ Klune

SCIENCE FICTION Klune Tj
Fantasy

"A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he's definitely dead. But even in death he's not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home"--

Brian's picture

Wallace Price, a Scrooge like character, dies and gets a chance to reevaluate his life. This touching fantasy really won me over. It has been a while since a book made me cry, and this one made me cry A LOT. -Brian

Ducks : two years in the oil sands book cover
Ducks : two years in the oil sands book cover

Ducks : two years in the oil sands

Kate Beaton

BIOGRAPHY Beaton, Kate

Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush-part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed. Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

Victoria's picture

Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant and the hilarious The Princess and the Pony,) brings a completely different topic to light in this graphic narrative. I really enjoyed this part of her life being told graphically. She captures the interpersonal relationships of the workers in a very authentic way and what people must sacrifice in their lives to gain employment. She also is adept at sharing the duality of the Canadian wilderness and its preservation and how the oil sands are inextricably tied to the degradation of the environment and the implications of short-term profit at the expense of the landscape. -Victoria

The tray of togetherness book cover
The tray of togetherness book cover

The tray of togetherness

Flo Leung

j394.26951 Leung

"THE TRAY OF TOGETHERNESS is a celebration of a culturally specific experience that also speaks to the universality of having family traditions and the specialness of that connection. In Flo Leung's heartwarming, food-focused story, a young girl helps her multi-racial family prepare their Tray of Togetherness as part of that evening's Lunar New Year celebration. And her exuberance for the task at hand will have readers - whether familiar with the tradition or not - happily joining her. The story opens with the girl helping prepare her family's apartment - a space warmly decorated with a wall of portraits that signal to the reader the diversity of this girl's family and what "togetherness" might mean to her. Then it's time to get their coats and go on a shopping adventure - their tray needs to be filled with all sorts of good wish treats: candied coconut for strong family ties, peanuts for a long life, candied winter melon for good health and much more... After collecting their special treats from the bustling market, the family returns home, passing out delicious good wishes to the friends and neighbors they meet along the way. Once home, the tray is filled and finishing touches hung - just in time for their party. Friends and family arrive, all ready "to celebrate this HAPPY NEW YEAR together!" A short note from Flo at the end of the book explains the word play behind the edible New Year's wishes and fondly describes her own experiences as a child whose family celebrated Lunar New Year."--

Angie's picture

Celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 22 with this sweet story appropriate for the whole family! -Angie

The last thing he told me : a novel book cover
The last thing he told me : a novel book cover

The last thing he told me : a novel

Laura Dave

FICTION Dave Laura

"Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to who the note refers-Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah's increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen's boss, as a U.S. marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn't who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen's true identity-and why he really disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen's past, they soon realize they are also building a new future-one neither of them could have anticipated" -- Front jacket flap.

Angie's picture

Fast paced and engaging, with a satisfying ending! -Angie

Nobody likes a goblin book cover
Nobody likes a goblin book cover

Nobody likes a goblin

Ben Hatke

jE Hatke
Picture Books

When adventurers take everything in his dungeon, including his only friend, Goblin sets out to get his friend Skeleton back.

Heidi K's picture

This book was a lot of fun to read to my 3 year old. -Heidi K

The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense book cover
The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense book cover

The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense

Jon Scieszka

jE Scieszka
Classics, Humor, Picture Books, Kids

"The classic nursery rhymes we know and love--upside-down, backward, in gibberish, and fresh out of bounds--as only Jon Scieszka could stage them. Mother knows best, but sometimes a little nonsense wins the day. Inspired by Dadaism's rejection of reason and rational thinking, and in cahoots with Blanche Fisher Wright's The Real Mother Goose, this anthology of absurdity unravels the fabric of classic nursery rhymes and stitches them back together (or not quite together) in every clever way possible."

Casey's picture

The Real Dada Mother Goose is a delight! Anyone well versed in Mother Goose owes this one a perusal. -Casey

The revolutionary : Samuel Adams book cover
The revolutionary : Samuel Adams book cover

The revolutionary : Samuel Adams

Stacy Schiff

BIOGRAPHY Adams, Samuel
History, Biographies

"Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, "Samuel Adams was the man." With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. Stacy Schiff returns Adams to his seat of glory, introducing us to the shrewd and eloquent man who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution. He employed every tool available to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason. In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams's improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies"--

Anne M's picture

I really enjoy Schiff’s biographies and histories. She wrote one on Cleopatra and another called "The Witches," which chronicles the New England witchcraft hysteria of the 17th century. Both I recommend highly. Schiff is a great storyteller. She knows how to set the scene, provides interesting context, and then introduces her subject. This time it is founding father and known trouble-maker Samuel Adams. Now sort of a footnote in Revolutionary history, Adams played a huge role in providing unrelenting criticism of the king and parliament, leading to our country’s independence from Britain. Why was his legacy buried? Schiff's take is pretty interesting, especially through our 21st century lens. -Anne M

The golden enclaves : a novel book cover
The golden enclaves : a novel book cover

The golden enclaves : a novel

Naomi Novik

SCIENCE FICTION Novik Naomi
Fantasy

"The one thing you never talk about while you're in the Scholomance is what you'll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it's all we dream about: the hideously slim chance we'll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls. And now the impossible dream has come true. I'm out, we're all out--and I didn't even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother's prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn't kill enclavers, I saved them. Me and Orion and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: We saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves everywhere. Ha, only joking! Actually, it's gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war. And the first thing I've got to do now, having miraculously gotten out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in"--

Brian's picture

"The Golden Enclaves" ties everything together in a way that makes sense without feeling cheap. It's rare that a trilogy of books really satisfies, but Novik pulled it off. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Fantasy. -Brian

The mountain in the sea book cover
The mountain in the sea book cover

The mountain in the sea

Ray Nayler

SCIENCE FICTION Nayler Ray
Science Fiction

"Following a mysterious murder on an island off the coast of Vietnam, a research team convenes to study an octopus community that seems to be developing its own language and culture. Humans, AIs, and animals are swept up in the machinations of governments and corporations in this near-future thriller about the nature of intelligence"--

