28 Jul

Michael’s Picks!


Vicious by V.E. Schwab — This book has: uncon­ven­tion­al super­heroes! Moral ambi­gu­i­ty! Res­ur­rec­tion! (*mild spoil­er*) A dog that does not die in the end! Oth­er stuff! This book does *not* have: two-dimen­sion­al char­ac­ters! Tropes! A sequel! Though, real­ly, it should.


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A Dark­er Shade of Mag­ic by V.E. Schwab — An urban fan­ta­sy that has ele­ments of both Neil Gaiman and Chi­na Mieville (who are two oth­er authors you should obvi­ous­ly be read­ing). There’s a swash­buck­ling, gen­der-bend­ing lady pirate, an inter-dimen­sion­al blood magi­cian, AND A WHOLE LOT OF MAGIC. And queer char­ac­ters. Winnnnnnn.

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Seraphi­na & Shad­ow Scale by Rachel Hart­man — Drag­ons, most­ly, with a Game-of-Thrones-esque atten­tion to world build­ing. The tit­u­lar char­ac­ter here is a sassy flautist with psy­chic abil­i­ties and she COMPLETELY steals the show. Can I com­pare this series to Game of Thrones again? Fine, I think I will.

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Shad­ow & Bone, Siege & Storm, Ruin & Ris­ing (The Grisha Tril­o­gy) by Leigh Bar­dugo — More mag­ic (are you sens­ing a the­me here?). Ele­men­tal magi­cians, alchemists, and shad­ow- and light-wield­ers fight and flirt in this Rus­sia-inspired tril­o­gy about a nation divid­ed by dark mag­ic. The char­ac­ters are basi­cal­ly sexy ver­sions of Hog­warts stu­dents. So, yeah.


Railsea by Chi­na Mieville — A Moby-Dick retelling set in a vast desert instead of the open seas. Giant bur­row­ing owls and mas­sive moles ter­ror­ize any­one caught out in the sand. There’s also a leg­end about angelic trains that guard the rail­ways and pro­tect trav­el­ers from dan­ger. Need I con­tin­ue?

22 Jul

Peanut’s Seven Books to Read

The Witch­es by Roald Dahl

This is a children’s sto­ry you must re-read as an adult!  Supreme­ly creepy.


The Com­plete Works of Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

I love the fact that there’s a sec­tion detail­ing Poe’s life and that his poet­ry is includ­ed.  Poe is more than just The Tell-Tale Heart!  Plus if you’ve nev­er read The Bells out loud, you may want to get on that.


The Girl With All the Gifts by MR Carey

This is the absolute best zom­bie nov­el I have ever read!  A won­der­ful sto­ry that delves into what it means to be human, what it takes to sur­vive, and who one becomes in the face of destruc­tion.  Plus, the zom­bie virus in the nov­el is inspired by the fun­gus that infects ants in the Ama­zon com­mon­ly referred to as the “zom­bie fun­gus.”  If you don’t know, the fun­gus even­tu­al­ly bursts forth from the ant’s head. Then, they die.  Oh hey, this is also being turned into a movie!


The Pow­er and the Glo­ry by Gra­ham Greene

One of my favorite char­ac­ters of all time is the “whiskey priest.”  He is flawed in many ways, but stays true his moral code.  He doesn’t take any shit.  He does what he wants.  Like Eric Cart­man.


Brave New World by Aldous Hux­ley

Every­time I read this nov­el, I find more truth with­in it.  Huxley’s writ­ing style is lyri­cal and at times reads as phi­los­o­phy.  If you buy this book you will read it for years to come.


The Dev­il in the White City by Erik Lar­son

Maze-like mur­der mansion….need I say more?  I’ve read a few books focus­ing on seri­al killers, but HH Holmes’ sto­ry is one of the most intrigu­ing and bizarre.  Also Leonar­do Dicaprio is mak­ing this book into a movie.  Win!

That's Leo buying up those film rights.

That’s Leo buy­ing up those film rights.

Bud­ding Prospects by TC Boyle

This book is like if On the Road had any direc­tion what­so­ev­er.  It’s a humor­ous nov­el and a great intro­duc­tion to TC Boyle if you’re unfa­mil­iar with his work.


12 Jul

Liz’s Picks!


