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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.
Shark Lady introduces children to zoologist Eugenie Clark.
A story of determination as well as one of nature and science. We're taken on a journey through Eugenie's life with vibrant illustrations as she learns about her favorite fish, and teaches us about them along the way, dispelling myths about the dangers sharks pose, and informing readers about their great importance to the ocean's ecosystem.
One of the better teen dystopian novels I've read recently.
The Jewel has elements of both The Selection and The Handmaid's Tale, but remains an original and compelling story.
I flew through this book, and can't wait to read the next two installments!
Lucifer is one of the rare spinoffs that, in my opinion, doesn't just match the quality of its parent series, but in many aspects goes as far as to surpass it. Carey managed to write what I consider one of the great approaches to Lucifer-as-character.
"They used to call the devil the father of lies. But for someone whose sin is meant to be pride, you'd think that lying would leave something of a sour taste. So my theory is that when the devil wants to get something out of you, he doesn't lie at all. He tells you the exact, literal truth. And he lets you find your own way to hell."
Derrick Brown brings honesty in his metaphor, and presents his love poems with raw grit. Simultaneously a warm embrace, and a sucker-punch, as every collection of love poems should be.
Have you ever wanted a unicorn? Probably. Have you ever thought about the pros and cons of actually having a unicorn? Probably not. Lucky for you, this book exists, and it can tell you all of the reasons why you definitely DO NOT want a unicorn.
Marin stays in her empty dorm over the Christmas holiday, alone with her thoughts, trying to avoid confronting the loss of her grandfather, and the life in San Francisco she abruptly left behind after he passed. She has made a list of things to keep her occupied: meditate, find new music, watch documentaries. When her friend Mabel flies to New York to visit her during break, she learns she has to confront the things she's been avoiding. We Are Okay deals with what it means to shut down after a tragedy. To be friends with someone, and then more than friends, and then friends again. It deals with grief, love, and the pain of learning that sometimes you don't know the people you were closest to as well as as you thought. Beautifully told with an introspective narrator, We Are Okay quickly made its way to my list of favorite reads.
"Be patient and tough, someday this pain will be useful to you"
This is a book for anyone who has led a rich interior life, sometimes to the detriment of their exterior life.
James is introspective, protective of his identity to a degree that sometimes doesn't allow anyone to know who he is, and because of these things he is a very naive and sometimes harsh narrator. However it's through this interior-narrative that we come to know this very genuine boy on the cusp of adulthood and all his fears. Preoccupied with dreams of leaving Manhattan, and the looming threat of college - what he believes will amount to forced socialization with his peers - for a modest home in Kansas where he can be alone with himself, James learns to deal with the world around him through oftentimes difficult interactions with his family members, psychiatrist, and others. When I first read this book, I was close to James' age, in subsequent re-readings I've learned a lot about James, about myself at varying ages, and about what it means to become a person. Hopefully this book can do the same for you.
Saenz tells his stories with an unparalleled insight and empathy for his characters.
We meet Salvador at a turning point in his life, a coming of age where he explores what it means to be adopted, to lose people you love, to struggle with anger and identity. This is a story about the families we create, and of the families that choose us and take us in when we most need it. The Inexplicable Logic of My Life guided me through the many emotions and experiences of it's characters, and ultimately left me with an overwhelming feeling of love, belonging, and hope.
Nightlights is a visually stunning story about fear and imagination. Alvarez's whimsical and sometimes eerie illustrations tell the story of Sandy, and of the strange girl Morpie who takes perhaps too much interest in Sandy's art. An entirely enchanting all-ages comic.
Jeremy works in an independent video rental shop in Iowa in the late '90s when the likes of Hollywood Video loomed large, threatening their existence. His days are routine until multiple customers return videos complaining that there's "something" on them, something that isn't supposed to be... and from there things only get stranger.
Ruby Elliot illustrates (quite literally) her experiences with depression, anxiety, and self-sabotage in what is equal parts self-deprecating comic and memoir. It's All Absolutely Fine is perfect for fans of Sarah Anderson and Allie Brosh, or for anyone who needs a dash of reassurance that they're not alone in wearing the same pair of pajamas maybe a few too many times, amongst other things.
My introduction to Hannah Hart took place years ago when I stumbled upon a Youtube video called "My Drunk Kitchen". I was hooked. Here was this funny girl cooking while drunk, making puns, and imparting life lessons. It was great. But unlike many Youtube personalities that integrate the personal with the professional, Hannah Hart was always very private. This memoir fills the gaps between her life as an Internet-Celebrity, and a human person who has survived a staggering amount of hardship, pain, doubt, shame, and even self-loathing. Told with a reckless optimism and humor only she could manage, Buffering is a book of stories about life, mental illness, family, coming out, and I think most importantly: surviving. I highly recommend this title, not just for fans of Hannah, but for anyone who needs a dose reckless optimism in the face of the myriad of things life throws at them.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield tells the autobiographical story of a young boy who loves outer-space and dreams of becoming an astronaut and discovering the universe. After watching the moon landing on TV the boy realizes that outer-space is the darkest dark there is, and the problem is he's afraid of the dark. From there we're taken on a journey where the boy learns to love the dark, and faces his fears in order to chase a greater sense of imagination, adventure, and purpose. A wonderful read for anyone, big or small, who has faced their fears to discover their dreams... or who needs to.
