My favorite genre is fiction for the classic reasons of journeys to far off lands that I have not visited and to times gone by.  But Memoirs and Biographies have taken a close second these past years through the realization that others lives can feel so far from my reality that they bridge to fiction in my eyes.  

 

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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Peter Heller's The Dog Stars is a first novel set in Colorado after a superflu has culled most of humanity. A man named Hig lives in a former airport community--McMansions built along the edge of a runway--which he shares with his 1956 Cessna, his dog, and a slightly untrustworthy survivalist. Hig spends his days flying the perimeter, looking out for intruders and thinking about the things he's lost: his deceased wife, the nearly extinct trout he loved to fish. When a distant beacon sparks in him the realization that something better might be out there, it's only a matter of time before he goes searching. Poetic, thoughtful, and transformative, this novel is a rare combination of literary and highly readable. (Chris Schluep)

 

 

 

 

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When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams

“Much more than a brave and luminous memoir, When Women Were Birds is a set of blueprints for building one of America's most impassioned and audacious writers, as well as a transcript of the moment when she stepped determinedly into the full power of her own voice. In Terry's magical equation, rage + confusion + grief + accountability = love. At some point I realized I was reading every page twice trying to memorize each insight, each bit of hard-won wisdom. Then I realized I could keep it on my bedside table and read it every night.” ―Pam Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Educated by Tara Westover

Born to a survivalist family that prepped her for the end of the world instead of the world today, Tara Westover was seventeen when she stepped into a classroom for the very first time. In this memoir, Westover works hard at creating a new life for herself after a brother of hers returns from the "real world" outside the mountains of Idaho and has graduated from college. She self teaches herself mathematics, grammar, and various other subjects. She's admitted to Brigham Young University and soon finds herself at Cambridge and Harvard. This is more than just a coming of age memoir, it's a story of determination, self-invention, and the grief and struggle that come with deciding between being loyal to family and finding your own paths in the world. 

 

 

 

 

 

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Ten years in the making, this Pulitzer prize winning novel is set in Europe during WWII. Doerr carefully intertwines the lives of a young blind French and girl and a young German orphan boy. This novel explores the horrors of WWII, human nature, and the power of technology. Its chapters are elgant and short, a quick and fascinating read that will pull you into a world unlike your own. 

 

 

 


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I mostly bounce between Sci-fi/ Fantasy, History/Biography, and Historical Fiction.  It keeps my feet on the ground and my head in the clouds. Favorite authors include Kurt Vonnegut, R. Scott Bakker, & Tolkien.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dune by Frank Herbert

Herbert's novel takes place in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society where noble houses in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor. We follow Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. Arrakis is the only planet with oracular spice melange, singularly considered the most vital substance in the universe and is incredibly coveted. 

 The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a struggle for the control of Arrakis and its spice

 

 

 

 

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Abbadon's Gate by James S. A. Corey

James Holden and his crew on the salvaged Martian warship Rocinante played a role in two major events in human history: saving the Earth from the first direct proof of alien technology discovered in our solar system, and saving as many people as they could when a new form of the technology appeared on Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. As part of the first incident, the alien technology crashed on Venus, where it churned for months doing something unknown while the solar system watched. When complete, the semi-intelligent collection of chemicals flew away from Venus and built what could best be described as a Stargate, called the ring, beyond the orbit of Uranus.

 

 

 

 

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The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott. Bakker

The first book in R. Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing series creates a remarkable world from whole cloth-its language and classes of people, its cities, religions, mysteries, taboos, and rituals. It's a world scarred by an apocalyptic past, evoking a time both two thousand years past and two thousand years into the future, as untold thousands gather for a crusade. Among them, two men and two women are ensnared by a mysterious traveler, Anasurimbor Kellhus—part warrior, part philosopher, part sorcerous, charismatic presence—from lands long thought dead. The Darkness That Comes Before is a history of this great holy war, and like all histories, the survivors write its conclusion. 

