Nicole’s Top Ten of 2019

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!

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley

Break the Bodies, Haunt the Bones by Micah Dean Hicks

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Institute by Stephen King

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Monstress, Volume 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu

Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on LGBTQIA

The Merry Spinster

by Daniel Mallory Ortberg
Confessions of the Fox

by Jordy Rosenberg
RubyFruit Jungle

by Rita Mae Brown
Clariel

by Garth Nix
Less: a novel

by Andrew Sean Greer
So Lucky

by Nicola Griffith
Witchmark

by C.L. Polk

Lists of books with an LGBTQIA authors or character:

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

Megan’s Favorites of 2018

Greg’s Top Reads of 2018

The Elements of Spellcrafting : 21 Keys to Successful Sorcery
by Jason Miller

A great read for any practitioner or follower of any path. Gives some very practical tips for spellwork and working with spirits.

The Chaos Protocols:Magical Techniques for Navigating the New Economic Reality
by Gordon White

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.

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The Invisibles
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.

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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.

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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.

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Promethea
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.

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The Power
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.

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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”.

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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.

Happy Birthday George!

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!

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One more fantasy title to add…

Our last Genre Book Discussion was about fantasy and Stacey has already posted the book titles that were shared to this blog. It certainly was a varied selection. Unfortunately, I didn’t turn my blurb in so that the book I read wasn’t included. I love fantasy (probably because I live in my own little world of fairy tales with happy endings) and I love books. I thought the book that I read was so fantastically wonderful that I just have to share it with all of you. The book I read was Among Others by Jo Walton and I loved it!

This book is more than a fantasy. It is a book about books (which I love), libraries (which I love), magic (which I love too) and a young girl struggling to find her own identity (I love these coming of age stories too). I even love the cover of the book too! Yes, I can honestly say that I truly, truly, truly loved this book!

Written in a journal form and set in 1979 and 1980, this is the story of fifteen year old Morwenna Phelps trying to move on with her life after her twin sister is killed. Morwenna and Morganna had teamed together to try to stop their crazy mother from using magic to harm others. In their battle with their mother, Morganna is killed and Morwenna is crippled. After going to live with her father, she is sent to a boarding school where she misses the magic in her life. However, if she uses magic again, will her mother be able to find her?

No matter what, Morwenna has books and as she writes in her journal, “I have books, new books, and I can bear anything as long as there are books.” Thanks to Morwenna, I now have more titles to add to my reading list. I don’t think I will ever run out of books to read! Thank you libraries!

Besides The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, I have read some really marvelous fantasy books. Check out our Reading Room for reviews of books by my favorite fantasy authors, Terry Pratchett, Jasper Fforde, and Neil Gaiman. As Dr. Seuss has said “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

Happy Reading!       ~Donna