Anne Z.'s blog

Review: The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreak, Mutiny & Murder by David Grann

Author David Grann is by far one of my favorite non-fiction authors. I enjoyed his book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, for which he is likely best known, and is also being made into a movie later this year. But I believe his newest book, The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder, is his greatest work yet. Grann is an amazingly skilled author that infuses his non-fiction writing with passion to bring out the real-life intrigue in these histories so they read like fiction and his newest book is an incredible example. 

Review: Good for a Girl, A Woman Running in a Man's World by Lauren Fleshman

Review by Sue Domis, Bookseller

 Two Books published in 2023 deal with the subject of women running, and doing well enough to become professional runners.  Women runners have often been traditionally discounted by men who have set the rules for the sport.   

Young female runners have had trouble remaining in the sport as they reach puberty.  Those who do, often suffer injuries due to eating disorders and other struggles.  Male coaches have sometimes discouraged girls from gaining weight, convincing them to become thin to look like a runner.

Review: Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

Greek Mythology inspired books have always been popular and lately they don't seem to leave the bestsellers list. Adult fiction books like Circe and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, kids books like The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Romance series like The Dark Olympus by Katee Robert, are all very popular. And really, I am not surprised. I am myself a huge fan of Greek Mythology inspired stories. Are you?

If so, there is a new one just out that has captivated me. Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara is everything you could hope for in Greek Mythology inspired books and more. It has gods, magic, adventure, tragedy, and love. 

A prophecy claims that Psyche, a human princess, will one day defeat a monster feared even by the gods. Because of the prophecy, Psyche's father goes against what is expected of women at that time and allows her to be trained to fight and hunt, mastering blade and bow, like any boy would. 

But Psyche, unintentionally and unknowingly angers the love goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite sends Eros, her adopted son and the god of desire, to pierce Psyche with a cursed arrow. Eros, accidentally pricks himself. He finds himself wanting someone he can never have. The curse is that they will be torned apart the moment their eyes meet. Eros never tells Aphrodite his arrow didn't fly true and has to be very careful to not be anywhere near Psyche and ignite the curse. Angering a major god like Aphrodite is not something even he, a god himself, should do. 

Review: Mini Honda: the Legendary Little Motorcycles Super Cub, Dax, Monkey by Gerfried Vogt-Mobs

Review by Amy and Eric Stoothoff

My dad, Eric Stoothoff, got me interested in little Honda motorcycles. I learned to ride a motorcycle at 15 on our Honda 90 Supra. After almost hitting a garbage can, I figured it out pretty quickly and I’ve enjoyed them ever since.

In the late 1990s, the early days of the internet, he was searching for Piper Super Cub airplanes. He worked on them early in his career as an aircraft mechanic. The pre-Google search turned up early Honda step-through motorcycles, called Super Cubs. My dad, an avid researcher, started investigating. In Indonesia, he’d seen lots of people driving little Hondas around carrying everything from families of 5 to large sheets of plywood. 

Review: The Lonely Hearts Book Club by Lucy Gilmore

This book was an utter delight from beginning to end. Easily my favorite read this year!

The Lonely Hearts Book Club can only be described as a love letter to book lovers. To the readers that feel they are alone until one day they stumble upon a book that takes them to another world, or a fellow reader who understands the magic of reading!
And it is a love letter to anyone that has ever felt true loneliness and how one book, one chapter, or even one sentence, can make you feel less alone. How one act of kindness seemingly unrelated, can change everything in a person's life. 
This is the story of a lonely librarian that does not realize how truly lonely she is until the cranky old man she verbally spars with over books every morning stops coming to the library.
It is the story of a grandson who made promises he is not sure he can keep. Who found in a group of strangers with little in common with each other a place where he can be himself, and less alone.
It is the story of a lonely mother who finds solace in books and cooking, and slowly but surely cannot see her life without this group that has gathered around her neighbor, the crankiest man she knows.
It is about a nurse/librarian/singer/writer afraid to pick a path.

Review: Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva

My first thought upon finishing this book was that it would make a fantastic movie!

The book tells the story of Linda, a gentle soul living in Seattle, alone and lonely. She spends most of her time locked up in her apartment with very little contact with the outside world. As the story progresses you find out why. Linda is a replacement child. Her mother found a way to 'make' her in order to replace her previous daughter that died. But Linda was not her, and could never replace her. So one day her mother just leaves.  Linda was left to raise herself at their walled-off property somewhere in rural Washington. Until one day, something makes her run, jump off the wall, and find a world that she didn't know existed and was definitely not ready for. 

Review: Dagger Eyes by Tarin Santos

Review by Amy Stoothoff

Tarin Santos started writing her young adult novel at age eleven. She dedicated seven years to
getting Dagger Eyes just right. It’s a great beginning to her writing career. She’s from Seattle.
It’s good to see new writers emerging in the Pacific Northwest. I like rooting for a homegrown
writer like Santos.

Review: Flat White Fatality by Emmeline Duncan (Spring Fair Attending Author)

Review by Amy Halvorson Miller

Ready for another shot of Emmeline Duncan’s Ground Rules mysteries? The third caffeinated cozy set in Portland will be out next month. If you’re new to the series, which includes Fresh Brewed Murder and Double Shot Death, no problem, as Flat White Fatality can easily stand on its own. (A “flat white” is two shots of espresso with a thinner layer of steamed milk than a latte, intense and creamy.)

Sage Caplin, our young coffee entrepreneur and sleuth is not only expanding her coffee cart and roastery business, but has also taken a side-gig at her boyfriend, Bax’s, video-gaming company. During a teamwork-building scavenger hunt, an employee of Grumpy Sasquatch Studio is found dead in Sage’s roastery nearby.

Review: The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea

Review by Marin Mills 

It is my personal opinion that adapting a story for a new audience is just as valuable as creating something new, especially in the realm of mythology and folktales. While anyone can create a unique fantasy world, rewriting a myth for a modern audience creates a dialogue between the past and the present, especially for readers who are familiar with the original story. When done right, it allows the author to say something about both the past and the present. The Girl who Fell Beneath the Sea is one such story. Author Axie Oh takes a Korean folktale about filial piety and turns it into a novel about fate, choice, and the relationship between gods and men.

Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn

Review by Lisette Pietsch

In the midst of writing essays, reading required texts, and working, I don’t often have extra time
to spend reading for fun. When I first picked up Legendborn, (the first book in this series) I was
hoping to find the escape I needed. So far this series has been my favorite to be swept away in
and has been a great distraction when I needed a break from thinking about tests.