Recent Reviews

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Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Novel By Benjamin Stevenson Cover Image
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone

Aussie Benjamin Stevenson's debut mystery is so meta it would have Agatha Christie chuckling. A mystery writer himself, the narrator Ernest Cunningham finds himself snowed in at a fraught family reunion where the characters–his family members– are dropping like flies. He lays out for the reader his own strict rules of the mystery genre, rules he finds increasingly difficult to follow through a whiplash plot, where he and everyone around him vacillates from suspect to near victim and back again. A charmingly unique whodunit! Recommended by Kelly

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The Motion Picture Teller By Colin Cotterill Cover Image
The Motion Picture Teller

Best known for his Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series, Colin Cotterill has written a mystery where not a drop of blood is spilled. Thai postman, Supot and his video-store-owning friend Ali buy a battered VHS tape for a song in a box of junk and then realize that it is the only copy of a film destined to become a classic of Thai cinema. Why, the two wonder, was it never released. Supot watches it so many times he memorizes it, which turns out to be a blessing in disguise when, weeks later, this only copy is stolen. Supot's search for Bankok 2010's beautiful heroine takes him into the heart of a mystery cult and a journey of self-discovery. A lark of a book for film and mystery lover's alike. Recommended by Kelly

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Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller By Oliver Darkshire Cover Image
Once Upon a Tome

With Once Upon a Tome, Oliver Darkshire has delivered a new landmark book in the beloved “cranky antiquarian bookseller memoir” genre. Here Darkshire, the bookseller behind the legendary Twitter account for London’s Sotheran’s Bookshop, ably transfers his charm from tweet to book. If you believe him, bookshops are uncontained messes populated by eccentric loonies on staff and menacing cryptid customers shuffling the aisles. I mean, he’s not wrong. But barely buried underneath the acerbic wit is a warm tenderness for books and those who sell them. A browse through these hilarious pages is just as satisfying as a browse in a good bookshop. Recommended by Danny

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The Windeby Puzzle: History and Story By Lois Lowry Cover Image
The Windeby Puzzle

Educational and realistic, this book is the definition of historical fiction. The history lessons before the characters stories added to the credibility and life of the story. Starting off a book with the knowledge that a child will die is a hard task, but the puzzle of the Windeby undertakes that task well. While the truth of this bog body may never be absolutely known, the stories told here are possible and that gives them a new life. The stories told in this book and the hundreds of stories never told throughout history feel tangible after reading The Windeby Puzzle. Recommended by Sameah

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Big Swiss: A Novel By Jen Beagin Cover Image
Big Swiss

Hot damn, I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite books of 2023—every page makes me want to bray in delight! Its self-destructive, middle-aged heroine, Greta, is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever read. Greta has trauma, Greta has issues, Greta has a dog named Piñon and a job as a transcriptionist for a sex therapist with questionable credentials. To me, Greta’s job feels like drinking gossip through a straw like a milkshake, and it’s how she becomes obsessed with Big Swiss, a client whose sessions she transcribes. To Greta’s surprise, Big Swiss soon becomes obsessed with her, too. For readers of Melissa Broder and other fans of hilarious, unforgettable queer chaos. Recommended by Mary

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Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute By Talia Hibbert Cover Image
Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

I will read anything and everything written by Talia HIbbert. Her adorable YA debut follows two Black teens—one a snarky fat-bodied TikTok conspiracy theorist, the other an aspiring sci-fi writer with OCD—along an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers arc during a competitive wilderness expedition. Celine and Bradley are equally ambitious; the only question is whether it’s to prove their worth to an absent parent, to the competition judges, to themselves, or to each other. The feel-good story is all about believing in yourself and being a true friend. Recommended by Mary

The Whispering Pines

A spooky kids book to get you into the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares. The McGinn family cannot catch a break and the Exit 13 Motel is not there to help. The nearby woods, the creepy animals, and the unfriendly young receptionist make for a stay you'll wish you could forget. Welcome to the new Goosebumps. Recommended by Sameah

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The World Cannot Give By Tara Isabella Burton Cover Image
The World Cannot Give

This dark and lyrical novel by theologian Tara Isabella Burton is told from the perspective of a naive, impressionable girl who, at the start of her junior year, transfers to the coastal boarding school featured in her favorite novel, which is reminiscent of A Separate Peace. She is captivated by the chapel choir—especially by its hypnotizing leader and soprano, Virginia—and she is overjoyed to fall into favor with the exclusive group. The singers, who also deify the novel and its alumnus author, are puppeteered by Virginia, whose obsession with gravity and piety leads her down a dangerous and surprising path. Exploring sexuality, integrity, and idolization, this is a novel about wanting to become something one has read about. Recommended by Mary

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What the Hex By Jessica Clare Cover Image
What the Hex

A lovely take on the classic enemies to lovers trope. In a world of witches and warlocks and their fantastical familiars, there's Penny Roundtree. Who has never wanted to be anything else, she has worked her whole life to be a familiar. Now, just because Warlocks are so long lived her only option might be Mr. gruff, grumpy & gorgeous: Willem. Can Penny manage being stuck with the warlock who isn't even technically allowed a familiar? or will sparks of different nature fly? The two butt-heads until the cows come home but eventually, work together to get to the bottom of who's targeting penny. I loved this follow up in the Hex series, a good enemies to lovers will always reel me in, and this one kept me. The characters are dynamic and I would definitely recommend! Recommended by Kahill

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Officer Clawsome: Lobster Cop By Brian "Smitty" Smith, Chris Giarrusso (Illustrator) Cover Image
Officer Clawsome Lobster Cop

For fans of Spoungebob, puns, and donuts, this comic has it all. The colorful characters and the quick scene changes are keeping kids attention on the action, and the puns and plot developments will make sure they're reading. Would recommend a diving helmet to those venturing forward. Recommended by Sameah