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Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 4, 2021 at 2:31 PM by Genesis Gaule
Books have the extraordinary ability to take you anywhere you can imagine: across the globe, to strange new worlds, back in time, or flung far into the future. They can even take you back home. There is a unique feeling of “hey I know that place” or “that character reminds me so much of my dad/mom/next door neighbor/etc” that I only get when reading books set in Minnesota and North Dakota written by people who lived here.
So if you are in the mood to journey through our own neck of the woods, here are 6 regional reads to take you there.
A Fireproof Home for the Bride
by Amy Scheibe
Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the upheaval of the 1960's, 18-year-old Emmaline Nelson doesn’t have any say in her life or where it is headed. All her choices, especially who she will marry, are governed by her strict Lutheran parents. As her world opens up, she realizes that she longs to be something other than a farmer’s wife. But what can she do to escape the cage her parents have built for her? Peppered with charm and lush detail, this coming-of-age story of complicated family relationships, racial tension, and love is sure to transport you back to 1950’s Minnesota.
The Life We Bury
by Allen Eskens
Mystery ESKENS | Also in eBook and eAudiobook
A seemingly simple college assignment turns into deep dive to uncover the truth surrounding a brutal rape and murder. Tasked to interview a stranger and write a brief biography and his deadline looming, University of Minnesota college student Joe Talbert heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Car Iverson--a Vietnam veteran and convicted murderer with only a few months to live--and Joe’s life is turned upside down. Part mystery and part character study, Eskens debut novel crafts believable characters with compelling interpersonal drama.
The Round House
by Louise Erdrich
Based on a number of true stories over the past 20 years, The Round House looks deeply into the fallout after a woman living on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota is attacked in 1988. As she descends into solitude and her husband seeks justice, their 13-year-old son is left alone to look for answers and try to save his mother. Born in Little Falls, MN, raised in North Dakota, and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Erdich is one of the most revered novelists of our time and a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life and culture.
Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story
by Elisa Korenne
When singer-songwriter, Elisa Korenne, took a month’s sabbatical from New York to be an artist-in-residence in “middle-of-nowhere” Minnesota, she didn’t intend to stay. And she certainly didn’t intend to fall madly in love with the local outdoorsman/insurance guy. Her story is an honest and heartfelt reflection on the ups and downs of their love story, culture shock, and what it means to live in community.
The Horizontal World : Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere
by Debra Marquart
From a very early age, Debra Marquart--the youngest and wildest of five children--knew she wanted out of the confines of her life on the family farm in North Dakota. Yet, returning home after years away for her father’s funeral, Marquart finds herself discovering a newfound respect for her father and her connection to the land she was so desperate to escape. Chronicling her rebellious adolescent life on the farm and subsequent exodus, Marquart’s wry understated memoir will resonate with anyone who has spread their wings but still calls the Midwest “home.”
If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie
by Christopher Ingraham
070.92 INGARHAM | Also in eAudiobook
If You Lived Here... is a candid story of writer Christopher Ingraham’s decision to uproot his life and move his family to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota—the community he made famous as “the worst place to live in America” in a story he wrote for the Washington Post. As Ingraham and his family acclimate to their new life, all their preconceptions—good and bad—are turned on their heads.
Tag(s): romance, regional, recommendations, North Dakota, nonfiction, mystery, Minnesota, memoir, historical fiction, First Nations, fiction, coming-of-age, cold case
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on April 9, 2021 at 2:41 PM by Genesis Gaule
I remember the day I fell in love with graphic novels. On the walk home from school my older sister had told me all about a type of Japanese book genre called manga, and the cool stories of headband clad ninjas, flexible pirates, and sword wielding soul reapers that she had been reading with her “big kid” friends. As a kindergartener, I thought everything my sister thought was cool was the best thing in the world. When it came to manga, it turned out to be true; although wearing a dress over jeans, not so much.
Reading and rereading the first and only volume of Naruto we had until the pages were soft and worn was a ritual after school. Every trip to the library my sister and I would run right over to the small rotating bookshelves that housed the manga section and spend hours reading volume after volume standing up. Once I could navigate the internet, my obsession only grew. In addition to the mountains of traditional prose books I inhaled while at school, the manga I read was like candy that I couldn’t stop myself from getting a stomach ache from.
The diversity of genres that the storytelling medium offered broadened my horizons to ways of life, emotions, struggles I had never encountered in my day to day life. It wasn’t until I grew older that I learned about Western style graphic novels that went beyond the classic Marvel or DC superhero stories. While I will always hold manga near and dear to my heart, I have a newfound appreciation for western graphic novels.
If you are hesitant to jump into the deep end of teenager piloting fighting robots and brightly colored protagonists, here are a few western and eastern graphic novels to dip your toes into.
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
by Art Spiegelman
Our generation will soon become one of the last to hear first hand accounts of those that lived through the Holocaust. This meta story of the author listening to his father’s stories of life during this horrific time, is beautifully illustrated and will break your heart over and over.
The Magic Fish
by Le Nguyen Trung
The art itself is breathtaking, paired with riveting a narrative and take on identity struggles make this one of my all time favorites. Though marked as a junior graphic novel, this is a coming of age story for all ages.
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
This autobiography graphic novel is a powerful story that tells the tale of comic book artist Jarrett Krosoczka’s upbringing with family addiction and how he found solace in art.
The Color of Earth
by Tong-Hwa Kim
This series is a Korean graphic novel, also known as a manwha, is about the daughter of a single mother and the budding romances they both experience. It is a look into Korean culture and a unique mother-daughter relationship they share.
The Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang
This award winning graphic novel is full of beautiful dresses, fleshed out characters, and life lessons for all ages.
Tag(s): World War II, Vanesa Gomez, romance, recommendations, nonfiction, lgbt, holocaust, graphic novels, gender identity, fiction, coming-of-age, autobiography
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 3, 2020 at 2:12 PM by Genesis Gaule
If you are a fan of graphic novels and comic books, here are three great selections available on Overdrive you can read right now on your tablet or web browser!
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Becoming your most unattractive self when you hit adolescence is like a rite of passage, but what if you added dental trauma on top of it? Smile recounts Telgemeier's dental nightmares and social struggles she endured between the sixth and ninth grades. Even readers who weren't/aren’t forced to wear braces will identify with the author's troubles with friends, feelings for the boy who ignores her, and difficulties figuring out just who she is.
Suggested Age: 10 and up (dental trauma, surgery/blood, puberty, bullying)
The Stonekeeper (Amulet Series, Book 1) by Kazu Kibuishi
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the ancient house holds a dangerous magic amulet and a portal to a strange world filled with creepy man-eating monsters, sentient robots, and talking animals. Their way home blocked and their mother's life on the line, what is Emily willing to risk to save the people she loves?
Suggested Age: 10 and up (creepy imagery, death, life-and-death action)
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
Before he braved new frontiers in Star Trek, George Takei was a four-year-old boy and one of over 100,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned by the U.S. government in American concentration camps during World War II. Takei recounts his child-like innocence of the horrific events as well as the political climate and his parents recounted stories; beautifully highlighted by Harmony Becker's black and white illustrations.
Suggested Age: 15 and up (war, dehumanization, racial violence, politics, grief and loss)
Be sure to check out our Overdrive catalog for more great graphic novels and comic books!
Tag(s): World War II, recommendations, overdrive, middle school, high school, graphic novels, fantasy, e-books, coming-of-age, autobiography