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Book Notes: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

For those of you who loved The Daevabad Trilogy, a historical fantasy of 18th century Cairo and the magical cities of the djinn, climb aboard Shannon Chakraborty’s newest maritime fantasy novel. Set a thousand years before the events of The Daevabad Trilogy, The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is a wild ride of a story, where each twist is more unbelievable than the last.

Amina al-Sirafi is retired from her life at sea. Retired from the illegal shenanigans she and her crew got up to all around the Indian Ocean, in search of adventure and riches. Amina is very busy raising a daughter with the aid of her mother and brother and assiduously staying out of trouble. That is, until she’s lured (and guilted) out of retirement with the promise of a reward beyond imagining.

Book Notes: Hello Beautiful

Ann Napolitano’s new novel, Hello Beautiful, deserves all of the praise I am sure it’s going to get. It is gorgeously written, with flawed characters so movingly portrayed you can feel the tenderness with which Napolitano handles each one. Even the ones you can’t quite sympathize with are never flat. Families come together, break apart, and come together again. Its March publication date, the month of March Madness, is also fitting, given that a central character, William, finds solace early on in basketball.


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