 

Annette Avery

My favorite genre is fiction; however, I too have loved memoirs/biographies recently.  Having been an avid reader from such a young age, you can never own too many books.  A person should always have a tall stack of unread books laying around the house, on the night stand or on the coffee table so there is always something to look forward to, dream about, escape to...


The Round House - Louise Erdrich

One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared. While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning. (Book jacket)

The Hummingbird's Daughter - Luis Alberto Urrea

Teresita is not an ordinary girl. Born of an illiterate, poor Indian mother, she knows little about her past or her future. She has no idea that her father is Don Tomas Urrea, the wild and rich owner of a vast ranch in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. She has no idea that Huila, the elderly healer who takes Teresita under her wing, knows secrets about her destiny. And she has no idea that soon all of Mexico will rise in revolution, crying out her name.” “When Teresita is but a teenager, learning from Huila the way plants can cure the sick and prayer can move the earth, she discovers an even greater gift: she has the power to heal. Her touch, like warm honey, melts pain and suffering. But such a gift can be a burden, too. Before long, the Urrea ranch is crowded with pilgrims and with agents of a Mexican government wary of anything that might threaten its power.” The Hummingbird’s Daughter is the story of a girl coming to terms with her destiny, with the miraculous, and with the power of faith. It is the tale of a father discovering what true love is and a daughter recognizing that sometimes true love requires true sacrifice. (Book jacket)

The Other Wes Moore - Wes Moore

The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine. The tragedy is that my story could have been his.

Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police. How, then, did one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? Wes Moore, the author of this fascinating book, sets out to answer this profound question. In alternating narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James - Emma Hooper

Eighty-three-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots and begins walking the 3,232 kilometers from rural Saskatchewan, Canada eastward to the sea. As Etta walks further toward the crashing waves, the lines among memory, illusion, and reality blur.

Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. “I will try to remember to come back,” Etta writes to her husband. Otto has seen the ocean, having crossed the Atlantic years ago to fight in a far-away war. He understands. But with Etta gone, the memories come crowding in and Otto struggles to keep them at bay. Meanwhile, their neighbor Russell has spent his whole life trying to keep up with Otto and loving Etta from afar. Russell insists on finding Etta, wherever she’s gone. Leaving his own farm will be the first act of defiance in his life.

Cowboy's are my Weakness (Short Stories) - Pam Houston

In Pam Houston's critically acclaimed collection of strong, shrewd, and very funny stories, we meet smart women who are looking for the love of a good man, and men who are wild and hard to pin down. "I've always had this thing for cowboys, maybe because I was born in New Jersey,” says the narrator in the collection’s title story. “But a real cowboy is hard to find these days, even in the West.” Our heroines are part daredevil, part philosopher, all acute observers of the nuances of modern romance. They go where their cowboys go, they meet cowboys who don't look the part – and they have staunch friends who give them advice when the going gets rough. Cowboys Are My Weakness is a refreshing and realistic look at men and women – together and apart. - Norton

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

Composed with the skills of a master, The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity.

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher's calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate. - from the publisher

Dovekeepers - Alice Hoffman

Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.

The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love. - Simon & Schuster

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Margarita Cruz

I've always loved to read - anything and everything but I'm particularly in love with magical realism and short stories/flash fiction. I'm also an avid poetry reader, focusing on contemporary poetry that works with self-invention. 

Top Faves:

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo — Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear.

Sorry Please Thank You by Charles Yu

 big-box store employee is confronted by a zombie during the graveyard shift, a problem that pales in comparison to his inability to ask a coworker out on a date . . . A fighter leads his band of virtual warriors, thieves, and wizards across a deadly computer-generated landscape, but does he have what it takes to be a hero? . . . A company outsources grief for profit, its slogan: “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.”
 