1. Watch­men, writ­ten by Alan Moore and illus­trat­ed by Dave Gib­bons


Watch­men is, by far, my favorite graph­ic nov­el: it’s a cap­ti­vat­ing and twist­ed piece of lit­er­a­ture PLUS an incred­i­ble work of art. The sto­ry begins in New York City in 1985, long after the gov­ern­ment has forced super­heroes and vig­i­lantes to either retire or work for them exclu­sive­ly. The Unit­ed States believes that a nuclear war with the Sovi­et Union is unavoid­able, and every­one seems to believe “the end is nigh.” And to make the future bleak­er, there might be a supervil­lain tar­get­ing for­mer heroes. What I tru­ly love about Watch­men is that the heroes are more like antiheroes–they’re com­plex because the world is harsh, and they don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly do the right thing. After all, this isn’t a Super­man comic. But if you need a list to con­vince you to read it, con­sid­er Time’s List of the 100 Best Nov­els. The Great Gats­by, which is at the end of this list, is on there too.

2. Nine Sto­ries by J.D. Salinger

I had read one of the sto­ries, “Uncle Wig­gly in Con­necti­cut,” for a class in col­lege; it’s about two for­mer col­lege room­mates who recon­nect and reflect on their lives over drinks. My pro­fes­sor had con­sid­ered Salinger to be a mas­ter of short-sto­ry writ­ing, and that Nine Sto­ries should be on everyone’s read­ing list. The col­lec­tion has Salinger’s sig­na­ture wit and ele­gance, and con­tains one of his most famous short sto­ries, “For Esmé–with Love and Squalor,” which is about an Amer­i­can sol­dier who promis­es to write a sto­ry for a loqua­cious young girl he meets abroad. Of all the nov­els on this list, this col­lec­tion of short sto­ries is among the lighter fare because it’s easy to read and pret­ty straight-for­ward.

3. One Hun­dred Years of Soli­tude by Gabriel Gar­cía Márquez

You have to read each sen­tence slow­ly, savor it, and ful­ly com­mit to this nov­el to get any­thing out of it. (I sug­gest research­ing Colombia’s his­to­ry if you don’t want to miss a beat.) The novel’s gen­re is mag­i­cal real­ism, and fol­lows sev­en gen­er­a­tions of the Buendía fam­i­ly and their lives in the fic­tion­al town of Macon­do. Oh, and almost all of them have the same name, so don’t read this when you’re half asleep or on a crowd­ed bus–for that you’ll be reward­ed.

4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Don’t shy away from this nov­el because your high school Eng­lish teacher(s) told you to read it. It’s large­ly con­sid­ered one of the best twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry nov­els, and for good rea­son: it’s hilar­i­ous. It takes place dur­ing World War II and dom­i­nant­ly fol­lows an Amer­i­can sol­dier named Yos­sar­i­an and his quest to go home. But he can’t until he fin­ish­es his ser­vice in the army, and they keep rais­ing his mis­sion require­ment. It’s a “Catch-22”: he’s con­sid­ered insane if he con­tin­ues to be involved in dan­ger­ous mis­sions, but then sane if he for­mal­ly requests leave on the basis of insan­i­ty. There’s no way to win, and it’s tragi­com­e­dy at its finest. And there’s a char­ac­ter named, Major Major Major Major! Yeah, you’re sold.

5. Lit­tle Wom­en by Louisa May Alcott

It took me a while to pick up this nov­el; I had thought it was going to be bland and dense. What could pos­si­bly hap­pen to four sis­ters dur­ing the Amer­i­can Civil War and beyond for 700+ pages? A LOT, of course. There’s death, dis­ease, love, friend­ship, ambi­tion, trav­el­ing, and ful­fill­ing careers. Just ask Joey Tribbiani–the nov­el was an emo­tion­al jour­ney for us both. Some fur­ther advice: Nev­er read the sequels. They don’t have the same heart or excite­ment that Lit­tle Wom­en has. Pre­tend they don’t exist, like The Last Air­ben­der or Grease 2.

