What’s the story?
“Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me” is one of those books that tells you pretty much everything that it’s about in the title. The main character, Freddy, is infatuated with Laura Dean, but this is not an equal relationship. Laura Dean is with Freddy whenever it’s convenient for her to be and breaks up with Freddy whenever she feels like it, repeatedly. Continue reading “Book Review: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me”
Looking for a book to commemorate this auspicious day in the Star Wars Universe? I definitely have a few recommendations!
Starting with the chronologically oldest book, let’s talk about “Light of the Jedi” by Charles Soule, which is the first book in the High Republic era series of publications. I really enjoy the High Republic books. They take place centuries before the Battle of Yavin and the events of the movies. When the Republic was smaller and the Jedi were less corrupted by politics. Continue reading “May the Fourth Be With You!”
Because I don’t want these posts to just be about the books I reach for first, I tried to stretch myself this month with some different genres! We’ve got a contemporary fiction written by an activist in India, a hard sci-fi survival story and a dystopian graphic novel.
“I Kick and I Fly” by Ruchira Gupta
Heera is fourteen, and well aware of the probable fate awaiting her. Like the vast majority of girls in her community, she expects to be sold into prostitution to help pay off her family’s debt. She attempts to stay in school to avoid this but is expelled for standing up to a bully. Just as Heera’s father is making plans to sell her, the woman owner of a youth hostel approaches with another offer. Not only does she pay their debt, but she also offers to teach Heera kung fu so that she can compete in tournaments for cash prizes. As Heera learns to use her body in martial arts, she’s filled with determination to save others who can only expect their bodies to be used. Written by an activist who founded an organization working to end sex trafficking, this is an eye-opening and insightful debut. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: April 2023”
What’s the story?
“Doughnuts and Doom” does not contain quite as much doughnuts or doom as the title might lead you to believe. A more accurate title would probably be something more along the lines of “Potions and Indie Rock,” but that would be a lot less eye-catching and I would have been a lot less likely to pick it up myself. So, what is it all about? Well, Margot is a witch with performance anxiety who is pretty good at potions, but really bad at passing her magic exam license test. After her most recent failure, she has an encounter with Elena, half of an indie rock duo, who works at a doughnut shop. Margot has a severe need for chocolate doughnuts after her most recent failure and as it so happens Elena is the one to give the unfortunate news that they are all out. This leads to Margot losing control of her magic a bit and accidentally cursing Elena. From here on out the characters are intertwined as Margot works to undo her curse and both our heroines learn more about each other. As I said the peril is pretty mild and even the development of the relationship is pretty low stakes. It’s most of all just a cute story about two people meeting by chance and finding out they’re both pretty into each other. But I haven’t told you about the most important part: Stanley! Stanley is a snake and Margot’s familiar and every page he is on is just about the cutest thing possible. Continue reading “Book Review: Doughnuts and Doom”
So you love Dungeons and Dragons and you need something to inspire your next campaign or character. Perhaps you saw Honor Among Thieves and you’re in a questing, stealthing, battling sort of mood. Or maybe you’re just curious about what all the hype is about.
Whatever your reason, we’ve definitely got something that’ll satisfy that need for adventure!
Continue reading “If You Love Dungeons and Dragons…”
Last month I had a lot of romances for you. This month the theme is more murder and monsters (admittedly with a little bit of romance thrown in). These all come out before Spring Break, so whether you’re traveling or staying at home, grab a new book and settle in. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: March 2023”
I’ve noticed a particular reaction when I mention my interest in NBA basketball – surprise. Is it because I’m built like the opposite of a basketball player? It’s true, my height better qualifies me to be the person who rushes to the floor with a towel after a player has fallen and left a sweat stain.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a man, which excludes me from the boisterous sports fan stereotype. Maybe I look more like the type to go home after work and curl up with a good book (I do, during halftime). In any case, I’m here to speak my truth: I love watching basketball. More than I love a lot of things. Continue reading “Basketball Is for Everyone”
Early every year, the American Library Association (ALA) hosts its annual Youth Media Awards Press Conference. At this time, authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult literature are honored for the outstanding works they have published over the last year. Continue reading “2023 Youth Media Award Winners”
It’s February, and the books that caught my eye this month all happened to have romance. If rom-coms (or rom-drams) aren’t your thing, stick with the first book! It’s got plenty of demons and monsters and magic. The other two are decidedly fluffier!
“Wildblood” by Lauren Blackwood
Victoria is a Wildblood. Kidnapped as a child for her rare magical abilities, she has worked for the Exotic Lands Touring Company as a jungle tour guide ever since. The jungle is full of deadly spirits and creatures, and Victoria and her fellow Wildbloods use their magic to protect wealthy clients on their tours. Now Victoria is eighteen and due for a promotion in the company that will afford her more freedoms than she’s ever had. But she’s instructed to only act as support on her next expedition, letting her competitive and vindictive ex-boyfriend take the lead. The tour is for American gold miners who are headed to the most dangerous part of the jungle, where all the fiercest beasts are drawn to the gold in the Gilded Orchard. As the tour progresses, Victoria and the lead goldminer, Laertes Thorn, begin to fall for each other, and she has to decide if advancement in a corrupt company is really all she should hope for. This fast-paced adventure deftly balances fantasy and folklore with themes of colonialism and slavery. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: February 2023”
I love snuggling up under a pile of blankets (and my dog!) and not moving for hours, and these new books provide a wonderful excuse! Use them if you need inspiration for Winter Reading, our reading program where you set your own goals. For example, you could make your Winter Reading goal: Read a new book with a person of color on the cover! Just saying.
“Friday I’m in Love” by Camryn Garrett
Look at this dress! How can you not pick this book up? Mahalia had been looking forward to a Sweet Sixteen party for years, but when her birthday rolls around there’s no way her single mother can afford it. It doesn’t help that Mahalia’s best friend got a super extravagant party. On top of dealing with her party disappointment and awkward crush on the new girl at school, Mahalia is struggling with how to come out to her mom. Then she decides that she’ll throw herself a coming out party, with rainbow everything and tons of dancing. She starts to save every penny from her afterschool job, but as her home life and school start to spiral out of control, the party may be just out of reach. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: January 2023”