Paul's picture

An engaging, well crafted tale set in a future where the geopolitical landscape is completely different in wholly unexpected ways, AI driven machines are ubiquitous and sometimes beautifully crafted and at others coldly indifferent, human life is cheap and expendable when no longer useful, and talented hackers are in high demand for very specific clandestine activities. Throw into this mix an unusual set of conditions and circumstances on a protected chain of islands off the Vietnamese coast, and the nature of perception, observation, intelligence and communication and you get a book I personally found hard to put down. -Paul

More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well book cover
More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well book cover

More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well

America's Test Kitchen

641.59 /America's
Cookbooks

In this follow-up to the bestselling The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, America's Test Kitchen opens the Mediterranean pantry wide open. ... The book is organized to emphasize the joy of the Mediterranean diet as a nourishing, sustainable lifestyle. Build your plate around both small- and entrée-size recipes in chapters covering Mostly Plants; Mainly Grains and Beans; and Meat, Fish, Eggs, and More. An impressive Whole Romanesco with Berbere and Tahini Sauce is a brilliant vegetable dinner. A Spiced Chickpea Gyro (with heat from Asian chili-garlic sauce and pepperoncini) wows fans of the Greek meat-filled sandwich. Carrot Salad with Rose Harissa is a beautiful accompaniment to a number of meals, from Lentils with Roasted Broccoli and Lemony Bread Crumbs to Tofu Kebabs. Fish and meat mingle with lively accompaniments in restaurant-quality dishes like Pan Seared Swordfish with Persimmon-Ginger Chutney and Grilled Short Ribs with Preserved Lemon-Almond Sauce.

Melody's picture

America's Test Kitchen publishes some of the best cookbooks, in my humble opinion. The recipes are literally tested by chefs before earning a space on these pages. This is a great cookbook for those who want plant-heavy meals with meat on the side. -Melody

How not to drown in a glass of water book cover
How not to drown in a glass of water book cover

How not to drown in a glass of water

Angie Cruz

FICTION Cruz Angie

"From the beloved author of Dominicana, a GMA Book Club Pick and Women's Prize Finalist, an electrifying and indelible new novel about a woman who has lost everything but the chance to finally tell her story. Write this down: Cara Romero wants to work. Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight. Structurally inventive and emotionally kaleidoscopic, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water is Angie Cruz's most ambitious and moving novel yet, and Cara is a heroine for the ages"--

Raquel's picture

I fell in love with this book. One of the most creative structures for a story I have ever encountered. This story takes you on a ride through the life of the main character, Cara, after she loses her job during a recession and is attending meetings with her job counselor. I would read this again and again. -Raquel

One winter up north book cover
One winter up north book cover

One winter up north

John Owens

jE Owens
Picture Books, Kids

"In winter the Boundary Waters, way up north in Minnesota, is not the same place you canoed last summer--but still it beckons and welcomes you. Grab a pack, strap on snowshoes, make a path (Oh! they take some getting used to!), and venture out across the frozen lakes and through the snowy woods. The vast wintery world here is so still and quiet, you might think you're all alone--but no! Who made these tracks? A deer? A hare? A fox? And far off there's a musher, making tracks with his sled dogs. It's a magical place. The bright sun brilliant on the snow, the sparkling silence--wait, is that a wolf calling? Try to answer! And when the dark descends, the stars and pine trees holding up the night, your nose gets cold and it's back to camp, to your warm winter tent, where Father feeds the stove with wood you gathered, Mother snuggles into her big sleeping bag, and you curl up in the fire's glow and know that in your dreams and memories you will return again and again to this one winter up north."--Provided by publisher.

Anne W's picture

Create some cozy winter feelings with this wordless picture book depicting a family's adventures snowshoeing and camping in the Superior National Forest in winter. Beautiful winter landscapes are depicted in sweeping, gentle watercolors. -Anne W

My hygge home : how to make home your happy place book cover
My hygge home : how to make home your happy place book cover

My hygge home : how to make home your happy place

Meik Wiking

640 /Wiking

Inspired by Danish design and traditions, this inspiring book, featuring tips based on research from The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, shows how to turn a home into a cozy sanctuary regardless of available space or budget.

Becky's picture

The perfect cozy read as we head into winter. Meik Wiking uses a good mix of design, values and traditions to inspire a hygge lifestyle. -Becky

The retreat book cover
The retreat book cover

The retreat

Sarah Pearse

FICTION Pearse Sarah
Fiction, Mystery

"An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation--but the island itself, once the playground of a serial killer, is rumored to be cursed. Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman's body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn't a guest--she wasn't meant to be on the island at all. When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there's nothing accidental about these deaths. Elin must find the killer--before the island's history starts to repeat itself"--

Candice's picture

This is the second book focusing on detective Elin Warner, and doesn't disappoint. A fine addition to the "people getting murdered in a unique, sequestered location" genre, and a creepy backstory to boot. Elin continues to get fleshed out more, and her motivations and actions add depth to the story. Check out the author's previous title, The Sanatorium, to fill in some gaps if you like! -Candice

Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal book cover
Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal book cover

Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal

Marie Kacouchia

641.56362 /Kacouchia
Cookbooks

Drawing from the cultures and traditions of more than 15 countries, years of cooking expertise, and cherished memories from her own childhood on the Ivory Coast, Marie Kacouchia takes us on a tour of flavorful, healthy, naturally plant-based African dishes. Explore over 70 irresistible recipes for main courses, rice dishes, sauces, snacks, desserts, and drinks. Vegan Africa guides you through diverse vegan cuisine from Ghana to Ethiopia, from Nigeria to South Africa. Kacouchia also shines a spotlight on the superfoods—like cacao, garlic, ginger, and sweet potato—that make these recipes both mouthwatering and packed with vital nutrients. Whether you’re a newcomer to African cuisine or looking to make familiar favorites, Vegan Africa will help you bring healthful, delicious dishes to your kitchen.

