Ogi's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Ogi's recommendations! Check out what Ogi has been reading below.

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The Emperors of Byzantium By Kevin Lygo, Robert Peston (Foreword by), Bettany Hughes (Introduction and notes by) Cover Image
By Kevin Lygo, Robert Peston (Foreword by), Bettany Hughes (Introduction and notes by)
ISBN: 9780500023297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson - June 7th, 2022

My favorite book of 2022 wasn't a fantasy book? Shocking. This book catalogs every single Emperor of the Byzantine Empire from beginning to end, giving us the general view of their reign. I found myself thinking "Eh, one more Emperor and then bedtime" all the way to 3am! Quick, snappy, and visually appealing, this book reads at a break neck pace. What other history books can say that? 

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The First Binding (Tales of Tremaine #1) By R.R. Virdi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250796172
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Tor Books - August 16th, 2022

The Kingkiller Chroniclers meets the Silk Road! A stunning tale of amazing feats imbued with South Asian mythology. Styled in a similar sense, any fans of The Name of the Wind are sure to love this book, too! 

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Adventurer: The Life and Times of Giacomo Casanova By Leo Damrosch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300248289
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Yale University Press - May 24th, 2022

I've fallen down the Giacomo Casanova Wikipedia hole too many times to count. The nonsense this man got up to was baffling, even escaping the Doge's prison at one point. Leo Damrosch's writing gives this book the feeling of a slow burn television drama. I absolutely love it!

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The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards #1) By Scott Lynch Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553588941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - June 26th, 2007

Since reading this book in the summer of 2021, I have thought about it every single day since. Forget being one of my favorite books, this is one of my favorite pieces of entertainment! It's books like this that remind me why I'm so in love with reading; it's books like this that inspire me to write. If you're even moderately interested in the fantasy or heist genres, you won't be able to put this book down! 

The Blacktongue Thief By Christopher Buehlman Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250799975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - May 10th, 2022

A cut above most other fantasy books, The Blacktongue Thief is a masterclass in world building, storytelling, and humor.  I can whole-heartedly say that I could spend the next two hours telling you everything I loved about this book, and it still wouldn't be enough to show you how amazing this book really is. The best thing about it? It's the start of a series! We get MORE of this! Thank Fothannon Foxfoot for that.

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The Shadows: A Novel By Alex North Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250318046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - September 28th, 2021

Keep the lights on for this one. The Shadows capitalizes off that feeling you get when you're home alone, it's eerily quiet, and you think there's something moving in the darkness from out the corner of your eye. It's not outright terrifying, it's tense and unsettling, which is arguably worse. Alex North knows how to balance the natural and the supernatural with smooth, no nonsense prose. The ritualistic killing of a teenager 25 years ago spawns multiple copycat killings. Paul, who was friends with the original victim and perpetrators all those years ago, finds evidence of something sinister in the woods surrounding his small town. Detective Amanda Beck's investigation into the most recent murder takes her to those same woods, nicknamed "The Shadows." Both characters find themselves circling the darkness, getting closer to the unsettling truth, and daring to confront what's patiently waiting for them deep within The Shadows.

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The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive By Brandon Sanderson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765365279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Fantasy - May 24th, 2011

I'm going to cut to the chase, this is easily, easily, the greatest book I've ever read. Since I started working here a year ago, I've lauded this book to death to anyone and everyone who gave me the time of day, and even more who didn't. We've just recently passed over a total of 100 copies sold, and I'm confident that over half of those were my doing. I'm serious here, I've inadvertently caused a sort of Pavlov response to when I say The Way of Kings, immediately agitating any of my coworkers around me in the process. It's a terrible power to wield, but what can I say, this book is an absolute powerhouse. The start of an epic fantasy series to rival that of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice and Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicles, I truly believe that Sanderson's Stormlight Archive surpasses both. Relatable and lifelike characters, intricate plots, and a fantasy world unlike any other, this book is an absolute must for anyone even remotely interested in the fantasy genre, or crustaceans. I assure you, once you read this book, you'll eagerly eat up the subsequent sequels, which is great because the fourth book in the series comes out in November! If I haven't convinced you enough already, I'm sure I will in time. I swear by the Stormfather, I will have all of Milwaukee reading this series.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life By Mark Manson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062457714
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper - September 13th, 2016

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Axiom's End: A Novel (Noumena #1) By Lindsay Ellis Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250798138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - August 10th, 2021

I don't think I've ever given the science fiction genre its due. I've always leaned more towards fantasy. I guess it made more sense to me in a way, you know? Swords are swords, magic is magic; what the heck is an “Alderson disk” or “Clarke's Three Laws?” My point is, a lot of the science fiction I've tried reading is more “sci” than “fi,” too obsessed with its own mechanics to get me into the actual story. Axiom's End is an easy sci-fi read because it's approachable. It's a story that revolves around communication and miscommunication, all pushed forward by interesting and eccentric characters. If you're looking for an easy introduction into Sci-Fi, this book is a good place to start!

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Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre By Max Brooks Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984826800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Del Rey - February 9th, 2021

The two things you're going to learn from this review is that, one, I'm a judgmental idiot, and two, this is my book of the year. I wasn't familiar with the authors other works, I knew he had written World War Z and a Minecraft novel, so when I saw that this book was about Sasquatch, I picked it up on the off chance it would give me a good laugh and something to complain about. I was expecting it to be cringe, what I got was disillusionment with life in the urban sprawl, how shallow some people can be in contrast to how deep your humanity can go before it's skewed into something else, a critique on our "society of convenience," and how ignorant some people are to the dangers of nature. Oh, and constant allusions to the violent breakup of Yugoslavia (which hit a bit too close to home for me) and how to make a spear. This book taught me how to make a spear. I can now feasibly make a spear. With Halloween on the way, this book is an exceptional read for the season, and will have you wondering if we, the humans, are the real monsters. (And learning how to make spears!!!!)

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The Angel Maker: A Novel By Alex North Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250757869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Celadon Books - February 28th, 2023

Alex North is back and instantly poses a terrifying question with his new novel The Angel Maker: Can you outrun what fate has in store for you? Katie and her brother Chris are forever haunted by what might just be a random act of violence. A red car pulls up to Chris while he's walking home alone from school one day, and the driver tries to cut his face off with a knife. Now, years later, the cops are at her door, Chris is closely tied to the recent murder of a rich philanthropist, and to make matters worse, her two-year-old daughter Siena tells her that she's been seeing a red car parked outside of her daycare. Alex North expertly weaves the many different characters of this book together to tell you a story that began long before the first page. 

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The Warden: A Novel (The Warden Series #1) By Daniel M. Ford Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250815651
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - April 18th, 2023

This story simulates a Dungeons and Dragons campaign perfectly! Aelis just graduated as a Necromancer from the College of Wardens and is assigned the small border town of Lone Pine to protect. She gets there and finds out that the wizard tower she's supposed to call home for the next few years is in shambles, the people are wary of her necromancy, and the whole place smells like sheep manure. Her life gets that much more complicated when a gorgeous half elf engineer named Maurenia comes into town with some other mercenaries and Aelis can't stop thinking about her. Strange things are afoot in and around Lone Pine, and Daniel M. Ford's writing keeps you engaged with her adventures right up until the end!