Indecent Hours, by James Fujinuri Moore
This is the first full-length book of poetry I’ve read in years and I loved it. The author is a Southern California native and his work reflects his Los Angeles-area upbringing. Themes of family history and trauma, racism and Japanese internment, and contemporary living, the book has a lot to say and does so with quite lovely language. For example: “I am the sing of air between nock & nock,” and “There’s no smog in Los Angeles, just those spectacular coughs of sunset.” I highly recommend this book.
The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill
I was really ready to like this book. It was a listen and I enjoyed it up until I didn’t. It contains two stories: one is the murder mystery that surrounds the title—four people meet over a scream at the Boston Public Library becoming fast friends, maybe; the second is an email correspondence between the writer of the first story and a big fan who may have turned murderous. I kept expecting that the two stories would somehow intertwine, [spoiler alert] but they didn’t. And the murder mystery part had major plot holes. Major. So, can’t really recommend this one.
Juniper & Thorn, by Ava Reid
This is a retelling of a Grimm’s fairy tale that I had never heard of, The Juniper Tree. In a Russian-like city that is burgeoning under new industry, Marlinchen lives with her sorcerer father and her sisters. All three girls have some type of magic which their father uses to his benefit. When Marlinchen begins to test the limits of her father’s rule, she falls in love and gets tangled up in the mysterious murders happening around town. The novel is beautifully written, with a lot of reverence to fairy tale-like language, but it is a bit slow. Overall, it was a nice change, but I’m not too enthusiastic about it. Also, kudos for the great cover.
The It Girl, by Ruth Ware
I was excited to read this new Ware novel, especially as the MC is a bookseller. It was fine. Ten years after her friend and roommate was murdered, Hannah is still reeling from the death and the events during her first year at school. The person convicted for April’s murder has died in prison and Hannah can’t help thinking that the testimony she gave put an innocent person in jail. As she does her own research into the murder, she realizes so many people wanted April dead. Finding out who did may kill her too.
Friend of the Devil, by Stephen Lloyd
An odd, short novel about a remote boarding school, a missing manuscript, an investigative student, an underground drug ring, sinister happenings, a possible demon, and a PI with nothing to lose. That’s about the only way to sum it up without telling you the whole story. It was a fun, quick read and I didn’t see the twist ending coming at all.
Himawari House, by Harmony Becker
Following three non-Japanese girls living together in Tokyo, this graphic novel is funny, full of grace, heartbreak, love, and warmth. I absolutely fell in love with these friends as they go about their lives attending Japanese language school, getting part-time jobs, having crushes, and eating so much good food. To make it even better, the illustrations were gorgeous too. Loved this book!
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, by Caitlin Doughty
This book is SO good. Caitlin Doughty has made herself famous as a mortician and explainer of everything regarding dead people. Her previous books have to do with funerary practices and this one is based on questions she received from kids at speaking engagements. Because, kids aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions. Hence, the title. I learned a lot from this book and laughed a lot too. Doughty clearly likes her subject and does not squirm away from the icky parts. And now I know what my dogs will do to my body if I die in the house with no one else there. Yay?
The Restless Dark, by Erica Waters
I really enjoyed Waters’s book Ghost Wood Song, and this one seemed like it would be right up my alley. It was okay. I think it would have read better if it were a psychological thriller, but it relied too heavily on a feeling of the supernatural feeling that the story never quite conveyed. Lucy attends a week-long camp, hosted by a true crime podcast, to find the bones of a serial killer. Lucy was supposed to be the killer’s last victim but survived and lives in terror that he is not dead. At the camp, she meets two other women who are there for their own issues. The camp is on a steep mountain that is often encased in fog where it’s easy to get lost. And the people who are there to search for the bones all seem to have their own agendas.
Cat’s Cradle: The Golden Twine, by Jo Rioux
The first in a series, this graphic novel was so different and fun. It has monsters I’ve never heard of and magic that brings something new. Suri is an orphan raised by a merchant caravan. Rather than work to earn her way, she tells monster stories. She’d also like to be monster hunter one day. Her wish sort of comes true, when she finds the “monster” living in the woods. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!
For You & No One Else, by Roni Loren
This is the last book in a trilogy, and it felt like it. Just like the first two in the Say Everything series, I listened to this one. I really liked the first two and highly recommend them. This felt like the story was not quite all there. That the obstacles weren’t all that big a deal. Eliza seems like she has it all, but she wants to find ‘the one,’ and have a relationship like her parents did. Enter Beck, gorgeous, smart, and too young for her. After the video of a disaster of a date goes viral, Eliza decides to have a social media detox, inspired by Beck. And you know where it goes.
Network Effect, by Martha Wells
The end of August was rough, I needed a comfort read. Funny how a Murderbot book is my comfort read.