Kathy's Picks
9781250244147_167cd

I love EVERYTHING about this book! This is the story of rewilding Scotland's dying forests through the re-introduction of wolves. The dynamics unleashed between farmers, ranchers, locals, scientists, and the long-held prejudices against an apex predator hunted to extirpation centuries ago create the PERFECT backdrop for a murder mystery! Did one of Inti's wolves kill a farmer? Or is someone using the wolves as a convenient scapegoat for their crime?

9781684426942

When pregnant unwed women, and others deemed "less desirable" begin mysteriously disappearing from Island 3, Stephen Robbins is called to investigate. This is a gritty, disturbing mystery, steeped in the history of Ellis Island, the anti-immigration sentiments of the 1920s, and burgeoning eugenic philosophies in America following WWI.

9781250824790

This book requires a mite of patience....but it's time well-spent. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, once you find the connector pieces, EVERYTHING falls into place. This book is a not like "spoon-feed mysteries" and you have to persist and roll with it until the loose threads tie together. It’s very intricate storytelling with a complex plot. It’s darned good story-telling and well worth reading.

9780063112926_4a585

Translated from German, this was a most excellent tale of Olga. It read like a memoir. I enjoyed the varied narrators, each with a different view of her simple, yet profound life. This felt like sitting down with my grandmother's journals and rediscovering she lived a thousand lives aside from the one I knew like the back of my own hand.

9780399182136_5fc7f

This was a little bit ‘Stephen King’s _Dark Tower_ series and _The Green Mile_ meets _The Matrix_.’ While it wasn’t my particular cup of tea, I can definitely see the appeal. It was a fast-paced, creep-tinged, family-centered, time-travelling, someWHEN type of book that read like a nail-biter movie.

9781250799036

The Calamity. We don't know what happened, beyond it was man-made. All, but a very small contingent of humans, have been wiped from the earth. The Council of Animals meets to decide the fate of the last remaining humans. Save them for the goodness some displayed before the Calamity? Or end their species to prevent further damage? I love the concept! With notes of Animal Farm, and an unexpected conclusion, this book sparkled with interest from first to last page.

9781982160135

What began as an invaluable and unique window into the challenges (both self-imposed and from without) of being the only woman of color in a white-dominated publishing house, ends with a twist so unfathomable as to be laughable. I'm still on the fence.

9781501160349

The author, in an attempt to make sense of the chaos of her life, focuses research on David Starr Jordan, an individual she's long admired for his optimism(?), delusion(?), and/or grit(?). What begins as a quest to find and emulate Jordan's seeming indefatigable persistence and professional pursuit, turns into the unearthing of hard truths and disturbing history. The final nail? Fish don't even exist! What the hell?!

9780525555216

John Green's book is CATHARSIS for anyone who lived through 2020. Readers may experience a reckoning with their own insignificance. But, as quickly as Despair comes, HOPE swoops in on silver wings & you'll stand in awe of every living creature's beauty & endless potential. I found myself laughing & crying, but it was the good cry, the cry that reminds you that NOTHING is insignificant, & the era of man, as awful & destructive as it's been, truly deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I was PROFOUNDLY move

9781643855745

Heather returns home to settle affairs after her mother's shocking suicide. When going through her mother's belongings, she discovers a tin filled with her decades-long correspondence with an infamous jailed serial killer Michael Reave. When a copycat killer emerges, Heather visits Reave in prison to see if he can shed any light on who may be copying his "body of work." This was one part _Silence of the Lambs_ and ten parts creepy. Wow.

9781982121495

This is a gorgeous coming of age story of a closeted Syrian American nonbinary person in New York City who is haunted by his mother's ghost and the mystery of a famous painter who painted the birds of the city. Initially, I thought this book might fascinate a rather narrow niche of readers, but it's truly a beautiful, sumptuous, hopeful story with an appeal far beyond its binding and pages. It's so so sooooo well done! LGBTQI PRIDE!

9781250304452

I congratulated myself early on, for figuring it ALLLLL out!!! I was….wrong. You will be too! I’ll bet my last dollar. Wow.

9781982156466

What a dark and tragic look at the pernicious evil of human trafficking! I was disturbed on multiple levels. It’s happening…often times in plain sight…sometimes right under our nose. This was a tense read. I felt every bit “held captive” as ‘Jane’.

9781643750101

After the death of his wife, an Iraq war veteran shuns society, taking his 7-yr-old daughter deep into the Cascade Mountains, to live in a cave. "Cave Dave had no wife, Cave Dave had no life, Cave Dave had a daughter, Cave Dave never taught her..." I loved the honesty of this book; the way nature can both inspire and humble. Beyond the main characters of Dave and Bella, I was particularly drawn to the "otherness." What a thought-provoking book!