6. Dublin­ers by James Joyce

If you feel intim­i­dat­ed by Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, but want to get a taste of what he’s all about, read A Por­trait of the Artist as a Young Man, because it’s intel­li­gent, wit­ty, and hilar­i­ous. And then read Dublin­ers, his col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, out of order. Start with “The Dead,” which is arguably his most famous sto­ry in this col­lec­tion, and one of my favorites (anoth­er being “Araby”). It’s a must-read for any writer or aspir­ing writer–Joyce is a mas­ter of struc­ture, scene, and dia­logue espe­cial­ly. The dia­logue might seem sim­ple, but I promise you there’s a rea­son for this exchange in “Araby”:

O, I nev­er said such a thing!”

O, but you did!”

O, but I didn’t!”

Didn’t she say that?”

Yes. I heard her.”

O, there’s a… fib!”

7. The Bloody Cham­ber by Ange­la Carter

This is a beau­ti­ful and dis­turbing col­lec­tion of short sto­ries. It is a lyri­cal reimag­i­na­tion of some of our clas­sic fairy tales, such as Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood and Beau­ty and the Beast. My favorite short sto­ry is “The Bloody Cham­ber,” which is about a young wom­an who mar­ries an old, wealthy man who turns out to be sex­u­al­ly vio­lent and a mass mur­der­er. But hey, it has a hap­py end­ing! “Puss-in-Boots” is anoth­er favorite, because who wouldn’t like a wit­ty and horny con cat?

8. The Great Gats­by by F. Scott Fitzger­ald

You’ve prob­a­bly seen Baz Luhrmann’s film, which is great, or may­be you were assigned to read this in high school and col­lege and didn’t get what all the fuss was about. I’ve read this nov­el at least five times, and my love and respect for it has grown with each read­ing. If you’re a fan of sym­bol­ism, wit­ty and ridicu­lous char­ac­ters, the Amer­i­can Dream, and jazz cul­ture, read this now.

8 Jul

Athena’s Picks!


Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen: I read the­se books once a year. The strength of Lirael to over­come her dark depres­sion, and Sabriel’s fear­less­ness in the face of Evil gives me the strength to find light­ness and good in the worst of sit­u­a­tions. Bonus points for this one: The audio book is read by Tim Cur­ry, and it is an entranc­ing expe­ri­ence.


Amer­i­can Gods: If you want to let lit­er­a­ture breathe mag­ic into the mun­dane again, this is a good choice. In this book you get to meet all the mys­te­ri­ous back­ground gods of the world that inhab­it the every­day world in strange ways. This book will make you think and ques­tion and regain your sense of won­der.


Left Hand of Dark­ness: If you claim to love sci fi, this book HAS to be on your Must-Read list. This clas­sic dealt with issues far before their time, one of which is now high­light­ed by today’s events and cul­tur­al shift: the ques­tion of gen­der and sex­u­al­i­ty!


The Gold­en Com­pass: The best part about this book is being able to live in a world, for just a moment, where every­one has their own forever best friend. I would give my left arm for a dea­mon. You have to check it out. (For more about why I love this book, check out my full review!)


The Name of the Wind: This book is heavy and big, but let me tell you, it was over FAR to quick­ly when I final­ly got around to read­ing it. Roth­fuss pulls you through an epic tale, full of promis­es, and ques­tions. You WILL love this book. I have no doubt. The only rea­son you won’t like it is because when you fin­ish read­ing this and then the sec­ond book, you’ll be real­ly quite mad that #3 isn’t done yet. Damn you Roth­fuss.


Lucifer: I absolute­ly love this ver­sion of Lucifer’s sto­ry. Look, you need to read the­se, if only just because when the TV show comes out, you have to know the truth about Lucifer. The show will only tell you lies.


The Hero and the Crown: Some will try and tell you that this book isn’t as good as The Blue Sword, but it is still by far my favorite of the two. This is the sto­ry of a girl who absolute­ly refus­es to be any­thing but a hero, and she will inspire you to live big and stay strong and nev­er let your drag­ons talk you into giv­ing up and let­ting go.

8 Jul

JP’s Picks!

Food Rules by Michael Pol­lan  & Eat­ing on the Wild Side by Jo Robin­son

The­se books will change the way you look at food, gro­cery shop­ping, and pro­duce FOREVER, in the best way. Food Rules gives you the rea­sons behind just exact­ly how our food is mak­ing us sick and fat, and then tells you how to change your shop­ping and eat­ing habits to cut out preser­v­a­tives, chem­i­cals, and arti­fi­cial fla­vors in your foods. If you’ve heard of clean eat­ing, this is the bible. Eat­ing on the Wild Side gives you the best advice on how to shop for pro­duce. What vari­ety of every veg­etable is nutri­tion­al­ly best for you, how to tell if your car­rots are fresh when you buy them, how to tell if that bag of grapes is a mil­lion years old or only a few weeks old, and so much more.

