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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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!