Check It Out Category: Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Staff Digital Picks: Comics and Graphic Novels

Staff Digital Picks Comics and Graphic Novels image

Are you longing for story but finding it difficult to sink into a full-length book? You might find what you are looking for in comics and graphic novels! Drama, action, history, humor, fantasy, memoir, and romance are all on offer in a medium that combines art and language to deliver absorbing tales. Today our readers’ advisory staff spotlight their favorite selections available to you through the Library’s digital services, so you can sample without delay. Don’t forget to visit previous staff recommendations for what to read, watch, or listen to from home, and you are enthusiastically invited to request customized suggestions for titles in OverDrive or Hoopla might be a perfect match for your current mood.

 

New Kid book cover

New Kid by Jerry Craft
This tender-hearted graphic novel will touch anyone who has had to start over somewhere. 7th grader Jordan is forced to go to a new private school instead of art school like he so desires. During his first year at the school, he has to figure out ways to fit in, combat prejudice, and continue with art. This is a poignant, piercing story with amazing artistry, totally able to be binged in one sitting. ~Al N.  (also recommended by Kelda and Cathleen)

Available both on Hoopla as ebook and e-audio and on OverDrive as ebook and e-audio

 

saga volume 1 book cover

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn, illustrated by Fiona Staples

A series to get hooked on and there are plenty of volumes to keep you going. Get lost in the chase to hunt down these outlaws: a couple of star-crossed lovers (and baby makes three). Many adventures and thrills across various worlds in this literal sweeping saga. ~Chelsea

Nine collected volumes available on Hoopla or on OverDrive

 

Sugar Falls cover

Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Alexander Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson

A vivid narrative of abuse, survival, and resilience, this is one woman’s story of her experience with and survival of the Canadian residential schools that First Nations children were forced to attend. ~Allison L.

Access on Hoopla or on OverDrive

 

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson

Unrelenting optimism, faith in the goodness of others, healthy body positivity, and a cheerful sense of duty. This series is more than a bit silly, but that’s part of its charm – and all the more welcome in days such as these. ~Cathleen

Access multiple collected volumes via Hoopla

 

 

Super Late Bloomer cover

Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye

The succinct writing and illustrations puts a spotlight on Kaye’s vulnerability in sharing her transition in this illustrated memoir. Her focused chronicles of such a personal experience offer a chance to relate and/or bear witness to another person’s trials and happy moments during a pivotal period. ~Jenny

Access on Hoopla

 

Backstagers Vol 1 cover

Backstagers by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Rian Sygh

The stories and friendships of the behind-the-scenes crew of a high school drama club with touches of magic. ~Emily

Access multiple collected volumes and single issues on Hoopla

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer cover

Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Jordie Bellaire, illustrated by Dan Mora and Matt Taylor

The scooby gang reinvented and enjoying present day thrills and the usual chills. ~Chelsea

Access on Hoopla

 

Daytripper book cover

Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

As one of the characters testifies, this is a story “about life…but death has a big part in it,” but don’t let that keep you away. It is fantastical, heart-wrenching, and surprisingly uplifting, and the ethereal, meditative nature needs to be experienced to be truly appreciated. ~Cathleen

Access on Hoopla

 

Man-eaters book cover

Man-Eaters by Chelsea Cain, illustrated by Kate Niemczyk

One of my favorite satirical comics, Man-Eaters turns young women into cats, cats that men greatly fear. If you like satire and content that at the same time doesn’t take itself too seriously while also revealing more serious lessons about society, give this a try! ~Al N.  (also recommended by Chelsea)

Access multiple collected volumes on Hoopla

 

Hey Kiddo cover

Hey Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

A wonderful memoir confronting the topics of addiction in the family and using what one loves to find a way through it. ~Emily

Available both on OverDrive as ebook and e-audio and on Hoopla as e-audio

 

 

Royal City book coverRoyal City by Jeff Lemire

There are times when we read for escapism, but there is equal interest in reading to help make sense of the unexpected in life, of what doesn’t turn out as we believe it might when we are children. This is one of those stories. ~Cathleen

Access three collected volumes on Hoopla

 

Moonstruck Magic to Brew cover

Moonstruck by Grace Ellis, illustrated by Shae Beagle and Kate Leth

Magic, cute werewolves, baristas, and more encase this bubbly book. Join for the laughs and the many pals. ~Chelsea

Access two volumes on Hoopla

 

