I'm Alicia and I process the online orders of all your awesome purchases! I also help maintain book club picks and display, merchandising not books in the store, wrapping up those awesome blind date/blind playdate books, and any quiet organizing tedious task that drives others mad. I always have a book in hand ready to read wherever I am and tend to read a variety of subjects, trying most anything at least once. I tend to gravitate toward sci-fi, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, a dash of cozy series (has to have cats and books), and a variety of manga and graphic novels for my fiction reading. Non-fiction, I focus on reproductive justice, LGBT issues and history, 20th century American History, interior design, architectural studies, organizing and cleaning, and humor. I cycle as my mood suits and will frequently re-read my favorite novels, finding new morsels of information every time!
Anne Bishop expands The Black Jewels universe even more with this sequel to her previous book in the series, The Queen’s Bargain. The world of Surreal, Daemon, and their daughter Janelle Saetien gets ever more complex as Janelle Saetien begins to grow older and fumble through adolescence as a young witch. This is made even more difficult as an old evil long thought vanquished begins to grow and develop in Kaeleer, threatening to tear the realm asunder and make it like Terreille under Doretha and Hekatah. There had been complaints of previous books in the series that several heated topics were given little space to grow. This seems to be a factor in parts of this book as same sex attraction between The Blood is examined more in depth. While the relationship is not the main focus, it is allowed to grow naturally and shows a different side to the relationships usually presented. Another area that had been seen as weak before, the reality and expectations of what are long lived races (2500 years or more), is also more fully explored in The Queen’s Weapons. All in all, this book is a fantastic entry into a dark fantasy series that is sure to delight and intrigue.
Retellings of mythology are having a moment it seems. The Witches Heart by Genevieve Gornichec appears to be this at first but it is so much more. Gornichec weaves together the loose threads of Norse mythology that have passed down to the present, creating a woven tale as thick as nalbinding (an old technique of knitting with one needle). The Witches Heart tells the story of Norse mythology not from the perspective of the gods but from the perspective of one unexpected—Angrboda, mother to Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungand. A woman who wanted nothing to do with Odin and the gods after being burned thrice and her heart plucked from her chest. It is only when Loki returns her heart rather than eating it, that the long tale of Ragnorak and the Norse gods begins.
The rich prose mimics an oral tale, grabbing you at the beginning and carrying you along like a boat on a river. I loved the descriptions of Angrboda and her children with the joy, worries, and sorrow all present. The world may think of them as monsters but in the end, they are her children and she their mother. She feels nothing but unconditional love for them even as the end of the world comes and they play the roles delt and pressed upon them.
The Witches Heart presents the rich world of Norse mythology through the eyes and words of a witch mother and it is ever stronger for it. There is little I dislike of this book, having devoured it within two days like the great wolves devour the sun and moon. The tagline of the book is “Men die, gods die, she lives on.” It fulfills it with a twist. The ending is bittersweet bringing tears to the eyes even as one rages at the injustices of death. Why must this one die while this one lives? Why must the end of the world come? Why must one bear children only for them to die? What is the point of life if one is not remembered in some way? Folk tales allow one to live on beyond their mortal death, resonating through time like waves. That is the very purpose of mythology with gods and goddess battling in other planes of existence while mortals worship and believe. The Witches Heart is a grand entry into the genre of mythology retooling and the burgeoning interest in Norse mythology once again. If you liked Circe by Madeline Miller, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, or Natalie Haynes’ The Children of Jocasta, then this is the book for you to choose next.
Women loving women queer time travel romance novel? Yes please! McQuiston has hit it out of the park once more with a novel that features an all around well rounded likeable protagonist, August, that finds hope in a time traveling punk rocker Jane, a woman flitting out of time and bringing light and hope to all those who see her. I could not put it down!
