Giovanni's Past Picks - 2

Giovanni is a fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as well as the more sinister stories of the Horror genre. He enjoys nerding out about sci-fi, but also fears the upcoming Robot Apocalypse. 

 

See my more of my Past Picks Here
Go back to my Current Staff Picks

Giovanni's Staff Picks:


 

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The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu Cover Image
By Tom Lin
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316542159
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - June 1st, 2021

This was a really great twist on the traditional Western. Ming Tsu, a chinese orphan, grows up to be a hired gun for a local gang leader until he meets a white woman and secretly elopes. Once her father finds out about their illicit union, Ming is beaten and spends the next ten years in slavery working the Central Pacific Railroad. The story opens with his first target, the man who sold him to the railroad. Throughout the novel, he hunts down the men who wronged him, his ultimate goal of reuniting with his wife. Full of magical realism in the form of human miracles and a blind prophet, this is a story of revenge, pure and simple. Beautiful and tragic. 


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A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250267689
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - May 11th, 2021

Fatma is the youngest and one of few female agents in the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. She is also the best dressed, in a tailored suit and a snappy bowler hat. When a secret society dedicated to the memory and work of a legendary magician, al-Jahiz, is murdered by magical means, Fatma will do anything to stop the madman claiming to be al-Jahiz returned. In a world where Djinn walk among us and clockwork eunuchs act as servants, all seems magical. But the returned al-Jahiz is determined to bring Cairo, and the world, to its knees.


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The Helm of Midnight (The Five Penalties #1) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250757050
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - April 13th, 2021

In a world where time is money, literal currency, and items can be enchanted with knowledge and emotions, magical items are strictly regulated and tracked. Krona and her sister Lia are Regulators. So when the enchanted death mask of a serial killer is stolen during a very public gala, things go sideways very quickly. Reminiscent of Jack the Ripper, the Blooming Butcher dissected and arranged his victims in gory replicas of flower blossoms. But what drove him to kill? And why would anyone wish to resurrect that terrible knowledge? 


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The Final Girl Support Group Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780593201237
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - July 13th, 2021

I just about devoured this book in a single sitting. It's action packed from the very beginning. It follows six women, six survivors of human atrocities at the hands of psychopaths. Not a single one came out the other side unscathed and most bare the physical and emotional scars several years later. These survivors, the Final Girls, not only survived, but in many cases killed or stopped their would-be killer. Yet the thing about Final Girls and their killers, there's always a sequel. And even when they think they are safe, something happens to prove just how wrong they are.


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Day Zero: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062405807
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - May 25th, 2021

Welcome to the first day of the End of the World. It started out just like any other day. It ended in revolution, bloodshed and widespread destruction and death.  Pounce is an anthropomorphic tiger, an advanced and fashionable Nannybot, purchased to be caretaker, guardian and best friend of his young charge, Ezra. When the call goes out to kill all the humans or risk being deactivated and likely disposed, Pounce is faced with a very difficult choice. Save his best friend and human, or side with the bots. Is it his choice? Or just his programming?


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Rabbits: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984819659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - June 8th, 2021

I devoured this book in a matter of days. Having finished it, I am still bound up in the story and am questioning everything. Alternate Reality/Multiverse meets giant scavenger hunt with deadly risks. Even those who live don't necessarily make it through to the other side whole. How much was real? How much was just part of a massively elaborate game? I still am not sure...


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Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries #6) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250765376
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - April 27th, 2021

Murderbot is at it again, helping humans out of a jam and solving a murder. No, Murderbot did not commit the murder. That would be too obvious. The latest story is part sci-fi romp, part murder mystery, all fun. But not for Murderbot. It involves talking to humans, which is never fun. But you will love this latest story in the Muderbot Diaries!


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A Dark Queen Rises (The Burnt Empire) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781328916297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - April 20th, 2021

In Upon a Burning Throne, we were introduced to the Burnt Empire and the princes Adri and Shvate, Blind and Albino respectively. In A Dark Queen Rises, we meet Krushita, Daughter of Jarsun and who also holds a claim to the Burning Throne. But she knows her father's evil intentions to rule the land with her as a proxy. Growing up in a wagon train and facing repeated attacks not just from bandits and wild creatures, but also her father's forces, engenders a deep hatred of her father and a determination to destroy him. This is the other half of the struggle for the Burning Throne, one Krushita must face alone.


