When Sharks Attack with Kindness

When Sharks Attack with Kindness by Andres J. Colmenares Such a cute book and a quick read for anyone who needs their spirits lifted and a smile.

Available on Hoopla.




Depraved

A well-written atmospheric thriller, Depraved by Harold Schechter (1994) is all true! You won't want to put it down. The story follows the hard-to-believe life of Herman Mudgett aka H. H. Holmes, a cold-blooded serial killer active at the end of the 19th century. A contemporary of Jack the Ripper, Mudgett seems to have been more prolific. He confessed to 27 murders. Others have placed the number over 200. The true number may never be known.

The investigation that finally tracked him down is as exciting as the best TV detective shows. It reminded me of Harker and Van Helsing chasing down the Count at the end of Dracula. And you might recognize H. H. Holmes as one of the men profiled by Erik Larson in The Devil in the White City.

Schlechter is also the author of Deviant and Fiend, two more true crime stories. I haven't read them yet but they're on my list.


Before The Coffee Gets Cold

I picked this book up, Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi after seeing on social media and really loved the heartwarming tales in this book. This book features a time traveling seat in a café in Tokyo, Japan and contains four different stories of people who want to go back in time. All stories have the same café staff who explain the different rules for time traveling. The explanations of why the people want to go back in time are really special and emotional. I definitely recommend checking it out as well as the sequel Tales From the Cafe.



Divergent

In a dystopian future, society is divided into five factions based on each individual's dominant attributes. Beatrice Prior has reached the age of sixteen, the age at which she must choose the faction where she will spend the rest of her life. But she has traits from many factions. Which should she choose? This is the first book in a young adult adventure trilogy which takes an extreme look at the rites of passage of adolescents as well as focusing a lens on class distinctions in society. Also a movie

Divergent by Veronica Roth is also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



Persuasion

I picked up this book after hearing all the kerfuffle about the new Netflix adaptation. Persuasion by Jane Austen is beautiful and I am so happy to have picked it up. This novel is more melancholy compared to Austen's other novels, but with the same thoughtfulness and relatability.

Anne Elliot is a 27-year-old who differs drastically from her father and sisters. They are superficial and egotistical while Anne is a thoughtful, caring, and quiet young woman. Years ago, Anne called off her engagement to Captain Wentworth, the love of her life, at the insistence of her family due to his lower social standing. Years later, Captain Wentworth returns and Anne deals with changed feelings and circumstances of the relationship.

Although the setting and time of this book are a lot different than today, the book is a great read. Jane Austen has created a classic that involves themes and situations relatable to today. A great read!

Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



Why Fish Don't Exist

I listened to the audiobook Why Fish Don't Exist - A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life read by the author herself, Lulu Miller. Lulu takes the reader on an adventure through her life as she navigates the ups and downs of becoming an adult. She intertwines the story of David Starr Jordan, an ichthyologist in the early 1900's (and the first President of Stanford) that has an obsession with collecting and naming all the fish in the world and the chaos that happens to him, with figuring out her own life. Many of David Starr Jordan's setbacks become unbelievable opportunities for him. Lulu has a colorful way with her words in writing this book. She makes the reader feel that she is speaking right to her. Her use of language allows the reader to visually see in their mind the adventure she takes you on. Truly a raw, personnel journey for Lulu and how she finds the love of her life. A must audiobook to listen to - to the very end of the Epilogue.


Available in ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby). 

56 Days

I was intrigued by this book from the start. The concept of having two people who just met during the early stages of the pandemic is something that can be applied to everyone. The twists and turns of this book are rather eye opening into how other people's lives were affected by covid. There were highs and lows of this book, but was an overall a good read. 

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard is available in both ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary. Also available as an ebook on Hoopla.




Your Inner Fish

The possible evolution of the anatomical relationship between fish and mammals is examined in this 2008 bestseller, Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin . I'm curious about evolution, so it's good the author mostly uses popular language even I can understand.

Dr. Neil Shubin starts by telling of the hardships of doing paleontology in the arctic. He found a fossil fish 387 million years old and hints this may be a piece of the missing link puzzle. Recently discovered animal footprints in Poland have been dated back 395 million years—but I wasn't interested in that part of his story anyway.

The winner for me was the part comparing fish anatomy to mammals. That was absolutely fascinating and worth the wait. I can recommend Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body to any layperson interested in evolution, paleontology, or genetics. The book inspired a PBS episode in 2014: watch it on Hoopla today.


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Guards! Guards!: A Novel of Discworld

If you have never read any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, this is as good a place to start as any. Vimes is an inspector on the Anhk-Morpork city watch, content to while away his time in a drunken stupor. But when a dragon appears on the scene along with a rookie cop determined to do everything by the book, it turns his world on end. With a cast of absurd characters placed in ludicrous situations, Guards! Guards! is sure to lighten your spirits. 

Available as an ebook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



The Lost Village

Alice is a filmmaker who has been obsessed with the story of the sudden disappearance of the residents of her grandma's home village, Silvertjärn, a remote mining village in Sweden. Gathering a group to help her accomplish her dream of creating a documentary on the lost village they venture out into the remote area, deep into the forest. There they find the abandoned village lost to time. As they explore the village to unravel the mystery of what happened all those years ago and plan out their film; the group begins to notice that they are not alone. The story is told through a few perspectives that helps bring the past into the present. The audiobook narrator, Angela Dawe, gave a wonderful performance of bringing the characters to life and helped set the unsettling atmosphere. I could not stop listening until I found out the secrets that the village held. The Lost Village by Camilla Sten is a suspenseful and eerie read that is told from the perspective of Alice and a resident of the lost village.


Available as both an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).


The Longest Day of the Future

The Longest Day of the Future by Lucas Varela is different . It has no words, side text or even thought bubbles. I really liked the different take on how you have to focus on the images more to get the story. At first, I thought the book moved around a little bit and it took a second for me to understand where the novel was going, but the story as a whole was good. 




The Stardust Thief

Can't afford to travel this summer? Then pick up The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah and feel like you're traveling into the mystical deserts of "1001 Nights"! The setting of this retelling is definitely the highlight, the descriptions so lush you'll swear you can feel the burning sand on your feet! Packed with magic and tricky jinn, The Stardust Thief is the first book to a new trilogy that will leave you saying, "I wish I had book two!".



Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man

In his book (also a hit YouTube series) Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Emmanuel Acho seeks to answer a lot of the questions that white people have about black people but are afraid to ask. Acho's well-crafted answers are insightful and shine a light on the systemic racism and racist views that are still prevalent in society today. This is a must read for everyone.

Acho's conversations are available to watch on the Uncomfortable Convos website.

Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).



Vanished

Nick Heller is a Special Forces veteran and private detective. He doesn't get along with his brother Roger. When Roger's wife gets attacked and Roger disappears, Roger's 14-year-old stepson asks Nick to help. Nick learns some shocking secrets about Roger and there is, of course, a secret Blackwater-style conspiracy.  There are twists and turns in this mystery thriller that will keep you reading. Some of the action is a little incredible, but this is fiction after all. Vanished by Joseph Finder is the first book in the Nick Heller series and the audio version won the Earphone Award. 

The reader, Holter Graham, is really good keeping the suspense suspenseful, but makes 14-year-old Gabe sound kind of arrogant and whiny. I have to think that's how Joseph Finder envisioned Gabe. Listen today via Hoopla to see what you think. 

Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).




The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black is amazing. This book is labeled under teen, but I think that the story is for everyone. A fantasy adventure that has you gripping the book to find out how the characters will survive. 

You can listen to the eaudiobook through eMediaLibrary (Libby).