4 Feb
2015

Books to read if you think girls should be taken more seriously

The­se books fea­ture strong wom­en, young and not young, who change the world in a big way even though peo­ple thing they’re ‘just a girl’.

Hero-and-the-Crown

dragon

Hungergames_poster

blue sword

yesplease

LionWardrobe13

bossypants

sab

4 Jan
2015

Books to read if you want to eat healthy for some reason.

 

The­se books have some great things to say about REAL food for your REAL body. 

100DaysOfRealFoof_book_cover_NYT_best_seller_number_1_521x590

food rules

forks

OmnivoresDilemma_full

wildside

 

15 Jul
2014

Comics You Should Read Right Away

The life of a comic book nerd is not easy.  Mis­un­der­stood, dis­missed, and much maligned, the graph­ic novel/comic medi­um is in real­i­ty just as com­plex and var­ied as is tra­di­tion­al fic­tion, it just hap­pens to include freak­in’ awe­some illus­tra­tions.  If you’re some­one who has, in the past, dis­missed comics because you thought they were all about super­heroes with ono­matopo­et­ic sound effects like ‘biff’ or if you’re some­one who’s nev­er even con­sid­ered div­ing into the rich and won­der­ful world of the graph­ic nov­el, give the­se books a try.  You’ll be pleas­ant­ly sur­prised!

Batman-RIP

Bat­man, R.I.P.: What it’s about: Bat­man, obvi­ous­ly.  He dies in this one! (May­be…)

Why you should read it:  Bat­man R.I.P. is pret­ty much the cul­mi­na­tion of Grant Morrison’s (aka, the Leo Tol­stoy of graph­ic nov­els) work with the Bat­man char­ac­ter.  It’s huge, com­plex, and chal­leng­ing.  Not your run of the mill super­hero comic.

 

 

Lucifer_Vol_1_1

Lucifer:  What it’s about:  Yes, that Lucifer.  In the DC uni­verse, the char­ac­ter of Lucifer appears in many sto­ries, most notably in Neil Gaiman’s Sand­man series, which is where the stand alone Lucifer series got its start.

Why you should read it:  Sor­ry, did I not men­tion the part where it’s about the dev­il and that the stand alone series is a spin-off from Sand­man.  Addi­tion­al­ly, because re-vamps of the tra­di­tion­al dev­il char­ac­ter are fas­ci­nat­ing.  And final­ly because Lucifer is just an incred­i­bly cool char­ac­ter.  He’s got it going on, is what I’m say­ing.

filth

The Filth:  What it’s about: A weird, crazy romp through post-mod­ern inter­pre­ta­tions of the sta­tus quo!

Why you should read it:  Anoth­er piece from the genius mind of Grant Mor­rison, The Filth is one of those things that you just have to see to believe.  If you’re into media that looks at the line between appro­pri­ate and inap­pro­pri­ate and then prompt­ly oblit­er­ates it, The Filth is for you.

 

 

hellblazer

John Con­stan­ti­ne: Hell­blaz­er:  What it’s about: One of DC’s longest run­ning char­ac­ters, anti­hero magi­cian, chain-smok­er, and pro-lev­el snark fac­to­ry John Con­stan­ti­ne and all his super­nat­u­ral adven­tures.

Why you should read it:  It’s a fan­tas­tic explo­ration of the human­ist anti­hero.  If mis­an­thropes who are com­mit­ted to doing some­thing good are your thing, look up my man John.

 

Swamp Thing Book One Cover

Saga of the Swamp Thing:  What it’s about:  Pret­ty self-explana­to­ry, actu­al­ly.  He’s a Thing.  That lives in a Swamp.  Loves plants and the envi­ron­ment and stuff.

Why you should read it:  Self-explana­tora­bil­i­ty notwith­stand­ing, it’s actu­al­ly real­ly cool!  A glob­al envi­ron­men­tal­ly aware comic book char­ac­ter is a fab­u­lous pro­tag­o­nist.  For real.

 

GoTv1HC-Cov

A Game of Thrones:  I don’t need to tell you what it’s about because you’ve prob­a­bly seen the show.  I hope.

