Friday, May 20, 2022

The Diamond Eye

The Diamond Eye
by Kate Quinn
William Morrow, 2022. 448 pages. Historical Fiction.

In 1937, Mila Pavlichenko, a young mother and studious, aspiring historian, impulsively joins a sharp-shooting course and discovers an unexpected aptitude for marksmanship. With war raging across Europe, Pavlichenko enlists as a Soviet sniper. Though she initially faces derision from her male comrades, she racks up a kill count of over 300 in less than a year, earning the nickname “Lady Death.” As a result, the Soviet government recognizes her P.R. potential and plucks her from the battlefield for a goodwill mission to the United States. There, she must persuade President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the first lady, and the American public into opening a second front in Europe. 

Fans of historical fiction (even those who get tired of World War II fiction) are sure to enjoy The Diamond Eye. Author Kate Quinn has a knack for creating fully realized characters and vivid settings, and I sometimes found myself gasping out loud as I read. Quinn also tends to add thrilling, suspenseful climaxes to her books that depart from established history, which will delight some readers and annoy others (I’m somewhere in-between). Either way, the audiobook narration by Saskia Maarleveld adds a wonderful layer of realism to the story.

If you like The Diamond Eye, you might also like:

The Rose Code
by Kate Quinn
William Morrow, 2021. 626 pages. Historical Fiction.

1940: As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Osla puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Mab works the legendary codebreaking machines and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Beth's shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and she becomes one of the Park's few female cryptanalysts. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, the three women are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter-- the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum.

The Four Winds
by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin's Press, 2021. 464 pages. Historical Fiction.

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli-like so many of her neighbors-must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

The Summer Before the War
by Helen Simonson
Randomhouse, 2016. 479 pages. Historical Fiction.

The story of headstrong, independent Beatrice Nash and kind but stuffy surgeon-in-training Hugh Grange along with his formidable Aunt Agatha. Set during the summer before the outbreak of World War I.


Monday, May 16, 2022

Love, Decoded

 Love, Decoded

by Jennifer Yen

Razorbill, 2022. 303 pages. Young Adult Fiction

High school junior Gigi Wong is determined to be picked for a contest that could lead to an exclusive tech internship, but when her matchmaking app goes viral Gigi must deal with the unexpected consequences of helping her friends find love.

This is a follow-up to Yen’s A Taste for Love in which she loosely based the plot on Pride and Prejudice. In this installment, Yen uses Emma as her jumping off point for the matchmaking storyline. It was fun seeing characters from the other book, and Gigi is a fun and charismatic protagonist to get to know. The banter-filled romantic comedy was a delight to read.

If you liked Love, Decoded, you might like:

Tweet Cute

by Emma Lord

Wednesday Books, 2020. 361 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Meet Pepper, swim team captain and chronic overachiever. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming - mainly thanks to Pepper, who is secretly running Big League Burger's massive Twitter account. Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper's side. When he isn't trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin's shadow, he's busy working in his family's deli. He might not like the business that holds his future, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma's iconic grilled cheese recipe, he'll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. All's fair in love and cheese - that is, until Pepper and Jack's spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they're publicly duking it, they're also falling for each other in real life - on an anonymous chat app Jack built. As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate, even these two rivals can't ignore they were destined for the most unexpected and awkward romance that neither of them expected.

Super Fake Love Song

by David Yoon

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2020. 349 pages. Young Adult Fiction

When Sunny Dae--self-proclaimed total nerd--meets Cirrus Soh, he can't believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny's older brother Gray's bedroom--with its electric guitars and rock posters--for Sunny's own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he's the front man of a rock band. Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray's rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he's cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp. Now there's only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.

Pride and Premeditation

by Tirzah Price

HarperTeen, 2020. 360 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seeks to solve a murder before her rival Mr. Darcy beats her to it.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi
Alfred A. Knopf, 2020. 261 pages. Fiction

By the time Gifty leaves Alabama for Harvard, she's resolved to build a new self from scratch by shedding the debilitating experiences of her young life: her father's abandonment and return to Ghana, her older brother's heroin overdose, her mother's suicidal depression, her faltering Christian faith. Years later, as a fifth year PhD candidate in neuroscience at Stanford's school of medicine, she's untethered again when her mother arrives at her apartment withdrawn and depressed. As she cares for her mother and studies the neural circuits of reward seeking behavior in mice, she tries to understand the forces which crippled her childhood and reconcile with the ghosts from her tragic past.