The Delir­i­um Series by Lau­ren Oliv­er


You know how you pick up a book and start read­ing it in the store to see if you want to buy it and before you know it you’ve read 20 pages? This hap­pened to me with the first book in this tril­o­gy. I had to get it. I was imme­di­ate­ly pulled in by the world Oliv­er has cre­at­ed. A world where there is no love, because it is the most dan­ger­ous dis­or­der on earth, cured only by a pro­ce­dure in the brain. You’ll feel all the feels as you fol­low Lena from ‘Ima-Get-My-Brain-Washed’ to ‘Now-Wait-Just-A-Damn-Min­ute’. The sec­ond and third books in this un-put-down-able series are Pan­de­mo­ni­um and Requiem.

The Cir­cle by Dave Eggers


Have you ever won­dered what the world might look like if tech­nol­o­gy and social media start­ed to infil­trate every aspect of our lives? I hadn’t real­ly thought about it. Not until The Cir­cle. As you watch Mae’s life go from bor­ing cubi­cle job in the sub­urbs, to un-eraseable sex tape and CONSTANT shar­ing online in LA, you’ll find your­self won­der­ing where the Inter­net will take us. In the words of The Cir­cle, “Secrets are lies. Shar­ing is car­ing. Pri­va­cy is theft.” If that doesn’t sound like the most thought-pro­vok­ing set of sen­tences, I don’t know what does. Pick up this book for an inter­est­ing look into a poten­tial future of social media and an inter­est­ing sto­ry­line to boot.

Where’d You Go, Bernadet­te? by Maria Sem­ple


This is the chrono­log­i­cal recount­ing of how Bernadet­te Fox went miss­ing, and how she was found. Sev­er­al sto­ry lines start sep­a­rate­ly and end twist­ed togeth­er, and almost all of the sto­ry is told through a paper trail of let­ters, e-mails, con­fi­den­tial FBI files, psy­chol­o­gists notes, hand­writ­ten notes, fax­es, and IM chats com­piled by Bernadette’s daugh­ter Bee, after Bernadet­te mys­te­ri­ous­ly goes miss­ing. Much of the book hinges on a promised trip to Antarc­ti­ca which gets Bernadet­te into all sorts of trou­ble before she dis­ap­pears. Her vir­tu­al assis­tant in India who is actu­al­ly the Rus­sian mob does not help appear­ances. This social satire had me turn­ing the pages eager­ly to find out where the eff Bernadet­te went and how she did it.

Red­wall by Bri­an Jacques


This was one of my most favorite books when I was 10. It’s a clas­sic tale of good ver­sus evil as the peace-lov­ing mice of Red­wall take on the eeeeevil Cluny the Scourge. This book writ­ten for chil­dren but enjoy­able for any­one will have you root­ing for the under­dog, and pin­ing for Cluny’s demise.

Gone Girl by Gillian Fly­nn

Gone Girl

I’ve NEVER been so men­tal­ly effed up by a book. I thought about this book for WEEKS after I was fin­ished with it. It gets into your brain and you just can’t get it out. It’s the per­fect amount of sick, twist­ed, and yet… total­ly under­stand­able. The lev­els of cray cray in this book are unpar­al­leled, and it will make you want to take a show­er and then read it all over again.

7 Jul

Chris’ Picks

1. The Out­siders :

The Out­siders holds a pret­ty big place in my heart when it comes to books. Read at the age of 12, I was angsty and pissed off. I loved to read, but hat­ed being told what to read by my school (most­ly because they had ter­ri­ble taste). That was until I was assigned The Out­siders. Filled with char­ac­ters striv­ing for a pur­pose in their life, play­ing with the cards they were dealt, and mak­ing the best of bad sit­u­a­tions, I con­nect­ed to the­se char­ac­ters on a deep­er lev­el than I thought I could at 12. My co-work­ers can’t get me to shut up about this book and I rec­om­mend it to any­one who loves books, hates books, old or young, I’ve nev­er met a human yet who hasn’t loved this book.