Why you should read it:  Again, feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but I will say that the graph­ic nov­el­iza­tion of ASOIAF is like a real­ly incred­i­ble mash-up of the show and the books, which is baller.

 

100Bullets_vol1

100 Bul­lets:  What it’s about: It’s basi­cal­ly every­thing fan­tas­tic about noir, pulp, and revenge thrillers all rolled into one styl­ized, metaphor-rich cre­ation.

Why you should read it:  See above.  It’s like the break­fast bur­ri­to of the crime sto­ry world.

By    No Comments
13 Jul
2014

Books I’ve Been Meaning to Read

Full dis­clo­sure:  As you can tell from the title, I per­son­al­ly have not yet read any of the­se books.  I rec­om­mend them to you based pure­ly on the fact that I want to read them (and the great reviews.  Obvi­ous­ly.)

storytelling

The Sto­ry-Telling Ani­mal by Jonathan Gottschall:  “Like the mag­nif­i­cent sto­ry­tellers past and present who fur­nish him here with exam­ples and inspi­ra­tion, Jonathan Gottschall takes a time­ly and fas­ci­nat­ing but pos­si­bly for­bid­ding sub­ject — the new brain sci­ence and what it can tell us about the human sto­ry-mak­ing impulse — and makes of it an extra­or­di­nary and absorbing intel­lec­tu­al nar­ra­tive. The scrupu­lous syn­the­sis of art and sci­ence here is mas­ter­ful; the real-world stakes high; the rewards for the read­er numer­ous, exhil­a­rat­ing, mind-expand­ing.”  Ter­ry Castle, Wal­ter A. Haas Pro­fes­sor in the Human­i­ties, Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty

This is a work of pop­u­lar phi­los­o­phy and social the­o­ry writ­ten by an obvi­ous­ly bril­liant under­grad­u­ate teacher. The gift for the exam­ple is every­where. A punchy line appears on almost every page.”  -The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle

amerartis

Amer­i­can Arti­sanal by Rebec­ca Gray:  “We love this book; we had been parcel­ing it out in chap­ter-sized bits at bed­time but we raced through at the end. Read this! It’s fas­ci­nat­ing and inspir­ing. Who knows — you may be the next Amer­i­can arti­san.” -Faith Durand

If you’re remote­ly inter­est­ed in food — either cook­ing it or eat­ing it — then Amer­i­can Arti­sanal ought to be your guide.  Any­time Becky Gray gets around cook­ing, trust me: some­thing mag­i­cal is going to hap­pen.” -Win­ston Groom

 

gun seller

The Gun Sell­er by Hugh Lau­rie:  First of all, every per­son should want to read this book based pure­ly on the fact that it was writ­ten by con­tem­po­rary poly­math Hugh Lau­rie.  Any for­ay of his into dif­fer­ent gen­res has piqued my inter­est.  Also:  “This is a gen­uine­ly wit­ty and sophis­ti­cat­ed enter­tain­ment.” - Christo­pher Buck­ley in the NY Times Book Review

The Gun Sell­er is fast, top­i­cal, wry, sus­pense­ful, hilar­i­ous, wit­ty, sur­pris­ing, ridicu­lous, and pret­ty won­der­ful. 
And you don’t need a per­mit to buy it…A delight­ful nov­el.” — The Wash­ing­ton Post Book Review

 

fios

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green:  Yes, I’m a lit­tle tardy to the par­ty on this one, but I do intend to get to it even­tu­al­ly.

Green writes books for young adults, but his voice is so com­pul­sive­ly read­able that it defies cat­e­go­riza­tion. He writes for youth, rather than to them, and the dif­fer­ence is pal­pa­ble.” — Rachel Syme, NPR Books

This is a book that breaks your heart—not by wear­ing it down, but by mak­ing it big­ger until it bursts.”  The Atlantic

 

The-City-of-Dreaming-Books

City of Dream­ing Books by Wal­ter Moers:  I’ll be hon­est, I most­ly just want to read this book because of the title and the fact that the cov­er art is a struc­ture built of books.  But the reviews are good as well.

