We Dare You…

As we enter peak fall foliage in the Pacific Northwest we dare you to get swept away by those beautiful colors and read a book by the color of its cover! Here are a handful to choose from, but we highly recommend you explore the stacks – you never know what gem you might find.

They May Not Mean To, but They Do by Cathleen Schine: Refusing to age quietly, take antidepressants or accept the inevitable loss of her longtime husband, Joy Bergman shocks her children when, after becoming a widow, she reconnects with a former flame from her college days, turning as willful and rebellious as the younger members of their family.

Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw: Sixteen-year-old Adam, repeatedly abandoned by his caregivers in the wake of Holland’s repatriation activities, suffers a series of personal tragedies that mark his efforts to find his adoptive father.

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio: Conflicting political ideals, culture clashes, spiritual crises and divided passions challenge a Cuban-American family over multiple generations at the turn of the 21st century.

The Line That Held Us by David Joy: A deer hunter and his friend cover up the accidental shooting death of a man from a notoriously violent family, which discovers the crime and retaliates in nightmarish ways.

Guapa by Saleem Haddad: A debut novel that tells the story of Rasa, a young gay man coming of age in the Middle East.

The Dog by Joseph O’Neill: Leaving New York in the wake of a breakup to take a job in a futuristic Dubai at the height of its metropolitan self-invention, a young man struggles with growing feelings of being trapped while navigating the eccentricities of his wealthy employers.

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm: Leah’s little brother, Jacob, disappeared when the pair were younger, a tragedy that haunts her still. When a grown man arrives at the non-profit Leah directs claiming to be Jacob, she is wrenched back to her childhood.

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land: A novel of psychological suspense follows the experiences of the 15-year-old daughter of a serial killer who, in spite of a new identity and placement in an affluent foster family, wrestles with the decision not to follow in her mother’s violent footsteps in the face of bullies, a teacher’s discovery and threats against a vulnerable friend.

The One-in-a-million Boy by Monica Wood: The incandescent story of a 104-year-old woman and the sweet, strange young boy assigned to help her around the house—a friendship with unexpected reverberations for the boy’s unmoored family.

Above by Isla Morley: Abducted and locked in an abandoned missile silo by a mad survivalist, a Kansas teen endures loneliness and despair while struggling to raise a baby in isolation before escaping into a world more changed than she anticipated.

Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe: Barred by prejudice from the corporate world in spite of his strong education, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver is unable to meet his financial demands and embarks on a desperate plan to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery.

Nevada by Imogen Binnie: Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City, is trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle: In a novel imbued with magical realism, when Sabrina Nielsen arrives at her 30th birthday dinner in New York City, she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also her favorite professor from college; her father; her ex-fiance Tobias; and Audrey Hepburn.

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay: A brilliant servant under a despotic count and a would-be assassin who has forfeited a life of comfort join an extraordinary group of companions when a rivalry between two mercenary commanders threatens the world balance.

The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra: Worried that his wife Veronica will not return home from an art class, Julian imagines his stepdaughter Daniela’s future without her mother and tells her an improvisational bedtime story.

They Come in All Colors by Malcolm Hansen: Set between the Deep South and New York City during the 1960s and early 70s, about a biracial teenage boy whose new life in a big city is disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

(all reviews via Novelist)

~posted by Kara P.

Hidden Libraries in Fiction

As great as real libraries are, they’re no match for the hidden libraries created by novelists. Magical libraries have unlimited space, can form labyrinths explorable only by the most intrepid, can spontaneously birth characters from the page to the real world, and much more.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
This is the first novel that I personally encountered with an amazing secret library. In 1945 Barcelona, 11-year-old Daniel Sempere is taken by his father to a secret library called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. There sit books that have been forgotten by the world, and Daniel is encouraged to choose one, of which he will become the caretaker. He selects a novel called The Shadow of the Wind by Julian Carax, and comes to discover that someone has been systematically destroying all copies of Julian Carax books. Part mystery, part love letter to literature, this atmospheric novel follows Daniel as he delves into Carax’s life, and into the darkest side Continue reading “Hidden Libraries in Fiction”

Library Reads for November 2019

Librarians across the country have chosen the ten books coming out in November that they’re most excited about.

The Starless Sea  by Erin Morgenstern
A moving labyrinth of a story, ever changing and evolving. What begins as a mysterious thread in a book, an opportunity taken or missed and the consequences of the choice, evolves into a story similar to a choose-your-own adventure tale or a mystical video game experience. For fans of Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clark, and Lev Grossman.
~ Cynde Suite, Bartow County Library, Cartersville, GA Continue reading “Library Reads for November 2019”

It’s Horror Season

As the weather turns chill and the darkness creeps earlier and earlier, it’s time to stay inside with a scary read. From a family jumping through alarming hoops to get an inheritance, to two variations on the creepy haunted house, monsters lurking at the window, and much more, there’s something to spook everyone.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
In 1860s England, Elsie, pregnant and recently widowed, travels to the crumbling country estate of her husband’s family. Kept company by only a few servants and her husband’s cousin, Elsie discovers a realistic life-size wooden figure in the attic garret. As the figure and others like it begin popping up around the house, seemingly moving of their own free will, violent deaths begin to occur. Is Elsie going crazy? Or is something more sinister at play? Continue reading “It’s Horror Season”

Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2

A continuation of our favorite speculative fiction works this year! So far…

The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz. Annalee Newitz just won a Hugo Award for the Our Opinions Are Correct podcast with their partner Charlie Jane Anders and is a writer of both science and science fiction. TFOAT is a fiercely feminist queer punk rock time travel novel that follows Tess, a time traveling geologist and her cohort of time travelers who are orchestrating a fine-tuned fight against a group of men hell-bent on stopping women’s rights from ever advancing. It’s the kind of science fiction that reminds us about how the future is happening right now and it’s up to us to collectively work towards better futures. Continue reading “Top 10 Noteworthy 2019 Speculative Fiction Books Part 2”