The Book with no Pictures by B.J. Novak
This book will have you and your children rolling on the floor in no time. With words like Glurr-Ga-Wocko and Blork you will quickly have an unexpected case of the sillies. Young children will be amazed at how much fun a book can be, even without pictures. Novak’s book offers a unique look at the role words in a book have and opens the door to endless possibilities in the world of reading.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
I originally caught wind of this when I was browsing the list of nominated books for the ALA Alex Award. I didn’t know a thing about it but really loved the title! I picked it up off a whim, and was so very glad I did. This is a quirky, magic-fantasy book that has some interesting character development. In a nut shell: Kell, a magician, and Lila, a thief, pair up and go on a multi-world, treacherous journey. “Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now”. Schwab is a masterful world builder, so if you enjoy a well-developed setting, characters that evolve as they journey, and a turbulent fantasy laced with dark aspects, then this novel is for you!
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
With trilogies being such a big “thing” in YA literature these days, it’s refreshing when an author knows that their story is better told in
just two books. Too often, perfectly good stories are ruined by being stretched too thin into a three book deal. I was thrilled to discover the conclusion of Seraphina’s story in “The Shadow Scale.” This award-winning fantasy novel revolves around a world where dragons and humans are struggling maintain a tentative peace. Seraphina, a secret human/dragon halfbreed, finds herself as a key player in the fight to keep the peace. A well-written fantasy to its very conclusion—this YA fantasy duology is a definite must-read for adults as well!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I love the young adult novel “Ready Player One” for the unique way the author intertwines the 90’s geek culture with a futuristic sci-fi world. Drab reality now only exists as a means to function the virtual reality called OASIS. Where education is taught on the school planet and real businesses run on virtual transactions. In the online OASIS universe, everyone is engaged in a decade’s long competition to the win the title and fortune of the deceased creator. The author incorporates pop culture into the very foundation of the virtual world as well as the puzzles that the low class protagonist Wade and the other occupants of the universe have to solve. If you have ever played video games, then you can relate to the desire that comes with the need to be the first to find all of the hidden Easter-eggs. Especially when there is the promise of power and fortune, as is the case for Wade and his teammates if their endeavors are successful.
Color Recipes for Painted Furniture by Annie Sloan
My recommendation for February is Color Recipes for Painted Furniture by Annie Sloan. Out with the New and In with the Old! Yes, I have that right! Annie Sloan’s book will show you how to take chalk paint and give old furniture, your floors, plain walls and even upholstered furniture a new life. She gives plenty of information to accomplish the task without making you feel like you are reading a manual. As always, this book is great to use as a “how to” book or just enjoy the beautiful pictures and great decorating ideas!