jump to navigation

What We’re Reading Now… September 12, 2017

Posted by SaraC in Biographies, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Non-Fiction, poetry, Science Fiction, Thrillers.
add a comment

Here’s a look at some of the books the Adult Services department is reading now:

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

 

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

Hapless Jackson begins his foray into crime by investing every penny he has in a sure-fire scheme to turn legitimate ten-dollar bills into counterfeit one-hundred dollar bills. It is only after Jackson loses all his money, and some of his bosses, that he turns to his streetwise brother Goldie for help. Goldie, who dresses as a Sister of Mercy and collects alms for ‘charity,’ works the seedier side of Harlem in aid of not only Jackson but Goldie’s own pocketbook. Written and set in 1950s Harlem this is a grippy and taut classic crime caper.  Trent

Cover image for John Ashbery :

 

John Ashbery: Collected Poems

I’ve been re-reading John Ashbery’s Collected Poems, 1956-1987, published by the Library of America.  Ashbery passed away last week, and there have been some wonderful tributes written about him online.  His poems are so wonderful, mysterious, and enigmatic – they feel like adventures of the mind, where you don’t know where you’ll end up, but the process can be exhilarating.  For readers who enjoy experimentation with language, Ashbery is one of the greatest.  Andrew

Cover image for Magpie murders

 

 Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is a mystery within a mystery. Susan Ryeland is the editor of popular, but difficult, author Alan Conway’s books. When he suddenly dies of a suspicious suicide after turning in his most recent manuscript, Susan begins some detective work of her own, beginning with investigating the contents of the manuscript. Will it reveal Conway’s killer? Dori

Cover image for In the Great Green Room

 

In the Great Green Room by Amy Gary

In the Great Green Room is a fascinating window into the life of Margaret Wise Brown, the children’s author who famously penned Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and over 100 others. The book begins in Margaret’s childhood: a whirlwind of boarding schools in Switzerland and Massachusetts, shoulder-rubbing with members of elite United States families, and family vacations in island homes off the coast of New York–all the while, Margaret’s mind was constantly turning out whimsy. Later in her adult life, she had a playfulness that drew a stream of friends, associates, editors, and lovers to her house. She spent her first royalty check on a cartful of flowers; she lead a group called the Bird Brain Society where any member could declare a day Christmas and the other members would come over and celebrate it; the line between play and life was never entirely clear to her. Just when, at 42, she was engaged to be married and began settling into a more stable life, she died suddenly. This biography is a wonderful read for those interested in bold, brilliant women who made a mark on the world in unconventional ways. Lyndsey

Cover image for Girls made of snow and glass

 

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Girls Made of Snow and Glass  is a new YA retelling of Snow White. Mina, the daughter of a magician, has a heart of glass. When she and her father move to Whitespring Castle Mina devises a plan to win the king’s favor so that she can be the queen and finally know love. When she finally succeeds at her plan, she becomes a stepmother to the princess Lynet. Lynet is the spitting image of her dead mother, who by all accounts was beautiful and delicate. Lynet is headstrong and fierce and hates living the the shadow of a mother she never knew. When King Nicholas declares his intention make Lynet the Queen of the South instead of Mina, he creates a rivalry between the two women. Is Mina capable of destroying the one person who loves her? Can Lynet save the only mother she has even known? Megan

Cover image for

 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I recently revisited this personal favorite of mine after watching the TV adaptation produced this past summer. Gaiman is a master story teller that produces accessible, yet still challenging, novels. To enter the world of American Gods is to enter a place where every deity ever worshiped on American soil is given a corporeal presence. Recently released from prison Shadow Moon is greeted with devastating news that sets him on a fantastical journey which reveals the gods living among us. These deities who live on attention and worship are far from their heyday and are showing the signs of the neglect. It doesn’t help that their worshipers have shifted their attention to new gods created through our culture’s adoration of technology, media, and the world economy. A book that seamless combines the world and troubles of the everyday with the fantastical. I would recommend this to readers who are new to Gaiman and get a full picture of his style and world building. Greg

Cover image for The undoing project :

 

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis is about the research that two men did 40 years ago about the way we make decisions. This is a very biographical, anecdotal depiction of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. If you go into this book wanting to know about the men who created the field of behavioral economics, you’ll enjoy this one. Beth

 

 

