Ruby's Staff Favorites

Ruby joined the Annie Bloom's staff in 2013. She enjoys fiction (especially science fiction, short stories, and YA) and history. 

Past Staff Favorites include: Loitering, Of Things Gone Astray, The Glass Sentence Series & The Crimson Skew, Margaret the First, Bone Gap, Book of Ages, Landfalls, Excellent Daughters, Six of Crows, SPQR, The Hungry Tide, The Ancillary series (starting with Ancillary Justice), What is Not Yours is Not Yours.

 

 

Staff Pick Logo
Welcome to Lagos Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781936787807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - May 1st, 2018

A newspaperman struggles to boost circulation, an education minister realizes he’s about to be out of a job, and five strangers board a bus heading to Lagos. Welcome to Lagos sweeps you up in the intersection of these lives and the city that shapes them. Like the fictional Nigerian Journal commentaries that pepper the pages of her novel, Onuzo employs sharp-eyed observation and humor to create this novel of found-family and the impossibility of doing the right thing.


Staff Pick Logo
Winter Tide (Innsmouth Legacy #1) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780765398086
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor.com - June 12th, 2018

The background of this book is impressive -- but what turns it into a gem is Ruthanna Emrys's storytelling. Emrys tackles the tragic legacies of Japanese Internment and the Red Scare through the story of a family of Lovecraftian "horrors." She melds fantasy with history in a way that never once removes the immediacy and actuality of these two pieces of the American past. It's 1948 and two siblings adopted by a Japanese American family choose to return to their hometown of Innsmouth to stop the persecution of suspected Communists (and maybe stop some actual spies as well). The web of suspicion and subterfuge they find just goes to prove that the real horrors haunting New England aren't the shiver-inducing artifacts walled up in Miskatonic University but the intolerance and xenophobia of its citizens. Winter Tide is a story of family, hope, mystery and a refreshing twist on Lovecraft's mythos.


Staff Pick Logo
Jagannath Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101973974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - February 6th, 2018

Weird and fantastical, Karin Tidbeck decks her stories in Nordic lore. Even while she pushes boundaries and expectations, there is something heartfelt and earnest about her stories that I love.


Staff Pick Logo
The City of Brass: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy) Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9780062678102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - November 14th, 2017

S. A. Chakraborty has opened what promises to be a jaw-dropping fantasy trilogy with The City of Brass. I tore through this book, and if you’re looking for a satisfying and dynamic story, this one has it all: magical cities, family feuds, political games, a little romance, friendship, and treachery. When Nahri, a con-artist, is forced to flee Cairo, she finds herself under the protection of a powerful djinn. But is her new refuge all it seems? Age-old resentments are simmering in the City of Brass, and Nahri can’t help but stir the pot.


Staff Pick Logo
Akata Witch Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142420911
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - July 11th, 2017

Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch and its sequel, Akata Warrior, are set mainly in Nigeria, where Sunny discovers a world that exists side-by-side with the one the rest of us inhabit daily. Used to being an outsider in both America and Nigeria, Sunny is awed to discover she belongs to the Leopard People, a group of scholarly and powerful magicians. Finding a place she belongs doesn’t necessarily make all her problems go away; when there’s still homework, and proving to her brother’s friends that a girl can play soccer too—plus some noxious magical attacks that are starting to get pretty scary. Will Sunny learn enough, fast enough, to save herself and her new friends? Okorafor’s writing is wonderful, and she’ll have you rooting for Sunny from page one.


Staff Pick Logo
Provenance Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316388672
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - September 26th, 2017

 

This is the story of a young woman finding her place in the galaxy, in spite of some highly illegal behavior and a very competitive brother -- a heist novel only Ann Leckie could write: with alien treaties, space stations, and new, intricately constructed cultures. Ingray is a foster daughter, with no hope of inheritance, who is taking a desperate chance. Her traveling companions may not be who they say they are, and some archeological discoveries might put her cultural identity in jeopardy. Ann Leckie delivers a standalone gem, packed with great characters and her trademark humor and empathy.


Staff Pick Logo
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781784782788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Verso - May 22nd, 2018

It has been 100 years since the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the history of that year is still being told and retold. Enter China Mieville with October, a nonfiction day-by-day and month-by-month recounting of the revolutions of 1917. This is a great history for anyone who wants an introduction or a refresher to those tumultuous days. Mieville, known for the bizarre politics and protests that populate his sci-fi/fantasy novels, demonstrates his strengths as an academic scholar (which he is, London School of Economics degree included) in this nonfiction work. October covers everything from the bicycle brigades that patrolled Petrograd to the politics of Russia’s borderlands and the wracking effects of World War I. Ending with the rise of the Bolsheviks in October, Mieville’s history does not venture into the aftermath of this revolutionary year. Instead, Mieville asks how we look back, 100 long years later, at the men and women who believed that history could be molded and shaped at the people’s will.


Staff Pick Logo
The Vanishing Velázquez: A 19th Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476762180
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - November 8th, 2016

The Vanishing Velazquez is a poetic and scholarly treasure hunt. Laura Cumming reconstructs the story of a bookseller and his quest to prove the existence of a long lost Velazquez portrait of Charles I. John Snare, who worked as a bookseller and printer before claiming to have discovered a Velazquez painting at an estate sale (at which point his life dramatically changed direction), intrigued Cumming from the moment she heard of him. Cumming’s own quest takes her from Spain, to England, and finally to America in a centuries-long chase for the elusive combination of paint and canvas that turns lives upside down. Cumming deftly balances the combination of biography and vivid artistic description; although Snare’s Velazquez is elusive, Cumming gives us the next best thing. Interspersing chapters on the dramatic Snare case with illuminating descriptions of Velazquez’s art and world, Cumming captures the feeling of standing before a great work of art—and it’s this feeling that bonds Cumming to John Snare (and us to her story).


Staff Pick Logo
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780307908278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon Books - April 21st, 2015

This graphic novel satisfies every history, science, and steampunk-ish craving I've had recently. Padua's art is open, diligent, and funny--just like her stories. Lady Lovelace and Charles Babbage take on poetry, computers, and Lewis Carroll in this delightful (and footnote packed) graphic novel.
 


The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780345806291
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 4th, 2016

Wulf is one of my favorite science history writers – not least because she always manages to combine language and science, nature and poetry—and Humboldt is a perfect subject for her. With this engaging biography, Alexander von Humboldt is brought to life in all his “chased by 10,000 pigs” glory. Wulf reminds us with vibrancy why we should still care about Humboldt today (alongside some great cameos from 19th century characters of all kinds): climate change, plate tectonics, South American revolutions, the idea that nature is an interconnected web.