I am now on Goodreads as Michellecupboardmaker.  If you are on Goodreads, you can ask to be my friend and see exactly what I am reading.



Hi, As the owner of a used bookstore, people often ask me what I am reading. I read a little bit of everything but my current favorite types of books are genre fiction but they are a combination of several genres. I like the term supernatural fiction for my current reading choices but many of the authors actually call it urban fantasy.

The following is a list of several authors that are my current favorites. This list is in no particular order and when applicable I have included links to the author’s webpages. I will include more accolades when I have the time, but I am supposed to be researching the books for the Internet right now. However, thinking about my current favorites and checking when their latest books are arriving is more interesting.

I created this page because I constantly recommend that my customers buy these authors. These books are very rarely traded in at my bookstore and I tell people that they should read them. I will be making this page more informative and attractive as I have the time.


Supernatural Fiction

  • Kelley Armstrong
    • Her Women of Otherworld Series creates an alternate reality that is close to our own. Her world includes: werewolves, vampires, ghosts, necromancers, witches, and half-demons. The characters are strong and fascinating and the plots are well-developed. I enjoy the fact that she alternates narrators in the different books but keeps the reader up to date on the actions of the other characters in the series.
  • Patricia Briggs
    • The Mercedes Thompson Series. The main character is a werecoyote raised by werewolves but she interacts with many different types of otherworldly beings.
  • Jim Butcher
    • Harry Dresden. Harry is a wizard who is more of a supernatural private detective. The books have a noir fantasy feel and are set in Chicago of the modern world. However, very few people know that magic, vampires, and shifters are real.
  • Jeri Smith-Ready
    • Her vampire series focuses on a vampire radio station. This series is very innovative and interesting. She also writes fantasy novels that are also great.
  • Maria V. Snyder
    • Her books are closer to traditional fantasy than urban fantasy. The world that she creates is fascinating and her protagonist is amazing. Usually, I am a little too lazy to learn about different worlds which are part of the fantasy genre but this world is so fully realized that I want to learn more.
  • Anne Bishop
    • Her Others series is a fantasy take on Urban Fantasy with vampires and werewolves that are a completely different species than humans. The characters are memorable and well written.
  • Ilona Andrews
    • The Kate Daniels series revolves around a magic user in post magical apocalypse Atlanta. Throughout the series, the characters evolve and have fabulous adventures.





Some my favorite romance authors live in Central Pennsylvania and they come to the store for book signings which is so much fun. I keep their books in stock all year long. These are in alphabetical order.



by Michelle & Others


(see the Monthly Newsletter for this month's recommendation!)

Reviews by guests are marked, all other reviews are by Michelle


February 2018

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

This is a rollicking, exciting fantasy novel with a strong, intelligent female protagonist, Yelena.  Her world is authoritarian and rigid with strict laws.  Yelena is offered a choice between death and becoming the leader’s poison taster.  “Sieges weather, fight together, friends forever” is a quote from the book that encapsulates Yelena’s adventures as she learns to adapt to and change her world.  On one level, this is a wonderful fantasy novel, but the deeper themes stay with readers for years.     


March 2018

The Sweet Spot by Heather Heyford

This is a delightful small town romance set in the Willamette Valley, Oregon on a vineyard.  Jamie, the heroine, loves the Vineyards at Ribbon Ridge so much that she turns her vacation into a summer job.  Hank, the owner of The Vineyards, devotes his life to the family business but longs for missed opportunities.  These two strong characters fight their attraction while working together.  Join them on their adventure and you will also fall in love with the Vineyards. 


April 2018

Cremains of the Day by Misty Simon

This is the first book in a cozy mystery series set in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.  For readers familiar with the West Shore, there’s an extra layer of fun because they can try to figure out how places relate to their real-world counterparts.  Tallie Graver lives above her family’s funeral home but she cleans the houses of her former friends to make ends meet.  Her life path takes a twist when her ex-husband is assaulted and she finds one of her employers dead.  With Misty Simon’s signature wit and fun characters, this mystery shows that an amateur detective can catch the killer and save the day. 


May 2018

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

I loved this book because it combined alternate history, zombies with an amazing protagonist.  After the battle of Gettysburg, the dead rose and 17 years later, the heroine is a trained zombie fighter.  This book is a wonderful fantasy adventure novel with fabulous underlying themes.  


