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Fantasy

Book Club Choices: April 2011

The perfect book for a book discussion is one that's not too easy, not too hard, which will hold the interest of a diverse group of readers and will also inspire a lively discussion.

Plain Kate

One of my esteemed colleagues, whose opinion I value very highly, once gave a presentation illustrating that you can tell a book by its cover. So, when I picked up Plain Kate by Erin Bow to read, I looked at its cover and thought I was in for a fanciful tale about an orphan girl and her cat, probably set in 18th century London; a simple, sweet story about a chimney sweep lass — along the lines of Mary Poppins and Bert. Forget it! Witchcraft, mysteriously sinister magic, gyspies, bigotry, superstition, loss of loved ones, hunger, plagues, death… those are but some of the dark elements behind this light dreamy-looking cover.

Paranormalcy

Parnormalcy stands out from the rest of the paranormal romance books out there in that it's got something of an attitude. Yes, romance junkies, you can be sure there's plenty there to make your heart 'a flutter', but it's the tongue in cheek humor — a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and the very likable, kick-butt heroine, with her pink taser and sarcastic commentary, that makes this worth reading. This book isn't afraid to poke fun at itself while at the same time dishing out top notch suspense. Definitely worth checking out.

Tiffany Aching series

If you’re a firstcomer to Pratchett, then Wee Free Men is an excellent place to start; if you're an old fan, then rest assured that all of the trademark wit you've come to love is here. I found this book hillarious. I could tell you about a girl trying to become a witch, lost baby brothers, and little blue men, but it's the clever dialogue that sells this book. Oh, and the audio book is excellent too!

Ready for Another Grim Grimm Tale?

Follow Hansel and Gretel on their exciting, but bloody and gruesome, adventures in A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz. This book makes no bones about keeping to the original shock and horror of some of the Brothers Grimm's tales. It is not for the faint of heart or those looking for 'nice' endings. It is for readers who like humorous adaptations of old tales. Wit and suspense combine to make this a real page-turner. I can't give the ending away, but you won't be disappointed. If you can't get your hands on this book yet, try the Sisters Grimm series or some of the library's other fairy tale adaptations.

Fantasy, Adventure, and a Touch of the Unexpected

The tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler; illustrated by Sarah Gibb

Hippolyta and the curse of the Amazons by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix

What Should I Read?

In what order should you read a series? Read everything written by Sue Grafton or Malcolm Gladwell and would like to try a similar author? Books & Authors, available in Canton Public Library's databases, allows you to search by title and/or author, subject, keyword, time period, geographic location, or character. Follow the series links for additional titles, or take advantage of the Expert Picks & Librarian's Favorites for recommendations based on some of your favorite titles or topics.

A Mixed Bag of Teen Reads from 2010

Some of my favorite teen books from 2010 include fantasy, historical fiction, and a few plain old realistic fiction reads.

Ostrich boys by Keith Gray

Sisters red by Jackson Pearce

Countdown by Deborah Wiles

Tumtum & Nutmeg

Tumtum and Nutmeg are big heroes in tiny packages — they may even be the world's bravest mice. Arthur and Lucy, the children of Rose Cottage, are terribly neglected by their absentminded father and must be looked after. Just as the holidays are approaching, an evil neighboring mouse absconds with the children's Christmas gifts. Will they be able to retrieve them in time? More exciting adventures await them when they take a holiday seaside vacation replete with treasure maps and more evil mice. Even when their world gets chaotic, this is still a cozy read. Mouse-sized vehicles run smoothly, battles are epic, but weapons shoot sherbet powder and peppermint gas. Check out these heart-warming tales to be enjoyed by all during the holidays.

Museum of Thieves

Just when you thought there couldn't be… there is another great fantasy series in the works. It starts out with Museum of Thieves, an action-packed story filled with very strong, memorable characters. Goldie and Toadspit are two runaway 'thieves' from the city of Jewel. But you will learn that sometimes it behooves you to be a good thief. They are hidden by the 'good guys' from the 'bad guys' in the Museum of Dunt, which is a museum like you've never encountered before, so that they can help protect Jewel from a great evil that could destroy everything and everyone. Transmuting creatures, evil designs, magical mysteries, suspense, comic relief — this enticing world created by Lian Tanner has it all. You will be lucky to get your hands on a copy of the book or CD as the series is continued and word gets out!

An Urban Take on Fantasy Series

Urban fantasy, a sub-genre of fantasy that is set in a city, is alive and well. In urban fantasy, witches, warlocks, vampires and other undead find the city a great place to live (or die). Try these series if you want to add a little "edge" to your fantasy.

Paranormal Romance

If you enjoy paranormal romances like those written by Shayla Black, give these authors a try!

Fantastic Fairy Tales

Do you enjoy curses, trapped princesses, and impossible tasks? If you enjoyed books like Ella Ehcanted, here's some more for you:

Ever by Gail Carson Levine

The fairy-tale detectives by Michael Buckley ; pictures by Peter Ferguson

Into the Wild : a novel by Sarah Beth Durst

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The frog princess by E.D. Baker

Fantasy for Fiends

Can't get enough fast paced magic, sorcery, and adventure? Check out this list:

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

The alchemyst by Michael Scott

Uglies.

The Search for WondLa

Tony DiTerilizzi has created another fantastical masterpiece with The Search for WondLa, the first book of a trilogy. Eva Nine has lived a pleasant, but sometimes boring, secluded existence in an underground, artificial world with her robot 'mom' for her first twelve years. A paid huntsman radically changes this life when he destroys their home and captures Eva. With the help of some strange creatures, who soon become her best friends, Eva manages to escape. Together they embark on a thrilling journey packed with awesome encounters of every sort as Eva courageously searches for other human beings. Readers can only hope that book #2 won't be long in coming.

Far, Far Away: Fictitious Journeys

On glorious wings : the best flying stories of the century by edited and introduced by Stephen Coonts

Up in the air by Walter Kirn

Summerland by Michael Chabon

Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

Fantasy and Futuristic Fiction For the Thoughtful Reader

Perhaps you are a fantasy or science fiction reader in search of meaning and intelligent thought. You'd like a book that you will think about long after you finish reading it. Leave the fluff behind and try one of these suggestions.

Repairman Jack

F. Paul Wilson's latest Repairman Jack book, Ground Zero, will be released this week. In his recent newsletter, Wilson described the book: "A woman has been posting anonymously on 9/11 Truther sites...you know, the folks (like Van Jones) who think the Trade Tower attack was all a government conspiracy. Well, she says they're right about the conspiracy, but it wasn't Bush or Cheney manufacturing a second Pearl Harbor to get us into Iraq...and it wasn't Big Oil...and it wasn't the New World Order… The truth is stranger, darker, and more evil than anyone can imagine. Those behind the plot will do anything to stop her. But they've made a fatal miscalculation. They don't know about Jack. ...They don't know this woman has a guardian who is armed to the teeth and can be just as cold-blooded as they. Maybe more so. Many Truths are revealed in GROUND ZERO .

If you like Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood...

If you enjoy the suspense elements of Nora and Julie's books, our Contemporary Romantic Suspense bookmark may help you find some appealing new authors. Perhaps you also like the fantasy elements Nora has been dabbling in lately. The following authors mix romance with fantasy for an exciting blend. We've listed book one from each of their series, so you can start at the very beginning.

The Calling by Jennifer Ashley 
Dark Prince by Christine Feehan
Fantasy lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon