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Amy has been reading books for a long time, always figured she'd end up working in a bookstore, figured right, and has been doing so for awhile now. She's hoping that's a sign of untapped clairvoyance. When not reading she enjoys going to local arts events, tending to her Animal Crossing town, and taking pictures of the stray cats in her neighborhood. When reading she likes books that tell her things she didn't know she needed to know, and books that hold magic between their pages. When she's lucky she finds ones that do both.
Lorena Alvarez enchants again. In HICOTEA absolutely magical illustrations accompany a story about curiosity and the natural world.
Can you imagine living in a world where girls aren't allowed to wear pants?! Well, no matter how silly it sounds, not very long ago they weren't allowed to wear pants! Mary Edwards Walker didn't very much like this idea, so she decided that she was going to wear them anyway, and she changed the world by doing it. This is a tale of standing up for yourself, of breaking taboos, and paving the way to making the world a fairer place.
This is a beautiful picture book biography. We're introduced to the incredible Pura Belpré, who was the first Pureto Rican librarian at the New York City Public Library. Pura's love of stories and reading led her to eventually share her favorite Puerto Rican folktales in libraries throughout America. Pura's legacy is preserved today through the Pura Belpré award which is given to both a Latinx writer and illustrator every year for children's books best portraying the Latinx cultural experience.
This is the perfect gift for the book lover in your life. The person who always has to stop in every bookshop they pass, the person who has a towering TBR pile, and who can go on and on about their favorite books and characters. Tung gives us another highly relatable and incredibly cozy collection of comics, this time about having a passion for books.
I am always here for any stories where food plays an integral role, especially if the recipes in the stories are shared with the reader. Food brings us together, and Sweetness and Lightning does such a good job of showing how much that's true. I'm looking forward to continuing this absolutely lovely series.
When someone asks me which series to start with if they're just getting into Japanese comics I always suggest Hana-Kimi. The series has become a classic both in Japan and in the US, and has spawned multiple television shows and radio dramas. It has a fantastic cast of likable characters, is heartfelt, and on occasion laugh-out-loud funny. Hana-Kimi has been, and will likely remain, my absolute favorite manga series.
Few people from the outside have lived in North Korea, Guy Delisle is one of them. Chronicling his time in Pyongyang while overseeing an animation job contracted with a North Korean studio, we see his reaction to North Korea, the reaction of those around him to having a Westerner in their midst, and are given a glimpse at the relationships he has with the people he meets against the stark background of an Orwellian North Korean society. I found this an especially fascinating read during a time at which one can draw increasing parallels between where Western society seems headed and Orwell's grim warning of a novel, 1984.
Some books do a brilliant job of making you feel the emotions of their characters. This is one of those books. You feel Kohei's isolation from his peers due to his disability, and you feel his hope, and subsequent defensiveness when he meets Taichi and their relationship begins. You feel Taichi's determination, admiration, and respect for Kohei. This is a book you feel. I look forward to subsequent volumes, and to seeing how these characters continue to interact and care for one another.
This is an incredibly moving collection of stories. The authors are all from different backgrounds and circumstances, and each story is as unique as the person telling it. There is a story about counseling a grieving family, and what children can teach us about grief and love. There is one story about being a teacher in North Korea, and one about stumbling into a job doing Bowie's hair during the Ziggy Stardust days. Each story, while different, has a sense of wonder about it, one that makes you sit and reflect, and perhaps ponder all of the wonders you yourself have encountered in this life.
Every bit as delightful as the comic series, Giant Days focuses on the beginnings of Susan, Esther, and Daisy's friendships. Taking us through the various adventures of starting university, making new friends, and what to do when a new friend has possibly joined a yoga cult by mistake. I love these characters so much.
This may very well be the most magical book I've encountered in all my days. It has everything you could ask for: a determined protagonist, a self-absorbed wizard, a talking fireplace. Diana Wynne Jones solidified herself as queen of children's fantasy with this novel. An absolute favorite of mine. A book I recommend every time someone is looking for an overlooked classic, or a children's fantasy novel that isn't a series (while there are other "World of Howl" books, this is very much a stand-alone title), or something to recommend a young reader that isn't Harry Potter - but that still has plenty of magic in its pages.
We're invited to follow these characters as they navigate the aftermath of a wrongful conviction. To look on as a couple tries to hold onto their marriage in the midst of turmoil and suffering. As a man tries to keep connected to his family after everything is taken from him. Tayari Jones has given us powerful story about love, family, the prison system in America, and the devastating effects our broken system has on people of color. An American Marriage is deeply affecting, and certainly one of the best novels of the year.