I loved this book's careful reflections on the intersections between faith, science, religion, and family. This book feels reminiscent of a bildungsroman and explores strong themes and heavy topics in-depth throughout the novel. If you like character-driven, literary novels centered around gritty thematic exploration, then this book is for you.

If you like Transcendent Kingdom you might also like:

by Nell Freudenberger
Alfred A. Knopf, 2019. 315 pages. Fiction

After receiving an unsettling phone call from her deceased college roommate, a rationally-minded MIT professor reflects on their once-close friendship, her friend's tragic death, and her own rediscovered feelings for a fellow scientist.

by Brandon Taylor
Riverhead Books, 2020. 327 pages. Fiction

While keeping his head down at a lakeside Midwestern university where the culture is in sharp contrast to his Alabama upbringing, an introverted African-American biochem student endures unexpected encounters that bring his sexual orientation and defenses into question.


The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds

by Robert E. Gough

Storey Pub, 2011. 311 p. Nonfiction

A full-color resource explains how to gather, clean, and store seeds for three hundred different kinds of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, trees, and shrubs, as well as how to propagate and care for new seedlings.

This is a great book for gardeners, earth-lovers, and scientists (or just those who are genuinely curious). It contains beautiful pictures and very fascinating and helpful information. 

If you like The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds you might also like... 

Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste

by Billy F. Best

Ohio University Press, 2013. 200 p. Nonfiction

Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce readers to the cultural traditions associated with seed saving, as well as the remarkable people who have used grafting practices and hand-by-hand trading to keep alive varieties that would otherwise have been lost. As local efforts to preserve heirloom seeds have become part of a growing national food movement, Appalachian seed savers play a crucial role in providing alternatives to large-scale agriculture and corporate food culture. Part flavor guide, part people's history, Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce you to a world you've never known--or perhaps remind you of one you remember well from your childhood.

by Dan Jason

Harbour Publishing, 2020. 88 p. Nonfiction 

Saving Seeds is a clear and winsome introduction to the essentials of seed saving, from seed selection criteria to harvest and storage tips. It also addresses the role of seed-saving communities: local swaps, seed companies, friends and neighbours and even how the Internet can support this time-honoured practice. In an era of community gardens, farmers markets and renewed interest in heirloom species, Saving Seeds is a timely call to ensure a more secure future for our seeds and ourselves.

The Seed Garden

by Micaela Colley

Seed Savers Exchange, 2015. 390 p. Nonfiction.

 Seed Savers Exchange and the Organic Seed Alliance bring together decades of knowledge to demystify the time honored tradition of saving seeds using lush photographs, clear instructions, and easy-to-comprehend profiles on specific crop types. Whether interested in simply saving seeds for home use or working to improve varieties of beloved squashes and tomatoes, The Seed Garden provides a deeper understanding of the art, the science, and the joy of saving seeds.

Seed to Seed

by Suzanne Ashworth

Seed Savers Exchange, 2002. 228 p. Nonfiction.

Seed to Seed is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables. This book contains detailed information about each vegetable, including its botanical classification, flower structure and means of pollination, required population size, isolation distance, techniques for caging or hand-pollination, and also the proper methods for harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing the seeds.


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Sea of Tranquility

Sea of Tranquility
by Emily St. John Mandel
Alfred A. Knopf, 2022. 255 pages. Science Fiction

Although they live centuries apart, three people record having the same transformative experience. Edwin St. Andrew records his experience in his journal while on a small island off Vancouver in 1912. Vincent Smith records her experience with a camcorder in the same woods almost a hundred years later. Author Olive Llewelyn, based on a moon colony but currently doing a book tour on Earth, records her experience in her wildly successful pandemic-themed novel in 2203. In 2401, the researchers at The Time Institute discover this uncanny link, and send a time travel investigator to figure out what happened.

A first glance, Sea of Tranquility covers a lot of the same themes and even plotlines covered in the author's most recent novels, Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel. For those who are intrigued by this novel but haven't read anything else by this author, know that this book stands pretty well on its own. I loved the surprising twists and turns the time travel element brought to the story. I also loved the humanity embedded in each theme and character. While this book covers the effects of pandemics and loss, it also covers the value of relationships and connection, leaving an overall message of hope and resilience. If you like quiet, meditative books that also throw in interesting twists and turns, this book is for you.

If you like Sea of Tranquility you might also like: 

by Sequoia Nagamatsu
William Morrow, 2022. 292 pages. Science Fiction

Told from the perspective of a different person in each chapter, this story tracks the rise and fall of a deadly virus from its discovery in the Arctic permafrost, to its spread across the globe, and to the eventual discovery of a cure. Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

Utopia Avenue
by David Mitchell
Random House, 2020. 571 pages. Historical Fiction

David Mitchell is known for writing complex, multilayered tales with storylines that tie together in fascinating ways. This book covers the lives of the band members of Utopia Avenue, a folk-rock-psychedelic quartet trying to navigate life, meaning, and music in 1960s London.

