Books We Loved in 2022

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The Maid: A Novel By Nita Prose Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593356159
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - January 4th, 2022

Eleanor OIiphant meets Miss Marple in a cozy mystery that is both charmingly familiar and delightfully different. Molly Gray may be a little old-fashioned, a lot blunt, and struggling with social cues, but she is also smart, capable, observant, kind, and loves her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel where she returns her assigned rooms to a state of perfection every day. Admittedly, she does not always love her interactions with the guests, who don't always behave in a manner becoming the Regency Grand. She particularly does not love it when the worst but most VIP of guests turns up dead when Molly is in the middle of cleaning his suite. This is not the state of perfection she strives for. If she keeps calm, applies the rules her Gran taught her, accepts a little help from her friends, and tells the police what she saw, everything should work out fine. Except the observant Molly may have missed an important piece of this puzzle. The police suspect foul play — and they're beginning to think Molly herself brought this foul imperfection onto the scene.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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The Siren of Sussex (Belles of London #1) By Mimi Matthews Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593337134
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Published: Berkley - January 11th, 2022

Get ready to fall in love with this sweet and smart Victorian romance! It seems like the perfect partnership when Evelyn Maltravers, a bluestocking and equestrienne, asks Ahmad Malik, a up-and-coming designer, to create her riding habit so she can showcase her expert riding skills at Hyde Park's Rotten Row and catch the eye of a potential suitor . For Evelyn, finding the right husband means she can provide for her younger sisters. For Ahmad, having his designs seen in high society means he can finally buy the business where he has worked for years as a tailor's assistant. As their plans play out better than they had hoped, they are surprised by the deep connection that is forming between them. In an era when an tradesman, let alone an interracial couple, wouldn't be accepted in British high society, Evelyn and Ahmad must decide if they can deny their feelings and find happiness elsewhere. The Siren of Sussex was a delight to read and I loved seeing gender and racial equality topics of the time woven so well into this swoon-worthy love story.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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Ain't Burned All the Bright By Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator)
$19.99
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ISBN: 9781534439467
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 11th, 2022

Truly outstanding. A collaboration of word, art, breath, and heart that captures a single moment and several lifetimes. Through three long sentences and hundreds of pieces of art, Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin guide, jostle, and ease you through the stifling, joyous, vulnerable, terrifying, gorgeous, hopeful strength and connection of a Black family in America in 2020. Highly recommended for art lovers, poetry readers, Americans, and humans.

- Recommended by Dawn and Nicole; reviewed by Dawn


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The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: A Novel By Eva Jurczyk Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781728238593
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Published: Poisoned Pen Press - January 25th, 2022

Liesl Weiss is asked to return from sabbatical to lead the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections after her boss has a stroke. Before she can settle in she realizes a new and rare acquisition has gone missing. She goes from concerned to suspicious when university administration discourages her from reporting the theft to the police. When one of her fellow librarians vanishes, Liesl realizes she must figure out what has been happening in her department even if she is met with resistance from colleagues. I loved this book because it is a book about books, of course. It is a good mystery too. But what I really enjoyed is that the author captures moments women in the workplace encounter so well, particularly women in academia. Many conversations and thoughts Liesel has ring true.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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Violeta [English Edition]: A Novel By Isabel Allende, Frances Riddle (Translated by) Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Frances Riddle (Translated by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593496206
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Published: Ballantine Books - January 25th, 2022

Violeta is a 100-year-old woman's telling of the story of her life to her most cherished loved one, Camilo. Her story spans the biggest events of the last century beginning with the Spanish Flu and ending with the current pandemic. While world-shaping historical events of this time are happening, Violeta tells what her life was like in South America, how she was affected by the events of the time and how sometimes her life was simply happening in parallel. In confiding to Camilo, Violeta reflects on choices she made, some that changed her life for the better and others that were difficult and sometimes selfish. Isabel Allende has created an exquisite lyrical novel that welcomes your right into Violeta's memories and makes you feel the love, loss and triumphs of her life and the lives of those around her. I loved every page of this book!

