Nikki Griffin is a private detective. She also owns a bookstore and practices her own brand of vigilantism against men who abuse women. She is hired by Silicon Valley CEO Gregg Gunn to follow an employee Gunn believes is stealing information from the company. As Nikki observes the employee, Karen Li, she notices that Karen acts more like someone who is scared rather than an errant employee. Soon, Nikki is involved in something that puts her in great danger--and she knows that she has limited time to figure out the puzzle of what Gunn is really involved in before people lose their lives.
Clay lost his Silicon Valley job due to the recession and takes a job at an unusual bookstore, working odd hours. The few customers that patronize the store are a curious bunch and seem to return again and again without buying anything, but rather check out very old books. He soon discovers a pattern to the activity which leads to a 500-year-old mystery.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (2012) by Robin Sloan is a fun read, with elements of suspense and mystery, plus plenty of quirky characters. For those who like to listen, narrator Ari Flakos sets the tone just right. Listen to the audiobook or read the ebook on Overdrive.
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Don't plan on getting anything done at home once you start Goodnight Beautiful (2020) by Aimee Molloy). What a wild ride: so creepy and so entertaining to read! Sam Statler is a well-liked psychotherapist in upstate New York. He's a newlywed; he and his wife Annie are very happy together. One stormy afternoon after leaving his office, Sam just disappears into thin air. Even his car can't be found. Annie feels something really terrible has happened. Many others, including the police, think that Sam has just taken off, due to serious financial troubles. So, who is right? Filled with several surprising twists, Goodnight Beautiful is one novel you won't want to miss.
Read the ebook from Overdrive.
Suzanne Collins' latest novel is a prequel to her well-known trilogy, The Hunger Games, which were also made into feature films. Not having read the books in some time, I started Hunger Games #0 without any expectations, simply following along with the story and characters and trying to piece everything together with the original trilogy.
While I feel that The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2020) is not necessary in the grand scheme of things, Part 3 and the epilogue do provide a few big revelations to explain what transpires over the 60-year period before Katniss Everdeen finds herself wrapped up in the 74th Annual Hunger Games in Book #1: The Hunger Games (2008).
A Silent Voice (2015) is a Japanese manga that follows the story of Shoya, a rambunctious kid who always gets into trouble with his friends. When Shoko, a deaf girl, transfers to his school he becomes obsessed with her in all the wrong ways, teasing and bullying her at any chance he gets. Eventually things get so bad that Shoko transfers schools and the bullying transfers towards him now. Years pass and Shoya and Shoko run into each other by pure chance. Now Shoya wants to find a way to make amends for his past deeds, while dealing with his own insecurities.
Looking for a weekend getaway, best friends Riley and Gwen book a room at a small quaint inn in the middle of the woods where they are away from the bustle and hustle of city life. Joining them is a group a people who come from varying backgrounds coming for a calming weekend. Everything is going well until they hear a scream in the middle of the night and wake up to find a fellow guest at the bottom of the stairs. Caught in the middle of a snowstorm, they have no choice but to spend their weekend inside with someone who might be lurking in the shadows. Tensions rise as suspicion grows with every minute and the group begins to wonder if they will make it to the end of their trip alive.
This is a funny book, but the humor is very dark. Peter Brown tells the story himself. He is an emergency room intern. His real name is Pietro Brnwa, and he's a mob hitman. Because the story is told by this former hitman, the language is pretty crude. Very crude. But it has to be, given his background. And the violence is bone crushingly graphic. Still, Beat the Reaper (2009) is really funny. Author Josh Bazell has an M.D. from Columbia (the university, not the country), giving authenticity to Dr. Brown.
The Age of Miracles (2012) is beautifully told from the point of view of eleven-year-old Julia. As the Earth's rotation slows, it has unintended and dire consequences for all life on the planet. Meanwhile, Julia is already grappling with all the complexities of being a pre-teen girl, including a crush on a boy, falling out with close friends, and strained relations with her father.
Karen Thompson Walker does an excellent job of putting you in the frame of mind of this young girl, which makes the calamity seem that much more real and heartfelt. Read the ebook or listen to the audiobook on Overdrive.