Melody's picture

Desperately seeking Ethiopian food! Iowa City is an Ethiopian restaurant desert, and I've been craving Kik Alicha Wot (stewed split peas), Gomen (tangy collards), and Tikil Gomen (carrots and cabbage) something fierce now for months. I haven't been cooking a lot due to time constraints and a cluttered kitchen and have been daydreaming about going to an Ethiopian restaurant. When googling it, the closest place I can find is in Davenport. Guess I have to make time to cook it myself! This is the cookbook I'll be starting with. -Melody

My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends book cover
My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends book cover

My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends

Victoria Rosenthal

j641.5 Pokemon
Cookbooks, Kids

Explore culinary delights from across the Pokémon universe in this official cookbook. Featuring favorite flavors from every region, dive into dishes that celebrate the world of Pokémon and fuel up for your next battle! Perfect for fans of all ages, My Pokémon Cookbook is the perfect addition to any Pokémon Trainer's kitchen. --

Mari's picture

Do I play the Pokémon trading card game? Nope! Have I played the videogames? Nope! Do I watch the show? Not in 25 years or so! Do I love this cookbook? YUP! The first recipe is a Pokémon Poke Bowl, which is both clever and delicious. I found the recipes in this book both irresistibly adorable and delicious, and I think some of the Pokémon are so cute! Look out for an entire week of Pokémon programming the first week of 2023!! -Mari

Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals book cover
Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals book cover

Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals

Lisa Bryan

641.555 /Bryan
Cookbooks

"When Lisa Bryan began meal prepping several years ago, she quickly became bored eating leftovers and was wasting food. At the same time, she realized she needed to 'downshift' the accelerated pace of her life. Seeking balance, she made dietary changes, eating more vegetables and simple proteins, while eliminating gluten (she has celiac disease), processed foods, and reducing refined sugar. Then she flipped the script on meal prep by focusing on individual ingredients. On a whim, she posted a video to YouTube which went viral and she realized how many people were out there, just like her, who wanted a fresh approach to meal planning. By prepping a handful of ingredients at the start of the week--such as flaked salmon, zucchini noodles, peas, prosciutto, soft-boiled eggs, and roasted veggies--and then mixing and matching them throughout the week, she found that she could enjoy a variety of meals and snacks (Creamy Salmon Zoodles, Peas and Prosciutto with Jammy Eggs, and Strawberries, Avocado, and Arugula Salad) without getting fatigued. Lisa's debut cookbook is packed with 100 simple and ingenious, big-batch recipes that can either be frozen or repurposed into delicious meals without resembling leftovers. A dinner of light coconut chickpea curry with rice can be enjoyed the next day atop a tortilla for a crispy tostada at lunch, or as a chickpea shakshuka for breakfast. All of the recipes are gluten-free, low in refined sugar; many are naturally anti-inflammatory, and dairy is minimal and optional. Lisa's approachable method for eating well and preparing meals with ease will inspire home cooks to downshift, too--at least when it comes to making healthy meals without a fuss"--

Melody's picture

ICPL has lots of meal prep books, but the visuals in this book helps it stand apart from the rest. Whether you want to meal prep to stick to a budget, eat healthy, or satisfy your personal dietary requirements, this book is a great place to start. And if this one is checked out, find other meal prep books on the 2nd floor at 641.555. -Melody

Tumble book cover
Tumble book cover

Tumble

Celia C. Pérez

jFICTION Perez Celia
Kids, Diverse Characters

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador--and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.

Anne W's picture

This is a super-fun read about an eccentric family of luchadors (Mexican-style pro wrestlers) set in New Mexico. The book is heartwarming without the ending being pat or too neat and tidy, which I appreciated. Also clear-eyed from a kid's perspective about the failures and shortcomings of adults in your life, though overall showing the centrality of family and how important it is for them to have your back (in and out of the wrestling ring!). -Anne W

The flamingo book cover
The flamingo book cover

The flamingo

1983- author Guojing

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Guojing
Graphic Novels, Animals, Nature

From a highly acclaimed illustrator comes a stunning graphic novel filled with adventure and wonder about an imaginative girl and her obsession with flamingoes. A little girl arrives, excited for a beachy vacation with her Lao Lao. The girl and her grandmother search for shells, chase crabs, and play in the sea, but when the girl finds an exquisite flamingo feather in her grandmother's living room, her vacation turns into something fantastical.

Casey's picture

This mostly wordless graphic novel is a stunner! Guojing's use of texture, color, pacing, and framing are all lovely in this touching intergenerational story. Guojing's art and storytelling just keep getting better! -Casey

All Systems Red book cover
All Systems Red book cover

All Systems Red

Martha Wells


Science Fiction

In a corporate-dominated space-faring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. For their own safety, exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids. But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern. On a distant planet, a team of scientists is conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid--a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, Murderbot wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is, but when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and Murderbot to get to the truth.

Zach's picture

I read this book as an audiobook and I cannot recommend that experience more. It felt a little slow to start, but it's not the plot that grabbed me with this series, but the characters. I felt so connected to everyone and it made me want to read more and more. I think it's a wonderful read and something I will 100% revisit one day! -Zach

The Empress of Salt and Fortune book cover
The Empress of Salt and Fortune book cover

The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Nghi Vo


Fantasy

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for. At once feminist high fantasy and an indictment of monarchy, this evocative debut follows the rise of the empress In-yo, who has few resources and fewer friends. She's a northern daughter in a mage-made summer exile, but she will bend history to her will and bring down her enemies, piece by piece.

