MICHELLE'S MONTHLY BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
(see the Montly Newsletter for this month's recommendation!)
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
This is a rollicking, exciting fantasy novel with a strong, intelligent female protagonist, Yelena. Her world is authoritarian and rigid with strict laws. Yelena is offered a choice between death and becoming the leader’s poison taster. “Sieges weather, fight together, friends forever” is a quote from the book that encapsulates Yelena’s adventures as she learns to adapt to and change her world. On one level, this is a wonderful fantasy novel, but the deeper themes stay with readers for years.
The Sweet Spot by Heather Heyford
This is a delightful small town romance set in the Willamette Valley, Oregon on a vineyard. Jamie, the heroine, loves the Vineyards at Ribbon Ridge so much that she turns her vacation into a summer job. Hank, the owner of The Vineyards, devotes his life to the family business but longs for missed opportunities. These two strong characters fight their attraction while working together. Join them on their adventure and you will also fall in love with the Vineyards.
Cremains of the Day by Misty Simon
This is the first book in a cozy mystery series set in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. For readers familiar with the West Shore, there’s an extra layer of fun because they can try to figure out how places relate to their real-world counterparts. Tallie Graver lives above her family’s funeral home but she cleans the houses of her former friends to make ends meet. Her life path takes a twist when her ex-husband is assaulted and she finds one of her employers dead. With Misty Simon’s signature wit and fun characters, this mystery shows that an amateur detective can catch the killer and save the day.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
I loved this book because it combined alternate history, zombies with an amazing protagonist. After the battle of Gettysburg, the dead rose and 17 years later, the heroine is a trained zombie fighter. This book is a wonderful fantasy adventure novel with fabulous underlying themes.
The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good
This is a delightful book about a 19-year-old who has 7 younger siblings and is the main support for her family. She is hired to teach at a school for special needs Amish children. The widowed father of one of her students experiences his own tragedies but he is drawn to her beauty and goodness.
The research in this book was one of its best aspects. There was information about Amish life and culture as well as classroom techniques for children with special needs.
The well written primary and secondary characters pulled me into the story. I highly recommend The Amish Teacher’s Gift for fans of Amish romance and all romance.
The Last Wolf by Maria Vale
The heroine of this paranormal romance is a werewolf who thinks like a wolf, not a human. She is thrown together with a shapeshifter, a being who is the sworn enemy of werewolves. This adventurous story combines love and fantastic world building. It’s wonderful to find a new paranormal book to recommend.
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
This is a fantastic class of the Urban Fantasy genre. It is the first book in the Harry Dresden series. He is a wizard living in Chicago who helps to solve supernatural crimes. The main character is snarky and smart and the rest of the characters are well developed.
The Silver Valley PD series by Geri Krotow
This wonderful series can be read in any order. Silver Valley feels real and like it’s right around the corner because it is based in a fictional version of Central Pennsylvania. The books are romantic suspense with strong, smart heroines and brave, fascinating heroes. If you like your romance with a dash of danger, read the Silver Valley books.
Newsletter did not release in time for October
Outer Banks by Allison B. Hanson
This interesting book combines Science Fiction and Romance genres. After aliens invade and are rebuffed, they leave humans infected. This is the story of the search for the cure by a scientist and the man who helped her to break out of the Outer Banks. It’s a wonderful blend of romance, adventure and science fiction elements.
Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder
This science fiction novel has a wonderful, relatable main character. Lyra’s parents are archaeologists in space. They study the Terracotta Warriors found on a number of planets throughout the galaxy. Lyra travels with them and finds modern mysteries of planets going silent while studying the ancient treasures. This is a great read for all ages.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
I listened to this book on Libro.fm and enjoyed the history and narration by three different narrators for the three main parts. This true story is about the oil wealth on the Osage land in Oklahoma, the murders to steal it and the coverup by local officials. It is the One Book, One Community choice for 2019 and a fascinating example of the interrelatedness of history.
~Guest Review by Sam~
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
The story of Onye, an outcast among outcasts, who discovers her own great strength and sets out to prevent the killing of her people. This book pulls no punches and covers a range of contemporary issues through the lens of a post-apocalyptic Africa. Rich world-building and complex characters are only the beginning of this thought-provoking read.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
This is a high fantasy based on Beauty and the Beast. The character, plot and world building are fantastic. The first hundred pages introduce the heroine and her journey but when the story starts to fly, the book becomes impossible to stop reading. The next two books in the series are even more compelling.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
This is a fabulous fantasy novel told from the perspective of three main characters with input from several more. The tale is based on Eastern European history and folklore. The various perspectives create a fabulous tale of magic, mystery, and love. It is a standalone fantasy novel and a great introduction to a wonderful author.
~Guest Review by Kristian~
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Willowdean “Dumplin” has always felt comfortable in her body, even if she didn’t fit into her mother’s teen pageant legacy. But once her confidence takes a hit, she decides to enter the Miss Clover City beauty pageant, along with other unlikely candidates, and show the community that she deserves to be up there.