by Jo Neiderhoff | Apr 10, 2020 | Book Recommendations
In the mood for a great fantasy but aren’t sure which one to pick? Or maybe you’re eager for a new sci-fi book but haven’t found one that stands out to you yet. Search no more, for here are five new books (and one old favorite) that definitely deserve a place in your TBR pile.
My Beautiful Life
By K. J. Parker
Subterranean Press, $40.00, 112 pages
K. J. Parker’s latest novella, My Beautiful Life, is an exploration of one individual on his deathbed, looking back at his early life, and at his own rise and eventual fall. Newcomers to Parker’s universe and old fans alike will enjoy his familiar dry humor and the conversational tone of the story. My Beautiful Life may be something of a character study, but it is a fascinating one.
Upon the Flight of the Queen
By Howard Andrew Jones
St. Martin’s Press, $28.99, 464 pages
The second book in the Ring-Sworn Trilogy, Upon the Flight of the Queen is just as thrilling and immersive as the first book. War and espionage, magic and dragons, and compelling characters fill this epic fantasy, which will fully satisfy fans of the first book and leave them eagerly waiting for book three.
Council of Fire (Arcane America)
By Eric Flint
Baen, $25.00, 480 pages
Alternate history is difficult to get right. There’s a delicate balance between writing a compelling story and one that that still feels plausible. Historical science fiction allows writers to get away with more, but it can also require more suspension of disbelief. Council of Fire, part of the Arcane America series, hits that balance just right. When Halley’s Comet splits the Atlantic, separating the Old World from the New, the effects on both sides of the ocean create a fascinating new timeline readers in any world won’t be able to put down.
Hell Divers VI: Allegiance
By Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Blackstone Publishing, $24.99, 400 pages
The sixth book in the Hell Divers series, Allegiance brings us into a world trying to recover from a bloody war and reaching for peace. Xavier Rodriguez, new king of the islands, but try to manage tensions at home even as across the world, androids attempt to hunt down human survivors. Soon the Hell Divers are in a race against time to keep the human genome from being wiped out entirely.
Target Rich Environment, Volume 2
By Larry Correia
Baen, $25.00, 352 pages
Larry Correia has given us another collection of his stories, and once again he pulls no punches. Volume 2 of Target Rich Environment is a breathtaking read, filled with giant robots, giant monsters, and great struggles of good versus evil. This is an excellent pick for all fans of action horror.
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition (Earthsea Cycle)
By Ursula K. Le Guin, Illustrated by Charles Vess
Gallery / Saga Press, $59.99, 1008 pages
Like so many, A Wizard of Earthsea was one of my first fantasy novels. Though I only have vague memories of it now, just looking at the new illustrated editions is enough to fill me with nostalgia for those early books. What else is there to say? This collection is a perfect gift for all fantasy fans, young or old.
by Jo Neiderhoff | Mar 30, 2020 | Book Recommendations
It’s nearly Easter! If you find yourself needing a small break from egg hunts (or just needing the kids to settle down for a minute), take a look at these great books to celebrate Easter and Spring. From Biscuit to Fancy Nancy, there’s something for a wide range of ages, with stories about everything from escaping eggs to a tender day between a mother bear and her baby.
Happy Easter, Biscuit!: A Lift-the-Flap Book
By Alyssa Satin Capucilli
HarperFestival, $6.99, 20 pages, Trade Paperback
The lovable puppy gets to go on his first Easter egg hunt in Happy Easter, Biscuit! Full of colorful illustrations, kids will love this adorable book. Toddlers will enjoy lifting the flaps to help Biscuit find all the eggs, and older kids can practice counting skills.
The Welcome Wagon (A Cubby Hill Tale)
By Cori Doerrfeld
Abrams Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 40 pages, Hard
In Cori Doerrfeld’s The Welcome Wagon, Cooper Cub meets a new family coming to Cubby Hill and immediately gathers his friends to welcome the new arrivals. The book discusses both how intimidating new people can be but also how a community can come together to be welcoming and kind. Full of adorable animals and winsome illustrations, this book is excellent for any child, whether someone new is in their neighborhood yet or not.
