Amy's Staff Picks
Fantasy with a side of political intrigue. Get ready to dive into a whole new world, so rich in detail you would think it exists beyind the pages of the book. But be warned: just when you think you know whats coming next, everything will be ripped apart in the turn of a page.
Anthony Doer said in an interview that he strives to write "Demented Whimsy", and I would say he succeeded in this book. Cloud Cuckoo Land is a unique story about how our words and ideas can survive this broken world we have created. A labryinth of connections across space and time awaits the reader in these pages.
This is an incredible graphic novel, from its dialogue to the art, it will not disappoint! Greek Mythology has gotten a bit repetitive over the years, but Rachel brings it back to life in this colorful re-telling. The story explores serious topics of mental and emotional struggles among the Greek Gods, centering around the tale of Hades and Persephone as its never been told before.
A laugh-out-loud tale narrated with all the charisma of a crochety old man on a winter night. This is the story of the last lumberjacks... the men who inspired the legends of Paul Bunyan, performing daring acts in the wilderness that gave them a larger tahn life persona.
I love anything involving Selkie lore, but this book went way beyond my expectations. Chock full of twists, each one hinting at a darker secret than the last, I was left gasping with each reveal. I highly reccomend the audio book on Libro.fm for a full submersion in the tale.
A combination of travel journal, Taiwan history, and family memoir blends perfectly into this book. Jessica uses words from multiple languages to describe the complex emotions that we attach to people and places, in a way that I had never quite been able to grasp before reading.
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This is a deep dive into the history of the Forth Berthold Indian Reservation, and how the oil boom transformed life for the people who call it home. Sierra Crane Murdoch is a prolific journalist, capable of digging out every detail for a story, and connecting them in ways the reader won't see coming.
One of those books that proved to be un-putdownable. When I finished Forestborn, the first thing I wanted to do was scream because I wasnt ready for it to be over, and now I have to wait for the second book! This is a richly woven fantasy, with its own lore, life, and magic. Prepare to be drawn in so deeply that it takes over your dreams.
A feel-good family mystery, with a host of quirky characters. Travel back to the golden era of holiday camps in the UK, where magic and reality collide for a young clairvoyant, creating a tangled web for the next generation. I loved listening to this book on Libro.fm.
A recommended read for lovers of Alice Hoffman, Sue Monk Kidd, and Clarissa Estes.
Beautifully written, with a depth beyond measure, this is a book that is going to stick with me. I get the feeling that I will recall passages at different points through out my life. Amy takes such care in her words, you can feel her passion.
I do not follow any religious faith, and this book did not try to convert me into Christianity. It is a feminist history lesson, travel guide, and story of friendship. Amy goes on a personal exploration into the question of "so what?" that I think is relatable world-wide.
Kat had such an intense life, surviving sexual abuse as a child, and recovering from a heroine addiction as an adult, she found peace in the SW and set out to save wild mustangs because she could relate to their story of trauma. Not a horse person myself, I was really surprised at how interesting I found their story.
Such a funny read! This book has it a bit of it all; drama, romance, tragedy, all wrapped up the hilarious narration of Patrick, a "retired" t.v. actor and temporary guardian to his young neice and nephew. The uncle we all wish we had! P.s. for some extra sweet romance, be sure to read the acknowledgements <3
This isnt a scientists memoir about their life studying whales, its really just a rambling of facts that somehow held me and my friends in fascination as we listened to it on libro.fm during a road trip. WHALES ARE SO INTERESTING! Rebecca lives in Australia and became obsessed with whales when a young humpback washed up too high on her local beach and none of their efforts helped save it. The book evaluates what we know about whales and their relationship to us in really fascinating ways, throughout human history. It also offers some running commentary on how humans currently interact with whales, and how they bring hope to our uncertain future with climate change and anthropocene caused extinction.
I think the thing I find most fascinating about this story is the way Chris justified his actions in a way that makes it sound like everything he did was reasonable, not the workings of a criminal. Its nearly enough to convince me to runoff into the woods to live out these turbulent times in peace. Too bad I'm a terrible thief.
A deep dive into a side of history that has been over looked for too long. Kliph writes with passion and awareness, giving credit and voice to all the Indigenous comedians and writers with out whom this book would not have been possible. A great recommendation for lovers of history and stand-up.
Beyond just a coming of age story, this lyrical novel shifts what it means to be an "adult" from some mythical creature that has all the answers, to an average person struggling to keep things together. It is full of young drama and angst shared from the memory of the main character. Erica arrived on the island of Hydra at 18, uncertain of her place in the world and who she wants to become. She is surrounded by artists whom she admires and seeks council with, even though she sees the demons they are all battling with. Told with hindsight and wit, I would recommend this to any reader looking for a beach read that isn't all romance!