2. The Dhar­ma Bums:

Most peo­ple are famil­iar with Jack Kerouac’s work, On The Road. Most peo­ple are not as famil­iar with his work, The Dhar­ma Bums. It’s a fan­tas­tic coun­ter bal­ance to Kerouac’s oth­er works show­ing anoth­er side of the beat gen­er­a­tion. The book deals much more with spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, and com­muning with nature than the fast and fiery lifestyles in On the Road. I’ve always rec­om­mend­ed this work to any­one who’s nev­er read Ker­ouac as I find it a more acces­si­ble read than On the Road. Plus it’ll make you want to do noth­ing except go camp­ing. Bonus!


3. Night Shift:

Night Shift is a col­lec­tion of some of King’s most ter­ri­fy­ing, heart-thump­ing, and spine tin­gling tales packed into one, light easy read (well, may­be not for the faint of heart). Seri­ous­ly, try pick­ing this one up and look­ing at a laun­dry press or a clos­et the same way again. Even read­ers who aren’t big on hor­ror can sink their teeth into this one. With nail-bit­ing sus­pense and  writ­ing like light­ning, you won’t be able to put it down.


4.  Good Omens:

I love Good Omens. Love it. It’s such a great sum­mer read. It’s like an 80’s Spiel­berg movie had a baby with, I don’t know, The Apoc­a­lypse. Yeah. Let that sink in, and when it does I’ll tell you some­thing else, the TWO authors of this book hap­pen to be Neil Gaiman and Ter­ry Pratch­ett. Mind blown yet? Why isn’t this book in your hand! With a host a lov­ably crazy char­ac­ters try­ing to pre­vent the end of days, this one is sure to put a smile on your face.


5. Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings: 

I’m a big fan of author, Christo­pher Moore, and I’m also a big fan of sug­gest­ing his work to every­one. No one writes fun­ny with a giant heart quite like Moore, and Fluke is no excep­tion. Filled to the brim with laugh out loud humor, and sprin­kled with lov­able char­ac­ters you’ll cheer for until the end, Fluke may not be Moore’s most famous work, but he cer­tain­ly gives him­self a run for his mon­ey.


6. Rant

From the warped mind of Chuck Palani­huk (author of Fight Club), comes Rant. This book is cool. That’s real­ly the best way to describe it. I couldn’t give you a good sum­ma­ry if I tried, so I’ll say this. Read this book. Then, when your mind melts out of your ears when you fin­ish it, read it again, and you’ll love it even more. Time trav­el­ing, poi­so­nous snakes, crash­ing cars, and mur­der are just the tip of the ice­berg for this wild ride. Buck­le up and hit the gas!


7. The Beach

This book, has over time, become one of my favorites. It’s not an ordi­nary read, but it is a seem­ing­ly impor­tant one. Deal­ing with youth and angst is noth­ing new to nov­els, but the way in which this book han­dles the gen­er­a­tion of youth raised on video games and Xanax is some­thing spe­cial. It also asks the ques­tion, what is par­adise and what will we do to attain and keep it? For a sum­mer read spiked with some bite, check out this read which I can only describe as Lord of the Flies meets Hunter S. Thomp­son. Hold on.


8. Zen & the Art of Motor­cy­cle Main­te­nance

Okay, so this is the one book this list I haven’t read. But, it’s there for that rea­son, because I plan on indulging myself with this read ASAP. I have friends who don’t read (yes, the­se peo­ple exist), I have friends who don’t even like the idea of read­ing, and I have friends who read every­thing under the sun. What they share in com­mon is a love for this par­tic­u­lar book. I don’t know what it is that draws peo­ple in and makes them give noth­ing but praise for this read, but I’m eager to find out. Join me.


9. Dark Places

Gone Girl. It’s a pret­ty good book. This one is bet­ter.


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7 Jul

Adam’s Picks!

