Nebula Award Winner

SFWASFWA

The Nebula Award is an annual award given by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the best U.S. book of those genres. The winner for best scifi/fantasy novel this year is Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is the 3rd in the Annals of the Western Shore series. If you have never read Le Guin, this and her Earthsea series may be a good starting point. Located in the Teen collection, these series are some of the best written & exciting fantasy adventure books. Adults will want to read them too! Le Guin is an extremely prolific writer. She writes for adults, teens, and children as well as writing non-fiction, poetry, & short stories. Other book awards she has received include a Hugo and Nebula for the Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed: an ambiguous Utopia; & the Locus SF Award for the Telling. She is also one of the finalists for the 2009 Locus SF Award for Lavinia.

Tale of Two Worlds

It starts like so many other fantasy stories. A poor orphan learns about himself and grows in power. With that power comes mammoth collection of stories know as the The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist. It all begins with Pug, an orphaned kitchen boy. He becomes the apprentice to the magician Kulgan and eventually gains some prominence. When the rift between the worlds of Midkemia and Tsurani is opened, the Tsurani send invaders to conquer Midkemia. Pug finds himself taken from Midkemia to Tsurani where he eventually becomes a magician. Pug's storey is found in Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. You can find more of the series in our catalog using an author search, Raymond Feist.

An Epic Tale of Swords & Sorcery

How does one describe an epic? Author Steven Erikson takes us on a tour of the Malazan Empire in his 10 book series, Malazan Book of the Fallen. Your adventure begins in Gardens of the Moon. The Empire is at war, both against its external enemies and within its borders. The story continues in the next two books, Deadhouse Gates and Memories of Ice. Events in the two books take place simultaneously.

Enchanted Spring, Fairies, Cicely Mary Barker & The Matthei Conservatory!

May FairyMay Fairy

We're all ready to get outside, but it's still a little too cold - so take your coat off and visit the Matthei Conservatory for the lovely, fun and springy Enchanted Spring Display celebrating Cicely Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. Find fairies hidden in the conservatory, smell the hyacinth, dapple amongst the daffodils and other gorgeous spring bulbs all over the conservatory, and make a fairy sachet! Or make your own fairy container garden, and start some seeds for your own garden. This special display runs through March 31, for complete information on the display click here. And for complete details about the Matthei Conservatory including hours/location click here. On Wednesdays the Conservatory is open until 8:00 PM and admission is FREE! And don't forget that AADL has many of Cicely Mary Barker's Books Finally, make sure you visit the downtown library fairy door too!

February Books to Films

Sophie Kinsella's bestseller Confessions of a Shopaholic is now a chick flick that would appeal to retail-therapy addicts who won't mind a bit of humor at our expense. Shopping on Madison Avenue is almost as much fun as the original London setting.

Fresh from winning the ultimate Newbery Award, one of Neil Gaiman's earlier novels comes to the silver screen as a delightful animated feature Coraline. While looking for excitement, young Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a strange world where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others. The novel was a New York Times Bestseller, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2002 and School Library Journal Best Book of 2002.

Based on the wildly popular He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt, this potential blockbuster tells the stories of a group of interconnected, Baltimore-based twenty- and thirtysomethings as they navigate their various relationships "from the shallow end of the dating pool through the deep, murky waters of married life", trying to read the signs of the opposite sex. With a star-studded cast, it is sure to please the movie-date crowd.

Never pull a dragon's tail...

No one ever said slaying a dragon would be easy, especially John Aversin, the last living Dragonsbane. Morkeleb, the Black Dragon, has taken the Deep of Ylferdun as his lair from the gnomes. Can John and Jenny Waynest, the mother of John's sons, survive their encounter with the dragon? Find out in Barbara Hamply's Dragonsbane.

Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles

This is the story of Mags, an orphaned gem miner who lives in a land called Valdemar. Abused and dowtrodden, Mags rarely hopes for more than an extra slice of bread until one day a man called a Herald and a strange white horse come to save him from the mine. But despite being free of his horrible master, Mags finds many dangers in his new life as well as many secrets.

If you like Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar series, then you know it's been a while since she's written a book. It's been five years to be exact (though it seems like longer), so I was excited to see Foundation. This book takes place before the bulk of her series (after the Last Herald Mage trilogy but before The Story of Lavan Firestorm) and explores the very beginning of the Herald's Collegium.

Tale of the Unexpected

Author Peter David is best know for his Star Trek stories. The self-proclaimed "Writer of Stuff" created an entirely original story of a great anti-hero, Apropos. In our story Sir Apropos of Nothing, Apropos travels to the court of King Runcible to seek his revenge against the king's knights who raped his mother, resulting in Apropos. Unfortunately, instead Apropos becomes the squire to a senile knight, Sir Umbrage of the Flaming Nether Regions. That's only the beginning of Apropos' trouble...

Daughter of the Forest

I am not usually a fan of fantasy literature. Too many contrived histories and geographies and unpronounceable names. But, I have a weak spot for Ireland and druids and wise-woman healers and when I came across a promising story, which had consistently excellent reviews, I decided not to let the “fantasy” sticker deter me. I am glad I did not miss this one.

Daughter of the Forest is the first in the Sevenwaters Trilogy -- though with the recent publication of a fourth Sevenwaters story, does that make it a quartet? Richly evocative of roughly the dark ages, when the soul of ancient Ireland was threatened by the arrival of Christianity, it is part history, part adventure, part fairy tale and wholly engaging. Beautifully crafted by author Juliet Marillier, the plot is an adaptation of the fairy tale The Six Swans. Yes, the six brothers are turned into swans by the wicked step-mother and their only sister must weave shirts in utter silence to save her dear brothers from the spell. But, Marillier takes that thread of a tale and transforms it into the most believable story imaginable.

That is just the beginning. In the subsequent Sevenwaters books, the story of the next three generations of this magical family unfolds in an Ireland still landscaped with dense forests, populated with wise druids, herbal healers, seers and harping bards, and entwined with magic.

The Graveyard Book: Audiobook

When a family is murdered only their baby son escapes, crawling away from his house and into the local graveyard. The boy is taken in by the ghosts and named Nobody Owens, otherwise known as Bod.

Even though he is alive, the ghosts and Bod's mysterious guardian Silas, teach him all the ways of the dead and make sure the graveyard is the safest place for him. But one day the man who killed Bod's family comes back to find him...

Neil Gaiman is both the author and audio performer of The Graveyard Book, a beautiful and gripping tale inspired by Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Gaiman's voices for his characters are spot on. You haven't lived (or perhaps had a fulfilling afterlife), until you've heard his rendention of Nehemiah Trot, the graveyard's very own poet. Each CD also begins with a superb musical rendition of the Danse Macabre. If you like this audiobook, you might also enjoy Coraline, another scary book for children read and written by Gaiman and soon to be a major motion picture.

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