June 2018

The Amish Teacher’s Gift by Rachel J. Good

This is a delightful book about a 19-year-old who has 7 younger siblings and is the main support for her family.  She is hired to teach at a school for special needs Amish children.  The widowed father of one of her students experiences his own tragedies but he is drawn to her beauty and goodness.

The research in this book was one of its best aspects.  There was information about Amish life and culture as well as classroom techniques for children with special needs. 

The well written primary and secondary characters pulled me into the story.  I highly recommend The Amish Teacher’s Gift for fans of Amish romance and all romance.    


July 2018

The Last Wolf by Maria Vale

The heroine of this paranormal romance is a werewolf who thinks like a wolf, not a human.  She is thrown together with a shapeshifter, a being who is the sworn enemy of werewolves.  This adventurous story combines love and fantastic world building.  It’s wonderful to find a new paranormal book to recommend. 


August 2018

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

This is a fantastic class of the Urban Fantasy genre.  It is the first book in the Harry Dresden series.  He is a wizard living in Chicago who helps to solve supernatural crimes.  The main character is snarky and smart and the rest of the characters are well developed.


September 2018

The Silver Valley PD series by Geri Krotow

This wonderful series can be read in any order.  Silver Valley feels real and like it’s right around the corner because it is based in a fictional version of Central Pennsylvania.  The books are romantic suspense with strong, smart heroines and brave, fascinating heroes.  If you like your romance with a dash of danger, read the Silver Valley books.


October 2018

Newsletter did not release in time for October


November 2018

Outer Banks by Allison B. Hanson

This interesting book combines Science Fiction and Romance genres.  After aliens invade and are rebuffed, they leave humans infected.  This is the story of the search for the cure by a scientist and the man who helped her to break out of the Outer Banks.  It’s a wonderful blend of romance, adventure and science fiction elements. 


December 2018

Navigating the Stars by Maria V. Snyder

This science fiction novel has a wonderful, relatable main character.  Lyra’s parents are archaeologists in space.  They study the Terracotta Warriors found on a number of planets throughout the galaxy.  Lyra travels with them and finds modern mysteries of planets going silent while studying the ancient treasures.  This is a great read for all ages. 


January 2019

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

I listened to this book on Libro.fm and enjoyed the history and narration by three different narrators for the three main parts.  This true story is about the oil wealth on the Osage land in Oklahoma, the murders to steal it and the coverup by local officials.  It is the One Book, One Community choice for 2019 and a fascinating example of the interrelatedness of history.


February 2019

~Review by Sam~

 Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

The story of Onye, an outcast among outcasts, who discovers her own great strength and sets out to prevent the killing of her people.  This book pulls no punches and covers a range of contemporary issues through the lens of a post-apocalyptic Africa.  Rich world-building and complex characters are only the beginning of this thought-provoking read.


March 2019

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This is a high fantasy based on Beauty and the Beast.  The character, plot and world building are fantastic.  The first hundred pages introduce the heroine and her journey but when the story starts to fly, the book becomes impossible to stop reading.  The next two books in the series are even more compelling. 


April 2019

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

This is a fabulous fantasy novel told from the perspective of three main characters with input from several more.  The tale is based on Eastern European history and folklore.  The various perspectives create a fabulous tale of magic, mystery, and love.  It is a standalone fantasy novel and a great introduction to a wonderful author. 


May 2019

~Review by Kristian~

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

Willowdean “Dumplin” has always felt comfortable in her body, even if she didn’t fit into her mother’s teen pageant legacy. But once her confidence takes a hit, she decides to enter the Miss Clover City beauty pageant, along with other unlikely candidates, and show the community that she deserves to be up there.


June 2019

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This is a delightful tale for children and adults.  A toddler’s family is killed and he wanders into the graveyard.  The inhabitants protect and raise the tyke.  He learns about the worlds of the living and the dead.  This fantastic story tugs at the heartstrings and incites the imagination.


July 2019

~Review by Sam~

Mogworld by Yahtzee Croshaw

Jim, a student of magic in a fantastical world, tragically dies at a young age.  Then Jim is tragically brought back to life by an up and coming necromancer.  Thus begins a long, and not perilous enough to Jim’s liking, quest to straighten out a curse of non-death spreading over the land.  Told in the author’s signature style of dry humor and twisted tropes, Mogworld is a hilarious romp through a dysfunctional fantasy world.


