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Hunting Monsters

Hunting Monsters book cover: a young woman with a red scarf, fur wrap, and a gun

This is a really nice retelling/mashup of the Beauty and the Beast and Red Riding Hood fairy tales, told from the viewpoint of Beauty's teenage daughter. It is a well-constructed and well-told story, and I liked how it makes you think not just about what is left out of the traditional viewpoint of those tales, but also about what viewpoints we might be overlooking in our own world.

Author: 

S.L. Huang

Opium Eater: The New Confessions

Opium Eater book cover: a black and white image of opium poppies

This book intertwines the author's own experiences taking opioids to control the pain from ankylosing spondylitis with a discussion of our current problems with opioid addiction and a look at the role of opioids in the Romantic period. The title is a reference to a book by Thomas De Quincey, a Romantic-period writer who wrote about his experiences with laudanum. Zwarenstein compares De Quincey's experiences with comments from online forums for present day opioid users and her own observations.

Author: 

Carlyn Zwarenstein

Super Bass

Super Bass book cover

This short fantasy story is set in the same world as a longer book. As I read it, I suspected that it would make deeper sense if I'd read the longer book, but even without that background, the story is wonderful. The characters and the world feel real, and the writing is just beautiful.

Author: 

Kai Ashante Wilson

Ask Polly's Guide to Your Next Crisis

Book cover of Ask Polly's Guide to Your Next Crisis

This short ebook is a collection of six Ask Polly columns, along with a short introduction. If you like Ask Polly columns, you'll probably like this book. If you've never read one, this book is a good introduction. I enjoyed the columns, but what I really appreciated in this book was the way the columns were selected to look at the various types of problems/worries in our lives. In doing so, they help you examine your own approach to these sorts of crises, and maybe think a little bit more deeply about what really matters in your life.

Author: 

Heather Havrilesky

April Giveaway: Okay, So Look

I've drawn the winner for March's giveaway, so it is time to move on to April....

This month, I'm back to giving away a book published by the company I run (Annorlunda Books). I'll be giving away two free copies of Okay, So Look, Micah Edwards' humorous retelling of the book of Genesis.

New Year, Same Trash

New Year, Same Trash book cover

This is a very short book about New Year's resolutions: it is the length of a short story. It is also really funny, and Irby's honesty about her resolutions and why she failed to keep them might give you a thought or two about our tendency to make resolutions and then immediately break them.

Author: 

Samantha Irby

The Vishakanya's Choice

The cover of The Vishakanya's Choice, an image of a young woman in red

This is a short story about a young woman whose is sent to join a group of assassins when her fate is foretold to be a sad one. From this premise, the story explores what it means to "have a choice." It is a well-written and thought-provoking story. The world in which it is set is so interesting that I wished the author had taken a little more time to explore it. Still, I couldn't stop reading this story once I started it, so I definitely recommend it.

Author: 

Roshani Chokshi

Guest Post: Eight BookTubers You Need to Subscribe to

Today I have a guest post from Dane Cobain, who introduced his book No Rest for the Wicked to us about a year ago. Today's post isn't an introduction to a book. Instead it is an introduction to BookTube, which is something I've been meaning to explore! 

All of Us, We All Are Arameans

All of Us, We All Are Arameans book cover

This book is a travelogue, the story of the trip one American Jewish woman took to Israel. She is somewhat ambivalent in her feelings about Israel, and is upfront about that, and one of the things we see in the book is her attempt to form solid opinions about the region and its conflicts. The tone stays one of a slightly introspective travelogue, not a weighty investigation of a difficult conflict, but one of the strengths of this book is how it shows the complexity inherent in any conflict that has centuries of history behind it.

Author: 

Eileen Pollack

Book Introduction: Gnarled Bones and Other Stories

I have another book introduction for you this week! Tam May introduces her new collection of short stories.

Gnarled Bones and Other Stories

by Tam May

Gnarled Bones cover, a picture of an elderly woman.

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