Job Title: Guest Reviewer
Your favorite book you read last year: There’s too many to pick just one!
Favorite book when you were a child: The Ogre Downstairs by Diana Wynne Jones
Your top five authors: They change depending on which decade of life I’m in, but these authors I always read when a new book of theirs comes out: Lois McMaster Bujold, Lindsey Davis, Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, Connie Willis
Book You've Faked Reading: Recently, I added Trust by Hernan Diaz as read to Good Reads (really am only halfway through) but I did also read the last chapter so that counts, right?!
Book you are an evangelist for: I like to advocate for all books.
Book you've bought for the cover: I gravitate to buying gardening books for their beautiful covers.
Favorite genres to read: In Fiction re-workings of fairy tales and folktales, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery & Romance.
Favorite Quote: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius
Song or artist that you are always listening to: E Lucevan Le Stelle an aria from the opera Tosca
Best way to spend a weekend: Reading of course!
Your go-to pick for movie night: Likely a Kdrama.
Favorite vacation destination: Coastal Maine.
Window or Aisle: Window
Best TV or movie adaptation of a book: Persuasion by Jane Austen, the 1995 version

Anne's Recent Reviews

Staff Pick Badge
Book of Night By Holly Black Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250812193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - May 3rd, 2022

I’ve really enjoyed Holly Black’s YA series. Book of Night is her adult debut, and it’s just as enjoyable. Lushly dark fantasy with an interesting magical system headed by magicians called Gloamists, who work shadows to do whatever they want think murder, blackmail etc. Gloamists use grimoires, which they guard jealously. Charlie Hall is a former thief of said grimoires now trying to go straight. She is trying to keep the lights on for her, her younger sister and boyfriend by barkeeping at a dive bar, but is soon drawn back into stealing when trying to save her sister and figure out what is going on with her boyfriend both who seem to have sinister ties to Gloamists. Looks like this is the start of a series so be warned if you do not like waiting on sequels (still waiting semi-patiently for Leigh Bardago’s Ninth House continuation).

Staff Pick Badge
The Last White Man: A Novel By Mohsin Hamid Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593538814
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 2nd, 2022

Moshin Hamid dream-like, elegantly sparse take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Hamid’s white everyman Ander’s wakes up to find that his skin has turned dark. Ander at first hides and only tells Oona, a friend and occasional lover. They navigate the profound effect on how he views himself and how others view him as reports of similar changes are happening around the world. While Hamid touches on how people regard the change with suspicion and distrust, he is also careful to point out that many react with love and empathy.

Staff Pick Badge
The Art of Prophecy: A Novel By Wesley Chu Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593237632
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - August 9th, 2022

What to do when a prophecy actually is just plain wrong? The Art of Prophecy turns the typical fantasy trope of the chosen one on its head in a rip-roaring martial arts magical story. Petulant teenager Jian, our titular prophesied hero, is destined to fight and defeat the Eternal Khan, the immortal god-king, unfortunately, the Eternal Khan gets himself knocked off while drunk by an ordinary foot soldier, which leaves everyone scratching their heads. Jian is now at best inconvenient at worst dangerous to the political status quo. Jian is not long for the world when Grandmaster Taishi snatches him away and dumps him on a former lover, and his school of martial arts for safety and further training, since she has a feeling that he might still prove useful, once he does some growing up!

Staff Pick Badge
This Vicious Grace: A Novel (The Last Finestra #1) By Emily Thiede Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250794055
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wednesday Books - June 28th, 2022

Thrilling, romantic and fast-paced, This Vicious Grace starts off with main female character Alessa having to choose her marriage partner, which once done will help power her magic. Extremely important since she is the only one with strong enough magic able to stop the horde of demons coming to destroy her country, the only issue is that every other partner she has picked has died after her touch. Already dealing with grief, trauma and stress, Alessa discovers that her guardians and soldiers trusted to keep her safe are planning on assassinating her with the belief that a new chosen savior will rise. Alessa quickly turns towards the mysterious Dante hiring him as her personal bodyguard. Can Alessa find a partner that can stand her touch in time? Just who and what is Dante’s story? Can Alessa, Dante and their new companions figure how to work together to save their country? This Vicious Grace is a strong, enjoyable debut in the YA fantasy category.

