Our Children’s Buyer Cappy grew up on Bainbridge before heading to South Carolina to receive a BA and Master’s Degree in History at the College of Charleston. Her historical research centered on women’s political history. While in Charleston she worked as an educator at a children’s museum and as a research assistant for a digital museum. Her reading interests run wide and deep but her favorites are in fantasy, speculative fiction, and feminist non-fiction. When she’s in the store her favorite thing to do is help readers young and old find their next favorite book. If she’s not in the store she’s probably taking her dog Mu on a long walk.
A sweeping coming of age story dominated by strong women and the men in their lives. As the favored grandchild of a wealthy Ugandan clan in the 1970s-1980s, Kirabo is obsessed with the mother she’s never known. Kirabo is surrounded by the intense, often overwhelming love, of her aunt and grandmothers who will stop at nothing to ensure that she has the best possible life. Constantly confronted by the ways patriarchy pit women against each other, the women in this story navigate pain and heartbreak with humor and tough love. Spellbinding, complex, challenging, Makumbi has created a feminist meditation on the nature of female relationships, shot through with history, folklore, and a love story to boot.
This novel is insane and I loved it. Cecilia and her Aunty Darlington are prim and proper pirates and members of the Wisteria Society. They regularly engage in plundering in-between afternoon tea and evening reading. Then one day, three separate people hire the same assassin to kidnap Cecilia and a wacky adventure ensues. Yes there are magical flying houses, there is a dashing and irresistible love interest, there is a hilariously incompetent and unhinged scorned male villain but at its core The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels is about women kicking ass and taking names. Put simply, this book is so much fun. ~ Cappy
In Wake, Dr. Hall takes us on a gripping journey to uncover women’s vital role in historic slave revolts. Hugo Martinez’s illustrations are absolutely fantastic, giving Dr. Hall a superhero vibe as she fights to tell enslaved women’s history. I loved seeing her personal experience intertwined with the historical narrative, particularly her choice not to gloss over how intensely emotional the research process can be. Unique, exciting, and profound I love every single page. ~ Cappy
While Lizzie Bennet will always hold a special place in my heart, Mary Bennet has become the heroine I never knew I needed! So compulsively readable that I had a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to pick it back up. I read Pride and Prejudice at least 6 times before I was 20, so I was a little nervous to read this re-telling, but Hadlow has created an ode to Austen that is wholly her own style. At it’s core this admirable continuation of a beloved classic is a coming of age story. In addition to all the happy mishaps and misunderstandings of an Austen novel Hadlow includes truly profound observations about life as Mary grapples with questions like: How does one become happy? What is the relationship between beauty and happiness? Utterly satisfying, this book will be loved far beyond Austen fans!
Lily King masterfully blends romantic interests, adult friendships, family relationships, and the ever-present question, “Am I a failure?” into an authentic depiction of life. Casey Peabody is in her early 30s, working in an upscale restaurant, living in a glorified potting shed, and equal parts determined and loathed to finish writing her novel. With engaging and witty writing King explores the tribulations of working as a woman, the horrors of gynecologist visits and student debt, the comfort of eating cinnamon toast with your best friend, budding relationships, and the profound anguish of losing a parent. Reading Writers & Lovers feels like having a long conversation with your favorite friend and is a book I will probably re-read and re-read. ~ Cappy
I enjoyed the eclectic feel of this new Didion collection. From Gamblers Anonymous to contemplations on the decisions of Hemingway’s fourth wife, to the crushing but ultimately important lesson of rejection from your first choice in colleges, this collection again proves Didion’s writing is timeless. To me the stand-out essay was “Everywoman.com” and Didion’s defense of Martha Stewart as a feminist icon. The last lines gave me goosebumps. ~ Cappy
This book kept me up all night because I just had to know what happened to Addie LaRue. Set across centuries and countries, Schwab’s writing is spellbinding as she recounts the tale of Addie, a woman who trades her life in 17th century France for eternal life—with the catch that no one will ever remember her. I fell in love with Addie and her determination to leave a mark on this world. As a lover of fantasy and speculative fiction I was drawn to those elements of the book, but with half of the plot taking place in 2014 in New York City, this book will also appeal to mainstream fiction readers. An examination of loneliness, the power dynamics of love, and humanity’s deep fear of running out of time, this book will stay with me for a long time. Also, no spoilers but the ending might be my favorite ending to a book I have ever read. ~ Cappy
Funny, magical, and absolutely strange, this book defies explanation. Clark’s excellent writing is on full display, leading the reader through a labyrinth of stone walls and rushing tides, unfolding an utterly creative plot. The main character (his name is a topic of debate) lives in an endless house of stone and statues, where he is completely content. When “the Other” (the only other known in existence) begins acting strangely our main character is concerned. But when a new person shows up in the House our main character is faced with a reality he once knew and has long forgotten. Speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and crime cult/murder mystery converge in this fabulous and satisfying tale. ~ Cappy
