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Air date: Jan. 28, 2024
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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz.
Today's reading recommendations include elements of magic - a fantasy set in a whimsical cafe and a family’s legend through multiple generations.
First, we’re going to hear from Emma, library associate at the Mariner Library, for a caffeinated adventure. Take it away, Emma.
“Legends and Lattes” by Travis Baldree is a cozy fantasy that features characters pulled from the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Orcs, hobs, rattkins, and more populate the bustling city of Thune and usher in a heartwarming story of identity, found family, and coffee.
Viv is a warrior orc who has spent her life on the road collecting bounties. But now, she has a very different adventure in mind: settling down in one place and opening her own coffee shop. The issue? The city of Thune has never even heard of coffee! In order to help her business thrive, Viv has to hire new staff, work with the local crime boss, and fend off old frenemies. But, she's got a little magic to help her out in the form of an ancient artifact that's supposed to guarantee the holder’s success. But what it actually does … well, you’ll have to read the book to find out!
Join Viv as she learns how to cope with a changing sense of identity as she builds her dream from the ground up, deals with old comrades, and makes new friends.
Thanks, Emma! It’s tough to imagine a place that’s never heard of coffee. This is a great book to read while curled up with your latte on a winter day.
Next, let’s hear about a peculiar family’s history and dynamics, from Danielle, library associate at the Mariner Library. Over to you, Danielle.
Elizabeth Acevedo is well known as an author of young adult literature, including her award-winning debut “The Poet X.” Her latest book, “Family Lore,” is her first published piece of adult fiction. This multi-generational novel successfully combines the lyrical style of Acevedo’s previous works with more mature themes. “Family Lore” contains secrets, love, sorrow, and even a bit of magic.
Though written in prose, the book reads like a poem, with vivid language that guides the reader through the book’s dual settings of New York City and the Dominican Republic. As the narrative flows between characters and time periods, a colorful family legacy is illustrated, led by generations of strong yet vulnerable women.
At the heart of the story are the Marte sisters. The first sister that we meet is Flor, who is equally blessed and cursed with the ability to predict death among those she meets. When Flor suddenly announces that she will be holding a living wake for herself, the family assumes the worst. Despite their concerns, the three days leading up to the wake bring them together in new and profound ways.
I loved the way that the narratives intertwined, weaving together the complexities of relationships between mothers, daughters, and sisters. “Family Lore” reminds us that our stories are not ours alone; they are shared with those we love until they become legendary.
Thanks, Danielle! This book is a beautiful homage to the power of family stories.
Our recommendations this week are: “Legends and Lattes” by Travis Baldree and “Family Lore” by Elizabeth Acevedo.
Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.
Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.
Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER.
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