Cover image for Nutshell :

 

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

A tale told by a baby-to-be or not-to-be? This story unfolds by a talking fetus who bears witness to an affair between his mother, Trudy, and his uncle, Claude. The adulterous pair are scheming to kill the baby’s father, John. Will the narrator be able to prevent such a crime, and possibly pursue revenge?Many twists and turns as to what will become of our villains, victims and beloved narrator.  McEwan has stuffed this tale with Shakespearean throwbacks and extensive dialogue filled with weighty vocabulary – have your dictionary handy! Mary

Cover image for MY SISTER'S GRAVE:

 

My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

This is the first book in the Tracy Crosswhite series, a story of a woman who has spent the last 20 years questioning the circumstances around the death of her sister, Sarah and the murder trial that followed. When  Sarah’s body is finally found, her sister Tracy, now a homicide detective is determined to find out what happened all those years ago, and why people she loved and trusted lied to her.  An exciting, well-written thriller with twists and turns that surprise, but don’t push the bounds of belief.  I’m a little late to the Crosswhite series with the author soon to publish Book #5, but I’m looking forward to getting to know Tracy better as I keep reading! Sara

 

Cover image for On her majesty's frightfully secret service

 

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen

Lady Georgiana (Georgie) Rannoch wants to marry her Catholic fiancée Darcy but first needs permission from Queen Mary and parliament. By marrying Darcy she would give up her place in line as 35th in line to the British throne. The Queen asks a favor of Georgie first. There is a party that the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Simpson will be attending. The queen wants Georgie to go to the party and make sure the Prince and Mrs. Simpson don’t marry. Two guests are murdered at the house party and Georgie gets involved in solving the mysteries almost becoming a victim herself. Emma

Advertisements

2016 Favorites – Top 12 Edition December 16, 2016

Posted by Dori in Book Awards, Book List, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Holiday Books, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2016, Uncategorized.
add a comment

2016 was a book lover’s dream – I was like a kid in a candy store. Between reading and listening, I managed to finish a lot of literary fiction, and a few science fiction and suspense titles, but I have some catching up to do into 2017. Here are the books that I relished in 2016, in no particular order:

laroseLaRose by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich is a writer that I never miss and this book sums up what I love so much about her writing: devotion to characters, insightful commentary on American culture, family love and exploration of the mystical.

 

undergroundThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Deserved winner of the National Book Award, this book is a wildly creative and harrowing look at slavery and its legacy. A must read.

 

 

beforeBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley
Hawley, a screenwriter, deftly takes us through a horrific plane crash, exploring the survivor’s guilt and the investigation into the cause.

 

 

mynameMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This small book packs a punch – mother/daughter relationships, poverty, marriage – are all addressed powerfully and in Lucy’s voice – lovely and sad.

 

 

vegetarianThe Vegetarian by Han Kang
There’s no doubt that this is a weird book – it’s about a young woman whose choice to become a vegetarian impacts her whole family in tragic ways – but it’s also both mesmerizing and beautiful.

 

 

queenQueen of the Night by Alexander Chee
Chee’s historical epic about a 19th century American who becomes a famous Parisian courtesan and opera singer envelops and transports you.

 

 

commonCommonwealth by Ann Patchett
This is my first Patchett novel and I may have to read her earlier books based on this one – who doesn’t love a book about a dysfunctional family that sucks you in and doesn’t let go?

 

 

multipleMultiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra
Zambra is a Chilean author and his books often deal with memory and choice within the framework of Chile’s recent authoritarian history. This one’s in the form of a multiple choice test

 

 

goldenThe Golden Age by Joan London
Maybe my favorite of all, London’s look at how people deal with displacement in their lives takes place during the polio epidemic in Australia after World War II. It’s surprisingly sweet and tender and you’ll fall in love with the characters.

 

 

moonglowMoonglow by Michael Chabon
History, relationships, life, love, rockets! – all in Chabon’s signature style.

 

 

 

swingSwing Time by Zadie Smith
I haven’t quite finished Smith’s latest about two young brown girls growing up in London and the different paths they take based on family, race, class and culture, but I’m entranced so far.

 

 

darker

 

gathering

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
I always like to dip into some great science fiction and I really enjoyed these first two in a series that take us to fantastic parallel worlds.  No. 3 is up next year!

