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Chang welcomes you in and puts some amazing food in front of you, while a kickas* conversation with someone that you seem to know takes over the evening. By the end, your food might have grown cold, but the taste lingers as you are left in awe of the journey David took to bring his love of food to your table. This reluctant memoir cured my latest book hangover.
Chilling in a subtle suspenseful way that reminds me of Donna Tartt.
An absolutely fascinating look behind the scenes and the many voices that go into translation work. I loved all the details that lead Murakami’s editors, translators to translate into English the worlds that Murakami Imagines.
A father daughter story that is part adventure, part ghost story. Full of books, treasure and emotion; This a family tale so well done that it brings to light harsh realities of grief, life and coming-of-age unlike any other. One of the best debut novels I’ve ever read.
*fans of Philip Pullman will enjoy.
Rachel believes that she remembers exactly what happened the day her parents were shot & justifies the last fifteen years.
Rachel’s mother, Jenny tells us what happened as it happened.
Is returning to the place that Rachel once ran from going to help her discover what really happened?
An absolutely absorbing, artfully-paced thriller that I couldn’t stop thinking about, couldn’t put down and held me on the edge from the beginning.
You have to find and trade for spells while simultaneously gathering enough energy to cast them, all while trying not to let the school you attend kill you before you graduate.
This is a wicked-fast paced tale that is akin to other beloved favorites but blasts off the doors, stands in the doorway only long enough to grab you by your shirt cuff, spins you around faster than you could've ever imagined and won't let you go.
I loved this.
We have all heard 'Less is more' In this new book, Hamblin takes this belief on in ways you wouldn't expect. He opens the book by telling the reader he stopped showering; which I admit, almost made me put the book down. I'm glad I heard him out & I think you will be too. The journey he takes to discover what our skin really needs will surprise you & save you tons of money in the long run.
I loved this book.
What would you do if you have moved to India with your new husband and your mother-in-law just shows up out of the blue....to stay... “forever”? For Rachel, it’s so foreign she’s not sure what to do.
A rich and detailed novel of friendship, family & culture clash that ends up being an amazing cannot- put- down adventure full of unexpected discoveries!
I simply couldn't put this memoir down. It's a debut unlike any other; If you think this a medical career memoir you'd be wrong and pleasantly surprised. Michele brings to light what is often forgotten in the medical shows: First you become a doctor and then you discover how to become a healer.
A breathtaking, plot-driven debut that I couldn’t put down. I wanted to re-read it again after I reached the final page.
How do I write a review for a book that is so descriptive and beautiful that it seems to have been an opera whispered?
This story is so meticulous researched that you forget that this a novel; a story of a family and love so masterfully woven you forget the crime.
A stunning debut of the many shades of love & how the best of lies are told nearest to truth.
Absolutely captivating in a subtle & sublime way. Marciano is a master.
I didn't want to put this book down; nor did I want any of her stories to end.
I stayed up way too late (Early?) to finish this new collection.
Ness has created another excellent weird and wonderful dragon filled adventure that leads not only to the end of the world, but back to what really matters; family, friends & unexpected love. The world created within these pages will keep you guessing through all the twists, turns & dragon fire!
* Young adult themes*
Once I finished this amazing family tale, the gold was worn off the cover in places, but the memories that made for a story told well will remain with me.
I felt part of this family as I traveled with them through time and history; as they shared with me all the threads of their woven carpet, generations old.
This book has everything, except that hot chocolate recipe written out to ease my book hangover.
I loved this amazing book.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘Master Sommelier’ is simply a pretty label for someone that knows wine; The title was well earned.
What Victoria lives through to be able to share her love of wine with people will break your heart, only to leave you amazed and inspired by how she found a way to thrive in a world where most people want to pull you down.
Like any good meal paired well, this memoir made me want to experience more.
I absolutely loved this powerful, could-not- put- down wine adventure.
I loved this book about a library in hell, complete with a does-not-put-up- with demons librarian, a unwritten hero and someone that actually belongs in heaven. I loved this & can’t wait for the next in the series!
Adunni is a Nigerian girl that has a bright future as a teacher; that is until we discover that loss and a broken promise drastically change Adunni’s hope for the future. Told in a powerful, sometimes broken voice, this emotional debut will draw you in with a broken song and leave you filled with hope.
