Stephen King's The Gunslinger starts the reader on a gunslinger's thrilling quest which stretches across a seven(ish) book series set on an old western backdrop plagued with the stuff from science fiction nightmares. The Gunslinger catches your attention with action and romance and draws you through the other side as Roland of Gilead treks faithfully across worlds to find the Dark Tower, the nexus of the universe, of all universes. King skillfully weaves science-fiction, old westerns, and New York jive with a dash of his patented brand of horror to create something entirely unique to the genre.
From the first chapter, you'll want to see a movie made of this book. The characters and the friendships built on unspoken things are as real as I've ever felt in a book. The same goes for a few twists the author throws in for the reader. It's a wonderful story of a life you could see a Hollywood starlet from the '50s living. Prepare for laughs, tears and all emotions in between.
Mermaids, revenge and ship disasters - you couldn't really expect much more from a book, right? Wrong there is more, you also have multiple forms of inclusivity! This book is all about a girl named Victoria and her need to find out what happened to her sister on a trip to film a documentary in the Mariana Trench. To do this she ends up on a similar trip and no one could have guessed what they would have found when they got there.. hint it's mermaids.
Are you wanting to scratch a steampunk and alternate history itch? Then this is the book for you! In an alternate version of history, the Dutch have discovered the secrets of alchemy and created clockwork people. With this knowledge and a tireless army, they have conquered most of the known world. The Mechanical, the first in this three book series, follows a freed Dutch clockwork slave and a disgraced French spymaster and their exploits. The book primarily explores what it means to have free will and the lengths people will go to obtain, or even destroy, it.
Amy Kaufman digs up reality TV dirt in her unauthorized behind the scenes look at ABC's The Bachelor. Kaufman's tell-all demystifies the heteronormative dream that is the Bachelor franchise. This book is the perfect summer read as you sip Champagne and lounge by the beach. If you love the Bachelor (or even if you love to hate the Bachelor), then you'll love the hot gossip Kaufman spills in her book.
After the death of her husband, Christy-Lynn Parker runs away from her life in Maine to a small town in Virginia. Christy-Lynn finds new friends, starts a new career, and sparks a love interest. Although she has changed her surroundings, Christy-Lynn realizes that she can not outrun her past and it is time to deal with the "nevers". This book has a heartwarming and complex story to tell. Through Christy-Lynn, Barbara Davis expresses real emotions that any one of us could have experienced from a traumatic event in life. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a complex yet enlightening tale to indulge in.
The most relatable high school sports drama around
Adachi's manga are consistently charming, and his stories pack a lot of heart into gently wry, mundane coming-of-age tropes. Cross Game is, to my knowledge, the only one of his manga to be officially translated and released in English, and luckily it is an excellent example of his work. It's a story of childhood love, lost and found, of friendships and rivalry, and of course, the magic of baseball. The art and the character designs are simple and distinct, the linework and shading are delicate and restrained -- you can easily see the emotional resonance of the scenes as you read. The series is collected in 8 English volumes and is well worth adding to your collection.
A meditation on womanhood, race and the lines that divide
Roxane Gay exposes her innermost demons in this collection of essays, spanning a wide range of topics from the "First Day of School" as a new professor to meditations on pop culture. Reflecting on a changing world and the increased scrutiny of women, people of color, queer people and especially those who find themselves at the intersection of such identities, Gay's essays mull over the challenges facing the world today through a deeply personal lens. Using her lived experiences, extensive academic expertise and a snarky yet vulnerable wit, Gay forces her readers to reconsider their own biases. Urging the reader to consider the complexity of the human experience, Gay lets us know that it's okay to be a bad feminist, but we must always be striving to do better. Each essay is worth a review on its own, and will leave the reader with a lot of thinking to do.
by Kohner, Frederick/ Zuckerman, Kathy Kohner (FRW)/ Stillman, Deanne (INT)
Adolescents trying to find their place in the world.
If you ever lived near the coast, you understand learning to surf and ride. For Gidget, she gives the point of view of the tomboys or the ones who turn into a tomboy to be one of the guys and have fun. Getting into hygienic, stupors, twist and yes, romance. The characters' nicknames really make them stand out. We all have had a nickname that fits our personality well, it is the same for Gidget, Moondoggie, Kahoona, Don Pepe, Hot Shot Harrison - you get it. Gidget is about adolescents trying to find their place in the world. It is the same no matter what era you grew up in. If you want to bring back a few memories of your youth, read this entire series.
So, you think you've seen every programming book there is to see? Better check again. The next generation needs to shrink that gap in learning between us and the other industrial nations. The quickest way to do that? Get those babies learning! This book will introduce your child to the world of programming and easily boils down complex ideas into understandable concepts. I highly recommend the whole 'Baby Loves Science' line as a smart and unique way to get children thinking about STEM.
The notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the trailblazing Sandra Day O'Connor are two of the most dynamic people ever to wear the robe of a Supreme Court Justice. This is well-written, page-turner of a biography. These two Justices had amazing lives, even before they joined the Court, and the book starts right in the action of their lives, without the plodding, dry, backstories of most bios. I can't recommend it enough!
