Hello readers! I haven’t been particularly inspired to write as of late, but after a wee holiday break over Thanksgiving and some relaxation time, I have returned to the keyboard. I’m ready to share some of what I’ve been reading these past few weeks, get you some great bookish gift recommendations (coming at you later this month!) and I’m also very ready to see this year out the door. Bye, 2020. It’s been real.
Today I’m listing some great comics I’ve been enjoying recently. I’m a huge Hoopla fan and per usual, all of the titles shared below are available on Hoopla with your library card!
Is this actually a story involving a basketful of heads? Why yes, it is. Talking heads to be exact – not to be confused with the band. It is also the story of June Branch, a young woman who after narrowly escaping an attack with her life, finds herself in possession of a supernaturally powered Viking axe that seemingly allows decapitated heads to continue living after their bodily departure. As she tries to save her kidnapped boyfriend she discovers that all is not as it seems in this small town. It’s all the fun and weirdness I love from Joe Hill with a dash of crime, mystery, and some solid humor sprinkled in.
This graphic memoir from actor and activist George Takei is truly amazing. I recently read it for the second time to discuss in RRPL’s teen graphic novel book club, Comix Club, and was once again struck by this moving and eye opening story. Readers learn all about Takei’s traumatic experiences as a young child forced to live in the Japanese-American internment camps with his siblings and parents in the 40s. An important and often glossed over aspect of American history, this personal account of the terrible treatment many American citizens endured is a book that everyone should read.
After suffering a mysterious and brutal attack while out with her boyfriend one evening, Daisy is not only left without her boyfriend but she also wakes in the hospital missing an eye. After receiving a prosthetic eye, she begins to have strange visions and see a dark and ominous creature staring at her amongst crowds- that nobody else seems to see except her. This first volume doesn’t reveal much and leaves readers with quite a cliffhanger, so I look forward to what is revealed in the next collected volume.
I enjoy science fiction from time to time, but have yet to read any of the sci-fi classic Dune. It always seemed somewhat intimidating and I must admit some classic science fiction titles tend to strike me as a bit too male-centric for my tastes. This graphic novel adaptation is a great way to dip your toes into the series if you are like me and don’t want to commit to the traditional novels! With the new Dune film slated to be released soon there will surely be a new influx of interest in this series so now is a great time to dive in.
What have you been reading? Any new graphic novels that you have loved? Stay safe and happy reading!
Throughout the past few weeks I slowed down on my reading a bit to dive into some tv shows and films, but now that I’ve nearly finished all three seasons of Hannibal (an amazing show and noteworthy if for nothing other than truly disturbing and beautiful cinematography) I’m getting back to my lengthy to-read list.
Hoopla has gotten some really great new graphic novels that I am so excited to read! Here are my top recently released graphic novels you can read right now on Hoopla- some were new just in the past month and some are releases from earlier this spring that I missed during the chaos that was April and May. Better to read late than never is a mantra I often tell myself.
From sci-fi adventures to superheroes (sometimes hero-ish? looking at you Catwoman) to stories about adorable cats, there is something for everyone in the titles above.
I also just snagged the first five single issues of The Low, Low Woods, a newer comic series put out as part of the Joe Hill presents Hill House Comics of DC. I am quite delighted to crack open issue #1- the series is by the author of one of my favorite short story collections, Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado! If you haven’t read Her Body and Other Parties and you like weird feminist fiction- check it out now here on OverDrive! You won’t be disappointed. And since I generally love anything Joe Hill puts out or helps to publish, this should be a stellar series. Volume one is slated to be released this fall if you are more of a “wait for the collected volume” sort of reader *wink wink*.
Happy reading and stay safe out there!
Check out some of 2020’s most notable albums available for streaming through Hoopla for free with your library card.
Is the news continually bringing you down? I know that I’ve had to take some news breaks myself. Another way I try to counter balance all of the brutal reality of today is to distract myself with laughter. I’ve always appreciated stand-up comedy, and since I can’t necessary go to a comedy club right now to see live comedy, Hoopla is coming in very handy.
Hoopla has hundred, and maybe thousand of stand-up comedy albums available for you to borrow right now. Here are some of my favorite comedian stand-up albums available through Hoopla:
I’m going to generalize here and say that you’ve probably watched a fair amount of TV/movies lately. We all have. If you’re looking to expand your viewing beyond private tiger owners, may I suggest you join me on a Philip Seymour Hoffman binge?
Why Philip Seymour Hoffman?
PSH, as I shall refer to him from here, generally plays an addled, yet intriguing character. Not necessarily the protagonist of a fairy tale, but always committed to breathing life into his roles.
Lucky for you, Hoopla has 8 titles featuring PSH you can stream for free with your RRPL library card, including one of my favorites Before the Devil Knows Your Dead. I’ll link them below.