I loved Adunni’s journey.
"I will tell you first how I got on board without a ticket...." I picked this up just before heading out for a road trip, thinking that it was a most fitting first line.
Frankie is someone that thinks like an adult and doesn't care that the world around him might think he's just kid. He discovers one morning that his mother isn't just sleeping in her big chair. Once at school, he tells his teachers of his discovery but no one is listening because he's only six, and he's Frankie.
Quickly, he devises a plan unlike any other, because that was what he was promised! Setting off a grand adventure of a lifetime, only he forgets to tell his Dad.
You will find that this high-seas adventure is one of the most absorbing books of the year. I loved every moment.
Oh! I almost forgot to tell you: This book might remind you of past favorites, but it will be one that you won’t soon forget.
Emira is a babysitter for a well-meaning rich family that has started to treat her more like family than staff after an unexpected event happens at their home. Emira loves her job and while all her friends are managing to move into the career world, she knows she is good at being a nanny and can’t really see herself doing anything else; that is until a video is leaked, and the true indentations of her employer come to light. This novel is a reflection of current issues told in a refreshing voice
A razor-sharp, unforgiving and unforgettable debut that had me from the opening lines.
What would you do with a 676-pound bale of fleece? Clara Parkes wasn’t completely sure either, even after it arrived; but just like any good knitter, she had some…ideas. What would be any knitter’s dream came true for Carla, ---or would come true--as soon as she could cut the straps off the huge bale without the ball of rather dirty fluffy stuff exploding all over the warehouse she found big enough to hold such a delivery… This great sheep adventure from Maine to Wisconsin will have you thinking about an industry that is still necessary but often forgotten. If it is made of fiber, it was most likely made on machines where the parts have been pieced together (and often held together) with duck tape after being found or rescued from mills that have long ago shuttered. Before reading this book, I had no idea how long a journey fleece went on to reach my needles, What ensued is a surprising adventure, history lesson and a behind-the-scenes tour of a fading industry that I could not put down.
A simple story of a want-to-be-artist that has to come to terms with the reality of his vices and get out of his own way. The pacing and phrasing of this novel is in beautiful contrast to the raw story told. The sense of place is unforgettable. From the behind the scenes look of working in a restaurant to the weight of addiction, I devoured every page as I found myself hopeful for the underdog in this brilliant debut.
In this newly translated debut, Eva takes a job as a translator for what turns out to be the case brought to trial against a group of SS officers that worked at the death camps during WWII. Set in the 1960's, this novel reminds us that history plus time allows for the distance to forget & secrets always find a way to work themselves free.
I’ve been a fan of Marais from her debut, her prose is powerful, beautiful & mesmerizes. Her characters face the hard topics and times of South Africa with grace, quick-wit and laughter. I loved every moment of this unforgettable story of facing the past, love, and family.
The story of two sisters and the paths they take from growing up in 1950’s Detroit, attending tiger games to college in Ann Arbor & protests is a fascinating look at the roles women play in all the relationships. The two sisters are often at odds with each other as they face all the struggles life throws at them, only to come together to support one another in unlikely ways when tragedy strikes.
You will laugh, cry and want to embrace the sisters as this absolutely absorbing family saga unfolds.
Read in a day.
Woven here is a tale of family, love, mystery and math.
Katherine, discovered to be a math wiz in primary school, dreams to one day solve a challenging math equation/prove a proof. Only later on does she discover that the most important puzzle she will ever unravel is that of her true family she had no knowledge of.
-Shannon Alden literati bookstore
This meticulous researched book dispels myths and beliefs held about Harper Lee, her family and friends. It tells the true story of the case that inspired her to start writing another book, yes, really and not the book you think. I devoured this book.
On May 9, 1980, what usually only happens in action-thriller movies came to life in Orange County, California. I don’t usually read true-crime, but Houlahan’s writing pulled me in. While reading this meticulous researched account, I could almost smell the gun powder, hear the cacophony of gunfire making my ears ring and see the dust clear as the largest crime scene in American history came into view.
