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Lobbi's move from Iceland to a charming, remote monastery in the mountains of an unnamed European country becomes a journey of self-discovery when the estranged mother of his child appears with his daughter. He gradually finds a suitable rhythm to his life, tending the monastery's famed rose garden and tenuously exploring his new relationships. This is a perfect read for Seattle's fall weather, with a mixture of introspection, cozy pleasures, and a hint of ennui.
The Lost Art of Mixing
The prose in this book is beautiful. The descriptions of food, numbers, silence, everything is gorgeously described, such as: the grandmotherly feel of a three or the bitter taste of endive. While it is a sequel, you do not need to read the first book; you won’t feel like you are missing anything if you don’t. It’s a wonderful story told from the perspectives of many different people who are brought together by a local restaurant.
Beat the Reaper
If you’re looking for a new take on the crime novel, with equal parts humor and violence, Josh Bazell’s Dr. Peter Brown, aka Pietro “Bearclaw” Brnwna, is the way to go. How many other crime novelists can give you a wise-cracking ex-mobster, who became a doctor while in the witness protection program? And you should definitely think twice about admitting yourself to the doc's down-at-the heels hospital in the Big Apple.
-Nancy, West Seattle
Factotum follows Charles Bukowski's antihero alter-ego, writer Henry Chinaski, through Los Angeles. Throughout the book Chinaski works various jobs while getting involved with women and struggling to get published. Bukowski has his own unique style, separating himself from other writers, while still making his stories relatable. This is also a good introduction to Bukowski's writing technique: Chinaski's experience here is episodic, as he goes from job to job - sometimes down, but always out.
Shots Fired: Stories from Joe Picket Country
Box's books are incredible. He writes about Wyoming, and with his masterful use of words and descriptions, makes us feel as though we are there. Most of his characters are familiar from some of the Joe Pickett series but there are some surprises that keep us delighted. How did Pronghorn Antelopes become part of the Third Reich? Read these great short stories to find out along with other tales.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
A handsome, roguish wizard, Andrew Ranulf Blankenship spends his days looking for his next sexual conquest, or attending an occasional AA meeting. However, after he inadvertently kills the wrong man, Andrew finds himself stalked by an unrelenting horror that won’t stop until everything and everyone he loves is dead. Andrew must confront his past alcoholic mistakes if he plans to stay alive—but in many ways, he’s already too late.
-Christiane, Queen Anne
Tom Patterson had to grow up fast before serving as cavalryman in that most bloody of U.S. wars. Tom is friendly, yes, but also a death-defying and dangerous man. After the war, Tom and his battle buddy Ben Haley become scouts for the Union Pacific Railroad. Written in 2011, their frontier adventures have great Western ingredients for those old and new to the genre – horses, dusty trails, and the lonely struggle for survival against all odds.
We Are All Completely Fine
Earlier this year, I read Gregory's wonderfully touching zombie novel, Raising Stony Mayhall. So I was delighted to find his new novella about a group of misfits who meet at group therapy sessions. This short, creepy story manages to elevate your spirits even lift you up as it gives you the chills.
This historical novel takes place in seventh century England. Hild, the niece of a man who would be over-king of all the Angles, must use her incredible mind and keen observations to keep herself and her family alive. Not only must she navigate shifting alliances between families and regions, but also a new, foreign religion. This story is based on the life of Saint Hilda of Whitby; it is meticulously researched and beautifully written.
Darkness at Noon
Koestler's book, published in 1940, deals with Communist Russia and the life of an old revolutionary, now in prison. Though the work is fictional, it is also allegorical, dealing with Stalin's Great Purge of Old Bolsheviks, and what can be seen as the passing of one generation to the next, from the old to the new. Divided into four parts, protagonist Rubashov reflects on his life, while dealing with solitary confinement and the interrogations of his captors.
The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress
Judge Joseph Carter and his wife Stella are vacationing at their lake home when the judge gets a mysterious phone call and abruptly leaves – and is he’s never seen again. Based on a real case from the 1930s that dominated national headlines, this Jazz Age noir kept me turning the pages with its mystery, famous Manhattan settings, mobsters and political corruption.
Heads You Lose
Two siblings, who grow pot illegally on their land, discover a headless corpse. What to do? They can't agree; which is coincidentally the problem with the two authors of this book. Lutz and Hayward, former business and life partners, decided to write a book together by; alternating chapters. Some of the best parts are the notes they write back and forth between chapters. It gets really good when they start killing off each other's characters.
This set of stories by multiple numerous authors perfectly illustrates the title.is just what the title says. The stories are about rogues, both good and bad, and the plots are awesome excellent. These are short stories about characters you might well recognize in your own life. We all have a bit of rogue in us and many will relate to the wonderful stories in this anthology.
