This week’s staff pick of the week is The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. A mildly futuristic fantasy that our staff member wasn’t sure they’d like, but they were “ensnared” after the first few pages. An excellent novel about a strong young woman trying to figure out who she is and how to fix a kingdom. There are thieves, assassins, kidnappings… and no romance. The first of a trilogy, this was a great read, and it’s already been optioned into a movie.
“Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…
And so begins her journey back to her kingdom’s heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother’s legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea’s story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance – it’s about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive.”–Taken from Goodreads.com
This week’s staff pick is “Furniture Makeovers” by Barb Blair. It’s the perfect time of year to re-varnish, finish, paint, or otherwise alter your furniture since you can probably do it outdoors where it won’t smell up your house.
“Furniture Makeovers shows how to transform tired furniture into stunning showpieces. You’ll never look at a hand-me-down dresser the same way again! The book offers 26 easy-to-follow techniques that can be applied to all different types of pieces, from bookshelves to desks: painting, applying gold leaf, wallpapering, distressing, dip dyeing, and more. In addition to the core techniques, author and Knack Studios founder Barb Blair shares 30 beautiful before-and-after makeovers from her studio and outlines how to achieve each look. With helpful step-by-step photographs, a visual glossary explaining all the tools and materials needed, and a lovely contemporary aesthetic, Furniture Makeovers is a treasure trove of ideas and instruction for the home decorator.”–Taken from Goodreads.com
We Never Talk About My Brother by Peter S. Beagle (best known for The Last Unicorn which was also made an animated film) is a collection of short stories about a myriad of topics. Beagle is a master of short stories, and if you haven’t read him, you should (according to the staff member who recommends his work). If you don’t want a short story, try Tamsin or The Last Unicorn, also by Beagle.
“Modern parables of love, death, and transformation are peppered with melancholy in this extraordinary collection of contemporary fantasy. Each short story cultivates a whimsical sense of imagination and reveals a mature, darker voice than previously experienced from this legendary author.
In one tale the Angel of Death enjoys newfound celebrity while moonlighting as an anchorman on the network news, while in another the shortsighted ruler of a gentle realm betrays himself in dreaming of a “manageable war.” Further storylines include an American librarian who discovers that, much to his surprise and sadness, he is the last living Frenchman, and rivals in a supernatural battle who decide to forgo pistols at dawn, choosing instead to duel with dramatic recitations of terrible poetry.
Featuring several previously unpublished stories alongside a bevy of recently released works, this haunting compilation is appealing to both genre readers and mainstream literature lovers.
Includes “By Moonlight,” Locus Award-winner for Best Novelette.”–Taken from Goodreads.com .
You’ve never seen a story about growing up quite like this. Man Made Boy is about Boy, the son of Frankenstein’s Monster and the Bride. It has monsters, the epitamy of misunderstood, questions about good and evil, mistakes, crazy families, love, and growing up. Our staff member said it’s well worth staying up late to finish, and we believe her.
“Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile.
Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.
This hilarious, romantic, and wildly imaginative tale redefines what it means to be a monster—and a man.”–Taken from Goodreads.com