Documented here is how an attempted bank robbery and its subsequent trial would forever change a town, its people and law enforcement nation-wide. The crime and court case may have been an unbelievable catastrophe, but this book is pitch-perfect.
I Stayed up late to finish because I couldn’t put this collection down. It is truly laugh-out-loud funny and just what I needed, and I know it will refresh you too...I'm only sad that I will have to wait for her next collection...
The conversation shared in Speak continues with the volume turned up... way up. The breath-taking prose invites the reader in and gives a view of her past that lead her to the path of possibilities. Anderson's reality echoes so many stories never told and reminds us that we are not alone in finding our voice.
Read it, loved it. This graphic novel is an amazing, pitch-perfect book so important and well done it opens up the hard conversations we all need to have right now, and brings to light conversations never thought of.
An Important book with an urgent message shared thoughtfully.
Bri is a want-to-be rapper, like her famous father; she has a really good sense of poetry for rapping; she has even won some rap battles.
When Bri finally has a chance to live her dream, she discovers that she might need to do more than put words to a beat, but will she stand up and speak out?
This was one of the most engaging books I've ever read.
This debut fell into my hands and kept calling to me. I assumed it would just be another mother-daughter, tragic tale and I just didn't want to read at first...After I finally opened to the first page, I read until the last page was in the light of dawn.
How did a women with a dark past end up on a private plane and hiking through the woods? Where is she headed and who is she really running from?
One of the most fast-paced, suspenseful and sharply plotted thrillers I have read in a long time, I dare you not to read in one day.
Tara's extraordinary experience is akin to a bittersweet love letter to the past.
I have devoured every page in utter awe.
A nearly unbelievable, astonishing & beautifully raw account of a life lived off the grid.
I love the way Bender leads you calmly down a well-worn path with a flashlight, shines a light the small, simple everyday then grabs your wrist while she takes you for a unexpected twist. Her stunning and subtle prose makes you curious; every story somehow slowly and thoughtfully blooms before you as though you have uncovered a gem as it first catches the light.
Ten softly spoken, bittersweet words: "You can still smell the smoke in some of them" is all Susan needed to hear the librarian say to be pulled in to the history of the L.A. Library.
The true story the 1986 fire that burned so perfectly that the way in which the blaze burned not only has a unique name, it is nearly impossible to create outside of a lab environment; fire so perfect it burned absolutely clear.
Who would ever set a library on fire, and why? This intriguing mystery pulls you in, and has you flying through the pages. Part history, part love letter, this book will give you a true taste of what goes on in a library and what it took to bring one back from the ashes.
This is the true-crime that inspired one of the most beloved and disquieting novels written; yet the name of the real-life victim is rarely known and her story rarely told.
What Weinman has put right in this painstaking researched book is what really happened to Sally and how Nabokov became nearly as obsessed with following Sally's kidnapping as he was about catching butterflies.
Proof that the truth behind how the much-loved prose came to be can be more chilling than the tale we are told.
Is it fitting that while reading the opening essay about swimming with the dolphins, the pages got slightly ruined by my tears from laughing so hard that I couldn't put the book down? Yes.
The reflections shared within these pages are beautiful and will make you think as Maeve's observations are both heart-felt & hands-down hilarious
Left to tend to her father and family ranch, Jess takes on a dangerous journey in attempt to bring her brother home. On the trail, Jess discovers not only her true calling, but that home is where you are.
A sweeping and breath-taking tale of the untamed west comes to life as Jess recounts her journey of the search for home and family on a harsh land. I simply loved this wild-west novel.
-Great read to enjoy a dram of Whiskey and for fans of One Thousand White Women
This magical & imaginative novel will remind you of Rumpelstiltskin with a twist. Jewish history is flawlessly woven into this tale of winter kings, queens and bad agreements. Told in six determined, practical and strong voices, the tale that Novik spins here will leave you torn between devouring every page and savoring them.
One of the most passionate investigations of one of the darkest times in American History; I could not put this book down. The dedication found within these pages to follow leads that end up hitting walls gives the reader insight into how one faceless man and his actions can haunt not only the victims, but those that hunt for the clues that will one day lead to justice.
A book that will have you looking over your shoulder, and not quite able to sleep as peacefully as before you read it; but full of hope because: This book is the flash in the darkness that has shed light on the face of a killer.
