Need books? Enjoy One of Our Favorites from 2017
During this episode of Booklovers, Andrea, Amy, and I talk about some of our book favorites from 2017.
Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty is a sf/murder mystery that examines social issues as it answers whodunit. The book starts with a woman waking up in a cloning vat on a spaceship. When she stumbles out of the vat she sees her other crew members also getting out of vats which is odd enough. But what’s horrifying are the bodies. Their bodies. Murdered. The six crew members are the only ones who could’ve committed the murders but none of them have their memories from the past 20 years. How do you solve a crime when you might well be the murderer.
Ultimate locked room mystery which is fun but then you get flashbacks from all of the crew, exploring who they were before getting on the ship and the secrets they’re hiding. Super skillful writing, keeping all six story lines with the out of sequence storytelling in perfect balance.
Hello Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully’s prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.
According to a Source by Abby Stern. Ella Warren works for celebrity news website, The Life, as a club reporter. She’s assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendship with actress Holiday Hall, her budding romance with Holiday’s agent, and her family.
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. For fans of The Magicians by Lev Grossman, the Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab or American Gods by Neil Gaiman. There’s a dark secret hiding in the heart of New York City. It’s a society of magicians – powerful houses with names like Merlin, Prospero and Dee who vie for power by having champions fight magical duels. Winner takes control of the magical world. The stakes are even higher this time because the champion who’s got the best chance of winning is the one with a secret agenda. To destroy the hierarchy and power hoarding from the inside. Skillfully written. It could’ve been a very black and white book but Kat Howard is great at shading the morality and motivations of her characters.
Nomadland by Jessica Bruder. The end of retirement? — On frequently traveled routes between seasonal jobs, Jessica Bruder meets people from all walks of life: a former professor, a McDonald’s vice president, a minister, a college administrator, and a motorcycle cop, among many others–including her irrepressible protagonist, a onetime cocktail waitress, Home Depot clerk, and general contractor named Linda May. In a secondhand vehicle she christens “Van Halen,” Bruder hits the road to get to know her subjects more intimately. Accompanying Linda May and others from campground toilet cleaning to warehouse product scanning to desert reunions, then moving on to the dangerous work of beet harvesting, Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy–one that foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, she celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these quintessential Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive. Like Linda May, who dreams of finding land on which to build her own sustainable “Earthship” home, they have not given up hope.
Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes. When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin –the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin — her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination. And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place? A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.
The Book of Dust by Phillip Pullman. When Malcolm finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, he finds himself embroiled in a tale of intrigue featuring enforcement agents from the Magisterium, a woman with an evil monkey daemon, and a baby named Lyra.
Special mention favorites
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. Scooby Doo meets Cthulhu and HP Lovecraft.
Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena is a thriller in the style of Gone Girl and Girl on a Train.
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