If you are new to Janet Evanovich, you'll find that all of the Stephanie Plum novels have the same ingredients. The mysteries are small cakes that use these ingredients with a little twist each time. There is always our heroine, Stephanie, beautiful and smart, but always finding her way into trouble with every foray into the world of bounty hunting for her cousin Vinnie. Guaranteed she will be shot at, punched, hit by a car, kidnapped, or have a rocket shot at her apartment or some other nefarious event will ruin her day. Her sidekick Lulu, a heavyset former prostitute also works for Vinnie and loves to travel in tight Lycra and pack a pistol in her pocketbook. Of course, she cant hit the side of a barn with it! You can be sure 99% of the time these two go out to pick up a bail jumper they will fail in some monumental way. Usually, it involves a car being destroyed at some point in the story. When things go south there are two possible saviors, on again/off again boyfriend, Joe Morelli, a cop, or, the handsome hunk of humanity, the dark and mysterious Ranger. The latter runs a security agency and is always pulling Stephanie out of jams and loaning her cars which always seem to get destroyed. Joe is usually doing his cop work with an occasional dinner at home with Stephanie and his dog. Stephanie lives alone with her pet hamster. When things look bad, which is most of the time Stephanie and Lulu chill out by visiting Cluck in a Bucket for chicken or the donut shop for a dozen donuts. Other characters abound, my favorite being Grandma. She is always looking to ride along on a pickup with her pistol in her pocketbook. She spends her days sitting in on funerals just for something to do. Each episode also introduces a simpleton type of character who is played as being dumb but turns out to be lovable and befriended by Stephanie. In Tricky Twenty-Two it is Gobbles, exalted leader of the animal house fraternity known as Zeta is the character. Of course, he is not the bad guy he is portrayed as and in the end he helps to unravel the murder. He is this stories ingredients twist. All Evanovichs stories read the same. Thats the beauty of them. You know what youre getting before you start and if thats your type of humor its hilarious. Ive also found that listening to the audiobooks add another level of hoot to the mix as Lorelei King is a master at all the character voices and nuances. So pick up One for the Money or any of the other Plum novels and you will be in for a little slice of happiness.
Five friends find themselves in Groundhog Day hell.
This is Pessl's third novel and it does not disappoint! Five friends gather for the first time since their high school graduation, and fellow friends' apparent suicide. From the get-go, there is tension amongst the group. Beatrice is still mourning the loss of her boyfriend Jim, while the rest of the group (Witley, Carson, Kipling, and Martha) all seem to have something to hide. Despite this, they all go out and end up trapped in the Neverworld. A place where time stands still because they are dead. The book is billed as young adult, which is a first for Pessl. She still manages to keep her experimental writing style although writing for teens. This is a perfect pick for our magical Feed Your Brain summer!
This book is a fascinating look into the periodic table. It looks not only at the elements that make up the table and the crazy stories about their discoveries, but also examines the history of the table itself. There's a rich history behind the periodic table and the elements that it contains. There are well-known facts like Marie Curie discovering Radium, but then there are less known elements with stories that are just as interesting. It's a must-read for chemistry fans and casual readers alike.
Everyone has heard of the Patty Hearst kidnapping, but there is so much more to the story. This book delves deep into what happened before, during and after Patty Hearst was taken and examines the motives of the kidnappers and of Hearst herself. She famously joined the group who kidnapped her, taking part in robberies and aligning herself with them. This book looks at why she might have done these things - and then turn around and reject those beliefs so quickly. It also looks at the effect of her kidnapping on her family, friends and society at large. It's a fascinating read and paints a picture of Hearst's kidnapping that is much less black and white than previously thought.
Possibly the most disturbing novel you may ever read
I've read more horror and suspense novels and seen more disturbing films than I can remember. But few if any affected me the way this novel did. In three distinct scenes in this book, I found myself shouting at the book as I was shocked by what the main character, Deputy/serial killer Lou Ford did and by the brutal grace of how it was described. With two of the three scenes I had to pause due to feeling physically ill. The plot involves Deputy Ford leading a double life in small town 1950s Texas, where he seems like a pillar of the community to most, while hiding a secret need for violence. Told from his perspective, the book brilliantly illustrates the moral warping of the sociopathic mind. My only complaint is an early chapter in which Ford and another character have a discussion that amounts to expository dialogue to fill the reader in on Ford's backstory. While that was ham-handed, the rest of the book is brilliant.
Something different from the master of crime fiction
While Dashiell Hammett was one of the founders of the modern detective/crime novel, having written the masterpiece The Maltese Falcon among others, this novel is entirely different, containing neither his signature characters or a typical detective story. This novel is actually a blend of a political thriller and detective story. It does feature a murder to solve, but the person solving the murder is the right-hand man/political "fixer" for the leading mayoral candidate of a small city. The murder quickly takes a back seat as we witnesses the dirty dealings needed to keep a city running and a candidate afloat.
N.K. Jemisin's earlier works such as the Inheritance Trilogy and the Dreamblood series are amazing, but she steps her game up in this newest series beginning with The Fifth Season. I love volcanoes and science fiction/fantasy, so having them both together is fabulous for me. The Fifth Season starts as the world is ending and follows our character, an outcast for her unique powers of controlling the earth's tectonics, as she deals with personal trauma. It's a well-crafted, intensely rich world with beautiful and flawed characters. Jemisin is now on my top five lists of authors I love and want to devour everything written by them. The first two books of this series won the Hugo and the third book is nominated (and should win). It's the best thing in fantasy today!
Historical fiction with a lot to say about our time
This is a historical novel with a free man of color taking ship to avoid trouble in his hometown of New Orleans. He soon finds he's in more trouble on the ship, and the threats are many - enslaved people eager to escape, mutiny, a captive god and a captain who is a mad genius. While historically true to the time and place, the issues and ideas in the book are relevant to our time, or all times. This is a book of ideas that expresses them in action. A gripping read that satisfies on several levels.
There is an island off the coast of Washington on which it never rains. Baseball can always be played, never rained out. Until now... Something is threatening all the worlds, ours, the worlds of folklore, fantasy and fairyland; whoever the enemy is, he hates baseball, and only the lovers of baseball can save everything. Characters are little league failures, washed up big-leaguers, dirigible pilots, a bigfoot (a Sasquatch, to be polite), giants of various sizes and such legends as Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan. Quests are begun, baseball is played and the most important game ever is coming up...