August 2019

~Review by Kristian~

Stripped by Zoey Castile

This is the first book in the Happy Endings series. It’s a rom-com story with a friends to lovers plotline with the best inciting situation. Robyn is a teacher and her life is in disarray. The final nail in the coffin is when she accidentally ends up with her neighbor’s laundry, including a particular Star Spangled sequined piece of clothing. She meets her neighbor, Zac, a male dancer with plenty of charm and heart. With the witty dialogue, character chemistry and romance, this was a fun and engaging book.


September 2019

~Review by Kristian~

The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

In this world, a caste system reigns. Fie is a Chief-In-Training and has always followed the mantra of protect your own. This is particularly important because she is a part of the lowest caste, the Crows. In this magical world, there is a caste system that’s named after birds. Each caste has an affinity towards a particular gift. The Crows are the mercy killers and morticians because they are the only ones to not get infected by the plague. So when Fie’s family is called to collect royal dead, Fie’s plan is for them to get the payday of a lifetime. Instead, she gets intertwined with smuggling out the crown prince and outrunning the Queen.  I really enjoyed the language and characters in the book. Fie is a complex character thrown into a hard situation. The novel speaks about class and prejudice while having a well-made cat and mouse chase. I’ve been recommending it because it was a really solid fantasy.


October 2019

Three-Fifths by John Vercher

This work of crime fiction is written with such strength and beauty that the book haunts me.  While reading the book, I felt like a ghost on the shoulder of the protagonist.  This is the tale of a young man who witnesses someone he cares about commits a terrible crime, and the way violence reverberates through lives.  I recommend this debut novel for everyone who appreciates fantastic writing and compelling stories.


November 2019

~Review by Sam~

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

Gyre descends into the twisting labyrinth of a cave on a distant mining planet, hoping to earn her fortune and escape her poverty.  However, her employer is mysterious, dangerously indifferent to Gyre’s autonomy, and worst of all: the only one supporting Gyre from the surface.  The descent into the cave is as haunting as Gyre’s descent into near madness while delving into its depth.  Psychological horror at its best with a twist of science fiction tech.


December 2019

~Review by Sam~

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You by Janelle Shane

Janelle Shane offers a fun and thorough look at today’s artificial intelligences with tons of real-world examples and her own research endeavors.  Her examples are both hilarious and enlightening, and after reading I have a greater respect for what AI is capable of doing, and a greater understanding of what it is not capable of doing.  Not to mention all the laughs I enjoyed along the way.  The book is written so even an absolute novice to AI can follow along.


January 2020

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

This is the first book in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series.  Readers are pulled into the world of a coyote shifter raised by werewolves.  Mercy’s character is so strong that she leaps off the page and drags everyone along on her adventures.  The other characters are also fabulous and the world creation is amazing.


February 2020

~Review by Sam~

Stamped by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

This not history book (as the author informs the reader) is a thorough yet accessible analysis of institutional racism throughout American history. Beginning before the founding of the USA and carrying on until the present day, Jason Reynolds does a masterful job at taking Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning and presenting it so everyone from the youngest teenagers to the most seasoned readers will gain a more profound understanding of the propagation of racism in our country.


March 2020

~Review by Kristian~

How Long 'til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

N.K Jemisin’s How Long ‘til Black Future Month is a collection of short stories that span the author’s career from 2004-2017. It’s a mix of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and alternate history. The stories follow thought-provoking narratives, redemption, and horror where you can see the seeds of some of her future novels. If you liked the concepts behind the show Black Mirror or Tales From The Darkside, some of the stories will definitely suck you in!


April & May 2020

Bookstore was closed.


June 2020

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

This is a fantasy novel with great characters and a compelling plot.  Everleigh survives the massacre that kills the rest of the royal family, but she has to hide to survive.  This is her exciting story of becoming a gladiator and learning to thrive.  It is the first in a trilogy.


July 2020

~Review by Kristian~

A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, this was a great prequel. The most important part of this book is the idea of protagonist, not hero. Through the eyes of eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow you see the making of the Hunger Games. This is a book about how among dismal circumstances, there are those who pick to do good and those who choose to do wrong.


August 2020

Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee

The concept for this book is exciting.  A magic mirror appears before a young girl who is forced to pick one of three brothers as her husband.  The mirror shows her the possibilities and at the end she must decide a path.  The book lived up to its engaging concept with fascinating characters and possibilities. 


