I spy Fiction

Which book are you going to pick up today to read?

Don’t they all look so good?

I may want to read all of them……
although I have quite a few other books that are telling me to read them now.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest, most beautiful islands in the Florida Keys.

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first ever book festival.

Even though arrogant Will is the last person Jo wants to see, she could really use the festival’s more-than-generous speaking fee. She’s suffering from a crippling case of writer’s block on the next installment of her bestselling children’s series, and her father needs financial help as well.

Then Jo hears that Will is off-island on the set of the film of his next book. Hallelujah!

But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions—and more than willing not only to make amends, but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.

Things seem to be looking up—until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: Do any of us ever really know anyone?

Back in high school, Lily Wang wanted to be popular, but she considered herself lucky to be part of a tight group of oddballs and honors students called the Nerd Herd. Now, at twenty-eight, she feels like she’s finally on the cusp of succeeding as a beauty influencer―if she can hit five million subscribers, brands will take notice and she could get her own makeup line.

Fellow Nerd Herd alum Tobin Bui has had a lot of success as a YouTube gamer. But the road to online stardom has been rocky. First, he disappointed his parents by dropping out of college, and now, after years of pranks, skits, and playthroughs, he’s struggling to come up with new content to satisfy his ever-growing fan base. His agents say he needs cross-audience appeal, a new twist.

When Nerd Herd frenemy Lily approaches Tobin about teaming up to do a video to bolster her brand and reinvigorate his, he agrees. But when their first collab video goes viral, their relationship heats up too. With the whole internet watching, will these two former misfits finally realize they’re perfect together?

A firebird is reborn on the borders of Russia, a gate to a world of monsters and magic is breaking, and only a reluctant, untrained shaman stands in the way of a flood of supernatural darkness…

Anya is still reeling from the death of her grandfather when a strange encounter with the Finnish God of the Dead changes her life forever: Her family has been guarding the gates to the Russian otherworld on their farm for centuries, and she’s the new gatekeeper. Worse, if she doesn’t awaken her magical abilities and assume her new role, the gate will break, unleashing a flood of monsters and dark gods into their world.

As Anya struggles to make sense of her changing world, she can’t deny the strange encounters. She’ll need to accept her fate and work with the legendary firebird if she hopes to survive—and protect humanity.

At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by an unusual stranger who claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?

Death needs a vacation. Badly. But there’s a catch: There are people who cheat the system, always falling through the cracks and not dying like they’re supposed to. Who’s going to take care of them while Death’s sipping on sangria?

The answer is simple: Death needs an intern, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that one prospect, Buck Palasinksia—a bankrupt hitman with a roleplaying addiction—might have what it takes. While scoping out his next target, Buck gets drilled in the forehead by a bullet and falls right into Death’s lap.

If they shove him back into his body, he’ll have a few weeks to prove that he has what it takes to be Death’s right-hand.

All he has to do is take out Public Enemy No. 1, John Dillinger, and quit smoking.

I spy Teen Books

Check out these Teen/Young Adult books
Which one will you pick up today?

By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary—the most fearsome sword for hire in all of the Five Lands, and its most abiding mystery. But when the sun rises, a dark magic leaves him no more than bones. Cursed with this cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the final rest that has been prophesied for him, no matter the cost.

When the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, handmaiden to the royal family, is assaulted and left for dead. Wounded, heartbroken, and the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to be reunited with the princess she served and loved. She and the Ankou make a deal: He will help Flora find her princess, and train Flora in combat, in exchange for her aid in breaking his curse. But it isn’t easy to kill an immortal, especially when their bond begins to deepen into something more . . .

Andromeda is a debtera―an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. She would be hired, that is, if her mentor hadn’t thrown her out before she could earn her license. Now her only hope of steady work is to find a Patron―a rich, well-connected individual who will vouch for her abilities.

When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, she takes the job without question. Never mind that he’s rude and demanding and eccentric, that the contract comes with a number of outlandish rules… and that almost a dozen debtera had quit before her. If Andromeda wants to earn a living, she has no choice.

But she quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, the reason every debtera before her quit. But leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option because―heaven help her―she’s fallen for him.

Once Upon a Time meets Pretty Little Liars in this queer, dark academia story about four reimagined fairy tale heroines who must uncover their ancient curses before it’s too late.

After the mysterious death of their best friend, Ella, Yuki, and Rory are the talk of their elite school, Grimrose Académie. The police ruled Ariane’s death as a suicide, but the trio are determined to find out what really happened.