- Recommended by Sara and Dawn; reviewed by Sara


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The Swimmers: A novel By Julie Otsuka Cover Image
$23.00
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ISBN: 9780593321331
Published: Knopf - February 22nd, 2022

When a suspicious crack appears at the bottom of a neighborhood pool, the swimmers react (and overreact) in hilarious ways. The pool is the place they go to escape the world above, to quiet their thoughts or plunge into memories. They are a community connected by a subterranean second home. When the pool closes, one of the swimmers finds herself succumbing more and more rapidly to dementia, floating farther and farther away from her husband, her daughter and herself. By turns, a comedic and quirky allegory, poignant meditation on aging and memory loss, and heartbreaking portrait of a life and a family, this little novella is a whole entire universe in a slim package.

- Recommended and reviewed by Nicole


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Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love By Kim Fay Cover Image
By Kim Fay
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593419335
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 8th, 2022

Love & Saffron is a simple, endearing exploration of food and friendship through letter writing between two women in the 1960's. Joan Bergstrom is a young woman just starting out in the world when she writes a fan letter to Imogen Fortier, a columnist in the Pacific Northwest who is older, more mature and settled. During a complicated and exciting time in American history, one letter turns into many and these women become close confidants, always sharing their love of food but also supporting encouraging one another to seek out new opportunities and experiences. I love how these characters are so open to experiencing new food and cultures. It is also a welcome reminder of what friendships could be like before social media with near instant feedback existed.

- Recommended by Sara and Dawn; reviewed by Sara


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The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together By Heather McGhee Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780525509585
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Published: One World - February 8th, 2022

I can't recommend THE SUM OF US highly enough! Out of all of the excellent antiracist reads available right now, it's the one I most want people to pick up. McGhee explains and humanizes historical and economic racism, reveals how it's built on a fabricated zero-sum paradigm of scarcity and control, and investigates how the "spillover costs of racism" hurt everyone and how research has shown that we can better prosper together.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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The Paris Apartment: A Novel By Lucy Foley Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063003057
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Published: William Morrow - February 22nd, 2022

When Jess arrives at her half brother Ben's apartment--in a seriously old and wealthy neighborhood of Paris--he's not there. Even though he was (somewhat reluctantly) expecting her. As a journalist, Ben is sometimes known for taking off for a story, but Ben isn't answering his phone, his wallet is still in his apartment, and the other residents of the building are either unwilling to help or outwardly hostile. As Jess digs into the secrets of Ben's life and disappearance in Paris, all clues point back to the mysterious apartment building and its sinister residents. This book is a worthy follow-up to Foley's The Guest List. Foley is a master at pacing, and the multiple narrators make it impossible to put this one down until its satisfying conclusion.

- Recommended and reviewed by Benjie


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The Cartographers: A Novel By Peng Shepherd Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062910691
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Published: William Morrow - March 15th, 2022

Nell Young, a gifted yet disgraced cartographer, thought she would never return to the New York Public Library where she was fired and humiliated by her boss, mentor, and hero, Dr. Daniel Young, her father. Seven years later, Nell is summoned to the NYPL and learns of her father's murder. Despite having not spoken to him in years, Nell finds herself immediately immersed in researching his last project, the same map that led to her firing and ruin of her career. Dr. Daniel Young was furious when Nell discovered the 1930's New York gas station map in library storage and he insisted it was worthless. Yet, in the end, it was the one thing he left her and she soon discovers it is the last of its kind and highly sought after by cartographers everywhere. Why then did he treat her discovery the way he did all those years ago and why did he destroy her career? As Nell starts to unlock the secrets of the map, its origins and its power, she hopes to solve the mystery of her father's murder and get the answers she needs to move forward. The Cartographers brings the suspense, fantasy, dual timelines and multiple narrators that made this book impossible to put down. I would recommend this to anyone who knows a good adventure starts in the library.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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Sea of Tranquility: A novel By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780593321447
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Published: Knopf - April 5th, 2022

Once again, Emily St. John Mandel writes a book I can't stop thinking about. 25th century detective Gaspery-Jacques Roberts from the Night City colony is sent back in time to investigate an anomaly in the timeline. How did a young man traveling in Vancouver in the 1900s, a videographer documenting the abstract beauty of the world in the 2000s and an author of a prescient pandemic novel in the 2200s traveling through Oklahoma City share the exact same paranormal experience, separately but together? And, can the anomaly be resolved without affecting the timeline? Should it be resolved? With nods to her prior novels and a satisfying ending, fans of Mandel's work will find this is exactly the book we needed! If you also loved the Psychology of Time Travel or The Time Travelers Wife (but wished for a different ending), this book is for you.

