My name is Zach, I've been with McLean and Eakin for a few years now and I am still loving every second I spend here. I didn't really find my love for books until early high school when one of my teachers lent me a copy of Slaughterhouse 5. I've been a slave to the bookstore ever since. I've expanded to my love of reading to Graphic Novels and General Fiction - not just Classics anymore. I've been around the world and back a couple of times and there is still no place I'd rather be then McLean and Eakin, hunting for that next best book.
Almost a year ago, I wrote a review for The Blade Itself, book one in the First Law trilogy. Since then I have devoured all of Abercrombie's books, and I can confidently say that he is the contemporary King of dark fantasy. Although Best Served Cold is set in the world of the First Law, it is a stand-alone, and you don't need to have read his previous books to enjoy this Kill Bill-esque revenge story.Monza Murcatto was born to a humble farmer and planned to live a quiet life tending the fields, before her life was ripped out from under her. She and her brother (Benna) joined a mercenary group who fought at the will of the Grand Duke. That is, until the Grand Duke decided to throw Monza and her brother out a window for treason. Benna sadly didn't survive the fall, and Monza barely did. Broken and sworn to avenge her brother, she makes a list of everyone involved in his death and will stop at nothing until the rivers run red with their blood.Hands down this is the best revenge story I have ever read. Filled with treachery and betrayal, love and honor, Best Served Cold is a book that will have you shouting in the darkness because you stayed up way too late reading.
Vikings are badass. Now imagine a Viking fantasy world with trolls, dragons, and dead Gods. Ragnarok ("the cataclysmic destruction of the cosmos and everything in it") has happened, the gods have fallen, and all that's left of them is their bones scattered around the world. Magic and power fill these bones, if you are brave enough to find them.Okra is a warrior turned homesteader, just trying to live a simple life when her husband is killed, and her son is stolen. Elvar is born to nobility, but finds more comfort in a blade than she does in fancy dinner parties. Varg has been a thrall (a slave) his whole life. When he can't take it anymore, he murders his master and sets off to find a better world than he has ever known.We follow these three heroes as they fight their bloody way through a monster-filled world. Evil lurks behind every shadow, and the descendants of the old gods live in hiding, since their blood is viewed as tainted. What could be more badass?! This is the first book in a new trilogy, and I encourage you to fill your horn with mead and begin this adventure with me. Skol!
(Please note that you will want all three books in the series. Click here to access all at once. You're welcome.)The Shadow of What was Lost had been sitting on my shelf at home for around three years. This isn't uncommon when you have enough books sitting around to construct a (to scale) replica of the Empire State Building using books instead of bricks. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway... It just sat there, on my bookshelf, catching my eye every time I looked over, just waiting for me to pick it up. When the Jumanji drum beats became too loud to bear, I picked it up and became totally and completely obsessed. Within just two weeks I had read all three books in the trilogy and had no one to talk to about it. How lucky am I that I can now tell all of you about the best fantasy trilogy I've ever read. (okay, that is a bold statement as most of you know how die hard I am for the Kingkiller Chronicles, but until Rothfuss releases book three, Licanius has the crown)The story follows Davian, Asha, and Wirr, all gifted students of the school of magic. Disaster strikes early in their education and they are forced apart, each with their own fate to follow. Davian is pushed into a world of magic and old gods, unlike anything he has ever dreamed. Wirr's history comes back to push him into the spotlight, and Asha is destined for greatness whether she is ready for it or not. Is their story already written in the final ink of fate, or will their choices make a difference in the end? Ancient evil lurks in the shadows as our heroes are tested to their limits and beyond. James Islington has created a world that you will get lost in, characters that you will call your friends, and a story that gets better and better every time you turn the page.
Having never read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I was ill prepared for the emotional impact of Susanna Clarke's writing. In under 250 pages the reader is taken into a labyrinth of a house, where magic exists if you look closly.
Piranesi is a boy who lives in an infinitely large house, where the hallways never end, and the ocean lives within the walls, surging and terrifying. Piranesi has learned how to navigate the dangers. Not knowing why he is there, or what exists beyond its walls, he lives to explore it's halls. The only other person who lives in the house is referred to as the "other" and he needs Piranesi's help to find A Great and Secret Knowledge that may or may not be just beyond their reach.