 

Fun Home coverChelsea recommends
Fun Home
by Alison Bechdel
Archie Christmas Classics coverDenise recommends
Archie Christmas Classics
by Bob Bolling, Frank Doyle, George Gladir and Al Hartley
illustrated by Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg and Bob White
March Book One coverChelsea recommends
March, Book One
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
illustrated by Nate Powell

Listen from Home: Staff Digital Audiobook Picks

Staff E-Audiobook Picks collage

Though your commute might be nonexistent these days, audiobooks can still keep you company during cooking and chores, on brief solitary walks, or for taking a break from others in the house. Earlier staff digital picks posts also include audio options, but today’s titles are uniquely recommended for the escape of their listening experiences. We can also help with customized suggestions for which titles in OverDrive or Hoopla might be a perfect match for your current mood.

How Not to Die Alone cover

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper
Looking to fill the Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine-shaped hole? This story features a quirky main character navigating life in a different way than his peers, met with challenges as his solitary and usual routine is disrupted by his need for friendship and maybe even love. ~Chelsea

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook and in Hoopla as libro en español

 

Fever 1793 cover

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

“Fever” begins to ravage Philadelphia in 1793. Maddie must survive the various consequences of the outbreak. ~Al

Available on Hoopla as e-audio and on OverDrive as e-audio (also in a second production)

 

Boys in the Boat book cover

 

The Boys in the Boat: Five Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown

For an impeccably written underdog story, not just for sports fans, listen to the comforting voice of celebrated narrator Edward Herrmann. ~Nancy

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and as ebook

 

You Bring the Distant Near cover

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

With a fantastic cast of narrators, this story focuses on inter-generational relationships as three generations of women deal with familial expectations and their own hopes and dreams. ~Abby

Listen via OverDrive

 

 

Skin Game book cover

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

The Dresden Files, a series centered on a Chicago-based wizard, is one of my go-tos for fun, fantastic, witty adventure in audio, and this inventive heist story set in the underworld is its own reward. ~Cathleen

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and as ebook

 

Trespasser cover

The Trespasser by Tana French

Dark but gripping mystery. Full of clever and unexpected twists and turns and a cast of fascinating and complex characters. The narrator is fabulous, but I’m a sucker for Irish accents. ~Liz

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

 

Mother-in-Law cover

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

This book, written as a dual narrative, was twisty, compelling, at times suspenseful, and I really just ate it up. ~Denise

Available on Hoopla as e-audio and on OverDrive as ebook

 

On Turpentine Lane cover

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

Warm and witty tale of a young woman who buys a house with a past. ~Laura

Available on OverDrive as ebook and on Hoopla as both e-audio and ebook

 

Girl with the Make-Believe Husband cover

 

 

The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn

Sweet and sexy. Charming main characters who fall in love through a case of memory loss and misunderstanding after Cecilia lied about being a wife to her brother’s friend to nurse him back to health and find her missing brother. Delightful audio. ~Liz

Available as e-audio via both OverDrive and Hoopla

 

Nocturnes audiobook cover

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro

In prose that evokes haunting melodies, master narrators take turns giving voice to musicians around the globe who must balance passion and idealism with the realities of making one’s way in the world. ~Cathleen

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

Last Days of Night coverThe Last Days of Night by Graham Moore

This entertaining and informative historical fiction follows rivals Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. ~Laura

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

My Not So Perfect Life cover

My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

A fun, light listen. I often found myself suppressing laughter while listening to this in public. Humorous, yet also an insightful look at social media obsession and the toll it can take on us all at times. ~Liz

Available on OverDrive as both e-audio and ebook

 

Staff Picks for Digital Reads and Listens

Need a new book to provide comfort, distraction, or insight during this time of social distancing? Our readers’ advisory staff have picked favorites that are available through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital book services with little or no wait! Check back twice each week for fresh digital recommendations of what to read, watch, or listen to, follow along on Goodreads, or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

accident book coverLaura recommends
The Accident by Chris Pavone
“a clever and suspenseful conspiracy thriller”
ebook and e-audio
hollywood homicide book coverAl recommends
Hollywood Homicide
by Kellye Garrett
“a fast-paced whodunit”
e-audio
familiars book coverLiz recommends
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“compelling and delightfully atmospheric”
e-audio