When Nani Eszes arrives as their newest roommate, it sets into motion a series of events that no one could have predicted. As the girls retrace their friend’s final days, they discover a dark secret about Grimrose―Ariane wasn’t the first dead girl.

They soon learn that all the past murders are connected to ancient fairytale curses…and that their own fates are tied to the stories, dooming the girls to brutal and gruesome endings unless they can break the cycle for good.

Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion―a veritable cabinet of curiosities―once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities: It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley has stormed back to life on a magic-fueled rampage across a surreal, through-the-looking-glass version of Europe replete with talking animals (and vegetables).

Swept into encounters with allies more unpredictable than enemies, Jonathan pieces together his destiny as a member of a secret society devoted to keeping our world separate from Aurora. But as the ground shifts and allegiances change with every step, he and his friends sink ever deeper into a deadly pursuit of the profound evil that is also chasing after them.

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.

Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but because she inadvertently passes as white, her cousin thinks she’s too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices African Americans face on a daily basis. In the meantime, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. But rather than take a stand, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.

Only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces does she begin to realize she has her own voice. And choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she decide once for all who and where she is meant to be?

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.
 
But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.
 
Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.

Strikers are loyal. With unparalleled, deadly fighting skills. With a willingness to do anything―including sacrifice their own lives―to defend Mara, the world’s last free nation. But to the very people she protects, Talin is seen as an outcast first and a Striker second.

No matter what others think, Talin lets nothing distract her from keeping the evil Federation and its army of haunting, mutant beasts at bay. Until a mysterious prisoner shows up and disrupts Talin’s entire world. Is he a spy? A product of the Federation’s sinister experiments? The clock is ticking for Talin to unravel the prisoner’s secrets and discover whether he’s the weapon that will save―or destroy―them all.

The world’s last free nation has fallen. And behind enemy lines, Talin stands alone.

With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive, Talin has no choice but to submit to the Federation’s experiments and become their most deadly war machine―a Skyhunter.

But Red hasn’t given up on Talin. Though the link between them is weak, it could be enough. To find their way back to each other. To reunite the Strikers. To fight back against the Federation, against all odds, against all hope.

Because the battle has only just begun.

I spy some fiction books today

All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.  
 
Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?

Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.

Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual.

When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life—to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.

Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.

It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world’s first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.

What do you do when your fake engagement starts to feel too real…

Aspiring clothes designer Victoria Scott spends her days working in a bar in Chelsea and her evenings designing vintage clothes, dreaming of one day opening her own boutique. But these aspirations are under threat from the new department store opening at the end of her road. She needs a Christmas miracle, but one is not forthcoming.

Oliver Russell’s Christmas is not looking very festive right now. His family’s new London department store opening is behind schedule, and on top of that his interfering, if well-meaning, mother is pressing him to introduce his girlfriend to her over the holidays—a girlfriend who does not exist. He needs a diversion…something to keep his mother from meddling while he focuses on the business.

When Oliver meets Victoria, he offers a proposition: pretend to be his girlfriend at the opening of his store and he will provide an opportunity for Victoria to showcase her designs. But what starts as a business arrangement soon becomes something more tempting as the fake relationship starts to feel very real. But when secrets in Victoria’s past are exposed, will Oliver walk away, or will they both follow their hearts and find what neither knew they were looking for…?

Another round of I spy Non-Fiction books

The grandson of Hollywood royalty on his father’s side and Holocaust survivors on his mother’s, Omar Sharif Jr. learned early on how to move between worlds, from the Montreal suburbs to the glamorous orbit of his grandparents’ Cairo. His famous name always protected him wherever he went. When, in the wake of the Arab Spring, he made the difficult decision to come out in the pages of The Advocate, he knew his life would forever change. What he didn’t expect was the backlash that followed.
 
From bullying, to illness, attempted suicide, becoming a victim of sex trafficking, death threats by the thousands, revolution and never being able to return to a country he once called home, Omar Sharif Jr. has overcome more challenges than one might imagine. Drawing on the lessons he learned from both sides of his family, A Tale of Two Omars charts the course of an iconoclastic life, revealing in the process the struggles and successes that attend a public journey of self-acceptance and a life dedicated in service to others.

Conflicts in our closest relationships are scary because so much is at stake. If the conflict doesn’t go well, we could lose our marriage, our family or our job, all connected to our security and survival. So we do just about anything not to lose those relationships, including avoid conflict, betraying ourselves or becoming dishonest. Unresolved conflict affects every single aspect of our lives, from self-confidence to physical and mental health.