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The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316489775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - March 10th, 2020

The first installment in what promises to be an epic new fantasy series. Tau is a small High Common young man, levels below even the lowest Noble class, but he strives to be more than society has deemed to be his position. In a world where he and his class are meant to be fodder for the war machine, he will prove that he can be just as skilled, just as fearsome, as the famed Ingoyama, elite soldiers enhanced through magic. A truly new and unique take on fantasy and the iconic figure of Dragons.


$45.00
SKU: 9780789213709gb

This beautiful collection, in partnership with the Norman Rockwell Museum, chronicles the history of Fantasy in art and literature. From the mythology of ancient cultures to modern day media, fantasy has played a major role in art and human society. There are excerpts from well known authors, psychologists and historians. From Greek Classical to Renaissance to Dungeons and Dragons, the illustrations and artwork will have any fan of the genre or captivated. So beautiful!


Killer, Come Back to Me: The Crime Stories of Ray Bradbury Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781789096651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hard Case Crime - August 17th, 2021

I love Ray Bradbury's writing. I have grown up with it and still find new stories and worlds to be enchanted by. This new collection, celebrating Bradbury's dive into the crime genre, is like no other Noir collection out there. Full of crime and murder, there are also tales of time travel, robots, and elements of psychological  and philosophical intrigue. A must-have for any fan of Brabury's writing or Noir fiction.


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The Empire of Gold: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062678171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - July 13th, 2021

The third and final installment of SA Charkaborty's enthralling Deavabad trilogy comes to a head where loyalties are tested and tried, prejudices are challenged and truths revealed


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781683692515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - May 25th, 2021

Never underestimate modern housewives, mothers or social book clubs. This was the mistake of newcomer, James Harris. Tall, handsome and charming, he ingratiates himself into the neighborhood through manipulation and promises of financial wealth. For years, he embeds himself like a tick in the community, charming first the wives, then the husbands, controlling the neighborhood and planting trust and doubt in equal measure. But he doesn't anticipate the strength of loyalty and trust grown between the women's not-book-club he first used to introduce himself to the community as a whole. But, like Ted Bundy and the various serial killers the group reads about, his charm and good looks hide a very sinister and dangerous nature.


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I Go Quiet Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781324004431
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Norton Young Readers - March 3rd, 2020

Many of us, at some point, have felt small, unseen, unheard. We go quiet  in a room full of people we don't know, in front of gathered adults, strangers, authority figures. This beautifully illustrated book captures those moments, those feelings, within its simple poetry and gothic design. Reading can be an escape, a doorway to other worlds, marvelous adventures and may help us find our inner strength, our hidden voice. I highly recommend this book for anyone, child, adult, everyone in between, who has ever gone quiet.


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Shorefall: A Novel (The Founders Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524760380
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - April 21st, 2020

Three years after the events in Foundryside, Sancia and crew have established their own consulting firm along with dozens of other scivers each opening their own foundries. Tevanne is changing, slowly releasing the grip of the merchant houses and gaining independence. Until someone decides to resurrect an ancient being with powers equivalent to a god... Then things go very, very badly, very, very quickly. Fast paced and full of action, intrigue and heart, Shorefall is a stunning sequel in this original trilogy about industrialized magic.


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Network Effect: A Murderbot Novel (The Murderbot Diaries #5) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250229854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - March 30th, 2021

I love Murderbot! For an artificial construct that tries to deny its own humanity, it is very human. In the most uncomfortable ways. As the first full length novel, Wells is able to delve more deeply into Murderbot and its thoughts and feelings about the people it protects. In this newest adventure, Murderbot is kidnapped by an old friend. Between trying to protect the humans that got caught along with it, and trying to puzzle out the mystery of what is going on, Murderbot finds itself in a tangled web between two different corporate entities, colonists on an abandoned planet, and a hostile alien infection. What could possibly go wrong? 


