January Literary Celebrations

January comes with a break from the holidays, but if you enjoy celebrating and love books, here are some ideas for literary celebrations for January.

We’ll start off with Tolkien day on January 3. It’s his birthday and a day celebrated by the Tolkien Society. They recommend a very simple celebration: find somewhere to have a drink, and at 9 PM make a toast with friends simply saying, “The Professor!” Let me suggest a couple books about Tolkien if you’d like to enrich your knowledge of him. A great book to share with children or just read to yourself is John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister. With gorgeous illustrations it tells a little about his life. Another option is Mythmaker by Anne E. Neimark, a thoroughly researched biography exploring Tolkien’s extensive interests that influenced his writing. Continue reading “January Literary Celebrations”

My Favorite 2017 Science Fiction and Fantasy

Every year I set reading goals for myself. One of those goals is to read as much as possible. I also try to get to a few older books I have been meaning to read. But trying to read the latest releases in literary fiction, nonfiction and science fiction and fantasy is an evergreen reading goal. Here are some of my favorite science fiction and fantasy released in 2017: Continue reading “My Favorite 2017 Science Fiction and Fantasy”

Awesome Upcoming Children’s Fantasy Titles

-posted by Selby G. 

This is your ‘fair warning’ to get your ‘fantastic eyes’ on these great kids’ fantasy books and become a ‘reader’ before the latest installments come out.

I am insanThe Luck Uglies cover imageely excited for March 1st, and not because it is National Pig Day or the sixtieth day of the year. I am excited because the third installment of the Luck Uglies series by Paul Durham, Rise of the Ragged Clover, comes out that day. Who are the Luck Uglies, you ask? Think Robin Hood’s merry men with rough edges and questionable morals. But really the story revolves around a young girl named Rye, her village of Drowning, and some nasty Bog Noblins. The first two books, The Luck Uglies and Forked-tongue Charmers, are packed with action and adventure and a lot of fun. Continue reading “Awesome Upcoming Children’s Fantasy Titles”

Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Romantic Fantasy

~posted by Selby G.

Romance novels, by their very nature, are usually not considered great literature. This is not to say that romance novels are not worth reading, but perhaps they should be judged with relaxed criteria. It is no different in the fantasy romance subgenre. Stories abound with sexy witches, shape shifters of all ilk and fairies that fall in love with humans. Here are a few that stand out as being particularly special for one reason or another.

Find Warrior in the SPL catalogWarrior by Zoe Archer is the first in a series of novels with the premise that there are sources of magic in the world that need protecting. The Blades of the Rose are a group who try and keep magical sources out of the hands of the Heirs of Albion. This first book is set mainly in Mongolia and actually had enough cultural information in it that I now want to visit there- minus evil men with magic trying to kill me, of course. If magic and the 1800’s are your thing then this is a great read. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Romantic Fantasy”

Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Young Adult

~posted by Jessica W.

Young adult novels appeal to many people, often because of the plot-driven storylines, but also because they’re about people finding themselves through turmoil, whether it’s a breakup or the world literally ending.  The protagonist enters the book (or series) unsure and unformed, and leaves stronger, wiser, and often a leader in their world, whether it’s a high school or an entire universe.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Find Daughter of Smoke & Bone in the SPL catalogKarou lives two lives.  By day she’s an art student in Prague, with the requisite jerk boyfriend and fiercely loyal best friend.  But she’s also sent around the world to collect teeth for her monster family, her hair grows out of her head blue, and she has tattoos of eyes on the palms of her hands that have always been there.  When she comes home one day to find her family’s home a smoking ruin, her life is turned upside down and she finds out that her life isn’t what she thinks it is, and there are far more things in and out of this world than we can ever imagine.  Read if you like: angels, demons, doomed love stories, strong friendships, and tooth-based magic systems. Continue reading “Fantasy Checklist Challenge: Young Adult”