My name is Zach, I've been with McLean and Eakin for a few years now and I am still loving every second I spend here. I didn't really find my love for books until early high school when one of my teachers lent me a copy of Slaughterhouse 5. I've been a slave to the bookstore ever since. I've expanded to my love of reading to Graphic Novels and General Fiction - not just Classics anymore. I've been around the world and back a couple of times and there is still no place I'd rather be then McLean and Eakin, hunting for that next best book.
Modern Chess Openings is the best and most trusted tool for serious chess players on the market. First published over a half-century ago, this is a completely revised and updated edition of the book that has been the standard English language reference on chess openings.
From the New York Times bestselling author and co-author of The Expanse comes an "atmospheric and fascinating" novel that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year (Joe Abercrombie, author of A Little Hatred).Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countle
Proctor Bennet is a ferryman. When the citizens of the utopian island Prospera live long enough for their health to decline, Proctor Bennet comes to you and takes you to the "Nursery;" a smaller island off the coast of Prospera, where you will be reborn into a new body. Everything is going to plan until Proctor's next trip is to ferry his father to the Nursery. Upon boarding the ferry, his father says something that will destroy everything Proctor knows about Prospera, his job, and his life.The Ferryman is a bundle of twisted knots that slowly unravels with every page, and by the end, you will realize you never really understood what was happening. Not really. Justin Cronin is an expert storyteller who will force you to keep reading until your eyes bleed from exhaustion. I loved every page and can't wait to share it with everyone else.
Some of you may know that I have an obsession with baking sourdough bread. I have reviewed books like Tartine Bread and The Perfect Loaf previously, and I am always looking for new things to inspire me. What you didn't know is that my girlfriend has Celiac disease, and I have to bake at her house because my oven is too old. I am forever making beautiful, crusty, delicous sourdough that my very girlfriend can smell but cannot eat. Before you think I am cruel, I have also been constantly trying new gluten-free bread recipes! As you can imagine, none of them are worth their weight in baker's yeast. Until now.Gluten Free Baking is half recipes, half stories of a group of French bakers who have been crafting beautiful gluten-free bread for longer than I have been alive. The difference is, the heritage grains they are using and the addition of ingredients like psyllium husk and guar gum (both of which sound like they belong in a science fiction novel) as a binding agent standing in for gluten. Alex will testify that the resulting bread is fabulous and just as good as anything else that I have baked. If someone in your life can't eat gluten, please give this book a try.
Matt tried to tell me how good this book series was 10 years ago, and I didn't listen to him.
Reilly tried to tell me how good it was 3 years ago, and I didn't listen to her.
Maris and Leah both tried to tell me how good it was last year, and I didn't listen to them.
Everyone, I was so, so wrong. This trilogy skyrocketed to one of my favorite fantasy series of all time!
Darrow is a Red, and the Reds are the lowest rung in the caste system of the future. Darrow lives on Mars, and he mines Helium-3, a resource used to terraform planets. When Darrow is forced to leave his world behind and join the evil Golds, the highest of the caste systems and the rulers of the solar system, he plans to hide in plain sight and overthrow them from the inside. Do these schemes ever work out the way your protagonist hopes? Of course not! Sacrifices will have to be made for the betterment of society, and so we have a monumental plot to pursue!
Pierce Brown will take your heart out and stomp on it over and over, and all you can do is beg him for more. Don't be like me, learn from my mistakes and read this series now. The fifth book comes out in July of 2023 (click here to preorder), and the final book comes out in 2024.
I believe the best board games all have one thing in common: they are easy to learn and hard to master. There are few games in my collection that are as easy to learn as Machi Koro. The last time I played this game, I set it up and taught it to my friends in less than 10 minutes. And they weren't even my smart friends.
Gameplay is simple. You play as someone who is building a new town. Your town starts off fairly small, but there are development cards in the middle of the table that players can buy to add to their city. For example, if you buy the Cafe, each time a player rolls a 3 you take a coin from them. Feisty! Play continues until one person completes their four major city landmarks. Each game only takes about 15 minutes.This ends up being perfect, because you will want to play again and again, tweaking what businesses you add to your city. It's a perfect end-of-the-night game in which all ages can play and be competitive. I can't wait to break this game out again!
A lot of you may be familiar with the store-favorite, Klask, where opponents go head-to-head in epic magnetic battles reminiscent of table hockey in miniature. Klask may have been the easiest-to-learn board game I ever played, until Biñho.
This is is another dexterity game, except this time you will be using your flicking fingers to score goals instead of a magnetic pawn. Loosely based on soccer, each player will take turns "kicking" a ball to score a goal, but be careful because there are metal pins right in front of your opponent's net. Flick too hard? You may help your opponent and send the ball flying back towards your own goal. There is a ton of strategy you can learn to make you the best Biñho player around.The holidays are right around the corner and this little game packs a big punch. Perfect for any age and skill level, this game will have you making a tournament bracket at your family's holiday party. It's a lot quieter than a foosball table, but we can't say the same for the players. Seriously - my grandma kicked my butt at this game. Have fun!!
(First of all, a big shout out to Shawn Powers for convincing me to read this book!)Hounded is the first book of 10 in an Urban Fantasy series. It follows Atticus, the last druid (a druid is an ancient Celtic being that can control elements and shape shift into animals at will), and his misadventures trying to live a peaceful life in contemporary Tempe, Arizona. But peace is hard to find when you have actual gods hunting you down to settle a debt from hundreds of years ago. If you think that’s stressful enough, his lawyer is also the leader of a troop of werewolves and his love interest may be a century-year-old witch...This compelling, well thought-out fantasy series, will make you laugh so hard your poor dog will think it's a Monty Python novel. I would put it right up in the ranks with the The Blacktongue Thief and the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I can't wait to dig in and devour the rest of the series!
