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).




A Rare Interest in Corpses

In 1864 London, destitute Lizzie Martin has accepted a paid position as companion to her godfather's widow, Mrs. Perry. Lizzie gets curious about Mrs. Perry's previous companion, Madeline, who had abruptly disappeared. Her inquiries lead her to Benjamin Ross, a childhood friend and now a Scotland Yard Inspector. Ben and Lizzie find adventure, danger, and more, exploring the fate of the unfortunate Madeline.

A Rare Interest in Corpses (2007, alternate title The Companion) is the first of the seven book Lizzie Martin mystery series. The books can be read in any order, but it's best to start with this one since it sets the background for Lizzie and Ben. Ann Granger takes the time to make the reader feel and see Victorian England in detail. I think this is one of the great strengths of this series and this author.

Start the series by checking out the ebook on Hoopla today. 


Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a powerful and thought-provoking book that is definitely considered a classic for a reason. The four women of the Joy Luck club meet regularly to play mahjong, eat traditional Chinese food, and share the dreams and struggles they've had leading up to raising their four respective daughters in America. The founder of the club, Suyuan Woo, has recently passed and her daughter, Jing Mei, is taking her place at the mahjong table. In doing so, she learns of the hardships her mother faced to give Jing Mei her life in the US. The impactful stories of the other three women and their daughters are also told - beginning in rural China and ending in San Francisco.

The book reads almost like a collection of short stories that seamlessly shift from light-hearted to deeply impactful and back. A rich and meaningful read no matter where your family comes from. It's a beautiful illustration that the stories that shape us are not just our own. Reading this book was an emotional and moving experience that I wish I could experience again for the first time. I put down the book with more thought towards the stories and struggles of my own family (which sounds kind of dramatic but is totally true lol). 

Available on eBook and eAudiobook on eMediaLibrary.



The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel

The Eyre Affair introduces us to the alternate reality where Thursday Next, a female detective assigned to the literary department, exists. This first book of eight finds Thursday trying to find out who is plucking characters right out of the pages of famous novels. Fforde's writing is both imaginative and outlandish making this series fun yet suspenseful. With time travel and the ability to leap into books both possible, Fforde's series can take a turn in any direction. You will fall in love with Thursday Next.

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is available on eMediaLibrary as an eBook and eAudiobook.



In Five Years

I don't normally binge read a book in one sitting, but In Five Years by Rebecca Serle had me continuously flipping to the next page to find out what would happen next! Such a great storyline that makes you think about your future.

In Five Years is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).

It Devours!

It Devours! is a standalone novel from the creators of the popular fiction podcast Welcome to Night Vale. The story follows two main characters - Nilanjana, a scientist, and Darryl, a member of the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God - as they seek to discover the truth behind the rumblings in the desert. It Devours! blends science fiction, mystery, horror, and even a little (highly bureaucratic) romance to create a totally original narrative stuffed with quirky characters, clever dialog, and a compelling storyline. Familiarity with the Welcome to Night Vale podcast will enrich the story for readers, but is by no means a requirement to enjoy this book.


Also available as an ebook on Hoopla.


The Black Widow

Israeli master spy Gabriel Alon is called on to find and stop the mysterious ISIS terrorist Saladin in this suspense thriller. Following a deadly ISIS attack in Paris, Alon recruits Natalie Mizrahi, a Jewish female doctor, to infiltrate ISIS, then locate and identify Saladin. Posing as Leila Hadawi, a Palestinian doctor with a vengeful rage against Israel, Natalie becomes the black widow.

The Black Widow (2016) by Daniel Silva is the sixteenth book in the Gabriel Alon series, but it was my first. You don't need to read any of the previous Alon books to be absorbed by this one.

George Guidell narrates the audiobook in just under 14 hours, but the very intense action and surprising twists make it seem much quicker. I listen to a lot of audiobooks, and award-winning George Guidell is one of my favorite readers.

Visit eMediaLibrary to read the book or listen to the audiobook today.