 

BONUS CHRISTMAS BOOK:

fieldsThe Fields Where They Lay by Timonthy Hallinan
I chose this book for my Holiday read and I think I’ve found a new mystery series! It’s funny and clever and the mystery unfolded perfectly.

 

 

 

If` I could keep going, I’d throw these in as well: Debuts The Mothers by Brit Bennett and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, The Yid by Paul Goldberg, To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl, A Great Reckoning by  master of mystery Louise Penney, The Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood and The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Happy Birthday George! September 20, 2016

Posted by Gina in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Today is author George R. R. Martin’s birthday! Commonly known for his (still in progress) book series Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin has a long list of books including the Dreamsongs series, Hedge Knight series, Game of Thrones comic books and graphic novels, and the contribution to the Wild Cards series.

Grab one of his books in the Science Fiction and Fantasy section at the library and celebrate what amazing talent was born on this day, 68 years ago!

party_balloons

The Force is Strong with This One…. May 4, 2016

Posted by stacey in Science Fiction, Thoughtful Ramblings.
Tags:
add a comment

Are you feeling The Force today? Me too! Who wouldn’t on May the 4th (aka May the Fourth Be With You Day?!)

As many interesting ideas, projects, books, and other films ‘inspired by’ Star Wars, I still find it surprising when I see something like this article about Star Wars: Philosophy & Entertainment. And then I feel a little bad I haven’t taken his class -yet! I equally enjoyed these inspirational words. Maybe you’d like to focus on more entertainment oriented options? Well then, check out these suggestions by Buzzfeed or Mashable!

But I have no time to contemplate -I’ve gotta go! It’s time to celebrate with my fellow fans! Check out how you can join the fun -and I’ll see you there!

enjoy!
Stacey

From the Page to the Silver Screen March 3, 2016

Posted by Lauren in Biographies, Fiction, First Novel, Non-Fiction, Science Fiction, Thoughtful Ramblings.
Tags: , ,
1 comment so far

Did you watch the Oscars on Sunday night? The Academy Awards are hands-down my favorite awards show.  In the months leading up to the big night I get out and see as many of the nominated films as possible and obsessively cross them off my list before finally marking my own ballot in the days leading up to Oscar Sunday.  There were lots of great movies this year and it was nice to see some major categories spread around to different films.  The Revenant took home Best Director and Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio (15-year-old me was THRILLED about this ;)….), Mad Max: Fury Road nearly cleaned up all the technical categories, and Spotlight won for its screenplay and the ultimate prize—Best Picture.

There are always great movies that started out as great books—and this year was no exception!  I loved Room by Emma Donoghue and was not disappointed by the film adaptation.  Here are the books that inspired a number of this year’s Oscar nominees—check them out!

big short

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

brooklyn

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

price of salt

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith (later republished under the title Carol)

the martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

room

Room by Emma Donoghue

revenant

The Revenant: a Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke

danish girl

The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff

100 year old man

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

~Lauren

So You Want to Read Science Fiction But Don’t Know Where to Start-A Sci-Fi Reading Guide. November 18, 2015

Posted by Megan in Book List, Book Review, Science Fiction.
Tags: , ,
3 comments

So you read The Martian by Andy Weir (or maybe just saw the movie) and thought that was pretty cool, I should read more science fiction. Or maybe you have never once thought that you should read more science fiction. Who cares about all that outer space and robot nonsense? It wasn’t long ago that I fell into the latter camp, but then I realized I really liked time travel and that eventually lead me down a science fiction rabbit hole and I discovered that there really is something for everyone in this genre.

