Library Reads: Books to start 2019

What could be better than a list of 10 librarian-recommended books coming out in the next month? A list of 14 is the answer to that question.

For January, in addition to the Library Reads Top Ten (books voted on by librarians across the U.S.), we’re highlighting four additional books from the Library Reads “Hall of Fame,” which means these authors have made the Top Ten List multiple times.  For the Hall-of-Fame authors’ titles, we’ve also included “read alikes,” or, rather, suggested books if you’re already a fan of that author.

Here are the Top Ten Library Reads picks for January 2019:

Continue reading “Library Reads: Books to start 2019”

Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us

To get into the holiday spirit this year I’ve been cranking up the Christmas tunes, decorating the Christmas tree, and drinking hot cocoa while watching Home Alone, but when it comes to books I need something a little less sparkly and bright. I like to read realistic fiction – nothing against a good cozy mystery or a holiday themed romance, but I enjoy the struggle of real life in my reading. It helps me recognize what I’m thankful for and helps me feel less alone if I’m having a hard time. Here are some fiction reads, for however you spend the season, to bring some empathy, understanding, and maybe a little chaos.

Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon: “Kenya is teased mercilessly by her Philadelphia grade-school classmates for her Kwanzaa-celebrating family’s odd ways—and they don’t know the half of it.  Her father preaches “black anarchy” as the volatile leader of the Seven Days, a group he and Kenya’s mother, Sheila, who grew up in the projects and who supports her family as a librarian, has pulled together. Preternaturally observant and mordantly funny, Kenya is a hypnotic narrator coping valiantly with an increasingly bewildering life.” (Booklist) Continue reading “Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us”

Books inspired by podcasts

Being talked at is one of my favorite past times. Whether someone is telling me a fascinating story about Seattle’s history at work or my husband is listing and ranking his favorite cheeseburgers at home, I love listening. So much so, I listen to complete strangers talking inside my earbuds all the time. In this instance I am referring to podcasts!

Some of my favorite podcasts, as it turns out, have inspired books. As a librarian who loves podcasts, this is the ultimate intersection of my passions. These books go all over the map from graphic novel adaptations to collected stories to further research on true events.

Here are a list of some of the ones I enjoyed:

The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch.
Based on the podcast: The Adventure Zone, Balance Story Arc

This is the graphic novel adaptation of a comedy roleplaying podcast in which the McElroy brothers plus their dad, Clint, play Dungeons and Dragons. What starts out as a funny romp through well-known territory takes a deep dive into original storytelling that will make you laugh and sob uncontrollably. Clint and artist Carey Pietsch do an amazing job in retelling the story from the podcast in a new format. Continue reading “Books inspired by podcasts”

Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults

From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter to March for Our Lives, the voices of activists are ringing loud and clear across this country right now.  Many of these voices are those of young people, and teens today are more empowered than ever before to create change and make their voices heard.  As a result, there has been a remarkable increase in books for, by, and about teens that explore the topics that so profoundly affect them and show how powerful their voices can be.  Here are just a few recent titles:

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by the founders of March for Our Lives
It’s been less than a year since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, but the students who survived the tragedy swiftly moved into action. Within weeks after the shooting, the survivors organized a student-led demonstration in Washington, DC to campaign for stricter gun control laws.  This collection of writings from those students shows how powerful youth voice can be. Continue reading “Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults”

Food Comics and Manga

I’ve been reading a lot of food-focused manga and comics recently. Maybe I’m just a hungry person? I do like food, but really, while these manga and comics share the culinary theme they span some wildly different story-telling territory; from D&D-esque dungeon crawlers, to queer slice-of-life stories, to cooking competitions. Some of these stories even include actual recipes (though a few use fictional ingredients).

Delicious in Dungeon by Ryoko Kui
Follow a band of adventurers as they attempt to rescue a party-member from the dungeon’s infamous red dragon, but not before killing and cooking up other monsters along the way. You can try to make these recipes at home, but you’ll have a difficult time finding all of the ingredients…

Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain Continue reading “Food Comics and Manga”