When I was a little girl, I lived in a very small town with a very small library, but I had a very big appetite for reading books. I devoured everything at my public library and, wanting more, my mother made the excellent parenting decision to allow me to purchase one book per week at the nearest now-defunct entertainment store (spoiler alert: it was Hastings). I resented her for making me make such a difficult decision (only one?!), but I took it on as a challenge to find the best book, and for the first time, I was completely overwhelmed by choices. Read More..
When I was in high school, my mom and I had a tradition of watching every marathon and every new episode of Gilmore Girls together, without fail. Growing up, all of my siblings had left the house once I was a teenager, and it was just my mom and I. We were pretty close, and related to the mother-daughter duo in Gilmore Girls (even though my mom hated Lorelai–which is pretty shameful, I know).
I thought this was unique to my mom and I, and it wasn’t until college that I encountered scores of people (women and men) who had this same tradition of sitting down every week with their mom to enjoy a show about a fast-talking pair of blue-eyed brunettes. Read More..
Indigenous Peoples’ Day was first officially discussed as a construct in the late 1970’s, but it wasn’t officially enacted until 1992 (the 500 year anniversary of Columbus’s fateful maiden voyage) in Northern California. The city of Berkeley declared October 12 of that year “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” in protest to the ever-problematic Columbus Day. Since then, other cities throughout the country have celebrated this counter-holiday to honor the expansive and regionally unique indigenous cultures and their rich histories. Tragically, these histories were blighted due to European interventions: many were forced to abandon their own sacred cultures and lands to assimilate, and many were victims of the mass genocide of Native peoples. Indigenous Peoples’ day is a show of continental unity and acknowledgement of tribal heritages, so what better way to participate than by reading books written by and about indigenous peoples? Read More..
Autumn is almost an ethereal time of the year–there is magic in the air with the crisp scent of cold air returning and fireplaces being utilized; there is a specific kind of beauty in leaves changing color and pumpkins being present on every doorstep. With cultural traditions underway, what’s better than kicking off the change in seasons by reading a few good books? So, put on your favorite sweater, sip that pumpkin spice latte, and crack open one of these titles that will surely put you in the mood for more eerie or atmospheric reads. Read More..
I have a confession to make: I used to be one of those people who looked down their nose at graphic novels and comics and openly judged others for reading them. In frustration, I even said once, “It’s not really reading! It’s just a bunch of pictures!” (Yeah, I know. #cringeworthy).
Sorry, everyone, for my past-self being such a huge jerk. You will be happy to know that I have since cooled my jets when it comes to judging how, or what, others read. Reading is such a personal experience, and I am now a firm believer that any amount of reading is important, and it counts, even if it’s just the back of your cereal box in the morning. Read More..
Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s time to travel to new places and embark on a wondrous adventure (even if it’s only in your living room, curled up with a cool drink and a great book). We’ve put together a list of some more eclectic beach reads to help you get a jumpstart on your Summer Reading goals.
So leave your highbrow, literary nonsense at the door and enjoy some of the best new releases in genre fiction – with a bonus memoir thrown in for good measure.
Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H.P. Wood
Equal parts Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Geek Love, Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet tells the story of Kitty, a young girl whose mother mysteriously vanishes during their trip to Coney Island in 1904. Finding herself alone, Kitty stumbles upon Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet – a side show of human oddities who agree to help her locate her missing mother. It has plenty of humor, intrigue, and an eccentric, Lovecraftian creepiness that lingers underneath this fascinating world. H.P. Wood has crafted an amazing ensemble cast, so if character driven stories are your jam, this one is a must read.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Set in a hidden library connected to multiple parallel universes, The Invisible Library follows Irene, an immortal librarian sent on a quest to Victorian England to retrieve a rare manuscript while accompanied by her trainee Kai. However, this isn’t your typical England, as there are all sorts of supernatural creatures and mechanical anachronisms. The Invisible Library is a page turner that effortlessly blends elements of Doctor Who and Ghostbusters into an imaginative adventure that will make you wish you could join the hallowed ranks of the librarians.