sci·ence fic·tion
noun
fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.
Let’s talk time travel!
kin
11/22/63 by Stephen King is a great place to start! Most people are familiar with King’s work (and if you think you don’t like his work, I urge you to give this book a chance. It is so engaging.) and it’s a fun blend of history and the supernatural.
   13th
The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch is another excellent genre-bender. Part murder mystery/thriller, part time-travel awesomeness.
More Robots Please!
lock in
Lock In by John Scalzi is disturbing look at humanity, medical ethics, political corruption, and technology. And there are robots.
cinder
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. You’ll find this twisted fairy tale in the Teen collection and I promise it is worth your time. Cinderella is a cyborg! This is the first in a series that eventually introduces a retold Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. Each book is better than the last and guaranteed fun.
Virtual Reality-The Future is Now!
ready
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is slated to hit the big screen in 2017 under the direction of Stephen Spielberg. The audiobook is narrated by Wil Wheaton. The book is loaded with 80’s pop culture. It’s really a nerdy dream come true and one of my all time favorites. Cline’s sophomore novel, Armada, is a lot of fun as well.
alex
Alex + Ada by Sarah Vaughn is a new graphic novel series that introduces readers to a word on futuristic technology and sentient androids. There are three volumes currently available.
Major Social Change!
when she woke
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan is a futuristic retelling of The Scarlet Letter. I really love retellings and this one is perfect for the reluctant science fiction reader.
handmaide
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is another example of social commentary in a disturbing futuristic world. Published in 1986, I think this might qualify as classic science fiction!
Mutant Superpowers!
steelheart
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson is another YA book that is perfect for both the young and young at heart. I absolutely love this series about a world in which humans develop superpowers and yet, the superheroes are the regular people and super villains rule the world.
vicious
Vicious by V.E. Schwab is the story of two brilliant college friends who theorize that there are a specific set of conditions that could potentially give people supernatural talents. They bravely and foolishly put their theory to the test, with tragic results. This book is unlike anything I have read and absolutely amazing.
I hope I have convinced you that there is more to science fiction that space travel and robots!
Happy Reading!
~Megan

Top Reads of 2014 December 8, 2014

Posted by Dori in Biographies, Book List, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Top Ten.
Tags:
add a comment

Here are my top ten of 2014 – I can’t wait for the new reading year to begin!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tart: I loved this coming-of-age epic novel about Theodore, who, after his mother dies in a bombing at an art museum in New York, moves around and in and out of people’s lives, grieving for his mother and trying to figure out what to do with his life. A stolen 17th Century Dutch painting, New York City, Las Vegas and some very loving and very shady characters play roles. I can highly recommend the audiobook as I began with it but soon had to get the book so that I could immerse myself as often as possible.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I gravitate towards novels set during the World Wars – hoping they’ll enlighten me or maybe it’s just that it’s so hard to imagine living during such times. Anyway, Doerr’s work is a beautifully written look at the lives of two young people who are growing up during World War II, one in France, the other Germany, and how their lives converge. Magical.

Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast. Chast’s graphic novel about dealing with her parents as they are growing older and becoming unable to care for themselves is funny, matter-of-fact and heartbreaking.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Back and forth between the present, where a flu virus has destroyed most of civilization and the past, just before the end of the world, six peoples’ lives intertwine, from an actress with a travelling band of entertainers, to a mysterious and menacing prophet. Unusual and moving, this is a beautiful novel.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer: These three books, Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance, were all released in 2014. They are weird, frustrating, and menacing works about the mysterious Area X, an isolated coastal area where something otherworldly has happened.  Let’s just say that no one is reliable, there are lies and more lies and weird creatures and very few names and…I’m still trying to figure it all out!

Euphoria by Lily King: Oh to sit around in a tent in the South Pacific chatting with the likes of Margaret Mead! This novel is based on Mead’s research and the love triangle between herself and her second and third husbands. Youth, brilliance, and sensuality permeate this lovely novel.

The Remedy for Love: a Novel by Bill Roorbach: This novel is about a highly unlikely relationship that develops under extreme circumstances. A small town lawyer ends up stuck in a cabin in the woods with a woman who has lost everything during a freak snowstorm. It was funny, insightful and a little bit edge-of-your-seat thrilling.

To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris: A misanthropic, highly successful dentist has a phobia for technology and a fascination with religion – and then someone steals his web identity and tells him he’s a descendent of an ancient religious sect.  Ferris’ descriptive writing is spot on and often hilarious. You may not love Dr. O’Rourke – he can be super caustic, but you’ll want to travel with him on this journey. Oh and now I floss a lot more – it’ll add seven years to your life!

The Secret Place by Tana French: French is a great writer of mystery suspense – she really captures a place and gives depth to her characters. This one is set in a wealthy all-girls school after the murder of a male student at a nearby school and captures the secrets and lies that permeate the air.

