Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Rosie Nominees and Supernatural Fiction

If you are one of the few people who haven’t read this Rosie nominated book yet, do so as soon as possible!  Filled with creepy black and white photos, this mesmerizing story centers on sixteen-year old-Jacob Portman and the events following the mysterious death of his grandfather.  To help him overcome his grief, Jacob travels with his father to a remote island off the coast of Wales to find answers about his grandfather’s childhood.  He discovers much more than he bargained for when he finds a “time loop” from 1940 where the children from his grandfather’s stories hide from the rest of the world.  These children are not ordinary children; each has a unique special talent that makes them a target for a group of monsters intent of world domination.  Soon enough, Jacob learns about his grandfather’s past and discovers that he has inherited his own special talent that has placed him and his new friends in grave danger.

If you read the book and are interested in looking at some more bizarre photographs; the author, Ransom Riggs published a collection of vintage photographs called Talking Pictures: Images and Messages rescued from the past.

If you are looking for another spooky novel with a more historical setting, try In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters.  This is another novel filled with chilling photographs that takes place during the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic.  Mary Shelley Black has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego, a city filled with gauze wearing citizens fearful of getting sick.  Mary’s true love, Stephen, dies while fighting in the trenches in Europe around the same time that she is electrocuted.  This accident causes Mary to have strange side effects such as causing compass needles to spin, being able to taste emotions, and visitations from Stephen’s ghost.  Mary comes to believe that there is more to Stephen’s death than she has been told and that uncovering the truth will allow his spirit to rest.

For more supernatural adventures with a lighter tone check out another Rosie nominee, Lish McBride’s Hold Me Closer Necromancer.  This book tells the story of Sam, a college dropout and fry cook, who discovers that he can raise the dead.  This makes him a prime target for slavery or death by an evil and powerful necromancer.  With the help of some other supernatural friends, Sam must figure out how to escape the evil necromancer while learning how to use his newfound powers.

There are even more spooky and fun supernatural fiction novels to be found.  For some more suggestions come visit us at the library.

Library Staff Recommended Books for 2012

I love the long winter nights of December and January for reading. You can start a book at dusk, and if you're lucky and don't get distracted, finish it before bedtime. It's also a good time of year to discover new authors, subjects you've never investigated, and different formats. (Power up that e-reader!) Magazines, newspapers, and websites also offer their best book lists this time of year.

Librarians have the advantage of being able to browse the stacks and the new book section often. Frequently, they employ the magic of serendipity, accidently discovering that dynamic cover that draws one inside a book, or they notice a title on the cart they've seen reviewed, or find themselves staring at a never-read classic that's been on their lists for years. It's also a great place to overhear book gossip, "That's the best book I've read in months."

In the spirit of sharing new authors and titles, I asked our staff members to recommend a favorite book of the year.  Most recommended fiction but the nonfiction reads looked just as interesting--everything from visual essays about daily life in Christoph Niemann's Abstract City to Susan Cain's account of introverts in a book titled appropriately enough Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking. Also, recommended was Ian Frazier's On the Rez, an absorbing description of current life on an Indian reservation.  Not to be left out is the terrifying Escape from Camp 14--a young man's account of growing up in a brutal labor camp in North Korea and after living through countless horrible events, he escaped and experienced an outside world that he did not even know existed.  

The fiction includes such enticing titles as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell and Alan Campbell's Damnation for Beginners (about life in Hell, where else?).  There's much more from mysteries to sci-fi and young adult fantasy. Thanks to everyone who contributed. Here's the link if you would like to examine the whole list. And we'd love to hear what books you liked this year.