The fol­low­ing books have rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle in com­mon with one anoth­er with regard to plot, set­ting, writ­ing style, or real­ly any lit­er­ary cri­te­ri­on.  Some are short, some long, some sweet, some grave, most are fic­tion, one isn’t.  One thing com­mon to all of them is that I am absolute­ly in love with them.  I could pick up any of the­se books at the drop of a hat and not stir until I had fin­ished it.  They are some of my very favorite things to read and I hope you’ll enjoy them if you try any.

geek love

Geek Love by Kather­ine Dunn:  I read this book in a post-mod­ern lit­er­a­ture class in col­lege.  I went into the class not real­ly like post-mod­ern lit.  I found it over­wrought and vac­u­ous and large­ly com­plete­ly unin­ter­est­ing.  There were sev­er­al books over the course of the class that changed my mind and this was one of the first and best.  If you like sto­ries of freak shows and weird cults, this book is def­i­nite­ly for you.

secret history

The Secret His­to­ry by Don­na Tartt:  I had nev­er heard of Don­na Tartt before a good friend Jody hand­ed me this book, told me that it was one of her favorite things she’d ever read, and told me to read it.  This book inter­est­ed me from the out­set because the main char­ac­ter goes to col­lege and majors in Clas­sics and if a book about a Clas­sics major in col­lege sounds bor­ing to you, just trust me that the tip of this ice­berg does not begin to do jus­tice to the remain­der.  This piece by the Pulitzer Prize-win­ning author of The Goldfinch is absolute­ly a must read.


The Jun­gle Books by Rud­yard Kipling:  The Jun­gle Book and The Sec­ond Jun­gle Book were orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished sep­a­rate­ly, but are fre­quent­ly print­ed and sold as one vol­ume now.  This is one of those books that no film adap­ta­tion has ever even come close to touch­ing, so if you’ve seen any or many of the myr­i­ad film ver­sions of Kipling’s clas­sic work(s), just com­plete­ly for­get about them and pick up the book.  It’s fun, a great sto­ry to share with kids, and one of the most sur­pris­ing­ly emo­tion­al sto­ries I’ve ever read.  As an added bonus, the book is actu­al­ly a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, which makes it per­fect as a bed­time sto­ry option or com­mute book!


The Hob­bit by J.R.R. Tolkien:  It is (hope­ful­ly) glar­ing­ly obvi­ous to any­one who’s read this blog even a bit (or talked to me in per­son) that I absolute­ly love Tolkien.  He is basi­cal­ly a deity to me.  The Hob­bit is a great Sum­mer Read­ing option because it’s light and fun and about a trip, which makes it the per­fect vaca­tion book!  Plus when the vaca­tion­ing is done and you’re ready for some­thing with a lit­tle more grav­i­tas you can grad­u­ate to The Lord of the Rings, The Sil­mar­il­lion, or even Unfin­ished Tales of Numenor and Mid­dle Earth!

fantastic fox

Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl:  First of all, every­one should have at least one Dahl book under their belt.  He’s a clas­sic children’s/young adult author for a rea­son, folks.  Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox is my favorite Roald Dahl book because sto­ries about crafty ani­mals out­smart­ing humans are pret­ty much my life blood.  Plus, one of the char­ac­ters sub­sists on noth­ing but hard cider, which is how I aspire to live my life.


The Wid­ow Clic­quot by Tilar Mazzeo:  I’m not a huge oenophile (though I like wine a lot) nor am I an espe­cial­ly eager read­er of non-fic­tion, but this book hooked me.  The sto­ry of how Bar­be-Nicole Clic­quot Pon­sardin not only han­dled her husband’s com­pa­ny like a boss after he died but also com­plete­ly rev­o­lu­tion­ized the cham­pag­ne busi­ness, ran block­ades to sell her lux­u­ry wine, and basi­cal­ly was an all-around hero for, like 60 years until Death final­ly showed up and was like, “Come on, lady, you’re mak­ing me look bad here,” is one that I can read over and over again.  She was OG, man.


Lit­tle, Big by John Crow­ley:  The nov­el picked for the inau­gu­ral meet­ing of the KU Book Club (and also the sec­ond meet­ing when we showed up and dis­cov­ered that none of us had fin­ished it) has stuck with me in a huge way since then.  This book got me into read­ing tarot cards.  It also uses the ubiq­ui­tous idea of Faerie in a supreme­ly fas­ci­nat­ing way and basi­cal­ly is every­thing you could pos­si­bly want in a book.  I’ve nev­er real­ly been able to ver­bal­ize this until right now, but you know what Lit­tle, Big is?  It’s a Neil Gaiman nov­el from before Neil Gaiman was writ­ing nov­els.  I don’t know if Gaiman was direct­ly influ­enced by Crowley’s book, but I have to say, I’d kin­da bet on it.