I was a bit dismissive of this book at first glance but once I opened it up and began to read, I felt ashamed of my earlier attitude. I felt the gut punch of 2016 once more, a sinking nauseated morass that made me have to think hard about what day and year it really was, the feeling was so intense. The subtitle and description of the book may say that is just a series of illustrated essays, but it is much more than that. It is a journey through what may be from all views, a regular middle age liberal family, but is in reality the choked voice in all of us wondering at the cruelty of the world and what can we do as parents, sisters, brothers, children, humans to combat this cruelty. How does one come to grips with what 2016 illuminated to many? I highly recommend this book if not just for the reminder that the past four years are not something to be forgotten. Protesting the unjust laws and actions of many or few is not something that can be “saved for later.” The urgency is here now.
I found myself hooked in by the topic at hand as I began to read. Each section is clearly labeled with what will be examined, a helpful feature if you are simply looking to learn a specific skill such as reading trees. Knowing which trees might be more helpful to hide under from rainstorms and how the wind might wrap around different types may not seem like something you can fill a chapter with, but Tristen Gooley proves that you can. These techniques may seem like a lost art and something not as needed in this modern age, however, such skills can help you become more connected with the world about you outside of digital tethers. You may even appear to be a hero to someone after you lead them to the correct tree to huddle under from a sudden rainstorm or make your kids think you are magic because you knew what kind of weather was coming without looking at a weather app!
A series I go back to time and time again to re-read, finding a new little enjoyable thing every time. Approach with caution as it is a "dark" fantasy but an absolutely lovely one to become immersed in. Like a dark chocolate candy bar, it is nourishing, tangy, and sparkiling with lighting on the tongue.
This book sucked me in with the imagery, writing, and premise. I couldn't stop reading once I started it, finding a new morsel of joy and deep thought every time I cracked it open. Areum's musings on why people have children, living with pain as a constant companion, and his attempt to write a beautiful love story of his parents were gorgeous. This first novel from Ae-ran Kim reminds me of a stained glass window and I highly recommend picking it up and giving it a try. It will quietly and sweetly change your day like a butterscotch candy on the tongue.
I came for the first contact sci fi aspect and stayed for the strangely thrilling sub-textual relationship between Cora and Ampersand. How do you connect with a being that does not see you as a higher being but more akin to a bug? Why do we expect our Aliens to be bipedal somewhat attractive beings? Axiom’s End’s Aliens provide a more intellectual stimulation and I look forward to the further explorations into these questions in the sequel, dropping this fall.
Like regency romances and historical fiction but wish there was more representation in the realm of women loving women? Interested in astronomy and the history behind it in England during this time? Want a sweet candy of a book that has far more sugar than salt? This is the book for you, featuring two fantastic women, Lucy and Catherine, that positively jump off the page with sensualness.
I am deeply in love with this series even though it hurts so much. I am definitely putting it on my “read over and over” shelf. There was intimacy that made me jump and scream, “yes! That’s what I’m talking about!” and yet also a bittersweet reminder that this ‘alternate history’ is not out of the norm and is happening even now without the excuse of “Aliens from Outer Space.” Like an anise cookie dipped in dark chocolate, Truth of the Divine delves deep into an exploration of humanity and what truly makes a monster.
A great first primer for those interested in United States history and overcoming the lies we were told, not just by teachers but our parents and society. I highly recommended this as a resource for teachers, students, amateur historians, and really all Americans. Still believe Columbus wasn’t that bad? Take a gander in these pages and you shall learn the disturbing truth among others. Pair this with Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States to help educate and broaden your horizons!
A tender heart wrenching tale of immortality and it’s cost. Who wants to live forever if you can’t leave a mark on the world? What is the purpose of life if not to leave a mark somehow? Schwab hits it out of the park with this look at immortality from a less than generous standpoint. Addie LaRue’s slow dance with a demon is overtaken by a passerby that does the impossible—remembers her. This book will stick with you.
Do you want a book that has some memetastic phrases that you will carry along into your life and enjoy the heck out of? Try this hefty tome on for size! Phases like, “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration,” and “The spice must flow,” are iconic lines that can be brought along into your everyday life if only to mutter while cooking!
This is the book to start with when you want to learn more about the history of abortion and reproductive history in this country. The research is impeccable, the research notes and bibliography at the back extensive, and the topic—pertinent as ever. No matter your view on the issue, this is the book you need to check out first to really understand: How did we get here? Why did it take this path? Where do we go from here?