Go into this book with nothing more than what I've said here. Just like the house, this book contains magic within its pages if you know where to look. Let Piranesi be your guide and enjoy the journey, I know I did.
Okay you guys. As you probably have guessed, I LOVE board games. Big, complicated, sometimes confusing board games. It's very rare that I will play something and think "Wow, that was really easy to learn and would be great for kids". I ordered a single copy of Fireball Island for myself and knew right away I would need many, many more to sell in the bookstore.
Fireball Island was a game originally from the 80s (with some incredible commercials (insert link here)) that people loved so much they decided to re-release it. But this time it's bigger and better than ever. You play as explorers on a volcanic island in search for treasure. You have to be fast, because there isn't enough time to grab everything, and you have to be strategic, because at almost every turn your FRIENDS THROW GIANT FIREBALLS AT YOU and steal your treasure. How rude.
Think "Mouse Trap," but bigger and more fun. I can't stress how awesome this game is, or how perfect it is for kids around the age of 7-10. (or a 30 year old dork who can't help himself.) There aren't many of these, so get it now before the holidays come and it's out of stock, and remember... Adventure Awaits on Fireball Island!
There are only a few books that I've read straight through - none as voraciously as I'm Thinking of Ending Things. This novel follows a young couple traveling to his parents' house in the middle of the countryside, but the whole ride Jake's unnamed girlfriend is "thinking of ending things." Not knowing why, we are at the mercy of the girlfriend's thoughts as she ponders their relationship and why it's surely, inevitably doomed. Reaching the farmhouse is just the beginning, as we find out that Jake's parents might not be as normal and loving as he made them sound, and we learn the deep dark secret that our narrator is hiding.
The creeping dread I felt from reading it lasted weeks after I finished: Iain Reid paints a bleak landscape where everything that could go wrong does, but the prose is so beautiful that you can't look away. The quote on the back of the book says "You will be scared. But you won't know why" and nothing could be more true. If you liked Gone Girl or The Marsh King's Daughter but thought it could use a lighter sprinkling of sinister undertones, this book is perfect for you.
Imagine a tabletop game that is the perfect mix of air-hockey and soccer. In Klask each player controls a pawn with a magnet from the underside of the table, your aim is to hit a marble sized ball into the goal on your opponent's side of the board. Each goal equals one point. Seems easy right? You'd be mistaken, as there are three magnetic "biscuits" that sit in the center of the board, and if you get them stuck to your pawn, you lose. The result of all this is a wacky, fast-paced game that is fun for all ages and skill levels.
Lets face it, 2020 has been a strange year for everyone, and when gathering in large groups might not be the best idea, a quick and easy two-player game seems just right. Klask is a game we discovered last year, quickly fell in love with, and even challenged some customers in the store while they were shopping. The unfortunate thing is, in the case of Klask, demand doesn't necessarily influence supply as we sold out at the end of the last year and haven't been able to get more... Until now. Be warned, once this lovely game is gone, it will probably be another year before we can get our hands on more. It's never too early to think Christmas!
In the neverending quest to find a fantasy book I enjoyed as much as The Name of The Wind, I stumble across some backlist gems that I can't believe I haven't read. The Blade Itself may be the best I've found. It follows Logan Ninefingers, one of the greatest Northern warriors who has ever lived but has been exiled for a crime he didn't commit. Logan has been wandering the Southern cities without purpose, when he meets Magus Bayaz. They set off on an epic quest to try and save the kingdom from an evil King, clear Logan's name, and reclaim Bayaz's place on the grand council.
The thing I liked most about this book, and what I think is missing from most contemporary fantasy, is the complexity of the characters. People are flawed, and they have to live with what they have done. Joe Abercrombie executes this perfectly as characters' secrets start to surface, and people you may have been rooting for throughout the whole book, might not be as noble or honorable as you thought they were. This is perfect for anyone who loves Game of Thrones but thinks Westeros could use a sprinkle of hope. Not too much though, just a sprinkle.
For those of you who remember Hannah and Angelo, you've probably had V.E. Schwab's books energetically and passionately recommended to you, and for good reason. She is a master storyteller and her new book is definitely one of my favorites of 2020 so far.