For those of you who read The Book of Delights, you will understand how excited I was too see another narrative release from award-winning poet Ross Gay. The Book of Delights sought to remind readers that even the most ordinary day can be full of wonder. With Inciting Joy, Gay opens up his heart, invites us to see the world through his eyes, and shows us the way to find joy in taking care of each other during hard times.In a way, Joy is the complete opposite of Delights. In Delights, Gay shares with us the small things that bring him joy throughout each day, in Joy, he turns a critical lens inward, focusing on the past so we can understand the important role that pain can play in deepening our capacity for joy. Gay will break your heart, but only so that you can see the truth... happiness and joy exist only because of pain.
In the near future, capital punishment is no longer a death penalty. Breakthrough technology, meant to change logistics and shipping, inadvertently allows for items to be sent back in time. The US government gets their hands on this tech and deftly applies its use in the criminal justice system. Criminals no longer cost the government millions of dollars sitting on death row. Now they're all prime candidates to be sent back 200 million years. After all, isn't it more humane than death? Remember, this is so far back that nothing those criminals do can change what happens today. The problem? Our protagonist is slated to be sent back, and he is an innocent man.
Dr. Sam Anderson and his daughter have been charged with first degree murder. Even knowing they were framed, Sam decides it's best to take the fall so that his daughter can be free. Unfortunately, he doesn't have any time to exonerate himself. What follows is a survival epic, with a twisty murder mystery at its heart. Perfect for fans of Blake Crouch, Lost in Time will keep you guessing until the very end.
Ordinary Monsters is the beginning of the next super-famous-epic fantasy series. I am calling it right now: this is a book that EVERYONE will know by the end of 2022. The book had already sold to Netflix, before it was even published. If you have been in the bookstore in the last week you've probably heard us talking about this book, and I plan to make sure everyone knows about it this summer.
Ordinary Monsters is a historical fantasy set in Victorian London. It follows Charlie, a black boy from Georgia, charged with death for killing a white ship owner (it was an accident and not Charlie's fault) and Marlowe, a mysteriously glowing baby found on a moving train car in the hills of England. These two kids are special, they're "talents". A "talent" is someone with otherworldly abilities, and these kids are being hunted because of what they can do. A man made of smoke named Jacob Marber (even his name is creepy) is on their trail and he is getting close.
You are explorers, navigating your way through an uncharted island. Naturally, the island is FULL of riches of many kinds, and you want to collect as much as you can before you have to leave. However, while exploring the island you will face monsters who each have a unique skill you must defeat. Use your turns wisely, because the end of the game comes before you even know it.
Let me assure you that this game is one you learn and play very quickly. On your first turn, you have a very clear idea of what your goal is and how you can achieve it. The problem is that you only have 5 turns to do it, and that is not even close to enough. This game is a perfect example of resource management, where you allllllllmost have enough of what you want, but only enough to do everything you need. Unless you plan accordingly, and thus begins the competition. There is a reason this won "Game of the Year in the 2020 Board Game Quest Awards!" It's popularity means it has been out of stock until now. Get them while you can!
Over the years, I have heard people talk about their sourdough starter and how it's basically a pet that they need to feed and keep alive. This kind of talk has always made me wary of trying it myself. I thought surely I would be the person to over-feed it and, *Kaboom!* gross sticky goo all over my kitchen. Luckily, I have avoided any explosions thus far.
New World Sourdough was a game changer for me. I have always been interested in fermenting and have dabbled in making my own sauces and drinks using simple fermenting techniques, but the Sourdough boule was always a daunting idea. Bryan Ford breaks down sourdough baking into a simple step-by-step process that even less-baking-inclined people can follow. I started with the simple 5-day sourdough starter guide in the beginning of this book and sure enough, I had a VAT of starter at the end of the week that I needed to start using to bake some bread! Once you've got the starter down, you can make every recipe in this book with minimal other ingredients.
I am no artisan baker, but this book has given me the courage to constantly make good bread using only 4 ingredients (Flour, Water, Salt, and Time). I even made mini sourdough boules for all my friends this last Christmas and they were a hit! This book boils down to simple recipes, simple ingredients, and beautiful results. Here is a photo to show proof that I can make a boule thanks to Bryan!
Many of you may know Brad from his work with America's Test Kitchen and their YouTube channel. For years, he has been posting videos about sustainable eating and farming and has made a huge impact on the way I shop and eat. His new book brings all of his worldly-food knowledge and humor to the page.
The reason I love this book is not just because of the recipes (although the recipes are amazing). Brad travels the globe to try and understand why food is so diverse and important in different cultures. In Field Notes, Brad recounts some of these adventures and even gives you tips on how to live more sustainably yourself. For example, I have now convinced myself I need to find land with maple trees on it and make my own maple syrup. If you see me in your backyard, don't panic. I'll share.
I am a huge fan of Brad and America's Test Kitchen and will continue being a supporter and (I believe) a better cook because of them. Treat yourself and pick up a copy of Brad's book! Maple syrup not included.
The King is a busy man, trying to serve the whole kingdom. But it is very hard to keep track of all the little towns and villages outside the capital's walls. Enter the King's Justice. A Justice resembles a tax-collector, traveling to the far reaches of the kingdom, making sure the King's laws (instead of taxes) are being upheld. A Justice has full authority and acts as judge, jury, and even executioner - all rolled into one. This is the story of Justice Sir Konrad Vonvalt and the murder of a Highborn woman in a small town on the outskirts of the Kingdom. While he is away there is treason in the capital, and the King is in danger.
