Lots of fun, but serious and well-written. Perfect, right? Bonus: you learn about the roots of West Coast country music. I hadn't heard of the "Bakersfield Sound." Now I know! -Recommended by Christie
Winnette's writing has an "underneath" to it, a nagging vagueness that bores into you & unnerves you. He knows how people don't communicate, don't connect, don't act- the way they stay in their own head & refrain from just saying what they mean. And he knows how to write tension and anxiety. This book is tense. -Recommended by Rowan
A subtly layered & intensely engrossing investigation in a gothic Glasgow setting, this book is an amazing & unsettling read with a cast of true-to-life a-typical characters led by a queer auctioneer in the not-so-long ago, before it was "safe" to be out and proud. -Recommended by Lauren
*A mother witnesses her son commit an unspeakable act. *She wakes up, the day before, desperate to stop the murder from happening. *She wakes up the day before the day before, realizing that something bigger is unfolding. *This is a mind-bending, page turning, edge of your seat mystery. Can you solve it before it happens? *Amazing story-telling! -Recommended by Rob
Most definitely, this summer's "IT" beach read!! What really happened at Oxford University that glorious evening ten years ago??
An eclectic assortment of college pals and an odd University employee, power this psychological thriller. -Recommended by Nancy
Set in the Swiss Alps, this most layered mystery will stun readers with its tantalizing plot twists, unique characters, and overall creativity. Humor, wisdom, and masterful writing develop this truly original mystery. - Nancy Recommends
If you haven't read T. Kingfisher, you need to, now. And this re-telling of Poe's Fall of the House of Usher is a great place to start! For anyone who's read a Gothic short, shivered, the found themselves wondering "but why?" Harrowing and hilarious- I could not put it down! -Recommended by Lauren
An elegant, thoughtful novel set on the Maine coast during the early days of the pandemic. Walk with Lucy along the shore as she befriends like-minded and not-so-like-minded folks struggling with life's uncertainties. Brilliant Writing, of course! -Recommended by Nancy
Hands down, this is my favorite book I've read this year. It's a dark academia/ historical fantasy that punches its own genre in the face. It broke my heart and I loved every minute of it. Ten out of ten. No note. -Recommended by Molly
I cannot praise this magnificent mystery enough! Narrated by the kindly Daisey Darker and set in the isolated, crumbling family mansion on the rocky Cornish coast, the Darker family reunites for the final time. Much wisdom and many surprises make this novel impossible to put down until the last delicious page. -Recommended by Nancy
One of the best mysteries I've read! Molly Maid, narrator and protagonist, delights in sanitizing the Regency Grand's rooms. Her refreshingly sweet and insightful persona unpacks the evil "dirt" polluting the dusty corners of the hotel. Wonderful writing!!" -Recommended by Nancy
A Journey forward toward a goal. A journey backward explaining why. A gut punch of a book. -Recommended by Rowan
Consider yourself fortunate not to belong to this club! Treat yourself to this engrossing psychological thriller set on an island where dreams do not come true. Recommended by Nancy
Why is a hero set an impossible task? So they wont be able to do it. So whatever was asked in return wiill not have to be given, because it also cannot be taken back. This feminist fable wears the well-loved skin of a fairy tale, absorbing & eerie, funny & tragic by turns. Fans of Robin McKinley, Peter S. Beagle, Patricia A. McKillip, & Peter Dickinson, you need to read T. Kingfisher now! -Recommended by Lauren
"Wonderfull! Intelligent! Delightful! Worth cheering about! My new favorite bookshop book. (There's a great audio version at Libro.fm)" Recommended by Alena
"A romantic telling of real-life people and events. A love letter to literature and how it transforms us. A fight against censorships. This book is my jam!" Recommended by Rowan
"A wickedly good mystery set in an American boarding school. How bad can the food be? Bizarre plot twists and crafty characters will keep readers engaged and guessing." Recommended by Nancy
"If you enjoyed Monae's Dirty Computer, you'll love her further exploration of Memory, Time & Tie travel, Sexuality, and Marginalizationin a dystopian near-future. This dirty computer loved it!" -Recommended by Rowan
A quick but creepy read filled with paranormal eeriness. If you never thought a five year old could be creepy, this book will put pictures in your head you cannot unsee. It's a clever good scare from a favorite new author. -Recommended by Rob
"In a world where the Library of Alexandria did not burn, but was hidden by a secret society with access to all scientific and magical knowledge. 6 Talented magicians compete for 5 positions in the society. Compelling, layered charaters and thought-provoking magic. For fans of Dark Academia & The Magicians." -Recommended by Julie
"All of Emily Henry's romances are delightful. This one is no different with witty banter, emotional depth, and a satisfying enemies-to-lovers romance. I couldn't put this smart, funny, book down!" -Recommended by Julie
"This book follows the long and fraught friendship of Sam and Sadie. It's an immersive world, full of references, parallels, and where one learns that the "play's" the thing, even when one hurts." Recommended by Rowan.
"Powerful!! Intriguing characters expose the exploitation and sexualization of teen girls in Paris during the 1980s to the present. Lafton brilliantly inspires the readers to challenge the casual attitudes that dehumanize women." -recommended by Nancy
Ironically, Klara is anything but an "artificial friend" to her human, Josie. Consistently thought provoking as Ishiguro ponders futuristic scenarios that challenge the ethos of love and friendships. Recommended by Nancy.
