Three books about military service in honor of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. To mark the day, consider reading one of these novels or short story collections that portray military experiences during the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bring Out the Dog by Will Mackin
In this collection of 11 loosely connected short stories, U.S. Navy veteran Mackin tells stories based on his own wartime experience serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. In their starred review, Library Journal called it “a well-plotted group of small fictions for readers wishing a feel for the reality of recent U.S. ground wars.”

Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman
Eden Malcolm, injured when his Humvee hit a pressure plate in the Hamrin Valley, lies in a coma in the burn unit at San Antonio as his wife, Mary, waits by his side. A fellow soldier killed in the same explosion that injured Eden is the narrator, detailing their time together in the service, the thoughts going through Eden’s head, and Mary’s fears. Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Road Ahead: Fiction from the Forever War ed. by Adrian Bonenberger and Brian Castner
These 25 short stories by military veterans chart the way combat experiences have changed in the years since U.S. forces first arrived in Iraq and Afghanistan, focusing as often on the struggle of returning home as on time in the service.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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”

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”