Snow Falling on Cedars 

In celebration of our recent snowfall, I'd like to recommend the novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson. Taking place on a small island off the coast of Washington state, the story follows the 1954 trial of Kabuo Miyamoto who stands accused of murdering well-known fisherman Carl Heine. In the years after World War II, pervasive racism permeates the Japanese American's trial from the witnesses to the jury members and the press. However, a local journalist drawn to the trial due to his romantic past with the defendant's wife, has uncovered knowledge that -- if he chooses to expose it -- will seal Kabuo's fate.

The author provides a strong sense of place for the backdrop for an immersive, emotional story centered around love, morals, and justice. This book is a great pick for readers who like historical fiction, especially the 1930's to 1950's era. 

The Wicked + The Divine

Every 90 years 12 young people reincarnate as 12 gods of old. Ameratsu, Baal, Baphomet, Sakhmet, Lucifer, Persephone, and more. They are loved, they are hated, and in two years, they are dead. The Wicked + The Divine combines Kieron Gillen's phenomenal writing, Jamie McKelvie's incomparable visuals and my personal favorite colorist in the business, Matthew Wilson; together they serve up an unforgettable eyeful of a story. It's about fame, celebrity, death, identity, pop culture, and being young. It's a roller coaster ride of a story that's hard not to try to devour in one sitting.

The It Girl 

At the start of the novel, Hannah Jones finds out that the man who murdered her college roommate has died in prison. The book switches chapters from "Before" the murder (ten years ago) and "After" the murder, as we trace the steps of Hannah's first days as a freshman at Oxford, to her present-day life in Edinburgh with her husband Will, as they prepare for the birth of their first child. As the novel unfolds, everything is not as it seems, including the people Hannah counted on as her closest friends. A fairly gripping whodunit, The It Girl by Ruth Ware, is a fun read that doesn't require any heavy lifting on the reader's part.

Space Opera

This sci-fi comedy is the story of rock group, Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeros, being chosen to represent Earth in a galactic talent competition. Contestants must perform original work. Jones and the Zeros feel tremendous pressure when they learn the home planet of the last place act will be destroyed.

Some online reviewers complained that the book was too wordy and unnecessarily long. It's true author Catherynne M. Valente frequently goes off on some tangents, but those diversions are filled with the puns and one-liners that kept me going back to hear them again. And others must agree, because Space Opera was a Hugo Award finalist.

Narrator Heath Miller has an appealing British accent. Space Opera (2018) clocks in at just under 10 hours. Listen to the audiobook on Hoopla today.



Steampunk fantasy eldritch horror action. If any of those words appealed to you, pick Monstress by Marjorie Liu up right now. Read it because the art is gorgeous. Read it for the nekomancers, warrior-poet cat necromancers. Read it for the complex worldbuilding, the twisting mystery, and the complex, flawed characters struggling to survive, let alone do the right thing, in a world torn apart by war. Read it because Maika Halfwolf has a monster inside of her that could destroy the world, or maybe save it. Read it for the shark-headed lady pirate. Read it because it will leave you spellbound. Heads up, though, maybe don't read this if gore, mature themes, harm to children, or body horror are upsetting elements for you.

A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar is the true life account of mathematician John Nash's crippling descent into the abyss of schizophrenia and his recovery and how he was eventually awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. John Nash attended Princeton University, and though he was a little odd, he would go on to marry. 

Also a movie directed by Ron Howard and starring Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly.

The Holiday Swap

This book is a fun holiday read featuring twin sisters who have to swap places during the holidays. One sister runs a bakery in a small mountain town while the other sister lives in LA and has her own baking show. This book has romance and holiday cheer, which is perfect for the upcoming season!

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox is available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).

When Sharks Attack with Kindness

When Sharks Attack with Kindness by Andres J. Colmenares Such a cute book and a quick read for anyone who needs their spirits lifted and a smile.

Available on Hoopla.


