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11/22/63: A Novel

11/22/63: A Novel

In King's beloved Maine, high school English teacher Jake Epping discovers a doorway into the past: into 1958, to be precise. Epping soon realizes he has the ability to change the past: any action he takes in 1958 inevitably changes the present day. Before long, Epping commits himself to a bold mission: to tinker with the past and prevent the Kennedy assassination. King's weird blend of history is decidedly creepy, but not scary. More info →
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When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine

When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir from Mexico, Maine

I adored Wood's novel The One-in-a-Million Boy and was eager to read more of her work so I picked this up and I'm so glad I did. This is Wood's story of her childhood in the oddly named Mexico, Maine, home to the Oxford Paper Company, and the death of her father when she was just 9 years old. The story was so well done, and I especially enjoyed the audio version, narrated by the author herself. More info →
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Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education

I enjoy Pollan's writing, including this one. From the publisher: "With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn and a dispatch from one man's war with a woodchuck to reflections on the sexual politics of roses, Pollan captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation." More info →
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Experimental Film

Experimental Film

I recommended this to Mallory O'Meara in episode 176 of WSIRN. This is a ghost story about a teacher of film history who gets sucked into investigating a very old mystery about how and why an experimental filmmaker in the past disappeared. As she starts digging around, she finds out the film itself is a clue, and possibly more than the clue. More info →
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Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction

From the publisher: "For fans of vintage YA, a humorous and in-depth history of beloved teen literature from the 1980s and 1990s. Those pink covers. That flimsy paper. The nonstop series installments that hooked readers throughout their entire adolescence. These were not the serious-issue novels of the 1970s, nor the blockbuster YA trilogies that arrived in the 2000s. Nestled in between were the girl-centric teen books of the ’80s and ’90s—short, cheap, and utterly adored. In Paperback Crush, author Gabrielle Moss explores the history of this genre with affection and humor, highlighting the best-known series along with their many diverse knockoffs. From friendship clubs and school newspapers to pesky siblings and glamorous beauty queens, these stories feature girl protagonists in all their glory. Journey back to your younger days, a time of girl power nourished by sustained silent reading. Let Paperback Crush lead you on a visual tour of nostalgia-inducing book covers from the library stacks of the past." More info →
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Polaris Rising: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion)

Polaris Rising: A Novel (The Consortium Rebellion)

Libro.fm is running a sale on several titles this month. They're my go-to for audiobooks these days; read more about Libro.fm here. No membership required for most sale prices, including this one. The ebook is ALSO on sale. From the publisher: "A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy. In the far distant future, the universe is officially ruled by the Royal Consortium, but the High Councillors, the heads of the three High Houses, wield the true power. As the fifth of six children, Ada von Hasenberg has no authority; her only value to her High House is as a pawn in a political marriage. When her father arranges for her to wed a noble from House Rockhurst, a man she neither wants nor loves, Ada seizes control of her own destiny. The spirited princess flees before the betrothal ceremony and disappears among the stars. Ada eluded her father’s forces for two years, but now her luck has run out. Ada realizes that if her jilted fiancé captures her, she’ll become a political prisoner and a liability to her House. Her only hope is to strike a deal with the dangerous fugitive: a fortune if he helps her escape." More info →
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Passing

Passing

One of my favorite books of 2020. I read this for the first time last year, and it was not at all what I expected. Written in 1929, set during the Jazz Age in Harlem, this is the story of two childhood friends who reconnect after choosing very different paths. Both women are Black and light-skinned. Clare has chosen to pass for white, and is even married to a white man who knows nothing of her heritage or history. Irene is married to a successful African-American physician. As the women spend more time together, Irene's life starts looking better and better to Clare ... and what unfolds is a battle of wits in a story akin to a psychological thriller. The story feels so fresh and unexpected, I couldn't believe it was written nearly a hundred years ago. What a page-turner! More info →
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