Gift Books for Teens (You Only Kinda Know)

Gift books are a “thing”. They can be books that look awesome, box sets to keep readers satisfied, cutting edge content to sharpen their minds, – or some can be pretty, with unique covers or fancy bindings. Not saying that books should be all about looks, but when giving it as a gift this can help. Teens, as parents know, can be hard to shop for and don’t always communicate excellently about what they are enjoying (adults are honestly often just as difficult, but teens still get the bad rep). Here are some picks that will hopefully work for many a teen you need to buy a book for in the coming year!

La Belle SauvageHis Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman is a well written and excellent fantasy that follows Lira as she navigates a prophecy that brings her far from her home at Oxford and puts everything she knows at risk.  The original series stars with The Golden Compass, a good pick for younger teens. The prequel series starts with the Book of Dust: Volume 1 – La belle sauvage, which works well for teens who have or haven’t read the original, but don’t want to focus on a 12 year old. Both are bigger books with fantastic covers – you can even find a single book that has the original trilogy in one! Continue reading “Gift Books for Teens (You Only Kinda Know)”

New Fiction Roundup – December 2019

Is the end of the year going by at light-speed for anyone else? It’s passing so quickly for me that I’m a week late in suggesting new fiction to check out this December.

12/3: Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer – In a City with no name, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake is the fate of the future and the fate of Earth. By the author of Annihilation.

12/3: The German House by Annette Hess – Set against the 1963 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials, this coming-of-age story follows a young female translator, caught between societal and familial expectations and her unique ability to speak truth to power, as she fights to expose the dark truths of her nation’s past.

12/3: Now You See Them by Elly Griffiths – Detective Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto investigate a string of presumed kidnappings in the swinging 1960s in this fifth book in the Magic Men Mystery series.

12/3: The Peppermint Tea Chronicles by Alexander McCall Smith – Returning to his series set in the boarding house at 44 Scotland Street, summer finds the residents engaging in flights of fancy and pleasant diversions.

12/3: The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson – The haunting, vivid story of a nun whose past returns to her in unexpected ways as she investigates a mysterious death and a series of harrowing abuse claims.

12/3: This Is Happiness by Niall Williams – In this intricately observed portrait of a community, the residents of the remote Irish town Faha celebrate first love, the return of a long-lost love, the arrival of electricity, and the end of the rainy season. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – December 2019”

New fiction roundup, November 2019

No matter what you read – romance, fantasy, historical fiction, prize-winning fiction – November has a new release for you.

11/5: The Book of Lost Saints by Daniel José Older – In this multigenerational Cuban-American family story of revolution, loss, and family bonds, the spirit of a woman who disappeared during the Cuban Revolution visits her nephew to spur him into unearthing their family history.

11/5: The Deep by Rivers Solomon – The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society, and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future.

11/5: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – In this romantic comedy Chloe Brown – a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list – recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her get a life.

11/5: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo – The intersections of identity among an interconnected group of Black British women are portrayed in this 2019 Winner of the Booker Prize. A Peak Pick!

11/5: The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton – An elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, of female friendship, set in the American South. Continue reading “New fiction roundup, November 2019”

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”