Addie LaRue is a farmer from a poor family in 1714 France. All she wants to do is get out of the only small town she has ever known. She goes to sleep at night thinking about what the world might look like beyond the farm. When her father arranges a marriage with the son of a local wealthy family, she knows that she is destined to be stuck forever. She prays and prays that something will happen to free her from the clutches of normal life, and one night, the devil answers her prayers. The cost of being free is immortality, but she can never leave a mark on the world, and people only remember her for as long as they can see her. The story takes place in 1714 France where Addie must learn how to navigate a world where no one remembers her, and 2018 New York, where she has finally found a way to free herself from the Devil's grasp. But at what cost?
I am telling you about this book now, so you can prepare yourself for one of the most amazing reads of the year. Pre-order it, save it in your phone, put a sticky note on the fridge, whatever it takes to remember. This is a book I will be talking about for a very, very long time. Addie LaRue deserves to be remembered.
Artemis Fowl was one of my favorite books growing up. I loved Artemis almost as much as I loved Harry and Ron. Eoin Colfer has a knack for building imaginative worlds full of adventure and awe. Highfire is his first ever Adult Fantasy novel, and may be his biggest adventure yet.
Meet Lord Highfire Vern, the world's last dragon. His kind used to rule the skies with dignity and grace, now after The Great Dragon Purge, Vern is all alone. Forced to go into hiding, Vern landed himself in a swamp cave in southern Alabama. Content to drink Vodka and watch Netflix for the rest of his lonely life, Vern was very surprised to find a teenage boy wandering around in his humble cave. Squib (the boy) is in big trouble with local law for something he didn't do. Vern has an important decision to make, torch the boy and forget he ever existed (Vern is NOT a fan of humans), or help him. Join Vern and take to the skies with this hilariously profane adventure about a boy who needs help, and a dragon who needs a friend.
You may already know Lily King from her NY Times bestselling book Euphoria. It took the book world by storm in 2014. Following that kind of success isn't an easy task, but she has done it. Writers and Lovers is a story about Casey, a young woman in 1997 who just moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts after the sudden death of her mother. Lost and unsure of what to do with her life, she gets a job as a waitress all the while writing the novel she has been working on for years. Determined to live a creative life, she is willing to risk everything to leave a mark on this world.
Writers and Lovers is painfully familiar; it's a love story, a redemption story, a story about grief, and a story that forces you to feel what Casey feels. Lily King has managed to capture two entirely different emotions in this book, one being that you will never live up to your full potential, and the other being the hope that if you put everything you have into something you love, it will eventually pay off. This book will completely destroy you, then put you back together, piece by piece, better than you were before.
With the right mixture of 59 elements, and about $151,500 (according to the Royal Society of Chemistry) you have everything you need to make a complete human body. Well, kind of. There is just that bugger of consciousness and we're not really sure how to make that work yet.For years, I have been told that Bill Bryson is not an author to miss, and yet somehow his books never made it out of my "to be read, soon, maybe" list. That all changed with his new book, The Body. I now completely understand why people have been trying to shove A Walk in the Woods down my throat for the last 10 years: Bill Bryson is amazing.In The Body, Bryson takes us on a journey deep inside what it means to be human, from the tips of our toes to the top of our head. I have never read such a fun book that is so full of facts and scientific information. For example, did you know that if you put all of the DNA strands in your body together it would stretch TEN BILLION MILES? That is past Pluto! Be warned though, with all of the crazy fun trivia about the human body in this book, there are equal amounts of information about what could and can go wrong. So here is what I suggest: Wash your hands, buy this book, schedule a doctor's visit, and be prepared to have the most fun you can possibly have reading a science book.
Sabriel was born in the Old Kingdom where magic runs free, but her birth was a great tragedy. Her mother didn't make it, and Sabriel died just a few short minutes later. By luck, Abhorsen, the world's greatest necromancer, was nearby and sensed their recent departures. He knew he didn't have enough time to bring both of them back, so he slipped into the river of death to bring back the baby. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle. Sabriel opened her eyes for the second time, born again, the daughter of Abhorsen.