Unlike the typical fantasy book, there is very little magic in the world of The Justice of Kings, but what it lacks in magic it makes up tenfold in worldbuilding and character development. Can Sir Konrad find who murdered the woman in time to make it back and help his King? Could the murder be a plot to keep the Justice away from the capital?
This debut from Richard Swan is the ideal book for someone who loves fantasy, mystery, and adventure. This stunner is already a contender for my favorite book of 2022. Pair it with Age of Ash to start the year off perfectly.
Staff Pick: ZachDescent is the newest dungeon crawler board game from Fantasy Flight. What sets this game apart from others in the genre is the game is almost completely controlled by an app. This may sound gimmicky at first, but it accomplishes turning a game like Gloomhaven where it takes an hour to set up, into something you can get out and play in 10 minutes.Descent is the perfect combination of a video game mixed with a board game. You get the immersion and rich story of a video game, while still being able to make strategic decisions with your friends around the table. You play one of the six characters working together to defeat a world plagued by monsters. The more you traverse through the world, the stronger you become and the more challenging the foes are. Every decision you make has consequences, and no two games will ever be the same.Fantasy Flight has already announced there will be many expansions for Descent, and I can't wait to see what comes next. Make room on your shelf for this giant box, it is well worth the space it takes up.
Terrinoth is in peril. The demon-tainted Uthuk Y'llan barbarians stalk the realm and the undead servants of Waiqar the Undying venture beyond their borders for the first time in memory. The leaders of Terrinoth are divided and fractious, unable to unite against these common threats. And in the northern barony of Forthyn, the stage is set for the next great confrontation between Terrinoth and the forces of darkness...
For years, your journeys have taken you across the fantasy realm of Terrinoth, venturing into dark forests, shadowy cities, ancient crypts, and misty swamps — but your true legend is about to begin.
Forge your own legend together with friends as you adventure across the vibrant fantasy realm of Terrinoth in the co-operative dungeon-crawling board game Descent: Legends of the Dark. Powered by an integrated free companion app, Descent: Legends of the Dark puts you in the role of a budding hero with their own playstyle and abilities. Together with your unlikely companions, you'll begin an unexpected adventure — an adventure told across the sixteen quests of the "Blood and Flame" campaign. Throughout your campaign, you'll face undead lurking in the mists, demonic barbarians stalking the wilds, and even more terrifying threats. With 46 pieces of 3D terrain and forty hero and monster miniatures to draw you into the game, your greatest adventure is yet before you! Your objectives will change from quest to quest as you follow the overarching story of the campaign.
Core gameplay mechanisms such as combat, fatigue, skills, items, and more have received completely new interpretations with Legends of the Dark, while a new approach to scenario layout and 3D terrain creates striking multi-level scenarios.
Gameplay is fast and intuitive. You take three actions each turn: one maneuver action and two additional actions of your choice. Maneuvering gives you movement points, as shown in the upper right corner of the character sheet, and since you always have a maneuver action, you can reposition to put yourself in a more advantageous position for attack. Other than maneuvering, you can use an action to attack an enemy, rolling your attack dice and drawing upon your hero's abilities and weapons to deal maximum damage or inflict harmful conditions on your foes, or you may use the explore action to interact with a piece of 3D terrain or a token by using the app. You can also use your action to perform one of the most crucial actions in Legends of the Dark: the ready action, which lets you flip your hero sheet or one of your cards to its opposite side, unlocking new abilities!
Your hero sheet isn't the only thing you can ready. Every hero also has an attack card and skill cards! Each hero starts the game with two weapon cards, which are sleeved together back-to-back to create a single attack card. Skill cards can also be readied, switching between two complementary abilities.
The app also brings new changes to gameplay, introducing enemies with adaptable strategies, complex status effects, and triggers fully managed by the app, and the ability to develop your heroes based on the choices you make in scenarios. You'll also uncover a wealth of activity between scenarios, such as crafting, shopping in the city, upgrading equipment, and more. Because of these various differences, Descent: Legends of the Dark is not compatible with Descent: Journeys in the Dark and its expansions.
Alwyn Scribe is born an outlaw. Living in the woods, away from society, eating only what he steals. The outlaw life is all he knows, and he is comfortable with that. He's good with a sharp blade and has an even sharper wit. What he doesn't know is that his whole world is about to fall apart, starting with his merry band of outlaws. And so begins a bloody journey from the pit of a jail, where Alwyn is sentenced to live out his days, to the right hand of a noblewoman, who is cursed with apocalyptic visions. The trials Alwyn faces are perilous, and one wrong step could lead to his death.
The question is, can Alwyn overcome his old outlaw days and become the nobleman that he pretends to be, or will he always be an outlaw? This book is a perfect analogy for growing up, and how a person can change based on the challenges they face, and how change isn't always for the better. I loved every second of this and can't wait for book two. Also, this cover deserves some kind of an award; it's beautiful.
Step right up! The perfect Fall techno-thriller is here! Blake Crouch fans rejoice, for here is another author who can send you on a mind-thrilling roller coaster!
Dare to Know is the name of a company that can predict (to the second) when you will die. Imagine a world where, if you had money to pay, you could purchase the information of your death, and that information could be 99% accurate. Would you do it? Our narrator was the most prestigious salesperson working for Dare to Know. Similar to a used car salesman, commission is how you make money in the death-prediction business. However, someone started offering the same service as Dare to Know, but cheaper and business began to slow down. Not only that, but in a desperate moment, our Narrator has done the calculations on himself. He should have died 23 minutes ago. With nothing left to lose, and living on borrowed time, he has decided that he is going to make amends for things that happened a long time ago, and try to understand why he is still alive in the process.
