Books

Reviews of both new release and older books from many different genres including science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, and nonfiction.

Vlad the Sad Prince Is a Coloring Book for the Unhappy Vampires Among Us

I haven’t been around on Twin Cities Geek for a while. The truth is, I haven’t been around much of anywhere lately because I am actually now a sad vampire. Long story. “Whoa, whoa, wait!” you are probably exclaiming with some slightly defensive and universally understood hand gestures. “This is a lifestyle and culture website and not a place to unload your personal dramas!” But look. Regardless of whether unloading the contents of one’s fractured psyche into the cold, uncaring,...

24 More Romance Novels for Geeks of All Kinds

Hi, geeky readers! Last summer, I rounded up two dozen romance novels sure to appeal to all kinds of geeks. Well, it’s been a year, and I’ve combed through many, many more stories to find you 24 more geeky romances to read! Why should you read romance novels? Well, because they’re fun, and because there have been a lot more romance novels published with geeks in mind. As I did last time, I’ve put some information under the title...

Badass Braids Brings Bunches of Pop-Culture Hair Inspiration

Usually, the spark that makes a television series or movie compelling and memorable is great plotting or vivid characterization. Sometimes, though, the popularity of a work is helped by what the characters are wearing or, more specifically, how they are wearing their hair. Star Wars is great, but think about how many people over the years have attempted to wind their hair around their head in attempts to recreate some of the most iconic sci-fi styles of all time....

Free Chocolate Is a Sci-Fi Novel That May Cause Cravings

Disclaimer: Free Chocolate is a space opera by Amber Royer, not a promotion for sweet treats. The premise of the book is that in a futuristic world, chocolate is now one of Earth’s most valuable currencies, and it needs to be kept safe. One of the things that I loved is that the main character—a Latina woman named Bo—is highly capable and instigates a lot of action in the novel, from stealing a cacao pod to becoming a fugitive...

12+ Queer Anthologies to Wrap Up Your Pride Month

Pride Month is wrapping up, but it’s always a good time of year to read queer-themed literature. But what do you do if you don’t have time to read a whole novel? Summer is busy, after all, even though it’s supposed to be time off. The solution? Short stories, of course! Here are a bunch of queer-themed anthologies, containing everything from comics to essays to poems to fiction, romance, contemporary, speculative, you name it. 1. Meanwhile, Elsewhere, edited by...

Local Writers Show A Good Time for the Truth about Race Is Right Now

What makes Minnesota the state it is today? If you asked that question to a room of 50 people, I bet you would get at least 50 different responses. Some might mention the sports, the food, the winter (?) . . . others might mention a little thing called “Minnesota Nice.” Many consider the term as one of endearment—a sign of our good nature toward others and comfort in our neighborhoods. To others, however, it may ultimately lead to...

The Perfect Scoop, Now in Its Second Edition, Is Perfect for Minnesota Summer

It’s just spent a week over 90 in Minnesota, a month after the last snowstorm, so it’s definitely time to start thinking about ice cream. If you have made ice cream at home, you have probably at least heard of David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop, originally published in 2008 and generally considered to be a seminal text on the topic. The author is also very generous with sharing recipes on his blog, so even if you haven’t purchased the...

Circe Revisits the Odyssey and Other Greek Mythology from a New Point of View

I have to make a confession: it has been over a decade since I studied the Odyssey. While I do remember enjoying that unit of my college freshman English class, enough time has passed that I cannot recollect as many of the details as I would like. So, when Madeline Miller’s Circe, which tells the sorceress’s perspective on the Odyssey, arrived as part of my favorite book subscription box, I had to refresh myself on who she was. It bothered...

Give a Girl a Knife Gives a Taste of a Minnesota Chef’s Journey

Amy Thielen’s memoir, Give a Girl a Knife, tells the story of a food geek’s journey (with her partner, Aaron) from suburban northern Minnesota to a homestead in the woods, to gritty line-cook gigs in Manhattan, and back again. It’s a harrowing tapestry of hotdish-centric Midwest cooking and reality-show kitchen angst with Thielen at the center, providing a perspective that can only come from deep reflection. I must admit a bias here before going farther: I’m a little burnt...

Children of Blood and Bone Succeeds as a Fantasy Novel and a Call to Action

Children of Blood and Bone follows the tradition of using fantasy as a way to bring light to pressing social issues in our culture. It is an adventure story in which a woman is discovering her magical abilities and the people in her community are looking to her for leadership to rise against the oppressive monarchy. In the world of the book, magic comes from a mystical connection to ancestors, and incantations are used as a way to connect...
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