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld: Australian Wyld has created a fascinating character in Jake Whyte, a woman living on her own on raising sheep, which someone or something is trying to kill off. The structure of the book is unique – as we move forward in Jake’s quest to uncover the culprit, we also move backward as we discover why Jake has isolated herself.  This book is ominous and claustrophobic – but Jake is a tough cookie and you root for her in a big way.

Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart: Shteyngart is known for fiction, but his life so far makes for a mesmerizing memoir. Early memories of the Soviet Union, his immigration to the U.S., his relationship with his parents and his fragile health are fuel for this both laugh-out loud funny and touchingly poignant book.

~ Dori

Spacey Stuff! September 7, 2014

Posted by stacey in Genre Book Discussion, Science Fiction.
Tags: ,
add a comment

In a bold and adventurous move, we took our book discussion into the uncharted territory of the science fiction section! It could have gone either way -into a black hole of despair or into the sparkly twirl of a nebula, and in the end I think we hit a pretty happy place somewhere near Middle Earth -oh wait, that’s from more of the fantasy genre… How about I get my head out of the clouds and you take a look at what everyone has to say about what they’re reading?

Carol: In Jo Walton’s Hugo-winning novel, Among Others, Morwenna is a 15-year-old Welsh girl and Science Fiction fanatic, who speaks to fairies and practices magic. In this, her fictional diary, Morwenna’s twin Morganna has been killed, and Morwenna has run away from her insane mother and been sent to a private girls’ school in England by her estranged father. There, she attempts to come to terms with her recent loss. This magical coming of age novel is a quick and thoughtful read, that also provides readers with lists of Science Fiction must-reads along the way.

Lauren: The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier takes us to The City—a place inhabited by those who have recently died. People remain in the City as long as they are remembered by the living. Once there is no one left on Earth to remember them, they disappear. We discover that a deadly virus has swept the world, killing off the majority of the population. One day nearly all of the existing City residents suddenly disappear and an influx of new residents arrives, but the population of the City has been drastically reduced. Meanwhile back on Earth we follow the adventures and struggles of Laura Byrd, the lone surviving scientist of an imperiled mission to Antarctica. As the residents of the City convene and get to know one another they discover their tie that binds—Laura Byrd, who may very well be the last living human on the planet.

Emma: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is the story of a young woman captured while attempting to escape from the Republic of Gilead, the former United States, to Canada with her husband and daughter. Her freedom is severely limited when she is forced to become a handmaid and is called Offred. Her job is to bear a healthy child for the Commander, Fred, and his wife Serena Joy. When Offred doesn’t become pregnant quickly, Serena suggests that she have sex with Nick, the chauffeur, and pass their child off as the commander’s child. The reader is left not knowing what happens to Offred – prison or freedom.

Dori: In California, by Edan Lepucki, Cal and Frida have left a chaotic and broken down Los Angeles and are living on their own in the wilderness when they discover a mysterious settlement close by. Frida’s pregnant and the couple decide to join the settlement, though they are not fully welcomed and their presence eventually must be voted upon. Gradually, they realize that something is not quite right: in the settlement, decisions are made from the top down, roles are strictly defined and…where are the children? Lepucki raises important issues about social class and the choice of security vs. freedom, but the ending seems rushed and jars with the character development.

Maureen: Don’t ask me how, but Ready Player One by Ernest Cline combines the bleak, dystopian, energy-crisis future world of 2044 with hilarious flashbacks to video games and pop culture of the 1980s. Teenager Wade Watts is living with his insensitive, selfish aunt in a poor housing development in Oklahoma City called the “stacks” (trailers stacked vertically). To escape his less-than-stellar living conditions, Wade has a hideout in an old antique car buried within the stacks where he logs in for hours with his school-issued equipment to the online immersion of the OASIS, a virtual world created by the famous video game creator James Halliday. After his death, Halliday challenged the world to solve his puzzle called “Anorak’s Invitation” using his love of everything 1980s to find three hidden keys embedded within vintage video games (so-called “Easter eggs”) Whoever finds the keys and solves the riddle inherits Halliday’s fortune. Against all odds, Wade discovers the first key, but then becomes embroiled in a life or death race to finish the contest. Along the way, he meets fellow competitors, faces an evil, greedy corporation and learns that not all is as it seems in the OASIS. A quick read full of fun 1980 tidbits!