Eighteen years later, Sabriel is graduating from college in the New Kingdom and is no stranger to death. Being the daughter of a necromancer, she has learned that just because something dies doesn't mean it's gone forever. The last night in her dorms, she has a visitor from beyond death. It's Abhorsen, he's dead, and if Sabriel doesn't find his body soon, it might be too late to save him. She must travel into the Old Kingdom, where a dark and dangerous magic is rising, to bring her father back from death just has he did for her.
Garth Nix has managed to write a book where the magic is so real, it seeps from the book, and finds its way into your heart. Join Sabriel on this epic journey into foreign lands where danger lurks behind every corner, and remember... death is just the beginning.
And don't miss our upcoming event with Garth Nix for his next book, Angel Mage. Click here for details.
Ocean Vuong is an Eliot Prize-winning poet. You would never know that On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is his first novel. His writing is so lyrical, and it flows with the ease of reading a well-crafted couplet. The novel is mostly autobiographical and follows a young Vietnamese american boy and his mother as he tries to understand what being American really means. His mother is both a kind, culturally driven woman who wants to see whats best for her son, and also is regularly violently abusive. She is bi-polar. Ocean doesn't understand why his mother can love him more than anything one second, and raise her fist to him the next. That being said, this is not a story about abuse, it's a story about identity. At a young age Ocean knew he wanted to be more than what came before him, and that while clinging to old traditions is comfortable, it's not what he wanted to define him.
Ocean's story is a punch directly to the stomach, but his words are so beautiful that you can't help but keep reading. Just like a long poem, every single word of this book is exactly where it needs to be. I listened to this book on Libro.fm and if you've seen me sobbing in my car at a stop light, I wanted to make sure you knew that it's not all sad. Ocean weaves a thread of hope that reminds you there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark.
Recursion is the story of Barry, a detective who is off the book investigating False Memory Syndrome. A new condition where you gain the memories of an entirely different life than the one you are living now; and they are hauntingly real. It's also the story of Helena, ten years earlier - a scientist trying any way she can to preserve the memories of her mother who suffers from late-stage Alzheimer's. She has developed a chair that can record and store memories, and she just got the funding to build it.
For a book that will be classified as Science Fiction, this story carries the total weight of human emotion. Can you imagine remembering children you didn't have; husbands and wives that feel as real as your own; whole lives that may or may not be better than the life that you are currently living? Which memories are real? And if who we are is because of our past, who are we when we have multiple pasts? Recursion is a thought experiment taken to the absolute limit, told with carefully beautiful prose, and the wit and intelligence of a master storyteller. This was my first time reading Blake Crouch and it was an absolute pleasure. I will be diving into his previous novels and eagerly awaiting everything to come.
Fourteen-year-old Rose got a bike for her birthday. She has been wanting a new bike all year, so in a fit of excitement, she immediately takes it for a spin. Riding through the woods behind her house in Deadwood is just about the most fun young Rose has ever had until she falls into a hole in the earth. Stunned, she wakes up in the palm of a giant metal hand. Little did she know that seventeen years later she would be reluctantly leading the investigation as more and more giant metal bodyparts surface around the globe.
Sleeping Giants is the first in a faced-paced Scifi thriller told in entirely interview format. (Think Name of the Wind and/or Interview with a Vampire.) Sylvain Neuvel is one to watch as he brings a fresh new voice to the genre. Not since World War Z has there been a first-hand account of a story larger than life. How can you go wrong with giant robots, mystery, and the biggest threat to humanity we have ever seen? Don't sleep on Sleeping Giants.
Bobby Hall, or as you may know him, Logic, has written a very strange book in Supermarket. This strange book has much, much more going on than I would have thought possible from this first time novelist. Don't judge a rapper by his face tattoos, because this book packs a Palahniuk-tasting-punch.
Flynn is a normal 20 something year old living at home, trying to figure out what to do with his life. Until he gets a book deal on the 15ish pages he submitted about a person working in a supermarket. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, he decides to throw himself into book research and get a job working at the local grocery store. This is when he meets Frank and when things get weird. As in: "don't believe a word you read" weird. It's also when this novel takes flight.
Logic wrote a damn good story, and he wants to share it with all of us. Don't miss the boat here, because Bobby Hall has.