What’s your favorite PSH role?
A-There is just no winning during a pandemic. Just when I was figuring out ways to manage my anxiety over being stuck at home, things are once again changing. So, as businesses reopen and more people head back to work, a whole new batch of worries have cropped up. Are we moving too fast? Do I remember how to be around people? Who am I kidding, I was never great at peopling. I am craving routine and structure (and salty snacks, but no way am I going to a store anytime soon), but can we keep the comfy quarantine clothes? Staff will soon be heading back to the library and I am pretty excited about that, but what is our new normal going to look like? Gah! So many questions. So many unknowns. We’ll get through this together.
B-Books, babies, and beach therapy.
I haven’t been doing to much reading with my eyes, but I have been bingeing audiobooks like crazy. I have revisited old favorites-Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant, Bloody Jack-all available in Overdrive and Hoopla. All my comfort books have comforted me enough to be ready to look for new content. This week I fired up the ereader and took a look at some of my digital advance reader copies of upcoming books. Here are the two I decided to start reading:
Look for The Invisible Girl in October and The End of Her in July.
One of my favorite ways to relax is to get what I like to call beach therapy. It’s finally warming up enough to sit on some sun-baked sand and sift through the rocks looking for treasures. One of my favorite spots is close to the library-Bradstreet Landing in Rocky River. Today I treated myself to a trip to the drive through of one of my favorite local coffee shops and headed to the beach. Look at the fuzzy baby geese!
Wrapping up with this week’s C is RiverCon (yeah, it’s a stretch, but I am really excited about this event and want to keep talking about it)! RiverCon has an offical logo and it is FANTASTIC! I am thrilled to be able to share it with you today and remind you to register here for your RiverCon kit. Registration opens this Saturday! Each kit will have a comic craft, reading recommedations, Hoopla and Overdrive swag, a RiverCon magnet, and more.
Hang in there everyone!
I’ve been making great usage of both Hoopla and Overdrive over the past couple weeks to satisfy my reading appetite, but have also taken this time at home as an opportunity to pick up some titles in my home library that I’ve never read. Scroll on for some of my just finished and currently in progress reads.
Oh how I loved this book! This memorizing horror-fantasy- historical fiction-thriller novel grabbed me and wouldn’t let me put it down until I knew all it’s twisty secrets. Set in colonial New England, readers are led along by one seemingly innocent young woman who finds herself lost in the woods after berry-picking for her husband and son. Her wanderings bring her to meet other women in the woods and it quickly becomes clear not all is as it seems and the truth is hard to discern. Highly recommended if you enjoyed the 2015 film The Witch, or The Familiars by Stacey Halls. Available through OverDrive.
Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman ; Illustrated by Colleen Doran
This dark retelling of the Snow White fairy tale, by one of my all-time favorite authors, flips the classic story in a fresh and chilling way. Snow, Glass, Apples is narrated by the stepmother, who is actually quite good, and who must protect herself and her kingdom from the King’s monstrous daughter- Snow White. Beautifully illustrated and written, any fan of Gaiman or fairy tales will want to pick this up. Winner of the 2020 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel. Available through Hoopla.
I started reading this a while back and never finished it- probably because I had began this book while on my honeymoon in Hawaii and it’s not really a “beach read” sort of book. But! I am picking it back up and so far it is quite a curious, witty, and weird (perhaps even a bit romantic) mash-up of literary fiction and some magical realism. I think this time around I will finish this! Available through OverDrive.
The great Margaret Atwood tweeted this book was a combination, among other things, of the Witches of Eastwick and Mean Girls, so I was sold. I’ve only just begun this dark and funny novel but am very excited to see where it goes! Available through OverDrive.
This heartwarming graphic novel is a first-hand account of the unlikely friendship that blossomed between a home nurse and her 84- year old patient stricken with Alzheimer’s, Josephine. Humor and laughter bring the two together, and readers will enjoy this story of human connection. The story takes place in Paris, but it’s critiques of an overloaded healthcare system and the frustrations of geriatric care easily translate to American healthcare and makes for a story that many can relate to. Available through Hoopla.
What is everyone else reading at home? I hope you have read some fabulous books and that perhaps one of my titles will spark your interest for your next digital checkout. Happy reading and stay safe!
One of the small ways I’ve found some joy lately is to overindulge in catchy old jams. Thanks to Hoopla, I’ve been able to load up my phone and take the party anywhere in my house or yard. Check out some artists and albums I’ve had in the rotation:
You’ll need your Clevnet library card information to initially create a Hoopla account. You can sign up for an instant digital Clevnet card here. We have also started staffing the library phone line Monday-Friday 11 am-2pm so give us a call if you have any questions.
What songs have been bringing you joy? Let me know in the comments.