Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

Schizophrenia has had a long, torrid history in the world of mental illness. As a disorder that manifests in a wide range of presentations and is only partially understood, it is also a fascinating peek into the complexity of the …


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Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain, a debut novel by Douglas Stuart, is a story that will stick with you long after you’ve finished reading. 

We follow Shuggie from age five to sixteen as he deals with complex feelings about his mother, an …


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And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Hall Howzell

Grayson Sykes knows that a missing woman doesn’t always want to be found. Unfortunately, she’s a newly minted private investigator who doesn’t get to pick the clients.

The doctor who hired her firm is more concerned about his missing dog …


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The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado

Can anything good happen in a town called Shudder-To-Think?

For El and Octavia, the Pennsylvanian mining town is all they’ve ever known. They’ve done their best to hang out, have crushes, and be as normal as they can while the …


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The Talented Miss Farwell by Emily Gray Tedrowe

Unfortunately for high school graduate Becky Farwell, her family circumstances prevent her from leaving her small central Illinois farm town to attend college.

While working in the business offices of the local government she discovers a seemingly harmless accounting error. …


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Beach Read by Emily Henry

January Anderson is out of money, out of her long-term relationship, and rage-grieving her dead dad when she pulls up to the beach house on Lake Michigan. This is the cottage her father left for her after his sudden death, …


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Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Moody and atmospheric, this is the type of horror book that seeps into your psyche, leaving you wondering who is controlling whom, and how.

The evil threaded through the novel manifests as both grotesque and obvious, and subtle and pervasive. …


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Dealing with Grief

Grief is as tricky as it is painful. Words that comfort one day come up short the next. It’s difficult to be that friend who knows what to say or do. The closest thing I’ve found to a manual for “being there for a suffering friend” is There is No Good Card for This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell.

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Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

Everything is bad. Everyone is out to get you. And the world as you know it is ending soon. If you follow the news, that’s the narrative anyway.

Rutger Bregman, a historian from the Netherlands, argues that none of that …


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The Emissary by Yoko Tawada

This short, 138 page, dystopia novel won the 2018 National Book Award for translated literature.

Set in Japan at a time following an undisclosed disaster, the country has isolated itself from the rest of the world. Reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, …


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The Wood Burn Book by Rachel Strauss

Wood burning is an easy and fun way to customize and personalize wooden objects.  I have dabbled in it myself and love the low cost entry point, and versatility. 

The Wood Burn Book is a handy guide for getting started …


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One By One by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware returns to the locked-room mystery in One By One.

The team behind the newest social media sensation, an app called “snoop” that is a more voyeuristic Spotify, takes a work holiday to a rustic-chic French chalet. The …


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On the Horizon by Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry explores the strange mysteries of humankind, arcing around and around, circling back to the chance crossing of paths.

The story – and it is a story, collected in poetic fragments – looks both at the great behemoth of …


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A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Wizard schools may seem like an old trope these days, but Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education puts a new twist on the education of the next generation of magic-wielders.

I enjoyed the pacing and characters in the first of the …


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I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes

The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He’s got big plans, and no doubt he’ll see them through–as he’s creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls,


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Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

Plain Bad Heroines is two stories that are intertwined- one story takes us back to 1902, to a scene of tragedy at an all-girls school, and the other to the present day filming of a horror movie based on those …


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#VeryFat #VeryBrave by Nicole Byer

If you don’t like profanity or photographs of ladies wearing bikinis, don’t read #VeryFat #VeryBrave. Nicole Byer’s book has a target audience, and it’s not you.

#VeryFat #VeryBrave is a funny, vulgar book about valuing yourself over societal beauty …


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Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Readers looking for all the thrills of a ghost story without any body horror should check out Home Before Dark by Riley Sager.

Thanks to her father’s book, House of Horrors, Maggie Holt attained infamy at the age of …


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On the Horizon by Lois Lowry

I know Lois Lowry mostly as the Young Adult author of The Giver, she’s been around a long time!  This book was inspired by Lowry’s home movie where the USS Arizona was in the background—it was a ship bombed …


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Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots

Superheroes and villains need temp-workers too – who else is going to maintain the social media accounts?

Anna is hired to build a database, but soon finds herself promoted to fieldwork (in this case, standing in the background while a …


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The Bell in the Lake by Lars Mytting

Set in Norway in the 1880s, this novel is part history lesson, part romance, part haunting.

When the local pastor decides to sell the seven hundred year old village stave church to the German government to be reconstructed in Dresden, …


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