Tag Archives: Book Suggestions

Book Suggestions: Spontaneous

Check out Spontaneous, by Aaron Starmer!

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I like to read YA books- but they have to be interesting. This book fulfilled that qualification, without a single doubt! I read this over two days – the second evening I stayed up way too late to finish it because I couldn’t put it down. Like some of the other commenters, I did not love the ending – but I’d still read it again because it was so interesting.

Mara, the main character, is a senior in high school. She’s smart and sarcastic – always good things for a protagonist. A kid in her math class suddenly explodes one day – a big shock to everyone. The second kid exploding was also a shock. So was the third kid. By the time a dozen have exploded, the FBI are involved along with all kinds of other individuals and organizations who are trying to figure out how these kids are spontaneously exploding.

From Amazon:

TIME magazine Top 10 YA & Children’s Book of 2016!
An ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection

With all the perfectly lovely young adult novels out there, you decided to check this one out? It’s got spontaneously combusting teenagers in it, dude. Not the slow burning type either. We’re talking the randomly exploding variety. Seniors in high school just walking along, heading to class, whistling Beyoncé, when—WA-BAM!— they’re suddenly dripping off the lockers.

Is that really something you’re into?

Confession: I’m actually kinda into that too. So, now that we’ve established we’re both thoroughly weird and, I assume, thoroughly open-minded, we can give it shot, right? Let’s at least read the opening chapters of this bad-boy and see if it features some of the more intriguing elements such as…

–       Exploding teenagers (obviously).
–       Hallucinogenic mushrooms.
–       Pyromaniacal boyfriends.
–       Triplet toddlers in powder blue suits.
–       Amur leopards and doomsday preppers.
–       A foul-mouthed female POTUS.
–       Ashtanga yoga.
–       ­Youtube sensations.
–       Self-driving Priuses.
–       Rogue FBI agents.
–       Mad scientists.
–       Homecoming.
–       Spring break.
–       Prom.
–       And … Jennifer Lawrence.

Notice how I put Jennifer Lawrence last. She’s in the book, so it’s not cheating. And hey, if it takes America’s most beloved movie star to sell this thing, then that’s what it takes.

So, in closing: Jennifer Lawrence.”

Book Suggestions: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust #1)

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust #1) by Philip Pullman

I haven’t technically started this book yet because I’m just about finished rereading the original series. This series has always been a favorite, and returning to the world(s) of daemons, witches, gyptians, smart and determined kids and Arctic adventuring has been so fun! I’m so excited to see what this prequel has in store!

“Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua”

And if you need to do some rereading of your own, or if you have yet to discover this awesome series, here are the books that make up His Dark Materials:

CMLE Reads Across MN: History of Wolves

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and it also has many  interesting books. In this series, we are sharing some of the books we like from Minnesota, or Minnesota authors.

We are mapping our literary journey around Minnesota, so you can see all the interesting places where our books are set. Follow our progress on our Google Map, accessible by clicking that link or searching for the title CMLE Reads Across Minnesota!

This was another reader suggestion – and another book I had not heard about until it was suggested. Thanks to everyone sending in Minnesota books!

From Amazon: “Teenage Linda lives with her parents in the austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outsider at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is faced with child pornography charges, his arrest deeply affects Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy. But with this new sense of belonging comes expectations and secrets she doesn’t understand and, over the course of a summer, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. One of the most daring literary debuts of the year and a national bestseller, History of Wolves is an agonizing and gorgeously written novel from an urgent, new voice in American fiction.”

Book Suggestions: Death Overdue (A Haunted Library Mystery)

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

Is there anything more fun than reading a  book about a librarian solving a mystery? Well, add in the ghost of another librarian to help solve the mystery and you are really going to enjoy Death Ovedue, by Allison Brooks!

“Carrie Singleton is just about done with Clover Ridge, Connecticut until she’s offered a job as the head of programs and events at the spooky local library, complete with its own librarian ghost. Her first major event is a program presented by a retired homicide detective, Al Buckley, who claims he knows who murdered Laura Foster, a much-loved part-time library aide who was bludgeoned to death fifteen years earlier. As he invites members of the audience to share stories about Laura, he suddenly keels over and dies.

The medical examiner reveals that poison is what did him in and Carrie feels responsible for having surged forward with the program despite pushback from her director. Driven by guilt, Carrie’s determined to discover who murdered the detective, convinced it’s the same man who killed Laura all those years ago. Luckily for Carrie, she has a friendly, knowledgeable ghost by her side. But as she questions the shadows surrounding Laura’s case, disturbing secrets come to light and with each step Carrie takes, she gets closer to ending up like Al.

Now it’s due or die for Carrie in Death Overdue, the delightful first in a new cozy series by Allison Brook.”

Book Suggestions: Everything, Everything

We love to read books, and to talk about books. Check out our entire series here! Need more book chatting and suggestions in your life? Listen to our Books and Beverages podcast!

I recently finished Nicola Yoon’s book The Sun is Also a Star and really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d read her first book, Everything, Everything. I’m about halfway through and enjoying this one, too! YA romance can be tricky and this one is definitely dramatic, but it’s hard not to admire Madeline’s need to experience life, no matter the risks! Plus, she loves books, so we know she’s a good one. :)The book has fun little illustrations throughout too, which add to the world of the story. It’s a quick read and I think I know how the story will end, but I’m excited to see if I’m right!

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”