It’s March, which means at the store we’re once again doing our Tournament of Books! The last time I posted about the Tournament was a week before we closed the store due to Covid so it’s been awhile since we had a real tournament. This year, though, I have a lot of picks that are included, some of which actually have a decent chance of winning! If you’re interested in our full tournament and the bracket for the store, you can find all the info HERE. The bracket consists of the top 32 bestselling staff picks of the previous year. Sales in 2022 and social media poll responses dictate the winners of each match up.
Each graphic links to the review, if I’ve done one, and is followed by my blurb that I’d written for the store. If I haven’t reviewed it yet, which is the case for most of them, I’ve linked to their page on The StoryGraph.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy A Court of Silver Flames as much as the first three books in the series, but ultimately my trust in Sarah J. Maas’ ability to redeem flawed characters made me realize there was no way I wouldn’t enjoy it! Nesta and Cassian’s story is beautifully written and Sarah tackles many hard to discuss topics like depression and PTSD. It’s definitely a favorite and very much an adult book.
Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
With Empire of the Vampire, Jay Kristoff has once again shown why he is a master storyteller. Gabriel de Leon is a complex and complicated new hero for Jay’s legion of fans, and soon-to-be fans, to follow over what promises to be an amazing new series. Jay’s vampires are not the sparkly YA vamps, nor the Dracula inspired vampires of the late 1990s/early 2000s. They are delectably French-flavored and with the introduction of Gabriel as a half-vampire, Jay has allowed himself a great deal of creative freedom to bend the old rules of vampire lore to his world. I absolutely cannot wait to share this book with my friends and fellow book lovers who loved Mia of the Nevernight Chronicles as I’m sure they will fall head over heels for Empire of the Vampire while simultaneously continuing to curse Jay for wreaking havoc on beloved fictional characters.
World Travel by Anthony Bourdain
I was so excited when this book was announced – I had been surprised that Tony hadn’t done a new book of his travels for Parts Unknown as he had for No Reservations and Cook’s Tour and when he died, I thought we’d never get one. I was excited to learn more about his favorite places and was excited to see so many place I love as well included. Unfortunately it is hard to call this Tony’s last book and it is much more of a travel guide curated by Laurie with snippets from Tony, rather than his characteristic essay style.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
I love all things 18th century and London, so when the two are combined in a book, it’s sure to be a new favorite. I really enjoyed Nella and Eliza’s interactions as well as the modern day interludes of Caroline learning about their story.
Fuzz by Mary Roach
Mary is back with her distinctive inquisitiveness and desire to understand the world around her. I laughed, I gasped, I went through all the emotions and more that I’ve come to experience with the reading of one of Mary Roach’s books!
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
Immediately enthralling, I couldn’t put down this compelling story! I have always had a soft spot for secret society stories but The Maidens is much more than that. I found myself caring so deeply for Mariana and hoping that her quest would help her find some closure for herself.
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
While many WWII stories have been told in triplicate, Kate Quinn presents a new angle on the Bletchley Park/code breaker part of the war. She gives us three magnificent main characters who must navigate the turbulent waters not only of the war, but of a new puzzle to solve shortly before the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth (QEII) and Prince Phillip.
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
A great start to a new series! I love Naomi’s writing and greatly enjoyed seeing her write in a different style than she did for Uprooted and Spinning Silver. This new series promises to be a world full of adventure and spectacular characters!
Broken by Jenny Lawson
I absolutely love Jenny’s books and I think it is safe to say that Broken is my favorite of them all. I laughed, I cried, all in one long marathon sitting where I alternated chapters between reading and listening. Struggling with my own mental health during the past year, it was such a soothing balm to have Jenny tell me it’s okay that it’s not okay and that my feelings will pass. I also enjoyed continuing my tradition of reading her conversations with her husband out loud to my husband and seeing him react similarly to Victor once again!