A Too-Good-Too-Short magical realism fantasy about innocence, memory, connection with the earth, and impossible spaces. The story is told through the journals of it's titular character, who lives in an infinite expanse by the sea. Susanna Clarke plays with dramatic irony in such an endearingly clever way. Fantastic stuff. -Connor
"A masterfully crafted mystery set at an over-the-top wedding on a gloomy island off the coast of Ireland. So may unexpected moments make this a truly satisfying read." -Nancy
"Ever wonder how an idealist could morph into an authoritarian ruler? Join a midlife woman in this absorbing novel as she travels to an African nation to find the father she never knew, in what also becomes a journey of self-discovery." -Jeanette
A filmmaker goes deep into the hinterland to make a documentary about the residents who vanished from Silvertjarn back in 1959. What she finds is more horrifying than she could ever have imagined. Dark, eerie, & will haunt you long after you've finished it. I really think this is the horror I've been looking for. Recommended by Rob
"A funny and deep story of a grumpy old lady finding a way to not be so...
Every aging woman will enjoy." Recommended by Mary
Recommended by a horror lover AND a non-horror lover!
Final Girl Support Group is:
- A story using all the horror movie tropes you grew up on
- Beautifully told by an unreliable narrator
- Horrifying, humorous, clever, and oddly realistic
- A place where the final girls dare to survive.
"This author has a way of writing crucial, intimate stories so softly. A gentle, quiet family man pays attention and casually but firmly comes to the aid of a girl in need.
A sweet but smart story for men and women readers." Recommended by Mary
Mary Jane is simply the most refreshing book I've read all year! For fans of Daisy Jones and the Six and for adults who did their thing when they were kids, despite what adults told them. Trust me. You'll love it!! Recommended by Rob
Such a fun read! I loved reading about Alex and Poppy's vacations and how their relationship changes through the years. And the BANTER, my God, the BANTER! Recommended by Julie
Every time I read a book, I make a note and give the book a score from 1 to 10. There have been many 9s, but 10s are rare. Anxious People is a 10 -- no hesitation! A personal story perfectly told. Recommended by Jane
You may feel you have limited compassion for sex workers, but I guarantee this novel will open both your heart and your mind. Recommended by Jeanette
Dry, witty, and unapologetic, May loves literature and her work as a botanist for the university in her hometown. Closer to plants than people, May begins to suspect she isn't very good at friendship and wonders if it's possible to improve with practice. Granted some leave from her job, she sets out on a journey to spend time with four long-neglected friends. "On friendship and more. My copy is dog-eared with wisdom & humor underlined in green." Recommended by Alena
Gently pulled me into its world till I didn't want to leave. Recommended by Alena
Gideon the Ninth is a science fiction swords and space romp filled with nonstop action and thrills. VIOLENCE NECROMANCY and lots of HUMOR. If you love Sci-Fi with a fresh face THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! Recommended by Rob
This book proves that there's more to Stephen Chbosky than The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Chbosky takes the life lessons of youth and slathers them with a special sauce of supernatural thrills and suspense. This is the most unique book I've read this year and it's terrifying, intense, and somehow strangely empowering. It's Perks ... meets Stranger Things. Recommended by Rob
This book is its own doorway into the magical tale of January Scaller. A beautifully written fantastical adventure and love letter to the power of story. This book is a reminder of why we read. You might plan for being late to work -- it's that enthralling! Recommended by Julie & Alena & Molly & Jane
Part Elmore Leonard, part Douglas Adams, part David McCoullough and something else altogether -- FKA USA is hilarious and frightening. An entertaining frontier tale set in a chilling all-too-believable futurescape. I can't get this book out of my head -- so, I want you to read it -- you'll see what I mean. Recommended by Jane
A fun romp with a good heart that naturally glides into a story of insight and depth. I love Vivian Morris, the story she tells, and all her people! Recommended by Alena
I had to keep coming up for air as I raced along with a once enslaved boy, flying across the sky in an early experimental hot air balloon, trekking across the frozen Arctic, and diving among undersea life. This novel enthralls with both its heights and its depths. Recommended by Jeanette
... With surprisingly poignant depth and a bit of classic Irish humor, our gentleman friend finds a unique route to wrapping up his complicated life -- leaving those whom he loved, and each of us who joins in his goodbyes, all the better for his having lived. Recommended by Mary
Sweet and steamy, the Kiss Quotient won the 2018 Goodreads Choice Award for Romance, and is earning well deserved praise for its depiction of an autistic-spectrum heroine. Recommended by Molly
Of all the bookshops in all the towns in all the world, this book had to walk into mine. Moore has come up with both, one of the best San Francisco novels and one of the best noir crime novels ever, and it's filled with amazing atmosphere and that incredible Christopher Moore humor. One of my favorite books of the year. Recommended by Rob
Told in a series of interviews, this story covers the entire career of the seminal but fictional 1970s rock band Daisy Jones & The Six. Written flawlessly. You'll love them, you'll hate them, you'll want them to be a real band. A must read for music history buffs and fans of classic Rock 'n' Roll. Also included, lyrics from their last album. Recommended by Rob
A beautifully dark fantasy epic that surges with mythology and imagination. Derived from African sources, the realms of this world feel dream-like and startling, and full of unexpected characters. A wonderful read. Recommended by Hunter
This one is for my brave readers: those who appreciate difficult stories, brilliantly told. One family tries to navigate brutal social divisions in 1940s Trinidad, with unexpected results. -Recommended by Christie