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Quinnell's Staff Favorites
Quinnell has been an avid reader her entire life, indulging in many different genres and books for all ages! She loves reading and recommending books that transport you to a different world.
A stunning Beauty and the Beast retelling with just the right amount of sad-character-backstory and steamy scenes that will have you swooning!
This book is a wonderful book, from the POV of a grumpy old man (you guessed it, called Ove).
Ove is widowed, childless, and without family or friends. He is strict, protective of his neighborhood, and a lover of cars (specifically Saabs). He very badly wants to end his life and join his wife in death, until a family moves in next door and turns his life upside down.
A Man Called Ove will rip your heart out, squeezer it, throw it across a football field, and then shove it back into your chest cavity. It will leave you laughing, "awe-ing", and sobbing.
Babel starts with telling the story of Robin, a young Chinese boy who is taken from his home in Canton by an Englishman, Richard Lovell. Lovell takes him to London and begins tutoring him in languages so he can one day enroll in Babel, Oxford’s school of translation and silver working.
As Robin grows he realizes the impact that Babel’s translation institute has on Britain’s colonial efforts. Everything he imagined for himself and his life quickly changes.
This book is phenomenal. Babel is an expansive story of language, revolution, identity, and found family. I grew a sort of attachment to the story and characters that will be difficult for me to shake—as I feel like I’ve followed them throughout the most important times of their lives.
I’ve seen a lot of people say they had a hard time getting into it, but this book was a page turner for me. It’s large, of course, and with most large books it does have some world building at the beginning but I appreciated and loved this aspect of it.
I’ve never been much of a poetry reader. Admittedly, poetry is difficult for me to read as I often don’t understand the full meaning because I read so, so fast (thanks, ADHD!). BUT, I think this book may have convinced me to read more poetry.
At it’s core, this poetry book is about colonization. Miraculously, though, the author was frequently able to turn a heavy topic into something fun and witty. Oftentimes, you would start a poem thinking you knew what it was about and end it with your jaw on the floor.
I can’t wait to see more of this poets work
I Kissed Shara Wheeler was like…Mean Girls meets Stranger Things meets Sex Education?? There was always something happening and the mystery of where Shara disappeared to was THRILLING!!! This was a complete roller-coaster of a book.
This book is both character AND plot driven, which I think is what makes it so good. They’re witty, smart, and so, so real.
This will forever be a staple recommendation for me for anyone looking for a funny, lighthearted, adventurous YA book!!!!
I am genuinely serious when I say I think this is one of the best books I’ve ever read.
It starts with a pandemic (I know…I know…as if we need that right now…but trust me!), and takes you through the lives of many different people as they experience grief, loss, and love.
What’s interesting about this book was the authors talent in connecting the individual stories. One moment, you’d be reading about a man working for some capitalistic company profiting off of the plague victims, and the next you’d be reading about that characters niece 30 years later. It was SO FUN being able to connect the stories yourself and have an “oh yeah…I’ve heard that name before” moment. It was very Emily St. John Mandel
This book was sad, and happy, and magical. The prose was fluid, and it was extremely hard for me to put it down. I got a copy from the library, but will be buying a copy for my shelf just so I can enjoy this book again and again.
I know the premise probably sounds depressing, and it IS, but, in a good way? Just READ IT!!! Trust me
I was initially intrigued by this book because of the cover. Admittedly, I knew little about the synopsis, but I think it was better that way because this book was SO MUCH FUN!!!!
Acts of Violet takes place 10 years after the disappearance of Violet Volk, a famous magician. The story switches between the POV of Violets sister, Sasha, and the POV of a true-crime podcast host, Cameron. I'm not really a true-crime fan, as I think podcasts and shows about true-crime often exploit the victims and their families for money or clout, SO, this made me sympathize with Sasha and her family (which I don't think was the authors intention).
The audiobook was fantastic, with a full cast of characters, and even sound effects, which made the book very hard to put down.
What happened to Violet? How does her fame affect her family, even a decade later? You'll have to read to find out...
There is something about Charlottes writing that is so fluid and beautiful, and I fell in love with her other book, “Migrations”. This one seemed to get more hype, so I knew it would be a top read for me.
This book is about a woman, Inti, who sets out with her team to “rewild” Scotland by re-introducing wolves to the wilderness. As an animal lover, and future wildlife biologist, I was so excited to see the amount of work the author put into making this book accurate and educational, despite being a work of fiction.
What I loved most about this book, and really all of her works, that it isn’t solely nature/climate fiction—but also mystery—and the mystery aspect in this book was so thrilling that I genuinely could not put it down.
Once There Were Wolves is a must read (and if you loved this one, I highly recommend her other book too).
So I gave the hyped-up book a chance. And I’m so glad I did.