- Recommended by Sara and Nicole; reviewed by Sara


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Bittersweet By Susan Cain Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780451499783
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - April 5th, 2022

If you love Leonard Cohen and rainy days, feel the pull of the word "poignant," have ever been described as an old soul, or instinctively push back at today's expectations of constant positivity and effortless perfection — "Bittersweet" may be a balm for your soul. Susan Cain, who wrote the book on introverts ("Quiet"), helping them and others understand and value their strengths, is back to do the same for those among us who cozy up to melancholy and recognize the piercing joy of longing. With a more personal, personally curated, and evocative style than her previous book (there's even a companion playlist of songs for this one), Cain draws from C.S. Lewis, wisdom traditions, Pixar films, neuroscience, genetics, and more as she invites you to consider the ways in which unsettling emotion, creativity, and connection are intertwined in the human experience.

- Recommended by Dawn and Nicole; reviewed by Dawn


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Woman, Eating: A Literary Vampire Novel By Claire Kohda Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063140882
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Published: HarperVia - April 12th, 2022

Get ready to devour this book! Claire Kohda has written a dark and funny coming of age story about a 23-year-old vampire that's like no other vampire book I've ever read. Lydia is living away from home for the first time, binges old episodes of Buffy, watches ASMR videos on YouTube and wants to feel normal around her peers. In her effort to shed her feelings of "otherness", she has to shake the negative thoughts and self doubt she has carried since childhood and embrace who she is. The process is sometimes hilarious, heartwarming, heartbreaking and oh so relatable.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) By Rebecca Roanhorse Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781534437739
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Published: Gallery / Saga Press - April 19th, 2022

Book two in the Between Earth and Sky epic series adds intrigue to intrigue! I'm not usually a fan of deep political intrigue in my fantasy epics but it's all so fascinating and so well balanced with the more personal narratives of Naranpa, Serapio, and Xiala, that I didn't mind in the least. This fantasy world based on Pre-Columbian cultures and lore and filled with celestial prophecy and clan-based power moves and magical machinations is one of the most interesting things I've read in a long time. Fans of N.K. Jemisin, S.A. Chakraborty, R.F. Kuang, and, yes, G.R.R. Martin should definitely check it out.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Book Lovers By Emily Henry Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593334836
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - May 3rd, 2022

A rom-com that's for and about BOOK LOVERS and is written like a small town Hallmark movie with a smart, subversive twist? Yes, please! After a disatrous business lunch, cutthroat, NYC literary agent Nora and brooding, unyielding NYC book editor Charlie (strong Roy Kent vibes) bump into each other again (and again) in the unlikeliest of small towns in North Carolina. She's there because she'd do anything for her sunshiney sister. He's there because his family needs him to be someone he's not. Nora and Charlie aren't the type to get the tidy, "everything you ever wanted," happily ever after. They're brilliant at recognizing and shaping a compelling, emotionally truthful story on paper or even for their friends and family… But can they craft a satisfying story for themselves? Complex family dynamics, heartfelt and supportive swearing, lots of bookish catnip, and the A+ banter and steamy romance you've come to expect from Emily Henry.

- Recommended by Dawn and Nicole; reviewed by Dawn


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Remarkably Bright Creatures: A Novel By Shelby Van Pelt Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9780063204157
Published: Ecco - May 3rd, 2022

A charmingly original debut with a Fredrik Backman vibe! Tova is an older woman who has lost her share of loved ones and, sometimes to her friends' dismay, copes by staying busy and applying Scandinavian stoicism. While staying busy at her cleaning job at the aquarium, she makes an unexpected friend — a surprisingly deft, gently humorous giant Pacific octopus named Marcellus. Observing what others may not, Marcellus unlocks the mysteries of the past and opens the possibilities of the future.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor By Xiran Jay Zhao Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781665900706
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - May 10th, 2022

