Everyone’s going back to school this month, so we figured we would too, with these books set in boarding schools and residential colleges.
I’m not sure what it is about boarding school stories, but they seem to really resonate with American readers, despite most Americans never having attended one. Perhaps that fact is the very thing that makes them so exotic and appealing.
I certainly am not immune! I strongly suspect that I would not have liked boarding school, but that didn’t stop me from working my way through and enjoying many a tale of rich people–or not-so rich people with a scholarship–having awkward adolescent experiences far from home.
“Campus confidential” is the oddly specific genre we are going for so be forewarned!
Thanks to Mary-Esther for helping me research this post!
Continue reading “Oddly Specific Genres: Campus Confidential”
I feel like asking someone what their favorite fantasy world is is a loaded question. Oh I don ‘t doubt that people do have their favorite fictional worlds, but I really don’t think that anyone, when it comes right down to it, would want to live in these worlds.
Continue reading “Discussion Thread: Fantasy Worlds”
Dreams of bigger, better worlds don’t have to be so great that you can’t have a little bit of fun. Enter Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer.
Jennifer Strange has her hands full overseeing a talent management company for magicians. Even when the fifteen-year-old orphan isn’t fulfilling her apprenticeship in magical management by booking wizards for plumbing jobs and magic carpet riders for food delivery, as well as soothing ruffled egos, there’s also the whole issue of magical energy becoming weaker. Strange herself doesn’t have much power, but even her once skillful clients are feeling the effects. What happens if magic runs out? How are they going to keep a roof over their heads? Where did her boss disappear to months ago when he didn’t come back home? And on top of that, there are rumors that the Last Dragonslayer is supposed to kill the last dragon in a few days. Complications ensue.
Continue reading “Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer”
You may have heard, we’re Building a Better World at libraries all over the country this summer. We’re trying to build one here in Berryville too. But before you build it, you’ve got to dream it! So dreaming of new and better worlds is what we’re all about this June.
Fantasy authors have been building imaginary new worlds in their writing for years. Read on and you may just find a new world worth exploring! Or at least ideas of things we may want to start doing (or avoid doing) in our real world. . . .
Continue reading “Oddly-Specific Genres: Imagining a Better World”
What was your year in reading like?
I know a lot of my bookish friends tend to describe their year in reading by how many books they read — and I do that too — but that still doesn’t say much about your year in reading, like what you were actually reading in those 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, etc. books you read over the course of 2016.
And, so to that end, I thought I’d recap my year in reading –a lot of which did not end up on the blog — and you could share your year in reading in the comments.
Note: not all of the books I mention are available in the library, but we can certainly try to get them for you through ILL if you’re interested!
Continue reading “My Year in Reading”
Magic — yay or nay?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from working in a library, it’s that people tend to have very strong feelings one way or another on whether they like books with magic or just fantasy in general. Even with our tween book club, for which the average age is ten, most of our members already have pretty firm opinions on the subject, with some really enjoying escaping into another world entirely and others strongly preferring that their fiction is rooted in realism.
If you’re in the first group, you probably won’t have any problem finding a book for this challenge. But if you’re in the latter and are still stumped for something to read or if you just are looking for something to read in general and don’t mind a walk on the fantastical side, here are some suggestions for you!
Continue reading “2016 Library Challenge: A Book with Magic”
Simon Watson receives an odd gift from a stranger in the mail one day–an old book that records the travels and business of an 18th century circus. The accompanying note suggests that he might like it because it has a distant family connection. Beyond that, Simon is a man who likes old books–he is a reference librarian in his hometown on Long Island. However, rather than the book merely being a piece of the past, Simon finds some troubling revelations about his family as he researches the topic further.
Continue reading “Erica Swyler’s The Book of Speculation”