Monday, March 28, 2022

Staff Recommendations, Week of March 29, 2022

Well here's a list of books that's better than a slap in the face! 
Seriously, we hope you enjoy these as much as we did.

Let's start with Daniel Goldin, Rachel Copeland, and Chris Lee for our triple-threat, triple-rec of Danger on the Atlantic, the latest Jane Wunderly mystery from Milwaukee author Erica Ruth Neubauer. Daniel says: "Jane Wunderly actually gets to help out on a case that she didn’t stumble into in the third outing from the author of Murder at the Mena House. Her beau Redvers has been assigned to find a spy on board a trans-Atlantic voyage, and he’s asked Jane to accompany him, posing as his wife. In their attempts to root out the foreign agent, Jane stumbles upon another mystery – a socialite who claims her husband has disappeared. Could they somehow be connected?  Figuring it out is just one of the delights of Neubauer’s latest, a mystery laced with espionage, humor, and romance."

Rachel chimes in with the following: "There's a spy aboard the RMS Olympic in 1926, and Jane Wunderly is on the case with Redvers, posing as his wife as they look for the suspect. But what starts out as a search for a spy becomes more complicated when a passenger's husband goes missing, yet his existence is disputed by all but the wife and Jane herself. With everyone else doubting the flighty socialite's claims, it's up to Jane to prove her investigative talents. Three books in, this series delivers! I love all of the historical detail so much, and I especially love that Jane flouts societal standards with quiet confidence. Much like Redvers, I would trust Jane's instincts any day."

And Chris brings us home: "German spies, disappearing husbands, and gin rickeys abound aboard an Atlantic Ocean Liner in the 1920s, and globetrotting amateur detective Jane Wunderly and her cosleuthing faux-beau must sort it all out before the ship reaches shore or they find themselves overboard. If you’ve read the Wunder-ful previous installments, then you’re going to love how this book pays off on what’s come before. If you haven’t, who cares? Danger on the Atlantic is still guaranteed to delight. In fact, if you saw Death on the Nile and thought, “give me more of that,” then good news – Neubauer’s novel has the perfect vibes for you. A winner!"

Next up, it's Margaret Kennedy for So This Is Ever After, by the award winning author of adult and YA fiction, FT Lukens. Margaret says: "A cute, funny new rom com in a high fantasy world inspired by D&D is here in the form of So This is Ever After, by FT Lukens. You ever wonder what happens directly after the villain is defeated and the screen fades to black? Our hero hadn’t thought that far ahead either. But now the evil king is dead, the prophecy fulfilled, and Arek the farm boy is suddenly in charge of ruling a kingdom. To make things even more ridiculous (due to a fine print spell that came with taking the throne) Arek now has three months to fall in love and create a soul-bond with a co-ruler. Or die. With adorable attempted-wooing and giggle-inducing jabs at high fantasy tropes, I sped through this book in one sitting. Not only is it a romance for the ages, but the secondary plotlines of the side characters and the actual politics and infrastructural fixing of the kingdom were a pleasant surprise that made the book all the better. This is one rom com I will forever keep on my bookshelf and lend out to the next friend who throws their scholarly textbook tome on the ground and says, “oh my god, I just want something fun!"

And Kay Wosewick brings us a bit of nonfiction with her recommendation of Ever Green: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet, coauthored by conservationist John W Reid and biologist Thomas E Lovejoy. Reader-ist Kay says: "Reid and Lovejoy describe the only realistic path to achieve CO2 reductions sufficient to meet the scientific community's 2030 line-in-the-sand to prevent probable climate catastrophe. A worldwide program is essential to preserve and restore the earth's five megaforests: the Amazon, Congo, New Guinea, North American boreal, and Taiga boreal (mostly Russia). This is not about reforesting; it is about preventing ANY further destruction of intact forests and rehabilitating fragmented areas (basically, road removal). Resources must swiftly be refocused and escalated. This book belongs in the hands of every politician, policy maker, scientist, school teacher, college student, business leader, thought leader, and thinker! In every country! In every corner of every country! The Megaforest Revolution is about to launch!"

Kathy Herbst recommends Gallant, the latest from VE Schwab. Kathy's rec: "Another gripping, can't-put-it-down novel by Schwab; a story of parallel worlds, haunted houses, ghouls, and ominous family secrets. Tenacious 16-year-old Olivia, who is mute, longs for a home and family but has only her mother's journal. When she is invited by her uncle to return to the family home, she finds family is not as simple a concept as she thought and ultimately must decide where she belongs. And if the writing isn't compelling enough, the amazing illustrations will surely draw you in."

And finally, a picture book recommendation from Tim McCarthy: Chester Van Chime Who Forgot How to Rhyme, by Avery Monsen. Here's what Tim says: "Chester woke up one morning to a confusing new life. He had always loved playing with words, in poems and songs, but today? No matter the time, Chester Van Chime just could not... match words with corresponding sounds at the end! "He tried not to panic. He played it real cool and picked up his backpack and walked to his... learning place with teachers and stuff." His friends tried to help him, but nothing was done until Chester remembered that words should be... fun! These pictures and the story are clever and silly enough to make an old bookseller giggle. That's tough to do!"

How about a paperback pick, too? Okay!

First, from Conrad Silverberg, a write-up on Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975, by British rocker Richard Thompson, with an assist from Scott Timberg. Conrad says: "Is there anything Richard Thompson can't do (hasn't done)? He is one of the finest guitarists to emerge from the late-Sixties stew of London and distinguished himself further by being one of the most sophisticated and clever songwriters. I'm not a big fan of biographies, especially those narcissistic, overblown ones ageing rock stars have been churning out of late. I make the exception here because Thompson is the exception. This is the goods!"

That's it for this week - see you next week, readers!

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