Rania is a lifelong book reader, first time bookseller.
Reviews & Recommendations
Come for the cover art, stay for the fantastic post-apocalyptic world building, the array of developed and compelling characters, and the excellent plot. Truly this book has it all! Plus, bonus it's the first book in a trilogy (all of which are available in paperback and honestly you should just go ahead and get all three now so you NEVER HAVE TO WAIT EVEN ONE SECOND IN BETWEEN READING THESE AWESOME BOOKS). I have recommended The Book of Koli to everyone I know, and even those who don't usually read speculative fiction have LOVED it and devoured all three books in the series.
Everyone should read this clear, comprehensive, and accessible introduction to mutual aid work by local author and activist Dean Spade. Not only does the book provide an excellent definition and analysis of mutual aid, it also offers ways of being and working with one another that are holistic, anti-capitalist, and liberative.
Samantha Irby is a comedic genius and this is her funniest book of essays. If you hate laughing, this book is not for you.
Fair warning: The book is long and complex. There are A LOT of characters and they are named in the Old English style, which can be confusing—the family tree and map at the beginning and the glossary at the end of the book are your true friends, use them freely. That being said, this novel is worth every ounce of effort it takes to read it. Griffith's writing is gorgeous, she is also a master of worldbuilding and employs her extensive research to breathe life into this incredible story. The detail and specificity of her descriptions of life in 7th century Britain will completely immerse you in that unfamiliar time and place, and may refuse to let you go. I finished this book (after a week of feverish, compulsive reading) more than five years ago and I still think about it with shocking frequency.
Donna Tartt is a national treasure and she is at the top of her game in The Goldfinch. Spanning decades and crisscrossing the country this "haunted odyssey through present-day America is a drama of enthralling power." Every element is a testament to Tartt's incredible skill with the written word—the plot, the characters, the pacing, the tone, the descriptions, the dialogue, and every single one of the amazing details. This book is so beautiful, and haunting, and sad, and thrilling, and I found it utterly unputdownable.
This is a novel made up of short stories, each of them a vivid, potentially stand-alone, anecdote about a character who works in the music industry. The narrative ping-pongs from life to life, from the present, to the past, to the future and is written in multiple styles, from first, to second, to third-person and in newspaper articles and PowerPoint graphics. All of which could feel gimmicky if Jennifer Egan's prose wasn't so artful, or her method of bleeding one story onto the next so skillfully done. The book is beautiful, both clever and smart and, honestly, a little bit heartbreaking. Bonus points for reading it a second time so you pick up on all the amazing interlocking details that Egan has sprinkled throughout.
Is there any feat Jennifer Egan can’t accomplish with the written word? In The Candy House she offers us a companion novel to her Pulitzer Prize winning A Visit From The Goon Squad that is every bit as vibrantly alive, deliciously complex, wildly sprawling, and utterly compelling. The novel is made up of interwoven short stories (consistent readers of The New Yorker will have already encountered many of the chapters as stand-alone pieces). Told from a variety of viewpoints and in a dizzying array of styles, the stories knit together to form a meditation on memory, privacy vs. connectivity, and the ways that storytelling ascribes meaning to what is otherwise just information.
Part queer love story, part thriller, part sci-fi alien adventure, Lo's Adaptation is a great YA page-turner that I enjoyed the heck out of.
First published in 2008, this YA novel about a teenage hacker who gets swept up by the DHS in an anti-terrorism raid, becomes more topical and prescient with each passing year. Cory Doctorow's smart and highly readable (really, both my teenagers loved it) book is actually a treatise on why your freedom and privacy are important and how you (yes you!) can fight back against the surveillance state.