The twists and turns that James Kennedy puts you through will give you whiplash. Just like Blake Crouch, you will never guess what is coming, and it will leave you speechless. Trust me on this, Dare to Know is a wild ride that will stick in the back of your brain long after you finish it.
Some time ago, my co-worker and friend Devin told me I should stop everything that I was currently reading and read a new book by Josiah Bancroft called Senlin Ascends. Around the same time, Devin had a similar reaction to the Bridgerton Series on Netflix. He was also the guy who puts a bunch of sugar and milk in his coffee... It goes without saying you can't always trust Devin. So I went on my merry way and ignored his suggestions.
I would like to take this moment to apologize to Devin, I was wrong and I absolutely love this book.
Senlin Ascends features newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Senlin. For their honeymoon, they are going on a fabulous adventure to the Tower of Babel, the greatest structure ever created by man. It's taller than the clouds and so wide you can't see both ends at the same time. Being a high school history teacher, Mr.Senlin has always wanted to see the fabled tower with his own eyes. Upon arriving at the base of the tower, Mrs. Senlin goes to buy a new dress for their honeymoon and never comes back; the last thing she says being, "If we get separated, I'll see you at the top of the Tower." When Tom runs out of places to look for her, he decides he will do whatever it takes to get to the top of the Tower of Babel and find his wife.
Imagine a perfect blend of the narrative structure of The Name of the Wind, and the frightening vampires of Interview With a Vampire.
Gabriel De Lion is a Silversaint, in essence, a vampire hunter who is half human, half vampire and part of an ancient order sworn to eliminate vampires from the face of the earth. Twenty-seven years ago, a permanent fog settled over the sun (this event is referred to as Daysdeath) allowing the vampires to walk during the day. There is an ancient vampire known as The Forever King, who is gathering an army of undead and trying to take over the world, one city at a time. We begin this story at the end. Gabriel De Lion is the last Silversaint alive, he has just killed the Forever King, and now he is being held as a prisoner by The Undying Empress of Wolves and Men.
If that's not enough to draw you in (it should be - trust me and just buy the damn book, because it's SO great!!), the first edition of this book is going to be BEAUTIFUL. It's fully illustrated, signed by the author, and will have blood-red endpapers, as if they dipped this book in blood! This book deserves every word of praise it gets.
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"Rabbits" is a game that exists in the world, but is never spoken about and only played on the fringes of society. The fabled winner of the game could mean overnight wealth, instant fame, or something even bigger. Playing can be dangerous though, as there are rumors that players are starting to go missing. Have you ever experienced a coincidence that pushes the boundary of reality? Maybe you have seen a person walking a dog on one side of town, and twenty minutes later you see what appears to be the same person walking the same dog, impossibly far away. What if that wasn't just mere coincidence, but something bigger? What if it was Rabbits, beckoning you to play. Would you play?
The book begins with K; just a normal kid who likes to hang out in his local arcade. What you don't know is that K has been secretly playing Rabbits for years. He has never won, but he is getting closer and closer every year. As K starts to unravel more about Rabbits, things start to go badly for him. Friends start to act differently, and his dark past comes back to haunt him.
What begins as a fun, Ready Player One-esqe story amps up in intensity to an eleven and doesn't let off the gas until the very last page! Rabbits was a book I read in one sitting because I could not pull myself away, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. I am thrilled it is finally coming out so I can finally start talking to people about it. Don't miss out on this; it is bound to be the book of the summer.
Almost a year ago, I wrote a review for The Blade Itself, book one in the First Law trilogy. Since then I have devoured all of Abercrombie's books, and I can confidently say that he is the contemporary King of dark fantasy. Although Best Served Cold is set in the world of the First Law, it is a stand-alone, and you don't need to have read his previous books to enjoy this Kill Bill-esque revenge story.Monza Murcatto was born to a humble farmer and planned to live a quiet life tending the fields, before her life was ripped out from under her. She and her brother (Benna) joined a mercenary group who fought at the will of the Grand Duke. That is, until the Grand Duke decided to throw Monza and her brother out a window for treason. Benna sadly didn't survive the fall, and Monza barely did. Broken and sworn to avenge her brother, she makes a list of everyone involved in his death and will stop at nothing until the rivers run red with their blood.Hands down this is the best revenge story I have ever read. Filled with treachery and betrayal, love and honor, Best Served Cold is a book that will have you shouting in the darkness because you stayed up way too late reading.
Vikings are badass. Now imagine a Viking fantasy world with trolls, dragons, and dead Gods. Ragnarok ("the cataclysmic destruction of the cosmos and everything in it") has happened, the gods have fallen, and all that's left of them is their bones scattered around the world. Magic and power fill these bones, if you are brave enough to find them.Okra is a warrior turned homesteader, just trying to live a simple life when her husband is killed, and her son is stolen. Elvar is born to nobility, but finds more comfort in a blade than she does in fancy dinner parties. Varg has been a thrall (a slave) his whole life. When he can't take it anymore, he murders his master and sets off to find a better world than he has ever known.We follow these three heroes as they fight their bloody way through a monster-filled world. Evil lurks behind every shadow, and the descendants of the old gods live in hiding, since their blood is viewed as tainted. What could be more badass?! This is the first book in a new trilogy, and I encourage you to fill your horn with mead and begin this adventure with me. Skol!