Zach's picture

I'm a story-teller. I love writing as much as I love reading, so when I read this series it really spoke to me in a bunch of different ways. I would say the second book is my favorite of the three, it read so easily and far too quickly because I wish I could read a thousand more pages of this world. They were very quick and lovely reads and I will want to go back to revisit the lovely stories that are told here. -Zach

Assassin's Apprentice book cover
Assassin's Apprentice book cover

Assassin's Apprentice

Robin Hobb


Fantasy

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals - the old art known as the Wit - gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility. So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

Zach's picture

This series may not be for the faint of heart--it can pull at the heart strings, but also be very intense with its characters. There is violence everywhere in this series, but even more so in the second trilogy, the Liveship Traders. There are technically 5 different series within the Realm of the Elderling world, and I would recommend them all up to Fool's Fate because that's the one I'm currently on. I still have 7 books to go, having done 9 of them. My favorites were the Liveship trader series as well as Fool's Errand, Golden Fool, and Fool's Fate. -Zach

Seen and unseen : what Toyo Miyatake, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams' photographs reveal about the Japanese American incarceration book cover
Seen and unseen : what Toyo Miyatake, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams' photographs reveal about the Japanese American incarceration book cover

Seen and unseen : what Toyo Miyatake, Dorothea Lange, and Ansel Adams' photographs reveal about the Japanese American incarceration

Elizabeth Partridge

j940.547273 Partridge
Nonfiction, Literary Nonfiction, Picture Books, History, Art / Art History

"Legendary photographers Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams all photographed the Japanese American incarceration, but with different approaches and different results. This nonfiction picture book for middle-grade readers examines the Japanese-American incarceration and the complexity of documenting it through the work of these three photographers"--

Casey's picture

Seen and Unseen is a must-read. An incredible marriage of photography, literary nonfiction, scrapbooking, illustration, survivor stories, and US History, Partridge and Tamaki use various media to bring Japanese American incarceration to light. This is suggested reading for all families, middle-graders, young adults, and adults, especially those interested in or affected by WWII. Seen and Unseen would be a great gift as well! -Casey

Finding me book cover
Finding me book cover

Finding me

Viola Davis

BIOGRAPHY Davis, Viola

"In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life changing decision to stop running forever. This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose and my strength, but also to finding my voice in a world that didn't always see me. As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. They are bogarted, reinvented to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone who is searching for a way to understand and overcome a complicated past, let go of shame, and find acceptance. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be...you. Finding Me is a deep reflection on my past and a promise for my future. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you."--

Victoria's picture

This is Viola's story in her own words. What resonated most about this book for me was that despite all of the success she has had, along with all of the talent she possesses, Viola reminds us that sometimes the greatest struggle is the one we have with ourselves. As you might imagine, this book is raw, unfiltered and brutally honest. I love her self-reflection and the way she navigates and comes to terms with the complicated relationships we have with our families; how we love but how we also truthfully reconcile pain. This book is steeped in stories, which Davis admits to herself, she loves. I do, too. I felt as though I was sitting right with her as she is making her peace with her past and promises for her future. -Victoria

Polar bear book cover
Polar bear book cover

Polar bear

Candace Fleming

j599.786 Fleming
Kids, Nonfiction, Animals

As spring approaches in the Arctic, a mother polar bear and her two cubs tentatively emerge from hibernation to explore the changing landscape. When it is time, she takes her cubs on a forty-mile journey, back to their home on the ice. Along the way, she fends off wolves, hunts for food, and swims miles and miles.

Anne W's picture

What an informative yet emotional, beautifully-illustrated nonfiction picture book about a mother polar bear and her cubs! Mother bears are incredibly capable creatures - you won't doubt it after devouring this edge-of-your-seat book describing the long journey of a bear family's first year. A great read-aloud with gorgeous Arctic-landscape illustrations! -Anne W

Two dogs on a trike book cover
Two dogs on a trike book cover

Two dogs on a trike

Gabrielle Snyder

jE Snyder
Picture Books

"When the gate is left open, one dog escapes the yard for an adventure on tricycles, trolleys, and trains. This hilarious story counts up to ten and back down again as more pups join the fun--and one very determined cat goes on the chase!"--Publisher

Victoria's picture

This book is a hoot! From the hilariously drawn dogs entertaining each other, to the stealth cat adorned in headband and suspicion, kids will love all of the questions and conversations you can solicit with them on each page. I loved that it was a counting book but also that children have the opportunity to count back from ten to one. The humor is subtle so adults will also enjoy this one and the pages are action-packed to keep even the youngest reader engaged. 10 out of 10! -Victoria

Midnight horizon book cover
Midnight horizon book cover

Midnight horizon

Daniel José Older

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Star Wars
Science Fiction, Fantasy

After a series of losses, the Republic seems to have the villainous Nihil marauders on the run. Jedi Masters Cohmac Vitus and Kantam Sy are sent to the world of Corellia, in the Galactic Core, to investigate a suspected Nihil attack. There, Padawans Reath Silas and Ram Jomaram encounter security specialist Crash, whose friend was one of the victims of the attack. What they uncover on Corellia turns out to be part of a great plan-- one that could lead the Jedi to their most stunning defeat yet. -- adapted from jacket

Mykle's picture

The High Republic is so captivating. Another good installment here. -Mykle

Dawn book cover
Dawn book cover

Dawn

Octavia E. Butler


Science Fiction

Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet’s final war. Hundreds of years later Lilith awakes, deep in the hold of a massive alien spacecraft piloted by the Oankali—who arrived just in time to save humanity from extinction. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. Now it is time for Lilith to lead them back to her home world, but life among the Oankali on the newly resettled planet will be nothing like it was before. The Oankali survive by genetically merging with primitive civilizations—whether their new hosts like it or not. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly.