Clay Cooper is an old hat at monster killing. He used to be part of "Saga," the most legendary band of monster-slaying mercenaries ever. But now he is old, and his band mates are scattered around the world living the best post-hero lives they can with wives, children, and far less dragon killing than the good ol' days. Then, one night, Clay is on his way home from the bar and is met by an old leader of Saga, Golden Gabe. Gabe explains that his daughter Rose has grown up, and is as much of a hero as he ever was. She's a courageous fighter, and now people cheer her name when she comes into town. Only she's been captured. She is in a besieged city across the massive (deadly, monster-ridden) Heartwyld forest. The only way to save her is to get the old band back together for one final quest.
I am always on the hunt for a good fantasy novel, and it seems like it's been a long while since I've read one that has captured me as completely as Kings of the Wyld. Nicholas Eames weaves together a story that is so full of heart, it will have you standing and cry-clapping by the end of it. Not only that, but he has put together a soundtrack for the book, so you can hear the music that inspired each chapter.
This is not a book for the faint of heart. Much like Charles Bukowski, Jude writes with an uncensored brutality that'll make you squirm. The main difference is when Bukowski is talking about drinking wine and smoking cigarettes, Jude is talking about drinking whiskey and doing much harder drugs.
That being said, it's not a book about drugs. It's more a book about understanding the difference between being down on your luck, and being completely and unconditionally screwed. (Which tends to be a theme.) Life can beat you to the ground and kick you over and over again. Jude is here to show us the worst of his hard times, and teach us that things always get better.
Anyway, I loved every cringe-worthy word. Even though his stories will break your heart, I think you'd like it too.
Warning: This book is full of carbs!After graduating college, Lois gets a job working in San Francisco for a Robotics factory that aims to replace the workforce entirely with robots. The employees at General Dexterity tend to work non-stop, and Lois quickly learns that she must change some aspects of her life to keep up with the hustle of big industry.Doing this for some time turns our lovely Lois into a sleepless zombie. The only comfort she finds is in the restaurant below her apartment complex. She gets the same thing every time, hot soup and a slice of their homemade sourdough bread. This food is one of the only things that keep her going. When she finds their doors closed for good, she falls back into the same old routine as before. Until one day, the owner brings her the famous sourdough starter that he used to bake his bread. This small culture will change everything for Lois and send her headfirst into a world she's never known.
"Don't Try."This is a phrase I first read about fifteen years ago when I first started reading Bukowski. I've never been much of a self help reader, so I paid very little attention to Subtle Art when it first came in. When I finally had a copy in my hand and opened it to chapter one,there it was: "Don't Try." I was sold right then.Mark Mason's book is laced with comedy, profanity, and philosophical insight. Manson has the idea that we would be much happier as a society if we gave less of an emotional response to the little things, and focused our emotions on larger, more important issues. The book reads like you are talking to your best friend, and the topics range from honesty and identity, all the way to death. If you are like me and don't want to be told how to live your life, but enjoy talking to friends about it, grab a copy of this book and "Don't Try."
Imagine for a second, "What if the dollar became useless?" Imagine the fallout that would follow. The Savage is Frank Bill's follow up to Donnybrook, a world where money has become useless, and it's become increasingly difficult to know the difference between right and wrong. (Side note: you don't need to have read Donnybrook to read this book)We follow Van Dorn, a man raised by his father to respect the land and to respect righteousness above all else. There is a warlord named Cotto who has been stealing women and holding them hostage all over what used to be Indiana. Van Dorn has made it his personal mission to find and free these starving, beaten women. What follows is a bloody walk through the chaos of the end of the world. If you take The Road by Cormac McCarthy, sprinkle in a little bit of "Mad Max," and turn the voltage on high, you'll get close to The Savage.
Amidst all the current controversy about immigrants in our country, Edward Lee decided to take to the streets and tear down some proverbial walls. I fell in love with Lee after his first book, “Smoke and Pickles,” which is an incredible cookbook blending the flavors of the American South and traditional Korean cuisine. In his new book, “Buttermilk Graffiti,” Lee brings to light questions about tradition, authenticity, and culture as he travels to see how immigrant food changes the way we eat.
