Thursday, September 30, 2021

Intro to Science Fiction

The idea of science fiction can be intimidating. You might think of dense text filled with space exploration and scientific jargon, but there’s much more to it than that. What readers may not realize is that science fiction has a wide spectrum of sub-genres and topics, meaning there is something for everyone to enjoy — you just have to find your niche.

Here are three recommendations for science fiction entry points to help you try out the genre. Have another idea of a topic that might pique your interest? Stop by the library and ask!

"Dreamers" by Karen Thompson Walker

One day, a college student falls asleep and doesn’t wake up, unable to be roused by anyone. As more girls fall asleep, the town is thrown into chaos. A young couple tries to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. Two sisters turn to each other for comfort as their survivalist father prepares for disaster. Those affected by the illness are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, higher than has ever been recorded before. They are dreaming heightened dreams--but of what? “The Dreamers” is about the possibilities contained within a human life--if only we are awakened to them.

Putting something by Blake Crouch on this list is a bit of a cheat. His books are more “fiction about science,” but it skirts the line into science fiction in a way that makes it more appealing for beginners to the genre. In “Dark Matter” you follow a man named Jason, who is knocked unconscious and wakes in a life he doesn’t recognize. His wife is not his wife, his son was never born, and he’s a celebrated scientific genius instead of a college professor. And all he wants to do is fight his way back home. This book is a great science fiction entry point for readers who like thrillers, and reads like an action film.

"Binti" by Nnedi Okorafor

At just under 100 pages, readers will be able to breeze through this book. That said, “Binti” is the most science fiction-y book on this list. Binti is the first person in her family to be accepted at the prestigious Oomza University, but that will mean leaving all she knows for a new life travelling through space. And there are dangers in this new life, for the university has long warred with a nightmare alien race called the Meduse. The author draws on her Nigerian heritage to build Binti’s culture, which adds some insight to African culture while also expanding your reading horizons into science fiction. This is the first book in a novella trilogy.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Author Spotlight: Fredrik Backman


Fredrik Backman has made a name for himself as the king of quirky contemporary fiction.

He writes his books with small-town charm and unexpected backstories, from the perspectives of characters that normally wouldn't take center stage.

If you like to read modern fiction and are looking for a heart-warming book with a touch of humor to pick up next, consider checking one of these out!

Backman's first novel, "A Man Called Ove," tells the story of a curmudgeonly man known by the town as "the bitter neighbor from hell." But when an unexpected friendship blossoms between Ove and the chatty young family next door, the truth behind Ove's bitter exterior begins to come to light. This book became a movie in 2016, starring Tom Hanks. Find it in our catalog here!

"Beartown" and its sequel, "Us Against You," is a last-chance comeback story of a small town. Its last hope of staying relevant lay in the hands of its junior ice hockey team and its journey nationals.

With six of Backman's fiction titles in our collection, you're sure to find one to love.

Click on any photo to be redirected to our online catalog, where you can learn more about the titles and place holds!

Or, if you're looking for a new nonfiction read, Backman has a collection of essays geared toward anyone looking for a bit of insight on the world. He draws from his experiences on life and fatherhood using his signature humor and optimistic outlook on the world. Backman chose to balance humor and insight by offering a variety of life lessons, including how to find the team you belong to, how to beat Monkey Island 3, why parents might hold their child's hand a bit too tight, and how starting a band is crucial to maintaining friendships, as well as offering advice to his aging son and his own experiences falling in love with a woman who is his opposite.

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