 

i love you so mochi book coverAbby recommends
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
“a sweet YA romance about following your own dreams and reconnecting with friends and family”
 e-audio and ebook
harrys trees book coverDenise recommends
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
for fans of A Man Called Ove
ebook and e-audio
book of joy book coverJenny recommends
The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama XIV & Desmond Tutu
“deep happiness and light humor radiate through this wide-ranging conversation between two individuals who have faced adversity”
e-audio and ebook

 

bel canto book coverNancy recommends
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
“offers escape through fascinating characters and gorgeous writing”
ebook and e-audio
they called us enemy book coverAndrea recommends
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
“really helped to put the discomforts of self-quarantine into perspective”
ebook
spellman files book coverCathleen recommends
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
“crackling narration, interesting twists, and full-throttle hilarity”
e-audio

 

conviction book coverDenise recommends
Conviction by Denise Mina
“delightfully twisty and suspenseful with a dash of humor!”
e-audio and ebook
one more thing book coverJenny recommends
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
“hilarious and smart short stories”
e-audio and ebook
nine women one dress book coverLaura recommends
by Jane L. Rosen
“charming, feel-good story”
ebook and e-audio

 

underground airlines book coverCathleen recommends
Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
“a smart, moody, tantalizing ride”
ebook and e-audio
spin the dawn book coverAbby recommends
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
“for readers who enjoy books by Sarah J. Maas or stories with fairy-tale elements”
ebook and e-audio
yellow house book coverAl recommends
The Yellow House
by Sarah M. Broom
National Book Award winner
New Orleans memoir
ebook

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society cover image
Nancy and Abby recommend
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“a warm-hearted book with likable characters”
ebook and e-audio
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleLiz recommends
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
“the narrator’s voice is superb; you will be immediately immersed in the the world of the story”
e-audio and ebook

 

New for Book Clubs: Dark Matter, The Name of the Wind, and Redeployment

Book groups come in all sizes and flavors. If you are part of a group that specializes in speculative or gritty stories, or if your ‘traditional’ group is ready for something not quite as traditional, you may be ready to meet one of our newest additions to the Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Check out earlier announcements one, two, and three, and watch for additional announcements each week!

Dark Matter Dark Matter book cover by Blake Crouch

suspenseful, intricately plotted, fast-paced
for fans of Peter Clines, R.J. Pineiro, and Harlan Coben

A mind-bending, relentlessly paced science-fiction thriller, in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious–and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

Goodreads Choice Award Runner-up: Best Science Fiction
LibraryReads Favorite
Loan Stars Favourite

 

Name of the Wind book coverThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

atmospheric, rich world-building, leisurely paced
for fans of Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, and Terry Goodkind

A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.

Publishers Weekly: Best Book of the Year
Alex Award
Reading List Award

 

Redeployment book coverRedeployment by Phil Klay

candid, haunting, darkly humorous
for fans of Tim O’Brien, Karl Marlantes, and Joseph Heller

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival.

National Book Award: Best Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
Time Magazine: Best Book of the Year

Exciting New Fiction Series to Discover

If you are looking for a new story world to explore and love the guarantee of multiple volumes ready-and-waiting, try one of these recent additions to the MPPL fiction collections:

Black Prism book coverLightbringer Series by Brent Weeks (5 books)

epic fantasy
for fans of George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss
*recent New York Times bestseller*

Start with The Black Prism
When Gavin Guile–high priest and emperor, the most powerful man in the world known to all as the Prism–discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

 

 

Truth or Beard book coverWinston Brothers series by Penny Reid (7 books)

contemporary romance
for fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson
*Goodreads Choice finalist*

Start with Truth or Beard
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain. But when she realizes that Duane is interested in her, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

 

Rosewater book coverWormwood Trilogy by Tade Thompson

science fiction; Afrofuturism
for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and James S.A. Corey

Start with Rosewater
Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious alien biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumored healing powers. Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again — but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realization about a horrifying future.

 

Sita book coverRam Chandra series by Amish (3 books)

historical fantasy; mythological fiction
for fans of Saladin Ahmed and G. Willow Wilson

Start with Scion of Ikshvaku
3400 BCE. India. A terrible war has taken its toll. The demon King of Lanka, Raavan, does not impose his rule on the defeated. He, instead, imposes his trade. The Sapt Sindhu people descend into poverty. They cry for a leader to lead them out of the morass. Little do they appreciate that a leader, a tortured and ostracized prince, is among them.