This is How You Lose the Time War
by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Saga Press, 2019. 198 pages. Science Fiction

For those who would prefer not to read about pandemics, but would love to read about time travel, this book covers the agents of two warring time travel factions who begin an unlikely correspondence which grows into a strong attachment. The discovery of their bond would mean death for them both.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

By Sue Lynn Tan 
Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2022. 503 pages. Fantasy 

A debut fantasy inspired by the legend of the Chinese moon goddess, Chang’e, in which a young woman’s quest to free her mother pits her against the most powerful immortal in the realm and sets her on a dangerous path--where choices come with deadly consequences, and she risks losing more than her heart. 

Be prepared to get swept away into the magical and mythical world that Tan seems to effortlessly imbue this novel with. It flows well, the prose lovely, and our protagonist Xingyin is easy to root for. Of note is that the romance in the novel is portrayed in a clean manner. A satisfying experience from start to finish and a wonderful introduction into some fascinating Chinese mythology. 

If you like Daughter of the Moon Goddess, you might also like: 

By Shelley Parker-Chan 
Tor, 2021. 414 pages. Fantasy 
When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongban, given the fate of greatness, dies during a brutal attack, his sister, escaping her own fated death, uses her brother’s identity to claim another future altogether--her brother’s abandoned greatness. 

By Lucy Holland 
Redhook Books/Orbit, 2021. 406 pages. Fantasy 
Riva, Keyne and Sinne—three siblings entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, who must fight to forge their own paths. Riva can cure others, but can’t seem to heal her own deep scars. Keyne battles to be accepted for who he truly is—the king’s son. And Sinne dreams of seeing the world, of finding adventure. All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky. It brings with it Myrdhin, meddler and magician. And Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.


Arsenic and Adobo

By Mia P. Manansala 
Berkley Prime Crime, 2021. 316 pgs. Mystery

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation.

This is such a fun book, especially since I've lived in the Philippines and had most of the yummy food they talk about. There are some Tagalog words throughout the novel, but most of them are explained in the text or there is a handy translation page in the front of the book. This is a fun cozy mystery with lots of humor and yummy food! Excuse me while I go find the nearest Filipino restaurant!

If you like Arsenic and Adobo, you might also like: 
By Abby Collette
Berkley Prime Crime, 2020. 375 pgs. Mystery
Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family's ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she's going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors--many from her grandmother's original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away. To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win's father is implicated in his death. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she'll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown...
By Jennifer J. Chow
Berkley Prime Crime, 2020. 324 pgs. Mystery
Owner of a pet grooming business, Mimi Lee, after the local breeder she exposed for mistreating Chihuahuas is murdered, must clear her name with the help of her talking cat, Marshmallow, who is the only one who can get her out of this mess.


Atlas of the Heart

By Brene Brown
Random House, 2021. 296pgs. Nonfiction

In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 85 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances - a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown's extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Brown's extensive research, as well as her singular skills as a researcher/storyteller, helps to lay out an invaluable framework that shows us that naming an experience doesn't give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

This is a beautiful book! I feel like it's almost more of a coffee-table book with it's larger size and full-page color pictures and quotes. I like how the emotions are grouped together. I have never made the connection how some emotions can feel so different but actually be coming from the same root. This book helped me understand myself better and have more empathy for others. 

If you like Atlas of the Heart, you might also like: 
By Susan Cain
Crown, 2022. 310 pgs. Nonfiction

The author of the best-selling Quiet discusses how a bittersweet state of mind can actually be a kind of silent energy that aids us in overcoming our personal and societal suffering.
By Lauren Martin
Grand Central Publishing, 2022. 256 pgs. Nonfiction
Five years ago, Lauren Martin was sure something was wrong with her. She had a good job in New York, an apartment in Brooklyn, a boyfriend, yet every day she wrestled with feelings of inferiority, anxiety and irritability. It wasn't until a chance encounter with a (charming, successful) stranger who revealed that she also felt these things, that Lauren set out to better understand the hold that these moods had on her, how she could change them, and began to blog about the wisdom she uncovered. It quickly exploded into an international online community of women who felt like she did: lost, depressed, moody, and desirous of change. Inspired by her audience to press even deeper, The Book of Moods shares Lauren's journey to infuse her life with a sense of peace and stability.
By Vivek H. Murthy
Harper Wave, 2020. 326 pgs. Nonfiction
The former Surgeon General examines the overlooked epidemic of loneliness as the underpinning to the current crisis in mental wellness and offers solutions to create connection and stresses the importance of community to counteract the forces driving us to depression and isolation.  