(Please note that you will want all three books in the series. Click here to access all at once. You're welcome.)The Shadow of What was Lost had been sitting on my shelf at home for around three years. This isn't uncommon when you have enough books sitting around to construct a (to scale) replica of the Empire State Building using books instead of bricks. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway... It just sat there, on my bookshelf, catching my eye every time I looked over, just waiting for me to pick it up. When the Jumanji drum beats became too loud to bear, I picked it up and became totally and completely obsessed. Within just two weeks I had read all three books in the trilogy and had no one to talk to about it. How lucky am I that I can now tell all of you about the best fantasy trilogy I've ever read. (okay, that is a bold statement as most of you know how die hard I am for the Kingkiller Chronicles, but until Rothfuss releases book three, Licanius has the crown)The story follows Davian, Asha, and Wirr, all gifted students of the school of magic. Disaster strikes early in their education and they are forced apart, each with their own fate to follow. Davian is pushed into a world of magic and old gods, unlike anything he has ever dreamed. Wirr's history comes back to push him into the spotlight, and Asha is destined for greatness whether she is ready for it or not. Is their story already written in the final ink of fate, or will their choices make a difference in the end? Ancient evil lurks in the shadows as our heroes are tested to their limits and beyond. James Islington has created a world that you will get lost in, characters that you will call your friends, and a story that gets better and better every time you turn the page.
Having never read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I was ill prepared for the emotional impact of Susanna Clarke's writing. In under 250 pages the reader is taken into a labyrinth of a house, where magic exists if you look closly.
Piranesi is a boy who lives in an infinitely large house, where the hallways never end, and the ocean lives within the walls, surging and terrifying. Piranesi has learned how to navigate the dangers. Not knowing why he is there, or what exists beyond its walls, he lives to explore it's halls. The only other person who lives in the house is referred to as the "other" and he needs Piranesi's help to find A Great and Secret Knowledge that may or may not be just beyond their reach.
Go into this book with nothing more than what I've said here. Just like the house, this book contains magic within its pages if you know where to look. Let Piranesi be your guide and enjoy the journey, I know I did.
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There are only a few books that I've read straight through - none as voraciously as I'm Thinking of Ending Things. This novel follows a young couple traveling to his parents' house in the middle of the countryside, but the whole ride Jake's unnamed girlfriend is "thinking of ending things." Not knowing why, we are at the mercy of the girlfriend's thoughts as she ponders their relationship and why it's surely, inevitably doomed. Reaching the farmhouse is just the beginning, as we find out that Jake's parents might not be as normal and loving as he made them sound, and we learn the deep dark secret that our narrator is hiding.
The creeping dread I felt from reading it lasted weeks after I finished: Iain Reid paints a bleak landscape where everything that could go wrong does, but the prose is so beautiful that you can't look away. The quote on the back of the book says "You will be scared. But you won't know why" and nothing could be more true. If you liked Gone Girl or The Marsh King's Daughter but thought it could use a lighter sprinkling of sinister undertones, this book is perfect for you.
In the neverending quest to find a fantasy book I enjoyed as much as The Name of The Wind, I stumble across some backlist gems that I can't believe I haven't read. The Blade Itself may be the best I've found. It follows Logan Ninefingers, one of the greatest Northern warriors who has ever lived but has been exiled for a crime he didn't commit. Logan has been wandering the Southern cities without purpose, when he meets Magus Bayaz. They set off on an epic quest to try and save the kingdom from an evil King, clear Logan's name, and reclaim Bayaz's place on the grand council.
The thing I liked most about this book, and what I think is missing from most contemporary fantasy, is the complexity of the characters. People are flawed, and they have to live with what they have done. Joe Abercrombie executes this perfectly as characters' secrets start to surface, and people you may have been rooting for throughout the whole book, might not be as noble or honorable as you thought they were. This is perfect for anyone who loves Game of Thrones but thinks Westeros could use a sprinkle of hope. Not too much though, just a sprinkle.
For those of you who remember Hannah and Angelo, you've probably had V.E. Schwab's books energetically and passionately recommended to you, and for good reason. She is a master storyteller and her new book is definitely one of my favorites of 2020 so far.
Addie LaRue is a farmer from a poor family in 1714 France. All she wants to do is get out of the only small town she has ever known. She goes to sleep at night thinking about what the world might look like beyond the farm. When her father arranges a marriage with the son of a local wealthy family, she knows that she is destined to be stuck forever. She prays and prays that something will happen to free her from the clutches of normal life, and one night, the devil answers her prayers. The cost of being free is immortality, but she can never leave a mark on the world, and people only remember her for as long as they can see her. The story takes place in 1714 France where Addie must learn how to navigate a world where no one remembers her, and 2018 New York, where she has finally found a way to free herself from the Devil's grasp. But at what cost?
I am telling you about this book now, so you can prepare yourself for one of the most amazing reads of the year. Pre-order it, save it in your phone, put a sticky note on the fridge, whatever it takes to remember. This is a book I will be talking about for a very, very long time. Addie LaRue deserves to be remembered.
Artemis Fowl was one of my favorite books growing up. I loved Artemis almost as much as I loved Harry and Ron. Eoin Colfer has a knack for building imaginative worlds full of adventure and awe. Highfire is his first ever Adult Fantasy novel, and may be his biggest adventure yet.Meet Lord Highfire Vern, the world's last Dragon. His kind used to rule the skies with dignity and grace, now after the great Dragon purge, Vern is all alone. Forced to go into hiding, Vern landed himself in a swamp cave in southern Alabama. Content to drink Vodka and watch Netflix for the rest of his lonely life, Vern was very surprised to find a teenage boy wandering around in his humble cave. Squib (the boy) is in big trouble with local law for something he didn't do. Vern has an important decision to make, torch the boy and forget he ever existed (Vern is NOT a fan of humans), or help him. Join Vern and take to the skies with this hilariously profane adventure about a boy who needs help, and a Dragon who needs a friend.