Steve: Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry, is the second in the loosely connected The Giver Quartet. Kira, a crippled child in a future society, is left an orphan after the death of her mother. She is accused of being worthless to the society and faces banishment, until the Council of the Guardians defends her and she is soon given a valued position as the caretaker of the Singer’s robe, on account of her immense sewing and weaving skills. The robe illustrates the society’s past, present and soon to-be-filled in future, and is worn at the annual Gathering celebration. Kira’s excitement turns to shock as she discovers dark secrets about the Guardians and her society.

Megan: Ashfall by Mike Mullin is the thrilling first book in a trilogy. When fifteen-year old Alex is left home alone while his parents and sister visit family, he is expecting a weekend full of video games and hanging out with friends. All of his plans are ruined with the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park erupts hundreds of miles away, plunging Alex’s Iowa town into chaos, darkness, and ash. Alex begins the long and dangerous journey east, in the hopes of reuniting with his family. Along the way he encounters violence and depravity as well as kindness and help. His new travel partner, Darla, is a mechanical genius and could be the key to his survival. Ashfall is terrifyingly realistic. It is an action-packed and riveting series opener that will leave readers desperate (and maybe just a little bit nervous) for more.

Ann: Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper is set in the distant future on a planet named Zarathustra. Jack Holloway is a gem prospector on Zarathustra. One day at his home he encounters a little creature that “yeeks.” He has never seen anything like him before. A passage from the book describes his initial contact. “He turned quickly, to see two wide eyes staring up at him out of a ball of golden fur. Whatever it was, it had a round head and big ears and a vaguely humanoid face with a little snub nose.” Jack calls him a Fuzzy and names this one “Little Fuzzy.” Soon more Fuzzies show up and they all exhibit a sweet, intelligent nature. In fact, it’s quickly believed that Fuzzies are indeed intelligent, sapient beings. But when officers of The Company, which owns the charter for the planet, hear about the Fuzzies, they are distraught because the charter specifies Zarathustra as an uninhabited planet. If the Fuzzies are sapient beings, the Company’s charter will be reversed- and no more profits will be made. This book was written in 1962 and nominated for a Hugo Award in 1963. It’s interesting reading to see a view of the future from over fifty years ago.

Julie: Midnight Riot is the first in the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. The quote from Diana Gabaldon on the cover is what caught my eye, “Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz.” Awesome! It follows detective Peter Grant, who can not only see but speak with ghosts, as he investigates murders involving supernatural elements in modern London.

Stacey: On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee is set in the not too distant future set in the cities of B-Mor (Baltimore) and D-Troy (Detriot) where most of the residents are of Asian descent. The story really starts though when sixteen-year-old Fan, a diver in a fish farm, leaves B-Mor in search of her boyfriend Reg, who disappeared one day without leaving a trace. As Fan travels the path on which hopes to find traces of the missing teen, she must overcome a series of life threatening challenges that reflect the challenges surviving in this harsh, unforgiving world.

Next time we’ll be getting ready for the spookiest genre of all… Horror! If you’re feeling afraid that you won’t find anything to read in this section, don’t worry so much! You just need to find something that includes supernatural or occult ideas that are meant to frighten the reader, including books about the natural world gone awry. It’s time to brew up some coffee and keep the nightlights burning bright -it’s time to read some scary stuff!

— Stacey

Vicious by V.E. Schwab Review February 27, 2014

Posted by Megan in Science Fiction.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

 

vicious

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
September 24, 2014
Tor
Hardcover, 364 pgs.

What it’s about:
From YA author Victoria Schwab (Near Witch, 2011, The Archived, 2013), comes a new adult science fiction novel. When Victor and Eli first meet in college they are both ambitious and arrogant and slightly socially awkward. During their senior year a shared interest in near-death experiences and super human powers lead them to pose an interesting hypothesis. They believed that under the right circumstances it was possible for certain people to gain extraordinary powers. This was interesting as a theory, but deadly during the experimental phase. Ten years after that fateful semester Victor has escaped from prison and is hunting down his former friend. Fortunately for Victor, Eli is also on the look out for Victor as part of his crusade to eliminate ExtraOrdinaries (EOs) from the world. Both men are fueled by rage, armed with terrible powers, and dead-set on revenge.

