“Minor Mage” by T. Kingfisher

Recommended to me by: Redbird

This novella has a similar structure to T. Kingfisher’s The Raven and the Reindeer. A young person sets off on a mission through empty countryside, encounters a solitary farmhouse whose inhabitants are dangerous, has or acquires a talking animal companion, acquires a human companion, encounters a bandit camp, and […]

“The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld

Recommended to me by: Leah K. Walsh

A heart-warming children’s book with few words and spacious illustrations that perfectly convey emotion through body language. Young Taylor (gender unspecified) has a creative disaster, and all the animals have ideas about how to offer comfort. Finally, the rabbit sits nearby and listens, and Taylor begins to […]

“Dreyer’s English” by Benjamin Dreyer

Subtitle: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

Recommended to me by: Jesse-the-K’s rave review

This book is both a useful guide to writing well in English, and an entertaining quick read that includes the occasional jab at the current occupant of the White House. Benjamin Dreyer is persnickety and opinionated, as befits […]

“The Raven and the Reindeer” by T. Kingfisher

Recommended to me by: Redbird

A slant-wise retelling of the Snow Queen story originally by Hans Christian Anderson. It’s been a long time since I read the original, but I remember a sense of heavy oppressiveness. The beginning of this book has the same feeling to it, but fortunately veers away from that after […]

“The White Cat and the Monk” by Jo Ellen Bogart, illustrations by Sydney Smith

Subtitle: A Retelling of the Poem “Pangur Bán”

Recommended to me by: The White Cat and the Monk: A Lovely 9th-Century Ode to the Joy of Uncompetitive Purposefulness, Newly Illustrated

A lovely picture book, well-described by the recommending article, about a monk and his white cat. I could see it leading to a lot […]

“Unraveling” by Karen Lord

Recommended to me by: James Davis Nicoll

A murder mystery is being unraveled by supernatural beings with human allies. Not at all my sort of thing, but it’s a followup to Redemption In Indigo so I gave it a try. Unlike that book, which started off slowly for me, this one pulled me in […]

“The Arrival” by Shaun Tan

Recommended to me by: Sarah Pinsker

This book has no words, only illustrations. Whimsical and menacing by turns, the images tell the story of an immigrant’s parting with his family and arrival in a new land where everything is unexpected and askew. It was unclear until the end whether the macabre or the whimsy […]

“The Steerswoman” by Rosemary Kirstein

Recommended to me by: Sumana Harihareswara

A fun fantasy book, first of a four-book series. The main protagonist is an intelligent, curious, capable woman, and the book easily passes the Bechdel Test. There was more casual violence than I’m comfortable with these days, although it wasn’t enough to make me stop reading.

It […]

“My Brother’s Husband Volume 2” by Gengoroh Tagame

Recommended to me by: Reading Volume 1

This graphic novel is the second half of Mike’s visit to his dead husband’s brother’s family in Japan. It’s a quick read, and at the same time touches on a lot of emotionally powerful themes. The meaning of “family.” Making things right after a family member has […]

“The Fated Sky” by Mary Robinette Kowal

Recommended to me by: Sequel to The Calculating Stars

Elma York goes to Mars. Like in The Calculating Stars, the characters in this book do not flinch from talking about racism and sexism in a system and society they can’t fight or escape.

The plot is more action-driven than the first book. Some characters […]