Percy Jackson meets Yu-Gi-Oh! I haven't had this much fun with a middle grade novel since Tristan Strong punched a hole in the sky! A fun, fast-paced, intricate adventure with the vibrance and adrenaline of a video game, the depth and philosphy of traditional myths and legends, and the heart and hope of good family and friends. Loved the diversity featured (our main character is a Muslim Chinese American), the funny chapter titles and pop culture hooks, the way history and myth were incorporated and explained, and how nothing was forced into a simplistic black-and-white perspective.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School By Sonora Reyes Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063060234
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 17th, 2022

One of the best contemporary YA novels I've read for a long time — full of humor, resonant authenticity, and emotional integrity. Yami, a queer Mexican American, and Cesar, her brother, are new students at a prestigious Catholic school. Yami is determined that it won't be like their old school, where Cesar got into mysterious fights and Yami got outed and rejected. She'll keep Cesar out of trouble, and she'll keep her sexuality a secret. From everyone. But especially from her mom, who Yami fears would disown her. And her new friend, the confidently out Bo, who Yami finds far too intriguing for comfort.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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From Bad to Cursed (The Witches of Thistle Grove #2) By Lana Harper Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593336083
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Published: Berkley - May 17th, 2022

Thistle Grove continues to be the small Southern Illinois town of your diverse, contemporary, witchy romance dreams! In this latest installment, powerful dark sorceress Isidora (Issa) Avramov has to partner with her nemesis, the disgustingly wholesome and handsome green magic user Rowan Thorn. They're investigating a decidedly unwholesome hex (associated with the Avramov family) that badly injured a Beltane festival queen candidate (from the Thorn family). With magics and personalities that mix like oil and water, can Issa and Rowan find a way to uncover the truth before the growing danger destroys them, their families, and the safety of Thistle Grove? This is a fun, moderately steamy read with a main character who is allowed to be a whole complicated, strong, dark, powerful, chaotic, creative, cuddly person — who is finding her way in the world.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle: An Uplifting and Unforgettable Story of Love and Second Chances By Matt Cain Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781496737755
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Published: A John Scognamiglio Book - May 31st, 2022

The charming story of a quiet British postie who is inspired to start living his truth on the eve of his (forced) retirement. Albert's couragous steps forward and his quest to find and reconnect with his teenage love reveal his past history and the history of LGBTQ oppression in England. An ensemble cast of co-workers and neighbors come together to make up a late-in-life found family in a life-affirming tale of authenticity and community.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Murder for the Modern Girl By Kendall Kulper Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780823449729
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Holiday House - May 31st, 2022

Golly! What a ride! Roaring Twenties flapper slang, feminist vigilante justice, some interesting paranormal elements — there's lots to love with this fun, genre-bending, sweetly romantic, kick-butt, noir mystery!

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


Tokyo Dreaming: A Novel (Tokyo Ever After #2) By Emiko Jean Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766632
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - May 31st, 2022

This follow-up to Tokyo Ever After is everything you want in a sequel. Now that Izumi has decided to stay in Japan and embrace life as a princess, she must face the responsibilities and expectations that come with that decision. This has all the fun and the romance of the first while realistically exploring Izumi's struggle to find her way forward and stay true to herself. A fun contemporary romance with lots of heart!

- Recommended and reviewed by Benjie


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Wretched Waterpark (The Sinister Summer Series #1) By Kiersten White Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593379042
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - June 7th, 2022

The Sinister-Winterbottom kids are having a strange summer. They're trying to figure out where their parents disappeared to, why they ended up spending the summer with an Aunt Saffronia they've never met, and how to enjoy their week at a decrepit waterpark. It's an excellent start to a creepy mystery series that just hints at paranormal shenanigans. Wretched Waterpark provides the best kinds of summer chills, sibling adventures, and sinister discoveries as they try to solve the mystery of the Cold Unknowable Sea at the weirdly gothic waterpark Fathoms of Fun. The wordplay made me laugh out loud, the kids are delightful, and the mystery-within-a-mystery is compelling. (The audiobook is also excellent.)

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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The Woman in the Library: A Novel By Sulari Gentill Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781464215872
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - June 7th, 2022

This literary mystery is a clever story within a story and perfect for anyone who loves books about books. When the silence of the Reading Room at the Boston Public Library is shattered by a woman's scream and then the discovery of a body, four strangers at a table in the Reading Room form an unlikely friendship in the aftermath of the tragedy. The only problem is one of them happens to be the murderer. Beware: this book is a hard one to put down, and you will want to recommend it to all your friends so you can talk about that ending!