Jayson Gaddis is a personal trainer for relationships and one of the world’s leading authorities on interpersonal conflict. For almost two decades, Gaddis has helped individuals, couples, and teams get to the bottom of their deepest conflicts. He helps people see the wisdom in conflict and how to get to zero—which means we have successfully worked through our conflict and have nothing in the way of a good connection.

In Getting to Zero, Gaddis shows the reader how to stop running away from uncomfortable conversations and instead learn how to work through them. Through funny personal stories, uncomfortable examples, and effective tools and skills, he shows the reader how to move from disconnection to connection, acceptance, and understanding. This method upgrades the old tired and static conflict resolution approaches and offers a fresh, street-level, user-friendly road map on exactly how to work through conflict with the people you care most about.

A searing and brave memoir that offers a new understanding of suicide as a distinct mental illness.

As the sun lowered in the sky one Friday afternoon in April 2006, acclaimed author Donald Antrim found himself on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment building, afraid for his life. In this moving memoir, Antrim vividly recounts what led him to the roof and what happened after he came back down: two hospitalizations, weeks of fruitless clinical trials, the terror of submitting to ECT―and the saving call from David Foster Wallace that convinced him to try it―as well as years of fitful recovery and setback.

One Friday in April reframes suicide―whether in thought or action―as an illness in its own right, a unique consequence of trauma and personal isolation, rather than the choice of a depressed person. A necessary companion to William Styron’s classic Darkness Visible, this profound, insightful work sheds light on the tragedy and mystery of suicide, offering solace that may save lives.

In today’s increasingly fast-paced world it can be difficult to find moments to catch your breath, regain inner balance, and just . . . be. This simple yet profound guide shows readers how to strengthen their minds by learning to focus attention, open awareness, and develop a positive state of mind—the three pillars of mindfulness practice that research shows lead to greater physical and mental well-being.
 
Psychiatrist and cofounder of the Mindsight Institute, Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., created the science-grounded meditation practice called the Wheel of Awareness to unlock the power of the brain to integrate its many functions and develop internal resources that lead to an enduring sense of calm and quiet. Packed with guided meditation instructions, practical exercises, and everyday tools and techniques, Becoming Aware meets readers where they are and offers a simple program to enhance our inner sense of clarity and even our interpersonal well-being.

Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy made their names as “advice giving brothers who have no business giving advice” (New York Times) on the hit podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. But while they may not have the best relationship or workplace advice, they certainly make you laugh, and they do know a thing or two about podcasting.  

In fact, the McElroy Brothers have spent the last decade making podcasts, including My Brother, My Brother and Me; The Adventure Zone; Sawbones; and more. From their start, independently producing and releasing the early episodes of My Brother, My Brother and Me, to their eleven currently available podcasts, the McElroys have become experts in creating successful podcasts. And now, they want to share what they’ve learned with you.

In Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You), the McElroy Brothers will walk you through the process of turning an idea into ear-candy for legions of fans, sharing their expertise on everything from deciding on an effective name (definitely not something like My Brother, My Brother and Me), what type of microphone to use (definitely not one from the video game Rock Band), to making lots and lots of money (spoiler: you probably won’t).

A must-read for anyone interested in podcasting, Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) shares the keys to success as well as the mistakes to avoid and draws on the vast experiences of three of the funniest and most successful podcasters working today.

I spy Cook Books today

Check out these cook books!!

What book will inspire you?

What will you be making today?

In The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora you’ll find the exotic to the familiar―from Ramp Leaf Dumplings to Spruce Tip Panna Cotta to Crisp Fiddlehead Pickles―with Chef Bergo’s unique blend of easy-to-follow instruction and out-of-this-world inspiration.

Over the past fifteen years, Minnesota chef Alan Bergo has become one of America’s most exciting and resourceful culinary voices, with millions seeking his guidance through his wildly popular website and video tutorials.

Bergo’s inventive culinary style is defined by his encyclopedic curiosity, and his abiding, root-to-flower passion for both wild and cultivated plants. Instead of waiting for fall squash to ripen, Bergo eagerly harvests their early shoots, flowers, and young greens―taking a holistic approach to cooking with all parts of the plant, and discovering extraordinary new flavors and textures along the way.

