Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on Graphic Novels

So you need to read a graphic novel in order to complete a BINGO, but you don’t know where to start. Let me help you. My own introduction to graphic novels was Bill Willingham’s Fables series. This epic series is a very grown-up retelling of classic fables and fairy tales. It’s still one of my favorite series. But you aren’t ready to jump into a 22-volume, Eisner Award winning series? No problem!

Try something cute, light, and funny:

Or maybe a graphic biography or memoir? We have books about familiar figures as well as ordinary people. Here are some of my favorites:

Ready to jump into a series? Let’s do it!

Maybe you’d like to try a classic:

Finally, let’s not forget the superheroes:

If none of these strike your fancy, come on in and browse our collection. Graphic novels are visual, you might just have to see them to find the one that’s right for you.

~Megan

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Megan’s Favorites of 2018

Megan’s Favorites of 2017

Ah, the annual struggle of a reader…picking the favorites.

Favorite Teen Reads:

  1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman-In a world where disease and old age have been conquered, the only way to die is to be killed by professional reapers. Two teens are in a contest to become a scythe, despite the fact that neither wants the job.scythe
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas-When Starr Davis becomes the sole witness to the police shooting of her childhood friend, her life changes. The incident makes headlines and everyone from her poor neighborhood and the upscale prep school she attends has an opinion on the matter. hate
  3. Strange the Dreamer by Liani Taylor-Lazlo Strange has long dreamed of the lost city of Weep. Actually, this gorgeous, epic fantasy is too complicated to describe in a sentence or two. I can’t do it.strange
  4. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin-In an alternate history the Axis powers won WWII and Hitler is alive. Yael, a survivor of human experimentation at the hands of Nazi doctors has one goal: win the annual motorcycle race, secure a meeting with Hitler, and kill him.wolf
  5. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zenter-Carter Briggs loses his three best friends after a text message caused a fatal car accident. Carter struggles with his guilt and grief with the help of Blake’s grandmother and her idea of a “goodbye day.”goodbye

Favorite Adult Reads: Apparently I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy in 2017! Any why not? It’s pure escapism.

  1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss-The first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles tells the story of Kvothe, a magician, thief, and assassin. This book is currently in development by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Showtime!name of the wind
  2. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden-A mesmerizing fairy tale set in the cold Russian north. bear
  3. A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers-This is a light-hearted space opera in the vein of Firefly. long way
  4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey-The first book in the Expanse series and the source material for the Syfy show of the same title, this is a face-paced thriller of a space opera. I do love a space opera!leviathan
  5. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter-Abby returns to her small hometown to investigate a corporation that seems to have connections to an old scandal. Erin Brockovich meets Mean Girls.bonfire

Favorite Nonfiction Reads: 

  1. Ranger Games by Ben Blum-The bizarre true story of a group of young army rangers who rob a bank. ranger
  2. Hunger: a Memoir of (my) Body by Roxane Gay- This deeply personal series of essays explores body image and self esteem and the author’s relationship with food and weight. index
  3. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder-The author, a historian on fascism, offers a guide to understanding and resisting totalitarianism. index (1)
  4. Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson-This provocative call for change details how white America can work towards real and lasting racial progress. A painful and necessary read. tears
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. The majority of my nonfiction reading this year was true crime (totally obsessed and if you are too I recommend the podcast My Favorite Murder) or political books. Killers of the Flower Moon is a fascinating addition to the true crime genre. (It’s also the topic of our Men’s Book Discussion in January)killers

~Megan

Megan’s Top Ten (Sixteen) Teen Reads of 2016

Every year I agonize over which books will earn a place on my end of the year favorites list. This year I decided to quit fretting and just make multiple lists! First up, my favorite YA reads of 2016. In alphabetical order:

  1. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. This ripped from the headlines story of police brutality and race relations is an intense must-read.

all-american

2. All In and Bad Blood (The Naturals #3 and 4) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The Naturals series     is Criminal Minds with teens. It’s smart, suspenseful, and dark.

all-in bad-blood

3. Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson. The final showdown between the Epics and the Reckoners is all about redemption. A perfect series finale.

calamity

4. Carry on by Rainbow Rowell. Readers were introduced to Simon Snow and Baz in Fangirl. Carry On is the novel version of the fan fiction that Cath writes. Very meta.

carry-on

5. The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathon Stroud. Full of twists and turns and shocking bombshells, this spooky series keeps getting better and better.

creeping-shadow

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. It’s always a treat to be able to get new Harry Potter material!

harry

7.  If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This is another timely read about a transgender teen looking to make a fresh start in a new town.

if-i-was

8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. The sequel to The Diviners is another spooky journey into the supernatural world of 1920’s New York City.

lair

9. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand. Fans of The Princess Bride will love this hilarious, somewhat true(ish) account of Lady Jane Grey. A romantic, historical fiction tale with a touch of the paranormal. This is the first of a planned “famous Janes” series.

my-lady

10.  The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater. Why did the Raven Cycle have to come to an end??

raven

11. The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter. One year in the lives of three teens living in a small Tennessee town. This one is a heart breaker.

serpent-king

12. Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King. It’s always a good year when you get a new A.S. King book.

still

13. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab. For fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, this is a tale of two teens living in a broken world of violence and monsters. So much to love in this dark urban fantasy.

this-savage-song

14. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown. This might be my surprise favorite book of the year. Let me tell you: this is a novel in verse about cannibals. Please and thank  you!

to-stay-alive

15. The Tournament at Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #1) by John Flanagan. I will never tire of Halt and Crowley! This new series takes readers back to when Halt was the apprentice.

tournament

16. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Black Swan meets Orange is the New Black. This one is weird and I loved it.

walls-around-us

Happy Reading!

~Megan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Megan’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2016

  1. Lady Killer by Joelle Jones. By day she’s the perfect housewife and mother, but at night Josie is a ruthless killer for hire.

lady-killer

     2. Giant Days by John Allison.  On their own at university for the first time, Esther, Susan and Daisy become fast friends.

 

   3. Rat Queens vol. 3: Demons by Curtis J. Wiebe. The Rat Queens are a gang of hard-drinking, death-dealing, killers for hire.

rat-queens

 

4. Lumberjanes vol. 3: A Terrible Plan and Lumberjanes vol. 4 : Out of Time by Noelle Stevenson. The gang of campers have more adventures at Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types!

 

lumberjanes lumberjanes4

5. Descender, vol. 2: Machine Moon by Jeff Lemire. In a universe where androids have been outlawed, a young robot and his companion struggle to survive.

descender

6. Hot Dog Taste Test by Lisa Hanawalt. As awesomely weird as My Dirty Dumb Eyes.

hot-dog

7. Saga, volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan. The story of star-crossed lovers and their daughter continues in this bizarre sci-fi/fantasy blended saga.

saga

8. Heart and Brain: Gut Instincts by The Awkward Yeti. These comic, starring analytical Brain and optimistic Heart perfectly illustrate the constant battle between heart and head.

heart-and-brain

9. Prez, vol.1: Corndog-in-Chief by Mark Russell. This a frighteningly timely political satire.

prez

10. Mooncop by Tom Gauld. A simple, lovely, and melancholy story about human colonization of the moon.

mooncop

 

Happy Reading!

~Megan

 

Adventures in Stand Up Comedy

I love audio books. Getting a car with a CD player was so exciting; I had NO IDEA how much I would love listening to books in the car. Then I upgraded to a smartphone and a car with Bluetooth. My head nearly exploded with all the NEW listening options. Overdrive audio! Hoopla! Podcasts! Everything was awesome…until it wasn’t. A couple of months ago I hit my first ever listening slump and I panicked. Reading slumps happen all the time, but I have never grown tired of listening. In fact, I depend on audio books to keep me “reading” when I am in a book slump. Thankfully my dear friend and fellow librarian Beth stepped in with the solution: stand up comedy. Beth curates our extensive music collection and when she created a stand up comedy display she took me “shopping.” Since then I have been laughing my way through our collection. I am hooked! Now, fair warning, this stuff is NOT family-friendly, but if you have a stressful work commute, why not spend your time laughing?

I started with some oldies but goodies, some big names in the comedy world-

Louis C.K.

 

Mitch Hedberg

 

 

Craig Ferguson (Love the accent!)

craig

This was great. I was on a roll. I listened my way through Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan, Dimitri Martin and Ryan Dalton. But then I realized I hadn’t listened to any funny ladies. Beth had me covered! She had recently added some new material and was eager to get it out there. Thanks to her I discovered some new favorites.

Beth Stelling  and Emily Heller were my favorites of this bunch, but seriously, all of these woman are hilarious.

I just finished listening to Aziz Anzari (oh my gosh, I love him) and Amy Schumer .

All of these albums are in our collection. I enjoyed them all, but I have saved the best for last. I rolled into work this morning laughing like a lunatic. Why? Because of this guy:

hannibal

Of course, I might discover a *new* favorite next week…

Happy Listening!

~Megan

 

A Mid-Summer Report

If you ask me, mid-summer is an ideal time to compile a Best Of list. People have a little more time to read and listen to books. Maybe you are trying to catch up on your to read list or maybe you are looking for a hot new summer read. Whatever your needs, we have you covered! With my own personal reading I have been doing a little bit of both. Here’s what I have been reading and loving so far this summer:

hundred

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl is the story Alex and his mother and their journey from New York to L.A. via the world of Cons. It’s about the comic book industry, it’s about feminism and fandoms and a family that is going through traumatic changes. This story was so beautiful and the relationships that are explored will stick with you. For another coming of age story try The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extent.

naked

So, I took the plunge into J.D. Robb’s long-running In Death series (psst-this is Nora Roberts, in case you didn’t know that already). What have I gotten myself into? Naked in Death introduces Eve Dallas, a NYC police lieutenant. The year is 2058. Prostitution is now legal, but crime is still crime and murder and political corruption are at the heart of Dallas’s case. I can totally see the appeal of this series! It’s a futuristic crime-thriller with lots of sexy bits! I will definitely keep plugging away at this series, which is currently 43 books and counting!

mis for

Speaking of long-running and on-going series, I started Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone series in preparation for the author’s visit to Rocky River (save the date, October 14 and check back with us for more details!). I started with A is for Alibi way back in January and am currently waiting for N is for Noose to be available for me! These books, starring PI Kinsey Milhone are quick, easy, and fun reads. Perfect for summer!

every

Finally, how about a little magic for your summer reading? Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (aka, Mira Grant) is a dark and mysterious novel that answers the what if the magic doorways, wardrobes, and rabbit holes that swallow children up are real? The children at  Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a place for children to go after their magic fantasy world has gives them the boot. When this once safe-haven becomes the site of vicious murders Nancy, the newest arrival, sets out to figure out what is happening. This short book is lovely and weird.

What are you reading this summer?

~Megan