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Fiction and Literature

High Anxiety

Anxiety is hard to live with, but it makes for some great literature.

Elephant and Piggie star in Mo Willems' twenty-five volume award winning series for early readers that will delight both children and adults.

elevation by stephen king

Scott Carey looks normal, yet he is gradually losing more and more weight. The problem is he has no idea why this is happening, and he is scare of what might happen when the scale reads zero.

whoever you are

Looking for new favorites that support early reading skills like rhyme, repetition, colors, and numbers? Here is a list of books with diverse representation and inclusive themes for a young audience. 

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...especially when the woman scorned is a witch.  Maria Owen navigates joy, pain, and the trials and tribulations that come with love in Alice Hoffman's Magic Lessons.  

Book Cover of Luci Soars by Lulu Delacre

 Luci Soars is the newest book by prolific author and illustrator Lulu Delacre. When you're different, it can seem like the whole world is against you. How can you rise above it? 

Silvia Moreno-Garcia's Mexican Gothic

A house that's "sick with rot, stinks of decay, booms with every single evil and cruel sentiment" would definitely get a five star rating on a "terrifying vacation destinations" booking site; and it is the absolute perfect setting for Sylvia Moreno-Garcia's chilling 2020 novel.

Book Cover of a New Kind of Wild

When Ren has to move to a gray and concrete city, will he miss his home in the wild and beautiful el Yunque too much to see anything magical ever again? Published just this year, A New Kind of Wild is a delightful, imaginative picture book.

hair love

It is up to Zuri's father to give his daughter an extra-special hairstyle.

Did you know that Asian Pacific American Heritage month is traditionally celebrated in May? This year, we might not be able to throw a big party, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our Asian Pacific American read on.

How does a vacation to a far-off destination sound to you? Maybe with a beautiful, sandy beach or a picturesque french countryside; amazing right? And also not physically feasible for most people right now. But that doesn't mean you can't still go to these places, just check out one of these books. 

This is a great collection for the ghost story neophyte or for the old hand at enjoying ghost stories.  The editors present a collection that includes both classic and new tales from established authors in the genre. In bringing these masterful tales back from the dead, Ghost Stories will enlighten and frighten both longtime fans and new readers of the genre.

If you weren't able to check out any physical books from the Library before self-isolating at home, or perhaps the one you have hasn't turned out to be very good - don't worry! Here are some recommendations for titles to check out NOW from the Library's Overdrive page. 

When it seems like everything has changed and nothing will ever be the same, books can be a welcome constant.

I’m really a ghost story kind of guy, but the title of this book intrigued me:  Mystery Writers of America Presents VENGEANCE, edited by Lee Child.  I remembered really fun stories about vengeance from my high school teaching days—“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe sticking out most in my mind.

You know when you pick it up that a book whose writer has won the Nobel Prize in Literature is going to be an important read.  I picked up The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing because it piqued my curiosity. 

It's been 26 years in the making, but 2020 will be the year I finally learn to ride a bike - with the library's help of course.

What's good about frigid and dreary winter weather? It's the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book.

Check out this wealth of recommendations from some of our bloggers, and find out a bit more about them as you do.

Well folks here we are at the end of another year. I've laughed, I've cried, and I've definitely hit my reading goal. Let me tell you all about my 2019 stand outs.

I love love love cozy mysteries. These books and shows are what I consume after reading and/or watching my other favorite genres—Horror and SciFi. Cozies are what I cozy up to when I’m feeling too exhausted and stressed. They are also what I go to if I don’t want to be overwhelmed by too graphic or too explicit content. All the TV series mentioned have books associated with the series. All of the series mentioned here are available from Nashville Public Library!

Mark your calendars! The Southern Festival of Books is October 11-13.  The festival takes place at Nashville Public Library and War Memorial Plaza and is free and open to the public.

Although she is perhaps best known as the writer of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood has also written several books for children. Take an opportunity to introduce your child to one of the giants of modern literature by reading some books written especially for them.

It’s almost fall, which means it’s almost time to curl up with a blanket and hot chocolate and read some classics!  Here are some lesser-known suggestions.

The news of Toni Morrison's passing on August 5 was met with tributes and gratitude for a life well lived. While she is best known as the author of such novels as The Bluest Eye and Beloved, Morrison also wrote several books for children. It is not yet too early to introduce the children in your life to the work of this incomparable writer.

This novel was completely insane in the very best possible way. 

“With wicked insight, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates why the females of the species—be they six-year olds, seemingly devoted wives, or aging mothers—are by nature more deadly than the males” (cover flap).

Science fiction writers of the past dreamed of futures, dark and bright, in which humans traveled to the stars, colonized other worlds, and encountered aliens both friendly and deadly. In all their imaginings, did they ever see their genre--ghettoized for so long as just that, genre fiction, said with a sneer--gaining prominence, even prevalence in the culture?

This is the funniest and most enjoyable book I’ve read this year.  If you’re a little misanthropic and have a vacation coming up, you need to place your hold now.

You’ve probably heard about the upcoming movie versions of The Woman in the Window, The Goldfinch, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette.  But are you ready for Lovecraft Country and Motherless Brooklyn?

