A Discovery of Witches is the first in a trilogy by Deborah Harkness.  The trilogy is now complete with July’s publishing of The Book of Life, and the series is so consistently great that really, we think you should read all three. These books are a fantastic combination of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, suspense and adventure. Our staff member thought they were like a more accessible (and fantasy instead of science fiction) Neal Stephenson.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism” –Taken from Goodreads.com

The Library has these in regular and large type, as well as audiobooks.  Please note, the large type works are on order and should be in soon.

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Parasite by Mira GrantWhat is it?

Parasite , is a science-fiction/horror novel by Mira Grant (the Newsflesh trilogy).

What’s it about?

SymboGen has pioneered a genetically engineered tapeworm that bolsters the human immune system. Nearly everyone has one. When Sally Mitchell’s gets into a fatal accident (that isn’t an typo, she is brain dead) her SymboGen implant saves her life. Upon waking Sally has no memories. None at all, everything from her family to basic human social interaction is all gone. The novel picks up six years after Sally’s accident and the now six-year-old Sally has struggled heard to relearn what it means to be human and forge new memories and has become what is essentially an entirely new person. Things become increasingly complicated as a rash of people with a “sleeping sickness” begin to pop up all across the country and some even seem particularly interested in Sally herself.

What’s it like?

Parasite is a novel about science gone wrong. It follows in the traditions like Stephen King’s The Stand where the human created Captain Trips nearly eradicates humanity or Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park where human tampering with dinosaurs’ genetic code has disastrous results. In many ways Parasite does for tapeworms what Jurassic Park did for velociraptors.

Who Should Read it?

Fans of science fiction and horror who aren’t overtly disturbed by the idea of parasites. Parasite isn’t overly gory though it does contain some violence.


Ok, parasites do really gross me out. Any other suggestions?

While not particularly scary Ted Kosmatka’s The Games is about genetically modified/created monsters battling it out in an arena; needless to say things don’t go quite as planned. Island 731 by Jeremy Robinson is a horror/science thriller about an expedition trapped on an island formerly used by Japans WWII human-experimentation division Unit 731. Or if action rather than horror is more your thing you might check out Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger series.

Originally a self-published series of novels Hugh Howey’s Wool saw hardcover release from Simon Schuster last month. In this post-apocalyptic novel readers are introduced to a society of humans living in what seems to be a silo transformed into an underground habitation. One hundred levels deep the people of this silo are focused on living their lives and surviving below ground. In those instances when dissatisfaction, or even optimism about the outside world, occurs the people are given what they want: the chance to go outside; a chance that invariably leads to death.
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Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
They’re not thieves. They’re independent contractors. Sure their methods might not always be legal but given the proper notice the brawny fighter Hadrian and the dexterous thief Royce can get any job done…for a price. Collecting the first two novels by author Michael J. Sullivan, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, Theft of Swords is from a bold new voice in fantasy.
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