Every Summer After takes places over many years, jumping from the past to the present to tell you the story of Persephone (Percy) and Sam. Two friends turned lovers turned enemies turned friends turned lovers, set mostly in this small Canadian town on a lake house. I mean…what more could you want?
I loved this book. Slow at first, like many books, but quickly picks up as the story begins to unravel. I absolutely adored the characters and I think they will stick with me for a while. This is a story I want MORE of, but still feel more than satisfied with the ending.
Such a great summer read!
The Last White Man is a gripping, eye-opening work of fiction about a white man, Anders, that wakes up and finds that he has turned "a deep and undeniable brown".
Though this originally comes as a shock to our main character, he soon realizes that it has become a sort of pandemic-- and the once mostly-white place he lives in has become the complete opposite.
What's interesting about this book is not the sci-fi-like idea of an entire land turning black out of the blue, but rather the very real prejudice and politics that Mohsin Hamid wrote in. "What if I, a white person, became black one day" was never a thought I had until I picked up this book, but I am grateful it is one I got to experience through Hamids lyrical prose.
The Last White Man is a book I will forever shelve this book on my mental list of "books I think everyone should read".
I am so grateful to have been introduced to Alice Feeney through this book-- as this book alone has absolutely sold me on her other works.
"Daisy Darker" spans over the night of October 30th and into the morning of the 31st, which just so happens to be the birthday of one of the main characters, Nana. For her birthday, the Darker family meets at her secluded island home. Each night on this island, the tide comes in and separates the island from the mainland. Only a boat can take them back home that night. But a storm is brewing...and the rope that ties the boat to the dock has been cut.
As if being stuck isn't bad enough, a family member is murdered, and they must figure out who before the tide goes out...or risk death to them all.
The Darker family was exceptional. The cast of characters was so diverse in personality, which made this book so enjoyable because of the constant familial bickering and betrayal.
This book was a roller coaster of twists and emotions. I audibly gasped more than once while reading this book.
Fans of "who done it" mysteries or Agatha Christie...read this book!!!!
This was my first (yes, you heard me right) Marissa Meyer read…and I think I’m gonna crown her the queen of fairytale retellings from now on.
This particular book was a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. Not my favorite fairytale, but Meyer managed to take this odd tale and make it…actually enjoyable?
The protagonist was magical (blessed by the gods), sweet (worked well with children), and realistic (had insecurities because apparently she didn’t know how beautiful she was until the end). I really liked her, and I’m excited to read more about her in book two.
The antagonist was absolutely perfect—a CLASSIC villain (though, apparently after reading this book I realized he was sexier than I thought). He was mean!
This is up there with “Gallant” by V.E Schwab on my list of “creepiest YA books of all time”. Some of the scenes made my jaw drop at how descriptive and bone-chilling they were. This is one of those books that I don’t think I’ll ever forget and I highly recommend this if you need a good fantasy read.
This, like many books, is one of those books I’m glad I went into with no expectations or any idea what it was about. Now that I read the back of the book, it gives away MUCH of the summary and some parts I was glad to have pieced together myself. Personally, I will read anything Emily St. John Mandel puts out—so I knew I would enjoy this regardless of what it was about.
The Glass Hotel included a wonderfully broad cast of characters, each navigating life together and a part from each other. As a reader, you get the pleasure of following them through 60+ years of life. The story takes you back and forth through time, which at times can make the book feel like a puzzle, but that is one thing I enjoyed most about it. It was not linear. At times, it didn’t make much sense. But I loved it all the same.
I appreciate Mandel being consistent with her prose and writing style throughout all of her books, and seeing characters from Station Eleven in The Glass Hotel was quite the treat.
If you enjoy sci-fi, ghosts, coming of age stories, and crimes: you’ll love this book!
Maybe it’s because Gabrielle Zevin is one of my favorite authors—but I genuinely have no idea how someone could dislike this book.
I felt every emotion reading this book, and I DEVOURED it. A.J Fikry is now one of my all time favorite characters, and I absolutely adored following him throughout his life.
Please just read this- especially if you want a bit of perspective on what it’s like to be a bookseller!
Wow. Emiko has done it again…
My dad was adopted, and I’m wanting to adopt myself, so I knew instantly that I would enjoy this book. It exceeded my expectations.
The story of Mika and her struggles through a sexual assault, lost love, losing hobbies, and what many would call “mommy issues” nearly brought me to tears. Despite being a fiction story—it was so real. I felt every emotion in this book (LOTS of them), and am confident in saying that this is one of my favorite reads of the year.
I want a second one. I want more. Yet, I’m still satisfied with how this ended. You know it’s good when all you want is more...
I am a huge fan of VE Schwab and her writing style is among my favorites. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about jumping from her usual adult books to a YA thriller, but this book exceeded my expectations.