- Recommended and reviewed by Benjie


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A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables) By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250766649
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Published: Tordotcom - June 14th, 2022

After five years of fairytale fixing, Zinnia Gray is tired of rescuing and tired of running. She basically put a bookmark in her own story back home, with the hurtful consequence of leaving her best friend on read. So maybe she's not exactly sorry to find herself yanked through a mirror and into a completely different fairytale, but she's sorry to say she's not entirely sure what to do about this one. Is it completely different? Is the evil queen the villain or the victim? And what does it make Zinnia if she helps her? A Mirror Mended is a remix of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White that tells the story of identity, agency, and relationship with creative dark humor and skill.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Bitch: On the Female of the Species By Lucy Cooke Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781541674899
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Published: Basic Books - June 14th, 2022

"Truth lies in diversity and transparency."  A++ for this exceptionally readable, enthusiastically funny, and necessary expansion on the "blinkered science" that has misrepresented the female of the species. From the aggressively dominant female hyena on the cover to the peaceful and cooperatively dominant female bonobos, from the murderous matriarchal meercat to the menopausal mensch of a matrilineal orca pod — the animal world is a fascinating spectrum of form and behavior that is far more interesting and diverse than the "sexist mythology" of stereotypes that have been "baked into" our studies of biology.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us By Ed Yong Cover Image
By Ed Yong
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593133231
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Published: Random House - June 21st, 2022

A fascinating examination of the world as other animals perceive it — and how we unintentionally limit our understanding of it and them. There's something her for every animal lover or nature enthusiast, including intriguing info about the largest mammals to the smallest insects. The audiobook from Libro.fm is narrated by the author and is also outstanding. His enthusiasm is evident but not distracting, and his British accent is easy on these American ears. My attention refused to wander as long as there was a chance he'd say "zebra" wtih a short "e" again, which he does right through to the end.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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On Rotation: A Novel By Shirlene Obuobi Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063209145
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Avon - June 21st, 2022

This engaging coming-of-age story by debut author Shirlene Obuobi gives us a peek into the life of a med school student. Angie Appiah attempts to juggle the demands of med school and the expectations of her immigrant parents while navigating dating and friendships and life in general. Obuobi is an being called an author to watch and also creates a popular Instagram comic about her life as a female doctor. You can find her on Instagram at ShirlyWhirlMD.

- Recommended and reviewed by Benjie


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Elsewhere: A Novel By Alexis Schaitkin, Elishia Merricks (Preface by) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250219633
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Celadon Books - June 28th, 2022

In a small, isolated mountain town, life seems perfect except mothers inexplicably go missing and everyone seems to just accept it. It's described as the town's "affliction" that must be endured in order to enjoy their idyllic life. Elsewhere is a haunting piece of speculative fiction that explores the nuances of motherhood - the pressure mothers put on themselves to be perfect, the judgements of fellow mothers and the value society places on motherhood in words compared to action. Timely, eerie and validating.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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The Dead Romantics By Ashley Poston Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593336489
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Published: Berkley - June 28th, 2022

A weird and wonderful rom-com, Ashley Poston's adult debut is just the kind of not-scary ghost story I love to pick up on a summer evening! On the surface, it's a book about a ghostwriter who literally sees ghosts, and one of them is (surprise!) the apparently recently dead editor whose deadline she's in the process of badly blowing. In addition to that delightful ridiculousness, it's a story that's bursting with odd and lovable characters, clever publishing industry and romance reader nods (and name dropping), poignant messages about family and love and loss, and a sweet and satisfying romance (not steamy) with just the right amount of humor and angst.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Hell of a Book: A Novel By Jason Mott Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593330982
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Published: Dutton - June 28th, 2022

(Released in paperback in 2022) National Book Award winner. A poignant, serious book hiding in plain sight in an often-funny, surreal contemporary tale about an author on tour to promote his book while dealing with his "condition" — an overactive imagination that intrudes on his reality while a selective forgetfulness erases parts of that same reality. Literally laugh-out-loud funny and gut-punch uncomfortable, it's a beautifully crafted, thought-provoking book that raises questions with every answer the author-narrator discovers on his journey.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321201
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Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022

An epic Gen X friendship unfolds over three decades of support, missteps, pain, collaboration, and restarts. Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) has given us a compelling, beautifully written, complex story about knowing and being known; about personal, emotional, and social survival; about the transition of a pre-digital world into a digital one; about story and play and vulnerability and trauma and context — all unfolding in the surprisingly Shakespearean world of game development.

