October Takeover: Frankenstein

~posted by Tyler N.

Frankenstein by Mary ShelleyMary Shelley’s classic story of hubris and horror has been retold and adapted so many times that in some ways to read the original work is something of a shock.  The creature brought to life by Victor Frankenstein resembles so little the moaning, stiff-legged monster with green skin and neck bolts, cobbled together from assorted body parts and a head shaped like a shoebox, that it is hard to understand quite how that became the common image. Continue reading “October Takeover: Frankenstein”

Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Classic Fantasy

~posted by Meranda T.

Classic Fantasy is both old and new. What we casually think of as Fantasy is relatively new. However, Fantasy has been around for ages if we take into consideration fairy tales, myths, folk stories, and legends. Look to the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, Yei Theodora Ozaki, and many more for translations of stories that were once only passed on by word of mouth. Here are some Classic Fantasy authors you may not have heard of before. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Classic Fantasy”

So many books, so little time! 

By Diane

At times, relief is looking at my bedside table and finding a nice thin book on the stack. And so much the better when it turns out to be an exceptional read!

One such a rare find was This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash. In a little over 200 pages, Cash makes you care deeply about a range of characters, but especially about sisters Easter and Ruby. Their already unfortunate life in foster care is interrupted by the appearance of Wade, a wayward father whose trail of misdeeds result in a long line of folks trying to This Dark Road to Mercyfind, hurt, and make him pay. Now he’s convincing his daughters to start a new life together. Next you’re caring about the girls’ guardian ad litem, Brady Walsh, whose dark past threatens to overwhelm him in his search for the girls. You even care about Wade, who started it all but has his own vulnerability and decisions to account for. The ending is masterful and fully satisfying for a reader wanting the best for all—except the really bad guys looking for the $1.4 million dollars, of course. Continue reading “So many books, so little time! “

Nightstand Reads: Christopher Barzak, author of “Before and Afterlives,” shares what he’s reading

Christopher Barzak will be reading from his recent collection of short stories, Before and Afterlives, on Wednesday, June 25th at the Central Library on Level 4, Room 2 at 7:00 p.m. His novel One for Sorrow was recently made into the film Jamie Marks is Dead, starring Liv Tyler and Judy Greer. Christopher was kind enough to share what he’s been reading in advance of his visit.

Image of Christopher BarzakMost recently, I’ve been reading a lot of Young Adult fiction, both because I love the teen perspective in fiction in general (it’s so up close and personal, very intensely emotional, and in the best cases, hard edged) and because I am a jury member for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy for a third year in a row. But despite reading a lot of YA in recent years, I’ve also been reading a lot of classic genre fiction, like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Invisible Man, as part of an ongoing writing project of mine (writing short form retellings of classic genre fiction). So the three books I’m going to recommend are all connected to those two spheres I’ve been reading within recently. Continue reading “Nightstand Reads: Christopher Barzak, author of “Before and Afterlives,” shares what he’s reading”

Mysteries for non-mystery readers

Image of snobby face courtesy of emtionaltoothpaste via FlickrOh, I would never read a mystery!” If you love crime fiction, you almost certainly have at least one of these in your life. They don’t mean to be snobs or anything, but mysteries? Um, no thanks. Life’s too short, they’ll say, to waste it on such frivolities. In the library, they don’t even know where the mystery section is. They prefer literature to fiction – the classics, or the titles selected by their book group. Their bookbags groan with  the dense complexities of My Name is Red, by Nobel prize-winning Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk; A.S. Byatt’s erudite Booker prize-winning Possession; Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, an unassailable classic of the highest order. Continue reading “Mysteries for non-mystery readers”