Moers’ cre­ative mind is like J. K. Rowling’s on Ecsta­sy” — Detroit Evening News

A yarn of drollery, deep­er mean­ing and sheer luna­cy” - Rolling Stone

 

auntiemame

 

Aun­tie Mame by Patrick Den­nis:  This one I want to read because I love love love the movie.  And since books are gen­er­al­ly bet­ter than movie ver­sions…

I reread and study Aun­tie Mame like a hilar­i­ous, glam­orous bible where, among oth­er wise lessons, one learns that true sophis­ti­ca­tion and inno­cence are two halves of the same glit­ter­ing coin.”  –Charles Busch, author of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and Vam­pire Les­bians of Sodom

Aun­tie Mame is a unique lit­er­ary achieve­ment a bril­liant nov­el dis­guised as a light­weight piece of fluff. Every page sparkles with wit, style and though Mame would cringe at the thought high moral pur­pose. Let’s hope Patrick Den­nis is final­ly rec­og­nized for what he is: One of the great comedic writ­ers of the 20th cen­tu­ry.”  –Robert Plun­ket, author of Love Junkie

 

 

 

By    No Comments
9 Jul
2014

Classic Books You’re Guaranteed to Love if You ARE A Psychopath!

I wor­ried a bit about our last Sum­mer Read­ing post, since it was slight­ly dis­crim­i­na­to­ry to psy­chopaths.  It was keep­ing me up last night, but then I real­ized that I could address the prob­lem by sim­ply tai­lor­ing a post to the speci­fic lit­er­ary needs of psy­chopaths!  Bravo, me!  So with­out fur­ther ado, here are some books you should look into if the non-psy­cho books aren’t your cup of tea or oth­er pre­ferred bev­er­age.  (No one’s say­ing blood!  But, may­be blood.)

frankenstein

Clas­sics such as Drac­u­laFranken­stein, and the works of Edgar Allan Poe:  There was a time, back in the day, when creepy mon­ster sto­ries were all the rage.  That time is pret­ty much all the time, so sure, there are mod­ern tales of mon­strous vil­lains and their vic­tims, but Stok­er, Shel­ley, and Poe were some of the sem­i­nal writ­ers in this gen­re.  More refined than the gory hor­ror of lat­er days, the ten­sion, uncer­tain­ty, and fear are what set the­se clas­sics apart.

 

 

cthulhu

 

The Call of Cthul­hu by H.P. Love­craft:  If there’s any­thing more hor­ri­ble than Lovecraft’s con­vic­tion that human­i­ty would lit­er­al­ly be dri­ven insane if forced to acknowl­edge its own insignif­i­cance, I’m not sure what it is.  That plus slum­ber­ing primeval mon­sters and jab­ber­ing cultists is what I call a good time!

[The Call of Cthul­hu is] a mas­ter­piece, which I am sure will live as one of the high­est achieve­ments of lit­er­a­ture.… Mr. Love­craft holds a unique posi­tion in the lit­er­ary world; he has grasped, to all intents, the worlds out­side our pal­try ken.” -Robert E. Howard (the cre­ator of Conan)

 

killer

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thomp­son:  Per­haps one of the most dis­turbing books to come out of the Amer­i­can Noir gen­re, Thompson’s first per­son nar­ra­tion forces the read­er, in true noir style, to be com­plic­it in the crimes of a sadis­tic, psy­cho­pathic killer.

Prob­a­bly the most chill­ing and believ­able first-per­son sto­ry of a crim­i­nal­ly warped mind I have ever encoun­tered.” —Stan­ley Kubrick

 

 

 

hellsangels

Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thomp­son:  The book that launched the crazy gonzo reporter’s career as a writer, Hell’s Angels is an in-depth, inside look at one of the most famous Motor­cy­cle Clubs in the coun­try and was also his first attempt at writ­ing a “non-fic­tion nov­el.”

Hunter Thomp­son has pre­sent­ed us with a close view of a world most of us would nev­er dare encoun­ter, yet one with which we should be famil­iar. He has brought on stage men who have lost all options and are not rec­on­ciled to the loss.” — NY Times review by Leo Lit­wak, 1967 

 

bigsleep

The Big Sleep by Ray­mond Chan­dler:  A clas­sic, hard­boiled crime sto­ry!  Chan­dler intro­duces his icon­ic inves­ti­ga­tor of sev­er­al sto­ries, Philip Mar­lowe, and sets a dark tone that per­vades the set­tings and char­ac­ters of the sto­ry.