The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora demonstrates how understanding the different properties and growing phases of roots, stems, leaves, and seeds can inform your preparation of something like the head of an immature sunflower―as well as the lesser-used parts of common vegetables, like broccoli or eggplant. As a society, we’ve forgotten this type of old-school knowledge, including many brilliant culinary techniques that were borne of thrift and necessity. For our own sake, and that of our planet, it’s time we remembered. And in the process, we can unlock new flavors from the abundant landscape around us.

Offering a fun-filled step-by-step dessert cookbook, Ann Reardon teaches you how to create delicious and impressive pastries, cakes and sweet creations.

Join food scientist Ann Reardon, host of the award-winning YouTube series How to Cook That, as she explores Crazy Sweet Creations. An accomplished pastry chef, Reardon draws millions of baking fans together each week, eager to learn the secrets of her extravagant cakes, chocolates, and eye-popping desserts. Her warmth and sense of fun in the kitchen shines through on every page as she reveals the science behind recreating your own culinary masterpieces.

For home cooks and fans who love their desserts, cakes, and ice creams to look amazing and taste even better. Take your culinary creations to influencer status. You’ll also: Learn to make treats that get the whole family cooking —- Create baked goods that tap into beloved pop culture trends—-Impress guests with beautiful desserts.

When Nadiya Hussain, the UK’s “national treasure,” began cooking, she headed straight to the oven—which, in her home, wasn’t used for baking, but rather for storing frying pans! One day, her new husband asked her to bake him a cake and then… she was hooked! Baking soon became a part of her daily life.

In her newest cookbook, based on her Netflix show and BBC series Nadiya Bakes, Nadiya shares more than 100 simple and achievable recipes for cakes, cookies, breads, tarts, and puddings that will become staples in your home. From Raspberry Amaretti Biscuits and Key Lime Cupcakes to Cheat’s Sourdough and Spiced Squash Strudel, Nadiya has created an ultimate baking resource for just about every baked good that will entice beginner bakers and experienced pastry makers alike.

Samah Dada doesn’t buy into the all-or-nothing mentality of healthy eating. By using real, unprocessed ingredients in surprising ways, she shows you how to have your cake and eat it too—because it’s actually made out of chickpeas.

Samah knows that eating well doesn’t mean eating boring food. She uses only the most nutritious ingredients, not because she’s cutting out food groups to follow the latest fad, but to create drool-worthy meatless dishes that are mostly vegan (with options for dairy and eggs), mostly gluten-free (with easy substitutions to go entirely gluten-free), and all helpful in reducing inflammation. She reinvents Indian cookbook staples—and other classics—with recipes such as:
• Sweet Potato Aloo Tikki
• Creamy Black Lentils
• Spicy Eggplant Masala
• Chocolate Chip Tahini Cake with Chocolate Frosting
• Cauliflower Cacio e Pepe
• Masala Mac and Cheese
• And more!

With Dada Eats Love to Cook It, you’ll discover how to use healthy ingredients for maximum flavor and joy.

From proper crusty bread, pillowy soft cinnamon rolls and glorious layered cakes to fudgy brownies, incredibly flaky rough puff pastry and delicate patisserie – everything that once seemed impossible to make gluten-free can now be baked by you.

Baked to Perfection begins with a thorough look at the gluten-free baking basics: how different gluten-free flours behave, which store-bought blends work best, and how to mix your own to suit your needs. Covering cakes, brownies, cookies, pastry and bread in turn, Katarina shares the best techniques for the recipes in that chapter, and each recipe is accompanied by expert tips, useful scientific explanations and occasional step-by-step photography to help you achieve gluten-free perfection.

Recipes include classic bakes like super-moist chocolate cake, caramel apple pie and chocolate chip cookies, the softest, chewiest bread, including crusty artisan loaves, baguettes, brioche burger buns and soda bread, and mouth-watering showstoppers like toasted marshmallow brownies, coffee cream puffs and strawberries + cream tart.

I spy Non Fiction books

Space, immigration and nature books were found today.
All of these books are filled with great information.

Check them out today.

Discover how big the Universe is, why our view of the sky is constantly changing, what came before the Big Bang, and so much more in 3… 2… 1…. Blast Off! 