9780807117675_3a5ff

History is recorded by the victors. When newspapers, law-enforcement, and the majority of the citizens of Tulsa are willing to look the other way...then the truth of the events of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 were bound to become muddled. What we know for certain is vigilantism was responsible for the destruction of a predominantly African American city. The destruction was total, complete, and devastating. The vows to help citizens recover and rebuild were empty. Shocker. :(

9780062312662

The story is set in North Carolina, in 1984, amidst racial tensions and the re-election campaign of the local sheriff Winston Barnes. When a plane crashes in the middle of the night, at the end of the runway, with no one inside, and a dead body nearby, an investigation ensues. Wiley's characters are well-developed, as is the story. This book had an almost painfully slow build that ended with a heart-pounding conclusion. Fans of Cash will approve.

9780316592413

The world's wealthiest citizens, a Noah's Ark of animals, and a slew of "indentured servants" hurl through space on a 150-yr voyage to the next friendly planet. When the ship develops a fatal wound, how do its citizens choose to spend their last moments? Would the chaos that ensues threaten to hasten their end? Is any of this real? This is a fascinating window into what REALLY matters, with a magnifying glass held up to the utter fragility of life, and what each of us takes for granted.

9781501191466

STEEPED IN HISTORY, I devoured this second book of The Lost Queen Trilogy. Pike's writing style and historical research are exceptional! This bridge picks up where book one left off, with Languoreth's husband and eldest son riding out at the head of the king's armies to battle her brother Lailoken, her lover, and Uther Pendragon. Each page draws readers closer and closer to Arthurian legend...and Merlin himself. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS SERIES!

9781250790330

A disturbing and tense thriller that highlights the dangers and pitfalls of too-easily trusting strangers! A photographer becomes obsessed with a client family after shooting their daughter's birthday party. She ingratiates herself to the family and soon makes herself indispensable....but, at what cost?! Creep level: DANGER!

9781250159113

It's easy to see how Mary Wollstonecraft is credited with being the first feminist. She openly, passionately, and defiantly advocated for the equality of women. This novel serves as a love letter to Mary's newborn daughter (Mary Shelley, of Frankenstein fame). As her grasp on life wains, Wollstonecraft seeks to breathe her independence, resolve, and unabashed quest for equality into the small body of her daughter, her little bird. This is an EXCELLENT piece of historical fiction!!

9781982127282

Through rock-climbing and cooking, author Laura Lee speaks of her experiences being a queer, Asian American, traumatized daughter of immigrants. Her father was physically abusive, her mother suffered with early onset Alzheimer's, and her middle sister was psychologically unstable as well as violent. Such a shattering memoir of the scars we carry; emotional, physical, and psychological.

9781250765352

I devoured Harrow's other novels. Her writing style is vivid and meaty, interesting and beautiful. I struggled with A Spindle Splintered. I'm not sure, but I think its brevity may be to blame. I felt there were too many avenues unexplored and perhaps too little paint on this expansive canvas. What little there was, I enjoyed. I merely left....wanting. HOWEVER, if you're looking for a brief, wild ride, you've found it. Unflinchingly, I'll feast on whatever she publishes next.

9780771018916

No one ever forgets the friends they had when they were young; those poets and kings who 'knew you when'. The days were filled with laughter and the nights were spent in pursuit of the perfect band. Join James and Tully for an unforgettable weekend music festival....and then again, as they meet years later, to make their heartbreaking, triumphant, and final goodbye. This is a beautiful memoir-styled reflection on life, death, and life-long friendship.

9781250621191

What a WILDLY entertaining read! Follow the thief Kinch Na Shannack as his fate becomes entwined with Galva, a knight and handmaiden to the Goddess of Death, and a cat that may be something more. Tattoos hold binding curses AND magic...and the gods know Kinch and his merry band will need all of it when encountering a myriad of nightmarish foes on their quest. This is a lightening fast - paced book with top notch dialogue that's utterly hilarious, inappropriate, irreverent, and smart as a whip!

9780062915894

Ophie's Ghosts is an absolutely STELLAR piece of historical fiction, with a TOP NOTCH murder mystery at the heart of the story. This book checked every box on my long list of 'what makes the perfect story'. Readers will step into the world of a 9 year old domestic servant, in the era of Jim Crow. Truly one of the best pieces of historical fiction I've ever encountered in juvenile fiction. Standing ovation!!!