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Pub Day Shout-Outs! for September 28, 2021, featuring Aoki, Gray, and Hanson

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)


Here are three books coming out today that I'm excited to read!


Book cover of Ryka Aoki's Light from Uncommon Stars

Ryka Aoki's Light from Uncommon Stars (Amazon | Bookshop.org)


Description from Publisher:

"Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in Ryka Aoki's Light From Uncommon Stars, a defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.


"Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.


"When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.


"But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.


"As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found."


Why I want to read it:

I love the focus here on strong women, and since it's set in space—with violins!—the pull is even stronger. Book Riot has featured this one in several posts recently, which is another big point in its favor.


Book cover of Ayana Grey's Beasts of Prey

Ayana Gray's Beasts of Prey (Amazon | Bookshop.org)


Description from Publisher:

"In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the creature menacing their home—and uncover ancient deadly secrets.


"There’s no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who holds a power within her that could only be described as magic—a power that if discovered could cost her life. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, Koffi knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family's debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi finally unleashes the power she doesn’t fully understand, upending her life completely.


"As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six—an elite warrior—and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters not only the Shetani—a vicious monster that has plagued the city for nearly a century and stalks his nightmares, but Koffi who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi’s power ultimately saves Ekon’s life, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.


"Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani and end its reign of terror, but he can’t do it alone. Meanwhile, Koffi believes finding the Shetani could also be the key to solving her own problems. Koffi and Ekon form a tentative alliance and together enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild, frightening magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted."


Why I want to read it:

This looks like an AMAZING new fantasy series! I love the idea of the Night Zoo, as well as the monster subplot. I can't wait.


Book cover of Thor Hanson's Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid

Thor Hanson's Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change (Amazon | Bookshop.org)


Description from Publisher:

"In Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid, biologist Thor Hanson tells the remarkable story of how plants and animals are responding to climate change: adjusting, evolving, and sometimes dying out. Anole lizards have grown larger toe pads, to grip more tightly in frequent hurricanes. Warm waters cause the development of Humboldt squid to alter so dramatically that fishermen mistake them for different species. Brown pelicans move north, and long-spined sea urchins south, to find cooler homes. And when coral reefs sicken, they leave no territory worth fighting for, so aggressive butterfly fish transform instantly into pacifists.


"A story of hope, resilience, and risk, Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid is natural history for readers of Bernd Heinrich, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and David Haskell. It is also a reminder of how unpredictable climate change is as it interacts with the messy lattice of life."


Why I want to read it:

I've been trying to learn more about climate change this year, and this sounds like a fascinating account. I'm hoping to find more books like this one to add to my classroom library!

#pubdayshoutouts #nonfiction #fantasy #yalit #sciencefiction #diversereads

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)


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