Annabelle Crisp lives on Mars with her dad, helping to run the Mother Earth Diner. It's 1931 and she hasn't heard from her mother, back on earth, since the Silence. After their diner is robbed and the only recording of her mother's voice is stolen, Annabelle sets off on a quest of vengeance and justice to set things right on a planet where everything has gone...Strange. Riveting and weird, this alternate history reads like Lovecraft and Charles Portis dreamed up a Martian adventure.
American Mermaid is feminist in the best way. It's complex, full of rage, and funny if your idea of funny includes laughing at how utterly ridiculous it is to live in a female body in this world. American Mermaid is also a sendup of Hollywood, an exploration of what it means to create art, a polemic against the patriarchy, and a celebration of female community. For angry ladies everywhere.
Oliver Darkshire is a delightfully irreverent chronicler of the life of an antiquarian bookseller. This book is more bestiary than memoir, a sampling of the strange creatures that frequent the rare book trade and the foibles in which they find themselves. Best read with a cup of tea in a poorly lit room.
Fleishman is in Trouble meets Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow in novel about what it means to be an artist, what it means to fail, and what it means to disappear. This is a novel that rewards the attentive reader.
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass (Hardcover)
Prepare to have your swashes buckled because this is the mom-pirate adventure you never knew you needed. Retired pirate Amina Al-Sirafi has settled into seclusion with her daughter when she is approached with an offer she can't refuse. This one-last-job, getting-the-band-back-together narrative doesn't stop from the first page to the last. It's filled with an astonishing amount of action, captivating characters, and supernatural secrets. And it's so much fun to read!
Not only is this book a page turning mystery, it's also a commentary on the public fascination with true crime, internet sleuthing, white female victims, and the grindingly difficult justice system. Stunningly written and bitingly sharp, this book will stick with you long after it is done.
Kelly Link doesn't write a bad sentence. Each story in her new collection is eerie, compelling, and beautiful. Drawn loosely from seven fairy/folk tales, Link takes the thread of each tale and twists it until it is nearly unrecognizable, creating entirely new fables that discomfit and provoke and cannot quite disentangle enough to tie together into a neat bow.
Maddie is 25 and very responsible. She sends money to her mother in Ghana, takes care of her father with Parkinson's, and always fulfills her obligations. But when her mother moves back to Britain for an extended stay, Maddie decides to move out and try all the things she's been missing. Authentic, vulnerable, and compelling, Maddie has a voice you cannot ignore.
Do you like the scandal of Bridgerton but the literary sensibility of George Eliot? Then this is the book for you! Miles Lufton is a hero (or anti-hero?) to remember. Born to a country parson, Miles has ambitions that land him an MP post. Torn between his public and private personas, Miles deftly avoids scandal and climbs the social hierarchy until his inner battle comes to a head. Utterly captivating.
This standalone adventure from the Wayward Children series might be my favorite story yet. Antoinette "Antsy" escapes a menacing stepfather and winds up at the Shop Where Lost Things Go. This book is slim but the questions it raises are profound: who pays the price when we lie to children? What does endless novelty really cost?
Don't skip out on this series, it does not disappoint!
Prescient for its time when it was published in 1934, The Oppermanns is as eerily relevant today as it was then. The successful Jewish family the Oppermanns is living in Berlin in 1932, laughing at passages from Mein Kampf and reassuring themselves and each other that the Nationalist Leader is a flash in the pan, soon to be drowned out by other rational voices. This novel is filled with conversations, questions, and debates that you've likely heard even today. Outstanding.
Janice Hallett is my new favorite mystery writer! The Twyford Code is presented in transcripts of audio clips made by Steven Smith, recently released by prison and in search of answers about his grade school teacher who went missing after becoming obsessed with the Twyford code. But nothing is as it first appears. There are plenty of misdirections, unreliable narrators, and thorny questions to unravel. Fantastically fun!
There are no easy answers in this complex, multi-character novel about the historical messianic cult figure Jacob Frank. It was controversial in Poland upon its publication for its unflinching look at the pervasive antisemitism that dominates the country's historical legacy. But there are no simple heroes or humble victims in this story. It is instead a detailed account of how a cult is born, how misinformation becomes a weapon, and how one charismatic man, emboldened by a fervent group of followers, can inspire others to commit truly "strange deeds" in the hope of salvation. This deeply researched philosophical and historical novel is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth the time and effort. Truly outstanding.
Fisher's Book of 2022! Five fairy tale heroines meet in a basement for group therapy. What seems like it might be a gimmicky premise is instead a subtle exploration of women's pain and the spectacle society makes of it. In Adelmann's deft hands, the characters you think you know are transformed, their motivations are complex, and their stories veer into uncanny and unexpected territory. A literary page turner that gave me more questions than answers. Absolutely fantastic!
Hoodie Rosen is the only boy in a family full of girls, hates math, has a wickedly sarcastic wit, and oh yeah, he's Orthodox. Which is a problem when he falls for the decidedly not Jewish mayor's daughter Anna-Marie. This novel explores identity, community, antisemitism, and the pains of a first crush. You will love Hoodie's wry, observant voice.
It's not your imagination--the world has become more polarized in the last two decades. This book explains the behavioral science and the social media algorithms driving that polarization and discord that leaves people angry and outraged whenever they scroll. In engaging, lucid prose, Max Fisher lays out the case against social media companies in an urgent plea to the public, lawmakers, and employees of these companies: Turn off the algorithm.