Scattered throughout, are recipes from his acclaimed restaurant, 610 Magnolia in Louisville, and recipes he has learned through his travels. Lee encounters hundreds of people and gives us their stories. For example, there is a Cambodian couple in Massachusetts trying to bring back the flavors from their country, and Lee brings their story and their food to life with his words. I may never be able to try one of Lee’s dishes, but as long as he keeps writing, I will be able to experience it second hand in my own kitchen. I think you should too
In fiction, the author paints a world for the reader to get lost in. In memoir, the author recounts the past, as best they can, to show us their life. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, Tom Malmquist blurs these lines. “I want people to understand the story and feelings in my book and worry less about me” Tom said to me over a beer at Winter Institute in Memphis. About 6 years ago, tragedy struck this man out of nowhere, and changed his life forever.
Tom’s longtime partner Karin is pregnant with their first child, a little girl. As she is nearing the end of her pregnancy she gets very, very sick. No one knew that she was suffering from a deadly, incurable disease. Karin dies, but the baby lives. Tom is heartbroken, and to top it all off, his father dies only a few months later. This is a story of loss, of grief, and of redemption. When I asked him how he kept going, he only said one word, “Love.” Love can pick you up when there is nothing left, love can help you raise a child all alone, and love can give you the strength to write such a terrible, beautiful story.
Magnus Nilsson is the owner and creative genius behind Faviken, one of the most highly esteemed restaurants in the world. What makes him so interesting is that he only uses ingredients that he can harvest within just a few miles from his restaurant. He and his crew often go on morning foraging walks in the summer, and pickle and preserve so they have food for the restaurant in the winter.
He has only published a couple books in the past, and none of them ever had any baking recipes in them. The Nordic Baking Book is the holy grail of baking, and it's not even just a cookbook, it is a love letter to good food and the people who care about what they eat. It has recipes ranging from master level technicality, to as easy as traditional pancakes. This is a must have for any baking lover, and anyone who appreciates good, locally sourced ingredients.
You may know Matty from his multitude of YouTube channels and projects. He has also had a show on Viceland where he explores different ingredients and where they come from. Picking up this book, the first thing you will notice about it is its heft. This was no small feat in the making. Matty has been spending years compiling his favorite recipes from his travels, and trying to recreate dishes from his past. Recipes range from a bologna bowl (don't ask.. just try it) to grilled beef tongue.
Not only are the recipes amazing in this book, so is the narrative. Matty is telling us the story of his life and success through his food. If you've seen him before you know he doesn't hold anything back and may be known to speak his mind openly, almost a crass Bourdain. If you are looking for a book that will inspire you, make you laugh, and give you hope for the future of food, look no further.
Simon Stalenhag is famous for his artwork and storytelling in Sweden and has funded all of his work through Kickstarter. This is the first time his gorgeous work is getting widespread attention with a beautiful oversized hardcover. In The Electric State we follow a teenage girl and her pet robot wandering around the deserted wasteland that was 1990s United States. The ground is littered with the remains of giant robots and the discarded tech of an advanced society. The young girl is trying to get to the ocean. She's not sure why, but that seems like the right place to go. As she gets closer and closer, things outside seem less civilized than ever before, and the hope and spark in her heart slowly starts to fade. Simon has done the impossible here with absolutely stunning paintings on every page and a story that will leave you begging for more.
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Cherry is a book that is sweeping the nation with rave reviews. This semi-autobiographical novel is about a young man with a troubled youth, no luck with love, and desperate for a change. He joins the army and gets sent abroad to fight for his country. There he learns what it is like to really feel alive. He gets sent home, weary from 132 missions in Iraq and PTSD ridden, to a town that has forgotten him and a wife who has moved on.
Needing to feel something that can mask the pain of his PTSD and the loss of his marriage, he meets up with a long lost girlfriend and they turn to drugs. The thrill of using drugs doesn't last long and neither does their money, so they take the next logical next step... start robbing banks! Nicco Walker wrote this book from a prison cell, where he has been sitting for 7 years on charges of bank robbing.
Carlo Rovelli is an Italian physicist that specializes in quantum gravity. As scary as that sounds, his book reads with the ease of Carl Sagan. The Order of Time, as you could have guessed, is a consideration of time. What is it, where does it come from, and why is it important? Though this book is easy to read, and Carlo puts in all kinds of handy charts and drawings, it will require you to think abstractly at times. For example, Carlo explains that there is no such thing as a universal time. How can that be when we all have clocks and watches that shape our days? Well, time moves slower in some places than others. So if you lived in the mountains and your sister lived in the plains, time would actually be moving faster for you than your sister.