Inside the pages of this comprehensive guide to astronomy for beginners, you’ll discover:

   • Simple text and step-by-step graphics that make astronomy easy to understand
   • Fun facts and tip-of-the-tongue questions are presented through bite-sized factoids and question-and-answer features
   • Clear explanations demystifying more advanced topics such as cosmic rays, dark matter, and black hole collisions

Take a peek at what lies beyond the stratosphere

This out-of-this-world reference book about space introduces you to the weird and wonderful discipline of astronomy and space exploration. From the structure of the Milky Way to the Earth’s nearest celestial body, the Moon, How Space Works takes you on an unforgettable tour through the stars and galaxies, and to the furthest reaches of space!

Answering all your burning questions about space, from ancient white dwarf stars to the Mars Rover, this visual guide explains the essentials of astronomy through bold graphics and step-by-step artworks. It’s the ultimate book for armchair astronomers and space-technology enthusiasts looking for reliable and up-to-date facts and explanations.

A collection of 36 extraordinary stories originally told on stage, featuring work by writers, entertainers, thinkers, and community leaders. Spanning comedy and tragedy, Alien Nation brilliantly illuminates what it’s like to be an immigrant in America.

America would not be America without its immigrants. This anthology, adapted from storytelling event “This Alien Nation,” captures firsthand the past and present of immigration in all its humor, pain, and weirdness. Contributors—some well-known, others regular (and fascinating) people—share moments from their lives, reminding us that immigration is not just a word dropped in the news (simplified to something you are “for” or “against”), but a world—rich with unique voices, perspectives, and experiences.

Travel from the Central Park playground where “tattle-tales” among nannies inspire Christine Lewis’s activism to an Alexandrian garden half a century ago courtesy of writer André Aciman. Visit a refugee camp in Gaza as described by actress and comedian Maysoon Zayid, and follow Intersex activist Tatenda Ngwaru as she flees Zimbabwe with dreams of meeting Oprah. Witness efforts from comedian Aparna Nancherla’s mother to make Aparna less shy, and Orange is the New Black‘s Laura Gómez makes an unlikely connection in a bed-and-breakfast. 

Compelling and inspirational, Alien Nation is a celebration of immigration and an exploration of culture shock, isolation and community, loneliness and hope, heartbreak and promise—it’s a poignant reminder of our shared humanity at a time we need it greatly, and a thoughtful, entertaining tribute to cultural diversity.

Weaving decades of field observations with exciting new discoveries about the brain, Carl Safina’s landmark book offers an intimate view of animal behavior to challenge the fixed boundary between humans and nonhuman animals. In Beyond Words, readers travel to Amboseli National Park in the threatened landscape of Kenya and witness struggling elephant families work out how to survive poaching and drought, then to Yellowstone National Park to observe wolves sort out the aftermath of one pack’s personal tragedy, and finally plunge into the astonishingly peaceful society of killer whales living in the crystalline waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Beyond Words brings forth powerful and illuminating insight into the unique personalities of animals through extraordinary stories of animal joy, grief, jealousy, anger, and love. The similarity between human and nonhuman consciousness, self-awareness, and empathy calls us to re-evaluate how we interact with animals. Wise, passionate, and eye-opening at every turn, Beyond Words is ultimately a graceful examination of humanity’s place in the world.

Remember when there were bugs on your windshield? Ever wonder where they went? We need to act now if we are to help the insects survive. Robin Wall Kimmerer, David Attenborough, and Elizabeth Kolbert are but a few voices championing the rewilding of our world. Rebugging the Planet explains how we are headed toward “insectageddon” with a rate of insect extinction eight times faster than that of mammals or birds, and gives us crucial information to help all those essential creepy-crawlies flourish once more.

Author Vicki Hird passionately demonstrates how insects and invertebrates are the cornerstone of our global ecosystem. They pollinate plants, feed birds, support and defend our food crops, and clean our water systems. They are also beautiful, inventive, and economically invaluable―bees, for example, contribute an estimated $235 to $577 billion to the US economy annually, according to Forbes.

Rebugging the Planet shows us small changes we can make to have a big impact on our littlest allies:

  • Learn how to rewild parks, schools, sidewalks, roadsides, and other green spaces.
  • Leave your garden to grow a little wild and plant weedkiller-free, wildlife-friendly plants.
  • Take your kids on a minibeast treasure hunt and learn how to build bug palaces.
  • Make bug-friendly choices with your food and support good farming practices
  • Begin to understand how reducing inequality and poverty will help nature and wildlife too―it’s all connected.

So do your part and start rebugging today! The bees, ants, earthworms, butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers, ladybugs, snails, and slugs will thank you―and our planet will thank you too.