The Good Egg Presents: The Great Eggscape!
By Jory John
HarperCollins, $10.99, 32 pages, Hard
Eggs on the loose! In The Great Eggscape, the Good Egg and his friends hop out of their carton for a fun game of hide-and-seek. At the end of the morning, though, one egg is still missing. The rest will have to pull together to become a full dozen again. This is a perfect book to sit down with either before or after a family egg hunt.
By Paul Bright
Tiger Tales, $17.99, 32 pages, Hard
Hide-and-Seek Ladybugs is a fun game between Spots and his ladybug friends and Beepo, a lightning bug who is sure he will be able to find the ladybugs easily because of their bright colors. With sturdy cardboard pages and lots of other bugs to find, this is a great book to get toddlers engaged in pre-reading.
Disney Junior Fancy Nancy: Easter Bonnet Bug-A-Boo: A Scratch & Sniff Story
By Krista Tucker
HarperFestival, $10.99, 24 pages, Hard
Fancy Nancy is back! In Easter Bonnet Bug-a-Boo, Nancy and Bree are making hats for the Easter parade, but trouble strikes when the hats attract bugs from all around the neighborhood. This book is filled not only with the colors but also the scents of spring, making for a truly engaging read and a fun story for all kids.
My Love is All Around
By Danielle McLean
Tiger Tales, $17.99, 32 pages, Hard
My Love is All Around is a tender book just right for the softer days of spring. Mama Bear takes Baby Bear all around the forest, showing him that the world they live in is full of love. From playful streams to bird-filled meadows, there will always be reminders of a mother’s love for those who know how to look for it.
I Am A Bunny
By Richard Scarry
Random House Children’s Books, $7.99, 26 pages, Board Book
In the spring, Nicholas picks flowers and chases butterflies, and in the summer, watches the frogs in the pond. In the autumn, he sees the animals preparing for the winter. When winter comes, Nicholas watches the snow falling from the sky, then curls up in his hollow tree and dreams about spring. In print for well over 50 years, this beautifully illustrated, gentle story has been a favorite Golden Book for generations.
The Song of Spring
By Hendrik Jonas
Prestel Junior, $12.95, 42 pages, Hard
It’s spring and everywhere birds are calling out to each other. But one bird has forgotten which sound to make. He tries “Woof,” and meets a dog, who encourages him to try “Oink,” with the expected result. Moo, Hee-Haw, Baa, Meow–each successive call adds another animal friend to the page. Will the young bird find another bird friend? As young readers are introduced to each type of animal and their sounds, Hendrik Jonas’s clever illustrations grow increasingly crowded. The result is a beautiful celebration of friendship that will delight young children everywhere.
Fancy Nancy and the Missing Easter Bunny
By Jane O’Connor | Robin Preiss Glasser
HarperCollins, $4.99, 24 pages, Trade Paperback
Join Fancy Nancy in a fabulous Easter adventure with this 8×8 storybook complete with fancy stickers! Fancy Nancy can’t wait for Easter. And this year, JoJo’s class pet, Nibbles the bunny, is staying at the Clancys’ house for the weekend. But when Bree and Freddy come over to begin an Easter egg hunt, Nibbles goes missing! It’s up to Nancy to find her before anyone notices she’s gone.
By Jill Esbaum
National Geographic Kids, $5.95, 16 pages, Trade Paperback
Stunning photography and detailed imagery capture the uplifting spirit of our favorite season. We think of spring and we feel warmer, sunny days, we smell the freshness of nature’s flowers blooming again, and we picture little chicks and furry bunnies. These adorable baby animals are fun to look at and they represent the spirit of renewal and life that is spring. Every young creature finally ventures outside to play as the dreary days of winter fade away and color surround us all. Spring is about being outdoors enjoying all that our wonderful planet has to offer—it’s about living life to the fullest.
In Jill Esbaum’s beautifully photographed picture book, young children can see, hear, and feel the warmth of springtime by reading and learning all about chicks, bunnies, and the other baby animals that come out to play in springtime.