Top 20 – Graphic Novels

Did you know we stock graphic novels for grown ups in some of our libraries? Here is a list of our top 20 most borrowed titles last month. If you think graphic novels are all superheroes and zombies this list proves that wrong. If you fancy one of them, you can reserve them for free, even if they are not at your local library. The book will then be delivered to the library that is most convenient for you.

Graphic SagaSaga by Brian Vaughan

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. ‘Saga’ is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds.

The advantage of this book is that if you enjoy it there are Saga 2, 3 and 4 to follow, all of which we have in stock.

Graphic call to armsCall to Arms (The Walking Dead) by Robert Kirkman

After being betrayed by members of his own community, Rick Grimes charts a new course and marshals his forces against the Whisperers.

This is volume 26 in the hugely popular Walking Dead series.

graphic black holeBlack Hole by Charles Burns

Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the out-set that a strange plague has descended upon the area’s teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested in any number of ways — from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) — but once you’ve got it, that’s it. There’s no turning back.

graphic fun homeFun home: a family tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

graphic TWDThe Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman

Life in the prison starts to get interesting for Rick Grimes and the rest of our survivors, as relationships heat up, fizzle out and change almost overnight. By the end of this tale, relations between key characters are radically changed, setting the stage for future events in ‘The Walking Dead’.

Unsurprisingly this is the second Walking Dead novel to be featured in the list. This entry is Book 1, where it all starts.

graphic lovelaceThe thrilling adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: the (mostly) true story of the first computer by Sydney Padua

When Ada translated her friend Babbage’s plans for the ‘Difference Engine,’ her lengthy footnotes contained the first appearance of the general computing theory – 100 years before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died of cancer a few years after publishing the paper, and Babbage never built any of his machines. But now Sydney Padua gives us an alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage do build the ‘Difference Engine’, and then use it to do battle with the American banking system, the publishing industry, their own fears that their project will lose funding, and a villainous street musician who will force the two friends to re-evaluate their priorities – ‘for the sake of both London and science.’

graphic marieFor the love of God, Marie! by Jade Sarson

Marie is a girl with the gift of understanding, who is often misunderstood. At home and in her Catholic sixth form, she confounds family, friends and teachers with her innocent attempts to make everyone feel loved. As we follow Marie from the 1960s to the 1990s, we find out what it means to be a spirited young woman from a religious household who believes that maybe, just maybe, God doesn’t care what you do with your body as long as it makes you happy. Because really, what harm can come from loving people?

graphic paper girlsPaper Girls by Brian Vaughan

n the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

graphic worlds endWorld’s end by Neil Gaiman and Bryan Talbot

The story begins in the first person narration of Brant Tucker, wherein he and co-worker Charlene Mooney are involved in a car crash on their way to Chicago. Charlene is hurt, and Brant is directed by a hedgehog to a strange inn named “Worlds’ End, a free house”: identified later as one of four inns where travelers between realms shelter during reality storms, which occur after momentous events. In conclusion, the revelers at the inn watch a funeral procession cross the sky, which ends with Death looking sadly into the inn, as the crescent moon behind her slowly turns red. Thereafter Brant returns alone to his own world, where he narrates his story to a waitress, while Charlene remains at the ‘Worlds’ End’ as assistant to its landlady.

graphic faustThe Faust act by Kieron Gillen (author); Jamie Mckelvie (artist); Matthew Wilson (artist); Clayton Cowles (artist)

Every 90 years, 12 gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. Welcome to ‘The Wicked + The Divine,’ where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

grpahic night witchNight witch by Ben Aaronovitch (author); Lee Sullivan (artist); Andrew Cartmel (author)

Press-ganged into helping a Russian oligarch hunt his missing daughter, PC Peter Grant and his boss, Thomas Nightingale, London’s only wizarding cops, find themselves caught up in a battle between Russian gunmen, a monstrous forest creature – and their nemesis – the Faceless Man. But as Grant and Nightingale close in on the missing girl, they discover that nothing about this case is what it seems.

graphic giant daysGiant days by Whitney Coga ; John Allison; Lissa Treiman

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing bays, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.

graphic brass sunBrass sun by Ian Edginton (author); Ian Culbard (illustrator)

Wren’s father has revealed to her the secret of their world, that it is only one of many in a clockwork solar system; but it is dying and to save her home, she must first escape it.

The Orrery is a fully functional, life-size clockwork solar system, a clutch of planets orbiting a vast Brass Sun via immense metal spars.