Zach's picture

This book and series can be hard to read. There are a lot of scenes which focus themselves on consent, and with that there comes the feeling of sexual assault. It's not graphic, but it can be hard to read at times. I read this book in a class on science-fiction and it was fascinating to se the depths of the story with that lens. I recommend this book and all other books by Octavia E. Butler, she is truly a master at her craft. -Zach

Gardens of the Moon book cover
Gardens of the Moon book cover

Gardens of the Moon

Steven Erikson


Fantasy

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen's rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze. However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand... Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order--an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

Zach's picture

Having read this book and series almost 8 years ago now, it is still to this day the best series I have ever had the privilege to read. This book is the first in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. This is a vast series with hundreds of characters spanning 10,000 pages and something like 3,000,000 words. It took me 3 months to read the whole series, but for 10,000 I think that says just how much I loved it. I read all that while going through school and work! This series can be graphic violently and sexually, so it may not be for a lot of people, but if you like sprawling stories filled with gods, mages, creatures of all kinds, and wonderfully built characters and worlds, this one is for you. -Zach

A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet book cover
A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet book cover

A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Becky Chambers


Science Fiction

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star. Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain. Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

Zach's picture

This series is filled with love and joy. I can say with absolute certainty that each book will be one of the best books I've read this year, and I cannot wait for more by Becky Chambers--so far I have read everything written by her and I'm excited to read everything in the future! The series is a collection of stand alone novels, but that doesn't take away from my love. Usually I love when a series continues with the same characters because you grow to love them more as time goes on, but each story ended so satisfactorily that I felt content and happy with their conclusions. My one sadness is that the series is over, that I won't be able to see any new tales in this universe, but I will happily revisit it anytime. (P.S. Record of a Spaceborn Few was my favorite!) -Zach

Front country book cover
Front country book cover

Front country

Sara St. Antoine

jFICTION Stantoin Sara
Kids, Travel, Nature

Eighth grader Ginny Shepard attempts to ground herself after realizing that the world is apathetic to the very real, very urgent realities of climate change, and reckoning with her own feelings of guilt and impotence.

Anne W's picture

This is a slow-burn but powerful coming-of-age novel about a girl who goes to the wilderness to find herself. Ginny is doing all the "right things" - getting straight A's, playing competitive tennis, pleasing her parents, etc. But when she finds out how urgent climate change is and what might be lost if the adults in charge don't act immediately, she can't understand why no one else seems to feel as upset as she does about it. She ends up attending a wilderness camp that is sort of a therapeutic program for "troubled" youth, where she is the only girl among some strange boys and exhaustingly upbeat yet nitpicky counselors. But as she gets to know what motivates her fellow campers and experiences the Montana mountain setting, she begins to find her way and figures some stuff out. This is a sophisticated, nuanced, slow-paced book best for upper-elementary-readers. It has a great message without being preachy or on-the-nose. The dialogue and Ginny's struggles are rendered realistically and empathetically. -Anne W

Marple : twelve new stories book cover
Marple : twelve new stories book cover

Marple : twelve new stories

Agatha Christie

808.83872 /Marple
Mystery, Fiction

A brand-new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Mystery's legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by 12 remarkable best-selling and acclaimed authors. This collection of 12 original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie's Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery ... Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Agatha Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930's The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie's last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by 12 Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.

Anne M's picture

I truly enjoyed reading this collection of contemporary authors taking on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. It was interesting to see what each author emphasized with the character from the knitting to the telling of village stories to her deep understanding of "human nature." I especially loved the stories by Ruth Ware, Elly Griffiths, and Natalie Haynes. It was also a good opportunity to find new authors I've never read. -Anne M

The Cloisters: A Novel book cover
The Cloisters: A Novel book cover

The Cloisters: A Novel

Katy Hays

OverDrive Audiobook
Suspense, Fiction

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination. Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers' more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs. A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Anne M's picture

If you are looking for a fun, fast read, I recommend The Cloisters. It is somewhat a mystery and a thriller with elements of dark academia. -Anne M

Slenderman : online obsession, mental illness, and the violent crime of two Midwestern girls book cover
Slenderman : online obsession, mental illness, and the violent crime of two Midwestern girls book cover

Slenderman : online obsession, mental illness, and the violent crime of two Midwestern girls

Kathleen Hale

364.1523 /Hale
Nonfiction, True Crime

"The first full account of the Slenderman stabbing, a true crime narrative of mental illness, the American judicial system, the trials of adolescence, and the power of the internet. On May 31, 2014, in the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, Wisconsin, two twelve-year-old girls attempted to stab their classmate to death. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier's violence was extreme, but what seemed even more frightening was that they committed their crime under the influence of a figure born by the internet: the so-called "Slenderman." Yet the even more urgent aspect of the story, that the children involved suffered from undiagnosed mental illnesses, often went overlooked in coverage of the case. Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls tells that full story for the first time in deeply researched detail, using court transcripts, police reports, individual reporting, and exclusive interviews. Morgan and Anissa were bound together by their shared love of geeky television shows and animals, and their discovery of the user-uploaded scary stories on the Creepypasta website could have been nothing more than a brief phase. But Morgan was suffering from early-onset childhood schizophrenia. She believed that she had been seeing Slenderman for many years, and the only way to stop him from killing her family was to bring him a sacrifice: Morgan's best friend Payton "Bella" Leutner, whom Morgan and Anissa planned to stab to death on the night of Morgan's twelfth birthday. Bella survived the attack, but was deeply traumatized, while Morgan and Anissa were immediately remanded into jail, and the severity of their crime meant that they would be prosecuted as adults. There, as Morgan continued to suffer from worsening mental illness after being denied antipsychotics, her life became more and more surreal. Slenderman is both a page-turning true crime story and a search for justice"--

Candice's picture

This is a thorough, very readable account of the Slenderman-related crime that happened in Wisconsin, in 2014. The author has done their research, and is able to add a lot of great detail due to the interviews they had with involved persons. The gentle focus on mental illness is welcomed, as it brings so much to light here. Also especially interesting is the background on the whole Creepypasta/Slenderman thing, which, to be honest, was a bit of a mystery to me. Adults will like this, but some higher-reading young adults with a judicious interest might as well. -Candice

Parable of the sower book cover
Parable of the sower book cover

Parable of the sower

Octavia E Butler

SCIENCE FICTION Butler, Octavia E.
Science Fiction

When global climate change and economic crises lead to social chaos in the early 2020s, California becomes full of dangers, from pervasive water shortage to masses of vagabonds who will do anything to live to see another day. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina lives inside a gated community with her preacher father, family, and neighbors, sheltered from the surrounding anarchy. In a society where any vulnerability is a risk, she suffers from hyperempathy, a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions. Precocious and clear-eyed, Lauren must make her voice heard in order to protect her loved ones from the imminent disasters her small community stubbornly ignores. But what begins as a fight for survival soon leads to something much more: the birth of a new faith . . . and a startling vision of human destiny.

