This beautiful novel is a story within a story, looping back on itself through time. These stories are protected by those who are willing to give their lives for them, and many have. Zachary is searching for these stories and the door to their sanctuary without even knowing it. His door is waiting for him, and with the help of two strangers, he becomes part of a world he knows nothing about. Yet it has been speaking to him his whole life.
The Name of the Wind is one of my top-five favorite fantasy novels. After our protagonist Kvothe suffers a violent tragedy in childhood he commits his life to finding the perpetrators, mythical beings the rest of the world does not believe exist. Along the way his many adventures and challenges distinguish him as the greatest wizard the world has ever known, he himself becoming the stuff of legend. It is the first of a fun and fantastic series, make sure to grab book two (The Wise Man's Fear) as well!
I'll be honest, I initially found this book a bit off-putting. Eleanor, this story's recluse heroine, is quite socially idiosyncratic. But as you stick with Eleanor's blunders and maladaptive tendencies, clues about why Eleanor seems to be such an unusual human begin to fit together. The result is a deeply funny ode to emerging from the depths of loneliness and opening one's heart.
Barnhill masterfully expands from her typical work in this eclectic collection of eerie stories. Ranging from the tale of a widow's love affair with a Sasquatch to the life of a girl destined to be a revolutionary pirate; these stories are some of the most imaginative I've read. An extraordinary mix of fantasy, magical realism, science fiction and folk-inspired stories, this book would be a versatile gift.
Joe Hill has written everything from novels to comic books, but he really hit the nail on the head with this collection of short stories. Ranging from supernatural to horror, each story is exquisitely crafted to be wholly different from the last. Some are shocking, some sad, and some sent shivers down my spine. This collection would be perfect for that person on your list who doesn’t mind getting a little spooked.
Do you have an uncle/cousin/friend who you simply CANNOT shop for because they like movies but no one watches DVDs in 2019? This is the book for you! Find out the answers to questions you never knew you had in a set of illustrated essays for the ages. This book would be rated R for language and H for hilarious. “We do great with the ‘don’t normally read books’ crowd.” -Shea Serrano
Sigrid Nunez, winner of the National Book Award (2018 ‘The Friend), is the perfect author to bring to life the small period of time during which Leonard and Virginia Woolf lived with the encroaching danger of Nazi Germany and hosted a marmoset named Mitz—first as a sickly guest, then as a constant companion to Leonard. I’m always curious about the private lives of famous authors and Leonard and Virginia Woolf are such an iconic writing couple. In the early 1900’s they were the ring leaders of the ‘Bloomsbury Group’ of writers and artists. They created their own publishing company: Hogarth Press and mentored young whippersnappers such as T.S. Eliot. This book, culled from diaries, biographies and autobiographies gives us a snapshot of a truly likable couple who maintain rigorous writing/editing schedules but make room for the niceties of Sussex, England circa 1930. This is the minutiae of the worst pet in the world (Mitz) and her fierce attachment to Leonard. Virginia’s acerbic asides are hilarious, weirdly intimate and endearing.
I got this book as a gift a few years ago and couldn't put it down till I finished it. This is a compelling and inspiring account of a woman making a path in STEM, and Hope Jahren's story of perseverance and passion masterfully mixes memoir and science. In fact, her clear, clever explanations of biology just might have made me contemplate changing my career and becoming a botanist.
It's like Handmaid's Tale; except this time, women have all the power. A modern science fiction that is so perceptive and relevant, it is hard to distinguish from reality. It starts with an innocent playground fight, then escalates to a national emergency due to all the cases of injured men. Some of these altercations are involuntary; yet, once some women discover they have the power, they seek vengeance.
This book sat on top of my “to read” pile for three years before I finally picked it up. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. Yang’s duet with her father is a lyrical, yet unvarnished recounting of their family’s journey from Laos to the United States and their ensuing years in the Twin Cities. Both beautiful and thought-provoking, The Song Poet is an essential read for all Minnesotans.
Whether you’re well-acquainted with the world of Earthsea or are visiting for the first time, the 50th anniversary omnibus edition of Le Guin’s classic fantasy series is a must-own. Immerse yourself in a realm where magic springs from truth, names hold great power, and dragons are capable of far more than breathing fire. Handsome new illustrations, personally selected by the author, will further engage your imagination along the way.
A host of characters makes for a most colorful tale of life in hard-times Greenstone, MN. Virgil Wander, proprietor of the failing Empress Theater, takes the ride of a life in his old Pontiac as he plunges over a cliff into the frigid lake below.
