This post is part of our Guest Picks series, featuring members of our library community sharing their favorite books and movies.
About Jarod Kearney
Jarod is the assistant director and curator of The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library. He is also a photographer and actor, known for playing Luigi in the hit Web series Mario Warfare and Eros in Plan 9. He holds an MA in Museum Studies and BA in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
"When I was a kid back in the days of antiquity, my love for literature was instilled by my mother getting her Ph.D. in English – instead of reading children’s books to me she would read the Odyssey, Keats, Beowulf, etc. I didn’t know who the Bernstein Bears were, but I knew Scyld the Son of Sheaf terrified the lords with bands of raiders around the whale-road. As a young kid who made wooden swords looking for dragons, that was just COOL. Fast-forward to today, and my love of a good book encompasses many different genres – I do a lot of driving so I’ll include some audiobooks recommendations as well…"
"Always a classic, the book is way ahead of its time. The concepts in it are amazing, particularly the mechanics of the ship - like a steampunk candy store. The descriptions of the undersea encounters are fascinating, basically the literary equivalent of going to the Baltimore aquarium. "
"In addition to the wonderfully creepy story and classic nature, something that always stuck out to me was the use of telegrams, etc. in the narrative, and not just as a gimmick. It would be like writing a book today with text messages, definitely interesting and another book ahead of its time."
"The library has this available, and it is great for long distance trips. If you haven’t read (listened?) to it get ready for crazed barons, a world-building mythology, and sandworms that make the ones from Tremors look like shrimps." Also available to download on audio.
"The book equivalent of a summer blockbuster – lots of explosions, monsters, and dare I say – even a love story. What’s not to like? The third book in the series, 'Alpha,' is one of the greatest urban fantasy reads of all time. And I don’t just say that because there are a ton of werewolves (but it helps)."
"Even if you saw the movie, the book has way more pop culture references for your inner nerd – definitely worth checking out. Plus, Wil Wheaton reading…"
"As far as urban fantasy goes, this series (The Dresden Files) is one of the best. Sure it won’t get you thinking about renaissance economics or the philosophical meaning of existence, but it will get you cheering when Dresden battles evil with a reanimated a T-Rex skeleton. As the great philosophers Bill and Ted said, 'Most excellent.'"