For the hobby naturalists and carnivore fanatics, this book is an observation of not only pumas, but about the importance of biodiversity. Pumas are deeply fascinating and misunderstood creatures, that all of us should understand that carnivores (especially pumas/mountain lions/panthers) are a necessity to our changing environment – they keep things in balance and provide for big and small creatures alike. By the end of the book, the term “everything is connected” becomes apparent.
Oversized suit jackets, cable-knit crewnecks, long fur coats, diamond chains, colorful glasses, Air Jordans and Chuck Taylors – these are the ingredients of basketball style. Mitchell S. Jackson’s Fly carves out six visual eras of the sport’s history and ties each one to the politics and culture of the time. This is no mere photo book, though. If you aren't a basketball fan, pickup Fly and look for yourself – Jackson’s captions might just do the trick. Among my favorites are: “Michael Jordan, 1985 Slam Dunk Contest. Was it the shoes?” (p. 100); “All knit, no problem,” (p. 170); “The texture on that suit is straight sophisticated,” (p. 189); “Baby, I’m a star.” (p. 217).
We all know that getting stuck inside a whale is a coming-of-age rite of passage for young men escaping the weight of a traumatic upbringing. But Whalefall isn't your average been there done that story of getting eaten while deep-sea diving for your father's corpse; the body horror of being digested inside a stomach and the suspense of Jay's oxygen tank running out serve as metaphor for the crushing expectations he felt from his father in life, and still in death.
My favorite part about this book: Daniel Kraus puts the science in science fiction. I've never read 'ocean horror' that did such thoroughly-researched, while also compassionate and loving, work to show us the beauty and horrors of the sea in the most realistic way possible. Claustrophobic and relentless, I highly recommend.
Death, trees, romance, Dreams, birds and a small West Virginian town. The Raven Boys is the first in a 4 part series by master YA storyteller Maggie Stievater. It is a fantastic blend of the trauma of everyday life and mythological danger. Follow Blue Sargent and four boys from Aglionby High as their fates become hopelessly entangled and dark secrets begin to come to light.
"When you open my ear, touch it gently.
My mother's voice lingers somewhere inside."
This was among my favorite books of 2022, and it has stayed with me since I read it. Mosab Abu Toha's depictions of a life in siege are haunting, as are the small wonders he finds among the rubble. As a record of human experience, this collection is both vivid and essential.
A touching piece of character-driven fiction that illustrates the heartbreak and resilience of a Canadian Indigenous family broken apart. A 4-year-old Mi'kmaq girl's disappearance from a blueberry farm in Maine haunts her brother Joe across decades of his life. Meanwhile, Norma, a young woman raised by a white, affluent family, is discouraged from questioning her darker skin or troublesome dreams. The Berry Pickers is a tender story about family lost and found that is beautifully written-- I loved every minute.
Vast, aching, unique...
Two young men, Thomas and John Cole Meet in the tumult of a war torn young America.
Despite - or maybe because of - the terrors the two men flee (and some they create). Thomas and John find rare comfort and steadfastness in one another, building a chosen family...through fear and across endless days.
The most flummoxing, selfish search for the self you're likely to read in this lifetime. The Book of Ayn is the pinnacle of gallows humor and every page made me flinch, giggle, or question my moral code.
A sterling satire, whip-smart and deadpan, the observations of modern ideologies and their ensuing maladies also carry a ruminative quality that lets the darker humor breathe.
Lexi Freiman is either a genius or a monster but, either way, I'll be chewing over The Book of Ayn for a long, long while.
The Premonition is an exquisitely sparse meditation on how childhood traumas can chart the course of a life. Unable to escape the "premonition" that there is more to her story than she can remember, Yayoi moves in with her eccentric aunt and begins to uncover her past. The tone is somehow both melancholy and comforting, making this a lovely read over a cup of tea on a stormy afternoon.
This beautiful collection of essays reads like a series of childhood memories languidly leading towards adulthood and a more complete realization of self. Landing somewhere between essays, memoir and poetry, this book transports you to the 100-year-old house of Cox's childhood where her imagination ran free, she communed with stray cats and she wrote her first stories. The author herself best describes how I felt at the end:"It's too soon when we are pulled back to reality to discuss it. I don't know how to articulate the rainbow neon swirl of feeling happening inside of me, and so I sit, reeling in the best way."