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Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on Graphic Novels January 7, 2019

Posted by Megan in Graphic Novel.
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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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Adventures in Stand Up Comedy July 14, 2016

Posted by Megan in Audio.
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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

 

Graphically Speaking February 26, 2014

Posted by Megan in Book List, Graphic Novel.
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If you are a reader of graphic novels you don’t need me to tell you how wonderful they can be. There is something refreshing (and maybe just a bit nostalgic?) about reading a story told in both words and pictures. But don’t dismiss graphic novels as fluff or kids stuff just because they are illustrated. I have found many graphic novels that are entertaining, powerful, and moving. I personally love a series, but I have also found a number of enjoyable standalones. My introduction to graphic novels was Bill Willingham’s Fables series, and it not only remains a favorite, but it is also a series I love to recommend. Here are some more of my favorites:

Memoir/Biography/Historical

1. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a charming memoir that is sure to delight all you foodies out there.

relish

2. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is a hilarious and heartbreaking glimpse into the world of depression. The book is a compilation of new material as well as material previously published on the author’s blog.

hyperbole

3. Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer is a coming of age story about a girl moving away from her small town and finding herself in a big city. This is the perfect gift for the high school graduate in your life.

little fish

4. The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming is a biography of her great-grandfather, China’s greatest magician. This is a fascinating look at Chinese culture and the early world of vaudeville. Definitely worth picking up.

long tack sam

5. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston is a novel told in pictures and tells the story of a young girl coming of age in the 1920s. Her dream is to be a writer, but life seems to have other plans for her, until she is swept off her feet by a handsome young man. Loaded with vintage postcards, magazine ads, letters, and fashion spread, this book pairs perfectly with The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

frankie pratt

Humor

6. 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth, How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You, My Dog: The Paradox, and Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants by Michael Inman are all ridiculous, irreverent, and absolutely hilarious. Inman is the creator of The Oatmeal.com, the internet home of his comics. His humor isn’t for everyone, but if it IS your style, these books will leave you in tears!

dolphins cat plotting my dog grizzly bears

7. Chi’s Sweet Home by Kanata Konami will make a cat lover out of even the staunchest nay-sayer (I should know, I was one of them!). These tiny, darling books chronicle the author’s adventures in adopting a street kitten.

chi

Sci-Fi/Horror

8. Locke & Key by Joe Hill follows the Locke family as they move into their family’s ancestral home, a Victorian mansion called Lovecraft. Bad things happen. The story is dark, disturbing and utterly addictive. Joe is certainly giving his father, Stephen King, a run for the title of King of the Macabre!

locke & key

9. Y: the Last Man and Saga by Brian Vaughan are two offerings from a Cleveland native. Y: the Last Man follows Yorick, the lone survivor of a plague that kills all the men. Saga is his newest offering and it is just plain bizarre, in an awesome way! Interplanetary wars and star-crossed lovers!

y last man saga

10. The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman…do I really need to explain this one? Actually, I gave up in the show after the first season, but the books are fantastic. They are so much more horrifying than the tv series and after the first book, they books and television show are two entirely different things. I think it’s safe to read and watch simultaneously.

walking dead 1

And just so that I am not ending on that horrific zombie note, here’s a nice bonus:

Eric Shanower’s Oz series is a must-read! This graphic adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s classic Wizard of Oz series is one of my favorite discoveries. The story is fresh and illustrations are amazing. Every time I look at them I want to take them apart and frame the pages. I encourage you to venture to the Children’s Department and rediscover Dorothy and her band of misfits as they have adventures in the land of Oz.

oz 1oz 2oz 3oz 4oz 5

Happy Reading!

˜Megan

At the Beach with Jon Stewart July 29, 2013

Posted by Chris in Beach Reads, Non-Fiction.
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So you’re thinking Jon is at some undisclosed location shooting his film, Rosewater. Well if he is, then he can be in two places at once, because he’s sharing my beach blanket with me on the shores of Lake Erie, Huntington Beach to be exact. Anyhow, I’m really enjoying his book, Earth. Some spreads in particular, like “Psychology” in which he shares how three types of experts (?) would treat a mental disorder: a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a…stepdad. Pure Stewart. Also very funny: “Money We Didn’t Have,” “Your Changing Planet” and “Faster.” However, I’m finding precious nuggets on every spread and think you will as well. Enjoy!

~ Chris

At the Beach with Calvin Trillin July 22, 2013

Posted by Chris in Beach Reads, Non-Fiction.
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I don’t think anyone does silly better than Calvin Trillin. After laughing my way through Tepper Isn’t Going Out and his parking dilemmas in Manhattan a while back, I thought I’d take Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin to the beach. As the subtitle says, it’s Forty Years of Funny Stuff. These essays are all written in Trillin’s smooth conversational style, so it’s very real when truly hysterical ideas come up at random. (Just what you want to have happen when you’re enjoying a great day at the beach.) I particularly liked: “Publishers Lunch,” “Errands,” “Long-Term Marriage,“ and “Unhealth Food.” Do not read any of the poems. They rhyme. Seriously.

~ Chris

At the Beach with David Sedaris July 18, 2013

Posted by Chris in Beach Reads, Non-Fiction.
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Well the wait is over. I rose to the top of our library’s hold list and am heading for the beach with David’s newest book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

Normally when I get a book of essays, I read the title essay first, then the first and last essays if they are not that, because I assume every entertainer/author wants to start and end with their best stuff. But in perusing this book, “Easy, Tiger” stopped me. (Maybe it was the “,”?) Anyhow, David finds himself about to land in Beijing without knowing a word of Mandarin. He shares his experiences with learning other languages for those big trips and they’re something most of us can relate to. So funny, I laughed myself into a coughing fit. Others I enjoyed include: “Day In, Day Out,” “Standing By,” and “Standing Still.” David seems to always offer up that perfect blend of shock and sweet. I still haven’t read the first or last essays (guess I’m saving the best for last) or the title essay, because there is none. Of course. However, the closest I found to one was “Understanding Understanding Owls.” (No, that’s not an error.) Don’t miss it!

~ Chris

At the Beach with Tina Fey July 11, 2013

Posted by Chris in Beach Reads, Non-Fiction.
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After submitting my beach read for this very site the other day, in which I invited my favorite, funny author (David Sedaris) to share my beach blanket, I thought how much fun it would be to spend my month of blogging inviting more of my favorite funny authors to catch some rays. Of course, I had to invite the witty, charming, infinitely amusing Tina Fey, who recently authored Bossypants—a wonderful, warm memoir that’s filled with good times. After all, how could anyone possibly be bored with the woman who created all those hilarious SNL skits and silly 30 Rock shows? And when she shows up as Sarah Palin, a fun day at the beach doesn’t get any better.

~Chris