Fabulous February Staff Picks
Find yourself flushed with fantastic books from our favorite friends! Enjoy some Fabulous February Staff Picks!
Check out our audiobook playlist HERE!
Traditions, religious beliefs, and rules can make prisoners of women in so many cultures throughout the world. Smita and Meena are both born in India, but Smita left India at the age of 10, under duress. Growing up in the United States, she reluctantly returns to India as a journalist, to cover the court case of Meena, a woman who has bravely filed a lawsuit against her brothers, for burning her husband alive. The story focuses on the rift between Muslims and Hindus as well as Indian male entitlement and the degradation of Indian females.
If you enjoyed reading about the plight of Afghan women in A Thousand Splendid Suns, then you will surely be captivated by the plight of Indian women in Honor!
“This Isn’t a Fairy Tale” is printed on the back of this thought provoking new novel. Following young Simon after he breaks out of an anxiety abatement center where many teens are sent. He follows a teen that goes by the name Prophet. Set in the very near future and dealing with politics, environmental collapse, and a wave of teen suicides that has reached pandemic levels. Their quest becomes rescuing an imprisoned girl impregnated and being held by the Wizard. This page turner will keep you thinking and guessing until the very end. Perhaps it is more like a very Grimm modern fairy tale.
Check out the audiobook!
What’s happened to our world, where boundaries are drawn and borders built, allowing only some people the entitlement to live within a chosen border? No Land to Light On takes place during Trump’s 2017 executive order to ban travel into the US from seven Muslim majority countries. This order devastates the life of Sama and Hadi, a married couple from Syria, living in the US with refugee status. When Hadi is deported, on a minute's notice, Sama must endure the premature birth of her first child, and determine how to carry on without Hadi. Throughout the story, facts about migrating birds are interspersed, allowing the reader to see the metaphorical comparison to human migration.
If you enjoyed The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Zgheib, don’t expect the same kind of story from her newest book, but expect a powerfully disturbing story, portraying a myriad of human rights issues!
When Nora landed the job with Parsons Press, she was convinced she had finally landed her dream job. After all, what book nerd wouldn’t want to work for a major publishing company? Five years later, though, and the shine has definitely worn off - it turns out Parsons is less about helping authors bring their fantasy worlds to life, and more about pushing deadlines and meeting budgets. To make matters worse, Parsons recently issued a round of pay cuts that have put Nora in a difficult financial position.
When Nora meets dreamy Parsons author Andrew Santos she begins to realize that perhaps there is a way out of her dead-end job (and dead-end life), if only she can muster the courage to take back control of her life. A great vacation read for book lovers!
Whisk yourself away to the land of Ecuadorian cocoa plantations, and try to solve the mystery of a bizarre situation! Puri’s life in Spain was up-ended upon the death of her estranged father, in which she inherited part of a cocoa plantation in Ecuador. As she traveled to Ecuador to receive her inheritance and meet the siblings she never knew she had, Puri’s husband was killed, yet the murder was intended for Puri, not her husband. Thus the mystery begins, and Puri sets out to solve who is trying to kill her and why, using a most unconventional manner of doing so. This fast-paced mystery will keep you wondering, all the way to the end!
This story will feed the appetite of mystery buffs and culture seekers!
Do you want to think? If you want to read a sentence or paragraph then put the book down and go for a walk around the room just to let it settle before sitting back down and picking the book back up, then this is the book for you.
Lou wakes comes to in an alley in 1930’s LA with no memory. As she navigates the foster care system, a journalism career, and life as a black woman, she remembers snippets of past lives and sees people she has never met in her drawings.
This book is for all my Octavia Butler folks. It’s thought-provoking, heart wrenching, and just beautiful all around.
I’ve been missing my international travel due to Covid and not wanting to wander too far from home. When I saw this book, it got me thinking; there are so many awesome places to explore relatively close to home! The book is divided into six parts; four for the U.S. and one for Canada and Mexico. The pictures and short blurbs highlighting each destination, make this an easy book to navigate!
This book from Loomis is an entrant in countless artists’ Must-Read lists, and for very good reason! Loomis’ style of teaching is clear, and concise, without needing as much supplementary information as other books tend to require. This book teaches you nearly all about the human body and how to draw it, without getting caught up in unnecessary details. Inside, you’ll find a plethora of solid, foundational information that proves to be incredibly useful in learning figure drawing. I keep a copy of this by my bed!
If you’re learning to draw and are serious about it, or already have a good foundation, this is just a good book to have!
How To Be Perfect is the answer to all your moral questions. Michael Schur delves into the immense question of what does it mean to be good, and does a beautiful job doing so! In writing the tv series The Good Place, Schur spent countless hours researching the ins and outs of the greatest ethical dilemmas. This book is a collection of that research, and explained in a beautifully fundamental way. This book is great for anyone wanting to begin the journey into philosophy and it's many questions!
One human girl, two fae princes, and the determination to rescue her sister. Brie was alright living in the worst of conditions, as long as she had her sister. When her sister is sold to the king of the Unseelie, Brie vows to do anything to get her back. Even strike a deal with the man who bought her. Will Brie be able to save her sister, or will the ultimate betrayal thwart her efforts?
Jessie Burton is known in Steamboat as a Literary Sojourn author of yesteryear, and her new book is just plain cool. OTBP loves our mythology retellings and Medusa is no different. Revisit the story of Perseus and Poseidon, Medusa and Athena in a way you’ve never read before. What really takes this one above and beyond though, is the collection of downright gorgeous illustrations done by Olivia Lomenech Gill. The paintings are scattered throughout the text and add so much ambiance to the story that it’ll make you want to read this one out loud, even if you’re alone in your room. If you read Circe, this should absolutely be your next pick!
Tokyo Ghoul is one of my favorite manga series! The art style, the dark storyline, and the vulnerability of the characters kept me glued to the pages when I initially read the first volume. By the end of the book, Ishida had me questioning who the bad guys and the good guys were, making it almost impossible to pick sides. On one hand, you have humans living their daily lives in the big city, and on the other, you have ghouls also just trying to survive. Though almost identical to humans, ghouls have one very fundamental difference. The only source of food that they can stomach is human flesh. We follow Ken Kaneki as he navigates through both worlds, attempting to change his mindset towards ghouls while all the while letting go of what he once thought was his humanity.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoyed the other popular manga series Parasyte or Attack on Titan!
Junji Ito might be the most creative horror writer I have ever encountered. His genius is shown through how he can write such compelling horror surrounding one little symbol you’d never consider terrifying, the spiral. A small, isolated town discovers the corrupting and horrifying nature of this symbol as the town spirals into horror. His creativity and compelling stories have stuck with me for years and I think every horror enthusiast, even if you aren’t into manga, should read this! And, Adult Swim is making it into an anime soon, so you should definitely read this title!
Content Warning: This novel features scenes depicting self-harm.
As I went into this fairly new to this genre, I was pleasantly surprised! This novel is unapologetically embedded into the wuxia/cultivation light novel genre, with a heavy LGBTQ+ leaning, so if any of that sounds appealing to you, just dive in! For everyone else, well here’s this:
This novel follows the exploits of a reincarnated Demon Emperor, (if you’re unused to the jargon, think Sauron) trapped in the body of a young man and bound to grant him revenge. The issue is, the main character doesn’t know what his host wanted! One part humor, another part melancholy; this isn’t the kind of story for everybody, but if you’re into it, it’s a must-read!
This book is for fans of light novels and fantasy manga!..... Who are adults.
Hard to choose between Gyo, Uzumaki, or Tomi. Junji Ito has such a creative mind for horror and his endings are always interesting, bleak, and terrifying. This story shows what can happen if technology takes it a step too far. Imagine the worst Black Mirror episode and double it. I'm obsessed with this author and I cannot get enough of his stories!
