Finished Books: A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns

A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson

Published: 2018; Oni Press

This light-hearted graphic novel helps introduce people to using gender-neutral pronouns. With our ever-evolving world, it is important to make sure you address a person using the pronouns that they want you to use. Archie and Tristan give examples of easy changes one can make when speaking with friends or in a professional setting. As a librarian, I want to make sure everyone who comes in my library feels comfortable. Service industry positions can make this difficult, but this book shows ways that we can all tweak our language just a little bit and make a big difference to those we serve.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*


Finished Books: Stuck in Manistique

Stuck in Manistique by Dennis Cuesta

Published: 2018; Celestial Eyes Press

Mark, a financial planner from Chicago, finds himself headed to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when his aunt dies. While trying to tie up the loose ends of her estate, he finds himself unwittingly hosting guests in his aunt’s B&B. Mark’s reluctance to tell his guests the truth (that he is not actually an innkeeper and the B&B is no longer open), leads to vaguely comedic interactions as he pretends to know how to run the business. Part light mystery with a hint of potential romance, this novel was a quick and easy read. A good palate cleanser from deeper literary fare.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

Finished Books: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Dating by Christina Lauren

Published: 2018; Gallery Books

Hazel Bradford’s quirky and off-beat antics, while occasionally tiresome for the reader, have her convinced that she is “undateable.” Josh Im is a down-to-earth guy who finds out his girlfriend has been cheating on him for 2 years. When Hazel runs into Josh for the first time since a couple of awkward encounters in college, she believes they are destined to be best friends. She decides that setting Josh up on blind dates is the best way to get him out of his funk. The dates get worse as their friendship deepens. The chemistry between these two characters, even when they are just friends, is downright fun. This is a delightful romance that will have the reader smiling throughout.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

Finished Books: Us Against You

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

  • Published: June 2018
  • Publisher: Atria
  • Pages: 435
  • Series: “Beartown”

In this sequel to Beartown, Backman returns readers to the tiny Swedish hockey town. Their star player has left town. Many of their best players have followed their coach to go play for their rivals in Hed. The Beartown team has lost its sponsorship and does not have funding to continue. All seems lost until a local politician works magic by bringing in new sponsors, a new coach, a new captain, a new goalie. When a teenage girl witnesses something she shouldn’t and posts it online, it changes how the team, and the town, sees one of its own players. Beartown is still healing from the events of the spring, but it can’t seem to move forward while people still live in the past. Backman weaves vignettes of characters together, highlighting life’s complications and nuances. He evokes strong emotions in his readers by using simple words to illustrate complex matters. Despite all the tensions and biases, this novel has a hopeful tone. An excellent addition to this author’s repertoire.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

Finished Books: Young Jane Young



Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 320

Aviva Grossman made some mistakes as a young intern that became very public and made her infamous.  What can she do with her life now?  Zevin explores her life choices through the eyes of several women who are integral to the story at various times in her life.  Each woman has a distinct voice and gets their own section of the novel.

This novel is certainly deeper than “chick lit,” but it doesn’t require the reader to invest so far emotionally as some other books.  It’s a fairly light read that I happily flew through.  Fans of some Jennifer Weiner titles might enjoy this for the flawed and complicated women characters who deal with more than just finding the love of their lives.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*


Finished Books: Quick Recap


Recap 081317

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 400
  • Series: The Waking Land #1

In The Waking Land, Bates creates a richly-detailed and action-packed story that focuses on Elanna, a young girl who grows into herself as she learns more about the magical world she lives in.  Politics abound as she tries to figure out what/who is right and she discovers an ingrained magical ability that she has suppressed her entire life.  Elanna’s earth-related magic may lead readers to try out Uprooted by Naomi Novik, if they haven’t already.

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*

The Battle for Amphibopolis by Doug TenNapel

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 224
  • Series: Nnewts #3

In a battle of good and evil, Herk must fight to save Sissy and Zerk from corruption and save Amphibopolis from annihilation.  Bright colors, cartoony characters, and a great storyline make for a nice conclusion to this series.

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 387
  • Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3

This romance features a strong female character who knows what she wants in life, which is not just to be a wife to some Duke.  There is wit and banter, as in many of MacLean’s books, but not as much as there sometimes is.  Unlike many formulaic romances, this book jumps back and forth in time, giving flashbacks of the couple’s past while driving the story forward in the present.  Still a great read for fans of this author, or authors like Tessa Dare and Courtney Milan.

Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives

  • Published: 2017
  • Pages: 304

When I first started this book, I found the writing refreshing, with a mix of beautiful and unfamiliar words, as well as contemporary speech patterns. Unfortunately, this book was not for me.  Since it was an ARC, I really wanted to finish it to be able to give an accurate review.  However, I also have a “rule” such that I don’t finish books that I am not enjoying (unless it is for book club). There are too many books out there that I want to read.  There is no reason to spend time reading something that does not bring me joy.  The mystery was introduced in the beginning, but it took too long to get to the point where the character was investigating for my taste. A podcaster whose opinion I trust really loved this book, though, so I am willing to give Lucy Ives another chance for her next book.  

*I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not required.*


New Books Overload 8/13/17

New to Bestseller Lists

In case you missed any of these books coming out, these have come to the bestseller lists in the last week.  [Sorry, folks.  No book cover pictures this week.]


  • Kellerman, Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman – Crime Scene
  • Kenyon, Sherrilyn – Dragonsworn
  • Perrotta, Tom – Mrs. Fletcher
  • Ward, J. R. – Devil’s Cut


  • Bianco, Chris – Pizza, Pasta, and Other Food I Like
  • D’Souza, Dinesh – The Big Lie
  • Flake, Jeff – Conscience of a Conservative
  • Henderson, Bruce – Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler

Upcoming Books this Week


  • Brown, Sandra – Seeing Red
  • Gerritsen, Tess – I Know a Secret (Rizzoli & Isles series)
  • Henry, Veronica – How to Find Love in a Bookshop
  • Lapena, Shari – A Stranger in the House
  • Robinson, Peter – Sleeping in the Ground (Inspector Banks series)
  • Scottoline, Lisa – Exposed (Rosato & DiNunzio series)
  • Tanenbaum, Robert K. – Without Fear or Favor


  • Campbell, Bruce, Craig Sanborn, & John Hodgman – Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
  • Goldstein, Bill – The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature
  • Handy, Bruce – Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult
  • Levine, Art – Mental Health, Inc.: How Corruption, Lax Oversight and Failed Reforms Endanger Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

In the News

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