Beyond Comics: Graphic Fiction and Non-Fiction

For many, the idea of a graphic novel* evokes images of superheroes in spandex, high budget movies, and damsels in distress. However, the graphic novel genre has evolved far beyond its comic book origins, though many of its famous predecessors (see Marvel and DC Comics) have maintained relevancy and importance. Truth be told, graphic novels are comic books; they’ve just remixed and remade the genre.

Graphic novels differ from the traditional comic in both their length and subject matter. As opposed to classic stories of good versus evil, graphic novels explore a variety of genres, from horror to memoir to the delightfully whimsical. And, though there are a few on this list, graphic novels for the most part are no longer just about superheroes.

In many ways, graphic novels are the next evolution of comic books. The visual aspects of superhero comics and Sunday funny strips gave way to a fully fledged medium for storytelling. Here are some great graphic novels and series for adults that transcend the comic book genre, separated into three sub-genres: non-fiction, fiction, and series (the closest this list comes to comic books).

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Book Club Kits

If your book club is looking for the next big read, check out some of these book club kits put together by the library! Each kit comes with ten copies of the book, along with the occasional addition of large-print copies and audiobooks. A hold can be placed on a kit for you by your reference librarian.

To learn about the titles currently available as book club kits, read more under the cut!

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Twenty-Somethings Book List

Reading in your twenties can be difficult. Many readers find themselves trying to bridge the gap between young adult fiction and adult fiction. Many of these issues stem from the fact that a large amount of adult literature focuses on an older adult audience, featuring protagonists whose dilemmas may still seem foreign to someone in their twenties. Many twenty-somethings, including myself, often find themselves searching for books that feature characters their own age.

Well, look no further. Click “read more” to see our list of books about people in their twenties, with the ages of the protagonists included.

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Upcoming Movie Adaptations of Books

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Starring Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), this adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s national bestseller comes out on August 15, 2018. The movie follows Rachel Chu, an American woman who finds out her boyfriend secretly comes from an extremely wealthy and powerful family in Singapore. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
This supernatural horror novel is coming to the big screen on August 31, 2018. From the director of 2015’s Academy Award-winning film Room and starring Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars) and Ruth Wilson (Jane Eyre), the film will tell the tale of a British doctor’s terrifying experience at a family’s countryside estate. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), and David Tennant (Doctor Who) are just a few of the talented actors in this film’s star studded cast. Saoirse Ronan stars as Mary Stuart opposite Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I. Written by the creator of Netflix’s House of Cards, the film is scheduled to be released on December 7, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
Coming to theaters September 28, 2018, this film tells the harrowing true story of Garrard Conley, who was outed as gay at age 19 and sent to a gay conversion therapy program by his parents. The movie stars Joel Edgerton (Red Sparrow), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Russell Crowe (Gladiator). You can watch the trailer here!

 

First man: the life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen
Ryan Gosling (La La Land) stars as Neil Armstrong in this biographical film about the first astronaut to walk on the moon. Directed by Damien Chazelle of La La Land and Whiplash, the movie is set to be released on October 12, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Cate Blanchett (Carol) stars as the titular Bernadette, who disappears and is pursued by her teenage daughter. The movie also features actors Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live, and Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix), and directed by Richard Linklater, director of the 2014 Best Picture Academy Award-winning movie Boyhood. The release date is set for October 19, 2018.

 

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
In this sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Claire Foy (The Crown) takes over the role of Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who teams up with a journalist to investigate corrupt government. The movie comes out on November 9, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Black Hand by Stephan Talty
This movie follows a New York City detective as he goes up against the Italian mafia. The film is produced by Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), who also stars in the movie. No release date has been announced yet, but the movie is expected to hit theaters in 2019.

 

Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Produced by Peter Jackson, director of the award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mortal Engines tells the tale of a post-apocalyptic future in which humans are forced to live in moving cities, and suffer under a corrupt government. The movie is set to be released on December 14, 2018. You can watch the trailer here!

 

Ophelia by Lisa Klein
In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) stars as Hamlet’s forbidden love, and stars Naomi Watts (The Glass Castle) and Tom Felton (Harry Potter). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018, but is set to be released in theaters later this year.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
From the producer of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, this movie tells the story of a British author, played by Lily James (Cinderella), who travels to the island of Guernsey at the end of World War II, where she meets a book club that began as an alibi during the island’s German occupation. Netflix has purchased the streaming rights to the film, which will be released through their service on August 10. You can watch the trailer here!

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath’s famous novel is once again coming to the big screen, this time directed by Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette). The movie tells the tale of Esther, played by Dakota Fanning (The Alienist), and her struggle with her mental health. No official release date has been announced, but the film is expected to hit theaters in 2018.

