For book lovers everywhere, this book is a delight. A memoir, of sorts, of Oliver Darkshire’s apprenticeship at Henry Sotheran Ltd—a centuries old bookstore specializing in rare books. Oliver’s tales of sub basements, forgotten collections, weird non-book items, assorted fellow booksellers, and oddball shoppers is written so deliciously that you can’t help but cackle. I enjoyed every page.
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin Stevenson
In November, I listened to the second book in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I listened to the first one and enjoyed it as well. (Though I think I enjoyed the mystery in the second book more.) Ernest Cunningham’s family is having a reunion at a remote mountain resort in the middle of winter. It’s to celebrate his brother’s release from prison, but there are tensions between nearly every family member even before a dead body is found. It’s a lot of fun. Looking forward to more books in this series.
Beholder, by Ryan La Sala
A teen horror that follows young Athan. He’s a charming dropout whose family is cursed, at least according to his grandmother—his only family—who is declining rapidly. Also, he can see the past when he looks in mirrors or reflections, which also runs in his family. When he is the only witness to a heinous crime (like really gross), he discovers that his benefactor may not be the nice guy that he seems and is into searching for an ancient power. I enjoyed this one, but it’s not for everybody.
Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, by J. Ryan Stradal
Stradal has made a career writing about the quirky midwest—particularly Minnesota. This is an OK story. I think it’s meant to showcase how times change for an old type of restaurant, but the story is disjointed and doesn’t quite come together. The last bit felt tacked on as if he was trying to get his word count in. It was all right, but not great.
Calamity, by Constance Fay
Another space romance. I just can’t seem to stay away from these. Plucky Temperance has just gone into major debt to acquire her ship from her smarmy former captain. Against her better judgement, she takes on a lucrative job from one of the ruling families in the galaxy, which also means that a scion of the family is joining her crew for the job. Of course, sparks fly. There is a mission within the job and a major discovery that could have repercussions among all the ruling families. It’s good. Even if it did have the ubiquitous work-out sparring scene between the potential lovers. I’ll probably read the next one too.
Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer
Reread, of course. I love this book. It’s so funny and heartfelt. And the joke about Nemesis will never get old.
Nomenclatures of Invisibility, by Mahtem Shiferraw
This is one of the poetry books nominated for the Golden Poppy award. It wasn’t my cup of tea. The poet focuses on themes of displacement—as an immigrant or refugee, and the strength of her family history. Those poems touched me more than the some of the more experimental immigration-focused poems. Shiferraw does have some lovely phrases.
The Core of an Onion, by Mark Kurlansky
I really enjoyed this “natural history” of the culinary onion. Describes the history of its cultivation and how it has been prepared through millenia. Highly recommend. The author also has a book titled, Salt, which I think I need to read too.
The Spanish Love Deception, by Elena Armas
Lovely, frothy romance with the tropes of enemies to lovers and fake dating. Lina needs a date for her sister’s wedding because the recently engaged best man is her hated ex. Her colleague and rival, Aaron, volunteers to be her date. Desperate, she agrees. As she gets to know him, she gets to know her own true feelings about him.
The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp, by Leonie Swann
A group of spunky, elderly seniors living in their version of a retirement community are accidentally involved in a murder investigation. Agnes, who used to do police investigations, can’t let the murder go and begins her own investigation—which makes her rethink her own memory and abilities. Fun, twisty, murder mystery. Recommend.