Short Stories: Tiny Windows into Other Worlds

During this pandemic, I’ve heard from so many people – normally avid readers of long novels – that they are having trouble focusing on full-length books. I, too, have found myself in the same boat. Thank goodness for short stories!  Sometimes I forget about these gems, but quite a few book groups (including two that I belong to) have been re-discovering these little powerhouses. As Neil Gaiman says, “Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.” 

Short stories are also a great way to introduce yourself to unfamiliar authors or genres. For example, I’ve been intrigued by the growing number of Chinese science fiction authors whose works are being translated into English, but I didn’t know where to start. Then I saw the book Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation and had to check it out. The stories cover quite a gamut of moods and topics, ranging from a melancholic tale about artificial intelligence set in the near future to a time travel story set in an alternate 10th century China. Each story is prefaced by a brief description of the author’s life and work, and further context is provided by several essays about Chinese science fiction past and present. 

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Award Winning Comics for Your Bucket List 

A Bucket List is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. This can take many forms, but for many lovers of the written word this comes more often in must read books. Here are award winning comics that are a must read for any one wanting a taste of the best!

The Sandman – Neil Gaiman

One of the first few graphic novels to ever be on the New York Times Best Seller list, Neil Gaiman (Yes, that Neil Gaiman of American Gods and Good Omens) penned this epic dark fantasy with an intriguing blend of history and mythology, all through the eyes of the Master of Dreams gazing into the human world. And much like recalling a dream or a nightmare, a few mere sentences cannot describe the scope of wonder and horror this comic has in store. (Did I happen to mention Neil Gaiman wrote this?) Continue reading “Award Winning Comics for Your Bucket List “

Naomi Shihab Nye shares her Nightstand Reads

Internationally beloved poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who is coming to Seattle September 19 for a SAL event, shares a mix of her recent favorites in fiction, memoir, nonfiction and poetry.

Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes, including  19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (a finalist for the National Book Award), A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, and You & Yours. Her latest book for adults, The Tiny Journalist, is a collection inspired by seven-year-old Janna Tamimi, the “Youngest Journalist in Palestine,” who captured videos of anti-occupation protests with her mother’s smartphone.

Thanks to Naomi Shihab Nye for sharing her recommendations! Continue reading “Naomi Shihab Nye shares her Nightstand Reads”

Library Reads: Books to start 2019

What could be better than a list of 10 librarian-recommended books coming out in the next month? A list of 14 is the answer to that question.

For January, in addition to the Library Reads Top Ten (books voted on by librarians across the U.S.), we’re highlighting four additional books from the Library Reads “Hall of Fame,” which means these authors have made the Top Ten List multiple times.  For the Hall-of-Fame authors’ titles, we’ve also included “read alikes,” or, rather, suggested books if you’re already a fan of that author.

Here are the Top Ten Library Reads picks for January 2019:

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Library Reads: May 2018 books

Psychogical suspense, historical fiction, thrillers, fantasy and general fiction — 10 novels that librarians across the U.S. nominated as their top picks for May 2018. We await your holds!

Furyborn by Claire Legrand: Fierce, independent women full of rage, determination, and fire. The first novel in the Empirium trilogy holds appeal for both young adult and adult readers. For fans of Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and The Hunger Games. ~ Kristin Friberg, Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ

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