Fun fact: Booksweet has a team of volunteer readers to help us get through the avalanche of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) we receive each month.
Lovingly called the “ARC Team,” these readers were selected because their reading preferences are in alignment with our shop’s scope and vision but also diverge from our small (but mighty!) team of bookseller’s regular reading preferences.
Booksweet co-owner and bookbuyer Shaun considers the ARC Team’s recommendations alongside a host of other fun factors when curating Booksweet’s collection.
You’ll also see ARC Team’s shelf talkers in-shop, guiding you to some of their favorite books. If you’re looking for great book recs in your social media #Bookstagram feed, our ARC Team regularly posts about their favorite books on Instagram.
Meet the team!
Heather – @Thelindenbookie
Pronouns: she/her // Heather is a nanny and doula. When she’s not working or reading, Heather enjoys video gaming, walking her dogs, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Soft spot for: Fantasy, Romance, dystopian fiction. She also sometimes enjoys biographies and non-fiction social justice reads.
Special topics / themes: “Found family, queer representation, fat heroines, grumpy x sunshine pairings, and cults.”
A few favorites: Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli, Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Little Thieves by Margaret Owens, and Cultish by Amanda Montell
Pronouns: she/her // Jess is the co-host of the pod Ann Arbor AF, the founder of Ann Arbor Housing For All, co-founder of FutureRoot, and an aspiring first-time book author. When she’s not working or reading, Jess is a community organizer around housing justice; learning to live with a disability; and playing with her rescue puppy.
Soft spot for: Scifi (esp female protagonists), narrative and helpful Nonfiction, and print editions of webcomics.
Special topics / themes: “Stories that center women’s and genderqueer folks’ liberation, empowerment, and narratives. Racial justice. White folks learning about whiteness and racialization. Housing and home. How to be a better human. Stories that beckon my imagination forward.”
A few favorites: The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, We Do This Til We Free Us by Mariame Kaba, Tamara K Nopper, Naomi Murakawa, Professional Troublemaker by Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Fixer-Upper by Jenny Schuetz, Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad, The Fifth Season (Broken Earth Trilogy #1), Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh.
Kallista Marie aka Ms.K – @ourcommunityreadskm
Pronouns: she/her // Kallista is a YDL youth library professional, a mom, and the founder of Our Community Reads, an Ypsilanti-based non-profit committed to showing an accurate representation of our community, planting seeds of possibilities, and inspiring a love of reading. An important goal of Our Community Reads: “to replace all the negative, traumatic stories that Black and Brown children see growing up.” When she’s not working, reading, parenting, and leading, Kallista enjoys gardening, walking her amazing dog, and traveling to new places.
Soft spot for: Picture Books and YA
Special topics / themes: Self Awareness and Self Love
Latitude (Lat) – @geographconcept + book blogging at geographreads.com
Pronouns: they/them// Lat is an Eastern Michigan University Distinguished Writer of 2023; a graduate student at the U-M School of Information, studying Library Science; and a Summer 2023 AADL Tournament of Tomes contestant. When they’re not learning or reading, they enjoy riding the bus, petting their cat, and planning art heists.
Soft spot for: Middlegrade/YA, Cozy Anything, Fabulism & Magical Realism, stories about thieves and dreamers, and Literary Fiction.
Special topics / themes: “Disability, queerness in all its forms, tension, art heists, debt, What Do We Owe to Each Other, defictionalization of story elements (included recipes or crosswords, or stories about real places), enemies who are also lovers, friends who become lovers, nonbinary main characters, books mainly about cats, books with included cozy illustrations, books about gender, and Arthurian mythology.”
A few favorites: Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell, Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White, The Essential Muriel Rukeyser by Muriel Rukeyser, Nothing Much Happens by Kathryn Nicolai, The Ambrose J. and Vivian T. Seagrave Museum of 20th Century American Art by Matthew Kirkpatrick, and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Lynzie – @laustinbooks
Pronouns: she/her // Lynzie is the proud parent of an avid early elementary school reader and runs an online film club.
Soft spot for: Fiction and Cozy Mysteries
Special topics / themes: “Books where many people get murdered and there be sleuthing involved.”
Martha Laramore-Josey – @booksmarty
Pronouns: she/her // Martha grew up in A2 but is currently studying Psychology and Environmental Science at Barnard College, with an interest in building critical connections between mental health and the natural environment (specifically how the natural environment can be used as a mental health resource). When she’s not learning and reading, Martha enjoys singing with her jazz acapella group, running, and knitting.
Soft spot for: YA, Contemporary Romance, Lit Fic, and Science Writing
Special topics / themes: I love books that deal with mental illness in a realistic yet sensitive way. I also love romances written by and about queer people of color.
A few favorites: Her Good Side by Rebekah Witherspoon, Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers, Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds, Yerba Buena by Nina Lacour, and Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters
Ryan – @thefoldedcorners
Pronouns: he/they // Ryan is a writer, poet, and book enthusiast. Their preferences span many genres, but they’ve been super invested in thrillers recently.
Soft spot for: Literary Fiction, Thrillers, and everything else.
Surabhi – @surabhi.reading
Pronouns: she/her // Surabhi is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at U-M. When she’s not working, teaching, learning, writing, or reading, she likes to paint her nails and cook vegetarian food.
Soft spot for: Literary fiction, Memoir, Essays, Poetry, some YA and Middlegrade
Special topics / themes: Race, the environment, rural America, queer and trans literature, the Midwest, the American West, Asian American literature
A few favorites: Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So, Return Flight by Jennifer Huang, The Lost Journals of Sacajewea by Debra Magpie Earling, Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden by Camille Dungy, and How to Read Now by Elaine Castillo