As a study in deprav­i­ty, the sto­ry is excel­lent, with Mar­lowe stand­ing out as almost the only fun­da­men­tal­ly decent per­son in it.” — NY Times review by Isaac Ander­son, 1939

 

 

Doctor_Sleep

Doc­tor Sleep by Stephen King:  Stephen King is one of those authors whose fans always have some­thing to keep them enter­tained.  Last year’s Doc­tor Sleep is def­i­nite­ly no excep­tion.  Long await­ed sequel to one of King’s most famous and beloved books, The Shin­ingDoc­tor Sleep is a book to pick up if you’re into King’s speci­fic brand of crazy.

Wild ecto­plas­mic part­ly decayed vam­pire hors­es would not tear from me the sto­ry of what hap­pens next, but let me assure you King is a pro: by the end of this book your fin­gers will be mere stubs of their for­mer selves, and you will be look­ing askance at the peo­ple in the super­mar­ket line, because if they turn around they might have metal­lic eyes.” — NY Times review (by Mar­garet Atwood!), 2013

By    No Comments
7 Jul
2014

Classic Books You’re Guaranteed to Love, Unless You’re a Psychopath

I think we can all agree that there are some books out there that, if you don’t like them, it’s a good indi­ca­tion that you are an evil alien come to this plan­et to enslave human­i­ty and turn Earth into one giant human-being-oper­at­ed bat­tery for your space­ship.  Like, seri­ous­ly.  If you don’t like Pride and Prej­u­dice just don’t even talk to me.  We aren’t friends and nev­er will be.  Here are some oth­er books that you’ll love or your mon­ey back.*

emma

Emma by Jane Austen:  Austen is one of my favorite authors.  Her books are full to the brim of wit and are extreme­ly fun­ny.  Her abil­i­ty to write char­ac­ters three-dimen­sion­al­ly, espe­cial­ly when her sub­ject mat­ter is pret­ty restrict­ed to love sto­ries among the land­ed gen­try of Geor­gian Eng­land, is phe­nom­e­nal.  Emma is a great choice of book if you’ve nev­er read any Austen or if you’re already a fan of any of her oth­er books.

 

 

 

new-big-fish-cover

Big Fish by Daniel Wal­lace:  Though pub­lished in 1998, Big Fish def­i­nite­ly has a place among great lit­er­ary clas­sics.  A fusion of Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce’s Ulysses (anoth­er book which bor­rows exten­sive­ly from The Odyssey, obvi­ous­ly), and Amer­i­can Tall Tales, Big Fish is a sto­ry for the ages.  Fol­low William Bloom as he tries to dis­cov­er the truth of his father’s strange and fan­tas­ti­cal life.  If you love the idea of read­ing Homer but are daunt­ed by the lan­guage and the sheer girth of The Odyssey, give this book a try.

 

 

onehundo

One Hun­dred Years of Soli­tude by Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez:  Man.  This book.  It’s a giant.  In terms of influ­ence, sig­nif­i­cance, and impor­tance, this book is almost beyond com­pare.  The sev­en gen­er­a­tions of the Buen­dia fam­i­ly that pop­u­late this epic nov­el are both more fan­tas­tic and more real than real life.  Also, nam­ing a char­ac­ter Aure­liano Buen­dia pret­ty much guar­an­tees suc­cess.

 

 

 

eyre

Jane Eyre by Char­lot­te Bron­te:  Ahead of its time in a vari­ety of ways, Jane Eyre is the book to read if pro­to-fem­i­nism, pre­cur­sors to mod­ernist prose, or incred­i­bly mov­ing sto­ries of per­son­al growth and love are things you like.  Can’ t say it fair­er than that.

 

 

 

 

gone with the wind

Gone with the Wind by Mar­garet Mitchell:  This book is a huge time com­mit­ment.  Though it’s been tout­ed as com­pul­sive­ly read­able since it was first pub­lished in 1936, there’s no deny­ing that GwtW is not for the faint of heart and/or biceps.  Sure, may­be Mitchell’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of South­ern­ers and African Amer­i­cans is slight­ly (or more than slight­ly) con­tro­ver­sial, but GwtW is a book that has endured and been pop­u­lar for almost a cen­tu­ry, so she must have done some­thing right.  (Also, Vivien Leigh is super pret­ty.  Not a fac­tor in appre­ci­at­ing the nov­el, I know, but if you cheat and just watch the movie, you’re in for a treat.)

