Reading Room Blog

11/11/2014 - 7:34am
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

For his first published novel, cartoonist and writer Edgar Cantero has given the world an exquisite and mysterious work of speculative fiction in The Supernatural Enhancements. The narrator, a twenty-something European man who only goes by A. Wells, inherits the Axton House, an old plantation mansion in Point Bless, Virginia, after he learns of a second cousin, (“twice removed”) who has recently committed suicide by jumping out of a window. To A.’s surprise, the suicide follows a familiar pattern in the Wells family tree: the same age, the same time of the year, and the same method of suicide…and the worst of it is, A. is getting especially close to falling in with the same death pattern himself.

11/05/2014 - 8:36am
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

Nuclear reactors have ruptured in the Midwest, spreading radiation sickness and crippling civilization as we know it. Roving marauders now plague the land. Your mission is to survive and travel to a safe stronghold in what used to be Kansas. Welcome to Trace Italian, a game invented by Sean Phillips.

Wolf in White Van is a haunting portrayal of how we carry the scars of adolescence with us for the rest of our lives, be they emotional or physical. Ever since the accident involving his father's rifle, Sean's facial disfigurement has pushed him into isolation. Seeing him shocks people, and he knows this.

11/04/2014 - 8:52am
Barbie All Dolled Up: Celebrating 50 Years of Barbie by Jennie D’Amato

Full of fun facts and ephemera such as a fan club card, Barbie All Dolled Up celebrates the iconic doll’s 50th birthday. Author Jennie D’Amato collects photos, newspaper articles, quotes and the memorabilia of Barbie’s life in this scrapbook tribute to her influence with charm and humor and lots of fashion!  Whether you played with a Barbie,  collect Barbies, or just enjoy browsing through the life of a pop culture princess, this book is nostalgic, fun, and has lots of color--especially pink since Barbie practically invented the color.

10/29/2014 - 7:46am
The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

From the countryside orphanage to the seedy dives of a whaling town to a mining village literally underlain by ghosts, Hannah Tinti’s The Good Thief is a vivid and engaging tale of filching and family.

10/28/2014 - 8:46am
The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes

High and low culture collide in The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes. The literary journal has collected its humor pieces, featuring all sorts of short essays, lists, and ephemera related to classic literature.

10/22/2014 - 1:23pm
The Arsonist by Sue Miller

After years spent working in East Africa for a world health aid organization, Frankie Rowley returns to her parents’ (formerly summer, now permanent) home in the small New Hampshire town of Pomeroy. Although she had come stateside on numerous occasions, this visit is different. In Sue Miller’s The Arsonist, Frankie finds herself torn between the challenging but transient nature of her current job and the need to find something more permanent…permanent in terms of locale and permanent in terms of relationships. 

10/21/2014 - 8:10am
The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

The ten Boom family lived a quiet, respectable life in the Dutch town of Haarlem. Corrie and her father made and repaired clocks. Her sister was their housekeeper. They were loved by the community. But in neighboring countries, Nazi Germany was rising, and soon it would sweep into the Netherlands.

10/15/2014 - 8:38am
Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 2 by Ed Piskor

Hip Hop Family Tree Volume 2 picks up right where Ed Piskor's first phenomenal graphic novel left off. By 1981, the record industry has started to capitalize on the raw talent of urban youth. The sounds are slicker and the rhymes are tighter, but Piskor manages to find and highlight the raw edges of the musical movement.

10/14/2014 - 8:36am
Before Ever After by Samantha Sotto

Samantha Sotto’s Before Ever After is a magical, mysterious, and romantic treat.  Shelley was a very locked-down person before she met up with Max, who took her and a bevy of eccentric souls on a European tour unlike any other. Stuffed into a VW microbus and crossing the English Channel, Max leads them on a truly fascinating tour off the usual path. Along the way, Shelley and Max fall deeply in love. It’s a pity it can’t last.

09/24/2014 - 3:00am
I Wear the Black Hat by Chuck Klosterman

I Wear the Black Hat is Chuck Klosterman's sixth book of cultural essays and the first one to explore villainy in all of its forms. 

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