Written by a Gullah-Geechee (descendant of enslaved Africans along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia) author, this middle reader novel is a beautiful family adventure that blends the challenges for Black South Carolinians in the 1960s with the magic found in folklore. Ten-year-old old Jezebel has an intense love for her family and respect for all living creatures, which leads to new light being shed on elements that are traditionally cast as villainous. This book deals with the strife between Black Americans and the police in an age appropriate, and ultimately empowering and redemptive way. There are also some very fun spooky moments. A lovely coming of age story that I recommend to adults as well as children. Ages 8-12 ~ Cappy
Recently I’ve been loving short stories and essay collections, I’ve also been meaning to read something by Zora Neale Hurston so it felt like fate when this new in paperback collection of her short stories arrived in the store! Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick brings together the complete list of short stories by this iconic Harlem Renaissance writer and it was a joy to read. Hurston centers the Black experience, exploring family, community, hopes and dreams as well as nature. Equally humorous and tragic Hurston’s beautifully illuminated and satirical writing is a testament to American culture and life. This collection also includes an introduction which gives helpful and interesting historical context to these stories. Plus the cover art is gorgeous! ~ Cappy
Even as a diehard Le Guin fan, I was stunned by how much I loved this work of speculative fiction. As the main character visits fifteen alternate universes in order to entertain herself during an airport layover, Le Guin’s ability to breeze through an alternate “plane” or universe provides the magic of Changing Planes. The reader is left with more than enough to be satisfied by the story, but in awe of the ease with which Le Guin constructs an entire society in so few pages, just to move on. While Le Guin never shies away from the disturbing or difficult, on the whole this book is on the lighter side, investigating humanity with her characteristic deep thought, warmth, and subtle humor.
This book is laugh-until-you-hurt-and-have-to-put-the-book-down-for-a-break funny. Brosh digs into both her childhood and adult life, finding everyday moments you never knew could be so ludicrously wonderful. Her vigorous and joyful spirit, alongside her signature illustrations, make Solutions and Other Problems an absolute ray of sunshine. You’ll wish it never ends!
Martha Jones is a giant in the field of African American history and this book is her best yet. Beautiful storytelling, which incorporates Jones’s own family history, makes this the perfect book for any armchair historian. Jones brings to light the stories of dozens of black women who are often ignored in history books, proving that these women have been at the forefront in the fight for equality for centuries. Her powerful research will change the way we think about the history of women’s suffrage and voting rights in this country.
This novel exemplifies that tricky balance between humor and horror. Set in the 1980s in Charleston, South Carolina, Hendrix creatively re-imagines his own mother’s life: this time with a handsome vampire who moves to town and turns her book club’s world upside down and inside out. There is friendship! Gore! 1980s fashion! You’ll laugh! You’ll cringe! You’ll never look at trash bags the same way again! Most impressive, however, is Hendrix’s ability to weave complex issues of racism, failing marriages, and obsession over socioeconomic status seamlessly into this wacky masterpiece.
I listened to this book on Libro.fm and there were so many quotes I wanted to have in writing that I ended up also buying myself a hardcopy! I love essay collections, and Irby's stood out to me for several reasons. Firstly, she's hilarious; and secondly, she is unapologetically herself in all situations. In Wow, No Thank You Irby takes us through preparations for a night out, full-out battles with gynecologists, snack lists, her entire music library, and more. Great for anyone who needs a smart and not-at-all serious read to breeze through. ~ Cappy
Funny, uniquely plotted, and paced. I breezed through this novella in two sittings. Set in present-day Japan, Murata made me feel like I was physically in the convenience store working alongside its star employee Keiko. Her commentary on the many forms the urge to fit in can take is biting yet hilariously subdued - at times almost painfully so. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick clever read. ~ Cappy
Octavia Butler (a Seattleite!) should be required reading, and this book is a prime example as to why. This novel follows teenage Lauren, a visionary leader dedicated to seeking freedom and safety despite the fear, violence, and complacency of those around her. You will be in awe of her at every turn. Butler transcends the science fiction genre with this beautiful page turner that explores religion, family, politics, leadership, and what it means to be a member of a community. ~ Cappy
This book has taken permanent residence in my brain. In Blue Nights, maybe even more than its companion piece, The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion brings us inside her jumbled, grieving mind. I am obsessed with her ability to tell a completely non-linear but cohesive story. Skipping around from her present life to the day in 1966 when a doctor called to say there is "a beautiful girl here at the hospital, would you like her?" Didion explores the endless pain she feels in the wake of her daughter's death many years later and how this pain is inextricably linked to her own current instability. Haunting and riveting. Joyful and complex. Creative and oh, so Didion. ~ Cappy