A fun modern twist on a classic! This rom-com version of Anne and Gilbert is a perfect escape from reality. I've always been a fan of their romance arc, but this book take sit to the next level!
High fantasy with a twist ending, just begging for a sequel! Ciannon took the time to create a stunning world, with fantastic details. I was blown away by the depth of political intrigue, each character was embroiled in their own plot.
Perfect for mythology, romance, or fantasy lovers! To say that I fell in love with this book would be an understatement. In the span of 5 pages, Bolu is capable of not only transporting you into an entirely new world, but also imagining characters so rick with life that you consider them best friends. Each short story is a new adventure
Fans of Harry Potter are sure to fall in love with this twisty fantasy that is full of anti-racist themes. Amari is a heroine for all ages, the way she cares for her friends and handles all the adversity a preppy school full of supernaturals can throw at her is so inspiring! (This would be a great listen on a family road trip on Libro.fm)
One womans multi-country adventure following the worlds greatest migration... Monarch Butterflies. Sara is an incredible storyteller, reading her book is like being on that roadside with her, holding your breath as you catch sight of a monarch floating above an otherwise empty stretch of road.
I read this book years ago, but the story has stuck with me. There is something almost haunting about this historical fiction, as if these women have been waiting for the right person to bring them back to life.
The perfect gift for yourself, or the plant lover in your life. This book has a little bit of everything, from scientific descriptions of plants and their unique features, to craft ideas, gardening tips, and recipes. Put it all together with the beautiful art and you have a book that will be treasured for generations.
The young adult book I have been waiting for. This book delivers a coming-of-age reckoning with relevant issues and historical context all wrapped into a thrilling plot. Daunis has been walking the line between her white and Ojibwe heritage since she was born, she has become accustomed to living in two different worlds. When someone close to her is murdered due to meth activity on tribal lands she agrees to help in the investigation, though she takes care to protect the Ojibe land and people from outsiders who have taken advantage of her people in the past. Unfortunately she is not as careful with her own safety, and finds herself in a dangerous situation, where the people who were supposed to protect her prove they are less than they promised.
Vendela managed to perfectly capture the life and personal thoughts of a teen girl with out making the book too cringy. It is a gritty and compulsive tale that I quickly became addicted to. The blast to the past of 80's nostalgia twines perfectly with today, as I think we all put a glimmer on that "pre-tech" time and forget that it had its darkness too.
Cussy is a courageous woman, determined to blaze her own path against all odds. Growing up with blue skin in the apalachian mountains during the Great Depression. All she wants is the freedom to keep delivering library books to her fellow mountain people. But as with most women throught out history, her fate is not entirely up to her.
There are different sides to every story. In A Thousand Ships, Natalie Haynes gives voice to the women of the Trojan War, breathing new life into an over-done part of history. This book would be great for anyone who enjoyed of The Book of Longings, or The Dovekeepers.
Translated from French, this book is a love letter to booksellers and the written word. Juliette is an observant character, with a knack for knowing the impact specific books can have on a persons life. She uses this ability to break out of her own dull life and begin an adventure.
As sweet as the name suggests; the stories in this book may be tiny, but they hold an ocean of emotion. The word "love" is too often thought of in only the romantic capacity. And while romance can be found in these pages, it also explores many other meanings. My favorites are on pg. 6 and pg. 80.
If Portland in the 90's could be poured into one book, it would be Stray City. Chelsey Johnson has written a novel of the era, and it is so beautifully messy, you cant help but take it into your soul and hold it close for the rest of your life.
This is the kind of book that you dream about while reading it. Kirabo is a young feminist, raised to believe that women should be educated and strong, in a world that wants women to be silent and meek. In her search to find her mother, she will learn a lot about herself, and her countries folklore.
This book combines Anti-racist and feminist ideas into one amazing book that really makes you think about what it means to actively choose to fight for equality, and how we have to start by paying attention to the communities that are in the most danger. I have gotten asked by several customers which book, out of all the trending anti-racist/social justice books, I recommend they read. And while I will always say you need more than one perspective to get a full view, this book is a great start!
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I love everything about this graphic novel! Fall into a new world, full of intriguing characters, and more than a little bit of danger. But be prepared to have some questions at the end- This is just the beginning of an incredible adventure.
A biography and history lesson rolled into one, this book is beautifully written, incredibly well researched, and full of the kind of history you didn't learn in school. Anyone who feels disconnected from their families culture will relate to Morgan as she walks back in time to trace the family traditions she grew up with back to their roots.
This is an anti-racist workbook designed for any one with race privilege. It is just one step to take, but it will help you reflect on your past experiences with racism, and look forward to a future where you can be a better ally. I would absolutely recommend this to every person I know who is ready to put in some real work to becoming anti-racist. With a reminder that this is just the beginning because if I learned anything from this book, it is that we have so much more to do!