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Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984826800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - February 9th, 2021

I read this book in just over a day. Fast paced, thrilling and plenty gory, this is a story of humanity vs. nature. Told in first-hand journal entries, it chronicles the story of a hyper-green, hyper-technological community nestled in the wilderness of upstate Washington. "Isolated while still completely connected" is the idea of Greenloop. Complete trust in the technology and security of modern society turns out to be Greenloop's downfall as no one expects or prepares for worst case scenarios when it comes to natural disasters. After Mt. Rainier erupts, cutting the community completely off from the modern world, the residents must face the reality and harshness of nature and all she hides within.


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Anyone: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062890641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 8th, 2020

This is a fascinating story about the use and abuse of potential technology and how it can literally change the way we see the world and those around us. Brilliant scientist, young mother and black woman, Gabby White, accidentally invents a technology allowing one to transfer consciousness into another person's body. While the technology has near limitless potential, she is determined to keep it secret, keep it hidden, and keep it to herself, lest it fall into the hands of the wrong people and be corrupted and abused by the ultra-powerful. Told in alternating chapters from the present to the future, we see the way the tech is used and how it first came to light and who, ultimately, controls the world. 


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Full Throttle: Stories Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062200693
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 8th, 2020

As his first collection of short stories since 20th Century Ghosts over a decade ago, Joe Hill establishes himself as a worthy successor to his father as a master of horror fiction. While he has a unique style all his own, the influences of King really shine through, and not just in the collaborative stories such as Throttle and In the Tall Grass. Thirteen tales in various styles, including present tense and a whole story written out as tweets from a teenager on a family road trip from (or to) Hell. Heartwarming, as well as heartbreaking stories make up this phenomenal collection. Story telling really does run in the family. 

P.S. Check out the audio book on Libro.fm/thebookloft. A whole cast of amazing authors and actors read each of the thirteen tales, including Neil Gaiman, Zachary Quinto, Will Wheaton and Kate Mulgrew. Sign up and apply your credit for a free copy today! 


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Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell (Scary Children's Books for Kids Age 9 to 12, Ghost Stories for Middle Schoolers) Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781452171289
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-7 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - August 13th, 2019

Thirteen dark tales for a new generation. Coupled with haunting illustrations, this collection is sure to bring chills to readers, young and old. From ghosts to monsters and haunted woods, each terrifying tale is as captivating as it is disturbing. A must read for budding young fans of the horror genre and a delight for all ages.


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Fate of the Fallen (The Shroud of Prophecy #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250776211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - August 3rd, 2021

Prophecies are dark, terrible things, full of doom and gloom, death and the occasional plague or two. But there is the silver lining in almost all of them. A hero, savior, Chosen One, rises up to the challenge and leads the forces of light against the forces of evil, ultimately to triumph and save the world. Unless the Chosen One gets killed on their way out of the front door. Welcome to Fate of the Fallen, where our glorious hero dies before his adventure even begins and everyone panics, ready to lie down and die or flee from the world altogether. So what happens when all hope seems lost and the only future is death? Sometimes heroes appear from unusual sources.


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Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316129084
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - June 15th, 2011

Despite being a fan of science fiction, space opera was one of those sub-genres that never really drew me in. I was more about the technology and how it influences the human psychology. But this series was something multiple people had recommended I read, and I'm glad they did. Even if you're not a big sci-fi fan or into interplanetary or space-opera fiction, this series is still compelling. A diverse cast of characters, fast paced action and an alien molecule that turns people into soup. I mean, what more could you ask for? With eight books so far, and each spaced within two years, you'll be able to get your fix without worrying the author will die of old age before they finish the series (looking at you, Martin!)


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The World That Loved Books Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781772290127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simply Read Books - October 24th, 2018

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!


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A Cosmology of Monsters: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525563921
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - August 4th, 2020

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.


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Recursion: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781524759797
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 10th, 2020

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?


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The Golden Wolf: A Novel (The Golden Wolf Saga #3) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062563767
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - July 28th, 2020

Bookseller: Gio
Title: The Golden Wolf

Comments:
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.


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Upon a Burning Throne (The Burnt Empire) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780358299295
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books - March 24th, 2020

"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. 


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The Devil Aspect: A Novel Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525564782
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - January 21st, 2020

Bookseller: Gio
Title: The Devil Aspect

Comments:
*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.