Jo came to the bookstore from the theatre, and as such spends more time singing than she intends, while running our receiving operation. She claims that stashing a favorite book into her rabbit warren is a well-deserved perk of that job. Her tastes run to fantasy and science fiction, but a good premise and snappy writing has been known to lure her out of safety and into the dangerous realm of non-fiction.



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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544272996
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 2nd, 2014

This is a book full of scenarios that illustrate science in the best possible way. Munroe picks weird and impractical questions from an assortment of submissions and thinks them through logically, applying science to both informative and hilarious effect. Whether you have an hour or ten minutes, there’s something here to entertain. The science is thorough, the questions absurd, and the stick-figure illustrations whimsical. The combination is absolutely worth picking up. ~ Jo

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Rosemary and Rue Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756405717
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - September 1st, 2009

The main character in this fantasy is a faerie private eye who spends fourteen years cursed. After beginning to put her life back together, she winds up with a bigger mystery than before, one she’s magically bound to follow to its conclusion, good or ill. The writing is engaging, the plot excellently thick, and the meshing of faerie and mortal worlds is seamless. The first in a series, this is a wonderful read, hard to put down

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Jane Steele Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399169496
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 22nd, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this homage to Jane Eyre. It’s a convincing period piece centered on a fascinating if unfortunate character, whose flaws and strengths interested me so much it was difficult to put the book down. The eponymous Jane begins the book with a murder, and will commit more, but her heart is in the right place and she remains a heroine to be cheered for. The emotional resolution of the romance is satisfying without being overdone, and the plot ties up nicely without any shortcuts or hand-waving on the author’s part.

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Uprooted Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804179058
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey Books - March 1st, 2016

This compulsively readable fantasy is grounded in a world that displays all the trademarks of Novik’s thoughtful world building. Fairy tale elements are key, from the dark and pervasive Wood, to the Dragon in his tower and, at the center, a young woman just coming into magic in ways that no one, even herself, expects. The characters are wonderfully human in their relationships, and the magic never feels forced or unnatural. All in all, this is a fabulous read, and I love it. A lot.

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Sparrow Hill Road Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756409616
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - May 6th, 2014

This is sort of an urban fantasy ghost story, a bunch of little stories in the existence of a wandering ghost of the roads. All of them interlink into a greater narrative, and all have a sort of empathy at their heart which I find immensely touching. It’s been a long time since I cried over a book, but the beautifully bittersweet notes in this one hit me perfectly in the heart. A stand-alone novel that can easily fit into an afternoon, this is well worth falling into.

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Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544668256
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - November 24th, 2015

Munroe (What If?) explains vastly complex concepts, such as rockets and datacenters and plate tectonics, using only the thousand — or “hundred hundred” — most common words in the English language, combined with his trademark tidy line-drawings and a dash of dry humor. Not only is it educational, but it provides a thoughtful approach to language as well as technology. A beautiful and invaluable addition to any library.

The Beekeeper's Apprentice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312427368
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Picador USA - October 2nd, 2007

I went back to this one during the endless commutes I had this summer, and it kept me good company. King’s portrayal of Holmes as a flawed human is beautiful, and this series remains my favorite Holmes spin-off.

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A Night in the Lonesome October Cover Image
By Roger Zelazny, Gahan Wilson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781556525605
Availability: Backordered
Published: Chicago Review Press - October 1st, 2014

Over the course of one notable October, players of a mysterious game gather in Victorian-era London and engage in an ancient conflict, unbeknownst to most. The story is told from the point of view of a dog, who minds the dangerous creatures his master has captured and seeks out information on the other players, all in the hopes of making sure a certain set of mystical doors stays closed. An engaging stand-alone novel with as much mystery as magic, themed for Halloween but enjoyable any time of year. ~ Jo