You may already know Lily King from her NY Times bestselling book Euphoria. It took the book-world by storm in 2014. Following that kind of success isn't an easy task, but she has done it. Writers and Lovers is a story about Casey, a young woman in 1997 who just moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts after the sudden death of her mother. Lost and unsure of what to do with her life she gets a job as a waitress all the while writing the novel she has been working on for years. Determined to live a creative life, she is willing to risk everything to leave a mark on this world.Writers and Lovers is painfully familiar, it's a love story, a redemption story, a story about grief, and a story that forces you to feel what Casey feels. Lily King has managed to capture two entirely different emotions in this book, one being that you will never live up to your full potential, and the other being the hope that if you put everything you have into something you love, it will eventually pay off. This book will completely destroy you, then put you back together, piece by piece, better than you were before.
With the right mixture of 59 elements, and about 151.5 thousand dollars (according to the Royal Society of Chemistry) you have everything you need to make a complete human body. Well kind of, there is the bugger of consciousness and we're not really sure how to make that work yet.For years I have been told that Bill Bryson is not an author to miss, and yet somehow his books never made it out of my "to be read, soon, maybe" list. That all changed with his new book The Body. I now completely understand why people have been trying to shove "A Walk in the Woods" down my throat for the last 10 years. Bill Bryson is amazing.In The Body, Bryson takes us on a journey deep inside what it means to be human, from the tips of our toes to the top of our head. I have never read such a fun book that is so full of facts and scientific information. For example did you know that if you put all of the DNA strands in your body together it would stretch ten billion miles? That is past Pluto. Be warned though, with all of the crazy fun trivia in this book, there is equal amounts of information about what could go wrong with the human body. So here is what I suggest to you... Wash your hands, buy this book, schedule a doctor's visit, and be prepared to have the most fun you possibly could reading a science nonfiction book.
Sabriel was born in the Old Kingdom where magic runs free, but her birth was a great tragedy. Her mother didn't make it, and Sabriel died just a few short minutes later. By luck, Abhorsen, the world's greatest necromancer, was nearby and sensed their recent departures. He knew he didn't have enough time to bring both of them back, so he slipped into the river of death to bring back the baby. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Sabriel opened her eyes for the second time, born again, the daughter of Abhorsen.
Eighteen years later, Sabriel is graduating from college in the New Kingdom and is no stranger to death. Being the daughter of a necromancer, she has learned that just because something dies doesn't mean it's gone forever. The last night in her dorms, she has a visitor from beyond death. It's Abhorsen, he's dead, and if Sabriel doesn't find his body soon, it might be too late to save him. She must travel into the Old Kingdom, where a dark and dangerous magic is rising, to bring her father back from death just has he did for her.
Garth Nix has managed to write a book where the magic is so real, it seeps from the book, and finds its way into your heart. Join Sabriel on this epic journey into foreign lands where danger lurks behind every corner, and remember... death is just the beginning.
And don't miss our upcoming event with Garth Nix for his next book, Angel Mage. Click here for details.
The instant New York Times Bestseller • Nominated for the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction
“A lyrical work of self-discovery that’s shockingly intimate and insistently universal…Not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film.
Fourteen-year-old Rose got a bike for her birthday. She has been wanting a new bike all year, so in a fit of excitement, she immediately takes it for a spin. Riding through the woods behind her house in Deadwood is just about the most fun young Rose has ever had until she falls into a hole in the earth. Stunned, she wakes up in the palm of a giant metal hand. Little did she know that seventeen years later she would be reluctantly leading the investigation as more and more giant metal bodyparts surface around the globe.
Sleeping Giants is the first in a faced-paced Scifi thriller told in entirely interview format. (Think Name of the Wind and/or Interview with a Vampire.) Sylvain Neuvel is one to watch as he brings a fresh new voice to the genre. Not since World War Z has there been a first-hand account of a story larger than life. How can you go wrong with giant robots, mystery, and the biggest threat to humanity we have ever seen? Don't sleep on Sleeping Giants.
Bobby Hall, or as you may know him, Logic, has written a very strange book in Supermarket. This strange book has much, much more going on than I would have thought possible from this first time novelist. Don't judge a rapper by his face tattoos, because this book packs a Palahniuk-tasting-punch.
Flynn is a normal 20 something year old living at home, trying to figure out what to do with his life. Until he gets a book deal on the 15ish pages he submitted about a person working in a supermarket. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, he decides to throw himself into book research and get a job working at the local grocery store. This is when he meets Frank and when things get weird. As in: "don't believe a word you read" weird. It's also when this novel takes flight.
Logic wrote a damn good story, and he wants to share it with all of us. Don't miss the boat here, because Bobby Hall has.
Clay Cooper is an old hat at monster killing. He used to be part of "Saga," the most legendary band of monster-slaying mercenaries ever. But now he is old, and his band mates are scattered around the world living the best post-hero lives they can with wives, children, and far less dragon killing than the good ol' days. Then, one night, Clay is on his way home from the bar and is met by an old leader of Saga, Golden Gabe. Gabe explains that his daughter Rose has grown up, and is as much of a hero as he ever was. She's a courageous fighter, and now people cheer her name when she comes into town. Only she's been captured. She is in a besieged city across the massive (deadly, monster-ridden) Heartwyld forest. The only way to save her is to get the old band back together for one final quest.
I am always on the hunt for a good fantasy novel, and it seems like it's been a long while since I've read one that has captured me as completely as Kings of the Wyld. Nicholas Eames weaves together a story that is so full of heart, it will have you standing and cry-clapping by the end of it. Not only that, but he has put together a soundtrack for the book, so you can hear the music that inspired each chapter.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. Much like Charles Bukowski, Jude writes with an uncensored brutality that'll make you squirm. The main difference is when Bukowski is talking about drinking wine and smoking cigarettes, Jude is talking about drinking whiskey and doing much harder drugs.