City of Girls

In Titanic fashion, 95-year-old Vivian remembers a period of time in her life that forever impacted her and narrates her memories that date back to the 1940s, beginning when she got kicked out of college. From there, her tale carries the reader to Manhattan where her parents sent her to live with her Aunt Peg, the owner of an eccentric theater called the Lily Playhouse. Exposed to an array of people and lifestyles, Vivian eventually finds herself in a scandal that rocks her world and causes her to reconsider the life she's living, moving her to create the future she desires. A wildly beautiful coming-of-age story, Elizabeth Gilbert's vivid writing will leave a lasting impression and has the potential to move to the top spot of your list of favorite books.


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary.


Strange Planet

Strange planet: [imagine pleasant nonsense] by: Nathan W Pyle is an easy read graphic novel that has funny themes to it. The aliens are put in a human position and know a little bit about our everyday items and how we live, but are still very funny guessing them and how they work.

Available as an ebook on Hoopla.



Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Jacob is nearly sixteen and virtually friendless with little direction in his life when a sudden traumatic event changes everything. He embarks on an adventure to a mysterious island to try to find answers to his family's past. This young adult novel, which includes unusual period photos, sets an eerie tone that will give you goosebumps.

The Host

Human beings are "the host" for space parasites in this sci-fi novel. Most of the human race has been taken over by the "souls" from space. These invaders destroy human consciousness but leave human memories. That is, until a soul named Wanderer is implanted in Melanie. Her consciousness fights back, leaving her with a kind of split personality. Wanderer has a superior named Seeker. Seeker wants to make sure all humans have been converted and nags Wanderer to hurry up and get on with Melanie's take over.

There is so much more to tell, but I don't want to give away too much. It's really good. The unique aspect of the story is that it's told from the viewpoint of Wanderer, the parasite.

The Host (2008) by Stephenie Meyer is available via Overdrive. You can read the ebook or listen to the audiobook. If you choose to listen, you're in for a treat: narrator Kate Reading does a good job matching voices with personalities.

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The Hidden Oracle

If you've read Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series, Trials of Apollo will be right up your alley – it's another fun, fast-paced five-book series filled with Greek and Roman mythology. The Hidden Oracle picks up six months after the end of the last Heroes of Olympus book, with the god Apollo turned into a sixteen-year-old human. He learns that all prophecy has been blocked, and as the former god of prophecy, he's been tasked with restoring all the ancient oracles to regain his immortal status. Apollo gets help from twelve-year-old Meg, a demigod from New York, and some other favorite characters that Rick Riordan fans will know and love. This series is an excellent addition to the world Rick Riordan has created, with his signature witty humor and ability to make ancient mythology easy to understand and fun for all ages.


Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary.



everyone's an aliebn when you're an aliebn too

Yes, the title of this novel is correct. This is how most of the writing is in this book, but it is for a specific reason. The aliebn Jonny has come to Earth to learn what it is like to be a human being. This journey as to what it means to be a human being and how to make friends. The author Jomny Sun does an amazing job with showing some deep feeling and resonating with the people who are reading it who might not fit in where they are in life. A quote from this book that I believe sums up the tone is, "look. life is bad. everyone is sad. we're all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable bouncy castle so are u gona take ur shoes off or wat". I loved this book.

Everyone's an aliebn when you're an aliebn too is available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla.

Child of Storm

The terrific second book in the Zulu series tells of Mameena, a Zulu girl of hypnotic beauty. Her name means Child of Storm in English. Mameena uses her unparalleled beauty and charm on men to climb up the Zulu social ladder, leaving misery and death in her wake. She even tests her wiles on young but stalwart Allan Quatermain.

Child of Storm (1913) is a nonstop thrilling tale of revenge, jealousy, witchcraft, and war. Very interesting and exciting stuff written with H. Rider Haggard's poetic description of 19th century Africa. Some characters in the book are real historical persons and some of the events actually happened, including the descriptions of the tribal battles.

While this audiobook is very hard to put down on its own, listeners would benefit from first reading Marie, the first book in the trilogy. Check out my review of Marie


Visit Hoopla to listen to the audiobook or read the ebook.