A Few Ideas to Pique Your Interest
I woke up today and realized that we are halfway through January. In the haze of the holidays and the New Year, I haven’t had time to sit down and process what a fantastic few months we've had at BookHampton. As someone who has worked in the store in both its old and new forms, I can say that we performed beautifully and you were incredibly receptive to our new ideas and layout. So, thank you.
2016 was a weird year for me both professionally and personally. I learned many lessons and as 2017 is rolling on, I find myself no longer stuck in the breaking waves, but safely on the shore, with my feet only teasing the salty water. I can now look out at the passing year with clarity and I am happy to not be drowning in the powerful riptide.
Books don’t stop coming out regardless of my mood swings, pensive nature, and over-thinking mentality - but don't worry, I’ve continued to read. Not only was I reading but I was able to catch a few solid films. I highly recommend LA-LA LAND and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. I know critics have already praised both films more than their own first-born, but I can assure you they are worth your time.
So, what’s worth your time? Here are a few suggestions that may pique your interest and, of course, if you would like some more guidance, you know where to find me.
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
A strong and emotional debut from Fridlund that follows a teenage girl named Linda who lives in a remote part of Minnesota. Linda spends her summer babysitting for a family who moves in across the lake from her and all the while she wrestles with moving into adulthood and finding her sense of belonging. Think of this novel asWinter’s Bone but without all the crystal meth - and when I make that comparison, I’m speaking more to the tone and feel rather than the actual content.
Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson
I’m a big fan of Peter Swanson ever since his last novel, The Kind Worth Killing, which was an electrifying and smart thriller. This new story centers around a woman who has recently been abused and in her act to get away from everything, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Told from multiple points of the view, Her Every Fear reads like a Hitchcock-film – which is how I would describe Swanson’s last book as well.
The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel
Not only is Sobel one of the best voices in science, she also lives locally and is incredibly humble about how intelligent she is. If you haven’t read Longitude yet, add it to your list immediately and then pick up The Glass Universe. This book would pair well with Hidden Figures as it is about women in science and exploration in an age when women were looked down on for, well, being women. We love you, Dava!
What I've Been Reading:
The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
This book captured me within the first few pages and I couldn’t put it down until I was done. This 600-page epic, high-fantasy tale of warring states and fragile alliances intrigued me to no end. Based loosely on the telling of the Han Dynasty, Liu’s strong writing and remarkable characters make this one of my favorites in the genre. The best part is that Liu stays away from all the fantasy tropes of dragons, magic, and evil sorcerers – he just tells the story of people consumed with spilling blood in the name of principles that reach farther than themselves.
Jackaby by William Ritter
The Chicago Tribune stated that this series is a cross betweenSherlock Holmes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I can’t think of a more appropriate comparison. Even though the Jackaby series is in the Young Adult market, it is just as well written and mature as any of the mysteries that you would find in the “adult” sections. Fun, gruesome, and a fast page-turner, this series has me hooked. You can read it in a night if you are diligent.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
I’m a sucker for a well-written coming-of-age story and Saenz delivers with this tale of two boys growing up in El Paso, Texas. Part immigrant story, part coming-out, this story feels drenched in nostalgia for a time when we could all just drive our trucks into the desert, look up, get high, and allow the stars to take us where we wanted to go.
Right now I am about to finish up some Young Adult titles that I have neglected. The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is on deck because the 3rd book in the series, King’s Cage, is out in a few weeks and I want to be caught up. I am also going to start the next Jackaby book, Beastly Bones, but that should only take me a couple of days to plow through. Wall of Storms is sitting on my kitchen table, which is the sequel to The Grace of Kings, and that beast is about 800-pages, so I’ll see you all on the other side.