Welcome back to Get Rec’d!

Can you tell I’m ready for cooler temperatures and the lead up to Halloween? This edition includes horror and a picture book with a charming ghost. There’s also some non-fiction about the Gilded Age Bone Wars (also a title for a fictional erotic historical romance series, anyone?) and a historical mystery.

Get any good book recommendations lately? Do you have anyone you want to pass along? Let us know in the comments!

  • Clark and Division

    Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara

    For Maisie Dobbs fans! This is a historical mystery set in 1940s Chicago. The main character is a woman whose family was recently released from a Japanese internment camp.

    Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

    Aki, who worshiped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

    Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.

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  • Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

    Gustavo, the Shy Ghost by Flavia Drago

    This is consistently a big seller at the bookstore, especially around Halloween time. Super cute, there’s both an English and Spanish version, and an adorable Gustavo plush has been produced.

    This winning debut picture book from Mexican artist Flavia Z. Drago about finding the courage to make friends is perfect for the spooky season — or anytime.

    Gustavo is good at doing all sorts of ghostly things: walking through walls, making objects fly, and glowing in the dark. And he loves almost nothing more than playing beautiful music on his violin. But Gustavo is shy, and some things are harder for him to do, like getting in a line to buy eye scream or making friends with other monsters. Whenever he tries getting close to them, he realizes they just can’t see him. Now that the Day of the Dead is fast approaching, what can he do to make them notice him and to share with them something he loves? With fancifully detailed artwork and visual humor, debut picture-book creator Flavia Z. Drago’s vivid illustrations tell a sweet and gently offbeat story of loneliness, bravery, and friendship that is sure to be a treat for little ghouls and goblins everywhere.

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  • The Monster’s Bones

    The Monster's Bones by David Randall

    This rec came from Kelly Faircloth’s instagram. Her caption on the photo said, “Had no idea the early history of paleontology had such a high concentration of egomaniacs.”

    A gripping narrative of a fearless paleontologist, the founder of America’s most loved museums, and the race to find the largest dinosaurs on record.

    In the dust of the Gilded Age Bone Wars, two vastly different men emerge with a mission to fill the empty halls of New York’s struggling American Museum of Natural History: Henry Fairfield Osborn, a privileged socialite whose reputation rests on the museum’s success, and intrepid Kansas-born fossil hunter Barnum Brown.

    When Brown unearths the first Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils in the Montana wilderness, forever changing the world of paleontology, Osborn sees a path to save his museum from irrelevance. With four-foot-long jaws capable of crushing the bones of its prey and hips that powered the animal to run at speeds of 25 miles per hour, the T. Rex suggests a prehistoric ecosystem more complex than anyone imagined. As the public turns out in droves to cower before this bone-chilling giant of the past and wonder at the mysteries of its disappearance, Brown and Osborn together turn dinosaurs from a biological oddity into a beloved part of culture.

    Vivid and engaging, The Monster’s Bones journeys from prehistory to the present day, from remote Patagonia to the unforgiving badlands of the American West to the penthouses of Manhattan. With a wide-ranging cast of robber barons, eugenicists, and opportunistic cowboys, New York Times best-selling author David K. Randall reveals how a monster of a bygone era ignited a new understanding of our planet and our place within it.

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  • This Thing Between Us

    This Thing Between Us by Gus Moreno

    Creepy, cosmic horror with an AI twist and Mexican folklore! Definitely check for triggers, as there is animal death, as well as other graphic scenes.

    A widower battles his grief, rage, and the mysterious evil inhabiting his home smart speaker, in this mesmerizing horror thriller from Gus Moreno.

    It was Vera’s idea to buy the Itza. The “world’s most advanced smart speaker!” didn’t interest Thiago, but Vera thought it would be a bit of fun for them amidst all the strange occurrences happening in the condo. It made things worse. The cold spots and scratching in the walls were weird enough, but peculiar packages started showing up at the house—who ordered industrial lye? Then there was the eerie music at odd hours, Thiago waking up to Itza projecting light shows in an empty room.

    It was funny and strange right up until Vera was killed, and Thiago’s world became unbearable. Pundits and politicians all looking to turn his wife’s death into a symbol for their own agendas. A barrage of texts from her well-meaning friends about letting go and moving on. Waking to the sound of Itza talking softly to someone in the living room. . .

    The only thing left to do was get far away from Chicago. Away from everything and everyone. A secluded cabin in Colorado seemed like the perfect place to hole up with his crushing grief. But soon Thiago realizes there is no escape—not from his guilt, not from his simmering rage, and not from the evil hunting him, feeding on his grief, determined to make his way into this world.

    A bold, original horror novel about grief, loneliness and the oppressive intimacy of technology, This Thing Between Us marks the arrival of a spectacular new talent.

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