At Check These Out!, each month you will find a few recently published or upcoming titles that are worth “checking out” from the library. All titles are either currently available or have a record in the catalog where you can place a hold and be among the first to read them when they hit the library's shelves. For many of these titles, you will also find interviews with the author on the LAPL Blog and/or a longer, more in depth review on LAPL Reads.
A professor of literature and writing at both Boston University and the Stonecoast MFA program, Theodora Goss is also the award-winning author of The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club trilogy. Snow White Learns Witchcraft, is a collection of her fairytale-themed poems and short stories, and it is glorious.
“Fairy tales fractured, reinvented, re-imagined, retold,” is how Jane Yolen perfectly describes this collection in her introduction. Some entries are well-known stories, recast and imagined in ways that are unexpected. Others are stories that are completely new and yet feel well-worn and comfortable, like something known since childhood and rediscovered recently.
This is a fascinating, heart-warming and bone-chilling collection of stories—whether in prose or poetry—of how women survive, and thrive, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Snow White Learns Witchcraft will leave you breathless, whether from anticipation, shock, wonder, or laughing out loud. It is the result of a master applying her skill to material that she loves. And it is a MUST read for those that are drawn to our ancient stories.
In The Reign of the Kingfisher, debut author T.J. Martinson takes the basic elements of Batman’s mythos and spins from them a markedly more realistic and darker crime thriller. While it is nearly impossible not to see the parallels between the characters in Martinson’s tale and those of the Batman, it is those parallels that make this story so compelling. There are no clear cut answers to any of the questions posed and nothing is so simply defined as being black or white, right or wrong. Everything and everyone in this story falls somewhere on a spectrum of grey and, by the end of the story, readers may feel the need to adjust where they initially placed the characters on that spectrum. While there are no comic book heroes, these heroes are far more believable, with real foibles and a tremendous amount to lose, which makes them all the more admirable as the story progresses.
If you like this type of advance, or near advance, notice about upcoming titles, you can send a comment through the Contact Us page at LAPL.org and let us know. Also, if you read one of the recommended titles, send a comment and let others know what you thought of the book. In both cases, be sure to put Check These Out! in your message.