- Recommended by Dawn and Nicole; reviewed by Dawn


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Gender Queer: A Memoir By Maia Kobabe Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781549304002
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Published: Oni Press - May 28th, 2019

#ReadBannedBooks This on is exceptional — exceptionally personal and kind and vibrant and honest. A great example of how a graphic memoir can tell a complex story in a beautifully accessible way. Maia Kobade, master of comics, was assigned female at birth but identifies as nonbinary today and uses e/em/eir pronouns. Gender Queer is the story of eir journey to understand eir own gender identity and to find an expression of it that feels true. Maia's story is so relatable in so many ways that it reminds us that we're all far more alike than different and that listening to people's stories is a far better way to understand ourselves and each other than narrowly defining acceptable stories and ignorantly silencing others. "Gender Queer" was the most banned book of 2021, challenged for having LGBTQIA+ content and sexually explicit images. It's a beautifully nuanced, contextualized, and generous memoir, and I highly recommend it.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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A Prayer for the Crown-Shy: A Monk and Robot Book (Monk & Robot #2) By Becky Chambers Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781250236234
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Published: Tordotcom - July 12th, 2022

Full of small comforts and big ideas, the Monk and Robot adventure continues to be a joy. Sibling Dex and robot Mosscap are back from the wilderness and are embarking on Mosscap's mission to check in on humanity and ask people what they need. Visiting villages and stopping by Dex's family farm on their way to the big city, they enjoy each other's company, contemplate simple and complex philosophies of being and community, and discover more truths about themselves and what they need. I would probably read ten more of these thoughtful, hopeful, cozy science-fantasy tales!

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Groupies: A Novel By Sarah Priscus Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063218017
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Published: William Morrow - July 12th, 2022

For fans of Daisy Jones & The Six, this novel describes the life of groupies in the 70s. Though it is a fictional story, Groupies paints an accurate picture of life at the time. Faun Novak wants to be taken seriously as a photographer, but the only way to get close to the band is to become one of the groupies. When she joins her best friend Josie, the girlfriend of the wildly popular Cal Holiday, Faun discovers that this lifestyle might not be as glamorous as she once thought. (Content warnings: Drugs, Domestic Violence, Murder, Underage relationship)

- Recommended and reviewed by Zoe

 


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A Career in Books: A Novel about Friends, Money, and the Occasional Duck Bun By Kate Gavino, Kate Gavino (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate Gavino, Kate Gavino (Illustrator)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780593185483
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Plume - August 2nd, 2022

Three friends, newly graduated from college, head into the jungle that is the New York City publishing industry. As editorial assistants in vastly different companies, they encounter many of the same institutionalized bummers (sexism, racism, elitism -- all the classics!). Their unwavering love and support for one another carries them through a rough introduction to the professional world, adult responsibilities, and an often idealized industry that actually has a pretty brutal reputation. Their discovery of a mysterious neighbor who is actually an award-winning author, long ago banished into obscurity as the "Tampax Tolstoy," rallies the girls around a common goal, but also sends each of them down a path toward discovering who they are as individuals, outside of their tight-knit group. Wry, charming, relatable, and full of literary tidbits that book lovers will adore!

- Recommended and reviewed by Nicole


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The Book Eaters By Sunyi Dean Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250810182
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - August 2nd, 2022

