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November 13, 2023
Eric Jerome Dickey was a very popular writer in the 1990s. He recently passed from cancer in 2021 at the young age of 52. Until about 4 weeks ago, I had no idea he was still publishing books until I learned of his passing.
He had an interesting career. Graduating from Memphis State University with a degree in engineering, he moved to L.A. to work for Rockwell International as a software developer. Then decided he wanted to pursue the arts: acting, comedy and writing.
He published 15 novels in a variety of genres. And his book The Business of Lovers published in 2020 is one of this month’s Customer 5 star Favs.
I was nervous sending this book out to our customer; I kept thinking to myself: Is he still relevant? But he is just one of those writers whose reputation you can trust.
Here is what our customer Sam said, “This book was spot on. I couldn’t put it down. The story line was amazing and the ending was absolutely perfect.” And she added in her note of what she wanted to read next: “keep doing what you're doing.”
Another book that received 5 stars this month, is one I have never heard of: This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park.
Here is what Linda had to say about it:
This book was so. Damn. Good. Just my style blending history, Asian culture (in this case Korea), and romance. It reminded me of a Lisa See book who is one of my all-time favorite authors. The book spanned many years of Soo-Ja's life from a girl in her early twenties to a mother in her late thirties and it really took me on a journey of her struggle with the choices she made as a young woman. I felt very connected to her, even though I may not have made the same mistakes she has, as a woman in my early thirties I understand having to deal with the fallout of decisions I made when I was younger and more naïve. Not only that, but in her older years she is a perpetual people pleaser and will say whatever makes everyone else happy even if it means biting her tongue and suffering herself which I really really relate with. Every time Soo-Ja and Yul reunited my heart was in my throat hoping maybe this time something would work out between them, reading this as a hopeless romantic really really pulled at my heartstrings. The ending definitely made me cry, I wish there were a tiny bit more wrap-up (like an epilogue) but I was still satisfied with how it played out.
Working in a bookstore is the coolest! I get to learn about so many books. But running this subscription service is even better because of the feedback we receive!
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October 17, 2023
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May 02, 2023
The Monsters We Defy by Leslye Penelope
This historical fantasy is full of mystery and African American folk magic. Penelope weaves together real pieces of history and gives the reader a glimpse into 1920's Black Washington society full of fancy soirees, bootleggers, lady gangster bosses and jazz musicians.
Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is my favorite author. I read Handmaid's Tale when I was in high school and have been devouring her books ever since. This new collection of short stories is classic Atwood - it's beautifully written and showcases deep relationships with a thread of humor and humility throughout.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray
This is a beautifully written domestic fiction told from multiple perspectives. Gray develops characters that are complex, sympathetic and frustrating against the back drop of the the matriarch’s trial for defrauding the community she claimed to be helping.
Shrill by Lindy West
Shrill is a collection of essays that are also the memoir of Lindy West in which she focuses on modern feminism, politics, body image, learning to take up space and use your voice, choosing how you want to show up in the world and how to take care of the people who are often left behind by society.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
I stayed away from this book for a long time because it was so popular and I was skeptical about all of the hype. But my curiosity won and I must say I am really enjoying reading it (I am just over half way through). Untamed is also a memoir that consists of a collection of musings by Glennon Doyle in which she uses her life experience to show what it takes to unlearn everything that society tells you in terms of how to act (especially for women) and how to show up and live your life from an authentic space.
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March 27, 2023
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. Quote: "A quirky, lush little novel that's perfect for readers who love a stream-of-consciousness style."
Rest is Resistance by Tricia Hersey. Quote: "A great resource for unpacking the problems of grind culture and finding alternatives."
Farthing by Jo Walton- speculative fiction murder mystery set in an alternate timeline where WWII ended in a peace accord between Britain and Nazi Germany.
Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez- nonfiction about the relationship between conservative masculinity and white Christian evangelism.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler - dystopian sci-fi that takes place in 2025 and eerily relatable to today's society.
The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest - YA fantasy. 2nd book in the black witch chronicles. The magic school has opened up to a full fledged rebellion/war.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal - YA middle-eastern fantasy about a girl who's an assassin.
French Lieutenants Woman by John Fowles - Written in 1969, this is the story of a Victorian love triangle as well as a critique of the Victorian and modern time period or mores.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - This page-turner "tackles race, privilege and prejudice" in a court-room drama.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar - Time travel, sci-fi, fantasy with queer love. I wish I understood more about each character's world and why they were fighting the time war. But as soon as I finished, I wanted to re-read to find all the things I missed the first time!
KATE & ANG'S BOOK CLUB:
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - Kate didn't finish this one. She struggles to read books that aren't plot-driven. Ang, on the other hand, really enjoyed the rich characters and writing style of this one.
Tongue Party by Sarah Rose Etter - Collection of quirky short stories. Etter has an incredible ability to unapologetically immerse the reader into an absurd world. Her stories are imaginative and delightfully disturbing. This is a MUST READ.