Cohen's lyricism was unparalleled. He brought an incredible emotional depth to each of his works whether poetry or lyrics. Finished before his death, The Flame is a collection of mostly previously unpublished poems and lyrics, as well as lyrics from his final album, You Want It Darker. Reading Cohen is at times akin to a meditative experience, drowning out the noise around you, and folding you into the pages with it's rhythm.
On rare and wonderful occasions one will find a book that is a joy, a companion, something that uplifts, guides, and consoles - this is one of those books. Haemin Sunim is a guide through many of the joys and struggles in life that require a deep kindness for yourself and those around you. With stories from his own life, and small meditations, he shows that if we approach all things through kindness and love our lives will be transformed into something joyful, even in the midst of sorrow. This is a book I am sure I will continue to revisit over the years as I strive to approach all areas of my life with kindness and love towards both others and myself.
An incredibly sweet tale about the importance of respect for our environment. I fell in love with the bravery and kindness shown in this book. Whimsically illustrated. A gentle reminder that we are deeply connected to the world around us, and are stewards of our environment, and that our treatment of it does matter.
When I fall for a picture book, I fall hard and fast. To be able to say so much in so few pages, and with such stunning art is in itself an art form. This book is a fine example of that. We meet a beautiful whale named Wednesday who lives in a fishbowl, and can't understand why she longs for that big blue space in the distance. As much a book about finding where we belong, as it is about learning to care about and respect where others belong - especially those without a voice. Whales, certainly, belong in the sea.
We all need a space to call our own. This beautifully illustrated book helps us learn to navigate that space, to remember that we shouldn't be hurtful and shut people out, and certainly shouldn't be alone all of the time. That we can find the best places and ways to have alone time, and the best places and ways to invite others into our space.
Harriet loves wearing costumes, and has a costume for every occasion - so for her birthday her dads plan on throwing her a costume party! But all sorts of things happen when they go to the store for supplies. A wonderful story about enthusiasm and imagination, and about how sometimes - even with the good things - we can get carried away.
Andrea Gibson is an incredible poetic force. The Madness Vase is one of their collections that I have continued to revisit over the years. As full of hope as it is sometimes full of pain, the collection touches on war, gender identity, sexuality, love, and loss. I have cried in public reading these poems, and in the most emotionally cleansing way. Gibson welcomes you to their poetry in a way in which you can experience it on the most intimate emotional level.
Exploring our current political climate through a lens that encourages identity politics as essential to our democracy, this book argues that identity politics can aid in creating a United States where all citizens are viewed as equal. Revisiting the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War protest movement, Occupy Wallstreet, and more recently #MeToo, Roychoudhuri examines the importance of marginalized people uniting and speaking out. She argues that our current journalistic attitude towards "objectivity" leads to falsehoods that further marginalize an already marginalized majority, and that in some cases in order to present things truthfully we need to be subjective. That we should stop appealing to false narratives in order to appear as to have presented "both sides". If we truly want to create a more equal and fair society we need to lift up the voices of the people who are denied those very voices, and whose voices have been silenced in our effort to appear more "objective". Most importantly I think, she shows us that we do in fact have the power to make these changes. This was an enlightening and engrossing read, and despite the sometimes heavy subject matter I couldn't put it down.
This is a book about belonging to two different communities, but feeling like you don't properly fit in either, and about trying to make friends in those communities.
Vera doesn't feel like she fits in with the American kids at her school, so she decides it'll be easiest to make friends if she goes to a summer camp that celebrates her Russian heritage, where she can meeting other Russian-American kids like her. However, she learns that you can't force friendships, and you certainly shouldn't try and buy them, but that if you focus on being yourself sometimes friends come to you.
An incredibly powerful collection of poetry that explores queerness, trauma, and Vietnamese-American identity in a dominant culture of whiteness and homophobia.
Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx is a stunningly illustrated adventure about a young girl who finds her inner courage. I wish there had been more adventure stories like this when I was a little girl, but I'm delighted to have it now.
This is a really wonderful addition to any cookbook collection. Simple, detailed recipes for a wide-range of delicious Japanese dishes, with gorgeous photos throughout.
The miso eggplant is incredible, and became an immediate staple dish in my home. I cannot wait to try my hand at making agedashi tofu at home, and of course the strawberry shortcake, because Japanese strawberry shortcake is the best strawberry shortcake.
A beautifully illustrated, and touchingly told story about friendship, and about being yourself. I read through this tale in a single sitting before bed, and instantly wished for more.
An impactful and intensely readable collection of essays about music, culture, race - and where they intersect. A wide range of musical subjects are written about, from Chance The Rapper, to My Chemical Romance, to Carly Rae Jepsen. I believe it's best read while listening to the artists the essays feature. The essays also touch on the author's personal experience in dealing with the emotional aftermath of the many mass shootings and police killings of the last few years, of which, unfortunately, there are far too many to list here.