The Handmaid's Tale meets Interview with the Vampire in this creepy, gothic story about tradition, motherhood and monsters. I have a low threshold for scary stuff, but this story was so good, that I just couldn't stop myself from reading more! Devon Fairweather is a princess -- the creepy, victorian kind who aren't so much treasured as trapped. As a young girl, she wasn't really aware of her gilded (albeit molding and crumbling) cage, but as an increasingly rare female book eater, she was bred for one purpose -- brokered marriages and non-optional procreation to ensure the continuation of her people, an ancient and once powerful species that consume books, instantly absorbing their words and knowledge. Noir detective novels are peppery snacks; dictionaries are dry and flavorless bricks doled out as punishment to naughty 'eater children. Young Devon is fed a steady diet of fairy tales, books that always end in marriage and children, ensuring that she never envisions a life outside of those inevitabilities. When Devon becomes a mother and experiences the most brutal part of being an 'eater woman, being forcibly separated from your children, a fierceness awakens inside her and she starts to look at the people and institutions around her with new eyes. When a mutiny arises in one of the most powerful 'eater families, some of those institutions begin to weaken and Devon sees a chance to run with her young son, a boy who was born different. Instead of books, he consumes human minds. THE BOOK EATERS is a brutal fantasy with strong horror vibes that will have you reading late into the night, then sleeping with the light on.

- Recommended and reviewed by Nicole


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Love on the Brain By Ali Hazelwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593336847
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - August 23rd, 2022

Ali Hazelwood has once again written a heartwarming STEM-inspired romance novel with a "You've Got Mail" twist. Bee Königswasser has finally gotten the opprotunity she has been waiting for, leading the neuroscience research department for NASA. There's once catch, she will have to co-lead the project with her grad-school nemesis, Levi. A classic Hazelwood tale with: Women in STEM, Marie Curie fan-girling, and an enemies to lovers romance that will whisk you away.

- Recommended by Zoe, Dawn, Benjie, and Nicole; reviewed by Zoe


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A Dreadful Splendor: A Novel By B.R. Myers Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063209831
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 23rd, 2022

When Victorian era con woman and fake psychic Genevieve Timmons is hired to a mansion on the cliffs by a lawyer to perform a seance to convince his widower client that his deceased wife is at peace, she gets more than she bargained for. EIther someone on the staff is playing pranks on her or her bedchambers are seriously haunted. Plus, she may or may not be developing feelings for the man she suspects might be a murderer. Described as a "Gothic Murder Mystery Rom Com," this book is exactly that. It's cozy but just creepy enough to send a chill down your spine right when you get too comfortable.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063021426
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

Robin Swift has trained his whole life to study translation at Oxford's Babel Institute. Howeve, he is immediately confronted with a side of academia for which he wasn't prepared. At Babel in the 1820s words have power, literally, and the British Empire uses that power for colonial expansion. As a Cantonese orphan, Robin begins to view colonialism in a new light, seeing how his home and others like his are held down to prop the empire up. How can Robin continue working on something he loves, translation, knowing how that work will be used? If you love dark academia, historical fantasy, and characters who are passionate about words, you need to read Babel.

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy By Megan Bannen Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316394215
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - August 23rd, 2022

If TJ Klune's "Under the Whispering Door" and Ashley Poston's "Dead Romantics" went to a Western-themed party and played a game called "You've Got Mail: Gods and Zombies Edition," you'd get this bonkers genre mashup of a book! Demigod Marshal Hart Ralston patrols the derelict wilderness of the Old Gods to keep the border towns safe from zombie-like drudges. Sunshiney Mercy Birdsall shoulders the weight of Birdsall & Sons Undertakers, giving a respectful send off to the departed. She doesn't appreciate the callous demigod marshal; he doesn't appreciate upselling undertakers. When lonely Hart impulsively pours his feelings into an unsigned letter to "Dear friend" and a giant foul-mouthed jackrabbit deity delivers it to Mercy who unanimously writes back ... the rom-com game is afoot. But so is the increasingly dangerous mystery of the drudges population.

- Recommended by Dawn and Nicole; reviewed by Dawn


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Killers of a Certain Age By Deanna Raybourn Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593200681
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - September 6th, 2022

What do 4 female assassins in their 60's do when their retirement cruise is upended by a colleague sent to kill them? Retirement plans are set aside, knives are sharpened and poisons are prepared. Hold on to your knitting needles because this book is one fast paced, wild ride that proves no one should underestimate women of a certain age. Golden Girls with the skills of Jason Bourne is everything I could have hoped for in this book!