 

Happy Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month! To celebrate, let me share with you one of my all-time favorite novels.

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Writer Pat Mora is a poet, an educator, an activist, and a storyteller who often borrows from her Chicana background to tell stories of family, heritage, and the joy that reading can bring.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alison Lurie offers here nine spooky tales of women  haunted by ghosts-both literal and metaphysical.  There is no clue, or introduction, to tell us why the focus is on women, only the stories, each with a female protagonist, grappling somewhere between the natural and the supernatural, the definite and the not-quite-defined.

It seems that many of the authors of ghost stories—including M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft—point to the stories of Sheridan Le Fanu as the preeminent masterpieces of the genre.  As a ghost story enthusiast, it took me some time to get to him in my “studies,” but the wait and the reward were both well worth the wait.  In a Glass Darkly contains six stories considered by critics to be among Le Fanu’s best works. 

What a great book of stories for the ghost story enthusiast who wants something different than the Victorian classics!  Editor Ellen Datlow says this collection of stories is designed to be scary—and indeed, even the most self-composed reader may find the hair rising and the skin creeping over this collection.

The announcement of the Caldecott, Newbery, and other recipients of the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards is a cause for celebration! Did your favorites win? Or what books will now be on your reading list? Check out our round-up (with links to our collection) below

This year has been full of great reads. I found some excellent new series, a couple of graphic novels that made me cry, and lots of amazing YA novels. Here are some of my most favorite reads from 2018.

The year’s not quite over, but here are my top 5 picks in fiction, nonfiction, and movies, in no particular order:

As of today, there are just 10 more days till NaNoWriMo 2018 comes to an end and all of the word goals must be met. Here are a few non-writing tricks to help you push through these last couple of weeks.

Born in Mexico City, author and illustrator Angela Dominguez grew up in Texas. Named several times as a Pura Belpré Honor for illustration, she now lives on the East Coast. Her friendly and open artwork invites the reader into a world where they can truly see themselves and others.

 

 

Every October, the Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word, turns our “it city” into “lit city.” With three days of thoughtful, exciting programming, this event has long been a fall-time favorite, appealing to more than just bookworms. I investigated the roots of this community-building festival using primary and secondary sources from NPL Special Collections.

One of the most marvelous writers and illustrators of children's literature today, Yuyi Morales mines her Mexican childhood for the magical words and riotous colors that inform her beautiful books. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the prestigious Pura Belpré Medal.

Once, at a punk rock show in Kentucky, the lead singer of a Nashville band lamented the small turnout of the crowd. “I think Kentucky is more Southern than Tennessee,” he said. 

The new Benedict Cumberbatch adaptation on Showtime is an excellent excuse to finally get around to reading Edward St. Aubyn.  

In The Recovering, author Leslie Jamison confronts her own alcoholism with the help of a chorus of famous drinking writers: Raymond Carver, Jean Rhys, Charles Jackson, and Denis Johnson, to name a few.  

The book or the movie? An eternal question always likely to instigate some lively debate, although most folks will probably side more often with the book. And every now and then they’re definitely both worth heralding, which is the case here.

Published on March 13, Junot Díaz´s long awaited first book for children is a love letter to the children-both young and old- who carry in themselves the memories of the places that have shaped them and their communities.

Visionary science fiction and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin has passed away at the age of 88.

Was your New Year’s resolution to be kinder to people?  You should read this book.

Agatha Christie may have secured eternal recognition for a classic murder mystery involving a train and copious amounts of snow, but she wasn't the only skilled mystery writer of yesteryear to use those elements in service to an enjoyably twisty adventure.

Now that it's officially December, we can bring out the Christmas music! These beautifully illustrated versions of Christmas songs and carols bring traditional music to life in a whole new way.

Rashad "thaPoet" Rayford shares his reading list for those who wish to further explore activism and civil rights in literature.

Welcome to Part #2 of my NaNoWriMo series. We are now nine days into NaNoWriMo, and at roughly 2,000 words a day, you should have written about 18,000 words. Are you keeping pace? Need help?

Have you picked out who you’re going to see at the Southern Festival of Books October 13-15?
The festival is free and open to the public, and sessions take place at the Main Library and War Memorial Auditorium.

There’s a scene in Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka where the main character, Vanja, goes into a locked archive in her office to file papers and surreptitiously search for secret details about her commune’s past. Outside, a stern secretary watches the clock to ensure Vanja doesn’t spend too much time alone with these secrets.

Whether you're pressed for time or need some vacation reading, short stories are the answer.

Looking for a challenge this summer? Work your way through 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up and 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up!

She was convicted of murder at age nine. Now she is pregnant and in state custody at age sixteen. If Mary can't trust her mother, her social worker, or her own memory, how will she survive and make a better life for her and her baby?

In this country’s present political and cultural climate, there are some people who think it’s acceptable to discriminate against people who may be Muslim or from the Middle East. This, of course, is wrong. People are people, and they all deserve respect, safety, and understanding. The children's books below portray Muslims and the Middle East in the light they deserve: positive, honest, open, and respectful.