Think of this not as a book but a love letter, where Carlo uses exquisite prose to paint us a picture of time. You can tell this is a very important subject to him. Part three of the book is Carlo taking this idea to the next step where he talks about the very nature of being, and his words are like he is writing to a close friend. It’s not a large book, but it’s packed full of insight and chances to learn. Take the time to sit down, and hear what he has to say. *cough*
Over the last few years it seems that every Sci-fi book that comes out is littered with war, blood, and death. Science Fiction has gotten dark. Becky Chambers is here to save us all. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is Hitchhiker's Guide meets Firefly (first book coming in October!), exploring not just the outer reaches of space but what it means to be a human.
Rosemary Harper needs to get away from her past. So she joins the oddball crew of the Wayfarer, an old clunky ship that offers her a chance to get away and explore the outer limits of the universe. What she doesn’t know is that life aboard the Wayfarer will be a little more than she asked for. She and her crewmates takes a job tunneling wormholes in space to reach a planet far, far away. The payoff will be huge, and they won’t have to work ever again. If they survive. Rosemary and the rest of the crew of the Wayfarer (including a vulgar alien reptile pilot) need to work together to overcome odds that would make even Spok nervous. Rosemary didn’t expect much from joining the crew, but what she finds is a ragtag family among the stars.
One second there and then the next, gone. What would you do if all people older than 14 just disappeared right before your eyes? Would you steal from the stores or run an abandoned McDonald's? The kids of Perdido Beach, CA find this happening to them. A town run by a bunch of 14 year-old kids could jump into confusion very quickly. Sam Temple seems to be the only one who can help this crazy city. He is reluctant to do it, he tries to keep order, though this proves to be difficult when the school bullies don't want to take orders from him. His best friend, Quinn and the school genius, Astrid help Sam with organizing the city. Things get tricky when some of the kids start to develop super human abilities. The first book in a series, this book is full of twists and turns that will keep you reading until the last page. This book was described to me as a "Lord of the Flies" if it was written by Stephen King, I think that this is dead on. Get your hands on this before it disappears.
Every day, a bodiless, genderless teenager named A, wakes up in the body of another person around his age, all in the same vicinity. He tries to go through his/her life without changing the lives of the people who's body he inhabits, until one day he meets and falls in love with a girl, which changes everything. On one hand, this book is a young adult supernatural romance. On the other hand, it expresses some of the seriousness of the problems teens face. It grapples with clinical depression, religion, bullying, sexual orientation, and even what it's like to be a junkie, all expressed through A waking up in the body of a person who suffered from those problems and then experienced them him/her self. This is a great story written by an outstanding author and perfect for any teenager or adult looking for a quick fun read.
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This graphic novel is a beautiful mix of art and prose. Within the first few pages of Animal Man we see that Buddy Baker is at a crossroads in his career and he appears to be bored with his alter ego, Animal Man. However, evil stalks the world in the form of The Rot, which threatens to decay The Red, which is the heart of all life. I should also point out that this book is the first time I have ever read any Animal Man stories. I am pleased to say that enough back-story is provided that I was able to catch up on Animal Man's status quickly. Writer Jeff Lemire manages to inject enough of the "everyman" into Animal Man's character while surprising the reader with a no-holds-barred horror element as well. All of this is made better by Travel Foreman's wonderfully creepy artwork. All in all, this new take on Animal Man is one of the best things to come out of the new DC Universe thus far, and it wholeheartedly deserves your time and attention.
As excellent as the first book in the series was it was hard not to fear that Rothfuss had peaked with the first installment, as so many authors do. The opposite is true, rather than peaking it's clear that he was just warming up with "The Name of the Wind". When a narrative is this perfect it reads more like verse than prose, and "The Wise Man's Fear" reflects the best of both the legacies of classic and modern fantasy. Evoking the timeless quality found in Literature at it's finest, not just killer genre fiction, and as a long time reader of fantasy I've been blown away by the surge of young talent in recent years. Rothfuss is one of those at the head of the pack, and like Kvothe, sounding notes of raw originality.