- Recommended and reviewed by Sara


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The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1) By Aiden Thomas Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250822130
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 6th, 2022

An inclusive and diverse new fantasy duology that features a world steeped in Mexican-based mythology and a high-stakes tournament where young semidioses (demigods) compete for the privilege of sacrifice and service to the gods and the world. The trials are for Heroes only and Teo, the only child of Quetzal the god of birds, is no hero — he's a mischievous 17-yr-old and a lowly Jade in a field of Golds. But Sol seems to be running these trials a little differently than before...

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World By Michael Frank, Maira Kalman (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Michael Frank, Maira Kalman (Illustrator)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781982167226
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - September 6th, 2022

A beautifully illustrated, gently excavated conversation and remembrance. "Knowing is remembering. Reading is remembering. Naming is remembering. There are different ways to remember." Read, know, and remember Stella Levi and the sparkling pocket of the world she lived in off the coast of Greece, on the island of Rhodes, where a community of Judeo-Spanish-speaking Sephardic Italian Jews had lived and thrived for 500 years. Name with her and remember the painful absurdity of its destruction and her own hellish separation. Watch, know, and remember the trust that gathers between her and interviewer-friend Michael Franks over 6 years and 100 Saturdays of chats as they work through and remember together an extraordinary life that spans nearly 100 years.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories By Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063117044
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Amistad - September 13th, 2022

An outstanding collection of interlocking stories that work together to create an epic tale — reflecting, revealing, and projecting the experiences of a few generations of Nigerian women, with a core group of friends at the heart. I had no idea where each story was going, no idea where the whole would end up, and was completely faxcinated by the entire journey. Definitely pick this up if you're a fan of connected short stories, family epics, world lit, diverse voices, literary fiction, vibrant women's fiction, or evocative writing with a strong sense of place.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


Fans of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple (and who isn't, really?) will be delighted by this new collection of Marple mysteries. Written by twelve different best-selling and award-winning female authors of today, this collection of stories sees Jane solving crimes from her own St. Mary's Mead to New York City with the quick wit, sharp eye, and wisdom we expect. Pairs well with a good cup of tea and a cozy night by the fire.

- Recommended and reviewed by Benjie


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Odder By Katherine Applegate, Charles Santoso (Illustrator) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250147424
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 20th, 2022

A novel in verse told in three parts and based on real lives of otters cared for at Monterey Bay Aquarium's SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation) program! Odder is an endearing, unflinching story in free verse that's perfect for animal-loving elementary and middle schoolers. It beautifully straddles the lines between fact and fiction, reality and sentiment, offering much to love for both the serious-minded and the whimsical reader. Plus, there's a selected bibliography that includes resources for young readers!

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Rust in the Root By Justina Ireland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780063038226
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 20th, 2022

So smart and creative! 'Rust in the Root' is a fast-paced alt-history fantasy that immerses you in the culture and issues of 1930s America while blowing your mind with an intelligent scaffolding of magic, an intriguing mystery, and just a touch of horror. A young mage in training is on her first mission with the Bureau of the Arcane's Conservation Corp, Colored Auxiliary, investigating a growing blight on the land. What they discover is a story of exploitation and industrialization, strength and community, magical balance and social justice. It's both completely fantastical and immediately recognizable. Plus there be dragons!

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble (Winner Bakes All) By Alexis Hall Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781538703335
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Forever - November 1st, 2022

"By 'eck it's gorgeous"! A little heavy, but never stodgy, book two in the Winner Bakes All series is different from but as good as the first one (Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake) and could definitely stand alone. "Paris Daillencourt Is About to Crumble" is a sweet, poignant, personal, coming-of-age story wrapped in a satisfying romance and topped with just enough quirky baking competition capers to give it that extra something. The sensitive portrayal and pacing of Paris's anxiety and mental health issues and the navigation of the personal and relationship differences between Paris and Tariq (an openly gay Muslim) is *chef's kiss*. Plus, there are scrummy good bakes.

- Recommended and reviewed by Dawn


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Now Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel By Kevin Wilson Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062913500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - November 8th, 2022

Frankie and Zeke are rule-following misfits with cheating fathers. Using their talents, they create a poster that unknowingly sends their small Tennesse town into a satanic panic. As the poster spreads and others begin to copy the two teenagers, Frankie and Zeke have to figure out their role as the artists and how to hide an obsessive secret for the rest of their lives.

- Recommended and reviewed by Zoe