Rosemary and Rue
If you enjoy urban fantasy with a dash of romance and mystery plus a hint of Shakespeare, try the October Daye series. Toby is a changeling, half-human and half-fae. She's turned her back on her fae heritage to live focus on a normal human life as a private investigator, but when an old friend is murdered, she can't keep the fae world in her past any longer. This is the first in the series.
-Kate, Madrona-Sally Goldmark
The Year of the Gadfly
Iris is an aspiring journalist on the hunt for her next big story, which may be closer than she thinks when odd things start happening at her new school, the elite Mariana Academy. If she can work her way onto the masthead of Mariana's underground newspaper, maybe she can uncover what's really going on in its hallowed halls. But the truth may challenge everything Iris thought she knew and cast light on life's darkest secrets.
Me Before You
Louisa quits her bakery job to take a job offer of being a caregiver for a quadriplegic. Before the motorcycle accident, Will had lived a full and exciting life. But, since the accident, he has become moody. Louisa learns to cope with Will's moodiness and the two eventually form a romantic relationship. Have your box of tissues at hand!
Everything I Never Told You
This arresting novel, reminiscent of The Lovely Bones or Caucasia, paints a vivid picture of a Chinese-American family living in the Midwest Mid-West in the 1970's. When tragedy strikes Lydia, the "favorite" child, each family member examines their own life in order to come to terms with what really happened. Exploring topics that were still hot- button issues forty years ago, this book offers surprises and insights into race, relationships, and the secrets people keep.
No longer under the comfort of her parents’ comfortable roof, newly married Eveline leaves for the wilderness of Minnesota. Her husband knows the land’s every detail, but soon Eveline must also too when he is called back to his homeland of Germany. Alongside her son Hux and her close and unconventional neighbors, Eveline will face her hardest decision yet when a stranger comes knocking. Beautiful and haunting, this novel will stay with you even long after reading the last page.
Mozart’s Last Aria
It’s 1791 in Vienna, Austria and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is dead. Suspecting foul play, his sister Nannerl sets out to find for the truth. But treachery abounds, and confounding her search are all sorts of sordid characters. In Mozart’s Last Aria, Rees offers a great mystery for lovers of history and music alike. I listened to the Requiem Mass as I read and suggest you do the same - “REQUIEEEEMMMMMMMMM!!”
Dove Season: A Jimmy Veeder Fiasco
News of his father’s terminal cancer extracts our reluctant hero from a downward spiral of menial jobs and brings him back home to the familiar ruts of California’s Imperial Valley. A deathbed request soon becomes a “fiasco” involving the volatile criminal underworld that thrives along the US/Mexico border. The author tempers the crime fiction genre’s requisite grit and violence with a refreshingly positive outlook on friendship, and frames it all within a palpable sense of place.
The Coldest Winter Ever
The raw, powerful story of Winter Santiago, a rich, beautiful and spoiled seventeen-year-old from Brooklyn, is a compelling read. The daughter of powerful drug lord Ricky Santiago, Winter is accustomed to always getting whatever she wants. Events in her life take a dramatic turn when her father is arrested and convicted. With both parents in jail, Winter is sorely tested by unfamiliar responsibilities. Her actions result in consequences that irrevocably affect her and her family.
-Tina, Beacon Hill
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore
Web-designer Clay Jannon’s new bookstore night clerk job was a puzzle. Buyers were rare and regular visitors only borrowed books from the hidden stacks. After opening one of these books, he remains clueless about the book’s message, but by observing his eccentric regulars, he eventually works out a pattern. What happens afterwards is a chain of events only he can resolve with the help of his tech-savvy friends, his favorite books, and Mr. Penumbra himself.
Three Messages and a Warning
Discover that Science Fiction is a cultural value when you read Three Messages and a Warning. This anthology of Mexican short stories is rife with magical realism, alien incursions, and ghost stories. For me the strangest part wasn’t the sudden appearance of a ghost, rather it was a presence of a midday siesta. An enjoyable and diverse collection, sure to please those interested in Sci-Fi/Fantasy or Mexican Literature.
The Isle of Youth
Fans of Lorrie Moore will find a new voice in short stories worth following in Laura van den Berg. Dive into the interior worlds of women looking down from the precipice into the lives they never expected to inhabit. Shades of noir undercut many of the stories, as every protagonist navigates tumultuous emotional weather. Get acquainted with van den Berg before her debut novel comes out early next year; she’s one to watch.
The Martian’s main character has been left for dead on Mars and has to find the means to survive until he can be rescued. How he does this, and how the rescue happens, make for a fascinating read. The author knows his science, and describes both the struggle for survival and rescue efforts in breathtaking detail. The science is accurate and the plot is rich and fast paced. Read this one!