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This is part three of a continuing series. Sometimes, you’re in the mood for something very specific, even if you didn’t realize that was what you were looking for. So, this is a list of those sorts of title–those really specific themes and tropes that you never knew you wanted (but totally did!)

If you want a romance about a woman who can call her husband in the past, then you’ll love Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

Georgie and Neal’s relationship has been in trouble for some time. And when she tells him that she won’t be going with him to visit his family at Christmas, it seems like the last nail in the coffin. And she wonders if she’s finally ruined everything. But, then, Georgie makes a shocking discovery–a way to call Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, exactly, but a way to connect and perhaps fix all the issues that had arisen between the two of them, and maybe change the present for the better.

If you wanted a fascinating memoir about Chinese parenting practices in an American home, then you’ll love Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.

Amy Chua decided to raise her children with traditional Chinese parenting methods, which are much stricter than our usual Western practices. Through this fascinating memoir, Chua shares her techniques, her triumphs, and her struggles, especially with her strong-willed daughter. While it perhaps might seem shocking to some readers, this is actually a fascinating and powerful book about a mother trying to do the best she can for her children.

If you wanted a book where someone writes original stories using the first and last line of classic novels for a guide, then you’ll love Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie.

Comedian Colin Mochrie puts together a hilarious and unorthodox collection of stories, using the classics as inspiration. Or, rather, using parts of the classics as inspiration. That is to say, the first and last lines. Each short story starts with the first line of a classic novel and ends with the last line of it. Of course, the resulting tales are not quite the classics, but they’re still a lot of fun to read!

If you wanted a book about the crazy trend of Beanie Baby mania, and how this intense fad burst like a bubble and fell apart, then you’ll love The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute by Zac Bissonnette.

I only sort of got caught up in the great Beanie Baby fad. For me, it was collecting cats. I wanted to have all of them. And I actually had quite a few, although never enough for a full collection. But, I remember people going crazy over these little pellet-filled stuffed animals. Whether you were caught up in the hype or spent the ’90s living under a rock, this book is a fascinating look at the darker side of a collector’s craze.

If you wanted a book of Sherlock Holmes stories, but instead of being a brilliant detective, Holmes is an inept sorcerer, then you’ll love Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning.

The Warlock Holmes books are some of my absolute favorites right now. And since book five just came out this year, new readers will have plenty to keep them entertained. The series is a collection of parody stories based on the original tales by Arthur Conan Doyle. But, with some obvious changes. Watson is a sickly genius saved from starvation through a pact with a (possibly demonic), inept sorcerer named Warlock Holmes. The two work together with Scotland Yard detectives Torg Grogson (probably an ogre) and Vladislav Lestrade (definitely a vampire), to solve supernatural crimes plaguing London. The results are absolutely hilarious!


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.