My paperback copies of Ray Bradbury's wonderful fantasy collections--The Illustrated Man, October Country, Dandelion Wine, The Machineries of Joy, and The Martian Chronicles--are in sad shape. The pages are brittle, yellowed, and, yes, a bit musty. But I keep them because his lyrical words matchlessly probe humanity at its worst and best. When friends of mine gifted us with 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales one Christmas, I was happy to have many of those beautiful stories collected together in a hardback edition to last for years--and so was the local library for we own several copies of it.
I certainly won't go through every one of the one hundred, but I'll mention several pieces that stuck with me time and again. One of the first stories in the collection is "The Rocket," in which a poor junk man gets hold of a prototype rocketship and dreams of somehow going into space with his family. "The Sailor Home from the Sea" is a tale of loss and love and the imagination to reconcile them. "The Sound of Summer Running" is the opening piece for Dandelion Wine, and it brings back the time of year and the time of life for one young man who feels as if his whole town might capsize, go under, leaving not a trace in the clover and weeds of burgeoning summer.
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.
If you like the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, you may like some of the following books. Sookie is not only a telepath, but a spunky gal! This series features all kinds of fearsome creatures, but the humor shines through at all times.
One list you might like is "Books With Bite" featuring vampires, werewolves and other fictional creatures that go bump in the night.
A few favorites from this list include:
Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner.
Kate Connor, Demon Hunter, is now a sububarn stay-at-home mom with a teenager and a toddler. Juggling car pools, play dates, teenage mood swings and a workaholic husband makes clearing out a horde of ravening demons seem pretty easy.
Cajun Cowboy by Sandra Hill
Talk about a bad hair day! Louisiana beauty salon owner Charmaine LeDeux has a loan shark on her tail, and Raoul Lanier, the six-foot-three hunk of testosterone she thought she divorced, has just delivered a bombshell: They're still married! At least the rundown ranch they've inherited together is the perfect hideout. Holy crawfish! It's hard enough for Raoul to play cowboy to a bunch of scrawny steer, let alone suffer the exquisite torture of living with the delectable Charmaine, who's declared herself a born-again virgin. What's a man crazy with desire to do? Seduce her on their home on the range, even if it means taking advice from bachelor ranch hands, Charmaine's belly-dancing great-aunt, and St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes.--catalog summary
"Now we see in a glass dimly, but then face to face."
Because you enjoyed the action and adventure in Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud, I have some other books you may enjoy.
If you haven't read Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy, you may want to give it a try. In the first book, The Amulet of Samarkand, a magician's apprentice summons the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet from a powerful magician.
Nick of Time by Ted Bell.
Nick McIver is no ordinary boy. He travels through time, fighting pirates and beating Nazis at their own game.
If you enjoy dark humor, dry wit, tales of the occult and rooting for the bad guy, then you need to start reading Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard right away. Cabal is a "scientist" obsessed with destroying death. Toward this end, he has traded his soul with the Devil for knowledge of necromancy. Unfortunately, it turns out that Cabal actually needs his soul to perform his experiments and so returns to the Devil, this time agreeing to collect 100 souls within a year or forfeit his own life for good. To aid Cabal in his quest is a demonic carnival, his vampire brother Horst (one of Johannes' early experimental whoopsies) and an insane asylum’s-worth of escaped psychotics. Johannes Cabal has one year in which to trick, bribe, extort, charm, bedazzle, bully, bludgeon or otherwise convince 100 people to sign their souls over to the Devil or he is dead and Hell-bound to boot.