September 2020

~Review by Kristian~

Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

Agnes has only known Red Creek and doesn’t question the cult and strict laws she must adhere to. When her brother is diagnosed with diabetes, she begins to question what’s right and wrong. Is her sister, Beth, wrong to think of more? As the danger in Red Creek increases, Agnes decides to risk leaving. However, she learns there’s more to the outside world as she finds it ravaged by a viral pandemic. As she journeys farther into this world she must decide between saving her family and the world.


October 2020

~Review by Sam~

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik debuts a brand new series with A Deadly Education, a trip into the Scholomance – a school for magic-users cradled in the void where a class is lucky if half of their number manage to graduate (alive).  The protagonist El is a teenage witch with an unfortunate affinity for dangerous dark magic that’s left her with no allies, a shortage of useful spells, a paltry amount of stored magic, and a crushing daily regime designed to keep her on the straight and narrow.  The world is fascinating, the characters compelling and complex – this book is, in a word, amazing.


November 2020

~Review by Sam~

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh, author of Hyperbole and a Half, has finally published her second book after ten long years.  Full of embellished childhood stories and her attempts to conquer adulthood (complete with her distinctive art), this book kept me in fits of laughter (especially the tales of her various dogs) while also eking out space to talk about her painful personal journeys of the last ten years.  Solutions and Other Problems is hilarious and heart wrenching, ridiculous and moving.  This is not a book to miss.


December 2020

~Review by Katie~

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

A science fiction fantasy book set in our solar system many years in the future. With a little bit of everything, adventure, romance, dystopian, government suppression, and a far off dream, you fall deep into the chaotic world as the main character, Darrow, becomes a spy to free his people. Fast paced with fascinating world-building it is an immediate favorite.


January 2021

A Royal Disaster by Jennifer Bonds

This is a delightful romantic comedy about a woman at the worst point in her life. She throws a bucket of purple paint at a wall and hits a prince with it. His fans on social media attack her so they jump into fake dating. The dating becomes real as the artist and the prince fall in love. This feel-good romance will delight readers.


February 2021

~Review by Kristian~

Verity by Colleen Hoover

When Lowen is hired to finish Verity Crawford’s best-selling series by her husband, she leaps at the chance to get her life back on track. But when she accidentally discovers Verity’s autobiography, she finds sinister details about the author’s life. As Lowen grows closer to Verity’s husband, she begins questioning the woman lying inert in bed. As she reads further, she begins questioning what she knows. This was a can’t-put-down-able romantic thriller where I kept trying to figure out what the truth was.


March 2021

~Review by Sam~

Devolution by Max Brooks

A high-end green community is cut off from the rest of the world after Mt. Rainier erupts, leaving them with limited supplies and no communications due to a severed fiber optic cable. And then a displaced tribe of Bigfoot attack. Max Brooks takes what sounds like a B horror movie and turns it into not only a deep look into the modern world’s rocky relationship with nature but also a terrifying epic of guerilla warfare.  The audiobook in particular will leave readers and listeners jumping at Bigfoot shaped shadows (disclaimer: all shadows are Bigfoot shaped).


April 2021

The Boy Next Door by Carrie Jacobs

This is the third book in the Hickory Hollow series, but each book is a lovely standalone romance. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I connected with the hero and heroine, but my favorite character was the younger brother, Jared. He felt incredibly real. The conflict of a hero running from the spotlight and the heroine seeking success in it resonated with me.


May 2021

~Review by Kristian~

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Tessa loves to write romance and never hit writer’s block until she’s accepted into a prestigious creative writing program. With a looming deadline, she needs something to light a fire. Her best friend has a solution: Tessa needs real life inspiration. Armed with a list of romance inspired steps, Tessa begins following the list to the detriment of her relationships. Can Tessa find a balance to secure her own happily ever after? I loved the voice of this debut and think it pairs well with Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.


June 2021

~Review by Sam~

Silver in the Woods by Emily Tesh

Tobias is the Green Man of the Wood, tasked with keeping the Wood and his own faded secrets safe. Henry Silver is the new resident of the old manor house nestled within Tobias’ woods. Between the two grows friendship and attraction while a specter from the distant past stirs beneath the earth.

Silver in the Woods is both a haunting tribute to fairy tale fiction, old and new, and a touching romance. A quick and fantastic read for fans of Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.


July 2021

~Review by Kristian~

Every Single Lie by Rachel Vincent

When Beckett decides to show up to school after planning to skip, she finds something that shatters her world: a dead baby in a gym bag. As the small town divides into what happened, Beckett finds herself targeted online as the mother. As she tries to figure out the mystery behind the baby, she realizes there are secrets all around her.


