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Molly Wetta

Like, Try, Why: Magical or Supernatural Stories

While fantasy is often thought of as high or epic, like wizards and orcs and elves and hobbits having an “epic” battle,  there’s a lot more variety within various subgenres. The largest fantasy sub-genre is urban fantasy, which has its own section in the fiction loop at Lawrence Public Library.

Urban fantasy is just that, a blend of the magic and the mundane, where the reader encounters the supernatural in a real-world (usually) urban setting. The line between fantasy and urban fantasy is not always black and white, and some readers will enjoy books from both.

While all fantasy titles have some element of magic or the supernatural, they can fall all over the map otherwise, with some highly literary titles and others that are just fast-paced fun. Some have heavy romance subplots, some are all action and adventure. It’s an eclectic genre worth dipping your toes into if you’ve never tried it! Whether a dedicated fan or an urban fantasy newbie, one of these titles might interest you.

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Like, Try, Why: Books for Fans of BBC TV Shows

If you love watching BBC television shows, our latest like, try, why is for you! Whether your a fan of historical shows, sci-fi, or mysteries, there’s a book on here for you to check out. There’s a mix of memoirs, nonfiction, graphic novels, young adult fiction, and novels — something for everyone!  Read More..

Like Try Why: Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is the 2014 recipient of the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Her novels transcend the (artificial) division between literary and genre fiction. If you’ve never read Le Guin, this guide will give you a place to start, and if you’re already a fan, hopefully you’ll find a new book.  Read More..

Like, Try, Why: New Literary Fiction

If you are the reader who is always on the look out for the best in new literary fiction, we’ve got suggestions based on some of last year’s most popular literary fiction.  Read More..

Girls Gone Graphic!

I bought my first comic seven years ago.

Feeling unsure and out of place, I ventured up the steps to Lawrence’s local comic shop, Astro Kitty, to buy Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. As a longtime devotee of Joss Whedon’s TV show, I was thrilled when I learned it was going to continue in comic form, even if I didn’t have any experience with the format and had grown up thinking that it was just superhero stories that were really meant for boys who didn’t like to read (oh, how naive my younger self was). Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Short Stories

If you’ve ever lamented the fact that you can’t seem to finish a book due to a lack of reading time or been late back to work because you couldn’t put down the book you were reading on your lunch break, short story collections my be the solution to your reading woes. Here are some great literary collections to get you started.  Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Romantic Suspense

If you’re looking for action and love stories, chances are, you’re a fan of Romantic Suspense novels. The key factor in these novels is danger, whether it involves a murder investigation or a government conspiracy. Fans of this subgenre are in good company — it’s quite popular. Here are a handful of suggestions, and we’ve made a list of even more popular romantic suspense authors in the catalog. Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Stephen King Edition

Stephen King has not only a huge following, but an impressive and diverse body of work. For those looking for a creepy or scary tale this Halloween, he’s a favorite author. If you’re looking to branch out into some other novels that have that Stephen King feel, he have some suggestions. Find these titles in the catalog. Read More..

Like, Try, Why: Murakami Edition

Haruki Murakami has quite the cult following, and fans are getting a double dose of him this year. The recently released Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage will be followed up in December by The Strange Library, which sounds particularly interesting. For his avid fans looking to branch out into other works, here are some suggestions based on why readers are drawn to his various works. You also can find these titles listed in the catalog. Read More..

Down with the OED (Yeah, You Know Me)

It takes a certain kind of nerd to want to read the dictionary, and there’s even a name for it: logophile, or lover of words. I’m always been interested in obscure words and how definitions of certain words have changed over time. I was the kind of kid who read the dictionary for fun. Really.

I’m not quite ambitious enough to undertake reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary, but I was intrigued enough by the idea to read Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by Ammon Shea. In 26 chapters, Shea shares his experience reading every single word in the dictionary and documents the amusing words he discovers during the process. It was an interesting and entertaining read.

About the time I finished, my friend, an acquisitions editor at Oxford University Press, said she got an email at work asking for suggestions on words to add to the OED as well as nominations for word of the year (last year’s was selfie) and asked for ideas. While I couldn’t think of a word I thought warranted such an honor, it did get me thinking about how a word enters a dictionary, as well as how early dictionaries were compiled. Turns out, it’s quite a tale, and is documented in The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.  Read More..

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