Staff Pick Badge
The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy By Moiya McTier Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538754153
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - August 16th, 2022

This is a comprehensive, concise and fun look at the origins and history of our Milky Way. Speaking in an autobiographical voice we are told how the Milky Way was “born” some thirteen billion years ago when the gravitional attraction of clouds of gas and the universe’s plasma got it on resulting in the brand-new galaxy we call home. Moving through childhood, the teens, and adulthood the Milky Way tells its’ story of making friends, enemies and falling in love with various astronomical entities like black holes, stars, and other galaxies. If you enjoyed Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, then The Milky Way is a nice addition to your library.

Staff Pick Badge
Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022

A sweet, sharp-witted take on both the world of scientific chemistry and the chemistry between humans. Elizabeth Zott, living in the 1960’s, has to navigate through some pretty grim school and job situations to realize her dream of being a scientist, and the ways she perseveres makes her story a delight and triumph to read. Throw in one of the best romances of the year so far with Calvin Evans, fellow scientist and the top scientist at their company, and watch the sparks fly.

Staff Pick Badge
Tracy Flick Can't Win: A Novel By Tom Perrotta Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501144066
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - June 7th, 2022

Tracy Flick Can’t Win is set decades later from Election (highly recommend), but can be read as a stand-alone story. Tracy is nowhere near where she believed she would be at this time in her life. She is now a single Mom and hard-working high school assistant principal in suburban New Jersey with a well deserved shot at becoming Principal. That is, just as long as politics, plotting colleague’s, and life doesn’t get in her way.

Staff Pick Badge
What Moves the Dead By T. Kingfisher Cover Image
Not Available
ISBN: 9781250830753
Published: Tor Nightfire - July 12th, 2022

Hugo and Nebula award winner, T Kingfisher has done a masterful job re-crafting Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher in her new book What Moves the Dead. Childhood friends Alex (pronouns ka and kan), and twins Roderick and Madeline Usher are trapped in the Usher’s chilling, decaying and haunted manor. As Madeline’s health rapidly declines, Alex and Roderick are pushed to the edge trying to save her life and all their sanities. I would highly recommend anything by T Kingfisher, and What Moves the Dead is a great introduction to her style and writing. Credit also for the cover it captures the eeriness of the story perfectly!

Staff Pick Badge
Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

If you enjoy imaginative re-tellings of classic mythology, then Circe needs to be added to your reading list immediately. Award-winning author Madeline Miller crafts a fast-paced, absorbing, and ultimately life-affirming story. We are immersed in Circe’s fraught birth and childhood in the vicious court of Helios, the god of sun and her father. When she is banished to a desert island by Zeus for the crime of witchcraft, her long exile provides a rich environment for her practice. A veritable who's who of Greek mythology crosses the pages, and Madeline Miller breathes much-appreciated life into the old stories.

Staff Pick Badge
The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle #1) By Nghi Vo Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
ISBN: 9781250750303
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tordotcom - March 24th, 2020

These novellas remind me a little of The Journey to the West, but with a strong feminist stance.  The cleric, Chih, and companions travel to uncover, discover and record stories that need to be chronicled.  In turns scary, funny, sad and epic, I highly recommend taking some time and picking up them all. Bonus, a new one is coming the Fall of 2022!

Staff Pick Badge
Hold Fast: A Novel (A Thomas Grey Novel #1) By J. H. Gelernter Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393882476
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - March 8th, 2022

If you are a fan of Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester, then the new series by J.H Gelernter should be on your reading list!  Set during the Napoleonic Wars, these books are fast- paced and meticulously researched. Action, espionage, and an engaging main character in former British Naval Intelligence officer Thomas Grey provide a fun way to spend some time preferably at your favorite beach! Hold Fast is the first in the series and introduces main character Thomas Grey, former top agent of His Majesty’s Secret Service.  While in mourning for the tragic death of his wife, Grey decides to travel to Boston to start a new life, however, he’s quickly catapulted back into the war and espionage when his ship is attacked by French privateers. Forced to land in Portugal, he’s approached by French intelligence to turn against the British. I’ll let you enjoy reading the rest!

Staff Pick Badge
Finlay Donovan Is Killing It: A Mystery (The Finlay Donovan Series #1) By Elle Cosimano Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250830449
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - January 4th, 2022

These mysteries remind me a lot of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plums series in tone. Equal parts zany, hilarious and scary, main female character Finlay is a newly divorced mom of two struggling to juggle her writing career, motherhood, dating and her hugely mistaken secret identity as a contract killer.  As you could guess none are going to plan, especially, when the deaths start stacking up.  Highly recommend, if you are looking to laugh, gasp and marvel at how wrong good intentions really can go.