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Arden Grey

Arden Grey 

By Ray Stoeve 

Amulet Books, 2022. 278 pages. Young Adult Fiction 

Sixteen-year-old Arden Grey is struggling. Her mother has left their family, her father and her younger brother won't talk about it, and a classmate, Tanner, keeps harassing her about her sexuality--which isn't even public. (She knows she likes girls romantically, but she thinks she might be asexual.) At least she's got her love of film photography and her best and only friend, Jamie, to help her cope. Then Jamie, who is trans, starts dating Caroline, and suddenly he isn't so reliable. Arden's insecurity about their friendship grows. She starts to wonder if she's jealous or if Jamie's relationship with Caroline is somehow unhealthy--and it makes her reconsider how much of her relationship with her absent mom wasn't okay, too. Filled with big emotions, first loves, and characters navigating toxic relationships, Ray Stoeve's honest and nuanced novel is about finding your place in the world and seeking out the love and community that you deserve. 

I like the way this book handles relevant teen issues such as navigating new friend groups, what to do when your best friend dates their first girlfriend, or dealing with an emotionally and physically absent parent. It is a pretty emotion-filled book, which makes sense as it is about a teenager in high school. I think where this book really excels is in the relationships between characters and I like seeing how these shift and change throughout the book. Overall this feels authentic and relatable. 

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

By Ben Philippe

Balzer + Bray, 2019. 372 pages. Young Adult Fiction

A hilarious YA contemporary realistic novel about a witty Black French Canadian teen who moves to Austin, Texas, and experiences the joys, clichés, and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience--including falling in love.


By Alice Oseman

HarperCollins Children's Books, 2020. 432 pages. Fiction

Georgia has parents who are still in love, two sets of grandparents that are still together, and a brother who married his girlfriend, but at eighteen she has never even kissed someone (not even her lesbian best friend, Felipa) or particularly even wanted to. At the prom afterparty she is surrounded by couples making out, and she really does not know what is wrong--but in college she comes to understand herself as asexual/aromantic, and to capture the part of her identity that has always eluded her.

Ramona Blue 

By Julie Murphy

Balzer + Bray, 2017. 408 pages. Young Adult Fiction

Struggling with the loss of her home and her dysfunctional family after Hurricane Katrina, gay teen Ramona finds solace in a new swimming hobby while developing confusing feelings for a boy who challenges her perceptions.


Monday, May 2, 2022

Girl On Fire

Girl on Fire 
By Alicia Keys 
HarperAlley, 2022. 224 pages. Young Adult Graphic Novel 

Lolo Wright always thought she was just a regular fourteen-year-old dealing with regular family drama, but when a cop pulls a gun on her brother James in a case of mistaken identities, Lolo discovers powers she never knew she had. Using only her mind, she literally throws the cop out of the way. Problem is that secrets like Lolo’s don’t stay a secret for long. Skin, a dangerous drug dealer with designs on taking over the neighborhood, hears of Lolo’s telekinetic abilities and decides that he needs her in his crew. Lolo’s not willing to let Skin use her to hurt the people—and neighborhood—that she loves. But it’s going to take a whole different kind of bravery to stand-up for what’s right, but this time, it’s on her … and she’s not backing down. 

Lolo is a strong, fierce teenager who is ready to fight for her family and her community. I appreciated that the characters have flaws and make mistakes, but are still able to be heroes for others. Lolo and James’ father is a great example of hard work and perseverance in trying circumstances. This story felt authentic and fun, while also dealing with tough issues like racism, gangs, and poverty. This is a great read for anyone who loves superheroes, strong female characters, Alicia Keys, or graphic novels. 

If you like Girl on Fire, you might also like: 
By Varian Johnson 
DC Comics, 2022. 208 pages. Young Adult Graphic Novel 
Scott Free, a student at the Goodness Academy on the planet Apokolips, wants to escape to Earth but falls in love with the head of the Female Furies--the one person tasked with ensuring he never escapes.

By Rodney Barnes 
Oni-Lion Forge Publishing, 2021. 144 pages. Young Adult Graphic Novel 
Quinton West went from being a small guy getting beaten up to a small guy with the superpower of invulnerability. To supplement his only superpower, he realizes he can use his hobby of creating Rube Goldberg devices to outsmart opponents.