I spy new Cute Romance Fiction

Which will you pick up to read today from the land of cute romance?

Nothing like a rocky start between enemy coworkers stuck together on location to prove that love isn’t just a ploy for ratings—it’s a force of nature.

Alia Dunn has finally gotten her big break. After years of working her way up at TV’s top outdoor travel channel, she gets the green light from network executives to bring her dream project to life: produce a series about Utah’s national parks. It’s a touching tribute to her late apong, who sparked Alia’s passion for travel and the outdoors as a kid.

Alia is thrilled—until she meets her newest crew member, Drew Irons. The same Drew she had the most amazing first date with two weeks ago—who then ghosted her. The same Drew who has the most deliciously thick forearms and who loves second-guessing her every move on set in front of the entire crew. It’s not long before the tension between them turns hotter than the Utah desert in the dead of summer, and their steamy encounters lead to major feelings.

But when the series host goes rogue one too many times, jeopardizing the entire shoot, Alia realizes that she’ll need to organize one hell of a coup to save her show—and she’ll need Drew’s help to do it. It’s the riskiest move she’s ever made. If she pulls it off, she’ll end up with a hit series and her dream guy . . . but if it all goes wrong, she could lose both.

Avery Spark is living her best life. Between her friends, her sisters, and Spark House, the event hotel her family owns, she doesn’t have much time for anything else, especially relationships. She’d rather hang out with her best friend and roommate, Declan McCormick, than deal with the dating scene. But everything changes when she is in a car accident and needs someone to care for her as she heals.

Declan avoids relationships, giving him a playboy reputation that he lives up to when he puts a one-night stand ahead of a promise he made to Avery. While he may not have been the one driving the car, he feels responsible for Avery’s injuries and is determined to make it up to her by stepping into the role of caretaker.

Little did they know that the more time they spend in compromising positions, the attraction they’ve been refusing to acknowledge becomes impossible to ignore. When they finally give in to the spark between them, neither is prepared for the consequences. Their love is fragile and all it will take is a blow from the past to shatter it all.

On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti’s anxiety is through the roof. Relationships and love aren’t even an option. Fortunately, Preeti’s finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.

Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren’t for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it’s hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?

I spy Fantasy book today

Another cool book I saw at work today….
Stunning cover! Isn’t the castle so cool?

Juliet Marillier

A young warrior who wields both the power of her music and the strength of her sword faces a grave threat in this enthralling historical fantasy.

Bard and fighter Liobhan is always ready for a challenge. So when news arrives at Swan Island that the prince of Dalriada has gone missing after an assault by both masked men and the sinister Crow Folk, she’s eager to act.

While Liobhan and her fellow Swan Island warriors seek answers to the prince’s disappearance, the bard Brocc, Liobhan’s brother, finds himself in dire trouble. His attempts to communicate with the Crow Folk have led him down a perilous path. When Liobhan and her comrades are sent to the rescue, it becomes clear the two missions are connected–and a great mystery unfolds.

What brought the Crow Folk to Erin? And who seeks to use them in an unscrupulous bid for power? As Liobhan and Brocc investigate, it will take all their strength and will to continue pursuing the truth. With the safety of their loved ones in the balance, the risks they must take may cost them everything.

I spy a new YA Book

I spy this book at work today….

Stephanie Garber

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game ― and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

I spy Cute Romance Fiction

These covers are soooooo cute.

Violet March and Sam Nash are as different as night and day and have been enemies ever since Violet accused Sam of dognapping her beloved Dalmatian. Sam knows that would never happen—his well-trained fire safety demonstration dog never steps out of line, whereas Violet’s problematic pooch has never met a command she didn’t ignore completely, much like her bubbly owner. So when Sprinkles and Cinder accidentally switch places during the annual police vs. fire department softball tournament, Violet is thrilled by her dog’s sudden perfect behavior, while stubborn-yet-charming Sam is horrified to find that his dog no longer listens.

But when they eventually realize and switch the dogs back, Sam and Violet are shocked to find that not everything is as simple as it seems. And a little puppy love might be just the thing they’ve been missing.

Going toe-to-toe with a brooding Scotsman is rather bold for a respectable suffragist, but when he happens to be one’s unexpected husband, what else is an unwilling bride to do?

London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted just three things in life:

1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.

Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain’s peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she’s stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions….

When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old desire for revenge, he has no room for his new wife’s apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.

But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything–as long as she is prepared to lose her heart.

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.