Books by Topic

Everyday Diversity

Presented by Anna Haase Krueger

bigBig Snow (2013)
Johnathan Bean
ISBN:  978-0374306960
Amazon | Goodreads


fireFire! ¡Fuego! Brave Bomberos (2012)
Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Dan Santat
ISBN:  978-1599904610
Amazon | Goodreads


gastonGaston (2014)
Kelly Dipucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
ISBN:  978-1442451025
Amazon | Goodreads


lastLast Stop on Market Street (2015)
Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson
ISBN:  978-0399257742
Amazon | Goodreads


phoebePhoebe & Digger (2013)
Tricia Springstubb, illustrated by Jeff Newman
ISBN:  978-0763652814
Amazon | Goodreads


tigerTiger in My Soup (2013)
Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
ISBN:  978-1561456963
Amazon | Goodreads


twinsThe Twin’s Little Sister (2014)
Hyewon Yum
ISBN:  978-0374379735
Amazon | Goodreads


Adult Genre Fiction

Presented by Katie Polley


Night HawkNight Hawk by Beverly Jenkins 
Beverly Jenkins always adds an unobtrusive history lesson to her books, which is part of the reason I enjoy them. Her characters are strong, diverse men and women who celebrate their heritage, and welcome breath of fresh air in a genre that can, at times, seem overburdened with tortured nobility. Night Hawk is the story of Ian Vance, a bounty hunter who had been featured in a few of Jenkins’ previous books, and Maggie Freeman, a woman accused of killing a white man who had molested her. Although Ian initially plans to simply deliver Maggie safely to her trial judge, he comes to admire her spirit and quickly realizes that she is not guilty of the crime she is accused of. The two travel to Ian’s home in Wyoming, while slowly building a life together—each is running from a past that still haunts them, and while both desire a future with the other, there are obstacles they must overcome.
ISBN:  978-0062032645
Amazon | Goodreads

My Fair ConcubineMy Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin 
Jeannie Lin’s Tang Dynasty romances are a series of four loosely connected books that take place in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE). She has recently started a new series, the Pingkang Li Mysteries, also set during the Tang Dynasty. My Fair Concubine is the story of Fei Long and Yan Ling. Fei Long’s sister has run away rather than be sold off in a politically expedient arranged marriage, and Fei Long must find a replacement to preserve the family honor. Yan Ling is a servant at a teahouse who yearns for a better life. Realizing that they are in a position to assist the other, the two come to an arrangement, and Fei Long does his best to transform a servant into a lady. But when the time comes to hand Yan Ling over to the Emperor, Fei Long realizes he might have gotten more than he bargained for. Yes, it is a retelling of “My Fair Lady,” just in case the title alone was not enough to tip you off. But the setting of the story and the attention paid to detail and characterizations raise this far above a run-of-the mill retelling to a thoroughly enjoyable read.
ISBN:  978-0263892505
Amazon | Goodreads


The CaretakerThe Caretaker by A. X. Ahmad 
While many thrillers involve vast international conspiracies that only one man can thwart due to his superior skills and knowledge, this book (the first in a series by debut author Ahmad) is a thriller on a much smaller scale. Ranjit Singh, a disgraced ex-Indian army officer living with his family in the US, is trying to make a go of his landscaping business on Martha’s Vineyard. Things seem to be looking up when Ranjit gets a job as an off-season caretaker for Senator Neals—he has a steady income, and he decides, despite his better judgment, to move his family into the Senator’s house for the winter. But suddenly things go very wrong: Ranjit’s family has been picked up and is awaiting deportation back to India, and Ranjit has been sucked into a conspiracy that stretches all the way from Washington to India, to the scandal that drove Ranjit out of the army. I don’t read very many thrillers, as I generally find them too far-fetched or hysterical to suspend my disbelief, but this one had just the right mix of plausibility and intrigue to keep me interested. I will be reading the sequel, to see how Ranjit deals with the unresolved problems from this book.
ISBN:  978-1250020406
Amazon | Goodreads

The Concubine's TattooThe Concubine’s Tattoo by Laura Joh Rowland
This is the fourth of Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro novels; the eighteenth was published earlier in 2014. They are set in Japan during the late 17th century, and frequently feature the Shogun and members of his court and household. Sano Ichiro, the Shogun’s Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, has just married Lady Reiko when their wedding feast is interrupted by the untimely (and violent) death of Lady Harume, a favored concubine. Rather than being allowed to take the vacation he was promised, Sano must delve into the complex world of court intrigue, power plays, and sexual politics. Meanwhile, Lady Reiko struggles with her new identity as a wife and her position both in society and in her husband’s household. Rowland is another author who is skillful at delivering history lessons within her novels, without making them feel like a chore. Another important skill, especially for a long running series, is that the characters grow and mature, and do not stagnate into caricatures of themselves.
ISBN:  978-0312969226
Amazon | Goodreads

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative:

Throne of the Crescent MoonThrone of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
A high fantasy novel that does not take place in a stand-in for medieval Europe! Instead it is in a stand-in for a medieval Arabic kingdom, but without all the annoying orientalist trappings that so often mar these settings. It’s wonderful, and I can’t wait for the sequel. Doctor Adoulla Makhslood is ready to retire from his career as a ghul hunter and enjoy tea and biscuits and relaxing with his friends, when word comes that the clan of the Badawi has been almost entirely slaughtered. Adoulla and his assistant Raseed are soon joined by Zamia, the sole survivor of the attack. Together they discover that the massacre was part of a larger plan by an unknown evil adversary to destroy the great city of Dhamsawaat—and possibly the world.
ISBN:  978-0756407780
Amazon | Goodreads

Blood Child and Other StoriesBloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler (some of the links are no longer active or otherwise correct, but it is a good starting point)
The seven short stories and two essays in this collection are a perfect introduction to Octavia Butler’s work, especially as each piece features a short afterword by the author explaining how it came to be written, what her intent was with the piece, or how her thoughts on a particular subject led her to create something entirely different. While Butler did not consider herself a short story writer, and indeed in the introduction to this book says that she hates writing short stories, they still creep into your brain and stick with you, just as her longer fiction does. My favorite stories are “Speech Sounds,” set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a disease that has destroyed people’s communication skills; “The Evening and the Morning and the Night,” in which individuals who have a terrible genetic disease are faced with limited choices, none of them good; and “Amnesty,” in which an abductee now works with the group that abducted her for the benefit of both. The two essays are about writing, and her experiences as an author of color in the sff community, and should be required reading for any aspiring writer, no matter what genre they hope to publish in.
ISBN:  978-1583226988
Amazon | Goodreads

Graphic Novels

Presented by Emilie Hanson


El Deafo (2014)
Cece Bell; color by David Lasky
ISBN:  978-1419710209
Amazon | Goodreads


hospitalThe Hospital Suite (2014)
John Porcellino
ISBN:  978-1770461642
Amazon | Goodreads


lookLook Straight Ahead (2013)
Elaine M. Will
ISBN:  978-0991866908
Amazon | Goodreads


marblesMarbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me (2012)
Ellen Forney
ISBN:  978-1592407323
Amazon | Goodreads


pregnantPregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag (2014)
A.K. Summers
ISBN:  978-1593765408
Amazon | Goodreads


tomboyTomboy: A Graphic Memoir (2014)
Liz Prince
ISBN:  978-1936976553
Amazon | Goodreads

New Releases

Presented by Amelia Snetting

saySay What You Will (2014)
Cammie McGovern
ISBN:  978-0062271105
Amazon | Goodreads


a boyA Boy Like Me (2014)
Jennie Wood
ISBN:  978-0692238066
Amazon | Goodreads


two boysTwo Boys Kissing (2013)
David Levithan
ISBN:  978-0307931900
Amazon | Goodreads


aliceAlice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis (2014)
Alexis Coe
ISBN:  978-1936976607
Amazon | Goodreads


locoLocomotion (2010)
Jacqueline Woodson
ISBN:  978-0142415528
Amazon | Goodreads


tell meTell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel (2014)
Sara Farizan
ISBN:  978-1616202842
Amazon | Goodreads