Lyrical poems that will spark a lot of emotion, and maybe even a call to action. This little book is incredibly powerful! Makes for a great listen on libro.fm as well.
Immerse yourself in West African folklore with this unique high fantasy novel with amazing character development. CAUTION! this is a twisty book that will make you fall in love with both main characters, even as they fight to kill each other.
Historical Fiction at its finest. This book will transport you back in time to Rome’s occupation of Israel, with vivid descriptions and scenery. Ana may have lived in a different age, but her longing for a life of passion, words, and choices rings true today.
Mary Fury is a character so full of wonder, I found myself wishing she wasn't fictional. I thoroughly enjoyed the witty banter between characters, and the beautiful scenery that the author describes. Some scenes are so vivid, you feel like they have happened to you.
This is a quick read that will help you practice the art of loving yourself fully. Kamal is a relate-able author and his story, while corny at times, rings with authenticity.
A witty outlook on high school, and what it means to stand up for yourself. All 6 of the girls in this book know how to get things done! This is also a great listen on libro.fm
Tired of adventure books about people who had no idea what they were doing? Caroline and her husband came across their share of close calls, and breath taking experiences, but there was never a doubt in my mind that they could handle anything the arctic wild threw at them. I loved Caroline's scientific descriptions of the birds they see along the way, as well as her introductions to the zany people they meet along the journey.
This book is a realistic and gritty look at what refugees face every day to find safety. Pulga, Chico, and Pequena are willing to travel thousands of miles to escape their reality in Guatemala, risking everything on the dreams they hope to find in America. It is a must reed for teens and adults alike!
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A feel-good romance that features a hard-core female firefighter with a scaring past. Best read with a glass of wine! Reading this book gave me the same feelings as watching a really good rom-com.
When a very wealthy man mysteriously passes away at a fundraiser auction, he leaves behind a series of clues for anyone to solve and win part of his fortune. Tuesday and a host of friends, both new and old, race to solve the puzzle. But this book is so much more!!! A murder mystery, a ghost story, a guide to being a good friend.....Its hard to pinpoint all my favorite parts of this book. Every character has a fascinating backstory, there is just a hint of magical realism, and literary references (especially to Poe) abound.
Ginger's story about her life and working on a ranch in N.M. with convicts and abused horses is raw and deeply moving. I am not a horse person, but I cried reading this book. It has the kind of power to make you reconsider your life choices and where you have ended up. (In my case, how lucky I have been) Gingers relation to the land and her horses is remarkable, and I cant wait to get to see her speak again!
A terrific read, or listen on libro.fm. The author describes the landscape beautifully, bringing in the skills of the native Maori and talking about what it is like to live in poverty in a small town. This murder mystery kept me guessing until the very end.
An epic high fantasy that follows several different characters, throughout different points in time as they are all set to converge on the day of a solar eclipse. The fate of all of their worlds will be decided on this day. An incredible story and great listen on libro.fm, but definitely something you have to pay attention to avoid missing important details!
Hatchet meets Percy Jackson in this adventure, where Cree mythology comes to life. I listened to this book on Libro.fm and loved learning how to pronounce the Cree words that I otherwise would have failed at. Another unique feature is that there are actually good foster parents! (A true rarity in middle reader books)
An amazing collection of poetry for kids and adults. Lovers of Shel Silverstein will appreciate this clever and fun book that was sometimes so raw I found myself crying. My favorite is Museum on page 54!
This is a laugh-out-load guide to loving yourself, literally warts and all. Ariella doesn't hold back any details, and everyone with a body can relate to her discoveries, from excretions to seductions. Her funky illustrations are the cherry on top!
A historical mystery told in a series of letters from the perspectives of Estelita and her daughter. I knew nothing about the actress Estelita Rodriguez before reading this book, but what a fascinating life! This would be good for lovers of historical fiction, or biographies.
Not every scientist is very good at telling stories, but I have found that ornithologists are the exception- I loved learning about the ecology of the Russian forests, as well as the culture and people who live there. The owls themselves are fascinating too, I didn't realize there were owls this big!
This victorian-esque fantasy is like Bridgerton with witches. An easy escape into a different life, but have no fear, there is no cliffhanger at the end of this book.
Set in N. Cali in the early 90s, before modern tech gave detectives a leg up on missing person cases. The main character is fleeing after an unbearable family accident, and ends up back in the small town she grew up in. She gets dragged into the case of a local missing girl because she was a big detective in San Francisco in her old life. This book has the perfect lead up so that I couldn't figure out who the kidnapper was until right before the big reveal. I also appreciated the very human relationships in the book, this isn't a mystery/romance combo that seems to be common these days. The characters are all too stressed out and high strung to be falling in love. The whole book was incredibly well researched, in the afterward you learn that the author based it off a real missing girl, and went down a pretty deep hole researching all the girls/women that were kidnapped during that time. Made for a pretty spooky read!