by Arthur Bradford
A collection of short stories that I found on the shelf at EPL. These surreal stories are bizarre but capture a genuine feeling of humanity. After reading this book 15+ years ago, I bought my own copy and have it kept on my shelf ever since.
by Anthony Doerr
Before he wrote and became well-known for All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr wrote Memory Wall. This collection of short stories is gorgeously written and tied together with the theme of memory. I absolutely loved this book.
The Secret Island
by Enid Blyton
This is a children's fiction book about 3 siblings who are being raised by their harsh Aunt and Uncle after their parents supposedly die in a plane crash. They run away to live on a secret island on a lake along with a local orphan boy. They build a house made with willow branches and bring a cow and some chickens across to provide milk and eggs. I loved it as a child because it was a big adventure and my imagination was endless...and it had a happy ending.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
by Andrew Peterson
I really liked this book when I read it because it
takes place in a very unique world. It takes some of the relatively standard
tropes of the fantasy novel, and then changes them up. It has the standard
things of a very mysterious missing parent, small-town children who have to
make their way in the world, an evil empire and monsters who serve it. However,
it also includes things like a pirate, a giant dog, a strange man who wears socks
on his hands, and dragons that sing but don't fly. In addition to being a
great book on it's own; it sets up a series that only gets better as you go
through it. I think others would enjoy this book because it constantly
surprises, but in a way that makes you feel like you should have known what it
just reveals all along. Even though it takes place in a world very different
from ours, the characters always seem realistic and grow and change throughout
by Alan Brennert
I was shelving
books one day and just happened upon this book. I had heard of Palisades Park,
but knew little else. I am a fan of amusement parks and was curious to
find out about the now closed Palisades. In the book, we follow a
family from the 1930's until the park closes in 1971.
by Mick Foley
Retired-ish professional wrestler Mick Foley has written a few books, but this one seems to be forgotten. It's a high school coming-of-age story, but way darker and more twisted than a John Hughes high school movie from the 1980s.
The Clay Girl
by Heather Tucker
The Clay Girl is one of the best books I've read but it would be a difficult book for some readers. For me, this book is powerful, beautifully written, and was almost impossible to put down. Difficult and challenging subjects flow through the narrative, but this story transcends those topics and ultimately leaves the reader feeling hopeful and so happy for the good people that come into the main character, Ari's, life. I would recommend that you not give up reading this book until you've read at least 50 pages. It takes a while to understand who the characters are and even longer to understand what has happened to Ari, the main character, when she was a young child. Part of the beauty of this book is getting Ari's perspective on life and what is happening in her family as she gets older. There is a beautifully rendered family tree in the front of the book which does help you keep track of the characters.
Too Close to the Falls
by Catherine Gildiner
This is a thoroughly entertaining, and sometimes laugh out loud, memoir of a young woman coming of age in the 1960's. Loved it!