This March 7 release will be one of the big hits of the season--put your copy on hold now!

Unique and frightening, this anomaly of a novel combined mystery and horror to illusory, bewildering effect.

It's December, which means it's time for "best of" lists everywhere you look. Hurray!

When was the last time you were stopped in your tracks by a pleonasm or a zeugma? You probably wouldn’t know unless you consulted Mark Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase (Berkley, 2013).

Are you anxiously awaiting your copy of The Girls? Here are a few suggestions to tide you over until your hold arrives.

Bright Lights, Dark Nights is a modern tale of first love between star-crossed teen lovers; Walter, the comic book nerd, who loves the Wu-Tang Clan and film noir and Naomi, the athlete, who just so happens to be the sister of Walter’s best friend.

Having read The Girl with All the Gifts, I was really excited to pick up the second book under Mike Carey’s new pen name. Mike Carey is very well-known in the comic book scene as the writer for the Vertigo comic book series Lucifer and 35 issues of Hellblazer (which was the basis for both the movie and television show Constantine).  He is the current ongoing writer for X-Men: Legacy and the Ultimate Fantastic Four for Marvel Comics.  These are just a few of his credentials in the world of comic books – he’s written fiction novels, as well.

This month's post is about the holiday season and some of the literary treats that accompany it, such as the classic Christmas tale A Christmas Carol.  It also includes instructions on creating ornaments from recycled Christmas Carols!

Whether you be a Grinch or a Who, tis’ the season to cozy up with a warm blanket, long book and a cup of hot tea.  In keeping with the holiday spirit, we’ve compiled a list of Young Adult books to keep you company as the nights get colder. Sing to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

An original author, creating a fictitious author writing what amounts to fan fiction, that was then borrowed by another fictitious character for more fan fiction, and then back to the original author who took the fictitious author's character and wrote her own fan fiction? What's not to love about that?

You might not expect a novel about killer plants to be thoroughly lacking in over-the-top corniness, but John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids handily pulls it off.

 A Southern family dynasty romance? I’m so in. I have a real soft spot for Southern literature and family sagas, so to put those together was very exciting.

Summer is winding down, the days are getting shorter, and the first day of school is just around the corner. Shake off your back to school blues and go on an end-of-summer vacation with a hot YA Road Trip title. Before hitting the open road, don’t forget to fill up the gas tank, pack some snacks, and create the perfect summer playlist.

In anticipation of the release of the new Harper Lee title, Go set a watchman, you may want to visit the classic, the title by which all American modern fiction is measured, To Kill a Mockingbird. The new title was written before Mockingbird, remained unpublished and is a sequel to Mockingbird, telling the tale of the adult Jean Louise Finch Scout.

The Summer Challenge theme this year is "Every Hero Has a Story." Check out these books with antiheroes - characters who lack conventional superhero characteristics, such as courage, idealism, and morality. You may just find your next favorite read!

My father is where I get my love of science fiction and fantasy. I grew up around Robert Heinlein and Marion Zimmer Bradley (I was even named after one of her books!). Both my parents encouraged me to read growing up, which has made me the bibliophile I am today!

According to Merriam-Webster, a hero is someone who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. Take a peek at these stories of bravery and outstanding achievement!

Summer is the time to be outside in the sun and lounge around. If you're looking for a good book to read, check these out. You're not likely to find them on any summer reading list you encounter this year.

As baby-boomers redefine the cultural landscape, it is appropriate that we re-write the literature, cinema, and music of our time. That’s right, Stevie Nicks, it’s now the Edge of Seven-ty.

Introducing Melanie, the smartest of a group of children being taught in an underground facility. They have a variety of teachers, some cold and calculating, others loving and caring like Mrs. Justineau. Mostly, they learn about literature and Greek myths. They are no tests. In fact, the children are all strapped into chairs, escorted by armed soldiers, and treated like animals.

Each April, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) releases a list of nominated books. From the list of approximately 25 books (found in the post), teens everywhere choose their favorites. So if you want your favorite on the Teen Top Ten list, check out the nominees and cast your vote!

Believe it or not, many movies are adapted from books. More recently, several of those movies were once Young Adult books. Here's a list of upcoming feature films that are based on Young Adult novels.

In anticipation of the Newbery Awards, being announced February 2nd, library staff compiled a list of our favorite chapter books published in 2014.

Since New Year’s is all about making resolutions, I think one of the best resolutions a reader can make is to diversify what they read throughout the year. That being said, POPSUGAR has created a 2015 Reading Challenge, a list of different genres or themes to use as a jumping off point to expand your reading horizons.Here are a few highlights from the POPSUGAR list, and what I'll be reading for each one.

In honor of the beginning of the next series of Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery, I went to the periodicals stacks to dig up some original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and came across something that interested me even more. 

This is hands-down the best historical fiction that I have read this past year. I cannot say enough about this book, it is so good. The story is compelling and poignant and the atmospheric setting immediately transports the reader to another place and time.

Audio books are my favorite way to sneak a little “reading” into the post-holiday grind. Thankfully, the library has three ways to do it with CD audio, Playaway audio, and downloads from Overdrive.