Why you might like it:

Though marketed as an adult novel, I think high school readers would probably enjoy this book, so if you are a fan of Victoria Schwab, you might want to check out Vicious. If you like enjoy stories where the lines between good and evil are blurred, you will probably like the moral ambiguity in this book. If you are intrigued by the idea of having superpowers, you should probably read this book. It might change your mind! Are you a fan of revenge tales? That’s Vicious! Looking for complex friendships, unlikely heroes, and strange friendships? Look no further! If you like your reading deep, dark, and dangerous you will find all of that here. Bottom line: this book is fabulous! I found the cover off-putting, so this is a perfect opportunity to NOT judge a book by its cover!

Want more like this?

The first book that comes to mind is Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Both tell the story of extraordinary powers corrupting people. I’ll have to think about more readalike!

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

I Read YA, Do You? May 23, 2013

Posted by Megan in Historical Fiction, Movies, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Young Adult.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

YA (young adult) literature isn’t just for teens anymore. It appears that the movie industry has finally wised up to something that fans of YA have known for years: YA books are AWESOME (and apparently make great movies). So, you’ve read Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and maybe even The Perks of Being a Wallflower. What’s next?

 

White Cat by Holly Black. This is the first book in The Curse Workers series. It’s like The Sopranos with magic. Set in an alternate reality America, some people have the supernatural ability to manipulate the minds, memories, emotions, and luck of others with the touch of a hand. Other curse workers have the power to kill, transform, or physically injure others. Curse work is illegal, workers are feared, and most are criminals, mobsters, and con artists. Cassel Sharpe comes from a family of workers but he has no curse skill. He is an outcast, a con artist, and a murderer….dun dun dun!

white cat2

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Thanks to the success of The Walking Dead, zombies are all the rage and YA has TONS of awesome zombie fare. One of my favorites is this trilogy by Carrie Ryan. Mary has grown up in relative safety, while the Unconsecrated roam the forest and unrelentingly attempt to get beyond the fences. When the wall it breached Mary has to choose between the life she has always known and the dangers of the great unknown. Dark, intense, and never once is the word zombie mentioned!

forest of hands and teeth original

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Are you a history buff? You won’t want to miss this awesome steampunk take on WWI! Here’s the scoop: the year is 1914, and Europe is on the verge of a war. Prince Alek, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne is on the run from the Clanker Army. Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, is an airman for the British Air Force learning to fly the genetically engineered air beast, the Leviathan. The two form an uneasy alliance as they struggle to protect their secrets and stay alive. Clankers vs Darwinist! Giant walking machines vs. Giant flying beasts. This is the first in a trilogy as well.

leviathan

The Diviners by Libba Bray. Flappers are once again hip, thanks to the remake of The Great Gatsby! How would you like your Flappers with a side of supernatural demonic serial killer? So. Freaking. Creepy.

diviners

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. Speaking of creepy! Love Dexter? Check out this series starring Jasper Dent, the son of the countries most notorious serial killer.

i hunt killers

Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Sure, Iron Man is a really hot cyborg, but Cinder is a cyborg version of Cinderella. This first book in the series is a futuristic retelling of the Cinderella story, complete with a handsome prince and a wicked stepmother.

cinder

I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. Not into all the dark, supernatural stuff? No problem! From the author of The Book Thief (have you read that one? No? You should!) comes the story of Ed Kennedy, my favorite nobody. Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old Australian cab driving who lives with a smelly old dog, pines away for his best friend, Audrey, and loves to play cards. He’s an ordinary guy, going nowhere fast, until the day he foils a bank robbery. His glory is short-lived, but shortly after the would-be robber is sentenced, Ed receives an ace of clubs with three addresses written on it. And so begins Ed’s new adventure.

i am the messenger

Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt. This book was recently chosen as NPR’s Back Seat Book Club selection and a personal favorite of mine. Doug has a time life at home and now that he has moved to a new, small town things don’t look much better. Both his dad and his brother are bullies and his other brother is away in Vietnam. With nothing to do and no friends, Doug finds himself at the library. There he discovers Audubon’s birds and a talent he never knew he had. I did not expect to become so completely emotionally tangled up with Doug and his problems. And the birds! Audubon’s birds! Really? Yes! I have read this one twice now and I am sure I will read it again.

okay for now

Are you read for this summer big YA movie? I don’t know about you, but I am so excited to see City of Bones by Cassandra Clare on the Big Screen!

city of bones

Happy Reading!

˜Megan