Submitted by erogers_4543 on Mon, 12/18/2023 - 1:57pm
Review by Amy Halvorson Miller
This coming Thursday, the winter solstice occurs: the longest night of the year, but thankfully, the start of lengthening days. Looking beyond Christmas, I’ve enjoyed three new picture books to greet the season and add some new interest and fun to story time.
Winter: A Solstice Story by Kelsey E. Gross is a tale of forest animals in a dark woods, preparing to celebrate the coming gift of winter. Owl watches the waning light of the shortest day then calls, “Whooo can help me shine the light, and share a gift of hope this night?” One by one, creatures answer with sustaining gifts from the snowy land. They celebrate the first day of winter with a softly sparkling tree hung with gifts, illustrated with vertical, gate-fold artwork by Renata Liwska. An unexpected friend joins the dance and all share in the splendor.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Mon, 12/11/2023 - 3:32pm
Review by Bridget Keller
Serial killer, Ted Bundy, has become infamous and often romanticized by the press and many authors. The victims and those affected by him frequently are overlooked as just tallies to his kills and not seen as humans. The novel, Bright Young Women written by Jessica Knoll, tells a fictionalized story of those who were affected by the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy. Not wanting to contribute to the glorification of the horrific serial killer of the 20th century, throughout her work she only refers to him as The Defendant.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Mon, 12/04/2023 - 3:47pm
Review by Lacey Fowler
Never Whistle at Night by bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones, edited by Shane Hawk and Theodore C. Van Alst Jr., is a 26-author anthology of fantastically unsettling and satisfying Indigenous horror stories.
From the list of authors, diversity of the tribes represented, settings, rich folklore and dark horror to the optimistic and sad endings, Never Whistle at Night is an incredible book. It is easily in my top five books of the year and highly recommended.
They cover a wide range of topics and writing styles, all unique perspectives that create crazy imagery in the reader's mind of the shadows and monsters that Never Whistle at Night describes so well.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Mon, 11/27/2023 - 2:31pm
Review by Rachel Fowler
As the weather gets colder, my favorite activity is to curl up with a good book. I love fiction, but I have a special affinity for nonfiction, especially nature books.
Recently I’ve read three that were particularly enjoyable. They range from the world of fungi to a beautifully illustrated book about trees and end with the wonder and majesty of the Olympic Peninsula. These books encompass a wide array of knowledge of the natural world and are perfect gifts for fans of the outdoors.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Mon, 11/20/2023 - 2:16pm
Review by Cheyanne Stice
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang shares a little bit about what it is like in the publishing business and how far someone might go to get the recognition and fame they feel that they deserve.
Characters June Hayward and Athena Liu are both authors that have known each other since college. June is the author of a book that never got released in paperback nor had enough sales for another reprint and has no idea what her next project will be. Athena is the author of multiple published books and was working on another before her untimely death.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Tue, 11/14/2023 - 11:06am
Review by Elisabeth Martin Rogers
Kendare Blake’s stories always have exhilarating concepts. You may have heard of her other novels; Anna Dressed in Blood and the Three Dark Crowns series. I thoroughly enjoyed them so when I saw this new release I was so excited for what she came up with this time! Champion of Fate kicks off the Heromaker series with the story of Reed, a tall lanky girl who stumbles into the lives of two immortal Aristene warriors of The Order. Reed learns quickly what The Order is fated to do, but the question is…can she fulfill her destiny? Will she follow the path fated to her? Blake tells a fast paced story that keeps you on your toes. There are characters you will adore, and others you will be thoroughly annoyed with but are endearing nonetheless.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Wed, 11/08/2023 - 10:23am
Review by Tony Hoffart
A year into COVID lockdown, Diana Helmuth wants something more. She is skeptical of religion, both organized and disorganized but she wants to believe in something. So she decides to dive into the world of modern paganism and witchcraft and document her journey.
During this journey, Diana wrestles with the issue of belief and skepticism in magic. Despite this, she fully commits to spell work in nearly all of its various forms. And she describes her experiences with it with the sort of earnest honesty that it can’t come off as anything but authentic. She discusses whether authenticity comes from having a historical lineage of customs and rituals or if such a thing is necessary in modern witchcraft. She explores the cultural appropriation issue of should a white American witch practice Brujeria or Voodoo? She also explores the authentic pleasure in going to Scotland and experiencing a pagan celebration that is rooted in her own ethnicity.
Submitted by erogers_4543 on Wed, 11/01/2023 - 10:51am
Review by Jules Galgan
“Dark Water Daughter” is a stunner for anyone who loves a good pirate adventure story. Think of it as “Pirates of the Caribbean” with a mystic flare.
The story follows two main characters: Mary, a stormsinger whose unique powers allow her to cause hurricanes and quiet the seas with her voice; and an ex-naval officer turned pirate, Samuel, who has the ability to travel through the spirit world. Both characters must face the evil pirate lord, Silvanus Lirr, as he pursues Mary with reasons unknown.