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Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on LGBTQIA January 17, 2019

Posted by gregoryhatch in Adventure, Book Discussion, Book List, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror, New Books, Romance, Science Fiction, Uncategorized, Winter Reading Bingo.
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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:

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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

Megan’s Favorites of 2018 December 13, 2018

Posted by Megan in Book List, Non-Fiction, Top Ten, Young Adult.
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Greg’s Top Reads of 2018 December 12, 2018

Posted by gregoryhatch in Adventure, Book Discussion, Book List, Book Review, eBooks, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, Horror, Non-Fiction, Reviews, Science Fiction, Top Ten, Uncategorized.
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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.

Ann’s Top Ten 2017 December 14, 2017

Posted by Ann in Book List, Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Suspense, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2017.
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Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. –Vera Nazarian

10. NUMMER ZEHN        THE DRYJane Harper

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9. NUMÉRO NEUF           I LET YOU GOClare Mackintosh

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8. NUMERO OCHO          THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANETBecky Chambers

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7. 數字七                              A CLOSED AND COMMON ORBITBecky Chambers

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6. NUMER SZEŚĆ             I FOUND YOU– Lisa Jewell

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5. NUMERO CINQUE      TWO IF BY SEAJacqueline Mitchard

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4. ÀIREAMH CEITHIR     THE LATE SHOWMichael Connelly

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3. NUMBER ਤੀਹ                HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDSBiance Marais

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2. NUMMER TO                THE CHILD FINDERRene Denfeld

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1. INOMBOLO YOKUQALA   THE KIND WORTH KILLING– Peter Swanson

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                                                                                                                                                      ~Ann >^.^<

 

Happy Birthday George! September 20, 2016

Posted by Gina in Fantasy, Science Fiction, Uncategorized.
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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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Megan’s More than 10 Top Picks of 2015 December 16, 2015

Posted by Megan in Book List, Top Ten, Top Ten of 2015.
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Normally I love making lists of books, but I agonize over these end of the year favorites lists. After reviewing all the books that I read this year I discovered that this is the first time in many years that I read more adult (non-YA) books that YA books. Does this mean I am a real grown-up now? I hope not! I also noted that this was a year dominated by science fiction, fantasy, and amazing graphic novels.  Ok, let’s get started!

  1. The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones.

string diaries

2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff.

fatesfuries

3. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

mistborn

4. Uprooted by Naomi Novik.

uprooted

5. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz. (This is a bit of a tease as it isn’t due out until March 2016)

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6. Bingo’s Run by James Levine.

bingos run

7. Lock In by John Scalzi.

lock in

8. The Martian by Andy Weir.

martian

9. Descender, vol.1: Tin Stars by Jeff Trillium.

tin stars

10. Rat Queens, vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery and vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygot by Kurtis Wiebe.

rat1 rat2

Of course, I can’t finish this list without mentioning some of my favorite YA books.

laborden salt to the sea walktheearth wrath Everything everything fixer Wicked will rise Under a painted sky all the rage all the bright places

Happy Reading!

~Megan

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.
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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

Fourteen Fantastic Reads of 2014 December 8, 2014

Posted by Megan in Book List, Top Ten.
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This annual post combines two of my favorite things: making lists and talking about amazing books. Of course, it is always a challenge to winnow the list down. A quick look at my first draft of my list (yes, there are multiple drafts), tells me that I read and enjoyed a lot of mysteries and memoirs and a TON of YA. That being said, my final draft has more variety. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite reads of 2014:

1. The Secret Place by Tana French. I think this is the third year in a row that Tana French has made it onto my end of the year Top Reads list. She is amazing.

secret place

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. Last year my list included The Husband’s Secret, which was full of family drama, hidden secrets, suspense, with a touch of romance and humor. That pretty much describes this latest offering. The audio is fantastic.

 

big little lies

3. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Are you looking to feel better about your own quirky family? Check out the hilariously dysfunctional Foxmans!

this is where i leave you

4. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. If someone forced me to pick only one favorite of 2014, I think this would the one.

i'll give you the sun

5. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Nonfiction always surprises me. Who knew a book about rowing would be a favorite?!

boys in the boat

6. The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence. Quirky characters and an unlikely friendship!

universe versus

7. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. This French import is a book about a book…and a murder. Plenty of twists and turns. Read the book before it hits the big screen!

harry

8. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Humor and heart! This is another one that is fabulous on audio.

rosie

9. Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Superpowers and moral ambiguity abound in this dark and dangerous read.

vicious

10. Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys. New Orleans in the 1950. A murder threatens to derail a young girls dreams of a better life. Heartbreaking and lovely.

out of the easy

11. The Storied Life of A.J. Fickery by Gabrielle Zevin.  A love letter to book lovers.

a.j.

12. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. The prolific Mr. King takes a stab at a cat-and-mouse police procedural.

mr. mercedes

13. 10% Happier by Dan Harris. A non-intimidating, practical look at meditation.

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14. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. A new-to-me series full of wizards and magic and good vs evil. And a skeleton detective. LOVE.

skulduggery

I can’t wait to see what all of my coworkers put on their lists. Be sure to check back all week for more fun lists!

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

 

Bonus: Memorable Memoirs of 2014

yes not my father nph love

 

 

 

Spacey Stuff! September 7, 2014

Posted by stacey in Genre Book Discussion, Science Fiction.
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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