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The tiny, isolated fishing village of Large Mouth never saw much excitement — until the arrival of the stranger, that is. Wrapped from head to toe in bandages and wearing weird goggles, he quietly took up residence in the sleepy town's motel. Driven by curiosity, the town folk quickly learn the tragic story of his past, and of the terrible accident that left him horribly disfigured. Eventually, the town embraces the stranger as one of their own — but do his bandages hide more than just scars? Inspired by H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man, The Nobody explores themes of identity, fear and paranoia in a small community from up-and-coming alternative comics creator and Xeric Award-winner Jeff Lemire (The Essex County Trilogy) in a special two-color story that'll have you guessing until the very end.
When you first think about David Cross things come to mind such as, disgusting, hilarious, gross, and bald. “I Drink for a Reason” is Dave’s first book and it’s full of disgustingly hilarious gross bald humor. Who else would get a kick out of something like this unless they were bald? He’s been out of the standup scene for a while now, so this is his comedic comeback of sorts, and oh what a comeback. This book had me laughing so hard vodka came out my nose. Each chapter is his opinion on a topic and they range from what he thinks about James Frey, to a knitting convention. No joke, this book will make you laugh until it hurts. Don’t pass this one by.
Only Mr. Dave Eggers could dive so deep into the heart and mind of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s a whole new take on the once children’s story. Right from the bat you meet Max, a brat of a kid, that you can’t help but identify yourself with. Then you meet the Wild Things, monsters with human like emotions. You become friends with them quick, but there is always something sinister hiding behind their friendly nature. Eggers wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of the original book. Then afterwards he went back and wrote this novel. A word of warning to all of you who loved the original book… This is a totally new version of the story, with no pictures. If you can get past that, you’re going to love it. You’ll easily fall into the adventure of Max and his new furry friends… The Wild Things!
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The thing I love about Koko is Wang doesn't hand you a plot and a message on a platter. You have to actually engage with the graphic novel, in the same way you have to engage with any great, experimental writing--interpreting the ambiguities, paying extra-close attention to the text. I have no clue how she packs so much detail into a character's facial expression. Carefully study these illustrations, take your time with each image and each sentence, it will bring you many different understandings of the relationships between and within characters. Basically, this is a graphic novel to read slowly, to mull over--not to tear through, hoping for an easy answer. In that way, reading this graphic novel enforces the main lesson of all twenty-something quests for identity--there will be no easy answer, no obvious path. Overall, Koko Be Good does what a great graphic novel should do--it tears the reader out of the text itself and forces us to take everything into consideration.
Elmer is a graphic novel from Gerry Alanguilan telling the story of Elmer, one of the first chickens to under go the transformation that shifted chickens from livestock to intelligent beings with the capabilities for speech and other humanizing elements. Now considered on par with humans in the eyes of the law, he must fight for the simple rights that other minorities have faced over the years. Written with a winning combination of absurd humor and commentary on racial issues with the vehicle of poultry, Elmer is a fantastic read and is highly recommended.
Have you ever looked at a book and thought there was no way it could be as good as the cover? Well I got that feeling from The Name of the Wind. The book was recommended to me by many different people, so I put it in my “to be read” (maybe) someday pile. After hearing about it yet again I decided to move it up my list a bit. Then finally I had nothing to read so I thought why not. The quote on the back of the book blew me away before I even got to page one. This book will pick you up by the throat and slam you down. Over and over until you think you can’t take it anymore. Then it will do it again. The strange thing is that you will enjoy being slammed. You will be asking for more. You’ll be out of breath trying to keep up with the speed and finesse of the author’s words. Do not let this one collect dust, pick it up. You’ll read it till the binding disintegrates at the tips of your page flipping fingers. I promise.
"Did I just read a comic book or watch an episode of Firefly?" That is the question you will be asking yourselv after reading this graphic novel. If you are a fan of Joss Whedon's cult TV show Firefly at all you will absolutely love this book. While reading, you can almost hear the voices of Mal and his crew causing trouble. It has everything that you would want from an episode of Firefly, even the cursing in Chinese! I can not recommend this enough, if you love the show like I do, or just enjoy a very well crafted graphic novel. If you get a chance to read this, take it. You won't be disappointed.