Whisper of the Woods by Ennun Ana Iurov is the author's first professionally published graphic novel. It's about a young foreigner, Adam, who travels to a supposedly haunted forest in Romania to search for his friend who had gone there solo and vanished. Ignoring the advice of the locals, Adam arrogantly assumes he is above the supernatural forces obviously at play.
If you want a quick, light, heartwarming read, then you can’t go wrong with Michiko Aoyama’s charming book What You Are Looking for Is in the Library (2023). It consists of five interconnected stories about five different people who all find their way to a small community house library in their time of need.
Glory Broussard, a Black woman with vivid memories of segregation in her hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, likes her routine. After church on Sundays, she settles in at her table in the local coffee shop to run her bookie business. She volunteers with the Red Hat Society, and the rest of the time, seems to be going through the motions after her divorce and the death of her mother.
A wonderful mix of folktale, mystery, romance and historical fiction, The Fox Wife (2024) checks all the boxes for a fascinating read. Set in China and Japan in the early 1900s, author Yangsze Choo brings to life the folklore of the fox spirits; beautiful young men and women who can transform into foxes, bewilder and trick people and feed off the life force of humans.
Set in the cozy English countryside, The Wake-Up Call (2023) is a charming story about love, found family, and misunderstandings. The staff of the Forest Manor hotel are desperate to save their beloved workplace from closure or bankruptcy. Rivals Izzy and Lucas have barely spoken for over a year, but now are forced into an uneasy partnership to quickly raise funds.
American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI (2020) by Kate Winkler Dawson recounts the life and career of Edward Oscar Heinrich (1881-1953), one of the founding fathers of forensic science in the United States.
If you enjoy sweeping historical novels then you may want to dig into A Long Petal of the Sea (2020), one of the most recent books by the prolific Chilean-American author Isabel Allende. And if you especially appreciate books that shed light on dramatic past events less likely to be on our reading radar than, say, World War II, A Long Petal of the Sea just might be calling your name.
Ann Patchett probably needs no introduction. I have always loved how she fills her books with such relatable characters and a delightful sense of place and Tom Lake (2023) is no exception. This novel is told in the voice of Lara, a wife and mother to three daughters, all living back at home on their Michigan cherry farm to wait out the pandemic.