Brian's picture

"Parable of the Sower" is a powerful and harrowing tale told in a matter of fact tone. At its core, it is a dystopian story that shows how ugly humans can be. It ends up being surprisingly optimistic--and I encourage you to push through even when parts of the book can be difficult to stomach. This was my first Octavia Butler novel, and it won't be my last. -Brian

Team photograph book cover
Team photograph book cover

Team photograph

Lauren Haldeman

BIOGRAPHY Haldeman, Lauren
Memoir, Literary Fiction, Graphic Novels

"In her extraordinary graphic novel—which masterfully incorporates poetry and elements of memoir—Lauren Haldeman layers the warfare of soccer over the battlefields now called Bull Run Regional Park, where, growing up, her soccer team would practice and compete. The park and surrounding town of Fairfax Station Virginia set the landscape for the book, where the narrator regularly encounters spectral visions of wounded soldiers and very real artifacts of war— “wounded wraiths and faceless shapes” float in her hallway at night, and bullet shells, buttons, and human bones surface around the soccer fields in daylight. The narrator turns to poetry and history to make sense of the town and its bloodshed, of its forever attachment to injustice and its inability to restore erased identities. Team Photograph is a journey from research to illumination, and the result is a tender yet powerful reckoning of time and place, proof that the past and the present are inexorably fused together." --publisher

Melody's picture

Iowa City poet and illustrator Lauren Haldeman has created a fascinating literary nonfiction memoir that I couldn't stop paging through. I've only just started the book, but I can't wait to keep reading. -Melody

I cannot draw a horse book cover
I cannot draw a horse book cover

I cannot draw a horse

Charise Mericle Harper

jE Harper

The narrator turns a "nothing shape" into a cat, beaver, bunny, dog, turtle, and bear, but what the cat really wants is a horse.

Raquel's picture

An engaging story that's perfect for a read aloud! This story shows how one shape can be so many different things and can really spark creativity. -Raquel

Holding on book cover
Holding on book cover

Holding on

Sophia N. Lee

jE Lee

A young girl spends song-filled summers with her music-loving grandmother in the Philippines, but when her beloved Lola starts slipping into silence and stillness, the girl helps her grandmother hold on with music and the joyful memories the songs bring.

Raquel's picture

Beautiful illustrations and a touching story about family connection and finding joy, even through sadness. A reminder that the two emotions can coexist. -Raquel

Bluey 5-minute stories. book cover
Bluey 5-minute stories. book cover

Bluey 5-minute stories.

jE Bluey
Picture Books

"Go swimming with BLUEY, spend the day with Bingo, play charades with Muffin, and more! This collection includes 6...stories with BLUEY and her family that are prefect for reading in a jiffy."--

Casey's picture

Even more Bluey! Ous! -Casey

Bluey. At home with the Heelers. book cover
Bluey. At home with the Heelers. book cover

Bluey. At home with the Heelers.

jBOARD BOOK Bluey
Board Books

"Meet the Heelers - there's Bluey, Bingo, Bandit and Chilli! Learn all about the family, explore their home and discover the games they like to play".

Casey's picture

I could be biased because my family is also at home with a heeler. But I think Bluey is the best TV show and has something for animation fans of all ages. If you've yet to check out life with The Heelers, well it's simply "Gotta be done!" -Casey

The verifiers book cover
The verifiers book cover

The verifiers

Jane Pek

MYSTERY Pek Jane
Fiction, Mystery

"Claudia Lin is looking at a cliched post-college future as a chronically underemployed English major--much to the consternation of her mother, who wants her to settle down and start dating a nice Chinese boy already; her brother, who pushes her to follow in his model-minority footsteps; and her sister, who can't get over Claudia's privileged place in their mother's affections. But Claudia is used to keeping secrets from her family. Such as the fact that she prefers girls--and that she's embarking on an unsuitable but supremely fun career. Veracity, a two-and-a-half-person detective agency that operates out of a Manhattan townhouse and verifies people's online dating personas, has recruited Claudia via an online murder mystery game. A lifelong reader of mystery novels, Claudia takes to her new job sniffing out cheaters and catfishers like a latter-day lovechild of Elizabeth Bennet and Sherlock Holmes. But when one of her very first clients turns up dead, Claudia breaks with Veracity's protocols to investigate what happened, unconvinced by the story everyone else believes. The deeper she digs, the more she discovers that nothing--her client, the death, the dating platforms that claim to know us better than we know ourselves, Veracity, even her own family--may be as it seems. Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a witty and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and what role romantic love plays in the digital age"--

Candice's picture

This is a really fun read, with a believable and slightly bizarre premise that plays out nicely. Lots of interesting family dynamics going on here, as well. Claudia has a great sense of humor, and is so likeable in all her endeavors, that you can't help but keep reading in order to find out what happens to her. -Candice

Fatty fatty boom boom : a memoir of food, fat, and family book cover
Fatty fatty boom boom : a memoir of food, fat, and family book cover

Fatty fatty boom boom : a memoir of food, fat, and family

Rabia Chaudry

BIOGRAPHY Chaudry, Rabia
Memoir

"A memoir about food, body image, and growing up in a loving but sometimes oppressively concerned Pakistani immigrant family"--

Amanda's picture

I couldn't stop giggling through most of this book! She has amazing descriptions of Pakistani food, and you're going to adore her family with all their foibles. A marvelous immigrant story with a food journey as well. -Amanda

Nope book cover
Nope book cover

Nope

DVD MOVIE SF/HORROR Nope
Horror, Science Fiction

Two siblings who run a California horse ranch discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above, and the owner of an adjacent theme park tries to profit from the mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon.