I Love You, Beth Coop­er by Lar­ry Doyle:  I’ll be hon­est with you, I read this book because I saw the movie and real­ly liked it.  I saw the movie because Hay­den Panet­tiere was in it and I real­ly like her.  My moti­va­tions notwith­stand­ing, though, this book is excel­lent.  Any­one who has ever gone to high school will find some­thing to relate to here.  It’s fun­ny, heart­felt, and makes you glad you grad­u­at­ed years and years ago.

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8 Jun

Summer Bingo Recommendation Lists

Hey Bin­go Play­ers! We know choos­ing which book to read is some­times super hard. That’s why we are rec­om­mend­ing the­se books to you! Each clus­ter of books will cross off the list­ed square. Have more sug­ges­tions? Make sure to share them on our face­book page!


Slaugh­ter­house Five by Kurt Von­negut; One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey; Har­ry Pot­ter by J.K. Rowl­ing; To Kill a Mock­ing Bird by Harper Lee; The Gold­en Com­pass by Philip Pull­man; The Perks of Being a Wall­flow­er by Stephen Chbosky; Fahren­heit 451 by Ray Brad­bury; The Handmaid’s Tale by Mar­garet Atwood; A Wrin­kle In Time by Made­line L’Engle; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien




The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde; The Bone Sea­son by Saman­tha Shan­non; The Blade Itself by Joe Aber­crom­bie; The Magi­cians by Lev Gross­man; Shad­ow & Bone by Leigh Bar­duco; The Strain by Guiller­mo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan; Wolf Hall by Hilary Man­tel; Red Ris­ing by Pierce Brown; Seraphi­na by Rachel Hart­man; The Light­ning Thief by Rick Rior­dan




The Bloody Cham­ber by Ange­la Carter; Dou­ble Fea­ture by Owen King; Vam­pires In the Lemon Grove by Karen Rus­sell; St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Rus­sell; Switch Bitch by Roald Dahl; Trig­ger Warn­ing by Neil Gaiman; Hans Chris­tian Ander­sen Fairy Tales; Night Shift by Stephen King; My Moth­er She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, by Kate Bern­heimer; Girl In the Flam­ma­ble Skirt by Aimee Ben­der



Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Ready Play­er One by Ernest Cline; Ancil­lary Jus­tice by Ann Leck­ie; Dune by Frank Her­bert; Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Hein­lein; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Dou­glas Adams; The Mar­tian Chron­i­cles By Ray Brad­bury; Red Ris­ing by Pierce Brown; A Wrin­kle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle; The Tele­por­ta­tion Acci­dent by Ned Beau­man; The Drag­onrid­ers of Pern by Anne McCaf­fery; Fahren­heit 451 by Ray Brad­bury; Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Von­negut



Mys­tery L.A. Con­fi­den­tial by James Ell­roy; Mur­der on the Ori­ent Express by Agatha Christie; The Silk­worm by Robert Gal­braith; The Mal­te­se Fal­con by Dashiell Ham­mett; Mur­der Must Adver­tise by Dorothy Say­ers; The Hounds of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; The Oth­er Typ­ist by Suzan­ne Rindell; The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde; The No.1 Ladie’s Detec­tive Agen­cy by Alexan­der McCall Smith; Pitts­burgh Noir



NOS4A2 by Joe Hill; Salem’s Lot by Stephen King; The Haunt­ing of Hill House by Shirley Jack­son; Night Shift by Stephen King; I Am Leg­end by Richard Math­eson; Haunt­ed by Chuck Palah­niuk; World War Z by Max Brooks; And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie; Dark Places by Gillian Fly­nn; The Portable Edgar Allen Poe




Preacher; Watch­men; Y: The Last Man; Fables; V for Vendet­ta; Sand­man; Final Cri­sis; Saga; Black Hole; The Filth




