Millenial bumbling about life in This World We Live In... Trying My Best vibes… Will make you think, "yikes, but honestly same here." ~ Nathan
Rupi Kaur's poetry has inspired me for years, so to get a peak into her process through the prompts in this book is like getting a back-stage pass. Her prompts and activities encourage reflection at your own pace. This book continues to remind me how powerful writing can be, no matter the skill. As a wanna-be, amateur poet, I approve! ~ Kendelyn
Maggie is having a rough time, but she's trying, and we're rooting for her. Come for the nuanced & relatable experiences with social media, modern friendship, and dating app misadventures. Stay for the mini chapters with Maggie's texts to her therapist or her search history. Fun book that also has a great audiobook version. ~ Nathan
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass (Hardcover)
Picking up Shannon Chakraborty's newest book, I knew I was in for a fantastic swashbuckling adventure like none other. Sure, I also expected djinn, maybe a couple of magical objects- a tome perhaps? But what I did not expect to find was so much witty banter mixed into a hilariously scandalous heist filled romp! A total page-turner that will keep you up long past bedtime. ~Allie
If John Le Carré wrote a western border thriller, this would be it. Siblings raised in a remote Colorado valley have lost contact with each other as teens. Later in life, they must use their non-traditional education to handle dangerous situations and nefarious criminals, to manage a potentially life altering inheritance from their gangster grandfather. Set in the high desert of the southwest, Panther Gap evokes the dangers of the rugged topography and the edgy lives of the folks involved. ~Sylla
I want all autobiographies to be in this format, please! Maia's illustrations added a depth and beauty to eir story that might have otherwise gone unseen. A wonderful exploration of identity that leaves the pages to paint an authentic and continuous journey of self discovery. A good read for humans everywhere. ~ Kendeyln
A dark and atmospheric read peppered with acute observations on class, sisterhood, and the ways in which our preconceived notions keep us from uncovering the truth. The world building is transportive, I could feel the air heavy with dust and grime. I found the characters well written and compelling.~ Allie
Kate Morton is back with another beautifully woven historical fiction. Set in England and Australia following multiple generations, Homecoming, is full of dark family secrets that will keep you on the edge of your seat!! ~Tracy
Interwoven are the stories of Ajay, Sunny and Neda, three young Indians from very different backgrounds. Surrounded by societal expectations, massive wealth, terrible poverty and violence, the choices these three make have consequences that result in lives dramatically altered and lost. Fast paced, picturesque and brutal. So far, my best read of 2023! ~Sylla
Giant birds of prey, man eating manticore, and the dark and obsessive pursuit to fulfill one's life purpose: what more could a fantasy reader possibly want? The plot is perfectly paced, the characters are endearing and their relationships are complicated. A quick read with big emotions that I've been lingering in long after the last page. ~Allie
This book totally exceeded all my expectations - for the record my expectations were very high! Kelly Yang has fashioned a story that makes accessible to young readers complex issues such as immigration, the pandemic, banned books, and bullying… just to name a few. I promise you will want a box of tissues on hand because the feelings are so real. Great for middle readers of all ages and would be a perfect pick for a read-along. ~Allie
From start to finish, this book had me in a proverbial chokehold. I found myself audibly gasping with each turn and twist of the plot and at times I caught myself seething, completely beside myself with righteous indignation. I couldn't help but love the Trudeau twins, the book's central characters who are messy and make mistakes and at times feel so damn relatable. The magic system, which draws on the rich cultural histories of African diaspora, is so well imagined and like nothing I have ever read. ~Allie
This story has everything you could want in a fantasy: great adventure, brave characters you'll love, and a very hateable villian. Oh, and dragons. What more could you want? A perfect read for all ages (like 8+). ~Kendelyn
Action packed, fiercely feminist, and brilliantly beautiful, Iron Widow is all about burning down the patriarchy. Main character Zetian is the take-no-prisoners protagonist I've been waiting for. Sure, she makes some morally grey choices, but it is impossible not to root for her! ~Allie
Sometimes, it's just important to do what you feel is the right thing even if you don't know all the answers. That's what this book is all about. Brave characters who stand up for what they believe in, even in 5th and 6th grade, with some fun adventure thrown in. Would recommend for any age! ~ Kendelyn