 

 

sherlocked

The Adven­tures of Sher­lock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:  Sher­lock is par­tic­u­lar­ly great for sum­mer read­ing for a vari­ety of rea­sons.  First is that the sto­ries are com­plete­ly riv­et­ing and are way too much fun to even con­sid­er putting down for an instant once you get into one.  Sec­ond is that, because the Holmes sto­ries are a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, not a sin­gle, long nov­el, it’s easy enough to fin­ish one quick­ly and be able to take a short beach break or pop­si­cle break or what have you.

 

 

Hap­py read­ing!  And stay tuned for more KU Sum­mer Read­ing lists com­ing soon to a com­put­er near you!

 

*Just kid­ding.  We do not give refunds under any cir­cum­stances.  Sor­ry.  I will bet you ten bucks that you’ll like any book on this list, though.  Come in, buy a copy, and shake on it.  You come back and tell me you didn’t like it, I’ll pay up. 

By    No Comments
23 Jun
2014

13 Books About Children Who Stumble Through Magical Portals Into Alternate Realms

The title says it all!  Per­haps a com­mon trope in fic­tion, but no less fun.  Chil­dren have been los­ing them­selves in make-believe lands since Alice first tum­bled into Won­der­land, jour­ney­ing through fairy­tale forests and fields of pop­pies, befriend­ing all man­ner of strange and mar­velous crea­tures, and, per­haps, grow­ing up just a teen­sy-ween­sy bit in the process.

(1) The Phan­tom Toll­booth by Nor­ton Juster

phantomtollbooth-cover

(2) The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia by C.S. Lewis

LionWardrobe12

(3) Un Lun Dun by Chi­na Mieville

Un-Lun-Dun

(4) Cora­line by Neil Gaiman

coraline cover

(5) The Won­der­ful Wiz­ard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

wiz of oz

(6) His Dark Mate­ri­als Tril­o­gy (The Gold­en Com­pass, The Sub­tle Knife, The Amber Spy­glass) by Philip Pull­man

thesubtleknife

(7) The Book of Lost Things by John Con­nol­ly

the-book-of-lost-things

(8) Alice In Won­der­land by Lewis Car­roll

alice in wonderland

(9) The Inkworld Tril­o­gy (Ink­heart, Inkspell, Inkdeath) by Cor­nelia Funke

inkdeath cover

(10) Reck­less, also by Cor­nelia Funke

Reckless cover

(11) The Nev­erend­ing Sto­ry by Michael Ende

neverending story cover

(12) A Wrin­kle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

wrinkle in time hardcover

(13) The Girl Who Cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ed Fairy­land In a Ship of Her Own Mak­ing by Cathryn­ne M. Valen­te

Girl-who-Circumnavigated-Fairyland

26 Oct
2012

Top 10 Horror Books for Halloween

Hal­loween is just around the cor­ner, and if you are any­thing like me you are watch­ing scary movies and read­ing scary books. Obvi­ous­ly, scary movies are great, but I find hor­ror books to be much more fright­en­ing. Movies have it easy, with make­up and spe­cial effects. Demon faces pop up out of nowhere and give you that heart attack feel­ing, but to me those are cheap thrills. Not that there is any­thing wrong with that. Hor­ror books don’t leap out at you cov­ered in fake gore. They take your hand and lead your down a dark alley to inevitable doom, allow­ing you to visu­al­ize the details from your own per­son­al set of fears. The slow, creepy pro­gress of a hor­ror book is what keeps me up late at night, read­ing under the cov­ers with a flash­light. Most of the­se books have been adapt­ed into movies, which is prob­a­bly where you know them from. As with most book-based movies, the books are way bet­ter.

Here is a list of some of our favorite hor­ror books and hope­ful­ly the weeks lead­ing up to Hal­loween will find you under your own cov­ers with a flash­light, read­ing wide-eyed all night.

Click READ MORE to read the list. Read more »

By    No Comments