Monica's Picks

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Lonely Castle In The Mirror By Mizuki Tsujimura, Philip Gabriel (Translated by) Cover Image
By Mizuki Tsujimura, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781645660408
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Erewhon Books - October 18th, 2022

Probably my favorite book of the year. 

Themes of friendship, loneliness, bullying, longing to belong.

Narnia-esque magical realism, but with teenagers who all find they too have been victims of bullying. Each person has their story and each discovers they have more in common than they initially thought.

I was bawling by the end of this book. This was incredibly original and made me feel feelings. Read this if you want a somewhat sad, but not depressing read.

For fans of Murakami.

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The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows By John Koenig Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501153648
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 16th, 2021

I listened to this twice on and needed to have the book for moments when I need a little light. I have never met a book like this-- uhhh, or "a poem about everything."  John Koenig compiled a brilliant bundle of words that express certain feelings and emotions one usually can not find the word to describe said emotion. This "dictionary" entranced me and took me to fond moments in my memory, or highlighted certain experiences that I thought I only thought about.  Interesting and wonderful.

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Maybe We'll Make It: A Memoir (American Music Series) By Margo Price Cover Image
ISBN: 9781477323502
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: University of Texas Press - October 4th, 2022

I took a chance on Margo Price and I'm glad I did. I wasn't too familiar with her music, but always appreciate a strong female musician who's willing to lay all her faults and mistakes out on the line. She didn't change herself to become a "pop star," but instead kept true to herself and became a powerhouse anyways. Audio version weaves in her actual songs - its great!

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Woman, Captain, Rebel: The Extraordinary True Story of a Daring Icelandic Sea Captain By Margaret Willson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781728240053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - January 31st, 2023

Awesome. Thuridur was Iceland's first female punk, sea captain, woman to wear trousers, and all-around badass. She's the hero you didn't know you needed. 

Margaret Wilson did an excellent job researching this book learning from the people of Iceland. I listened on Libro.FM, but will also read a physical copy because I like to party.

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The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos By Jaime Green Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335463548
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - April 18th, 2023

WHAT A COOL BOOK. I finished and was left in awe and wonder. Jamie Green writes about the creation of life and life beyond Earth in a palatable way. Green's writing is charming and sharp. She makes you feel as if you're having a casual conversation about aliens, Star Trek, and other nerdy science-y things. For people who often stare into the night sky with a little fear, a lot of respect, and all the curiosity. 

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Valley of Giants: Stories from Women at the Heart of Yosemite Climbing By Lauren Delaunay Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781680515145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mountaineers Books - March 18th, 2022

A well crafted collection of stories by women who have etched their stories in Yosemite Valley's climbing history. Definitely a read for a climber as their is a lot of lingo most may now know (there is a glossary provided!), but overall compelling and will definitely make you want to drive to Yosemite asap.

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The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass By Shannon Chakraborty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062963505
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - February 28th, 2023

Oh Dear GOD this book was incredible. This is my first Chakraborty book and now I can not wait to devour her other series. 

Amina al-Sirafi is my new hero. A mostly fearless boss-ass reformed pirate?! She's intelligent, industrious, feisty as hell, and also a loving mother, daughter, and friend. There is no way you won't be able to find a connection with an "old" pirate with bad knees, rocky relationship with her mother, and a series of terrible exes. 

This is a true adventure equipped with magic, giant sea creatures, talismans, and treasure hunts. There are so many fun twists

Chakraborty can really create a world and characters that are empowering.  I will have every edition I can get and cherish this story forever. So excited it's going to be a trilogy!

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Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon By Melissa L. Sevigny Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393868234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 23rd, 2023

A book could not be more up my alley! You get adventure, botany, the Grand Canyon, and brave women breaking barriers. So much love and research went into this book and it's one of those stories that makes you a little sad your journey with Clover and Jotter is over.

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To Shape a Dragon's Breath: The First Book of Nampeshiweisit By Moniquill Blackgoose Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593498286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - May 9th, 2023

In an alternate historical fantasy world, Anequs chooses to leave her remote island village and join the steampunk-esque world of the Anglish. As she trains with her dragon at an esteemed Anglish academy, the contrast is stark between these two colliding worlds. Anequs' story is a bildungsroman reminiscent of The Name of the Wind, but enhanced with commentary on colonialism, and queer, Indigenous identity.

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The Guncle By Steven Rowley Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525542308
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 5th, 2022

Patrick, an independent, popmpous former sitcom star, finds himself a new father-figure after his best friend/sister-in-law passes away. It is not his first time dealing with grief, so he is entering a situation where he will be in good company. Patrick has a lot to learn when it comes to selflessness and these two children are about to change his life for the better. This story has elements of grief, joy, love, and sadness -- definitely one to tug at your heartstrings.

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Night Will Find You: A Novel By Julia Heaberlin Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250877079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - June 20th, 2023

Vivvy Bouchet, astrophysicist with psychic abilities, heads back to her hometown in Texas for her mother's funeral. Vivvy finds herself unraveling secrets connected to an old case of a missing girl and everything sort of gets out of hand from there. The story has a great cadence and you think it's going to go one way, but it goes another! This was great as an audio and there was hardly a dull moment.