Reading Nook Book Club:
The Gargoyle: A Novel, by Andrew Davidson
I have never been more pleasantly surprised at the content of a book as compared to the expectations set by the jacket. I only cracked the cover as a favor to a friend who highly recommended it. Never before or since have I seen words give life to a story the way they do within these pages. Mr. Davidson takes a character I felt predestined to detest, places him in a setting I rarely read, and spins a story so wonderful that I was forced to reconsider my preconceptions—both in and out of the story. My biggest complaint is the seeming grail quest to find a book to match it.
Euphoria, by Lily King
An excellent love story that takes place in the 1930s in Papua New Guinea, loosely based on the the life of Margaret Mead.
"Euphoria is Lily King's nationally bestselling breakout novel of three young, gifted anthropologists of the '30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives."
The Vegetarian, by Han King
A very strange but powerful Korean novel about a woman's place in society and her relationship with her family.
"Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It's a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home."
Vanessa Hartel, Young Adult Librarian, Stephens Central Library
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
The first book of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer isn't just an ordinary retelling of Cinderella. First of all, the story is set in the future and definitely falls into the science fiction genre; be prepared for flying cars and cyborgs. But the changes don't stop there. Political intrigue, biological warfare, aliens, and many more fantastical additions truly make Cinder its own story, wildly divergent from its source of inspiration. All these elements combine in a beautiful way that transforms an age-old story about a girl, a fabulous pair of shoes, and a charming prince into an engaging story for today's audiences. Younger readers may enjoy the parallels to the fairy tale, while adult readers may become engrossed in the social and political aspects of Meyer's world. All of the books in the Lunar Chronicles series follow this pattern, morphing classic tales into something modern made for all ages.
Casey Dees, Young Adult Librarian, Stephens Central Library
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
Far from a fairy tale, our next recommendation is Ransom Riggs's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Although initially skeptical of his grandfather's wondrous stories, Jacob (Riggs's protagonist) quickly discovers that the stories were all true after the mysterious circumstance of his grandfather's death. Naturally, Jacob sets out to find more information on the characters featured in his grandfather's not-so-tall-tales; thus begins his perilous quest to find the fabled Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Riggs does not tell this story with words alone; integral to the story are the various black-and-white photographs mentioned throughout the book, depicting the odd children Jacob heard about from his grandfather. Adults reading this novel may start off thinking it is just another tale of children with magical talents, but an abundance of suspenseful and touching moments, along with the occasional scare, will keep readers of all ages enthralled until the end. And the best part is, with a movie adaptation right around the corner, new readers won't have long to wait before they see the story's fascinating images come to life.