Tag Archives: highly recommended

Check Please Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

The back of Bloom had several other graphic novels published by First Second with quick blurbs about each one. I picked this one as our next read, mainly because it was about hockey (which I play) and baking pies. Sounds like an interesting combination.

Published: 2018

Genre: YA fiction graphic novel

Length: 288 pages

Setting: Samwell College (near Boston), 2013-2015

Summary: Short version: Bittie’s first two years on Samwell’s hockey team Continue reading

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Spectrum of Acceptance by Nyla Bright

This was an EscapePod episode that I loved so much, I decided to write it up.

Published: July, 2019 on EscapePod (you can either listen to or read the story at that link)

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Acceptance, a human colony on an exoplanet, future

Summary: Short version: A neurotypical immigrant from Earth doesn’t adjust well to life on Acceptance Continue reading

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Aru Shah and the Song of Death by Roshani Chockshi

This is the second Pandava book. Miss Adventure saw it sitting on the library shelf and snapped it up.

Published: 2019

Genre: middle grade urban fantasy

Length: 365 pages of story, 381 pages with glossary

Setting: various locations in the Overworld, soon after the events of Aru Shah and the End of Time

Summary: Short version: The pandavas must recover Kamadeva’s stolen bow and arrow Continue reading

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

This book was recommended to me by one of my students when I asked for a book recommendation at the beginning of the semester. Plus, it was Rainbow Rowell and therefore needed to be read.

Published: 2014

Genre: fiction with a touch of fantasy

Length: 310 pages

Setting: California, present day

Summary: Short version: Georgie saves her marriage with a phone that calls her past Continue reading

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Meet the Austins by Madeleine L’Engle

Mr. Curiosity was looking for some books with strong character development without a romantic storyline. I thought this book might fit the bill and decided to reread it myself.

Published: 1960

Genre: middle grade fiction

Length: 223 pages

Setting: Connecticut, late 1950s

Summary: Short version: Maggie comes to live with the Austins Continue reading

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Best and Worst of 2018

I finally finished writing up 2018’s books, so it’s time to look back on the best and worst of the year. I’m going to list all the reviews I tagged as “highly recommended” and put them in a bit of logical order. Apparently I didn’t love any fiction books this year, but I only didn’t finish one book this year so it evens out. Links go back to my original review.

Short fiction:

The Tea Dragon Society is a short graphic novel. The images and the story are both sweet and gentle and I want a tea dragon for myself.

The Smoke Job was a fun short story about a dragon thief and a vampire trying to trap the dragon.

All the Colors You Thought Were Kings is another short story, but this time about space opera and an assassination attempt. It’s available free online, so if you’re into space opera, you should check it out.

Tattoo is a novella whose premise is your life is tattooed on your body. When someone shows up without tattoos, she forms the start of a new religion. A quick read that sticks with you and makes you think what would show up in your tattoos.

Here’s the Deal is another novella. This one is a humorous retelling of Exodus (the book of the Bible), emphasis on the humor. Having grown up in a strongly Christian family and moved away from the faith, I loved the irreverent take on the Bible.

Middle grade or YA:

Thunderhead is the second book in the Arc of a Scythe series. I loved the first book (Scythe), and the second didn’t disappoint. We get some character growth and a major confrontation between the good guys and the bad guys. I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out!

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a fun middle grade romp through books and puzzles


Skin Game is currently the last book in the Dresden Files. I love the whole series – the big battles, Dresden’s moral challenges, the side characters. Such a great urban fantasy series.

The Broken Earth trilogy duly deserved the Hugo awards three years in a row. I liked the first two slightly better than the last one, but I read them all in a month, which is high marks for me. It’s all about life in a geologically unstable Earth with some people who can control geological energy.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes is my favorite Memoir of Lady Trent book so far. They journey to a Middle Eastern-equivalent country and add a bit of romance and archeology to the ongoing biology of dragons.

Didn’t finish:

The only book I didn’t finish was a book of short stories, Dancing After Hours, recommended by a friend that I just found boring and depressing. I don’t read to be depressed by humanity. There’s enough of that in real life.

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In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan

This is the fourth book in the Memoir of Lady Trent series.

Published: 2016

Genre: historical fantasy

Length: 350 pages

Setting: Akhia, a Middle Eastern equivalent country, soon after the events of Voyage of the Basilisk

Summary: Short version: Off to the desert to study dragon rearing Continue reading


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