Drawing from both pop culture and science, Charles Yu is a brilliant observer of contemporary society, and in Sorry Please Thank You he fills his stories with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and piercing insight into the human condition. He has already garnered comparisons to such masters as Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, and in this new collection we have resounding proof that he has arrived (via a wormhole in space-time) as a major new voice in American fiction. - Penguin Random House

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac’s years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, “a sideburned hero of the snowy West.” As “Sal Paradise” and “Dean Moriarty,” the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac’s love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance. Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than fifty years ago. - Penguin Random House

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon

A finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bright Dead Things examines the dangerous thrill of living in a world you must leave one day and the search to find something that is “disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.”

A book of bravado and introspection, of feminist swagger and harrowing loss, this fourth collection considers how we build our identities out of place and human contact—tracing in intimate detail the ways the speaker’s sense of self both shifts and perseveres as she moves from New York City to rural Kentucky, loses a dear parent, ages past the capriciousness of youth, and falls in love. Ada Limón has often been a poet who wears her heart on her sleeve, but in these extraordinary poems that heart becomes a “huge beating genius machine” striving to embrace and understand the fullness of the present moment. “I am beautiful. I am full of love. I am dying,” the poet writes. Building on the legacies of forebears such as Frank O’Hara, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty, Limón’s work is consistently generous, accessible, and “effortlessly lyrical” (New York Times)—though every observed moment feels complexly thought, felt, and lived. - Milkweed Editions

Sixty Stories: A Collection by Donald Barthelme

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts. Like all of Barthelme’s work, the sixty stories collected in this volume are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

I strive to read a little bit of everything, but of course I have some favorites.  I love most things cooking related, both cookbooks and cooking related fiction and non-fiction.  My go-to reading choices are often in one of the following categories:  historical fiction, mysteries, immersive/creative non-fiction and memoirs.  It is impossible to pick my all-time favorite five books, but here are a few that have stuck with me and that I often recommend to others..

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I strive to read a little bit of everything, but of course I have some favorites.  I love most things cooking related, both cookbooks and cooking related fiction and non-fiction.  My go-to reading choices are often in one of the following categories:  historical fiction, mysteries, immersive/creative non-fiction and memoirs.  It is impossible to pick my all-time favorite five books, but here are a few that have stuck with me and that I often recommend to others..

 

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Jake, a Maine high school teacher, learns of a time travel wormhole in local diner that only goes to September 9, 1958 at 11:58 am.  No matter how long you stay there, only a few minutes pass in the present.  So, you can go as often as you like, but you do age real-time in the past.  The owner of the diner asks Jake to carry out the mission he is unable to complete:  preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Jake reluctantly agrees to try, and our story takes off from there.

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

 I would call this a classic mystery in that you have a gruff and tenacious private investigator that is down on his luck teaming up with an unexpected temp worker, Robin Ellacott who quickly becomes his eager Girl Friday and secretly dreams of becoming a detective, too.  This book does an excellent job of weaving the histories, current lives, and voices of the two main characters together with the quest to solve the mystery of the model who fell from her balcony.

 

The Nature Fix:  Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

This is my favorite type of creative non-fiction – immersive journalism.  Williams travels the world interviewing a wide range of people along with experiencing what she is researching.  Her goal is to explore the research and findings that a wide variety of scientists and psychologists are doing around the benefits of immersing one’s self in nature.  In addition to highlighting the scientific findings in an interesting and approachable way, she also applies what she finds to make some suggestions around how much time we should be spending in natural settings and what constitutes natural settings.

 

 

Circe by Madeline Miller

So, I was totally one of those little kids that was obsessed with mythology and fairytales.  Upon starting Circe, it all came rushing back!  This is an adult tale from the perspective of Circe.  If you have heard of her, you probably know her as the witch that turned men into pigs and minor role in The Odyssey.   Miller creates a likeable character who grew up as an unloved misfit.  As she begins to discover her powers, her father is pressured into banishing her to live alone on an island.  It becomes a story of a woman who learns how to love, discovers how to accept herself, be a parent, and live independently.  All things anyone of any time should be able to relate to!