Mary thinks she knows all the secrets, lies and stories of her hometown, until Richard, who was blamed for his older brother’s death, returns years later to take care of their dying mother.
An unlikely friendship blooms as the people let their true feeling of the past known and Mary discovers just how unforgiving small town life can be.
A lyrical meditation on life lived outside the city; this powerful novel of resilience, redemption and human imperfection will leave you breathless. I simply loved this novel.
I simply could not put this collection of essays down. This collection is a love/hate letter to a passion that drives one to swear and cause non-crafters to swoon. Written with sharp, funny wit and heartfelt moments of love and loss, this true page-turner will have you soon curling up with your knitting with her stories echoing in your mind between the stitches.
A tale of hauntingly beautiful suspense that grabs you from the opening line. This brilliant debut will leave you riveted by how shattering the little tensions can be to the idyllic lives we all build.
A nearly impossible book to find; a pouch with three things; A bone, a comb and a feather; importance unknown. On the pages within this book is a beguiling tale full of mysterious disappearances and rumors that will have you captivated from the first page.
The Bear and the Nightingale left Vasya with one of three choices: either marry, live in a convent as a nun or go home and live where everyone claims she is a witch.
In this second book of the Winternight trilogy, Vasya’s choice and wanderlust sends her down an unplanned path that leads to a grand adventure full of mysterious secrets, disguises, battles and bandits. Can Vasya save her family before Moscow burns?
An incredibly well-done Russian fairy tale that I could not put down, I simply love this Winternight Trilogy and I can't wait for the final book.
Charlie is lucky to be the son of an American diplomat, he gets to visit places all over the world with his father, but he has no friends and he is bored, so bored.
The only thing he has found to resolve the ennui (Ennui: ahn-wee: A feeling of discontent resulting from lack of interest; boredom) is to make up and write stories about all the people he sees in the cafés and shops while his father is working in France.
Everything changes when he discovered that his extra special engraved fountain pen has been stolen.
A photograph, new friends and a new start.
Opening in disgrace due to bitter circumstances, this coming to age story in 1950’s Ireland is as much a portrait of a changing society as it is a masterfully woven tale of acceptance and grace.
"It spite of efforts to convince the reader to the contrary, this book book is entirely a work of fiction" -Author's note
Inspired by an actual 1854 event, this is one of the best historical fiction novels I've ever read. Already read this title? Re-read it before reading his new title Vengeance of Mothers where Mary's story continues!
The vignettes painstakingly documented on these pages reveal the hidden side of the prism of war.
At times memory, at times confessions, these true accounts finally permit us a view of the past that textbooks overlook to tell the tales of the battles within the war.
Each story will leave you breathless and pondering
I finished this novel in a day. A beautiful woven story full of tenderness, suspense and quick-wit that will have you on the edge of tears one moment and dabbing them away from laughter the next. A refreshing bright and thoughtful debut.
Lee is seventeen and ready to head to college when she takes the fall for her best friend. The simple act not only changes Lees path in life, it leads her into the world of of a S.A;. a group of misfits that throw lavish costume parties. As Lee discovers more about the group, she finds that she is more than an invited guest.
An absolutely addictive, can't-put-down high-speed debut.
This book grabs you at the opening lines and won't let you go.
Elsie dreams of fire and doesn't fully understand how deep her mother's ties to a group called the Seekers was until her mother's death. The discovery of a bundle of photos & a priceless ring take Elsie from her home in Canada to Africa on a journey that leads her to the past she never knew she had.
A stunning, rich and heartfelt debut of suspense.
A riveting, unimaginable & utterly astonishing look into Native American history that will hold you in suspense till the last page.
What Grunn reveals thanks to his research of primary and unpublished materials is the sinister web of plots that lead to the mysterious and brutal deaths of the Osage by the hands of those that were there to protect their wealth.
An eloquent and detailed collection of aspirations and dreams tells of those torn between two worlds, the country and family left behind in trade for a distant place of hope and desires fulfilled. Each chapter is an experience of memory suffused with subtle moments that will leave you breathless.
