Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and although she's best known as a novelist, she's also a really wonderful poet. This is her first book of poetry in some time, and it is just as intimate, personal, and captivating as I hoped it would be. It's definitely a book you'll want to read and savor yourself, then gift to your mom, your best friend, or anyone who loves Margaret Atwood.
A Deadly Education is absolutely delicious, and I enjoyed every page! The Scholomance is a ruthlessly dangerous magic school, where even sitting in the wrong seat at breakfast could mean death. El is a third year student with an affinity for mass destruction, who is struggling to NOT kill all her classmates. Full of scheming, sarcastic teenage angst, and dark humor, this is the fantasy novel I didn't know I was dying for.
I think we could all use something a little transporting right now, and this book is perfect if you’re looking for something light, magical, and lyrical. Join the titular January as she discovers herself and her family’s past; travel to enchanting other worlds; and discover the power of words. Perfect for anyone who loved The Starless Sea or Every Heart a Doorway.
Sometimes books come along and hit all the right notes at just the right time. I read this while socially isolating, and I was swept away by Addie's story and Schwab's gorgeous writing. Addie is a young girl aching to be free in 1700s France, who makes a deal with a mysterious figure. She is free to do and be who she likes — but she is forgotten by everyone she meets. Epic, romantic, tragic, and moving, this book is a treasure.
Emezi has knocked my socks off with every book they have written, but I think that this one is my favorite. A complex look at family, love, identity, and loss, The Death of Vivek Oji is a window into the lives of characters that feel dimensional and real. The end of this book left me stunned and sobbing, and I have recommending it to everyone who will listen.
The City We Became is already going to be one of my top books of 2020, and I read it in January. Weaving together multiversal struggles à la Lovecraft, gritty urban fantasy, a stellar love-them-and-all-their-flaws cast of characters, and all-too-realistic racial tensions, this trilogy starter is the kind of refreshingly unique fantasy we need. Whether you're new to Jemisin or a perennial fan, this is one to read.
In the late 1800s, a flu epidemic decimates the population of the U.S., causing women's infertility to be seen as witchcraft. Outlawed follows Ada, a barren woman whose choices are a nunnery or a group of bandits led by the charismatic Kid who hopes to forge a very different future for women like Ada. North crafts her own compelling vision of the feminist dystopia, setting it in an alternate Wild West that feels genuine and alive.
In Night Theater, a surgeon in a remote village clinic is struggling to overcome lack of resources and ennui when a young teacher and his family come to the clinic with an unusual request — they have been killed in a robbery, but if the surgeon can repair their wounds by dawn, they have a new chance at life. This is an intriguing story of fate, morality, and truth told over the course of one literally life-changing night.
I love a good horror novel, and A Cosmology of Monsters is so much bigger than horror tropes and could appeal to both to die hard fans and readers who won't touch horror with a ten foot pole. This is, at its heart, a family story about trauma, secrets, loss, and growing up. It's scary at times, sure, but if even if you don't normally read this kind of thing, you'll find so much more here than you might expect.
When done well, horror short stories are one of my favorite things to read. Full Throttle weaves just the right tone in these creepy tales. A few of my favorites were "Faun," (What if someone with less-than-great motives found a portal to a fairy tale world?) "Dark Carousel," (A bunch of dumb kids graffiti a carousel. It doesn't end well for them.) and "Late Returns" (A lovely ghost story about a mobile library.)
This book was pure enjoyment to read. A mysterious rich man dies suddenly, leaving behind a city-wide scavenger hunt to claim a portion of his inheritance. The titular Tuesday, aided by other lost souls, track down the clues while dealing with their ghosts and troubled pasts in the process. Tuesday Mooney is great fun, chock full of puzzles, mysteries, friendship, and finding oneself.
I would read Emily St. John Mandel's shopping lists if she published them. I read Station Eleven a few years ago, which I loved so dearly I was so excited to get my hands on The Glass Hotel. Simply put, St. John Mandel's way with language is transcendent. Her novels are much more than the sum of their plots, and I can't recommend this gorgeous novel more highly. Oh, and grab Station Eleven too while you're here.
If you're like me and were swept away by the magic of The Night Circus, you've been anxiously awaiting Erin Morgenstern's next novel. It was worth the wait. Intersecting tales, a mysterious underground library, dangerous collectors, and Morgenstern's trademark writing style which is lyrical, descriptive, and engages all the senses. Make yourself a cup of tea (or maybe a Sidecar!) and let this book transport you.
How do you describe a novel like Freshwater? Freshwater follows Ada, who is born touched by the spirit world. Told in alternating perspectives of Ada and the gods that share her body, this tale explores the complexities of history, gender, mythology, and the mind. Emezi's prose is unique and stylish; once you find its rhythm, you'll emerge on the other side changed. If you like Helen Oyeyemi, give Emezi a read.
If this book has caught your attention, you will not be disappointed by this amazing cookbook. The illustrations are legit, and the Lovecraft theme is woven into the recipes as well. Don’t worry, though, you can still decipher the recipes, and you better believe I’m serving Shogghoulash at my next dinner party, washed down with a Gin and Miskatonic. I haven’t been so delighted by a book in a long time.
This is the perfect companion to renew or strengthen your connection to the natural world. Each short chapter consists of personal musings, observations, and information on a different tree or grove of trees. Rooted in ecology and heavily influenced by Kaza's Buddhist education, this poetic little book will come with me on hikes and keep me company when I can't get outside. The illustrations are beautiful, too.
We all know someone who this book is for. The person who wants to know how they can take a selfie with a telescope. Or if they can cross the Arkansas River by turning it into water vapor using electric kettles. This book is delightful fun for any fans of the webcomic XKCD, but really for anyone who wants their ridiculous questions answered, semi-seriously, and with legitimate science.
Middlegame is a fantasy that defies easy categorization and is super hard to describe. What I can tell you is that you'll be swept along its 500+ pages and you will relish every moment. Alchemists trying to achieve total power; lonely, gifted twins separated at birth trying to connect and find their way; and a complex and utterly incomparable story make this a novel unlike anything you’ve read before.
Josh Malerman gained recognition from Bird Box, but this dreamlike and deeply unnerving novella is worth a read. Scary but not really horror, this book tells the story of a young couple on a first date who discover a house, perfectly intact at the bottom of a remote lake. Their investigations of the mysterious house get deeper as their relationship develops. The tale is short, but I found myself contemplating it long after I finished.
You probably know N.K. Jemisin from her multi-Hugo Award winning Broken Earth series. This, her first foray into short fiction, is nothing short of stunning and should not be missed. Creating a cohesive and unique fantasy or sci-fi world in a few short pages is no easy task, but these stories are just one hit after another. Do yourself a favor and acquaint yourself with one of the finest speculative fiction authors of our time.