 

 

 

Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office  by Jen Lancaster

Jen doesn’t know it yet, but she is going to become my best friend one of these days.  Jen has written a ton of books, and I have loved them all.  This is her first, so I decided to go with it.  Although it was painful at the time, getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to Jen.  Without happening, this book would have never been written, and she might have gone on be a bored, unhappy corporate drone.  She is funny, honest, and awkwardly modest.  All her books are filled with stories of the mundane and not so mundane adventures of her life in Chicago with her husband Fletch, animals, and her best friends (one day!). 

 

 

Emily Kunkle

My favorite genre is fiction. I love the classics. I know my preferred genre is a little predictable and boring but someone’s gotta love the classics right? 

Here are a few of my favorites:

East of Eden - John Steinbeck

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah’s Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century. - Penguin Random House

Catcher in the Rye - J.D Salinger

The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices–but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep. - Little, Brown and Company

Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

With his trademark dry wit, Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle is an inventive science fiction satire that preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon - and, worse still, surviving it. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Benjamin Kunkel.

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to humanity. For he is the inventor of ice-nine, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. Writer Jonah's search for his whereabouts leads him to Hoenikker's three eccentric children, to an island republic in the Caribbean where the absurd religion of Bokononism is practised, to love and to insanity. Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction is a frightening and funny satire on the end of the world and the madness of mankind. - Penguin Random House

The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises is a classic example of Hemingway’s spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises is “an absorbing, beautifully and tenderly absurd, heartbreaking narrative…a truly gripping story, told in lean, hard, athletic prose” (The New York Times). - Simon & Schuster

Amy McClelland

Amy M Goes A Fishin

I've never met a genre I didn't like, but my favorites are Fiction, Fantasy, and Children's books, Tasha Tudor and Jan Brett will forever hold a place in my heart, and I can quote the Lorax on a whim. Its always harder to choose favorite "grown up" authors, but Barbara Kingsolver and Ray Bradbury are definitely in the top for the way they can both make fictional stories intertwine with real life.


Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

“The extraordinary New York Times bestselling author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange Prize), The Poisonwood Bible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable work. Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's must thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.” - HarperCollins


Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.” — Simon & Schuster


Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

“The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings. Now eighteen and emancipated from the system with nowhere to go, Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life. And when she’s forced to confront a painful secret from her past, she must decide whether it’s worth risking everything for a second chance at happiness.” - Penguin Random House


My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Backman

“Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy—as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.” - Simon & Schuster


Trouble with Trolls by Jan Brett

“In an underground den on Mount Baldy, a family of trolls longs for a dog.

When young Treva heads up the mountain with her skis—and her dog Tuffi— the troubles with trolls begin. Beautiful landscapes filled with snow-laden trees reveal the underground home of this mischievous troll family.” - Scholastic

Sam Butler

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I was a late bloomer when it comes to reading, my mom thought I would never appreciate reading. She spoke too soon. Starting in 5th grade I have hungrily devoured anything and everything I can get my hands on. Throughout my literary journey I found some favorites I hold dear (To Kill a Mockingbird, Harry Potter), some authors that can always blow my mind, (Cassandra Clare, Sarah J Maas, Jennifer Estep), and some genres I visit more often than others (Young Adult, Romance, Fiction, Sci-Fi, Mystery). Above all, I have a fierce love for all types of Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy and Urban Fantasy hold special places in my heart. I'm always reading a book (or 2), if you want to see the most accurate display of what I'm wrapped up in right now, check out my GoodReads and my Instagram (@booklovinbelle)


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

“When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin--one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and his world--forever.” - Bloomsbury


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

“The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.” - Simon & Schuster


Eragon by Christopher Paolini

“Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.” - Penguin Random House


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

“Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.” - Harper Collins