I'll be honest: in all my years of selling books, I had never read anything by Joyce Carol Oates. As I sit here in my sublime book-hangover, I can't believe I waited this long to find my way to reading what Oates has given to the literary world. I'm not sure I can write a review worthy enough to express how this raw and striking tale of two families is told.
An exquisite portrait of one most provocative topics of our time told with unexpected and deep intimacy.
Once you meet Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt you won't forget him; He has "been know to fence with a quill" believing that "All poetry is a call to action" and he claims to have returned to Russia because he missed the climate.
The way in which the Count's story of confinement is beautifully woven and influenced by the ever- changing Russia that unfolds beyond the doors will transport you to a different time and place and draw you in.
Intelligent and rich in detail; a story you will want to linger over and revisit. I am so glad that the author took his own advice and took the leap to write this novel --"For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim." Brava & Encore to the author.
"A beautiful portrait of longing, memory, friendship and betrayal that is as raw and sharp as it is true and tender. The rhythm of writing mirrors Brooklyn in a way that will have you finishing the pages before you are ready to let August and her story go.
The most beautiful, deep & affecting work I've read this year. Simply put? Sublime.
Brilliantly crafted, heartbreaking beautiful & honest, I have never read something that took on the details of grief, love & mental illness with so much thoughtfulness, understanding & hope.
An engaging, heartbreakingly raw, eye-opening investigation of the epidemic of eviction in America. Before reading this book, I had no idea that "Eviction can unravel the fabric of a community" or that eviction causes more loss than just a place to call home. Desmond's groundbreaking research will re-define what you think of poverty; the struggles the families he followed will remind you that we are all one paycheck or (even small) event away from finding a similar path before us.
If you are sick of the question "When are you going to have kids?" This book is for you. The sixteen essays found within will remind you that you are not alone & sometimes the dcision not to have kids wasn't your choice.
In an attempt to master Italian, Lahiri moves her family to Rome. "The effort of making the language mine, of possessing it, has a strong resemblance to a creative process." How daring, courageous & bold! Lahiri's attempt to master another language is perfection.
This raw & true-to-life, behind the satin & ribbions story will shock you as much as the beauty & grace will mesmeize you. This debut story is brilliantly crafted & simply exquisite. Wilson mira's cult-like, obsessive world is unlike any other author I've read.
Another wonderful, lush, simple, thought provoking collection from one of my favorite authors
"She belived it was a gift to never truly know the self. We are not who we think we are, nor how others see us...."
Loved this. A perfect collection to discover Van Booy for the first time!
A magical box, a dragonfly pendant and an ancient and very secret society. I read over 100 pages before I knew it. This is the first book that gave me the same feeling as reading the first Harry Potter book so long ago. Pure Magic!
Truly an amazing read. Definitely a conversation starter as this senior year/final summer together with friends touches on so many important topics with good humor. A gem of a book, that I know I'll be thinking about often.
Wow; what a read! I, like so many others Love this poem but even I was surprised to learn that there was more to the poet and his most most famous poem. You think you know this poem? Think again- Amazing!!
"Back then, all we wanted was the simplest things" This first line grabbed me and took me on an unforgettable journey;one with an amazing, unexpected end.
Love, family, hope & dreams all collide in this powerful novel.
"If you feel broken, or know someone who does... we've all been lied to but its no one's fault.." This is the page heading that this book fell open to when I first opened this Amazing book. This is the book I wish I had had years ago and should be part of Everyones sex education. This book won't just change your sex life, it will change your whole life forever.
Special P.S. to the author: Thanks & Wow.
I LOVED this book. My favorite story was the first one, The Summer People. Kelly Link's prose is amazing. I savored every phrase while also racing through the pages.
Hands down, this is the BEST book about grief.
I can't say enough about this book. I can't give it enough stars.
I have hand-sold this to so many friends, neighbors, customers, family members.
I revisit this book whenever I'm having a difficult day with grief, or helping support others.
I hope that someday, I can meet the authors of this book to thank them in person.
Intoxicating, unforgettable, magic. Link's writing is so unique and clever after you finish just one of her stories, you will know you discovered short story writing at its bets, but you still won't know just how she crafts such amazing vignettes.
"In a sense we are all prisoners of some memory, or fear, or disappointment-we are all defined by something we can't change."
