Friday, October 28, 2011

Want a site for quick book reviews complete with great graphics?

I think I’ve found it!

Audrey Hamelmer, a recent library school graduate, is a self-avowed bookworm (or bibliovermis, as she defines herself).  She loves to read AND loves to draw, and from these passions she’s created a very engaging website. Her reviews require minimal scrolling—that’s the quick. The artwork accompanying the text adds dimension to the words and provides a visual treat…and that’s great graphics!

Check out Ms. Hamelmer’s review of  Horns by Joe Hill for a Halloween shiver.

Dian H - Reference

Find the book in our catalog:  Horns by Joe Hill

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Holding Out for a Hero

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Dr. Impossible, the self proclaimed evil genius and master mind behind several plots to takeover the world has escaped from prison. His nemesis, the do-gooding, indestructible, hero called CoreFire is nowhere to be found. Now it is up to the Champions, a group of dysfunctional superheros, to track down Dr. Impossible and foil his latest scheme.

I think this book is good for a light read. It is funny at times, but also takes the time to develop the characters and their relationships to each other. At times the story is told from the point of view of Dr. Impossible, the misunderstood and under appreciated villain who has a flair for dramatic outfits and over the top inventions. At other times, the story is told from the point of view of Fatale, the newly created half-human cyborg who was recruited to fight with the Champions. I like how the story presents both sides, because it shows how sometimes there can be a very thin line between super hero and super villain.

At times, I wished the story had a little bit more action, and a little bit less back story of the characters. Overall though, I thought the book was entertaining, and would recommend it if you are looking for a grown-up read about people who fly around in tights saving the world, or create doomsday devices to destroy it.

Jenny R - Reference 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

(But Most Likely Because of the Haze from a Nuclear Winter or Because My Eyes Have Been Gouged Out in A Stoning)

Though I’m generally a glass half full, power of positive thinking kinda gal, I do have a darker side when it comes to my reading tastes.  I love bleak noir featuring troubled, hard-drinking private eyes.  I like true crime and serial killer thrillers.  I have a soft spot for horror, especially flesh-eating zombies. But most of all, I’m a real sucker for a good dystopian novel that tells of a bleak future, most likely involving post-apocalyptic hijinks or a good old fashioned theocratic, patriarchal government takeover. 

Dystopian novels have become a sub-genre unto themselves, categorized loosely under the Science Fiction umbrella.  Superfans will split hairs between P.A. (post apocalyptic) and straight up dystopian.  And of course there are the requisite sub-sub genres of ecotopian fiction, feminist utopias, etc.  One thing I’ve found in reading books of this ilk is that in the bleak future we’re all headed for, there’s a little something for every reading taste:

Lovers of classic literature can of course turn to the triumvirate of mid-twentieth century dystopian classics - Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and George Orwell’s 1984.  A lesser known work by a classic author is Jack London’s The Iron Heel, written in 1907 and considered to be the first “modern dystopian” novel.

Book clubbers will most certainly gravitate to one of the big books of this fall season, When She Woke by Hilary Jordan.  I just cracked this one and so far, it totally lives up to the hype and the critical praise, which describes it as “Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter via Margaret Atwood.”  I have read Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale several times and highly recommend it as a good book club pick as well. 

If you’re a fan of cult fiction and looking for a lesser-known book that will stand out in a crowd, try John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids, a great novel about bioengineered super plants with a killer opening scene.  Other cult faves include A Canticle for Leibowitz, wherein an order of monks must preserve scientific knowledge in a post-apocalyptic southwestern United States, and Alas, Babylon, set in Florida, centered around a one-day nuclear war, and is considered to be the first apocalyptic novel of the nuclear age.
As always, happy reading!

Susan , LPL Marketing