A well-written atmospheric thriller, Depraved by Harold Schechter (1994) is all true! You won't want to put it down. The story follows the hard-to-believe life of Herman Mudgett aka H. H. Holmes, a cold-blooded serial killer active at the end of the 19th century. A contemporary of Jack the Ripper, Mudgett seems to have been more prolific. He confessed to 27 murders. Others have placed the number over 200. The true number may never be known.

The investigation that finally tracked him down is as exciting as the best TV detective shows. It reminded me of Harker and Van Helsing chasing down the Count at the end of Dracula. And you might recognize H. H. Holmes as one of the men profiled by Erik Larson in The Devil in the White City.

Schlechter is also the author of Deviant and Fiend, two more true crime stories. I haven't read them yet but they're on my list.

Before The Coffee Gets Cold

I picked this book up, Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi after seeing on social media and really loved the heartwarming tales in this book. This book features a time traveling seat in a café in Tokyo, Japan and contains four different stories of people who want to go back in time. All stories have the same café staff who explain the different rules for time traveling. The explanations of why the people want to go back in time are really special and emotional. I definitely recommend checking it out as well as the sequel Tales From the Cafe.


In a dystopian future, society is divided into five factions based on each individual's dominant attributes. Beatrice Prior has reached the age of sixteen, the age at which she must choose the faction where she will spend the rest of her life. But she has traits from many factions. Which should she choose? This is the first book in a young adult adventure trilogy which takes an extreme look at the rites of passage of adolescents as well as focusing a lens on class distinctions in society. Also a movie

Divergent by Veronica Roth is also available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).


I picked up this book after hearing all the kerfuffle about the new Netflix adaptation. Persuasion by Jane Austen is beautiful and I am so happy to have picked it up. This novel is more melancholy compared to Austen's other novels, but with the same thoughtfulness and relatability.

Anne Elliot is a 27-year-old who differs drastically from her father and sisters. They are superficial and egotistical while Anne is a thoughtful, caring, and quiet young woman. Years ago, Anne called off her engagement to Captain Wentworth, the love of her life, at the insistence of her family due to his lower social standing. Years later, Captain Wentworth returns and Anne deals with changed feelings and circumstances of the relationship.

Although the setting and time of this book are a lot different than today, the book is a great read. Jane Austen has created a classic that involves themes and situations relatable to today. A great read!

Available as an ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby).

Why Fish Don't Exist

I listened to the audiobook Why Fish Don't Exist - A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life read by the author herself, Lulu Miller. Lulu takes the reader on an adventure through her life as she navigates the ups and downs of becoming an adult. She intertwines the story of David Starr Jordan, an ichthyologist in the early 1900's (and the first President of Stanford) that has an obsession with collecting and naming all the fish in the world and the chaos that happens to him, with figuring out her own life. Many of David Starr Jordan's setbacks become unbelievable opportunities for him. Lulu has a colorful way with her words in writing this book. She makes the reader feel that she is speaking right to her. Her use of language allows the reader to visually see in their mind the adventure she takes you on. Truly a raw, personnel journey for Lulu and how she finds the love of her life. A must audiobook to listen to - to the very end of the Epilogue.

Available in ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary (Libby). 

56 Days

I was intrigued by this book from the start. The concept of having two people who just met during the early stages of the pandemic is something that can be applied to everyone. The twists and turns of this book are rather eye opening into how other people's lives were affected by covid. There were highs and lows of this book, but was an overall a good read. 

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard is available in both ebook and eaudiobook on eMediaLibrary. Also available as an ebook on Hoopla.

Your Inner Fish

The possible evolution of the anatomical relationship between fish and mammals is examined in this 2008 bestseller, Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin . I'm curious about evolution, so it's good the author mostly uses popular language even I can understand.

Dr. Neil Shubin starts by telling of the hardships of doing paleontology in the arctic. He found a fossil fish 387 million years old and hints this may be a piece of the missing link puzzle. Recently discovered animal footprints in Poland have been dated back 395 million years—but I wasn't interested in that part of his story anyway.

The winner for me was the part comparing fish anatomy to mammals. That was absolutely fascinating and worth the wait. I can recommend Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body to any layperson interested in evolution, paleontology, or genetics. The book inspired a PBS episode in 2014: watch it on Hoopla today.