Melanie is a compulsive reader and lifelong bibliophile. She dabbles in editing, bookbinding, and writing. Find her listening to a nonfiction audiobook on her commute around town or curled up with some literary or speculative fiction--along with her cat, of course.
Other recommendations: Where to start in science fiction and fantasy.
Two young soldiers from opposing sides of an intergalactic war fall madly in love and are forced into a life on the run in order to protect their newborn daughter. This comic series is everything I want from sci-fi: outlandish, creative, and ambitious. Vaughn's writing cops have already been proven with his wildly successful Y: The Last Man series, but this series is brought to vibrant life with Staples' fantastic and detailed artwork.
Tallis takes us a through a series of case studies--dotted with the history of psychology, sprinkled with his own personal reactions, and strung together with the theme of pathological love. An excellent choice for the layperson interested in psychology.
While the 1831 version is the one most modern readers are familiar with, there were two earlier versions published, the very first being in 1818. Major differences include the Paradise Lost epigraph being removed, the first chapter being broken up, and Elizabeth being changed from Victor's cousin to an unrelated woman under the family's charge. Perhaps the greatest distinction, however, is how Victor and Victor's free will are portrayed: in the 1818 version he chooses to stop his experiments.
A Young Adult retelling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein that reimagines the demure (and bland) character of Elizabeth Larenza, bride of Victor Frankenstein. Fans of the classic novel may be tempted to throw this book across the room halfway through, but I urge you to ride it out--it just may surprise you.
The Wayfarers series is loosely tied together so you don't necessarily have to read them all in order! Still, starting with The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is a good bet as it sets up the complex universe for the rest of the installments. It features a quirky found family on an episodic journey.
My favorite by Chambers so far! Alternating narratives ramp up in sync, with overlapping themes and characters, set in a wonderfully imagined sci-fi universe. AI fans, check it out!
With luminous and simple artwork, this picture book gives a gentle life lesson about how even seemingly small responsibilities can be important--and even little people can make big things happen.
A precious glimpse into a Japanese-American family's experience during WWII, this story was captured just in time as the two brothers featured passed away while the book was still in production. The Fukuhara family was split between America and Japan as Pearl Harbor was attacked and members endured not only military service on both sides, but also internments camps and the bombing of Hiroshima. Fascinating, heartbreaking, and yet charming!
Art Deco and steampunk collide in this brutal fantasy series set in an alternative-world Asia. It follows its young heroine, an outcast named Maika Halfwolf, as she searches for the source of her violent powers. Dark in both style and substance, Monstress isn't for the faint of heart but recommended for those looking for an intense new graphic series.
The fascinating and entertaining story of our wee friends the microbes and how they influence our day-to-day lives, from defense to digest. We are not alone and we're all the better for it--as long as we treat our microbiomes right. Well-researched and deftly written.
- Time travel.
- Plagues (plural).
- Christmas cheer!
There's nothing quite like this award-winning novel. Warning: danger of laughter, probability of tears. (Kim cried.)
My childhood favorite! And well-loved by my brothers and sisters too. Loaded with suspense, subterfuge, and romance and featuring a bold heroine--all set in Ancient Egypt under the rule of Queen Hatshepsut.
Don't let the horrifying memories of the decidedly not-for-children cartoon stop you!* This classic is truly unique. Fans of fantasy and sci-fi will appreciate the language and culture developed for the rabbit protagonists, while animal enthusiasts will appreciate how these critters are portrayed true to their nature. Well, almost true to nature...
*Although now there's a new adaptation to frighten a whole new generation.
At times simple and sweet and at others fast-paced and gut-wrenching, this graphic novel is a masterpiece. Originally seen as a webcomic, it is a story of love found and love lost, set in a fantastical conception of space. In this this universe, the conventions of sci-fi are ignored in favor of an elegant aesthetic and gentle story.
Kuper has captured Kafka's novella's essence and given it new form (although probably not an overnight transformation!), reimagining it with visceral intensity in stark black and white. A literary graphic novel not to be missed!
A powerful piece of narrative nonfiction, Evicted tackles the true stories of property owners and tenants in Milwaukee as a microcosm of a rising crisis across the country. Having lived among them while researching his book, Desmond paints intimate portraits of his subjects, making you want to cheer and weep in turn as they struggle with closely bound cycles of poverty, addiction, and eviction.