A romp of a Who's-Dun-It like you have never read! Benjamin Stevenson weaves a story that engages the reader into this hilarious, dark comedy of a mystery. What family reunion is complete without a few dead bodies?? ~ Tracy
This book will turn your brain inside out and leave you asking "what did I just read?" The romance isn't very complex, but it is beautifully evoked in poetic love letters, and the plot will have you racing to learn the lovebirds' fate. A unique read, if this works for you then you may very well love it! ~ Nathan
She is a Haunting is the type of horror that will symultaneously make you sweat and chill you to the bone. Full of creepy cawlies and dripping with atmosphere. Will take you on a haunting exploration of colonialism and the festering wounds it leaves behind. ~Allie
"Beautiful World, Where Are You" is a deeply empathetic portrait of love and friendship that feels the pulse of emotion in everyday moments. I've never read a book like it. It's beautiful, melancholy, and encouraging. One of my all-time FAVORITES! ~Nathan
I am in LOVE!! I am in love with this book, with Stanley, with food, with his crazy Italian family, and with Italy. You will adore Stanley! You will laugh out loud, get really hungry, make travel plans, and even cry. ~Tracy
This is, without a doubt, the most creative world building I have ever encountered in a sci-fi novel. What does it take to build a planet? And who does it take to protect that planet? Come for the ethical exploration but stay for the flying moose, sentient trains, a bad guy you will want to drop kick off a cliff.
Rupi Kaur has a magical way of putting words to feelings in a beautifully succinct way. I felt seen and validated so often, and continue to reread this book at different points in my life. One thing is certain: you are not alone. I'll hold this book closely forever. ~ Kendelyn
"One Italian Summer" is a perfect escape to the South of Italy. A delightful read full of beautiful scenery, food, and love. A perfect summer read, I couldn't put it down and read it in a day! ~ Tracy
Looking for a new and original fairy tale to add to your shelf? Pick this one. You will not be disappointed! It is the sweetest tale with the cutest illustrations and left me overfilled with happiness! ~ Allie
This book is binge-worthy. Amanda Montell asks "What is a cult?" while examining the use of language and its power to influence. I'm not a huge non-fiction reader, but I loved this one so much! ~ Allie
Kiss Her Once for Me contains: adorable grandmas, solving relationship problems through communication and respecting one another's individual personhood, wonderfully supportive friends showing up when life sucks, and more I don't remember because I devoured it in one day
Post-Civil War America + zombies. It sounds like a weird combination, but trust me, it works. Jane has been a student at Miss Preston's School of Combat for Negro Girls where she has been trained to fight the zombie hordes terrorizing the country… until she uncovers a plot where the zombies at the least of her problems
One Last Stop is everything I want in a rom-com: queer and trans characters, delightful banter, and time travel! Fast paced, heartwarming, bittersweet, and achingly funny - this book truly has a special place in my heart.
How could the actions of one girl in 1453 impact the life of a girl and her family in 2080? Or a quiet son of an immigrant in the 1940s effect the lift of a man escaping a burning Earth 100 years later? Give this book a read. The answers might surprise you.
Everyone deserves to see themselves in stories, and Alice Oseman writes the story of self discovery, acceptance, and chosen family as messy and beautiful as it is. Her characters are whole people, never just diminished to a single identity. I love her work and this sweet book didn't disappoint!
This book was the best part of my 2020. With her humor and authenticity, Glennon Doyle offers wisdom to pull sincerity out of her readers. She puts words to the weight of expectations that effect us all, and encourages us all to free ourselves of them. I'm rereading chapters all the time. It'll live on my shelves forever!
A few pages into Piranesi I could tell that I was in the hands of a masterful writer. A tantalizing, fantastical mystery. A work of empathy and beauty. A treasure.
Infused with Welsh mythology, The Drowned Woods by local author Emily Lloyd-Jones is a darkly crafted fantasy that follows the kingdoms last living water divinger, Mer. Full of romance, adventure, magic, an adorable corgi named Trefor. This escape is sure to keep you up past your bedtime.
I adore how sweet this graphic novel is - and how realistic the portrayal of queer coming-of-age is depicted. "The Girl from the Sea is bittersweet in the best way. Plus, who doesn't love mermaids?