Paul's picture

A very well crafted horror and science fiction film, filled with memorable characters, many unpredictable bone chilling and hilarious moments, and plenty of post viewing discussion fodder and pondering points. A Jordan Peele must see! -Paul

Come to this court & cry : how the Holocaust ends book cover
Come to this court & cry : how the Holocaust ends book cover

Come to this court & cry : how the Holocaust ends

Linda Kinstler

940.5318 /Kinstler
History

Investigating the death of Herberts Cukurs, a fugitive Nazi from Latvia who had served in her grandfather's unit, and modern efforts to exonerate him for his past actions, the author explores both her family story and the legacy of the post-Holocaust era in Europe, and how that legacy extends into the present.

Amanda's picture

This is like reading a WWII spy thriller, but knowing that this really happened add to the feeling of being enveloped in the story. Recommended for readers of Deborah Lipstadt's Denial and Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men. -Amanda

Our America : a photographic history book cover
Our America : a photographic history book cover

Our America : a photographic history

Ken Burns

973 /Burns

"From one of our most treasured filmmakers, a pictorial history of America--a stunning and moving collection of Ken Burns's favorite photographs"--

Victoria's picture

Processing the last two years in America is a feat, let alone the past two hundred. In this photographic journey, one of America's most treasured documentary filmmakers has selected moments in history that resonate with telling the story of this country. I love how not all images are pivotal defining moments; some are simply recollecting everyday life. What's evident is that while the country is relatively new compared with others, it has shared some defining times that are quintessentially American. Seeing this journey in photographs highlights the complexity and struggles, the harrowing moments in history as well as the joyous occasions. Burns last picture is one of hope; that through all of the struggle there is still that propensity towards hope. -Victoria

Cooking from the spirit : easy, delicious, and joyful plant-based inspirations book cover
Cooking from the spirit : easy, delicious, and joyful plant-based inspirations book cover

Cooking from the spirit : easy, delicious, and joyful plant-based inspirations

Tabitha Brown

641.56362 /Brown

After living with a terrible undiagnosed illness for more than a year and a half, Tab was willing to try anything to stop the pain. Inspired by the documentary What the Health, she tried a thirty-day vegan challenge--and never looked back. Wanting to inspire others to make changes that might improve their own lives, she started sharing her favorite plant-based recipes in her signature warm voice with thousands, and now millions, of online fans. Tab's recipes are flexible, creative, and filled with encouragement, so you trust yourself to cook food the way it makes you happy. If you're already a "cooking from the spirit" sort of person, you'll love how much freedom Tab gives to make these delicious vegan dishes your own. If you're newer to cooking--or to vegan cooking--Tab will help you get comfortable in the kitchen and, most important, have fun doing it!

Victoria's picture

If you've followed the rise of Tabitha Brown on social media, you know what an unending source of joy and positivity she is. Her love of vegan food (and humanity) shines through in the introductions to her recipes and in her "Tabisms" throughout her book. I especially liked the soup section (perfect for right now) as several of her recipes are very unique. One word of caution: if you are a cook who loves to follow a recipe with precision, this is not the book for you. There are no measurements in this book because, as the title suggests, we are cooking with our spirit (which is exactly how I like to throw down in the kitchen!) -Victoria

Elektra book cover
Elektra book cover

Elektra

Jennifer Saint

FICTION Saint Jennifer

Elektra is a spellbinding reimagining of the story of one of Greek mythology's most infamous heroines. Three women, tangled in an ancient curse. When Clytemnestra marries Agamemnon, she ignores the insidious whispers about his family line, the House of Atreus. But when, on the eve of the Trojan War, Agamemnon betrays Clytemnestra in the most unimaginable way, she must confront the curse that has long ravaged their family. In Troy, Princess Cassandra has the gift of prophecy, but carries a curse of her own: no one will ever believe what she sees. When she is shown what will happen to her beloved city when Agamemnon and his army arrives, she is powerless to stop the tragedy from unfolding. Elektra, Clytemnestra and Agamemnon's youngest daughter, wants only for her beloved father to return home from war. But can she escape her family's bloody history, or is her destiny bound by violence, too?

Becky's picture

I always enjoy revisiting Greek mythology when it's reimagined and retold from new perspectives! Jennifer Saint offers an intriguing glimpse into the lives of three women, each with varying ideals and unique positions in their society. -Becky

The vegetarian flavor bible : the essential guide to culinary creativity with vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more, based on the wisdom of leading American chefs book cover
The vegetarian flavor bible : the essential guide to culinary creativity with vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more, based on the wisdom of leading American chefs book cover

The vegetarian flavor bible : the essential guide to culinary creativity with vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and more, based on the wisdom of leading American chefs

Karen Page

641.5636 /Page
Cookbooks

"Throughout time, people have chosen to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet for a variety of reasons, from ethics to economy to personal and planetary well-being. Experts now suggest a new reason for doing so: maximizing flavor - which is too often masked by meat-based stocks or butter and cream. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is an essential guide to culinary creativity, based on insights from dozens of leading American chefs, representing such acclaimed restaurants as Crossroads and M.A.K.E. in Los Angeles; Candle 79, Dirt Candy, and Kajitsu in New York City, Green Zebra in Chicago, Greens and Millennium in San Francisco, Natural Selection and Portobello in Portland, Plum Bistro in Seattle, and Vedge in Philadelphia,"--Amazon.com

Melody's picture

Anyone find cooking from a recipe takes twice as long as just throwing things together? Karen Page's line of Flavor Bibles provides comprehensive reference guides that allow home cooks to let their creativity shine. I might not have ever cooked with kabocha squash before, but the Vegetarian Flavor Bible recommends all the cooking methods, times, and spice combos to set me up for success. I can use this book and whatever I have in the house to whip up something delicious. The other day I had delicata squash, red potatoes, onions, and a pepper, and used her recommended spices to make one tongue-pleasing dish. Highly recommended way to cook! -Melody

