Welcome to Jen's recommendations! Check out what Jen has been reading below.
I absolutely loved this book! The Priory of the Orange Tree is the stuff of legend, an epic fantasy set in a world with dragons, slayers, mages, and queens. It has been over one thousand years since the Nameless One terrorized the world. He has long since been imprisoned, but now his generals are awakening, and it's only the beginning. Queen Sabran IX comes from a long line of rulers in the West. She is expected to wed and produce an heir to ensure the safety of her people. Ead Duryan is her lady in waiting, with deadly skills and a secret that could unravel Sabran's long-held beliefs. Tane of the East is a dragon rider after years of training only to see her life's dream shatter in an instant. The fate of humanity itself lies on the shoulders of these three complex heroines. Samantha Shannon delivers a feminist fantasy that is just unputdownable.
A book for film buffs and surrealists! When Dali meet Harpo in 1930's Hollywood it was kismet. Not only did they become fast friends, but they inspired each other. So much so that Dali wrote a screenplay for his new muse, Harpo Marx. Sadly, it was never brought to the silver screen. With Dali back in Spain and Harpo making movies with his brothers, the dream of these two surrealists was never shared with the world, until now. Josh Frank meticulously researched this lost bit of film history to see what could be salvaged. Together, with Tim Heidecker adapting the screenplay and Manuela Pertega illustrating Dali's vision into graphic novel form, they have brought to life Salvador Dali's long-lost screenplay, Giraffes on Horseback Salad. A comical and wildly fantastic screenplay. I'm so glad we get a glimpse into what could have been.
The Winter of the Witch takes place immediately after the events in The Girl in the Tower. The world of the old gods is fading, and the new religion is claiming the hearts of Vasya's people. Rus is on the brink of war and Vasya, it seems, is up against the whole world. With the help of new allies, Vasya is determined to save all that she holds dear even if it means sacrificing everything. Vasya is the kind of character you cheer for, cry with, and roar alongside. 'Petrichor' is the word used to describe that sweet, earthy smell after it rains. It's the word I would use to describe the Winternight trilogy. Katherine Arden's storytelling encompasses all your senses, so grab a hot mug of your favorite drink and settle in for Vasya's adventures in The Winter of the Witch.
Joel Monroe is a cranky, quick tempered resident of Hilltop nursing home. He's in for quite a shock to his daily routine when Frank Adams arrives to the home and becomes Joel's new roommate. Frank and Joel may seem like complete opposites, however, Joel will soon learn they aren't so different after all. With Frank as his partner in crime, they break out of Hilltop and enjoy their new-found freedom. As they work on Joel's top secret plan, Joel will discover that it's not too late to live life to the fullest. The Great Unexpected will have you laughing out loud one minute and teary eyed the next. I adored this charming tale of friendship that reminds us it's never too late to enjoy the VIP section of a club!
A father's gentle nature, a mother's sacrifice, a daughter's trust and a son's determination are the cornerstones of this grand multi-layered saga. Pachinko follows one family through an ever changing cultural landscape from 1910 Korea to 1989 Japan. As the bonds of family are put to the test in the harsh realities of their world, Sunja and those she holds dear manage to carve themselves a place to call home with hard work, self-sacrifice and a little kimchi. Through it all is a message about love, faith, and the deep rooted bonds of family. Min Jin Lee gives us a phenomenal story about one family's struggle that resonates to us today. It will take hold of you and not let go!
Chloe Benjamin brings us an emotional novel about a universal question--What if you could find out the date of your death? Would you want to know? Would it change the way you live your life? When Daniel Gold hears the rumor that there's a fortune teller nearby, he convinces his sisters, Varya and Klara to go and find out what their future holds with little brother Simon tagging along. However, this is no ordinary fortune teller, this fortune teller will give you the date of your death. For the Gold children, the answers become complex and yet very simple as they figure out how to live their life with a date that looms over as a blessing or perhaps a burden depending on your views. The Immortalists is a phenomenal story that will draw you into each siblings life and leave you hungry for more.
Children of Blood and Bone is explosive! I loved everything about it. Eleven years ago Zelie's mother was murdered on the night magic left her people, the night known simply as "The Raid". The brutal King Saran ordered the slaughter of all Maji, thus keeping a younger generation under his heel. But that was then and this is now. By coincidence or divine intervention, Zelie has a chance to restore magic to her people. It's a long and treacherous journey - one that will change Zelie and her companions forever. Tomi Adeyemi's compelling tale is filled with magic, betrayals, danger, and heroines who are forces to be reckoned with.
Evan has lost his faithful companion and nothing can help ease his pain, not even the garden where Evan and his dog enjoyed most of their time together. But something extraordinary is happening in that neglected garden. Something that will help ease Evan's pain. Rough Patch is a thoughtful and impressive picture book about friendship and loss. Brian Lies gives us a picture book that will pull at the heartstrings!
It's 1966 and Argentina is on the verge of political chaos, with CIA operative Vera Kelly smack dab in the middle of it. What should be a typical assignment for Vera suddenly becomes a whole lot more. Over the course of the year, Vera will be betrayed and left stranded in a country with no way out. Who Is Vera Kelly? is the kind of cool, slow-burn spy novel perfect for those summer nights.
It all starts with the Tollund Man and a letter. When Tina Hopgood sent her letter, she wasn't expecting a reply. She wasn't expecting a new friendship to blossom either, but that's exactly what happened when Curator Anders Larsen decided to respond. While sharing their interest in the Tollund Man, Tina and Kristian discover that their very different lives may not be so different after all. Thus begins a correspondence between two people who have never met in person. Meet Me at the Museum is an eloquent epistolary novel. Reading this felt like I'd discovered a box of letters that were left behind, tucked away by someone who treasured this friendship and the lost art of letter writing.
