Historical fantasy – the best of both worlds!

I appreciate the way genre designations can make books easier to find, but I confess that I love the bleeding edges where books shade from one genre into another; my current bailiwick is historical fantasy. I find that it brings the best elements of historical fiction – a strong sense of time, place, and culture – and melds it with the fantastical elements that make anything possible. Here are a few recent titles that I’ve been thrilled to find.

Book cover image for The Bird KingThe Bird King by G. Willow Wilson – In 1491, Granada, the last remaining vestige of Muslim Spain, has been surrounded and besieged by the Catholic Spanish forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. When a delegation comes inside the walled city to negotiate, young concubine Fatima is charged with welcoming the female delegates, including a member of the Spanish Inquisition. After Fatima accidentally reveals that her friend Hassan, the court’s mapmaker, can draw places he’s never seen and reshape reality, she realizes she has put him in danger. Aided by jinn, Fatima and Hassan flee the city. Continue reading “Historical fantasy – the best of both worlds!”

New Fiction Roundup – March 2019

March sees several new books by Seattle writers, the newest from a former Seattle Reads author, masterful debuts, and the latest from some blockbuster literary fiction authors.

3/5: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group, their mesmerizing lead singer, and the mystery behind their infamous breakup. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – March 2019”

New Fiction Roundup, February 2019

February may be a short month, but it packs in a lot of new fiction releases. From quirky family sagas, to stories of immigrants at home and abroad, to some powerhouse fantasy novels, it’s a great month to find something you know you’ll love or to branch out in new directions. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, February 2019”

The best of genre reading in 2018

Coordinated by the American Library Association, each year a group of librarians from across the country form The Reading List Council with the goal to identify the year’s best books across eight genres. Here are the 2019 winners (for books published in 2018) in Adrenaline, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, and Women’s Fiction, plus the short list of runners up in each category. Find new titles in the genre you love, or branch out and find something new to try. You can also find this full list in our library catalog.

Adrenaline

Book cover image for Safe HousesSafe Houses by Dan Fesperman
Managing CIA safe houses in 1979 West Berlin, Helen overhears a secret conversation that sends her on the run. Thirty-five years later, a tragedy leads Helen’s daughter to dig into her mother’s secret past, unaware that her mother’s old enemies are still watching. Continue reading “The best of genre reading in 2018”

Down with the Sickness

I just got hit by a winter cold and it hit me hard…usually I only need a day to recover, but not this time. Went back to work on day three and was miserable. Took another day off hoping to get through it – I spent most of my time away moving from the bed to the couch then back to bed again. I couldn’t even read because I couldn’t concentrate, but I did get a lot of time with the television screen.

Pulled out an old favorite of mine, Across the Universe, starring Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood. Not only does it have one of the best soundtracks, but just the visual effects and story are so beautifully done. It does a remarkable job of bringing The Beatles lyrics to life and creating a story of its time. Continue reading “Down with the Sickness”