It was such fun to look back on what I’ve read this past year and pick my favorites! Below you’ll find mostly adult fiction titles, including some standout graphic novels, as well as a stellar young adult novel (Wilder Girls!). 2019 was also the year I dabbled in reading outside my comfort zone of generally weird and spooky, venturing into the land of romantic fiction and true crime. Much to my surprise, I was so utterly charmed by a romance novel that it ended up on this list (I’m looking at you Chloe Brown). I hope that if you haven’t read one of these titles you will be inspired to stop by and check it out this winter. Maybe you will also find yourself pleasantly surprised by broadening your reading horizons *wink*. Wishing you a joyful holiday season and happy reading!
You gotta love October – it’s the first month where you start to feel a little cozy, like sweaters and fires and stew cozy. It’s cuddling up to read books weather, stomping and kicking through rustling leaves weather, knitting weather – as you’ve already guessed, I am a big fan.
October also ends on the perfect note – Halloween – spooky fun where you can dress up as anyone you’d like but there’s also a little nip of horror in the air, a feeling that you can sojourn with the spirits or dance with the devil.
Horror movies and books capture some of that feeling, sometimes reflecting on social and political trends, sometimes just scaring the pants off you! Here are some titles you can check out for yourself:
Trying to fill that one Winter Bingo Square with an Award-Winning book? Look no further! There are so many to choose from, in so many genres, I’ll just mention a few titles and then give you links to lists, so many lists!
I’ll start with local award winners: The Anisfield Book Awards. I have attended the ceremony for the past couple of years and find it inspiring and a source of incredible reading material. Here are a couple of books honored there:
Then there’s the National Book Awards, a source of a fantastic array of titles, such as the following:
Love a mystery? Check out the Edgar Awards and a couple of titles they’ve chosen to honor:
And there’s also The Hugo Awards, for works of science fiction and fantasy, the RITA Awards for romance, the Eisner Awards for graphic novels and so many more. If you need help choosing a title, stop by the Reference Desk – we’ll be glad to help!
Lists of books with an LGBTQIA authors or character:
A great read for any practitioner or follower of any path. Gives some very practical tips for spellwork and working with spirits.
A practical guide that is based in chaos magic but has some great tips for all. Looking about how one can use your individual spiritual/occult practice to deal with the practical concerns of life.
by Grant Morrison
Though this comic has been out for decades, it was only this year that I got to it. An absorbing graphic novel that explores themes of oppression, control, and the various prices of bucking the status quo.
The Ballad of Black Tom
by Victor D. LaValle
A great example of not only building on top of but expanding the source material. This book starts with the framework of Lovecraft and addresses historical and contemporary issues.
Sheila Hicks : Lifelines
edited by Michel Gauthier
A wonderful visual retrospective of the artist’s work, this volume explores every stage of the artist’s career. Hick’s is a master of color and form and her work is carefully reproduced here.
by Alan Moore
Again another graphic novel that had been on my radar but I hadn’t gotten to. Promethea is a story that not only explores mythology and the the last 100 years of occultism but seem to reflect many of the author’s own beliefs.
by Naomi Alderman
Alderman’s work explores the dynamics of power and gender and how old patterns can reemerge when the world is made new again.
The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror
by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
A collection of stories about stories, archetypes, and culturally created gender. These tales are filled with horror or uncanniness as Ortberg picks apart the very idea of a fairy tale and our own “norms”.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Book one, The Crucible
by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Read the graphic novel that the Netflix show is based on. There are many differences from the show and this source material and it guaranteed to help tide fans over as they wait for season two.
Clive Barker’s next testament. Volume On
by Clive Barker
A truly terrifying look at what it would be like if our creator came back. An engrossing story, but Barker definitely maintains his horror aesthetic throughout.
As much as everyone loves heading back to school, saying goodbye to summer and hello to a new semester can be a drag. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel: school is also a great opportunity to buy new school supplies, reconnect with friends and finally get the hang of algebra. With that in mind, check out a few movies and books that will definitely get you psyched for school or, if you’re like me and your school days are behind you, give you that hit of nostalgia.