Giovanni is a fan of the literary classics, but also a constant reader of darker, more sinister fiction. As long as it has a good story and compelling characters, he's in!
See my more of my Past Picks Here.
Giovanni's Staff Picks:
Like the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Or in this case, you are what you READ! Full of whimsy, visually stimulating for children and adults, and very PUNNY! A great gift for all ages to share, you'll find something new on each and every page, every time you read it. Beautiful!
Part Coming-of-Age tale, part love story, part Lovecraftian Eldritch horror, this book has it all! The Turner family has been haunted by a mysterious wolf-like creature in a flowing red cape throughout the generations. Narrated by the youngest member, Noah, we see the lives of his family as they grow throughout the years, from the courtship of his parents, his sisters' childhoods, his conception, and everyone's lives as they live and grow. All throughout, his family encounters this creature, but Noah is the only one to acknowledge it, even befriend it. Exploring themes of mental illness, isolation and identity, this novel is full of monsters, both metaphorical and literal.
This book broke my brain. It starts out with a mystery theme, a woman on a rooftop claiming to remember a different life. We also meet Helena, a woman researching degenerative brain diseases and a way to capture precious memories and allow people with Alzheimer's or dementia to regain lost memories. With funding from one of the richest men in the world, Helen is able to make leaps and bounds in her research and development. But what she inadvertently creates is a time-machine. Instead of recapturing memories and experiencing them in the present, her creation sends one's consciousness back into a memory. With full knowledge of your life and experiences, one can change the course of one's history, or future, and rewrite reality. Of course, like any great creation with unimaginable power, things don't always work out for the better. What would you do if you could rewrite a moment of your past? How far would you go?
Title: The Golden Wolf
The final installment of Hartsuyker's Golden Wolf trilogy doesn't disappoint. Just as good, if not better, than the previous two novels, we see Ragnvald and Svanhild, Harald and Solvi, in their late-middle years. Family ties threaten to tighten around our heroes' necks as the young sons of Harald and Ragnvald create increasing trouble for the old warriors. Svanhild's own daughter, Freydis, is kidnapped and brought to Iceland by Ragnvald's half-brother Hallbjorn, who is seeking his own glory and renown. Rebellion stirs not only in the outlying lands, but closer to home, as well. Tense, heartbreaking and full of adventure, the conclusion of Hartsuyker's trilogy is as much about family as it is about history, the unification of Norway under a single king. Steeped in as much myth and legend as documented facts, Scandinavia's history is brought to life beautifully.
"They came to watch the children burn." The first line hooked me right away. Why would anyone wish to watch the burning of children? But in the Burnt Empire, ascension to the throne is literally a trial by fire. To fail is to die. To pass is to inherit a great empire and a great responsibility. Full of gods and demons, Upon a Burning Throne chronicles the lives of Adri and Shvate, crown princes of the empire and blind and albino respectively. Though princes they may be, their lives are far from easy. Shunned by their mothers since birth and doubted of their abilities to lead due to their afflictions, they have only each other. The book follows the two brothers, but also introduces us to a whole cast of characters, giving us a complete view of the empire, the royal family and the events taking place. Part of a series, it ends on a painful cliffhanger, but it only makes me want to continue reading even more.
Title: The Devil Aspect
*Insert explative here* Yeah, it's that good. There's too much to say for just a little card, so ask me about it. Seriously. Broad Strokes: Set in 1930's Czechoslavakia in a medieval castle turned insane asylum, we meet a young psychiatrist trained by Jung, himself. The residents of the castle are Europe's most dangerous murderers, the Devil's Six. Meanwhile, in Prague, a serial killer known as Leather Apron is murdering women and wreaking havoc and panic throughout the city. Within the shadow of Nazi occupation and a greater madness that will consume all of Europe, the young doctor comes face to face with the devil himself. Not for the faint of heart, but absolutely recommended for fans of dark psychological thrillers and historical fiction. Not my usual go to, but I was glad I picked this up.