But the once-unified collection of worlds has regressed into eccentric fiefdoms, and ice is encroaching on the outer planets as the sun is dying. Wren and Eptimus must find the key to restart the sun, but first must escape the world known as The Keep….

graphic preacherPreacher by Garth Ennis (author); Steve Dillon (illustrator)

At first glance, the Reverend Jesse Custer doesn’t look like anyone special-just another small-town minister slowly losing his flock and his faith. But he’s about to come face-to-face with proof that God does indeed exist. Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Jesse now possesses the power of “the Word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters. He begins a violent and riotous journey across the country in search of answers from the elusive deity.

graphic girlsHow to talk to girls at parties by Neil Gaiman (author); Fábio Moon (artist); Gabriel Bá (artist)

ENN is a fifteen-year-old boy who just doesn’t understand girls, while his friend Vic seems to have them all figured out. Both teenagers are in for the shock of their young lives, however, when they crash a local party only to discover that the girls there are far, far more than they appear!

graphin blueBlue is the warmest color by Julie Maroh

Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.

graphic sin citySin City by Frank Miller 

Collected in this sixth volume of his crime-comic megahit are all of Miller’s Sin City shorts and one-shots, newly redesigned with a brand-new cover by Miller, some of his first comics art in years! Collecting classics like “Just Another Saturday Night” and “Silent Night,” both starring the iconic big lug with a condition, Marv; “The Customer Is Always Right,” featured in the Sin City film; and “The Babe Wore Red,” starring Sin City’s most enduring hero, Dwight, Booze, Broads, and Bullets spans every kind of dark business you might encounter on a cold night in Basin City.

graphic returnReturn to Earth by Pat Mills (author); Clint Langley (artist)

Mars, the far future. War droids created for a conflict that ended centuries ago, the ABC Warriors were recruited to bring peace to the civil war-ravaged colonies on the Red Planet. The Meknificent Seven have recently lost two of their number to the evil Volkhan’s army. Recounting a mission from the past that led him back to Earth, team leader Hammerstein reveals how he betrayed robotkind, met Ro-Jaws and joined Ro-Busters.

graphic invisiblesThe Invisibles by Grant Morrison (author); Steve Yeowell (illustrator)

Throughout history, a secret society called the Invisibles, who count among their number Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, work against the forces of order that seek to repress humanity’s growth. In this first collection, the Invisibles’ latest recruit, a teenage lout from the streets of London, must survive a bizarre, mind-altering training course before being projected into the past to help enlist the Marquis de Sade.

graphic over easyOver easy by Mimi Pond

After being denied financial aid to cover her last year of art school, Margaret finds salvation from the straightlaced world of college and the earnestness of both hippies and punks in the wisecracking, fast-talking, drug-taking group she encounters at the Imperial Café, where she makes the transformation from Margaret to Madge. At first she mimics these new and exotic grown-up friends, trying on the guise of adulthood with some awkward but funny stumbles. Gradually she realizes that the adults she looks up to are a mess of contradictions, misplaced artistic ambitions, sexual confusion, dependencies, and addictions.

 

 

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Librarian’s Choice: Enjoy a bit of Fantasy Horror

This blog comes from Lisa, a development librarian based at Central library.

I thought summer would be a good time to go for something different and write about a few of my favourite horror/fantasy books, so here goes:-

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill

Lisa NOS4R2I didn’t know until fairly recently that Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. He’s clearly inherited the writing gene and I’ve since enjoyed several of his books. NOS4R2 is a not-very-festive Christmas story featuring a terrifying child abductor called Charlie Manx and a resourceful girl called Vic McQueen who initially escapes his clutches but then encounters him again later on in life. Things are typically not as they seem in this world and the author deftly mixes real world events with horror and fantasy elements. I like his writing style, and found myself really immersed in this story.

The Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

Lisa Night WatchI got hooked by this one and had to go on to read the whole series. It’s set in Moscow and is about the precarious balance between the “Others”, who swear allegiance to either the Dark or the Light. Agents of the Dark oversee nocturnal activity and those of the Light do the same during daytime. Legend tells of a supreme Other who will emerge and threaten this balance and in this first book, that’s just what happens. This series seemed quite different from others I had read and I really enjoyed the language and the Russian cultural references scattered amongst all the action.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M R Carey

Lisa Girl withA friend recommended this book to me and I was fascinated by it pretty early on. It’s probably best not to go into too much detail but if you like dystopian thrillers you’ll love this! It begins with Melanie, an unusual young girl who is picked up from her cell every morning for her lessons at gun point and strapped into a wheelchair. She loves to learn and clearly has much to give, so what’s going on and why are people so afraid of her?

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Lisa Let the rightSet in Sweden, this is an intriguing, haunting novel that’s not like the rest. Oskar is a 12 year old boy who struggles to fit in at school and is constantly bullied; however things change when he meets his new neighbour, a strange yet interesting girl named Eli who only seems to go out at night. Then a body is found that’s been drained of blood… If you enjoy reading this, you’ll find the Swedish version of the film is definitely worth a watch.

