A little bit about Bookseller Audrey:
Audrey H. is a recovering lawyer and is now applying those skills to reading as widely as possible. She's been with the store from the beginning and she reads pretty much anything. Be prepared to be overwhelmed with an armful of books and feel free to tell her to stop pulling books off the shelves. Audrey H. can also talk your ear off about food since she is constantly thinking about her next few meals.
Most read genres: Fiction, MYS, SFF, Romance, Cookbooks, Bio/Memoir, True Crime, YA, Middle Grade
These are the titles she loves!
A 2021 Newbery Honor Book
A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.
The woman fka Emily Doe comes out with her story and her truth. Chanel Miller is a powerful voice and one to be seen and heard for many years. And even if she chooses to never publish or speak again, her words will resonate with all victims, survivors and humans. She reminds us (and frankly, she shouldn’t have to), the only one to blame is the rapist/offender. Those who excuse him are not only enabling him but enabling all predators. She spells out the rape culture that surrounds us as well as privilege in all its forms. But most importantly, Chanel Miller is more then the Stanford Rape victim. She is a writer, artist, sister, daughter and whatever else she chooses to be. Most of all, is is resilient and a force to be reckoned with.
This was excellent on so many levels. It's been comped as a Bridget Jones + Americanah. But, I think that description does all three books a disservice. Queenie does have some LOL moments but it's has many more serious moments and issues. I listened to this and much of the listen, I was stressed as AF for Queenie. I listened to her make terrible decisions and choices and I listened to her hit rock bottom. And, the whole time, I was rooting for her to just get better. There are so many intersections of race, harassment, coming of age and friendships that it made it a satisfying read. And, just as important, the reader was FANTASTIC.
This retelling of Hua Mulan was so much fun. This book has it all, political intrigue, spies, warfare, romance and best of all, martial arts heroes aka wuxia. It combined history with the myth and legend of Mulan - just in time for the live action film. Loved it.
NPR Tech Reporter, Aarti Shahani's memoir is both illuminating and devastating. Not only is the criminal justice system flawed, the immigration system is inherently biased against those who are not white and those without financial means. Moreover, this book clearly shows, through one family, not only the love can help sustain a soul sucking fight, but how the system can destroy a person, piece by piece. Above all, the voice that speaks throughout this book is passionate yet approachable. Shahani’s family story depicts the American dream as well as the American nightmare.
If you like dark and twisty, this is for you. This complex cat and mouse mystery explores grief, revenge, bullying and the power (and abuse) of the internet. I audibly gasped at least twice and be prepared to stay up late to finish this deceptive page turner.
A really lovely book about 4 sisters (of Pakistani) descent. Loosely inspired by Little Women, I loved how these sisters fought and made up and rallied when things got tough. I hope there is a sequel bc I want more of this family and their friends.
This family epic about how colonialism and the American War has shaped the Vietnamese, gripped me from the very first page. Told from the dual perspectives of grandmother and granddaughter, one sees how their love of family and survival in the foreground as devastation surrounds them. Between the communist land reforms post colonialism in the north, to the fighting against the south, the family history of tough choices made out of love, friends, enemies and politics slowly unfolds. This family won’t leave you anytime soon and I loved every word of this book.
This was an unexpected fantastic read. I was looking for an engaging audio book for a long car ride. And, I loved this so much that I finished it in record time. IQ lives in Long Beach and crime is real there. He's a bit of a slow burn. He sits back, observes and deducts. He's a private investigator for his community, charging what each person can afford. It's his way of giving back. In this first book, IQ is hired to find the people involved with the attempted murder of a rap star. The chapters alternate between this case and IQ's background and the plot lines work seamlessly together.
Along with the engaging plot, Sullivan Jones, the narrator was absolutely fantastic. It was easy to tell who was speaking through his tone and inflection. He's a narrator I will be looking forward to hearing more from.
This fantasy based on Middle Eastern mythology and politics is unputdownable. The characters are all interesting and you just want to find out more. Nahri and Ali, the two narrators, have distinct points of view and perspectives. Nahri, especially, since she comes from our world and is transported into this new land. The book depicts the complexities of the geo political, religious, tribal and cultural differences of the people who live in our Middle East as well as the fantastical world. The issues are so complex and everything is in shades of grey and somehow, you just want everyone to find some middle ground so there can be peace in the region.
What happens during an apocalypse when you barely notice that the apocalypse has happened. For the Anishinaabe tribe, are outside of mainstream society and their people were decimated centuries ago. When they begin to lose services (electric, cell, internet) it’s more par for the course instead of oh no, the world is ending. The community is used to being that, a community, but it’s when unwanted outsider(s) come in, is when real problems begin. In other words, an allegory for our times.
This was a fantastic and fun read. There is just enough time travel jargon for it to make sense without overwhelming the senses. And, just enough paradox (and grandfather paradox) for it to be thoughtful without hurting the brain. It was exciting to read about Kin and his life in the past as well as the future. But, mostly, this was a touching ode of parental love and obligation. I loved this book.
This graphic memoir was so good on so many levels. It touches upon the author’s childhood and coming of age, as an East Indian growing up in New Mexico, colorism, relationships, marriage, family and our current political situation. These were the most thoughtful scenes, trying to explain to her brown child, about Trump and his supporters, including members of the author’s own family. I especially loved the artwork, drawings superimposed on pictures and found them so fitting for her story. This is the author’s story but I (and I suspect many) can relate to so much of it.
This book is so much more then (an extremely well done) courtroom drama. It delves on issues of belonging, race, communication, parental love, disabled kids and alternative medicine. The author does a fantastic job, weaving in the various background stories as the trial unfolds. And the reader can sympathize and emphasize with almost all of them (bc really, not every character is likeable). And, the cherry on this book? It’s so well written that it seemed effortless. And all trial lawyers know, that effortless is the result of untold hours of prep.
This should be one of the big reads of 2019.
I loved this book. I loved it so much that I don't even know where to start. The characters - CJ and her friends and family. The relationships show how fully realized these characters were written. And, the history of the Japanese American internment during one of the more shameful parts of our history. CJ's grandparents were unlawfully imprisoned and the financial losses and outright racism were staggering for all the Japanese Americans. Throughout the plot, CJ weaves in her past relationships as well as family history in such a natural way. But, she also manages to tell this shameful history that isn't preachy and WHY it's still relevant, all these decades later. Just as important, these kids, are kids, with kid problems including relationships, parents, coming out and things that just happen in high school.
I can’t believe that I may love this book more then Kiss Quotient. Bride Test definitely doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome. If anything, it’s even more aware and developed then the first. Esme is such an appealing heroine and has so much integrity and grit. And, her ambition on how to make a better life for her and her family is so important to the plot. It's as much an immigrant story based on the author's mom's experience as it is a love story. The romance that develops between her and Khai happens naturally (despite his mom choosing her) and it’s just so sweet. If you want a fun, and adorable romance read, look no further. And, here’s hoping that Quan will be the focus of book 3.
This was such a delight and so much fun. I loved the banter between Kristen and Josh. And, it’s so refreshing to have Kristen not mince words to her wants and desires. Don’t be fooled by the cover or description though. This is a romance but there are serious issues weaved throughout the plot. Be prepared to get a little teary eyed or sniffly before arriving at the HEA.
Juxtaposed between Mara’s past in Brazil as a child and in the present in the US as an undocumented immigrant working as a caregiver to a dying woman. Mara is haunted by the love for her mother as well as her mother’s actions during the turbulent 80s. What makes this especially poignant was the author was suffering from stomach cancer, the way Mara’s patient was. The insights on living and dying took a completely different meaning, knowing this while reading.
This was just a delight. I listened to it and there were many times where I just started laughing. Genie is such an appealing heroine and I loved her interactions with Quinton and the other gods. Part Buffy and part Willow, I can't wait to read more about her adventures. The narrator was also fantastic and would listen to anything she reads.
So good and doesn’t quite fit the rom com label. While it does have rom com moments, it goes into so much more then a meet cute. It’s a book based on reality. Cultural barriers and expectations, homophobia and acceptance, misogyny and sexism and just plain old goofiness and corniness. Plus, Amira was such a relatable main character, filled with anger bc she had reached her limit with society’s labeling of her as a brown, Muslim woman. She’s outspoken and speaks her mind. She calls people out on their racism and sexism and it’s not her issue if she makes people uncomfortable with the truth. She’s also smart and in a STEM field. She’s awesome in so many ways, particularly bc she is a prickly porcupine. I loved the relationship she had with her family and how she navigated so many issues. This book should be getting more shout outs bc on top of all that, it’s so unputdownable.
Southland depicts a side of Los Angeles that most people don’t know about. The book jumps in time and point of view to give the reader a true sense of place and atmosphere. Jackie, a third year Japanese American law student, looks into her dead grandfather’s past as a shop owner in the Crenshaw area of LA and why he closed the store after the watts riots. We see his point of view before and after the Japanese internment, his bravery in the 442nd and working in a store that serves the community. Lastly, Jimmy’s search into his cousins murder at that store has haunted him as he and Jackie dig into the past. Truly atmospheric makes this such a satisfying read.
I loved these interconnected short stories, set in a suburban neighborhood in Canada. These neighbors are, overall, neighborly, but secrets reside in each house in this diverse setting. June, a Chinese Canadian girl is the thread in these stories and her observations as well as those observing her, are illuminating with the multiple points of views.
This time traveling novel about two spies at war is really something else. Told from the respective positions of Red and Blue, they communicate by secret letters. At first taunting and at times musing, there is always mutual respect. But these letters, these letters are so beautifully written that one just wants more and, it ends in such a satisfying way.
This memoir, presented in essays is so thoughtful, thought provoking and at times funny. I found myself nodding in agreement throughout most of her essays. Her observations are sharp and spot on. But, most importantly, it will give most people things to think about since she articulates her points in a way that is honest and real. She points out privilege while acknowledging her own as well as her own faults.
This was an amazing second book of a trilogy. The plot advanced, time passed smoothly, and the attachments one formed from book 1 continued throughout this one. It took me about 50 pages to reacquaint myself with this world and the cast of characters was incredibly useful. I gasped and was on pins during various points. And, the people have all grown and matured in all ways. Hilo, Shae, Anden and their underlings. But just as importantly, this isn’t only about the clans on Kekon. There is global expansion of the world and how it’s effecting the No Peak and Mountain clans. And how the politics of these other nations will effect the cultural values of Kekon. I can’t wait to see what happens in Jade Legacy.
Walter Mosley is a master of the craft. Is there any writer who writes as broadly or diversely? Here, Mosley returns to his roots...the Private Investigator mystery and it shines. In one book, he has developed characters who you root for and you want to succeed. The relationship between Joe King Oliver and his daughter, Aja-Denise, is especially touching and real. A seriously satisfying read.
Two engaging, non conventional and awkward main characters. Smart dialogue, real issues, and funny moments. Great concept as to how Penny Lee and Sam met and became friends. (Sam had an emergency and Penny found him. They decide to be each others emergency contacts if something happened. This led to many texts about daily life and their dreams). Penny had such sharp observations, especially about race. I enjoyed how the chapters alternated the povs and the internal thoughts for both Penny and Sam.
I loved this thoughtful and passionate travel memoir with recipes. Chef Lee explores the intersectionality of food, culture and the evolution of "authenticity." You'll want to visit each of these places and try all the food. The recipes look fantastic with the classic Chef Lee twists. Can't wait to test them out.
This is an incredibly charming graphic novel. It's about a friendship between an immensely talented dressmaker and a prince who loves clothes and fashion. Beautifully drawn and a beautiful message about how we have to own our likes, despite what other's may think. When you're finished, you're going to want to hop on a plane to Paris to look for Frances and Sebastian.
This book has it all. A fantasy based on historical facts and location, complex world building interwoven with mythology, excellent and well drawn characters and a kick a$$ heroine. Rin was such a well developed character and you could see her growth and maturity progress with the story. This is a war story with military strategy based on historical events during the brutally violent Sino-Japanese War.
This was an intense and tense filled read. Despite initial skepticism at such a male dominated world, I was won over with the character and world building. And, the introduction of Shae and Wen and how they developed made this a gripping read. If you are a fan of family dynamics mixed in with power, magic, marital arts and loyalty, this is the read for you.
An excellent romance featuring a smart, successful, socially awkward woman, who happens to be on the spectrum. She wants to learn more about how to be in a relationship and more about sex so she hires an escort to teach her. The escort is sensitive with a loving family but has some secrets. Plus, he's gorgeous to boot. I loved watching the relationship develop between the two as well as the family interactions.
This dystopian refugee story is both timely and relevant. Polly time travels to become an indentured servant in the future to save her boyfriend's life. When she arrives years later then expected, she is alone, confused and confounded by her new time and the never ending bureaucracy. Because of her lack of citizenship and status in this new world, she is constantly struggling to pay off her debts and to find her place in the unfamiliar world. One really gets the feeling of migration and displacement as Polly navigates her circumstances. For fans of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West.
At first, these loosely connected short stories seem to be linked via the theme of pre and post colonialism of Malaya/Malaysia. But, as the stories progress, they evolve into activism, democracy and identity. Random characters begin to show their significance and the threads start coming together. A compelling collection that is just beautifully written.
A life and career of a Chinese police detective in Hong Kong. Told in reverse chronological order, from the end of his career to the beginning, these six novellas incorporate solid police procedurals with social context of the times and place. What was especially fascinating was the evolution of Hong Kong policing before, during and after the UK handover to China. Each novella is placed during an important time period, even if some of the events are only mentioned in passing. A must for Sherlock Holmes fans.
Umm. Hello. Asian lesbians fighting against the patriarchy and starting a revolution? Yes please. This book was so much fun and just what I needed. Lei is the right touch of strong and unsure of herself and finds her hidden depths. And, Wren is just amazing. I wish there was a side along book about her background and her perspective. The sad thing is that I now have to wait for book 2.