Reaper at the Gates is the third book in Sabaa Tahir's dynamic Ember in the Ashes quartet. Laia, Elias, and Helene all have a path they are meant to follow, and straying from it might lead to grim consequences. With enemies lurking at every turn, Laia of Serra must find the strength to prevent the Nightbringer's destruction of her people and the world. Helene, the Blood Shirke, must persevere through the ongoing threats, not only from the Emperor himself, but from the deadly Commandant in order to protect her family and the Empire itself. As much as Elias loves Laia and wants to protect her, it may not be within his power. Can Elias fulfill his new duties as Soul Catcher without sacrificing all it means to love and be human? Reaper at the Gates will keep you on the edge of your seat 'til the very end! You will not want to put this book down. I know I didn't.
Ken Krimstein's compelling biography of Hannah Arendt comes to us in graphic novel form. The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt chronicles Arendt's remarkable life in three stages, from childhood to old age. Hannah Arendt led a truly incredible life, from escaping persecution in Europe to becoming a leading philosophical figure in the 20th century. Arendt's work has new life, as it's become a much needed reference for today's climate, and this adroit biography deserves a place on your bookshelf.
The quest for a united Norway continues! Svanhild has chosen love and adventure over family duty and her brother, Ragnvald. It has been six years since Svanhild's fateful decision. Six years of adventures on the high sea, exploring alongside her husband, Solvi, and living a life unheard of for a woman. The skalds sing of her beauty and prowess, drawing the attention of King Harald, enemy of Solvi. Ragnvald the Half-Drowned, now Ragnvald the Wise, has proven himself to be a formidable warrior and great friend to King Harald. He wants to see his king on the throne, ruling all of Norway. Life is precious and often short and there will be many trials and tribulations for friend and foe alike. The Sea Queen is full of intrigue, longing, bloody battles, and ambitions that will change the course of everyone's lives.
It's Carmela's birthday! Waking up to candles in her pancakes and armed with birthday bracelets that jingle and jangle, Carmela is ready for the day! It's a special birthday because it means she can go out alone with her big brother. Along the way Carmela finds a dandelion in concrete, but before she can make a wish she has to decide which wish she wants to make. Bursting with many wishes, it's hard to decide on just one. As she follows her big brother around town and helps him with the chores, Carmela imagines all the possibilities of her wishes as she holds onto her dandelion, jingling and jangling as she goes. Carmela Full of Wishes is full of heart and soul! A picture book that will definitely become a beloved family book to read over and over again.
The magical and memorable world of The Cemetery of Forgotten Books is back in this final installment. The minister of culture is missing and it's up to the alluring Alicia Gris to find him. Saddled with a new partner, Alicia and Vargas set out to solve a mystery that the police are unable to solve. Leaving Madrid behind, Alicia heads for Barcelona, a city she thought she'd never go back to. What starts as a simple missing persons case soon becomes so much more. As Alicia tries to stay one step ahead of the game with help from the Sempere family and some old friends, she falls deeper and deeper into the dark labyrinth of Barcelona, where something sinister awaits. The Labyrinth of the Spirits will make you forget the outside world. You will lose yourself once again in the shadows of Barcelona. It will break your heart, it will twist you up, it will give you hope, it will make you laugh, it will make you fall in love with books all over again.
The Disasters is a fun, adventure filled romp through space! Nax Hall has only ever wanted to be a pilot. The way he sees it, his only chance is with the Academy. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, Nax has been denied entry and will have to head back to Earth. Stuck on a shuttle with three other Academy rejects, Nax doesn't know how he'll ever face his parents again. However, he doesn't have time to dwell on that for long when a terrorist group attacks the station and kills everyone on board. Nax and his new crew narrowly avoid capture. As the sole survivors of the attack, it's up to this ragtag team to stop these terrorists. Warning Earth and the colonies will take a whole lot of courage and trust if they ever want to make it out alive.
When a big brother is asked to draw a picture of his baby sister for her baby book, he draws a picture of her crying. That doesn't go over very well with the parents, but it's not his fault that's what she looks like all the time. And so, over the course of 10 years, we witness a funny and heartfelt story told in notes and drawings from one very tolerant brother to his baby sister. Dear Sister will have you laugh out loud one moment and teary eyed the next. I adored this!
Nunu has moved to Paris for a fresh start, leaving behind her old life in Istanbul. When Nunu meets M., a writer whose novels she practically knows by heart, the pair embark on an unusual friendship defined by unspoken rules. Over the course of a year, Nunu and M. walk the charming streets of Paris sharing stories and comfortable silences along the way. Walking on the Ceiling is a quiet novel about friendship, grief, and the stories we tell. This may be a short novel but it's packed with lots of heart!
Inspired by the exile of Queen Elizabeth I, we follow Margaret, a young orphaned girl living on an island inhabited by nuns. Margaret's unassuming life is soon thrown into turmoil when a ship arrives to the island to deliver a most unusual prisoner, Eleanor. Eleanor, who is accompanied by a nun from the mainland, could very well pose a threat to Margaret's peaceful way of life. However, as time goes by, Margaret and Eleanor start to develop a fragile friendship. But when the Island's true purpose is revealed, the long held secrets of young Margaret's life could leave the fate of Eleanor's future and the future of the island in her hands. Dylan Meconis has created a beautiful graphic novel that will transport you to another time and place.