Maeve is witty, brash, and angry. She is waiting on her school results in the hopes of breaking free of her tiny Northern Irish town during the Troubles, and marking time by working in the factory alongside Protestants and a lecherous boss. Gallen's ratchets up the tension slowly until you are holding your breath for the characters you have grown to love.
This novel is fantastically tender and wholesome but still filled with peril and adventure. Lifelong study partners Uriel (an angel) and Little Ash (a minor demon) decide to leave their shtetl to travel America to track down a missing young woman. This book has it all: queer characters, ghosts, dybbuks, revolutionaries, and the most unlikely and loveable pair of supernatural creatures you will ever meet all working towards world-repair and filled with Jewish debate.
Come for the fantastic premise and stay for characters you will fall in love with. Haunted siblings Isaac and Bellatine Yaga are running from their own private ghosts and each other until they are brought back together as adults when they inherit their great-great grandmother's house on chicken legs. This is a Baba Yaga story like you've never heard. In this world memory is a haunting, fable is history, and storytelling is witness.
What happens when a woman with an unlucky gambler of a husband wins a 300 million dollar lottery two months before their divorce is final? Before you find out, you'll hear the story of Angie and Dean Lee's relationship, their highs and lows, and the fascinating characters that come in and out of their lives. A haunting, melancholy novel about what we can and can't give up, and how fortunes might change but other things never do.
I started this book right before bed and got halfway through before I looked at the time. I finished it the next morning over coffee slowly going cold as I turned the pages. This is a page turner! Told almost completely in e-mails, texts, and other "found" documents, The Appeal follows a community theatre putting on their summer play while simultaneously fundraising for experimental cancer treatment for the director's granddaughter. Who dies the night of dress rehearsal? Who is pretending to be someone else? Who is the murderer? There are countless mysteries to solve so read closely!
Very rarely does a book leave me a sobbing mess, but this one did. If you've ever been bullied, misunderstood, or just struggled to fit in, this book will speak to you. Tsujimura has created a story that is reminiscent of Miyazaki or fable, but original only to herself. Read this book if you need to be comforted, moved, and enchanted.
This book is like a comforting D&D campaign with all your best friends. The goal? To build a coffee shop in a city that's never heard of a latte. SO WHOLESOME!
Frankly Feminist: Short Stories by Jewish Women from Lilith Magazine (HBI Series on Jewish Women) (Paperback)
This comprehensive anthology is FILLED with gems, including a standout story by local author Michele Ruby. The editors have displayed the true diversity of the Jewish woman's experience to great effect, compiling a volume of outstanding stories you won't want to miss.
Were you a weird girl child that no one understood? The solitary one with your nose in a book, the odd one out even in your own family, the one who likes animals better than people? Do you like atmospheric novels set in Scotland? Do you want to know who killed Janet, who you will come to love?Then read this book!
After a tragic fall ends her Olympic running career, Caroline's falls again--this time for Finn, prince of a small, wealthy country. Before she has even begun to develop her sense of self, she is married and trapped in a life everyone else considers a fairy tale. This harrowing novel begins as a romance and descends into horror. A scathing indictment of monarchy and marriage.
This deeply affecting graphic memoir opens a window onto the complex world of oil field work. Beaton explores her deep set ambivalence about how the environment warps otherwise familiar men to menacing, threatening figures. In a world where men outnumber women 50 to 1, where safety meetings and fatalities become fodder for jokes, and isolation shapes and deforms everyone's experience, Beaton displays a deep empathy for the people drawn into this kind of work. This book is not to be missed.
This unexpectedly dark fantasy novel mixes American folk horror with European fairy tale. When a series of tragedies besets an isolated village, Ellerie, the daughter of a beekeeper, works to keep her family protected through an autumnal season of plenty to a spring of scarcity. The tension ratchets up in town as people become increasingly hostile and the creatures in the woods begin to close in. An atmospheric, bone-chilling read.
This is sci-fi at its very best: an alien planet, a claustrophobic spaceship, androids that seem to be malfunctioning towards something like humanity, and in the center of it all is Grace Park, a psychologist struggling to make sense of the secrets and mysteries unfolding around her.
Who would think that a novel narrated by the ghost of a girl dead for three hundred years could be so full of life? This deeply sensual book follows the ghost of Blanca as she falls in love with George Sand during her ill-fated stay in Mallorca with her lover Chopin. Blanca spends her days observing and enjoying the scents and tastes of life through those she haunts, taking pleasure in small vengeances against the deserving and desperately trying to be heard by the woman she has come to love. A book to be savored.
In this proto-feminist classic, the world is frozen in place beyond an invisible wall and our unnamed narrator ekes out a fragile existence, finding satisfaction in her first potato harvest, her cow, and her isolation. Both an intimate survival story and a profound meditation on what it means to be a woman alone in the world.
Part literary satire, part campy horror, and altogether fun, Patricia Wants to Cuddle is a slim little knockout of a book! Reality dating show antics meet a lesbian monster story you won't want to miss.
This book will break your heart but you should read it anyway. Davidson stuns with lush descriptions of the daily lives of an ordinary couple trying to make it in a dying logging town. I fell in love with this novel!
In this canny and darkly humorous exploration of modern antiSemitism, Horn's thesis is that people love dead Jews...living Jews not so much. Filled with fascinating details you never knew, these essays thrum with anger, vitality, and humor. An impassioned plea to pay attention to the voices we've ignored for too long.