Travel to Other Worlds with Digital Comics

The toilet paper is gone. Small businesses are closed. The freeways are empty. Our hands are raw from washing them so often. Life feels surreal. Are we in an apocalyptic comic? Lest we start to wonder if reality is fiction, take a look at other weird worlds through Hoopla’s digital comics.

From kid favorites like Sheets and Big Nate to the locked rooms of Locke & Key (now streaming on Netflix), there are comics here for everyone’s taste. Digital comics on Hoopla are always available, so you’ll never have to wait with baited breath to see what happens next. You can browse by title, author, illustrator, series, or publisher. Image Comics has a great catalog of boundary pushing titles like Descender, Saga, and Rat Queens.

All your favorite superheros can be found in DC and Marvel’s catalogs. Last but certainly not least, Seattle’s very own Fantagraphics catalog is available, with big hits like My Favorite Thing Is Monsters and I Am Not Okay With This (also streaming on Netflix). None of us are ok with this, but we’ll pull through. And when it gets really weird out there, curl up with some lasagna and a fat orange cat. Garfield always has your back when the world is too much.

~ posted by Veronica H.

It Could Always Be Worse

I don’t know about you, but the idea of being quarantined for a few days sounded like a great idea with all the books and movies I have on my list. Now that I am stir crazy and want to get out of the house that is highly inadvisable, so I decided to put together a list of books and movies that will scare you into staying home. All of these items are available through Overdrive, Hoopla, or Kanopy.

Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts From the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History by Catharine Arnold: A well researched book told through personal essays and medical journals about the last time we went through a pandemic.

The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen: A fictional account of a small town in the Pacific Northwest that has decided to quarantine itself during the Spanish Flu.

Severance by Ling Ma: Candace is one of the few people in the world that is immune to Shen Fever. She has a photo blog of the empty streets of New York eerily familiar to our own; The Great Empty Photographs by The New York Times Introduction by Michael Kimmelman March 23, 2020, which you can access for free with your library card through New York Times Digital.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy: We never find out what happens to wipe out the population of the world in this classic novel, but it shows a very stark reality that we might not want to risk!

The Hot Zone  by Richard Preston: A fictional account, with strong scientific facts, of a virus that is killing off the world. A SWAT team of soldiers and medical providers attempt to stop the spread.

Feed by Mira Grant: You can’t talk about a list of books and movies about a pandemic without talking about zombies.  This book not only includes horror but political intrigue.

The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman: You can get the complete series of the graphic novels on Hoopla!

If you just can’t focus on books right now, the library also has movies that you can stream to scare yourself indoors.  Of course, just like the books, you can’t compile an apocalyptic list without zombie movies.

Night of the Living Dead: George Romero’s movie that started the whole zombie genre of horror films.

Train to Busan: This Korean film is centered around passengers stuck on a train during a zombie invasion.

The Last Man on Earth: This movie made in 1964, with Vincent Price, is about a guy who thinks he is the last person on earth after a virus has wiped out the world.

It Comes at Night: In this 2017 film, two families that don’t know each other are quarantined together after the apocalypse. Could you imagine being cooped up with strangers right now? 

Pandemic: Hallmark Channel made this miniseries in 2007.  Who knew that they were going to be able to predict where we are at today.

You can now sign up instantly to receive access to e-books and e-audiobooks through OverDrive. To sign up for this service, you have to be 13 years of age or older, live in Seattle, and have access to a mobile phone number in order to verify your account.

~posted by Pam H.

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree? is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Bus Reads for March: Quarantine Edition

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time, but in the world of quarantine being home does too! Here’s what I read at home in March:

The World That We KnewBook cover for The World We Knew by Alice Hoffman. Sad and beautiful. I tend to shy away from any books that have to do with WW2 because it just breaks my heart too much. But this novel with it’s mixture of history and magical realism, while still sad, was easier to take in for me. It’s also a novel that has amazing women in it–with all the strength and power they possess. It was awe inspiring to read. A story of motherhood, of loss, of faith, but mostly of love. Continue reading “Bus Reads for March: Quarantine Edition”

Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition

Need to escape your house? Looking for some peace and quiet? Enjoy the spring weather and get outside for a walk or bike ride.

For lovely walking in Seattle, I would suggest you get a hold of a digital copy of Seattle Walk Report. You can find a walk for every neighborhood. Some other digital titles with cool walk suggestions are Walking Seattle: 35 Tours of the Jet City’s Parks, Landmarks, Neighborhoods and Scenic Views, Seattle Stairway Walks: And Up-and-down Guide to City Neighborhoods, and Urban Trails, Seattle: Shoreline, Renton, Kent, Vashon Island.

Continue reading “Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition”