The Fifth Season has all of my (Matthea's) favorite things! The world building happens gradually alongside the plot and not as a precursor. For someone who reads a lot of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, I notice when a book stands out from the rest and The Ffth Season definitely does so in the best way. It is refreshing, exciing, enthralling, and different. I knew I had to read it again the moment I finished.
Interweaving the stories of Neo--a sixteen-year-old Japanese girl--and Ruth--a writer living in the San Juan Islands--this is a novel of beauty, melancholy, grief, and hope. (And physics jokes.) This is, quite simply, one of the best books I've ever read.
Richtel takes what could be a dry topic and makes it relatable. The first half is about the history of scientific discovery about the immune system. The gut punch is delivered in the second half whenn Richtel introduces four real life people and shows the way their immune systems struggle to keep them alive.
Mink River is a stunningly poetic novle that explores the richness and complexity of th human spirit; its endless search for happiness. Portland author Brian Doyle has crafted a truly unique story using one of the most creative voices I have ever read.
Tha most surprising and best book I have read this year.
This book is amazing! I (Cora) have never read a thick book so fast or wanted to re-read one immediately after finishing it, but I did both with this book. Love, history, action, drama, time travel, great characters, great writing--it's all here.
Noah's memoir about growing up in South Africa and how politics and racea ffected his childhood is both hilarious and poignant. The stories that center on his mother are particularly impactful; he speaks about her with such pride and love. Definitely a must read!
This book is not just a guide to clothing, it's also an insider's look into the job of a costume designer in Hollywood! Great tips and basic information on how to choose, tailro, and care for your wardrobe. Fun stuff.
Circe is a thoroughly well-imagined retelling of the myth of Circe, the witch from the Odyssey. It has the most satisfying resolution to a #metoo moment I've ever read. (Alas, if only we could all turn men into pigs, am I right?) She's both powerful and fragile, sympathetic and forbidding. An enchanting and engrossing book.
Everything you've heard about this book is 100% true. It's thought-provoking, beautifully written, and movine and I can honestly say that it has chnaged the way I think about history and race.
This book ticked all my boxes:
- Smart, quippy banter
- Lots of enthusiastic consent
- A couple who actually talks about what works for them
- Fully-realized and interesting secondary characters
Orlean's account of the 1986 Los Angeles Central Library fire is masterfully done. She brings the fire to life in a way that made my heart ache for the books and records lost. From there unfolds a fascinating history of libraries, both around the country and in LA. This is perfect for anyone who loves libraries, books, and/or history.
Melanie is 10. Every morning she wakes up, gets dressed, and sits quietly in her wheelchair. She counts as high as she can until the soldiers unlock the door and, with a gun pointed at her head, strap her in tightly and wheel her to class. "I won't bite!" she sometimes jokes, but they never laugh...
How one can slide into illegal activity when one is down. That is the simple premise. But more than that, The Godmother is a little slice of France, and not the pretty chateaux or countryside. Gritty and nerve-wracking, you root for Patience. Soon to be a film staring Isabelle Huppert.
Satire. Allegory. Love Story. Hallucinatory Picaresque.
Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is all of these and more. Come for the giant, talking, cigar-smoking cat and stary for the biting wit and shar social and religious commentary.
This book follows three sisters--Althea, Viola, and Lillian. Althea and her husband have been arrested. Viola is separated from her wife and spiraling into an eating disorder. Lillian is struggling to care for Althea's twin daughters.
This is a stunning debut novel about families and how you can do your bes to heal yourself even when things are not okay.
This is my new favorite baking book. My copy is already butter-spattered and falling open to favorite recipes. My attention was captured by Heatter's introduction ("Bake cookies!") and knew this was a keeper at Chocolate Gingerbread.
This delightfully witty, Beauty & the Beast-inspired story starts when the jilted Duke of Ashbury is confroted by the seamstress who made his former fiancee's wedding dress and she's demanding payment...while wearing said wedding dress. Tessa Dare's banter is always A+ and this one may be the best.
I (Piper) stayed up half the night finishing this book, it was so gripping and all-consuming. I loved the tension Ng created between the characters with her examination of class, race, gender and privilege. Wonderfully intense and culturally poignant.
Nina and Sonya of the Far Woods Sisters art collective are exceptionally talented at creating, whether that creation be art, community, or common ground. I (Piper) have been eagerly anticipating this book's arrival and was blown away by the beauty of the tutorials that are illustrated and the message they have woven throughout.
The Bees by Laline Paull reads like a fantasy novel with its queens and courtiers and political machinations, but it's set within a bee colony and all of its characters are (naturally) bees. It's odd at first, but you soon find yourself absorbed in the world of Flora 717 and her hivemates. The Bees is sure to linger in your memory long after you've turned the final page.
Need to warm up? The Dry takes place in hot, rural Australia. A grisly murder brings Aaron Falk back to the small town where he was raised. Old secrets, lies, and memories mix to create an environment where everyone is quick to point fingers. If you like atmospheric mysteries with strong characters, this is a good book for you.
You will probably hate Ignatius J. Reilly. Thats okay. You should hate him. He's awful. But A Confederacy of Dunces is brilliant, so you'll keep reading, compelled by the quirky cast of characters and the absolutely best depiction of the spirity of New Orleans ever put on the page. Both funny ha-ha and funny odd, Dunces is a delight.
This contemporary romance is one of my favorite reads of the year!
Stella is a delightful protagonist. Her warmth and heart are wonderful and I wished so much that she could be real and be my friend.
Extra credit for a POC hero and a neuroatypical heroine.