That being said, it's not a book about drugs. It's more a book about understanding the difference between being down on your luck, and being completely and unconditionally screwed. (Which tends to be a theme.) Life can beat you to the ground and kick you over and over again. Jude is here to show us the worst of his hard times, and teach us that things always get better.
Anyway, I loved every cringe-worthy word. Even though his stories will break your heart, I think you'd like it too.
From Robin Sloan, the New York Times bestselling author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, comes Sourdough, "a perfect parable for our times" (San Francisco Magazine): a delicious and funny novel about an overworked and under-socialized software engineer discovering a calling and a community as a baker.
"Don't Try."This is a phrase I first read about fifteen years ago when I first started reading Bukowski. I've never been much of a self help reader, so I paid very little attention to Subtle Art when it first came in. When I finally had a copy in my hand and opened it to chapter one,there it was: "Don't Try." I was sold right then.Mark Mason's book is laced with comedy, profanity, and philosophical insight. Manson has the idea that we would be much happier as a society if we gave less of an emotional response to the little things, and focused our emotions on larger, more important issues. The book reads like you are talking to your best friend, and the topics range from honesty and identity, all the way to death. If you are like me and don't want to be told how to live your life, but enjoy talking to friends about it, grab a copy of this book and "Don't Try."
Imagine for a second, "What if the dollar became useless?" Imagine the fallout that would follow. The Savage is Frank Bill's follow up to Donnybrook, a world where money has become useless, and it's become increasingly difficult to know the difference between right and wrong. (Side note: you don't need to have read Donnybrook to read this book)We follow Van Dorn, a man raised by his father to respect the land and to respect righteousness above all else. There is a warlord named Cotto who has been stealing women and holding them hostage all over what used to be Indiana. Van Dorn has made it his personal mission to find and free these starving, beaten women. What follows is a bloody walk through the chaos of the end of the world. If you take The Road by Cormac McCarthy, sprinkle in a little bit of "Mad Max," and turn the voltage on high, you'll get close to The Savage.
Winner, 2019 James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year in Writing
Finalist, 2019 IACP Award, Literary Food Writing
Named a Best Food Book of the Year by the Boston Globe, Smithsonian, BookRiot, and more
Semifinalist, Goodreads Choice Awards
“Thoughtful, well researched, and truly moving.
In fiction, the author paints a world for the reader to get lost in. In memoir, the author recounts the past, as best they can, to show us their life. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, Tom Malmquist blurs these lines. “I want people to understand the story and feelings in my book and worry less about me” Tom said to me over a beer at Winter Institute in Memphis. About 6 years ago, tragedy struck this man out of nowhere, and changed his life forever.
Tom’s longtime partner Karin is pregnant with their first child, a little girl. As she is nearing the end of her pregnancy she gets very, very sick. No one knew that she was suffering from a deadly, incurable disease. Karin dies, but the baby lives. Tom is heartbroken, and to top it all off, his father dies only a few months later. This is a story of loss, of grief, and of redemption. When I asked him how he kept going, he only said one word, “Love.” Love can pick you up when there is nothing left, love can help you raise a child all alone, and love can give you the strength to write such a terrible, beautiful story.
Magnus Nilsson is the owner and creative genius behind Faviken, one of the most highly esteemed restaurants in the world. What makes him so interesting is that he only uses ingredients that he can harvest within just a few miles from his restaurant. He and his crew often go on morning foraging walks in the summer, and pickle and preserve so they have food for the restaurant in the winter.
He has only published a couple books in the past, and none of them ever had any baking recipes in them. The Nordic Baking Book is the holy grail of baking, and it's not even just a cookbook, it is a love letter to good food and the people who care about what they eat. It has recipes ranging from master level technicality, to as easy as traditional pancakes. This is a must have for any baking lover, and anyone who appreciates good, locally sourced ingredients.
You may know Matty from his multitude of YouTube channels and projects. He has also had a show on Viceland where he explores different ingredients and where they come from. Picking up this book, the first thing you will notice about it is its heft. This was no small feat in the making. Matty has been spending years compiling his favorite recipes from his travels, and trying to recreate dishes from his past. Recipes range from a bologna bowl (don't ask.. just try it) to grilled beef tongue.
Not only are the recipes amazing in this book, so is the narrative. Matty is telling us the story of his life and success through his food. If you've seen him before you know he doesn't hold anything back and may be known to speak his mind openly, almost a crass Bourdain. If you are looking for a book that will inspire you, make you laugh, and give you hope for the future of food, look no further.
Simon Stalenhag is famous for his artwork and storytelling in Sweden and has funded all of his work through Kickstarter. This is the first time his gorgeous work is getting widespread attention with a beautiful oversized hardcover. In The Electric State we follow a teenage girl and her pet robot wandering around the deserted wasteland that was 1990s United States. The ground is littered with the remains of giant robots and the discarded tech of an advanced society. The young girl is trying to get to the ocean. She's not sure why, but that seems like the right place to go. As she gets closer and closer, things outside seem less civilized than ever before, and the hope and spark in her heart slowly starts to fade. Simon has done the impossible here with absolutely stunning paintings on every page and a story that will leave you begging for more.
Now a major motion picture starring Tom Holland and directed by the Russo Brothers. A young medic returns from deployment in Iraq to two things: the woman he loves, and the opioid crisis sweeping across the Midwest.
