Alex

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My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel By Oyinkan Braithwaite Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525564201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - July 30th, 2019

 

My Sister, the Serial Killer is my favorite book of the 2019. The writing is fast paced and undeniably hilarious. In this peculiar blend of genres,Oyinkan Braithwaite merges one part amusing, one part terrifying in a  way that I’ve never seen before. The tension in the book builds exponentially until it's going to explode. I was sweating in my seat, screaming at the characters.

 This mix of quirky and dark is one of Ayoola and Korede, two sisters who live in Nigeria. Korede- the narrator- is an uptight nurse who has fallen in love with a doctor who works with her. Ayoola, her sister( yes, the one from the title!) is stunningly beautiful and everything Korede is not, including sociopathic. You slowly learn what type of man their father is as the book progresses, small flashbacks creating his picture. This is one of the most unique books I have ever read, I will impatiently wait for anything Oyinkan writes next.


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A Hero Born: The Definitive Edition (Legends of the Condor Heroes #1) By Jin Yong, Anna Holmwood (Translated by) Cover Image
By Jin Yong, Anna Holmwood (Translated by)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250220622
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 10th, 2020

There are some fantasies so beautiful, they stay popular for decades, seemingly immortal in the book world. Lord of The Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia are good examples of this. Sadly, some books take years to be translated.

, and A Hero Born is one of these. Originally released in 1957, it has been called “The Chineese Lord of The Rings”, selling over 300 million copies worldwide before it has even been translated. As soon as I heard of a Kung Fu fantasy epic, I knew I needed to read it, and I am so glad I did. The writing is superb, the story and characters are so full of life, and the setting is both historical and fantastical simultaneously. This series is said to have inspired the majority of modern Kung Fu movies, books, and even comics. The story wasn’t the only reason this book was so phenomenal, it is also a look into a culture I personally know very little about. It is always eye opening to read fantasy from other cultures, and this is a prime example.


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Hollow Kingdom By Kira Jane Buxton Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781538745830
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - July 7th, 2020

Sometimes when I first see the description of a book I can’t decide if the author is a genius, or a crazy person. That was my first thought after I first heard of Hollow Kingdom, but as soon as I started reading it was easy to see that she is a genius. This book follows the story of a domesticated crow, when his owner’s eye falls out of his head he notices some...changes about the human world. The complexities of our world through this crows eyes are both Hilariously ridiculous, and very dark. I expected this book to be just an easy fun read, but it genuinely sucked me in and I couldn’t stop. This crows epic journey starts with just the simple task of fixing Big Jim by feeding him his favorite cheetos to trying to save the human race (Or as the crow calls us: “The Mofos”). I encourage everyone to give this book a chance, you will be surprised at the quality of writing, as well as the amazing story told through such an odd perspective.


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Calypso By David Sedaris Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316392426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - June 4th, 2019

If you have ever heard of David Sedaris, you probably already know that he is a marvelous storyteller. Every time you put his book down you can’t help but grin. His writing is filled with wit, humor, and the prose of a master. The way he crafts his stories - leading you through the outlandish thoughts that pop into his head - makes me wonder what he does with his days. For example, feeding his tumor to turtles because he figured it was the only way to dispose of it. The core of Calypso is the beach house Sedaris bought, aptly named the Sea Section. The adventures and arguments in the Sea Section bring his family close again, and that what Calypso is about, his family.


Everyone You Hate Is Going to Die: And Other Comforting Thoughts on Family, Friends, Sex, Love, and More Things That Ruin Your Life By Daniel Sloss Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525658146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - October 12th, 2021

Daniel Sloss is a name that will change stand up comedy forever. His first special broke up over 120 thousand couples (he keeps a tally). This sounds sad but in reality it speaks to his ability to change our perspective by making a few jokes. His specials are deeply personal to him, you get real stories that build up to a pivot from crass humor to almost painful vulnerability. He takes lessons from tragedies that have changed his life and wraps it up in an armor of dumb jokes and small jabs at our norms. Which slowly leads to a climax where he bears his pain on his sleeve for everyone to see. 

 

This book is no different, it brutally picks apart relationships in his life -good and bad- while he feigns an uncaring attitude. He points out the difficulties and fragility that come with our closest relationships, while conveying that if we are lucky, and work at it they can be the best parts of our lives if we let them. All in all this book will make you feel a bit of emotional whiplash as all comedies should. It gives you the tragedy that inspired his comedy. 

It's a wonderful book full of laughs, pain, and lessons learned. It is fast paced and tangential, giving it a "I can't turn the page fast enough to understand where he's going with this" feel.  - Alex M

 


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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood By Trevor Noah Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399588198
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - February 12th, 2019

I have been a fan of Trevor Noah even before he took over The Daily Show for John Stewart. His stand up comedy is some of the best I have ever heard. So when I heard about an autobiography from this South African Star, I was ecstatic! I started this book expecting a lighthearted and humorous story. I was only half right, I knew a little bit of Trevor Noah’s background. I knew he was raised as a mixed race child in the apartheid in South Africa, making him literally, Born a Crime. His Father being German-Swiss and his mother being Xhosa, a cultural group in South Africa. His birth could have cost his parents 5 years in prison. 

While I knew significant amount of Trevor Noah’s past I did not expect the hardships he went through, things that we never imagined could happen to us, and he still jokes about it! Trevor Noah has had one of the hardest lives I have heard of, and he still can smile and laugh about it. This is why I love his book as much as I do, he writes about his mother throwing him out of a moving car and continued to make me laugh.  

Trevor says that Born a Crime is a love letter to his mother, he started to write this book expecting to be the hero. However when he finished Born a Crime Trevor realized in every story, his mother was the hero. With each story there is an obvious message about racism, while also teaching about the apartheid in South Africa. His life has been full of hardships that no one should have. Living as a crime is the type of story people think of as a novel, not an autobiography. This book will make you want to learn more and more about this brilliant man