By Kami Garcia 
DC Comics, 2021. 190 pages. Young Adult Graphic Novel 

While Raven Roth is finding a way to get rid of her demon father Trigon, Garfield Logan is understanding his newly found shapeshifting ability, and when their paths cross in Nashville they both feel a strong connection to one another.


Harry Potter: Feasts and Festivities

Harry Potter: Feasts and Festivities 
By Jennifer Carroll 
Insight Editions, 2021. 191 pages. Nonfiction 

Every event is magical when it’s inspired by Harry Potter. With loads of photos, this book features five unique Harry Potter-themed events, from a movie marathon to a wedding to a Halloween party. Under each party, there are decoration ideas, invitations, food, activities, and more. There are 40 different printables available through the publisher’s website for all the different parties, and many come in multiple languages. This book offers step-by-step instructions to create, craft, and cater a beautiful Harry Potter event. 

As someone who has planned a Harry Potter event before, I appreciated the variety of ideas, foods, and activities presented in this book. Almost every idea or recipe comes with a photo, so you know what you are creating. The printables are easy to use and available to everyone. My favorite ideas are the Sorting Ceremony Ice Cream Sundaes (there are different color sprinkles hidden in the ice cream cones) and the phoenix invitation. I would recommend this to anyone who is hosting a Harry Potter party, looking for decoration ideas or printables, or just loves to throw elaborate events. 

If you like Harry Potter: Feasts and Festivities, you might also like: 
By Amy Croushorn 
Insight Editions, 2019. 189 pages. Nonfiction 
Celebrate your love of Disney with this gorgeous guide to creating magical and memorable events. Does your best friend love The Little Mermaid? Is your Lion King-obsessed sister hosting a baby shower? Would your family movie night benefit from a little Aladdin magic? This is the party planning guide for you, with exceptional events ranging from Halloween pumpkin carving, elegant dinner parties, fun birthday bashes, and sophisticated New Year eve soirees. 

By Tanis Gray 
Insight Editions, 2020. 207 pages. Nonfiction 
Channel the magic of the Harry Potter films from the screen to your needles with the ultimate knitter's guide to the Wizarding World. Featuring over 25 magical knits pictured in gorgeous full-color photography, this book includes patterns for clothing, home projects, and keepsakes pulled straight from the movies -- and even includes a few iconic costume pieces as seen on-screen. With yarn suggestions based on the true colors used in the films, projects range from simple patterns like the Hogwarts house scarves to more complex projects like Mrs. Weasley's Christmas sweaters.

By Julie Tremaine 
Insight Editions, 2019. 127 pages. Nonfiction 
Filled with delicious recipes inspired by the hit television series, this cookbook allows fans to experience the world of Supernatural like never before. Whether you’re a seasoned chef, beginner cook, or diner food enthusiast like the Winchester Brothers, Supernatural: The Official Cookbook brings a variety both savory and sweet recipes from the show to life. When they aren’t keeping humanity safe from all kinds of otherworldly threats, Dean and Sam often take time to eat and devise their next steps for hunting monsters at a small-town diner. This complete culinary guide features some of the brothers’ favorite dishes, such as Dean’s breakfast Pigs N A Poke, cheeseburger and fries, angel food cake, Sam’s salads, and, of course, pie!


The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music

The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music
by Dave Grohl
Dey Street Books, 2021. Biography/Memoir

In this colorful autobiography, David Grohl talks about his life, from growing up in Springfield, Virginia with a growing passion for rock and drumming, his struggles in school, then touring with the band Scream starting at 18 years old, his time with Nirvana, and his subsequent projects and passions both in the music world and outside of it.  He shares stories of his time with the Foo Fighters and many other incredible musicians, some heart-wrenching, some inspiring, and many hilarious.  His experiences as a father round out the book with heart and depth that the reader might not have expected.  Grohl has a passionate love for music and his loved ones, endearingly enthusiastic nerd/fanboy tendencies, and lots of heart, and it all comes through in spades in this compellingly readable book.

If you like The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, you might also like:

The Beatles: The Biography
By Bob Spitz
Little Brown, 2005. 983 pages. Biography

Even before the Beatles hit the big time, a myth was created. This version of the Beatles legend smoothed the rough edges and filled in the fault lines, and for more than forty years this manicured version of the Beatles story has sustained as truth -- until now.



Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery
by Scott Kelly
Alfred A. Knopf, 2017, 387 pages, Autobiography

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Now, he describes navigating the extreme challenges of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal: the devastating effects on the body; the isolation from everyone he loves and the comforts of Earth; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of depressurization or colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being unable to help should tragedy strike at home.