Dear reader: I am fully leaning into OTBP’s new comic collection – and the first issue of Joyride really lives up to its name. The premise of this story is the following. In a not so distant future, after humans have made contact with alien life forms, our planet is surrounded by an artificial sky, and ruled over by a tyrannical regime hell bent on keeping us scared of what’s out there. Of course we’re introduced to a loveable and plucky crew of unlikely friends who plan and pull off (sort of) a daring caper to make it to the dark side of the moon, hijack a spaceship, and go on a madcap adventure through the stars. On their way to wherever, we see the crew make some friends, make some enemies, host at least one rad interstellar dance party, and of course do their best to avoid the government agents sent to bring them back to Earth. I fall deeper in love with Boom!Studios with every comic, and this issue is a great place to get started with graphics if you’ve never dived in before! Earth Sucks. Space Rocks. Let’s Dance!
Have you ever heard of a moose that can ski? Gilbert gives it a try, but runs into a bit of trouble! Once he decides to take a lesson, all is good! This delightful book is perfect for those youngsters new to the sport of skiing. It just might relieve a little tension, because anyone could do better than Gilbert!
It’s hard to think that the horrible wildfires that ravaged Australia only happened two years ago in 2020, but that’s the truth. Wombat Underground is a beautifully illustrated picture book about the wildlife that was affected by those disastrous fires, and while the subject matter is obviously heavy for us adults, this book actually deals with subjects like cooperation and neighborliness in times of hardship. Of course, those are values we want to instill in our young people. So pick up this book and follow wombat and his neighbors as they work to escape the fire encroaching on their outback home. As usual, with all my picture book recommendations, this is an excellent read-aloud pick!
Calling all beginning skiers! Mr. Magee thinks he knows all about the art of skiing, but he proves himself seriously wrong! Watch what happens when he encounters a moose on the slope! Maybe this is Gilbert the moose. Wow! I think Mr. Magee needs a few ski lessons!
How many people know the story of the only woman whose name is on the Declaration of Independence? Not many. I certainly didn’t. Learning about American history is often relegated to the Founders, the Framers, and other men like Paul Revere, whose names echo through our collective memory. That is a shame. Mary Katherine Goddard was the first female postmaster in American history, but she is also the woman responsible for printing the first edition of the Declaration that included the names of all the signers, which, had the revolutionaries failed, would have been a death sentence to everyone whose name was included. Mary Katherine Goddard is a name that deserves to be known by every American. She risked herself just the same as the men who have become legends. I honestly teared up reading this book, because as a young girl, I never saw myself reflected in the American history I was taught. I strongly believe that little girls deserve to see themselves in the history books, but every child, boy, and girl, should read this book and know the name, Mary Katherine Goddard.
I love this book because it addresses all the fears surrounding a seasonal sport. That first time on the mountain is always a tense moment for me, so I can only imagine the thoughts swirling in a child’s mind!
10-year-old Aldo takes a family road trip to Steamboat Springs to ski. He’s super nervous, about everything from ski clothes to ski equipment, to actual skiing. Will he stand out around all the good skiers, the hotdogs?
I am genuinely obsessed with Joanne and her cookbook. I am not vegan, but this book is so beautiful I was compelled to pick it up and take a look – and then I never put it down again. I know that it can be tricky to find some of the more obscure ingredients for international dishes here in Steamboat, but I seriously encourage you to hit the H Mart on your next trip to Denver or order them in to make these recipes as close to the description as possible, because it is very worth it! The noodle dishes are phenomenal. I was craving soup one night and made Gamja Guk (potato and leek soup) and it was so delicious and simple that it immediately became a go-to. My next challenge to myself is getting through some of the awesome-looking kimchis. I love the storytelling that accompanies the recipes too. It’s like sitting with the chef and listening to her tell family stories over a kitchen island.
I love Mediterranean food. The dishes I fantasize about more than any other are midye dolma, a muscle dish you find on the streets of Istanbul, and a kabab I once ate curbside in Athens after a night out watching the sunrise over the Parthenon. So when I saw a new cookbook detailing even more delicious combinations from some of my favorite places, I jumped on it. Y’all! I am begging you to try a mackerel sandwich. Make your own dolmas at home. LITERALLY ANY SALAD IN THIS BOOK! These recipes can seem so daunting, especially for beginner chefs, but they’re not as difficult as you might think. Food is such an integral part of learning about the world and its people, and it has been an integral part of keeping my wander’s heart calm (ish) during these last few years of confinement. If nothing else, this one will look beautiful on your shelf.