It was hauntingly beautiful. I will never forget this book
A magical, yet gut-wrenching novel about a girl that makes a deal with the devil (accidentally), granting herself immortality...but everyone she meets forgets her.
I loved this book, and V.E Schwabs ability to make you feel like you're really in the story is unmatched. I love her writing style, and it is consistent with all of her novels which is my favorite thing about her.
This novel in particular spans over the course of about 400 years, as you follow Addie Larue through her immortal life. I loved this concept, and the way that Schwab set it up made for a very interesting read.
I read it slowly- over the course of a few weeks, and I thought it was better read this way. While I usually read books fast, it was nice to be able to be with Addie for longer than I'm normally with characters.
While the premise is sad, this is truly a book that everyone needs to read.
This was my first V.E Schwab book, and it won’t be my last. Her storytelling is impeccable and I have never been so in love with a story in my entire life
In this coming-of-age novel, two friends--Sam and Sadie-- reunite as adults to design and create video games. As a fan of video games myself, this premise intrigued me. I am also a huge fan of Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere was my favorite book as a kid), and was excited to read one of her adult novels. This book exceeded my expectations.
Though the main premise was about two adults creating video games, it was about so much more. Zevin completely diversified the cast of characters, showcasing what it was like to grow up in the late 20th century/early 21st century as disabled person/POC. I am disabled, so I really appreciated that the main character, Sam, was also disabled and that the author explained how this can affect someone in relationships, in the workplace, and in the real world. She also spoke a lot on trauma and PTSD, and how that affected the characters work (most of the video games they created were an omen to the traumatic life events that the characters experienced).
I absolutely adored being able to follow this wonderful cast of characters throughout the first few decades of their lives. A lot can happen in three decades, so it definitely made the book hard to put down as there was always something going on. I genuinely have nothing bad to say about this book. If you love video games, read this book. If you don't, read this book.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow is an ode to both the beauty and destruction that life can bring.
"If definitive proof emerges that we're living in a simulation, the correct response to that news will be so what. A life lived in a simulation is still a life."
My first read novel by Emily St. John Mandel was this one, after falling in love with the TV adaptation of Station Eleven (I know, how could I watch the show before reading the book?). But, alas, I fell in love with her storytelling and just KNEW I would need to read this book when it released.
Sea of Tranquility is a novel on time travel, pandemics, and the potential of life being a simulation. It follows many characters through time that have experienced the same anomaly, and one man who has to travel through time to investigate this anomaly.
Emily set it up beautifully. It was easy to follow, despite the time and character changes, and I absolutely fell in love with the futuristic setting and each character. It was one of those books I did not want to finish, but I devoured it nonetheless.
Lovers of sci-fi, history, and Emily St. John Mandel, this book is for you.
A novel of the plague, but also so much more...
I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this book despite it being about a sore topic. Maggie O'Farrell somehow took this topic and made it...beautiful?
This book was more than about the plague, though, despite the main character being riddled with it. You were brought through the story of Hamnet and his family, and were given enough backstory to completely know everything about each character by the end. It was one of those books that was hard to end, because I loved the characters so much that I didn't want to stop reading about them.
I will definitely recommend this to customers, friends, family...everyone!
When Katy unexpectedly loses her mother, she is left feeling lost and heartbroken. The grief begins to affect her and the people around her, getting her into a sticky position with her childhood sweetheart and husband. To make matters worse, she must decide what to do with a pair of tickets that she had bought for her and her mother to visit Italy. She is left to go on this adventure alone.
Landed in Italy, ready to take on this beautiful landscape, she trips and finds herself 30 years in the past--the younger version her mother right in front of her. Over the course of her vacation, she is able to get to know the Carol that she used to be- not the Carol that Katy knew.
I felt every emotion right alongside Katy, which I think is what makes this book so magical. This story makes you want to hug your mom tight.
A young food blogger and older tv-personality chef begin to write letters to each other: sharing their recipes, love of food, and life stories. They form an unlikely friendship over years, and confide in each other during hardships and the war.
This book was short, sweet, and heartwarming. Great for those who love historical fiction, recipes, love, & saffron...
In this stunning historical fiction book, Kate Quinn takes you on the journey of Mila Pavlichenko, known as "Lady Death", the librarian turned sniper who made history in WW2. When Hitler invaded Russia and Ukraine, Mila made the hard decision to leave her job and son to fight in the war. Mila insisted on being a soldier, and was sent to the front lines with a rifle. She soon became one of the most successful snipers, with an estimated 309 kills. After an injury, the military sent her to a tour of the United States. She forged an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and later found herself in deadly duels with an old enemy from her past...and a new one. Based on a true story, this novel of heroism will surely keep you at the edge of your seat.