After reading this beautifully crafted novel, you'll want to re-read it and set out to commit random acts of kindness of your own. This novel; inspired by true events, reminds us that we are all connected...everyday.
The manuscript for this novel; Pearl's last book, was found after 40 years. It is one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The story of Rann was truly mesmerizing and gave me a "Book hangover".
Cassia lives in a society where you are matched by officials. Will Cassia stay with the person she is matched with or follow her heart? Couldn't put this book down!
This is a perfect summer read! Ausubel's fantastical style reminds me of Karen Russell; however, this is a unique collection of stories; a journey through the sages of life and the transformations that transpire.
A beautiful, bittersweet love story that is full of wit and written in poem form. Amazing... simply amazing.
Welcome to the Cemetery of Forgetten Books; where "According to tradition, the first time someone visits this place, he must choose a book, whichever he wants, and adopt it, making sure that it will never disappear..." One of my all-time favorite books about the magic of books.
I'm not vegan, but this cookbook was a great find.
I loved the Summertime Cherry-Basil Bruschetta, the Apple Pie Oatmeal is a new breakfast favorite and the Green Monster soothie? Yum.
Civil war time swiftly changes focus when the dead start walking the battlefields. Soon after this shift, combat schools are developed with the goal of turning girls into proper Attendants for the wealthy as protection from the un-dead. The schooling is considered a path to a better life, but Jane McKeene, (our plucky heroine) doesn't want any part of it; she has her mind set on returning to her home and her family on Rose Hill; until people start to go missing and Jane uncovers a conspiracy. A fast-paced novel of twisted history that is smart and witty.
Russell's imaginative, textured, funny & quirky stort story world makes this the perfect twisted & fun read for summer.
If you liked the Kite Runner, you'll love this debut novel.
How far will the main character go to have a chance to weave a priceless rug?
This love story inspired by a true experience will stay with you.
The best, laugh-out-loud funny re-telling of the pied piper story ever; with an amazing cat & rats that both can talk!
A book where you learn that EEEEKKK! Is not a word.
A book where you find out that the demon doesn't always want to be good. And then, well, the part where they both have to bring the end of time to the world...
Little House On the Prairie for grown-ups!
Jeannette's grandmother is back with a poweful tale to tell in this true-to-life novel.
The earth has just six months till asteroid 20011GV1 will distroy everything. What would you do? For detective palace, he can't help but do his job.
The 1st book in a 3 book seriesl I just finished World of Trouble (#3 in the series) out in June.
A pre-apocolyptic series I never though I would read turned into three books I could Not put down.
"Secrets, I've discovered, have a way of working themselves free of their keepers."
One of my favorite true & local mysteries.
Steve remembers his mom always saying that she was an only child, but that changes with a single phone call in April of 1995.
** Chosen as the 2013-2014 Great Michigan Read book**
Thanks to the wonders of genetic engineering, Rhine lives in a society where males die at 25 years old & females only live to age 20. Due to the time limits, girls are kidnapped and sold as brides to have children. Rhine ends up in a world of 'Wealth and privilege" but what happens when what she really wants is Freedom?
this is one of my favorite historical fiction novels for young adults.
New York state-1906, 16 year-old Mattie wants badly to attend college to become a writer. While working at the inn to earn money for college, a guest named Grace Brown asks her to burn a stack of secret letters. Shortly after the request, Grace's body is found in the nearby lake; might the letters hold the key to her murder?
Paris 1862. Artists & Cafes. Once Edouard Manet meets Victorine, and unconventional love blooms and the portrait we know as Olympia comes to life to change the art world forever. A lovely, fun read.
One of the best epic love stories I've read in a long time.
An enthralling, atmospheric historic fiction debut that was a slow burn.
Are you ready to be swiftly taken by the wrist and not let go till the final page?
Written with the most lyrical and raw prose is the love story of a broken family and the search for self.
Thistle and his journey to find peace will hold you awe; will break your heart, make you laugh and bring you to tears.
*Definitely for fans of Educated
A thriller so well done I can hardly believe it’s a debut.
If you are a fan of The Secret History by Donna Tartt: this is the debut you’ve been waiting for.