August 2021

~Review by Sam~

The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Creeper, aka Jacqueline, lives on the streets of Free New Orleans – a state separate from the fraught peace between the Confederacy and the Northern States. Creeper survives through her own wits, a vast network of intel, and the help of her constant companion, the African orisha of storms Oya. When a chance for a spot on the airship Midnight Robber comes her way, Creeper will do anything to take to the skies. The Black God’s Drums is a rich and compelling alternate history fantasy that weaves the folklore and history of New Orleans, Nigeria, and the Caribbean into the tapestry of a young girl’s coming-of-age as she fights for her future.


September 2021

~Review by Andy~

Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison

A standalone fantasy novel set in the same world as A Goblin Emperor whose full cast of colorful and vivid characters written in a world with exemplary world building make this perhaps the only novel I've ever read that upon finishing the book, I wanted to flip to page one and start all over again.


October 2021

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

The heroine of this book is a healer in a world where her magical ability makes her a target for execution. This strong woman faces adversity to fight for her world decimated by a plague. After three years on the run, she finds allies who help her share her strength. This is the first book in a fantastic fantasy trilogy.


November 2021

~Review by Kristian~

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

As the son of a former King Lord, Mav expects to follow in his father’s steps. He wants to help his mother with bills and finish school. But when he finds out he’s a father, his whole world alters. With learning how to balance being a father and school, Mav is faced with the murder of a loved one. Will he break the cycle or find himself tangled deeper? I enjoyed this prequel from the POV of Maverick Carter from The Hate U Give. It is a great 1990s teen fiction novel.


December 2021

Memory's Bride by Decca Price

This delightful historical romance is beautifully written and evokes the feel of Victorian England. The constrictive social rules of village life are wonderfully researched and believably conveyed.  Claire Burton is a fascinating woman with a wonderful character arc. The mystery of the missing young woman who was so important to the men of the village haunts Claire.


January 2022

~Review by Sam~

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

A young woman finds a strange life form among the fur of a giant bear. A life form like no other that begins to grow and learn and love, but the young woman and her partner are fighting for survival. What will her mercy towards the creature Borne mean for the two of them and what secrets are waiting when all seems lost?

A surreal post-apocalyptic journey for a young woman named Rachel. Thought-provoking and terrifying in equal measure, with characters who will stay with you long after turning the final page.


February 2022

Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door by Lucy Score

This book is a delightful romantic mystery set in Harrisburg. Riley Thorn is a reluctant psychic who becomes involved with a murder and the private investigator Nick Santiago who’s on the case. This is an adorable book for fans of romantic comedy and light mystery. The characters leap off the page and the locations feel incredibly familiar. 


March 2022

~Review by Sam~

The Bees by Laline Paull

Flora 717 is a worker bee in her orchard hive, tasked with the sanitation duties – the lowest caste among her brethren. However, Flora 717 proves herself useful under the benevolent eye of the Queen, but soon finds her unnatural curiosity battling her need to please the hive hierarchy. Will her strange ways save the hive, or destroy it?

A fascinating look at the life of a bee, with every fantastical element balanced by actual bee behaviors. This book is a joy from beginning to end.


April 2022

Heart of Hope by Lucy Score

This delightful romance pulls at the reader’s emotions. The book begins with a tragedy and the grace and perseverance of the characters makes them feel like friends who deserve a win. This small-town romance provides a great introduction to Lucy Score’s wit and her compelling writing.


May 2022

~Review by Sam~

African Icons by Tracey Baptiste

African Icons is a great first look at the history of some of the greatest pre-colonial civilizations of the African continent and the people who made them great. From Egypt to Benin, from queens to playwrights, this book strives to give the first lesson about an often-overlooked part of ancient history. Though this book is geared towards a younger audience, older readers interested in beginning to learn about African history can still learn a lot from this talented author.


June 2022

~Review by Dana~

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels is a delightful story about a wild group of prim and proper lady pirates. They fly all over Victorian England in their ships, which happen to be houses. The story is focused on Cecilia who is a junior member of the society. She is trying to prove her worth to become a full member of the society. Her plans are thwarted when an assassin shows up. Who is this assassin and why is he trying to kill Cecilia? This book has mystery, romance, and comedy. I recommend it for fans looking for something a little different than a typical historical romance.

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