 

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
From the mind behind Mozart in the Jungle, Bel Canto tells the story of an opera star, played by Julianne Moore (Still Alice), and several other members of an embassy party as they are taken hostage by terrorists. The film also stars Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), and is set for a September 2018 release.

 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel has been developed into a star-studded adaptation, with names such as Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story). The movie tells the tale of a young man living in Las Vegas with his deadbeat father, where he gets involved in the dangerous world of art forgery. The film is set to be released on October 11, 2019.

 

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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan

Coming to Netflix on June 22 is the movie adaptation of Susannah Cahalan’s bestselling memoir, which tells the story of Cahalan’s struggle with a rare autoimmune disorder, which had been discovered only three years before she was diagnosed. The movie stars Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie), Tyler Perry (Acrimony), and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix)

 

 

Honorable Mention: “Mary Shelley”

Currently in theaters, this movie tells the tale of literary legend Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein when she was just eighteen. Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon) stars in the titular role as the movie follows Shelley through her stay in Geneva, in which she wrote Frankenstein as a part of a competition to write the best horror story between herself, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord Byron. Though it is not based on a book, the film tells the story of how one of fiction’s most famous monsters came to be. You can watch the trailer here!

New Fiction – March 2018

Anatomy of a ScandalAnatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Desperate to clear the name of her loving and charismatic husband in the wake of scandalous accusations, Sophie clashes with a determined prosecution lawyer, Kate, who is determined to uncover the truth and bring Sophie’s husband to justice.

 

 

Everything Here is BeautifulEverything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

The bond between a responsible, self-contained older sister and her mentally ill, impulsive younger sister is shaped and tested over years marked by the loss of their mother, an impetuous first marriage, a fling that results in the birth of a baby and painful sacrifices.

 

The Gone WorldThe Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

Time-travel secret agent Shannon Moss visits future time periods for clues about a Navy SEAL astronaut’s murdered family and the disappearance of his teenage daughter, a case that is complicated by the SEAL’s and Shannon’s own impact on the timeline.  A Pittsburgh author.

 

 

The Great AloneThe Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

When her volatile, former POW father impulsively moves the family to mid-1970s Alaska to live off the land, young Leni and her mother are forced to confront the dangers of their lack of preparedness in the wake of a dangerous winter season. By the author of The Nightingale.

 

Song of a Captive BirdSong of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik

A first novel by the best-selling author of The Good Daughter re-imagines the life of rebel poet Forugh Farrokzhad, who is depicted as a passionate young writer in search of freedom and independence from the restrictions imposed on women in mid-20th century Iran.

Coming to the Big Screen 2018

AnnihilationAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation , the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

(February 23)

 

A Wrinkle in TimeA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Madeleine L”Engle”s ground-breaking science fiction and fantasy classic, soon to be a major motion picture.

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

(March 9)

 

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline

The bestselling cult classic–soon to be a major motion picture directed by Steven Spielberg.

At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, READY PLAYER ONE is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut–part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner , and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

(March 30)

 

Where'd You Go, BernadetteWhere’d You Go, Bernadette Maria Semple

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Cate Blanchett

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

(May 11)

 

Crazy Rich AsiansCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

(August 17)

Nobel Prize Winners

Check out these titles from 2017 Nobel Prize Winners in Literature and Economics:

Remains of the DayThe Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

This is Kazuo Ishiguro’s profoundly compelling portrait of Stevens, the perfect butler, and of his fading, insular world in post-World War II England. Stevens, at the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, embarks as well on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the “great gentleman,” Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness,” and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life.

 

NudgeNudge : improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness by Richard Thaler

Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nobel laureate Richard Thaler and legal scholar and bestselling author Cass Sunstein explain in this important exploration of choice architecture that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Back to School

Summer’s over, but don’t fret. Here are some books to get you back to school.

 

 Old FilthOld Filth by Jane Gardam

Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong) to his final working days as a respected judge at the English bar. Yet through it all he has carried with him the wounds of a difficult and emotionally hollow childhood. Now an eighty-year-old widower living in comfortable seclusion in Dorset, Feathers is finally free from the regimen of work and the sentimental scaffolding that has sustained him throughout his life. He slips back into the past with ever mounting frequency and intensity, and on the tide of these vivid, lyrical musings, Feathers approaches a reckoning with his own history. Not all the old filth, it seems, can be cleaned away.

The MagiciansThe Magicians by Lev Grossman

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he’s secretly fascinated with a series of children’s fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .

The Art of FieldingThe Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets.

Straight ManStraight Man by Richard Russo

William Henry Devereaux, Jr., is the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.  Devereaux’s reluctance is partly rooted in his character–he is a born anarchist–and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans.

In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television.  All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions.  In short, Straight Man is classic Russo–side-splitting, poignant, compassionate, and unforgettable.

Dear Committee MembersDear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can’t catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work  In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies.