Amaryllis, by Jayne Castle

amaryllisTitle: Amaryllis

Author: Castle, Jayne (Author’s Website)

Genre: Romance, futuristic romance

Bibliographic: Pocket Books, 336 pages, Mass Market Paperback List Price $7.99, , ISBNs 9780671569037, 9780671021436, 9781574901399, 9781451624014

Publication Date: October 1, 1996

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Futuristic, character-driven, fast-paced, steamy

Why I picked it up: This book was required reading for my readers’ advisory class. I would not have picked it up otherwise.

S.I.A.S.: Lucas Trent and Amaryllis Lark both have mysteries to solve, not least of which is why they are so drawn to each other.

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The Owl Killers, by Karen Maitland

theowlkillersTitle: The Owl Killers

Author: Maitland, Karen (Author’s Website)

Genre: Historical fiction

Bibliographic: Penguin, 640 pages, Paperback List Price $15.00, Audiobook List Price $53.41, ISBNs 9780385341707, 9780440244431, 9780141031897, 9780718153205, 9780440338888

Publication Date: March 26, 2009

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Multiple perspectives, fast-paced, atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful, richly detailed

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for my readers’ advisory class. I would never have read it otherwise.

S.I.A.S.: A group of beguines struggles to survive in Medieval England, while a shadow group called the Owl Masters opposes them.

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The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent

hereticsdaughterTitle: The Heretic’s Daughter

Author: Kent, Kathleen (Author’s Website)

Genre: Historical fiction

Bibliographic: Back Bay Books, 332 pages, Paperback List Price $15.00, Audiobook List Price $27.93, ISBNs 9780316024488, 9780316024495, 9780316037532, 9781448732999, 9780230704435, 9780316144698, 9780330456302

Publication Date: September 3, 2008

Rating: ★★★★★/♥♥♥♥♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Leisurely paced, atmospheric, bleak, moving, compelling, lyrical

Why I picked it up: It was assigned reading for my readers’ advisory class.

S.I.A.S.: In the midst of the Salem Witch Trials, Sarah must decide wither to condemn her mother to save herself.

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The Fifth Season, by N.K. Jemisin

5thseasonTitle: The Fifth Season

Author: Jemisin, N.K. (Author’s Website)

Genre: Science Fiction, Apocalyptic Fiction, Epic Fantasy

Bibliographic: Orbit, 512 pages, Paperback List Price $15.99, Audiobook List Price $23.60, ISBNs 9780316229296, 9780316324977

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Rating: ★★★★★/♥♥♥♥♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Multiple perspectives, authentic, complex, world-building, compelling, gritty, lyrical

Why I picked it up: I’ve been making a point of reading novels that the Sad Puppies disapprove of, and when this one won the Hugo I bumped it way up on my list.

S.I.A.S.: Essun is on a quest to get her daughter back, even though the world is ending.

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Catering to Nobody, by Diane Mott Davidson

cateringtonobodyTitle: Catering to Nobody

Author: Davidson, Diane Mott (Author’s Website)

Genre: Mystery, cozy mystery, culinary mystery, gentle read

Bibliographic: Bantam, 301 pages, Mass Market Paperback List Price $7.99, Audiobook List Price $25.87, ISBNs 9780553584707, 9780449220467, 9781574902044, 9780312042776, 9781575110202

Publication Date: July 1, 1990

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♥♥ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Likeable characters, amusing, upbeat, engaging

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for my readers’ advisory class. I would never have picked it up otherwise.

S.I.A.S.: Goldy needs to prove that she didn’t poison anybody in order to get her catering business back.

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The Seventh Scroll, by Wilbur Smith

7thscrollTitle: The Seventh Scroll

Author: Smith, Wilbur (Author’s Website)

Genre: Adventure stories, thriller

Bibliographic: St. Martin’s Press, 752 pages, Mass Market Paperback List Price $9.99, Abridged Audiobook List Price $12.14 , ISBNs 9780312119997, 9780312945985, 9780312287566, 9780330449953, 9780786204823, 9780333583210, 9781466868229, 9780330450935

Publication Date: March 1, 1995

Rating: ★★★☆☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Exaggerated characters, character-driven, intricately plotted, fast-paced, dramatic, suspenseful, violent, compelling, descriptive

Why I picked it up: It was required for discussion for my readers’ advisory class. However, my dad was very excited that I am reading it as it’s one of his favorite authors.

S.I.A.S.: Royan Al Simma and Nicholas Quentin-Harper must race against time to uncover an ancient Egyptian tomb.

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Saints, by Gene Luen Yang

saintsTitle: Saints

Author: Yang, Gene Luen (Author’s Website)

Genre:  Graphic novels, historical comics, historical fantasy

Bibliographic: First Second, 176 pages,Paperback List Price $15.99, Box Set (with Boxers) List Price $34.99, ISBNs

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Sympathetic, character-driven, moving, serious, bold illustration, cartoony, muted colors

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for discussion in my readers’ advisory class, along with Boxers.

S.I.A.S.: Vibiana has found a home in Catholicism, but many in China don’t understand or approve.

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Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang

boxersTitle: Boxers

Author: Yang, Gene Luen (Author’s Website)

Genre:  Graphic novels, historical comics, historical fantasy

Bibliographic: First Second, 328 pages, Paperback List Price $18.99, Box Set (with Saints) List Price $34.99, ISBNs 9781596433595, 9781480615113, 9780606323048, 9781466843806

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♥♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors:  Sympathetic, character-driven, moving, serious, bold illustration, cartoony, muted colors

Why I picked it up: It was assigned for discussion in my readers’ advisory class (which was very exciting, since I really liked American Born Chinese).

S.I.A.S.: Bao is fed up with Christians taking over China, so he raises an army of Boxers.

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The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown

lostsymbolTitle: The Lost Symbol

Author: Brown, Dan (Author’s Website)

Genre: Thriller, suspense

Bibliographic: Doubleday, 624 pages, Hardcover List Price $29.95, Paperback List Price $16.00, Unabridged Audiobook $39.93, Abridged Audiobook $23.93, Audiobook CD List Price , Mass Market Paperback List Price $9.99, ISBNs

Publication Date: September 15, 2009

Rating: ★★☆☆☆/♥♥♥♥♥ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Intricately plotted, plot-driven, fast-paced, atmospheric, suspenseful, descriptive, jargon-filled

Why I picked it up: I spent the last six years working as a tour guide in the Capitol, and people often asked questions about it (and got mad when I told them most of the historic and logistical information in the book is not true.)

Annotation: Robert Langdon must solve a series of clues to save his friend’s life.

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The Devil in Silver, by Victor LaValle

devilinsilverTitle: The Devil in Silver

Author: LaValle, Victor (Author’s Website)

Genre: Horror, Psychological Suspense

Bibliographic: Spiegel & Grau, 412 pages, Hardcover List Price $27.00, Paperback List Price $16.00, Audiobook List Price $34.99, ISBNs 9781400069866, 9780812982251, 9780679604860

Publication Date: August 21, 2012

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♥♡♡(The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Fast-paced, disturbing, melancholy, compelling

Why I picked it up: I got it as a part of a surprise subscription box, and thought the combination of an actual monster with the powerlessness of a mental institution would make a good mix of things to discuss.

S.I.A.S.: Pepper doesn’t belong in this mental institution, and will do almost anything to escape the monster inside.

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