#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character

There’s something about stories narrated by animals that provide a very different reading experience. Whether they are anthropomorphized or remain true to their wild selves, animal narrators give us a chance to step out of our human skin and see the world around us in new ways. Here are some titles that are in turn tragic, poignant and delightful.

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

A dog, a cat, and a rabbit, formerly benign domestic pets, become lethal weapons through a top secret military cybernetics experiment. As prototypes, the team is programmed to work together as the ultimate killing machine, drawing on each species’ innate characteristics to create one unstoppable force. When the experiment comes to an end and it’s time for We3 to be neutralized, distant memories of home drive their desperate escape. This graphic novel is simply gorgeous in both story and execution. Morrison’s nuanced and emotionally resonant storytelling is amplified by Frank Quietly’s beautiful illustrations. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character”

#BookBingoNW2020: On your shelf

I’ve always been a reader but, as time goes on, I find that my eyes are perpetually larger than my literary stomach, resulting in piles of books all over the house and a Goodreads “to read” shelf that requires constant pruning.  Between teleworking and homeschooling there isn’t nearly much time to read as I had hoped, but I’m doing my best to check a few key items off my list during the quarantine:

on my shelfI was beyond ecstatic to get my hands on an advance reader copy of Network Effect, Martha Wells’ latest addition to the Murderbot Diaries.  It was so fantastic I’m rereading the entire series (and supporting my local indie bookstores along the way) in anticipation of giving it a second look. SecUnit has become one of my favorite characters as of late, both for the soul searching and the sardonic humor. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: On your shelf”

The Joys of Winter Gardening

There’s nothing like a sunny Seattle day during the long dreary winter, especially for those who like to garden. The minute the sun breaks through that cloud cover, even just for a few minutes, you’ll see gardeners all over the city trying to get things in order. For those willing to brave the colder months, though, dedicated winter gardening can offer rewards and surprises that feel extra special. Want to see what’s possible in the world of winter gardening? Here are a few titles to guide and inspire.

Continue reading “The Joys of Winter Gardening”

Pride and Prejudice Redux

Published in 1813, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice seems to be showing no signs of slowing down in terms of either popularity or endurance. In fact, a recent handful of offerings make it abundantly clear that the famous novel of romance and manners still has plenty to offer for modern readers.

Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali DevPride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors
by Sonali Dev
Dr. Trisha Raje is a brilliant neurosurgeon. DJ Caine is a top-caliber chef on the cusp of becoming a celebrity.  Set in San Francisco, the two are thrown together when Trisha’s family hires him to cater a huge wedding.  Trisha comes across as classist, judgmental, and just plain rude whenever DJ is around, but he can’t quit the job; he needs the money to pay for his sister’s surgery.  Just when DJ can’t take any more of Trisha’s insults, he discovers she is the surgeon saving his sister’s life.   This covers a lot of territory, but it’s a fun romp with a diverse cast of characters and obvious love for the original novel.

Pride by Ibi ZoboiPride by Ibi Zoboi
Set in the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick, young Zuri Benito loves her home, her family, and her community. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, they embody to Zuri everything that is going wrong in their neighborhood.  She takes an immediate disliking to Darius, the eldest of the family’s sons, and the feeling seems to be mutual.  When circumstances lead Darius and Zuri to unexpectedly find themselves on the same side, though, those hard exteriors begin to melt just enough for the possibility of love to slip through. Continue reading “Pride and Prejudice Redux”

2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults

The 2019 Lammy Award finalists were announced earlier this month, and there are eight contenders in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category.  Among them are some of our favorite recent titles, including last year’s National Book Award Winner The Poet X and both(!) of Kheryn Callender’s novels.  We were especially pleased at the diversity of both authors and character voices in this year’s finalists!

Here are the titles being considered for the 31st Annual Lambda Literary Awards for children and teens:

The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Navigating the world has become exponentially more difficult now that Xiomara has a woman’s body, but while her physical self has gained attention the rest of her goes unnoticed.  Xiomara has plenty to say, though, and an invite to the school’s poetry slam allows her to kick open a door she never knew existed.  Told in verse, this is a raw and intimate portrait of a young woman finding the courage to use her voice and make herself heard. Continue reading “2019 Lambda Literary Awards: LGBTQ Titles for Children and Young Adults”