At its heart, this is a book about the bond of sisterhood, how deeply we can love, and how far we will go to protect those we cherish.
Channi and Vanna are sisters, and the only ones in their family who love each other unconditionally. Vanna was born with a great light and beauty, whereas Channi was offered as a sacrifice by their own father, and escaped but wears the monstrous visage of a snake. When Vanna is to be auctioned off by their parents to be married to the highest bidder, Channi is the only one who can compete and save her sister from the cruelty of both their parents and Vanna's suitors.
Imagine if Elsa and Anna from Frozen were thrown into the world of Beauty and the Beast, with a dash of the trials from the Hunger Games. I am obsessed with this book and highly recommend everyone read it.
This book thwarted all my expectations of your typical fractured fairy tale retelling. Bitsy is not your typical princess, unsure of her place and chafing by the restraints of her royal duties. There is a spindle, a fall deep down to a mysterious world that trips everything she knows upside down. There are princes who turn into frogs, a Prince Charming, a kingdom to save, and most of all, Bitsy learns what it means to be herself.
To call this collection of essays a challenge to the status quo wouldn't get my full point across - Myriam Gurba actively kicks back with an unforgiving ferocity, delivering blows to rape culture, colonialism, familial machismo, and the deifying of Joan Didion as the queen of a (stolen) California.
We meet Cristabel Seagrave at age 4. She grows into the sister Flossie needs and Digby adores, all three of them wild, and more than unsupervised. They claim the bones of a whale to create a stage for plays that, of course, Crista directs. These children become adults during the war and take on new roles they never imagined for themselves. English countryside, pluck and love - my kind of book!
So much is packed into this fiery retelling! Bridie sells matches that her mother painfully makes at the factory each day. On a very cold day, when nothing goes quite right, Bridie determines how together they can make things better. Based on historical events. Great illustrations that spark with just a flash of red.
Lara’s daughters are working all summer at the family cherry orchard in Michigan. Together they beg their mother to tell them the story they’ve heard before, or at least parts of it, of her early life as a budding actress, and her love affair with famous movie star, and how she left it all behind.
As a mother of 3 daughters myself, I recognized so much in this rich, warm story.
Josie and Alix meet while celebrating their 45th birthdays - they’re birthday twins. Discovering that Alix has a podcast, Josie seeks her out to share her story, as a kind of new beginning. Josie dated her mom’s boyfriend when he was 42 and married, and she was just 15. Married soon after and with daughters of her own, Josie wants what Alix seemingly has. But Alix’s life isn’t perfect, with a busy family, a husband with a severe alcohol problem and a desire to tell Josie’s story that may be riskier than it’s worth. Told with a mix of chronological narrative, podcast transcripts, interviews and more, this thriller will convince you and then lead you astray.
When Ryland Grace wakes up from what turns out to be a years long, medically induced coma he doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or the identities of the two dead bodies with him. As his memories come back to him in flashes, he pieces the facts together: the sun is dying and he’s been sent on a last ditch mission to save Earth. But why send a jr. high school science teacher? Weir utilizes his background as a computer programmer to imbue technical details into his writing, making for a more realistic take on space travel. Accurate mathematics aside, Project Hail Mary is above all a story about love, sacrifice, and the unshakable fortitude of humankind. I absolutely loved this book, it made me laugh, brought tears to my eyes and gave me a whole new appreciation for sci-fi as a genre.
When journalist Camille Preaker returns to her tiny hometown to report on a local murder, deep-rooted family issues and an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia quickly take hold. I love a good mystery, and Flynn’s character-driven, deeply atmospheric writing immediately drew me in. Suspenseful, original, and subtlety sinister, this kept me guessing until the very end.
Bryson brings his signature wit and charm to his latest book: a look at the human body. Comprehensive yet very accessible, The Body is a truly fascinating read. I was blown away by the many incredible feats our bodies are capable of, and perhaps even more amazed by how much we still don’t understand about the vessels we occupy.