Meghan's Recommendations

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The Seven Year Slip By Ashley Poston Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593336502
Availability: Pre-order now. Click "DETAILS" below for publication date.
Published: Berkley - June 27th, 2023

What a delight! This book is the perfect balance of whimsical magical realism, thoughtful introspection, processing grief, encouraging coming of age journey, and a romance that will whisk you away! I found myself giggling and smiling as well as moved. I will be recommending this to fans of Emily Henry and "One Last Stop"!

Poverty, by America By Matthew Desmond Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593239919
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Published: Crown - March 21st, 2023

This is a must read! There is so much valuable, myth-busting information packed into this book, but does not feel overwhelming. It's a vital conversation that each one of us needs to talk about in every community in the United States, as it impacts each of us. Very grateful for this book and the language he provides for this conversation.

True Biz: A Novel By Sara Novic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593241523
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 28th, 2023

An illuminating book I could not put down! Following 3 characters whose lives are deeply impacted by their time at a school for the deaf, I was captivated by the characters journey's and struggles. I especially loved how the book has illustrations of ASL signs as the characters learn them and there are interludes that provide mini ASL lessons to help you understand deeper how ASL functions as a language and its difference from English. This is a powerful book about disability rights, coming of age, love, and family.

The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine By Katherine Marsh Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250313607
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Published: Roaring Brook Press - January 17th, 2023

This is an immensely powerful and thoughtfully written story about 3 children: 1 living through the Ukrainian famine in the 1930's, 1 in Brooklyn in the 1930's, and 1 during the COVID 19 pandemic. This is a touching, multi-generational story of family, grief, courage, and the power of telling your story. I literally could not put it down until I finished it, crying multiple times throughout. Readers will learn so much from this story and reflecting on its timely themes.

I Have Some Questions for You: A Novel By Rebecca Makkai Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593490143
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Published: Viking - February 21st, 2023

Fans of the NPR podcast "Serial," as well as mysteries centering academia like "The Maidens" or New England-centric like "Locust Lane" will be hooked reading this twisty, topical mystery. The characters are so vivid, and you are taken into the mind of the main character so thoroughly, you'll find yourself swept up.

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A Warning About Swans By R. M. Romero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682634837
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Published: Peachtree Teen - July 11th, 2023

My heart opened, broke, and soared throughout reading this book. Each page is written with such love, you can't help but dream along with these passionate characters. This is a tale of becoming that invites us all to live and love so fully. It made me cry, ache, and audibly gasp, leaving me feeling like a missing piece of my heart was returned to me.

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Sea of Tranquility: A novel By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593466735
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Published: Vintage - March 28th, 2023

Wow, this is one of the most compelling and best executed books incorporating time travel I have ever read! The thoughtfulness infused throughout this story, as the characters navigate challenging   moments is such a pleasure to read. In companion with "The Glass Hotel," it's such a fascinating expansion on that story and themes, I was blown away!

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries: Book One of the Emily Wilde Series By Heather Fawcett Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593500132
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Published: Del Rey - January 10th, 2023

What a thoroughly enjoyable wintery read! Set in a very cold, northern Scandinavian-like village full of delightful towns folk, a pragmatic, brilliant scholar works on her book compiling information and folklore about the Fae. I fell in love with the idiosyncratic main characters, the tight spots they get in and out of, and the rich storytelling full of Fae-related folklore! I can't wait for more books in this series! 

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Big Tree By Brian Selznick, Brian Selznick (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Brian Selznick, Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781338180633
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Published: Scholastic Press - April 4th, 2023

Through exquisite art and spacious, essential language, this story is told from the perspective of sibling sycamore seeds making their way in the world. It is as  captivating, empowering, and impactful as Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist;" written for a young audience and to be enjoyed by all.

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution By R. F. Kuang Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063021426
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Published: Harper Voyager - August 23rd, 2022

Wow! This book made me feel like how I feel when I watch the Les Misérables musical (one of my favorites). This is an epic  sweeping novel that gripped me from the first few pages, all the way to the end. It digs into the art of translation as well as so many challenging aspects of colonialism, racism, academia, and the industrial revolution through the eyes of dynamic characters that I could imagine as friends. Not for the faint of heart, be ready for heartbreak and fervor.  