A beautiful, melancholy, and inspiring story about a girl, Kya, who is abandoned by her family to grow up in the marsh of North Carolina. Against all odds, she learns to live her life alone. Until she isn't, and then she must learn how to live amonst others...and all of the secrets about life in the real world are revealed to her when she is a suspect in a the murder of a man that she was close to.
I absolutely loved this book, the characters, settting, mystery, and thrill. I couldn't put it down, and every time I did I was itching to know more.
When Linus, a worker for DICOMY (department in charge of magical youth) gets assigned to a secluded house on an island, he isn't sure how to feel. He must live there for a month to observe the kids with magical abilities, as well as Arthur, the man who oversees them, to make sure he is a good fit to watch over these kids (some of them supposedly deadly).
The House in the Cerulean Sea tells a beautiful story about love, trust, and prejudice. There are no words to describe how this book made me feel. Something I think everyone should read!
Madeline Miller has done it again! This story of Circe, the goddess of magic, is one of my favorite greek retellings. Packed with beautiful prose and a story of heroism, you won't be able to forget this one.
Every generation, when the Blood Moon arrives, seven families must name a champion to compete in a competition to the death. The victor wins control over a wellspring of magic-the most powerful resource in the world. But this year, the champions are given a choice: to rise to victory, or make history by ending tradition and re-writing their stories. Fans of The Hunger Games will love this magical story about family, betrayal, love, and loss.
Going into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Mentally, I heard it was much like a crazy rich asians and princess diaries crossover. But it was so much more.
Following Izumi’s journey of finding her place in Tokyo was incredible. It was relatable, despite me not once experiencing finding out i was a princess at 18 years old. I would read this 100x over and feel the same emotions each time.
Read. This. Book.
In the land of Tourin, twin heirs Izaveta and Asya are separated young when fate decides their life roles. Izaveta must stay in the kingdom to rule, while Asya must learn to be the firebird, an ancient creature that ensures the balance of magic in the world. When an assassin leaves their mother, the queen, dead, both girls must quickly learn the rules of their roles, or doom the kingdom and its inhabitants. For those looking for an intriguing fantasy novel, follow this story of two sisters learning to trust, love, and grow into who they were meant to be.
Decided to bring this one with me to Hawaii- what could be better than a book set in Hawaii, while experiencing it?
What I didn’t expect were the vast emotions I would feel while reading this. I loved following this family on their life journey. Growing up with the kids, and reading about realistic experiences (grief, loss, depression, homelessness, memory loss, ect) was emotional but something that I think every book needs to have. I will recommend this novel for ever and ever and ever and ever...
The plot twists in this book were insane and I will never forget the authors ability to paint such a picture in my head. The antagonists will haunt my nightmares, I’m sure of it.
I definitely recommend this for people who love fantasy with a paranormal/mystery twist.
A story of hatred, love, growth, family, and acceptance. What could be better than an entire book about a diverse family in the white house? What could be better about romance between two enemies? The answer is nothing.
A prince that kills sirens and a siren that kills princes end up on the same ship...what could go wrong?
Such a great book. Following the life story of Evelyn Hugo and her extensive list of lovers was fun & exciting. At some times I felt that I was there- interviewing Evelyn Hugo herself. If you like heartwarming books with huge twists- this is the book for you!
Former assassin Celeana Sardothien, after years imprisoned in the salt mines, is released by the prince to compete in a tournament to become the royal assassin. If Celeana wins and serves the king, she will earn her freedom after 6 years. What she doesn't know is that the kingdom holds many secrets, and she must set out to unravel them, or doom the kingdom forever.
Heartbreaking from start to finish. Beautifully written. One of those books that you wish you could read for the first time again. I’m still trying to process the ending, admittedly. But love this authors work and will recommend this book forever
Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, A Court of Thorns and Roses takes you through a world full of fae, monsters, and magic. Feyre's survival rest on her hunting abilities. When she kills a wolf to feed her family, a creature arrives to demand payback. Taken to a magical world, away from her family, she must find a way to stop the curse that blankets the magical land. That, or doom them forever.
Read the rest of the series: A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight. Coming soon: A Court of Silver Flames on February 16th, open for pre-order.
Wow. Not sure where to even start.
This gave me an entire new perspective on life and spending each day to the fullest. I didn’t cry; I’m not much of a crier when it comes to books unfortunately, but these characters and story will stick with me forever.
Please, read this book.
After 15 year old Liz dies, she arrives at a place called Elsewhere. Similar to earth, but much more, Elsewhere is home to sprawling seas, tall mountains, and warm homes. You can't get sick, or older.
In fact, in Elsewhere, you age backwards until you are born again.
In this book about loss and grief, watch Liz deal with the hardships of aging back to her younger self, alongside her grandmother she has never met. Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is better than one lived forward?