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?
Tor.comis 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”
Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year:
Are you a reader who would like to explore some new genres, but don’t know where to start? Fret not, librarians have got you covered. At the American Library Association Midwinter conference in January, a number of different committees met to discuss and honor books published in 2019. There was the Notable Books List, honoring literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List, highlighting outstanding audiobooks; the Sophie Brody Medal, for achievement in Jewish Literature; the Stonewall Book Award for LGBTQIA+ books; and many more. But today I want to talk about The Reading List, which highlights outstanding genre fiction across eight genres: Adrenaline (thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.
While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist. Among those five books are a range of what a reader can find in the genre, different types of stories for different readers, with hopes that everyone from a diehard fan to a new reader can find a title of interest. Check out the list, below, or in our catalog.
Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in January:
The Wall by John Lanchester. Due to climate change an island nation has built a wall to keep out the Others – those adrift. Each citizen is assigned wall duty for two years. The most recent defender is Joseph Kavanagh and we join him on his journey. One of the biggest worries on the wall is if the Others do attack and get through, a defender gets sent out to sea in their place. So, so good!
Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett. Just an all around good story of a family after loss – coming to terms with grief and how it manifests in all of us. Jessa has taken over the family’s taxidermy business after her father commits suicide. The business however is struggling and so is everyone else in the family. Trying to hold everything together is taking its toll and the family will have to come to terms with a multitude of losses and failures to find themselves again. I loved how the author delves into the brokenness of the characters, but also how they all fit together, and, honestly, of how great a team they are when they finally start to breathe again. This one is definitely on my favorites list. Continue reading “Bus Reads for January”
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!
His 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)”