The Moth Keeper: (A Graphic Novel) By K. O'Neill Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593182260
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Published: Random House Graphic - March 7th, 2023

This graphic novel is a beautiful story about belonging and navigating the darkness (inside and out). The illustrations transport you to walk beside the moth keepers in the quiet darkness, in this magical, desert terrain. I fell in love with the world within pages.

Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston By Esme Symes-Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593485774
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Published: Labyrinth Road - November 8th, 2022

What a joy of a read! This fantasy novel for children is a wonderfully written coming of age story about tweens who are seen as different and their courage to stand up for what's right. It grapples with internal and external struggles with heart, warmth, and encouragement. Themes of navigating relationships with family, friendship, and the world around you, are accessible and also a pleasure to read. I will absolutely be recommending this book to young readers!

Spells for Forgetting: A Novel By Adrienne Young Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593358511
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Published: Delacorte Press - September 27th, 2022

Balladz By Sharon Olds Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525656951
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Published: Knopf - October 4th, 2022

Every time I read Sharon Old's work I am struck. Her words punch your gut, wrench your heart, while tenderly holding you, so you know that she's taking you somewhere worthwhile. 

This collection of poems are a snapshot of time, they brought me right into the moment with her. She writes about the experience of isolation and quarantine while aging, while grieving the loss of a loved one. Hers is a perspective I am so grateful to read. I so appreciate her wisdom, her brutal honesty, her anger, and her wonder.

Fairy Tale By Stephen King Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668002179
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Published: Scribner - September 6th, 2022

As we all know, Stephen King is a master storyteller, and this book is a prime example of King's extraordinary ability to weave a story and create characters who are so compelling and complex. This is a modern classic, a self aware love letter to fairy tales and Lovecraftian lore, through King's own lens. At its heart, this is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk. Throughout, he is addressing the lineage of these classic stories and Campbell's "Hero's Journey" while somehow making it feel so fresh and raw. Don't get me wrong, the basic outline of the story is one we have all read before, over and over, but King brings a contemporary, gritty lens that pushes against the "perfect" veneer a lot of these stories have in our modern culture. The main character is constantly aware of the ways in which he fits the bill as this "perfect male hero" protagonist, yet straddles that with deeply confessional insights, revealing the darker nature he struggles with. 

This is not as dark and gory of a story as many of his books, but still goes there at times. I love that this book feels like an offering, a bridge. It’s a story about a boy who loves his dog (it made me cry!) It’s a coming of age story that could be a great story for parents and teens to read and discuss together after reading. There are no perfect people and no perfect worlds. I can think of no better writer to investigate this in the collective unconscious than Stephen King, and boy was it wonderful.

Look Up at the Stars By Katie Cotton, Miren Asiain Lora (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Katie Cotton, Miren Asiain Lora (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780711278790
Availability: In stock at our warehouse - Ships in 5-12 business days
Published: Frances Lincoln Children's Books - October 4th, 2022

Gorgeous illustrations with rich colors and a sweet, comforting story with repetition and rhyme. A perfect bedtime read aloud! 

Thieves By Lucie Bryon Cover Image
ISBN: 9781838741198
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Published: Nobrow - October 4th, 2022

This sweet graphic novel is about teens in their final year of high school. The characters are so endearing and the art is wonderful and captivating. The story sweeps you away on their journey of falling in love, recognizing their own destructive habits, and helping each other through it. 

A Scatter of Light By Malinda Lo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525555285
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Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 4th, 2022

This is a beautifully written LGBTQ   coming of age story for young adults! There's so much tackled in this, with such passion and tenderness: navigating gender and sexuality, coming out, complicated friendships, heading to college, aging and grief, art making, and so much more. Readers will find their heartstrings being tugged and left with so much to reflect on after reading this novel.

Spells for Lost Things By Jenna Evans Welch Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534448872
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Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2022

What a sweet book! I will absolutely be recommending this to middle school and YA readers! It's perfect for the Halloween season (as it takes place in Salem and has witchy elements) but it's a great read any time of year. A story about teens navigating foster care and divorce, about grief and mental health, and about how there are no easy fixes. It's a story about finding home and finding those who love you.

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel By Gale Galligan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338045802
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 18th, 2022

A thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel that is full of color, movement, and expression! I love the illustrations depictions of the kids dancing and yoyoing while experiencing so much emotion while moving! 

This is a perfect pick for kids in middle school going through friend struggles/school transitions. I love the message supporting kids learning to communicate with their peers, and celebrating the friends and passions they have! 

Thistlefoot: A Novel By GennaRose Nethercott Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593468838
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Published: Anchor - September 13th, 2022

Every word of this book is a delight. The language is so yummy and playful, the characters are so vivid and full, the handling of ancestral trauma and processing grief is so compassionate and deeply needed. This book made me laugh, made me cry, and my heart burst open in a way I have not felt in a long time. Open for connection and love, open for art and joy, open to grief and all the ways it shows up in our world. Thank you for this book. It is a treasure.  

Dark Earth: A Novel By Rebecca Stott Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812989113
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Published: Random House - July 19th, 2022

Fascinating history about the Dark Ages in London, after the Romans left, with wonderful characters. Historical fiction with hints of magic! 

The Dragon's Promise (Six Crimson Cranes #2) By Elizabeth Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593300954
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Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - August 30th, 2022

This second installment of "Six Crimson Cranes" is just as good as the first book! It picks up immediately where the first book leaves off and whisks you away as the main character tries to set things right. The storytelling is so luscious and well crafted. I love the journey of the characters, the sweet love story, and the recognition and exploration of the complexity of "good" and "evil." It brought me to tears at the end! These books are so beautiful, I have added them to the top of my list of favorite folklore retellings/fantasy books! Teens and adults alike will love this story!  

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy By Megan Bannen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316394215
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Published: Orbit - August 23rd, 2022

Yay!  I loved and devoured this book! This is a fun, heartfelt, heartwarming, spicy, fantasy romance with "zombies" and hints of "You've Got Mail" but so much better. It has everything I love in a fantasy/romance! I'm so excited to recommend this to readers!

The Dead Romantics By Ashley Poston Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593336489
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Published: Berkley - June 28th, 2022

Loved this book so much! It made me laugh and made me cry. It was so passionately, thoughtfully written, sensitive about grief and death, while also finding levity and humor throughout! Fans of Emily Henry as well as some magical realism will love this! 

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Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau By Ben Shattuck Cover Image
ISBN: 9781953534040
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Published: Tin House Books - April 19th, 2022

This is a book that immerses you in the life of the author, whose reflections on his life and Thoreau's life are honest, raw, contemplative, at times funny, and always a welcome voice throughout many tides of life. It is a meditation on so many things: time passing, our human relationship to nature and walking, grief, friendships, and love. I especially appreciate how he considers the ways we can and cannot relate to Thoreau in our modern times. I recommend this book to those who are interested in Thoreau and his life, and are looking for a thoughtful book to connect to place and the self.

Hell Followed with Us By Andrew Joseph White Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682633243
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Peachtree Teen - June 7th, 2022

What a ride! This is book is gorey and powerful, vivid and angry. It's got body horror and romance, grapples with spiritual questions, and celebrates the experiences of LGBTQ  and neurodivergent folks. It felt like watching a friend play a video game (which I enjoy), but better! It has fast paced action, a cast of characters that you really root for despite knowing that the post apocalyptic environment is brutal and unforgiving. I was moved by this story and will definitely be recommending it to YA and adult readers! 

The Ghosts of Rose Hill By R. M. Romero Cover Image
ISBN: 9781682633380
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Peachtree Teen - May 10th, 2022

I could not put this book down! It was a tender, passionate, and captivating YA novel that utterly transports you to Prague. It wove Jewish history, folklore, and the present day beautifully. The language is beautiful as well, the whole book is in verse!

Time Is a Mother By Ocean Vuong Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593300237
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Published: Penguin Press - April 5th, 2022

This collection of vulnerable poems of love, loss, grief, addiction, and trauma digs into deeply intimate terrain. His words shed bright, clear light into these places with tenderness and sweeping generosity. What a gift to this world.

I Must Betray You By Ruta Sepetys Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984836038
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Published: Philomel Books - February 1st, 2022

Iron Widow By Xiran Jay Zhao Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735269934
Availability: In stock at our warehouse - Ships in 5-12 business days
Published: Penguin Teen Canada - September 21st, 2021

This whirlwind novel is an action-packed YA sci-fi full of bloodthirst and justice!  There is electric feminist energy, beautiful queer themes, and thoughtful commentary on disability all while weaving in aspects of chinese culture that utterly whisk you into their world. I 100% agree with this review by E.K. Johnston and couldn't say it better: "A primal scream of a book!"

