Liesl, Children's and Teen Buyer
Favorite Genres: Books about pandemics, mysteries set in England past and present or with intrepid teens in boarding schools, mysteries set in interesting locales, fantasy (but without Orcs- EW!), history (fiction and non), mythology re-told, teel lit but not the sad real life ones, middle grade fiction of all sorts, cookbooks and books about food, funny books, and kids picture books
Favorite Authors: Kate Atkinson, Elizabeth George, Anthony Horowitz, Minette Walters, Colin Cotterill, Mary Beard, Kelly Barnhill, William Ritter, Kevin Sands, Neil Schusterman, Tamora Pierce, Megan Whalen Turner, Jasper Fforde
You will have to set aside a full afternoon of reading time for this one. It is the very definition of a "page-turner.” “Unputdownable" also works. Set in Cornwall on a tidal island with one house on it, you can feel the atmosphere and tension from page one. The family is gathering for a reunion, naturally they don't like one another and there will be murders. If I say more, it will spoil the fun for you.
Everything that I have tried in this cookbook has been a family pleaser. I am a big recipe user so when I find a cookbook that has simple but tasty recipes that my family enjoys, I use it over and over again. The Modern Proper fits this bill nicely. I get to relax about the cooking and enjoy the process, because someone else has done the thinking for me. Happy sigh :)
Taking on the Mulan legend, Shelly Parker-Chan gives the story more edge and a more feminist slant. Power, passion, violence and mythology wind throughout the story of one woman's embrace of her mandate. Set at the end of the Yuan dynasty, when politics and superstition walk side by side, Zhu uses both to her advantage to take her place as the first Ming emperor. The writing is both epic and intimate.
The Kingdoms was a delightfully unexpected read. I was expecting a historical mystery, I wasn't expecting the history itself to be the mystery. We meet Joe, and he has no memories prior to waking up on the train. What follows is an atmospheric and complex novel of "what if'? As the pace quickens to the end, you realize the clues were there if you knew where to look. We read it for our staff book group and had a very lively discussion!
I've just discovered this series and now I can't stop reading them (there are 10, YAY!) A delightful cross between The Canterbury Tales (sly, witty) and Law & Order (murder! courtroom drama!) Ralph Delchard and Gervase Bret are land surveyors and census takers for the Domesday Book in England,1085. Normans, Saxons & the Church all vying for the same land? You can see where murder might come into play.
This is the PERFECT summer read. Light, funny and absurd in a good way. Jameela makes a deal with God to help turn her into an NYT bestselling author, but things do not go as planned. Everything goes awry and Jameela ends up in a Middle Eastern terrorist compound. People say it's not the destination, but the journey that counts. But in this case it was both the journey and the destination that made it such a fun read.
The Temps is a fast-paced apocalyptic thriller. Our four protagonists find themselves at the forefront of creating a new office community when all of the "black badge" staff are killed in a cloud of poisonous gas. It explores corporate culture, the value of a liberal arts degree and life's many paths to what we call "success" Super fun and thought provoking.
Using the mystery of Agatha Christie's famous 11 day disappearance the author explores the experiences of other women who faded away unnoticed. Since no one actually knows what happened we are free to imagine that anything could have happened and de Gramont uses her time with us to envision something captivating while also providing a mystery worthy of Agatha herself.
In this slim and entertaining short story collection we get a surreal view of what is going on in a Japanese neighborhood. They feel like half heard stories with the rest made up of dreams. Was there a day with no gravity? Where do children come from? What ever happened to that kid who was up to no good? Each story is packed with oddness but is absolutely perfect in it's quintessential Japanese way.
I'm always delighted when I read Jasper Fforde. His writing is playful, serious and agile. You never know what is coming until you finish the whole book, sit back and say "wait, did he just combine Dr. Seuss, Peter Rabbit, and interment camps? Yes, yes he did...Satire at it's best. I encourage you to sit back and enjoy the ride!
For an avid mystery reader, this book is deeply satisfying. Short stories are picked apart by a young editor and an older author, looking for a mathematical standard to the classic detective novel. Each story depicts a variation of victim, killer, and detective, and contain clues to another mystery. Puzzles within puzzles, and the final reveal...no spoilers from me, but it was unexpected in the best way!
I really enjoyed this charming little mystery. Maren doesn't see herself as a theater camp type person. She's not an attention seeker like her sister and not artsy like her film obsessed non-binary bunk mate Theo. But she is good at noticing things and solving riddles, so when clues to a missing diamond ring start turning up, Maren and her friends are keen to solve it. Of course someone else is too! A fun summer read with history, mystery and discovery.
Tracy Chee's Japanese inspired fantasy is such a treat! It's got chatty spirits, tough girls and an evil vengeful spirit. Miuko doesn't want adventure, but she runs smack into a curse that is turning her into a blue demon whose touch is deadly. In order to break the curse she must go on a quest. Tracy Chee has a light and spritely writing style that ushers the reader to the very satisfying conclusion. Loved it!
Kelly Barnhill has an urgent and important story to tell you. It's about good neighbors, listening to each other, and not being swindled by shiny promises and hollow sentences. Looks can be deceiving and it's important to think about things, and share ideas and stories. All of Kelly's books have a strong element of the importance of stories as a way of holding a truth, and it's only by sharing all of the stories that you can find the truth. Magnificent as always.
Margaret Rogerson has a great way of taking tropes and slanting them sideways for a whole new vibe. Smart, awkward Artimisa prefers the dead and as a novice nun it is her duty to perform the rites that keep the dead, well dead. Naturally, her destiny lies elsewhere, more out in the open, with live people. This is Rogerson's third stand alone book and I have deeply enjoyed each one for it's fresh take fantasy heroines.