The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro

Lisa The StrainI was hoping I’d like this one as I’m a big fan of del Toro’s work. One of the early scenes in this book really got to me – when an aeroplane lands at JFK airport, then stops dead and all communications are cut. There is no way in and no way out for the passengers. It’s up to Dr. Ephraim Goodweather from the CDC to find out what happened and to try and stop what’s coming. This is pretty spooky and gripping from the start. It’s also written in quite a cinematic style so you can really picture the scenes, hardly surprising that it was made into a TV series.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Lisa American GodsOne of my favourite authors, Neil is so prolific that it was hard to choose but I love American Gods. Shadow is released from prison early when his wife dies alongside his best friend in a car accident and life gets stranger for him from that point on. He accepts a job offer from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, who seems to know all about him, and is led into a world of ancient and modern mythology exploring the origins and influence of gods and spirits. I was absorbed in this from the beginning – I find the power of belief, how it spreads and what it can lead to really interesting; plus it’s a fantastic tale! The recent TV adaptation is definitely worth checking out as well.

Top 10 Science Fiction

Science Fiction is a genre that people either say they love or hate. It is a shame that many write it off as ‘not for them’ while often enjoying the films at the cinema that have been adapted from a book.

So if you fancy giving giving a new genre a chance these are the top 10 science fiction novels that were borrowed from us last month.

scifi-woolWool by Hugh Howey

In a ruined and hostile landscape, a community exists in a giant underground silo. Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies. The people who don’t follow the rules are the dangerous ones; they dare to hope and dream, and infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside. Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.

scifi-the-long-cosmosThe Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day and in the Long Earth, the new Next post-human society continues to evolve. For Joshua Valiente, now in his late sixties, it is time to take one last solo journey into the High Meggers: an adventure that turns into a disaster. Alone and facing death, his only hope of salvation lies with a group of trolls. But as Joshua confronts his mortality, the Long Earth receives a signal from the stars. A signal that is picked up by radio astronomers but also in more abstract ways – by the trolls and by the Great Traversers. Its message is simple but ts implications are enormous: JOIN US. The super-smart Next realise that the Message contains instructions on how to develop an immense artificial intelligence but to build it they have to seek help from throughout the industrious worlds of mankind.

scifi-the-thing-itselfThe Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

Two men while away the days in an Antarctic research station. Tensions between them build as they argue over a love letter one of them has received. One is practical and open. The other surly, superior and obsessed with reading one book – by the philosopher Kant. As a storm brews and they lose contact with the outside world they debate Kant, reality and the emptiness of the universe. The come to hate each other – and they learn that they are not alone.

scifi-the-long-utopiaThe Long Utopia by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

2045-2059. After the cataclysmic upheavals of Step Day and the Yellowstone eruption humanity is spreading further into the Long Earth, and society, on a battered Datum Earth and beyond, continues to evolve. Now an elderly and cantankerous AI, Lobsang lives in disguise with Agnes in an exotic, far-distant world. He’s convinced they’re leading a normal life in New Springfield – they even adopt a child – but it seems they have been guided there for a reason. As rumours of strange sightings and hauntings proliferate, it becomes clear that something is very awry with this particular world. Millions of steps away, Joshua is on a personal journey of discovery: learning about the father he never knew and a secret family history. But then he receives a summons from New Springfield. Lobsang understands the enormity of what’s taking place beneath the surface of his earth – a threat to all the worlds of the Long Earth.

scifi-auroraAurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Our voyage from Earth began generations ago. Now, we approach our destination. A new home. Aurora.

scifi-fellowship-of-the-ringThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ is the first part of Tolkien’s epic adventure ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care.

scifi-the-martianThe Martian by Andy Weir

I’m stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Earth. I’m in a habitat designed to last 31 days. If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. I’m screwed.

scifi-xeelee-enduranceXeelee Endurance by Stephen Baxter

Return to the eon-spanning and universe-crossing conflict between humanity and the unknowable alien Xeelee in this selection of uncollected and unpublished stories. From tales charting the earliest days of man’s adventure to the stars to stories of Old Earth, four billion years in the future, the range and startling imagination of Baxter is always on display. As humanity rises and falls, ebbs and flows, one thing is always needed – the ability to endure.

scifi-the-oceanThe Ocean at the end of the lane by Neil Gaiman

It began for our narrator 40 years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive.

scifi-the-explorerThe Explorer by James Smythe

When journalist Cormac Easton is selected to document the first manned mission into deep space, he dreams of securing his place in history as one of humanity’s great explorers. But in space, nothing goes according to plan. The crew wake from hypersleep to discover their captain dead in his allegedly fail-proof safety pod.