Cath and Wren have been inseparable, but when they get to college Wren decides it's time to venture out on her own. Cath struggles to adjust to college life on her own and attempts to avoid any situations that are out of her comfort zone. One of Cath's passions is writing fanfiction for her favorite book series Simon Snow, which has manifested into her writing one of the most popular Simon Snow fanfictions online.
Something that I enjoyed while reading the novel was how it includes some of Cath's writing from her fanfiction. Fangirl (2013) brings a mix of family and internal struggles about coming of age with a sprinkle of romance and fanfiction.
Marie-Angea, a young French girl, experiences tragedy, leaving her with only one remaining family member. Unfortunately, that relative lives in the United States, the two have never met, and the aunt is a mean and nasty individual. Marie-Angea isn't completely alone, though; she connects with Billy, a neighbor who stays with her and befriends her.
Marie-Angea must work hard to survive at her aunt's house, and it feels like a fairytale story as it progresses, the likes of Cinderella. Marie-Angea can be a bit naive in Leap of Faith (2001), but it doesn't distract from the overall story and is still worth a look at if you like fairytale-esque stories.
This book started it all. Watson needs to find a cheaper place to live. Holmes is looking for a roommate. They move to 221B and the legend is born. The first use of a magnifying glass by a detective is here too.
The mystery: Scotland Yard asks Sherlock Holmes for help investigating a murder. Holmes has a look around and says the murderer is 6 feet tall, has long fingernails on his right hand, smokes cigars, was taken to the scene in a carriage pulled by a horse with 3 old shoes and 1 new one, and the man was poisoned. Wow! But that's Sherlock.
Arthur Conan Doyle was criticized for his depiction of Mormons in this book. He eventually apologized. And Holmes kills a dog to find out if a pill contained poison. It did. I didn't much like that scene but that was the 1880s and sensibilities were different then. Check out the classic mystery A Study in Scarlet (1887).
Miriam Toews has written a beautiful book about suicide. She tells it with humor, but this was still a hard book to read. There were times I had to put the book down and walk away. All My Puny Sorrows(2019) is a book that makes you think.
It is the story of two sisters, Elf and Yoli: one has a messed-up life and the other is a famous pianist. And it is the story of mental illness and the depths one will take to achieve what they want. In the end, it's the story of what you would be willing to do for someone you love. Miriam Toews has written a powerful novel that will stay with you and have you wondering, "What would you do?"
Listen to the audiobook on Hoopla today.
This is a long book, over 30 hours, but worth every minute. It's the story of Jake Epping. His friend Al has found a time portal to September 9th, 1958. Al has been using it to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. But now Al is dying. He shows the portal to Jake and convinces him to take over the project. What could possibly go wrong?
Plenty. The portal has rules. First, while everyone else is whatever age they were in 1958, Jake is still aging normally. Second, the past doesn't want to be changed. The bigger the change, the bigger the resistance to change. Third, every trip through the portal erases any changes made during previous trips. Jake has to start from scratch each time he enters the portal.
Stephen King did a great job researching Lee Harvey Oswald. Jake has to be sure he's got the right man.And then there's Sadie.
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, The Road (2006) follows a father and his young son heading south on a mostly deserted road, pushing a shopping cart with all their belongings. Any human they encounter is a threat to either steal their food or worse, to eat them as food. Every second is a fight for survival, and barely a page goes by where there is not a description of hunger. The father's sole purpose is to keep his son alive.
I would recommend this Cormac McCarthy title to readers of dystopian fiction.
Check out our list Welcome to Dystopia for more ideas.
Pregnant by her high school art teacher, Izzy Poole decides to join the Infinite Family Project because of the stability it will provide her and her newborn son, Cap. The project is the idea of Dr. Preston Grind and billionaire Brenda Acklen. Basically, ten families with babies agree to live together for ten years and raise the children communally, with the kids not knowing who their real mothers and fathers are for the first several years.
Izzy finds herself fitting in well with the rest of the parents, but starts to develop feelings for Dr. Grind. Not surprisingly, cracks begin to form in the relationships between other participants, too. Will Dr. Grind succeed in his vision of forming lifelong bonds, i.e. families made of people who aren't related?
Perfect Little World(2020) is an intriguing story about an unusual community and the moral compromises that keep it together. Check out this Kevin Wilson novel today—borrow the ebook or audiobook instantly via Hoopla or Overdrive.