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Ivy's Reviews

Ivy grew up very close to Santa Cruz and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. She is the head of the Hardback section, History, and helps with Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Her voracious reading appetite can include anything from history, fiction, graphic novels, and anything in between.



Baggage by Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming’s last memoir was a catharsis; this one is a hard-hitting stroll through his star-studded past. Cumming looks back at the moments that shaped him into the man he is today from teen journalist (really!) to stardom and beyond. I think I ended up reading half of this book aloud to my partner because it was so funny and raw. I’m always in awe of how richly his voice comes through in his writing, as it does once again in Baggage.—Ivy

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Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062435781
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - October 26th, 2021

When Women Ruled the World by Maureen Quilligan

For almost half of the 16th century, four women shaped Europe in powerful and irreparable ways. Mary Tudor, Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Stuart, and Catherine de Medici are often portrayed as bitter rivals, but revisionist historian Quiligen uses letters and records of gifts to untangle the web of patriarchal views of these women. Each one has a complicated history with the others and I loved diving deep into their shared bonds. It certainly made me look at them all in a different light.—Ivy

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When Women Ruled the World: Making the Renaissance in Europe Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631497964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - October 12th, 2021

The Vanished Queen by Lisbeth Campbell

A (probably) murdered queen, a rebellious academic, and a dissatisfied prince are at the heart of this complex and richly told fantasy. Karegg has been ruled for years by a despotic king and rebellion licks at the heels of the kingdom. When Anza finds the missing queen’s journal, she uses her words to fan the flames of disquiet. I love fantasy fomented with rebellion and the parallels between Karegg and the US are hard to miss. Endlessly engaging. —Ivy

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The Vanished Queen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982141301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - November 9th, 2021

Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby

A cranky chicken and an optimistic worm are unlikely pals in this hilarious series starter about friendship and learning to love people as they are. Cranky likes being cranky and doesn’t want any friends, but after saving a worm named Speedy, it would seem she is stuck with one. The illustrations are laugh-out-loud funny, and I have never felt like a chicken was a kindred spirit until now. Perfect for fans of Bad Guys and the Narwhal and Jelly series. —Ivy

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Cranky Chicken: A Cranky Chicken Book 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534469884
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 7th, 2021

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess by Tom Gauld

After turning to magic and technology to achieve children, a royal couple is blessed with a magical log princess and robotic prince. Rather than rely on an evil person to speed the plot along, bad luck is the true antagonist in this lovely homage to fairy tales. This book is so utterly charming. I fell in love with it due to Gauld’s signature art style and complex wit. Come join the adventure! —Ivy

The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess Cover Image
ISBN: 9780823446988
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Neal Porter Books - August 24th, 2021

The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence by Stephen Kurczy

One of quietest towns in the world is in rural West Virginia. Due to the presence of Green Bank Observatory, many of the radio frequencies of modern life are banned such as cell phones and Wi-Fi. This town should be truly free from the noise of modern life, but not everything is so simple. I was utterly fascinated by this slice of America that was at once silent and roiling. Do not miss this one. —Ivy

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The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062945495
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - August 3rd, 2021

On the Hook by Francisco X. Stork

Hector, one of the “good kids,” is thrown for a loop when Joey, one of the “bad kids,” singles him out and says he’s going to kill him. Navigating the fear of death pervades Hector’s existence. It all comes to a head in a violent confrontation between the two boys’ older brothers, the fallout of which shows Hector that the lines between good and bad can blur. This is a book that stayed with me for a long time. — Ivy

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On the Hook Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338692150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 18th, 2021

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Two young women from warring clans with long histories of distrust join together to create a better world. Jazmyne is heir to the throne; one taken by force by her mother. Ira is the deposed heir of the dead empress. Jazmyne and Ira are both willing to risk everything. This is a very rich fantasy book, full of complex political machinations and intense magical systems. I loved delving into the intricacies of this book and watching Jazmyne and Ira’s plans unfold. — Ivy

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Witches Steeped in Gold Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062945983
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: HarperTeen - April 20th, 2021

Azmina the Gold Glitter Dragon (Dragon Girls, Book 1) by Maddy Mara

Moving from a city to a small town is quite the adjustment, but Azmina did not count on having a magical destiny as part of her move. Following a mysterious call in her new backyard, she learns she’s actually the Gold Glitter Dragon and needs to save the Magic Forest. Fun and inventive, this is a terrific start of an adventure for fans of Dragon Master and Kingdom of Wrenly. The first three books in the series debut simultaneously. — Ivy

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Azmina the Gold Glitter Dragon (Dragon Girls #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338680638
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - May 4th, 2021

The First Ten Years: Two Sides of the Same Love Story

I am a big fan of Welcome to Night Vale and Joseph Fink. Fink always takes something simple and puts a fascinating spin on it. He could have just written a memoir. Instead, his wife Meg Bashwiner and he give us two different perspectives on 10 of their years. Brilliant. In fact, Bashwiner might actually be funnier (sorry, Joseph!). There’s lots for fans of the show, but really it’s the perfect encapsulation of a millennial love story. It’s funny, poignant, and weird, all in one go. — Ivy

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The First Ten Years: Two Sides of the Same Love Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063027251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - May 11th, 2021


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