What We're Reading: October 2023

Created on April 6, 2024, 5:49 pm

Last Updated April 17, 2024, 1:02 pm

Series
Sworn soldier volume 1
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"When Alex Easton receives the letter of a childhood friend informing them of their sister's grim illness, the retired soldier goes to visit the ancestral House of Usher to support the brother and sister living within. What Easton runs into however is rancid-smelling fungi, shambling and unblinking hares, and a house (much like its occupants) slowly being consumed from within as a dire mystery unfolds.

A retelling of the classic Fall of the House of Usher, this novella is perfect for fans of Edgar Allen Poe, The Last of Us, or anyone looking for an eerie gothic twist in an alternative historic fiction. Also, the sequel, What Feasts at Night, is supposed to come out in 2024!" - Gabriella N., Busch Annapolis Library
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"It's the year 2472 and humanity is looking for another potential home world. There are only two countries left on Earth, Dimokratia and Federation. Titan is judged to be the nearest planet hospitable to human life. One person was sent to start a colony but six weeks later her communications went dark. Two years later a distress signal is detected from Titan, so a rescue mission is launched. What follows is a surprising story about perseverance, love, and what it means to be human. (Spoiler Alert: it's not really about a rescue!) I loved this book." - Jennifer T., Severna Park Library
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"A wordless picture book that enchants the reader with a whimsical story of the relationship between a bunny and a tree and their journey together." - Amanda Y., Glen Burnie Library
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"Mackenzie's dreams are becoming scarier and scarier. When she wakes up with a dead crow's head in her hand she starts to panic. Going home to Alberta seems like the best thing to do but when she gets there the dreams continue and no one is sure what it means.

This book is for those that like a little horror, good characters, and a compelling family life." - Mary S., Deale Library
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"Translated into English from Spanish in 2020) by Augustina Bazterrica,
Tender is the Flesh (which went viral on a very specific niche of BookTok a while back) tells the story of a dystopian future where an emerging virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Rather than making vegetarianism mainstream, society has decided they are going to farm humans for food. Surprising? Sadly, no. Marcos works at slaughterhouse in order to pay for his father's nursing home. What follows is an unflinching description of the violence enacted on the human "head," which only becomes more disturbing when Marcos (certified "nice guy") is gifted a female head by a breeding center vying for the slaughterhouse's business. This plays out exactly as you'd expect. Although the act of rape itself isn't depicted, for me, the scenes at the breeding center were some of the most gruesome in the book. The author is Argentinian, but living in the United States, I can't help but be reminded that we (society) actually did do many of these things to humans. I devoured (wocka wocka) this horrific little tale virtually in a single sitting; even in translation the language is very compelling. One of the overarching themes is how we use words to 'clean up' atrocities and serves as a reminder that the language we use is important, but not as important as the way we treat each other. (Not for the faint of heart, additional content warnings for infant death and animal abuse, along with a bunch of other gross stuff, but those are the standouts for me.)" - Kelly T., Glen Burnie Library
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"Fans of the podcast Maintenance Phase will enjoy this book by co-host, Aubrey Gordon. If you've never heard a Maintenance Phase episode before, this book is a great encapsulation of that podcast and Gordon's activism. This series of twenty essays discussing the sociopolitical issues affecting fat people is an informative read. If you're curious about these issues or simply want some solidarity, you might enjoy this book." - Abigail W., Broadneck Library
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"A mutilated mermaid forms an alliance with a genderless plague doctor. Together, they investigate the dark proceedings of a cult operating on the village's children. As the horror grows, so too does their love. For fans of fantasy horror, fairy tale retellings, poetic prose, and queer visceral romance with Hannibal leanings." - Louis B., Edgewater Library
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"Cassie is an artist who is struggling to get by, but her luck changes when she comes across an ad for a roommate charging a suspiciously cheap rent. Deciding to take a chance, she finds out that the roommate in question thankfully doesn't seem like an axe murderer but, instead, is just very eccentric. She takes the deal and moves in with him, but soon has to come to terms with the fact that there is a very real (and seemingly impossible) reason for his many quirks. This book is a cute, trope-filled rom-com that will provide lots of laughs and sweetness to your Halloween season reads. I recommend it to those who love adult monster romances and are in the mood for something silly and fun." - Christine M., Edgewater Library
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