"Blaze Me a Sun" is more than a mystery; it is a novel about flawed people, good people, bad people and the confounded decisions they make. In a small community in Sweden, a series of murders take place that a local police office is determined to solve. After many yearts of failed efforts a new set of eyes brings forth perspective that helps dig up answers, some unwanted. For fans of Henning Mankill or Steig Larsson.
"Exiles" takes Aaron Falk to Australian wine country and a family gathering during the town's annual wine festival. At the prior year's event a local woman and family friend goes missing, leaving behind her infant. Aaron explores family and community dynamics that result in him solving not one, but two mysterous deaths. Harper puts you smack in the valley- you feel the humidity and lushness of the region, the tension between the characters and emotional tugs that Aaron experiences as he grows closer to the family.
There is so much I love about this book! Similar to TJ Klune's The House in the Cerulean Sea, it features found family, queer joy, and an MC who goes through profound growth… which just happens to occur after he dies… enjoy.
The Book Eaters is a savory feast of a novel, perfect for readers of dark fantasy. Devon Fairweather comes from a long line of book eaters, a humanoid-vampire like alien race. Devon is raised on fairy tales and cautionary fables. Her story is about the dangers of believing the narratives others create for you; finding agency and owning your identity.
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 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.
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.
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.
Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole (Bread Cookbook, Baking Cookbooks, Bread Baking Bible) (Hardcover)
One Pan, Two Plates: Vegetarian Suppers: More than 70 Weeknight Meals for Two (Cookbook for Vegetarian Dinners, Gifts for Vegans, Vegetarian Cooking) (Paperback)
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.
Happiness Is Baking: Cakes, Pies, Tarts, Muffins, Brownies, Cookies: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of Cake (Hardcover)
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.
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.
A sweet, comforting, hug of a book about finding love and family and a place to belong in the people and location you least expect. ~Billie
Reading this book is like falling in love. I can hardly recall a story that more perfectly encapsulates that soft, fluttery feeling. Oseman's art is absoloutely lovely as well, all around gorgeous. ~Bee
A goofy, opposite attract rom-com that takes place in Portland. I laughed, I cried, I loved every page. ~Bee
Perfect for fans of 'The Haunting of Hill House', 'Mexican Gothic' is spine-chilling, eerie, and reminiscint of 'The Yellow Wallpaper'. The perfect rainy-day-hot-coffee book! ~ Bee
Okay, I was not at all prepared for how much fun this book is. So there is your warning, you'll probably want to read it all in one sitting. This enemies-to-lovers historical fantasy features first rate Victorian lady assassin pirates, flying houses, witty henchmen, and real strong Princess Bride vibes. Enjoy! ~ Allie
Fan of cozy mysteries? Enjoy daydreaming about food? This is one of my favorites that happens to go above and beyond in checking both boxes. Manansala's writing is hilarious but also not shy in touching on some more serious themes, including the unique experience of diasporic Filipinos and other second-generation immigrants, as well as the opioid crisis. ~ Allie
Victories Greater Than Death is an action-packed YA space-opera about the power of friendship, bravery, and fighting for whats right. I really admire how inclusive the narrative is, and could not get enough of the expansive, and at times wacky, world-building. ~ Allie
Email or call for price.
This book is amazing, Silvia Moreno-Garcia's writing just keeps getting better and I am so here for it. This one, set in Mexico City right after the Corpus Christi Massacre, captures everything I want out of noir: the setting is dark and grimy, the characters are deeply flawed, and plot centers around a complicated and twisted crime. ~ Allie
Think The Princess Diaries but SO much better. After Izumi finds out her long lost father is the crown Prince of Japan, her life is completely turned upside down. She travels to Japan, makes new friends (and a few enemies), eats all the things, and maybe even falls in love. Enjoy! ~ Allie
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...
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.
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.
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.
Email or call for price.
Mending Life: A Handbook for Mending Clothes and Hearts (with Basic Stitching, Sashiko, Darnin g, and Patching to Practice Sustainable Fashion and Repair the Clothes You Love (Hardcover)
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.
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.
An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System: A Tale in Four Lives (Paperback)
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.
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!
Beautifully written and unwaveringly authentic, I couldn't read this one fast enough. I didn't want to put it down, but knew I wanted to savor every word of Michelle's wisdom and humor. A much needed reminder of why going high is always the right answer in our complicated world. ~ Kendelyn