The Goldfinch by Don­na Tartt; The Road by Cor­mac McCarthy; Amaz­ing Adven­tures of Kava­lier and Clay by Michael Chabon; To Kill a Mock­ing­bird by Harper Lee; All the Light We Can­not See by Antho­ny Doerr; The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam John­son; The Brief Won­drous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz; Gilead by Mar­i­lyn­ne Robin­son; Mid­dle­sex by Jef­fery Eugenides



Yes, Please! by Amy Poehler; Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone by Hunter S. Thomp­son; Let­ters by Kurt Von­negut; Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw; Heart­break­ing Work of Stag­ger­ing Genius  by David Eggers



Ancil­lary Jus­tice by Ann Leck­ie; The City & The City by Chi­na Mieville; The Grave­yard Book by Neil Gaiman; The Yid­dish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon; Jonathan Strange & Mr Nor­rell by Susan­na Clarke; Amer­i­can Gods by Neil Gaiman; Har­ry Pot­ter and the Gob­let of Fire by J.K. Rowl­ing; Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card; Neu­ro­mancer by William Gib­son; Dune by Frank Her­bert




Lit­tle Wom­en by Louisa May Alcott; Dublin­ers by James Joyce; Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger; The Great Gats­by by F. Scott Fitzger­ald; Pride and Prej­u­dice by Jane Austen; Fahren­heit 451 by Ray Brad­bury; Drac­u­la by Bram Stok­er; Slaugh­ter­house-Five by Kurt Von­negut; The Count of Mon­te Cristo by Alexan­dre Dumas; 1984 by George Orwell



100 years of Soli­tude by Gabriel Gar­cía Márquez (Columbia); Handmaid’s Tale by Mar­garet Atwood (Canada); Les Mis­er­ables by Vic­tor Hugo (France); Anna Karen­i­na by Leo Tol­stoy (Rus­sia); The Alchemist by Paulo Coel­ho (Brazil); Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi (Britain); Pur­ple Hibis­cus by Chi­ma­man­da Ngozi Adichie (Nige­ria); The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Aus­tralia); The Unbear­able Light­ness of Being by Milan Kun­dera (Czech Repub­lic); The Girl with the Drag­on Tat­too by Stieg Larsson (Swe­den)



Amer­i­can Gods by Neil Gaiman; The Drag­onrid­ers of Pern by Anne McCaf­fery; Some­thing Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Brad­bury; Beau­ty by Robin McKin­ley; The Gold­en Com­pass by Philip Pull­man; Ink­heart by Cor­nelia Funke; The Magi­cians by Lev Gross­man; The Girl Who Cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ed Fairy Land by Cath­eryn­ne M. Valen­te; The Name of the Wind by Patrick Roth­fuss; Jonathan Strange & Mr. Nor­rell by Susan­na Clarke




The Out­siders by S.E. Hin­ton; The Maze Run­ner by James Dash­n­er; Phan­tom Toll­booth by Nor­ton Juster; The Strange and Beau­ti­ful Sor­rows of Ava Laven­der by Leslye Wal­ton; Con­ver­sion by Kather­ine Howe; Crap King­dom by DC Pier­son; The Blue Sword by Robin McKin­ley; The Hunger Games by Suzan­ne Collins; Tuck Ever­last­ing by Natal­ie Bab­bitt; Lord of the Flies by William Gold­ing



In Defense of Food by Michael Pol­lan; Pok­ing a Dead Frog by Mike Sacks; Men­tal Foss’ For­bid­den Knowl­edge; My Drunk Kitchen by Han­nah Hart; The Back­yard Home­stead by Car­leen Madi­gan; How McGruff and the Cry­ing Indi­an Changed Amer­i­ca by Wendy Melil­lo; Drink­ing, Smok­ing and Screw­ing by Sara Nick­les; The Omnivore’s Dilem­ma by Michael Pol­lan;  Amer­i­can Grown by Michelle Oba­ma



What Ever Hap­pened to Baby Jane? by Hen­ry Far­rell; Fear and Loathing in Las Veg­as by Hunter S. Thomp­son; Catch-22 by Joseph Heller; I Cap­ture the Castle by Dodie Smith; Lit­tle Wom­en by Louisa May Alcott; The Curi­ous Case of Ben­jam­in But­ton by F. Scott Fitzger­ald; Won­der Boys by Michael Chabon; To Kill a Mock­ing­bird by Harper Lee; Star­dust by Neil Gaiman; The Road by Cor­mac McCarthy