The Last Cuentista By Donna Barba Higuera Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646140893
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Levine Querido - October 12th, 2021

This book was so powerful! A fantastic science fiction novel geared towards children 8 and up, I think would be great for middle school and high school ages as well. The story follows a girl as her and her family flee Earth on a spaceship of scientists to find a new planet to live on. It was heartbreaking as well as heart-warming, a story about love, loss, reverence of science and nature, as well as the power and healing nature of storytelling. I fell in love with the characters and there were a few scenes that brought me to tears. This would be a great choice for kids/teens who liked The Hunger Games and other dystopian novels, and could spark thoughtful family conversations. 

All The Names Given: Poems By Raymond Antrobus Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951142926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - November 30th, 2021

This collection is such a moving read. The meditations on family, history, nature, grief, deafness, and love are heart-wrenching and poignant. The poems are visceral and deeply sensory experiences, with powerful usage of the idea of closed captioning that invite the reader to consider - what does sound truly mean to us? I highly recommend this collection to poetry lovers. 

Set Me Free (Book #2 in the Show Me a Sign Trilogy) By Ann Clare LeZotte Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338742497
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Published: Scholastic Press - September 21st, 2021

This sequel to "Show Me a Sign" was just as riveting as the first one! The urgency of the story and the narrator's fervent drive, always following her heart and her ethics, captivated me from start to finish. This is such a beautifully written, powerful book for young people and adults alike. I hope there will be more books in the series!

Be Holding: A Poem (Pitt Poetry Series) By Ross Gay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822966234
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Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - September 8th, 2020

This book is one poem. My experience of this poem was through the lense of embodiment. After the experiences of 2020, of isolation and immobilization -- the flight, falling, and awe inspiring dynamicism of this piece was so liberating. This is also an incredibly personal piece, one that draws the reader into moments of despair and elation, and ultimately of justice.  

Goldenrod: Poems By Maggie Smith Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982185060
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Published: Atria/One Signal Publishers - July 27th, 2021

Goldenrod reads like a drive through your hometown, past land and houses you once knew, catching glimpses of people you love. Her poems ring with such truth and clarity they bring me to tears. This is a collection for mothers, for those yearning, struggling, and caring for our world. I highly recommend this book for those who love poets like Mary Oliver and Kate Baer. 

How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope By James Crews, Ross Gay (Foreword by) Cover Image
By James Crews, Ross Gay (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9781635863864
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Published: Storey Publishing, LLC - March 23rd, 2021

This collection is such a balm for weary hearts. It is clear that the editor has lovingly selected each poem, and that passion for poetry is seeped into every page. The forward is a gorgeous meditation ushering the reader into the perfect headspace for poetry, asking us "how we witness makes our world." And in this collection this witnessing of the world is studied through gratitude and hope.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series) By Ross Gay Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822963318
Availability: In stock at our warehouse - Ships in 5-12 business days
Published: University of Pittsburgh Press - January 7th, 2015

This is one of my very favorite poetry collections. Ross Gay is such a loving, powerful, masterful poet, and this collection of poems bring the reader right to the heart of it all. I highly reccommend this collection for fans of Mary Oliver. 

Circe By Madeline Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556323
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Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

I am drawn to retellings of myths and legends but tend to struggle with Greek mythology with its vastness and complicated relationships. This book captured me in way I haven't felt with Greek mythology before! It fleshes out these timeless characters with such grace and depth. The story beautifully weaves through so many eras of that cannon, and I felt like I could finally connect to the characters, dramas, and intricacies of this vast world. I love the world created here through the lens of the character Circe, who is a wonderfully complex, passionate, and caring witch and herbalist. 

The Glass Hotel: A novel By Emily St. John Mandel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525562948
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 16th, 2021

I was immediately drawn to this book by the mysterious foggy cover, which turned out to be very fitting for this story. Part mystery, part ghost story, part coming of age story in the subculture of 2000's Toronto, it spans diverse and fascinating topics with compassion and intrigue. I was thoroughly enthralled by how it all threads together.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold By Toshikazu Kawaguchi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335430991
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - November 17th, 2020

I love time travel stories. In this one, I was genuinely amused by the "rules," quotidian nature of the characters, and unapologetically casual pacing. This book took a touching look at relationships and our universal desire for understanding and closure. A perfect book for a rainy day with a cup of coffee.

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