Barely surviving, Virgil finds a new path in life—a rebirth, if you will. Because of the friends he never knew he had, the “soft old heads-down” version of Virgil is on extended leave, discovering new roads. Come along for the ride! Amen.
In a story for the literature lover you know, William Tyce gifts us with a glossary of his young life. From ABSENCE to JELLYBEANS, each entry is a puzzle piece introducing and developing key figures in his story: a gambling uncle, a
balloon-chasing best friend, and a missing father. Follow Will as he grows up and embarks on a journey downriver to find his father. The tale woven throughout is built through clear-eyed prose and the startling and earnest insights of its protagonist.
Through it all, William learns of the power language has to shape and define the world around him.
Dear Tina, Dear Kristian...their letters share all that seems important when “the time ahead and the time behind is more or less in balance.” Theirs are thoughts of plans never fulfilled. And yet, we readers are comforted in the elegance of their
penned correspondence. (Aren’t we all in need of someone we care for?) The museum is open every day. As curator of the museum, Kristian invites Tina to “please come!” Join in on this memorable romance between two strangers, one from East Anglia, the other from Denmark. There is an enormity in the might-have-been!
On the icebound planet Gethen, where the inhabitants have no fixed gender, two countries are poised on the brink of war. Can an ambassador and an exile withstand polar dangers and save the world? This swift-reading but multifaceted sci-fi classic layers in a deep, unflinching examination of gender, politics and violence while remaining a solid page-turner with intrigue, unexpected friendship, and survival against all odds.
This book has stayed with me for years. Walls impeccably recounts the story of growing up with her unique, nomadic family. Jeanette’s mother was an artist who encouraged the four Walls children to be independent, so she could focus on painting. Her father was an exceptionally brilliant man who taught them about physics, philosophy and geology, but became reckless and abusive when drinking. Thus, the Walls family would run away from their problems, always hoping to build a better life in their self-designed Glass Castle. At its core, this is a heartbreaking story of family and resilience.
From 1922-1954, Count Alex Rostov was confined to the Metropol Hotel in Communist Russia, due to his “disrespectful” poetry. I, also, was taken prisoner but to his chivalry, courtesy, honor, and humor. As he navigates his small world; his faith that “the smallest of one’s actions can restore some sense of order to the world”, becomes apparent. HISTORICAL, INTRIGUING, ROMANTIC!
Sherlock Holmes has met his equal and SHE is fifteen years old. It begins with a chance meeting when a retired Holmes is tending his beehives and Mary Russell is out for a reading/walking afternoon. In a very few moments the elder detective realizes that this outspoken youngster is not only clever beyond her years, but eager for knowledge. Thus begins King’s series about the famous Holmes and his protege. “The game’s afoot”. Great fun and wonderful dialogue.
Brilliantly horrifying, The Southern Reach trilogy will make your psyche cringe. Area X is a pristine wilderness that has defied all reason for thirty years. Expedition 12 follows four female scientists: the psychologist, the anthropologist, the surveyor, and our narrator, the biologist. You will undoubtedly see our world in a different light after traversing VanderMeer’s nightmarish world. A future science fiction classic.
Magic meets vinyl in 1988 Mexico City when teen outcasts Meche, Sebastian and Daniela discover they can cast spells using their favorite records. At first, Meche relishes the opportunity to improve her troubled life and exact revenge on those who have wronged her and her friends, but her newfound power threatens to fracture her relationships and put others in danger. Years later, can an adult Meche repair the damage done to those she cares for most?
Growing up in the storytelling culture of Nigeria, Arimah handily hones her skills within these pages. Each of her short stories opens with magic and intensity. Yet it is the wicked finish that 'packs a punch' every time! You'll despair, empathize and struggle along with mothers, fathers, lovers and children--and you'll love the tragedy of it all. What a gifted conjuror of words and worlds!
As adrenaline-fueled and hyperactively paced as its dynamic protagonist, The Warrior’s Apprentice is a fantastic character-driven space opera written by local author and winner of the most Hugo awards living today, Lois McMaster Bujold. The story follows the physically handicapped strategic genius Miles Vorkosigan as he careens through space, thwarting plots, possibly committing treason, and accidentally becoming the commander of an interstellar mercenary fleet. Great for fans of Ender’s Game.
The Taj Mahal. A run-of-the-mill travel book will steer you towards such popular destinations, but there's an antidote to predictable travel in this very “Rumpian” guidebook. When traveling to India, why not also visit the Karni Mata Rat Temple (p. 131), where you may walk among 20,000 rats believed to be descendants of a reincarnated Hindu goddess? Teeming with quirky sightseeing recommendations, Atlas Obscura will inspire you whether you are actually traveling or living vicariously.