Recent Reviews

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Murder on the Vine (A Tuscan Mystery #3) By Camilla Trinchieri Cover Image
Murder on the Vine

Camilia Trinchieri's knowledge of  countryside and people give an invaluable flavor to her latest offering in the Tuscany mystery series. Though the cast of characters of large, a handy cast list holds readers over until each character takes on flesh and bones, which isn't long. Full of delicious red-herrings, the mystery revolves around the murder of a kindly bartender in the small village of Gravigna. Once again, Perillo, Daniele, and American transplant Nico Doyle team up to solve the crime. Several budding romances also flavor the pot. Terrific! Recommended by Kelly

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All Rhodes Lead Here By Mariana Zapata Cover Image
All Rhodes Lead Here

I would read Zapata's grocery list. All Rhodes Lead Here is a testement to the art of the slow burn. It is a warm hug and a hot date all in one! Recommended by Kahill

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Love Her or Lose Her: A Novel By Tessa Bailey Cover Image
Love Her or Lose Her

Dubbed the queen of dirty-talk by many, Tessa Biley will never leave you wanting. Love Her or Lose Her is no exception. Recommended by Kahill

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Pretty Baby: A Memoir By Chris Belcher Cover Image
Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby is a nuanced and witty look at gender, sexuality, and work. Focusing on sex works and gayness in Appalachia, it is a page turner! Recommended by Nikita

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2 A.M. in Little America By Ken Kalfus Cover Image
2 a.m. in Little America

In a near and entirely too plausible future, Ron Armstrong is a refugee from a U. S. mired in violent civil conflict. As the number of nations accepting U. S. refugees dwindles, he finds himself entangled in a deadly situation, necessitating his relocation to yet another country. Recommended by Nancy

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Horse: A Novel By Geraldine Brooks Cover Image
Horse

This novel centers on the story of the bond between an enslaved boy an da famous racehorse that withstands even the broken promises of white people and the Civil War. The details about grooming and caring for a racehorse are fascinating. Recommended by Kami

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Marigold and Rose: A Fiction By Louise Glück Cover Image
Marigold and Rose

This short piece of fiction is narrated entirely by twin infants, Marigold and Rose. They can’t talk, but communicate with each other; they haven’t learned to write, yet Marigold labors on her own book throughout. Their thoughts are the marvelous, otherworldly thoughts of children, to whom everything is new. Louise Glück’s philosophical, delightful fable inspires pondering and play. Recommended by Mary

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I Was Born for This By Alice Oseman Cover Image
I Was Born for This

I Was Born for This is a story of friendship, platonic love, believing in yourself, and making your life what you want it to be. It centers on Jimmy—a trans boy band member—and Angel—one of his biggest fans. Both narrators happen to be religious (Jimmy Christian and Angel Muslim), but I was pleasantly surprised to find that their religiosity was represented simply as a special part of each character’s way of thinking and was not at all preachy or uncomfortable. Joan of Arc appears symbolically throughout the novel alongside a diverse cast of complex characters. Buckle up for a wild ride full of tenderness and unexpected turns! Reviewed by Mary

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Elizabeth Finch: A novel By Julian Barnes Cover Image
Elizabeth Finch

Reading Elizabeth Finch is like attending a pre-recorded Zoom lecture. That is, if the lecture were relayed from the professor to an avid fan of her work. Then, years later, the fan attempts to verbalize his interpretation of her words on a recording that is then played for us, the students and readers. In Julian Barnes’ latest book, our didact is Elizabeth Finch; her avid fan is the narrator, a former student obsessive about her teachings and the details of her personal life. In attending this “lecture,” you’ll dive between concepts of memory, human attachment, biography, and Culture and Civilization itself. And as Elizabeth Finch’s student twice removed, you, too, will develop your strong feelings towards her—even as you realize that you can never really know her. Recommended by Wolfe

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It Came from the Closet: Queer Reflections on Horror By Joe Vallese (Editor), Carmen Maria Machado (Contribution by), Bruce Owens Grimm (Contribution by) Cover Image
It Came from the Closet

It Came From The Closet reminded me why I fell in love with horror. Each essay connects queerness with the fear, connection, and blur of horror movies. Writers question whether horror is meant to punish those deemed sinful or create a new pathway of being. As Legacy Russell discusses in Glitch Feminism, what cannot be defined can contain power, and horror movies have allowed queer people to see themselves in blobs, the unseen Blair Witch, and mysterious monsters. Covering class, race, and ability, this collection carefully untangles the threads of why we can’t look away, even when we desperately want to turn off the TV. Recommended by Nikita