Four Flights of Fantasy for Your Listening Pleasure

Tired of looking longingly out your window while stuck inside? Then escape into these fantastic worlds each offering endless hours of aural pleasure! Each of these first books in their respective series represent a different flavor in the enormous fantasy pie. Have a slice, or better yet try them all! Happy listening.

 The Belgariad Series by David Eddings, read by Cameron Beierle

Book 1: Pawn of Prophecy

[Epic Fantasy] For fans of classic Epic Fantasies featuring Good vs Evil and a band of adventurers on an epic quest like The Lord of the Rings and the Shannara series.
This epic fantasy classic is filled to the brim with all of the tropes and archetypes that have come to define the epic fantasy genre. The book opens with an excerpt from an ancient text- a historical accounting of sorcerers and magic, gods and mortals, and a wondrous orb of untold power. Then the story begins in earnest on a small farm in a serene countryside. There an orphan boy named Garion is about to take his first steps towards fulfilling his destiny. On his journey, fraught with danger and secrets waiting to be revealed, he will be guided by his Aunt Pol, an old vagrant storyteller who he calls Mister Wolf, and an ever-growing cast of adventurers. Following in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring and Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara, David Eddings’ The Pawn of Prophecy rightfully takes its place on the shelf aside those masterworks of epic fantasy. Continue reading “Four Flights of Fantasy for Your Listening Pleasure”

Always Open: Fictional Libraries and Bookstores

While we all ache and yearn to return to the dusty stacks where we find so much enjoyment, enlightenment, and entertainment, here are a selection of available eAudiobooks featuring Libraries and Bookstores that are always open!

Midnight at Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan, read by Madeleine Maby
This dark and suspenseful thriller starts with a suicide in the Bright Ideas Bookstore. When clerk Lydia Smith discovers the body of one of her favorite patrons inside the bookstore, she begins to unravel the puzzle behind the young man’s suicide and finds that he is somehow linked to her own disturbing and violent past- much of which has remained unsolved.
[Thriller]

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, read by Ari Fliakos
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore is not at all what it seems. From the outside what merely appears to be an old used bookstore is in reality a repository for centuries old secrets. New clerk Clay Jannon is determined to decipher the clues found in the books within to finally bring these ancient secrets to light. An ode to the love of books and bookstores, Robin Sloan blends old knowledge and technology to craft a wondrous adventure spanning the invention of the printing press to the present day.
[Fiction] Continue reading “Always Open: Fictional Libraries and Bookstores”

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

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.com is 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”

Fantastic Librarians of the Future!!

Many years ago – back in the ‘oughts – we did a couple of popular posts on librarians in fiction, and in fantasy. Since then, librarians have only stepped up their fictional game, appearing in more and more novels, not so surprising when we consider that many authors basically grew up in libraries. They pop up in all genres, from Romance to Mystery to literary fiction from around the world, such as Dag Solstad’s T. Singer, Jennifer Tseng’s Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera’s The Awakening of Miss Prim, or Jenny Offill’s novel Weather. But most of all, librarians appear in the extraordinary realms of science fiction, fantasy and magical realism. Here are a few recent examples: find more on our list in the catalog.

Continue reading “Fantastic Librarians of the Future!!”

If You Like Game of Thrones

“Wait – what?! Literally NONE of this happened on TV!!”

Frustrated that George RR Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series still isn’t finished, or that the TV spinoff is? Either way, if you’re looking for fresh  fantastical worlds to lose yourself in, replete with political machinations, bloodthirsty scheming and shocking twists, here are some recent epic fantasy series starters for you to dive into.

Continue reading “If You Like Game of Thrones”