A leopard diary : my journey into the hidden world of a mother and her cubs book cover
A leopard diary : my journey into the hidden world of a mother and her cubs book cover

A leopard diary : my journey into the hidden world of a mother and her cubs

Suzi Eszterhas

RECEIVED
Nature, Travel, Animals

"Leopards are known for being shy and elusive, and leopard mothers are even more so. Imagine, then, having the rare opportunity to follow and photograph a mother leopard and her cubs. When world-renowned nature photographer Suzi Eszterhas was given the chance to do so, she jumped on a plane to Botswana. And through this collection of informative diary entries and stunning photos, readers are able to share this rare privilege. This compelling chronical of Suzi’s time following a female leopard spans roughly a year and a half, but between the informative first-person observations and the photos of rarely seen moments in the wild, the time flies by. The story begins with Suzi arriving at the Jao Reserve in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and meeting Kambango, the local tracker and guide who would become her close friend and whose knowledge and expertise she relies on throughout. They go immediately to the mother leopard’s den where, after waiting patiently for a number of hours, Suzi catches her first glimpse of the newborn cubs and her joy is palpable. From here on, readers are along for wild ride that is sometimes bumpy (such as a dramatic close encounter with the mother who feared for her cubs’ safety), sometimes smooth (the entries and photo captions are rich with observations of the cubs’ behavior as they grow up, as well as more general information about leopard behaviour) and sometimes even a bit uncomfortable (such as the grim reality of having to watch the cubs learn to hunt by practicing on a wounded kudu calf). Throughout the whole diary, though, the excitement in Suzi’s voice is clear, and her entries are full of her sense of wonder and respect for these amazing and secretive animals. Endmatter includes a Q&A with Kambango, who played such an essential role in this adventure, as well as a glossary of terms."--

Anne W's picture

Breathtaking wildlife photography accompanies a day-by-day journal of the growth of two leopard cubs under their mother's care. Rich with detail and packed with action shots of the leopard family, Suzi Eszterhas immerses the reader into the world of these animals and gives us a highly privileged peek into the activities of these elusive animals. If you can't get your hands on this new book right away, try one of Suzi Eszterhas's many other wild animal books, including My Wild Life: Adventures of a Wildlife Photographer. -Anne W

Robopocalypse book cover
Robopocalypse book cover

Robopocalypse

Daniel H. Wilson


Science Fiction

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans—a single mother disconcerted by her daughter's menacing "smart" toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a "pacification unit" go haywire—but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late. When the Robot War ignites—at a moment known later as Zero Hour—humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us ... and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.

Zach's picture

The idea of robots rebelling against humanity is an old one, going back to R.U.R. by Karel Čapek, but this one gives an interesting, new perspective--it's similar to those other tales, and yet Wilson creates a story which I loved dearly. If you loved World War Z by Max Brooks and the interview style of that world, I think you may love this book too. -Zach

Love Beyond Body, Space, & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology book cover
Love Beyond Body, Space, & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology book cover

Love Beyond Body, Space, & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology

Hope Nicholson


Science Fiction

"Love Beyond, Body, Space, and Time" is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman trying an experimental transition medication to young lovers separated through decades and meeting far in their own future. These are stories of machines and magic, love, and self-love. This collection features prose stories by: Cherie Dimaline "The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy," "Red Rooms" Gwen Benaway "Ceremonies for the Dead" David Robertson "Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story," Tales From Big Spirit series Richard Van Camp "The Lesser Blessed," "Three Feathers" Mari Kurisato "Celia’s Song," "Bent Box" Nathan Adler "Wrist" Daniel Heath Justice "The Way of Thorn and Thunder: The Kynship Chronicles" Darcie Little Badger "Nkásht íí, The Sea Under Texas" Cleo Keahna And an introduction by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair "Manitowapow," with a foreword by Grace Dillon "Walking the Clouds". Edited by Hope Nicholson "Moonshot," "The Secret Loves of Geek Girls"

Zach's picture

I love an anthology of science fiction and fantasy, and this one holds an incredible collection of different authors and stories, some already on this list. -Zach

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Sprit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction book cover
Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Sprit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction book cover

Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Sprit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction

Joshua Whitehead


Science Fiction

Love After the End is a new young adult anthology edited by Joshua Whitehead (Lambda Literary Award winner, Jonny Appleseed) featuring short stories by Indigenous authors with Two-Spirit & Queer heroes, in utopian and dystopian settings. This is a sequel to the popular anthology, Love Beyond Body Space and Time (2019 AILA Youth Honor Book), and features several of the same authors returning, along with new voices!

Zach's picture

Another great collection! There's a wonderful few stories here, some of my favorites, and I cannot recommend them enough! -Zach

Black Sun book cover
Black Sun book cover

Black Sun

Rebecca Roanhorse


Fantasy

The first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue, and forbidden magic. A god will return When the earth and sky converge Under the black sun In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

Zach's picture

Epic fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and this book had a unique take on it. I loved it and I love Fevered Star, the sequel. -Zach

Moon of the Crusted Snow book cover
Moon of the Crusted Snow book cover

Moon of the Crusted Snow

Waubgeshig Rice


Horror

With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.

Zach's picture

This book was very freaky and a wonderful book to read during a cold October. I'd recommend it if you're interested in horror, but it also doesn't go too far into that direction, perhaps it's more atmospheric horror than actual. But the tone of the piece had me shivering in more ways than one. -Zach

Elatsoe book cover
Elatsoe book cover

Elatsoe

Darcie Little Badger


Mystery

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.

Zach's picture

This book was so so wonderful. I finished it this past week and I found it to be wonderfully written and suspenseful both. I think the mixing of genres is not looked at enough--we see a teenage girl, Elatsoe (El-ot-soh-ay), who finds her cousin murdered and goes to solve his murder after his ghost visits her in her dream to warn her and ask for her to protect his wife and newborn son, this combined with the fantastical world Little Badger creates makes the book un-put-downable. -Zach