The Fireman by Joe Hill
It all started with Draco Incendia Trychophyton: a plague that causes gold and black markings on the skin and develops into a fatal conflagration that sets the world’s populous ablaze. And, there is no cure. Here enters our Mary Poppins-esque heroine Harper Grayson, a school nurse who finds out she is both infected and pregnant. Now, Harper just needs to survive until she can give birth to her child – hopefully infection free. Both heart wrenching and intense, Joe Hill’s latest work provides an innovative portrait of the future with plenty of captivating, horror-infused weirdness.
Dr. Strange by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo
Kansas City writer Jason Aaron brings Doctor Strange to new, reality bending heights in this contemporary Marvel series. The unknown Empirikul are set on purifying magic from every dimension, and it’s up to Dr. Strange, as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, to protect the planet and save magic itself. Artist Chris Bachalo has done a spectacular job of visual worldbuilding with bold color selections and a meticulous attention to detail. Be sure to give this a read before the upcoming Doctor Strange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch premieres this November.
Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
Best-selling author Mary Kubica does it again in this fast-paced and twisted psychological thriller that will delight fans of both Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins. When Quinn’s friend and roommate Esther goes missing in downtown Chicago, she finds a mysterious letter in Esther’s personal possessions, which makes Quinn question everything she knew about her friend. Meanwhile, a young man in a small Michigan harbor town is drawn to a beautiful and mysterious woman new to town, who isn’t all that she seems. This book is a suspenseful thrill ride perfect for a summer afternoon!
In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
Widely known for her roles as Maritza Ramos on Orange is the New Black and Lina on Jane the Virgin, actress and activist Diane Guerrero has channeled her talent towards writing in this emotional and personal memoir of her experiences as the child of undocumented immigrants. Guerrero’s biggest fear became a reality at the young age of fourteen, when her parents were deported while she was in school. Guerrero’s own struggles bring to light the stories of countless children born in the US to undocumented immigrants and fosters a sense of humanity with the issues surrounding immigration. It is a truly memorable read.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
When new girl Amanda Hardy meets Grant, Amanda can’t help but like him as they spend more and more time together. However, as much as she wants to open up to him, Amanda is afraid to share all of her secrets—like how at her former school, she was known as Andrew. If I Was Your Girl is a contemporary young adult novel about being true to yourself and finding acceptance, with a love story anyone can root for. This book is particularly inclusive because not only is the main character a trans* woman, as well as the author, and the cover model!
A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal
A Front Page Affair is the first book in a brand new mystery series about a young journalist named Capability “Kitty” Weeks. Set in 1915 New York just after the sinking of the Lusitania, Kitty would love nothing more than to report on stories other than fashion and society gossip. However, her roles as a female journalist are limited…That is, until a man is murdered at a high society picnic on her beat! Determined to show what type of reporting she can really do, Kitty is thrown into a wartime conspiracy that threatens the stability of her country as well as her own privileged life.
-Fisher Adwell and Kimberly Lopez are Public Services Assistants at Lawrence Public Library
There are only a few days left in Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate than to discuss one of my favorite authors of all time?
Juliet Marillier primarily writes adult fantasy, though she has also published two young adult fantasy series. Her work often combines fantasy with historical fiction, folklore, romance, and mystery in her most recent series. A New Zealander by birth, Marillier now lives in Western Australia, where, when she isn’t writing, she likes to spend her free time fostering elderly dogs for her local animal rescue group. This is a woman after my own heart. Read More..
“Your entire sense of self-worth is predicated upon your belief that you matter, that you matter to the universe.
But you don’t.
Because we are the ants.” Read More..
On January 12, 2010, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti and devastated large parts of the country, essentially leveling the major city of Port-au-Prince. It is estimated up to 160,000 people lost their lives, though some figures go as high as 316,000. Read More..
The piercing sound of your alarm goes off at exactly 8:32 am, a sound that can only be described as “dying space robot whales” but is labelled as “Sci-fi” on your phone. You roll out of bed, grudgingly, and stumble to your bathroom, bleary-eyed and groggy. After a late night of binge-watching Netflix (will Luke and Lorelei finally get together?!!), you’re almost afraid to glance at yourself in the mirror and catch yourself looking like a troll. You look in the mirror, anyways.
Your hair is wild and crazy, yet flat on one side, your eyes are crusty and slightly bloodshot, and there is a pillow indentation on the left side of your face. Sigh. You say out loud, “You look… AWESOME.” Read More..