Born a true scientist, Ada Twist's first words, not spoken until age three, were "why" "when" and "how". Ada gets into her fair share of messes, but that's what scientists do! And while her parents may sometimes fall into exasperation, they never doubt her brilliance or fail to encourage her repeated requests of "Why?". Though they do stop her more risky experiments... like preventing her from finding out what will happen if she puts the family cat in the clothes dryer.
Coming of age? Road Trips? Family Secrets? What more could you want from a good YA read? Carson isn't excited about spending his summer with his estranged father, but he meets Aisha and the two of them end up embarking on an adventure to discover the story behind his grandfather's disappearance 30 years earlier. Funny, sad, tender, and moving this story brings together unlikely characters and tells an important story. Deserved winner of the Stonewall Book Award, a YALSA best books for young adults selection, and Lambda Literary Award finalist.
I was familiar with Literary Starbucks through their website, and was pleasantly surprised when I'd found that they had turned some of their brilliant posts into a book. Unlike other blogs-turned-books this one does a lovely job of creating a loose narrative. So you can easily read this as a story, or you can seek out your favorite authors and characters in order to see what they may be ordering at the local Starbucks, and what kind of a scene they may be causing. Fittingly, it's a wonderful coffee shop read sure to delight any avid reader. It's definitely made it's way to the top of my holiday gift ideas this season.
I'm always on the lookout for comic books that push boundaries, and Monstress does just that. Monstress follows Maika Halfwolf as she searches for answers about herself in a world where Arcanics like herself are hunted by humans. Magic, intrigue, and intense battles are brought to life with visually stunning, illustrations. I found myself glued to this comic from the beginning, captivated by every page.
A deeply heartwarming novel. A reminder that sometimes the people that know us well are ones we've just met. People who are willing to stick with us through the important moments despite being new to our lives. The main characters of this book form a special bond of friendship, and let each other into their own personal worlds of friendship and love (both requited and unrequited). Anyone who has had any fast but strong friendship will find that this book knows them well.
We've all seen "Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book" and every iteration thereof. But what about those of us that learned everything we needed to know from Led Zeppelin?
"Mellow is the man that knows what he's been missing."
This is what we've been missing, and we needn't wait any longer.
Are you ready for something completely different? Imagine a universe that is equal parts Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Portal, and Resident Evil... now throw out all preconceived ideas and add two main characters that just broke up with each other... you'll have something close to what you're about to read. Illuminae is an ambitious YA Sci-fi adventure told in chatlogs, government emails, and casualty lists. Our protagonists Kady and Ezra embark on an adventure of spaceship chases, conspiracy theories, and rebel computer hacking. A truly different and exciting book, and a testament to how versatile the YA genre can be. Highly recommended. Its sequel Gemina hits shelves this fall!
Cumming's stories of childhood abuse and coming-of-age amid family secrets and a growing performing arts career is one that held me from the first page. The tears came by the fifth page. An emotionally raw retelling of his complicated, difficult, and at times dangerous relationship with his father over the course of his life. As well as a story of emotional resilience, personal strength, and the human will to survive and even thrive amid hardship. Deeply moving, and one of the finest memoirs I've read.
This series is unlike any other I'd come across. It stands on it's own, regardless of genre. Kenji and Shiro are a gay couple living together in Tokyo, but the narrative of the series rarely focuses on their relationship or their sexuality, and instead focuses on their daily lives, especially Shiro's love of cooking. Taking you step by step through every meal they share together, detailing recipes and illustrating meals in a way that will have you writing a grocery list as you read, anxious to attempt one of Shiro's beautiful meals.
This book was actually very enthusiastically recommended to me by a customer. He was emphatic that I must read it as soon as possible, so I bought it that night before leaving work, and am so glad I did.
The well-earned winner of a Stonewall Book Award, this coming-of-age novel follows Ari and Dante, and their growing friendship. Told from Ari's perspective we're lead through his adolescence as he tries to make sense of life, friendship, family, and love. Wholly emotional, this novel renewed my belief that the right book can take you through a character's life and make you feel exactly what they feel. This book will touch your heart and never let go.
I broke one of the cardinal rules of reading with this book... I saw the movie first. In my defense, I hadn't realized that Tom Ford's 2009 film of the same name was based on a novel. So it was unintentional rule-breaking. It was a film that stuck with me, and became my favorite. So naturally, once I did find out that it was based on a novel, I had to read it. The book, as is the case so frequently, is better than the movie (though I still consider the film my favorite). Chronicling 24 hours in the life of George, a man who recently lost his partner, A Single Man taps into the internal life of a private person in a way I've seen no other novel do so well. Brilliantly written, A Single Man is a novel I instantly added to my list of modern "classics" after reading.
An enchanting and wonderful story about facing, and making friends with our fears. Snicket turns the often feared "dark" into it's own character, and main character Laszlo though scared of the dark listens as the dark leads him through this story. Facing his fear. Beautifully illustrated by award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen, it's a wonderful story for those who need persuading that their fear of the dark is only a fear.