One of TIME’s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade
"Meet the new Stephen Hawking . . . The Order of Time is a dazzling book." --The Sunday Times
Over the last few years it seems that every Sci-fi book that comes out is littered with war, blood, and death. Science Fiction has gotten dark. Becky Chambers is here to save us all. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is Hitchhiker's Guide meets Firefly (first book coming in October!), exploring not just the outer reaches of space but what it means to be a human.
Rosemary Harper needs to get away from her past. So she joins the oddball crew of the Wayfarer, an old clunky ship that offers her a chance to get away and explore the outer limits of the universe. What she doesn’t know is that life aboard the Wayfarer will be a little more than she asked for. She and her crewmates takes a job tunneling wormholes in space to reach a planet far, far away. The payoff will be huge, and they won’t have to work ever again. If they survive. Rosemary and the rest of the crew of the Wayfarer (including a vulgar alien reptile pilot) need to work together to overcome odds that would make even Spok nervous. Rosemary didn’t expect much from joining the crew, but what she finds is a ragtag family among the stars.
One second there and then the next, gone. What would you do if all people older than 14 just disappeared right before your eyes? Would you steal from the stores or run an abandoned McDonald's? The kids of Perdido Beach, CA find this happening to them. A town run by a bunch of 14 year-old kids could jump into confusion very quickly. Sam Temple seems to be the only one who can help this crazy city. He is reluctant to do it, he tries to keep order, though this proves to be difficult when the school bullies don't want to take orders from him. His best friend, Quinn and the school genius, Astrid help Sam with organizing the city. Things get tricky when some of the kids start to develop super human abilities. The first book in a series, this book is full of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the last page. This book was described to me as a "Lord of the Flies" if it was written by Stephen King, I think that this is dead on. Get your hands on this before it disappears.
Every day, a bodiless, genderless teenager named A, wakes up in the body of another person around his age, all in the same vicinity. He tries to go through his/her life without changing the lives of the people who's body he inhabits, until one day he meets and falls in love with a girl, which changes everything. On one hand, this book is a young adult supernatural romance. On the other hand, it expresses some of the seriousness of the problems teens face. It grapples with clinical depression, religion, bullying, sexual orientation, and even what it's like to be a junkie, all expressed through A waking up in the body of a person who suffered from those problems and then experienced them him/her self. This is a great story written by an outstanding author and perfect for any teenager or adult looking for a quick fun read.
As excellent as the first book in the series was it was hard not to fear that Rothfuss had peaked with the first installment, as so many authors do. The opposite is true, rather than peaking it's clear that he was just warming up with The Name of the Wind. When a narrative is this perfect it reads more like verse than prose, and "The Wise Man's Fear" reflects the best of both the legacies of classic and modern fantasy. Evoking the timeless quality found in Literature at it's finest, not just killer genre fiction, and as a long time reader of fantasy I've been blown away by the surge of young talent in recent years. Rothfuss is one of those at the head of the pack, and like Kvothe, sounding notes of raw originality.
When you first think about David Cross things come to mind such as, disgusting, hilarious, gross, and bald. “I Drink for a Reason” is Dave’s first book and it’s full of disgustingly hilarious gross bald humor. Who else would get a kick out of something like this unless they were bald? He’s been out of the standup scene for a while now, so this is his comedic comeback of sorts, and oh what a comeback. This book had me laughing so hard vodka came out my nose. Each chapter is his opinion on a topic and they range from what he thinks about James Frey, to a knitting convention. No joke, this book will make you laugh until it hurts. Don’t pass this one by.
Only Mr. Dave Eggers could dive so deep into the heart and mind of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s a whole new take on the once children’s story. Right from the bat you meet Max, a brat of a kid, that you can’t help but identify yourself with. Then you meet the Wild Things, monsters with human like emotions. You become friends with them quick, but there is always something sinister hiding behind their friendly nature. Eggers wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of the original book. Then afterwards he went back and wrote this novel. A word of warning to all of you who loved the original book… This is a totally new version of the story, with no pictures. If you can get past that, you’re going to love it. You’ll easily fall into the adventure of Max and his new furry friends… The Wild Things!
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Elmer is a graphic novel from Gerry Alanguilan telling the story of Elmer, one of the first chickens to under go the transformation that shifted chickens from livestock to intelligent beings with the capabilities for speech and other humanizing elements. Now considered on par with humans in the eyes of the law, he must fight for the simple rights that other minorities have faced over the years. Written with a winning combination of absurd humor and commentary on racial issues with the vehicle of poultry, Elmer is a fantastic read and is highly recommended.
Have you ever looked at a book and thought there was no way it could be as good as the cover? Well I got that feeling from The Name of the Wind. The book was recommended to me by many different people, so I put it in my “to be read” (maybe) someday pile. After hearing about it yet again I decided to move it up my list a bit. Then finally I had nothing to read so I thought why not. The quote on the back of the book blew me away before I even got to page one. This book will pick you up by the throat and slam you down. Over and over until you think you can’t take it anymore. Then it will do it again. The strange thing is that you will enjoy being slammed. You will be asking for more. You’ll be out of breath trying to keep up with the speed and finesse of the author’s words. Do not let this one collect dust, pick it up. You’ll read it till the binding disintegrates at the tips of your page flipping fingers. I promise.
"Did I just read a comic book or watch an episode of Firefly?" That is the question you will be asking yourselv after reading this graphic novel. If you are a fan of Joss Whedon's cult TV show Firefly at all you will absolutely love this book. While reading, you can almost hear the voices of Mal and his crew causing trouble. It has everything that you would want from an episode of Firefly, even the cursing in Chinese! I can not recommend this enough, if you love the show like I do, or just enjoy a very well crafted graphic novel. If you get a chance to read this, take it. You won't be disappointed.