Bookmarks

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

A July 2022 Read This Next! Title

A Psalm for the Wild-Built was a perfect book. So much so that I put off reading A Prayer for the Crown-Shy because I couldn’t imagine a world where it could live up to the flawless beauty and meaning the first novella held for me. But once again, Becky Chambers has crafted a book that is just as philosophically resonant and wonderfully generous as its predecessor. Dex and Mosscap have become two of my favorite characters in all literature and I will love them till my dying day. No matter who you are, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy will speak to you in some way and remind you that the world is indeed full of wonder and that you are okay.

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers, (List Price: 21.99, Tordotcom, 9781250236234, July 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro

Three women have shared a bond for decades. When they are reunited for one of their daughter’s weddings, the past comes back in a rush. The story is told in flashbacks and present day in a way that helps them reconcile where they have ended up and where they once dreamed they’d go. A timeless examination of all the dreams you hold for yourself, the dreams your parents and others have for you, and how much you are able to follow your heart.

Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro, (List Price: $27, Knopf, 9780593320297, June 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig

A great reminder that our hearts are bigger than our worries. As adults we sometimes forget how kids struggle with big feelings they don’t always understand. This book is great to start the conversation about emotional awareness and other social emotional skills that are important for kids to be successful in school and life.

Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig, (List Price: $18.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593306376, June 2022)

Reviewed by Lupe Penn, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

Amazingly talented (and attractive) quarterback who’s new in school cheerleader destined to be captain of the squad = a story we all know. But what if the quarterback is a girl named Jack, and although she’s wildly talented, she’s also loathed by her new team, as well as everyone on the cheer squad — except for Amber, who falls for the new quarterback almost immediately. Coming out to her team risks jeopardizing her chance at becoming captain, so Amber has to think about what truly matters to her. I adored Amber and Jack and I loved their perfect high school romance

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler, (List Price: $19.99, Wednesday Books, 9781250765840, June 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Boys and Oil by Taylor Brorby

A searing meditation on identity and place, Boys and Oil captured my heart and opened my eyes. My husband is from North Dakota, and I thought I understood what it meant to have grown up in that state, but Taylor Brorby’s memoir showed me a different perspective. His writing on place is some of the most evocative I’ve read since Terry Tempest Williams; his love for his home state is evident despite the pain of growing up gay in a community that didn’t understand or welcome him. An important book and a must-read!

Boys and Oil by Taylor Brorby, (List Price: $27.95, Liveright, 9781324090861, June 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa

The thing I love about a great picture book is the way anything can become magical. (Please note: this is not a book about literal magic pancakes. It’s a book about the magic of friendship while making pancakes together!) Cat, Rabbit, and Moonbear spend the day together making pancakes, eating pancakes, and taking a post-pancakes nap. The simplicity of their shared day reminds me of the power of sharing a special tradition with friends, even one as simple as Sunday pancakes.

Sunday Pancakes by Maya Tatsukawa, (List Price: $17.99, Dial Books, 9780593406632, May 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Scary Monsters by Michelle De Kretser

A brilliant, expertly written novel that is at once horrifyingly real and also hilariously overstated. The two stories are surprising and suspenseful as each South Asian immigrant deals with the multi-layered pieces of their lives in the 80s and in the near future. As an Asian immigrant to Australia, the author captures these characters so thoroughly it is a shock to the system to step back out of their stories. Wonderful study on racism and how immigrants are received and perceived around the world.

Scary Monsters by Michelle De Kretser, (List Price: 17.95, Catapult, 9781646221097, April 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

My America by Kwame Onwuachi

Kwame Onwuachi went from Top Chef Kwame to Author Kwame for me with Notes from a Young Black Chef, one of my favorite books of 2019. My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef blends chef and author to create a rich exploration of the food that influenced Onwuachi and he has been inspired to create. Featuring not just recipes but family history, travel stories, and anecdotal tales, My America is a celebration that deserves in place in everyone’s cookbook collection.

My America by Kwame Onwuachi, (List Price: $35, Knopf, 9780525659600, May 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Ma and Me by Putsata Reang

Filled with incredible nuance, beautiful writing, and deep sympathy; Putsata Reang’s stunning memoir Ma and Me is sure to be one of the best books I’ll read this year. Tracing her mother’s story – escaping the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and surviving an abusive marriage – to her own experience; growing up as a gay Khmer-American pulled between to cultures – Reang’s deeply personal book and explores the depth of a mother/daughter relationship and the weight of expectation placed upon future generations. Both full of light and sadness, Ma and Me is a wonder; holding life’s beauty and heartbreak in tandem. I cannot recommend this memoir highly enough

Ma and Me by Putsata Reang, (List Price: $28, MCD, 9780374279264, May 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas

Ah southern gothic, my dearest friend, you’ve done it again. Isabel Cañas has joined hands with the spookiest of ghosts and written a tale of romance, mystery, and horror that would have even the stoutest individual shaking in their boots, wondering who would survive, if any at all. I loved every single second of The Hacienda, and am remiss that it ever ended, considering how desperately the author makes you crave more. This book is absolutely perfect for fans of Crimson Peak and Mexican Gothic, but most importantly, it’s perfect for the adults who were once teens in love with the supernatural romances of the ’00s and early ’10s.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas, (List Price: $27, Berkley, 9780593436691,  May 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Hundred Years of Happiness by Thanhhà Lai

Hundred Years of Happiness is a remarkable picture book. Teeming with stunning illustrations and storytelling, this book tugs at the heartstrings. I adored the mixture of family, culture, and food at the center of this story. The inclusion of the recipe at the end of the book was such a fun surprise!

Hundred Years of Happiness by Thanhhà Lai, (List Price: $17.99, HarperCollins, 9780063026926,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Lauren Kean, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

An April Read This Next! Book

I loved this follow up to Mia Sosa’s wedding-themed contemporary romance series. An overheard conversation just before a couple’s wedding makes Solange unable to hold her peace. Instead, she blurts out to the bride not to go through with it just as the couple is saying their “I do’s”. This leads to a chain of events that neither she, nor the stuffy groom Dean, could have thought possible. For one thing, Solange spells danger to Dean. She is unpredictable, feisty, and doesn’t have her life mapped out every single step of the way like he does…and that terrifies him. But, she could prove to be just what he needs to shake things up and finally find love.

The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa, (List Price: $15.99, Avon, 9780062909893,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

I loved this new middle grade coming of age story told in verse. Faruqi is able to capture so much about Aafiyah’s life and what it means to be a preteen in America. She uses careful precision and economy of words to tell us about the Qamar family, their privilege and love for each other, their heritage and sorrows. I love a novel in verse for the author’s ability to express a depth of feeling that is not possible in prose novels. I think this is the perfect form to tell this story and think kids will be effected by the nuance of the writing.

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi, (List Price: $16.99, HarperCollins, 9780063044753,  February 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southernr from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

After Beowulf by Nicole Markotic

Beowulf has been translated time and time again, whether by scholars just trying to be as accurate as possible, or people thinking outside of the box, or people who literally are just here for a good time like Nicole. After Beowulf is the tale of Beowulf, but it does address why the Geats were so terrified of his death. Nicole just happens to tell it all in the funkiest, funniest way possible. It even had me reading it out loud at one point, trying to do funny voices and keep up with the flow.

After Beowulf by Nicole Markotic, (List Price: $17.95, Coach House Books, 9781552454428,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder from Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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