The phrase “comic book” still conjure visions of Batman and Archie for many people. But comic books have grown up and spawned a whole new generation for readers to enjoy. Normally known as “graphic novels” to distinguish them from the comic books of our youth, they are not a static genre but a format which, like regular “word only” books, comprises a wide variety of genres and content. A good starting place for someone interested in giving these grown-up comics a try would be one of the many graphic novel adaptations of classic literature. The visual illustrated content provides these familiar stories with an extra level of depth and interest that many find very engaging! Frequently, these classics are shelved under the name of the artist or writer who produced the adaptation, so for your reference, the original author will be included in parentheses in our list.
Appignanesi, Richard. Twelfth Night (William Shakespeare)
Butler, Nancy. Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen)
Chwast, Seymour. Dante’s Divine Comedy (Dante Alighieri)
Edginton, Ian. The Sign of the Four (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Hamilton, Tim. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
Hinds, Gareth. The Odyssey (Homer)
Kuper, Peter. The Jungle (Upston Sinclair)
Mairowitz, David. The Trial (Franz Kafka)
So you've read Tina Fey's Bossypants...now what? Feed your appetite for another humorous read with Mindy Kaling's honest memoir. The Emmy-nominated writer and actress on The Office tackles everything from growing up chubby to her unabashed love of chest hair. The randomness of the amusing topics covered is anchored by the important eras in her life as well as her friends, family and evolution of her career.
Kaling doesn't hold back on exploring her faults, her ego (which she is always trying to keep under control) and the million other things that make her human. Her smart and witty prose will make you laugh-out-loud more than a few times.
You may have heard that Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland was based on a real life Alice who, while taking a boat ride on a lazy summer day, asked Carroll to tell her a story which then became the iconic children's tale. The daughter of the Dean of Oxford University, Alice lived both a charmed and restrained life next door to Dodgson, a.k.a Carroll, who was a mathematics professor at the university and a close family friend of the Liddells. Melanie Benjamin removes the idyllic lens that covers this myth and reveals the more complicated nature of the relationship between Alice Liddell and Charles Dodgson, one which was speculated to be darker than it appeared.
The book follows Alice from childhood to old age as she struggles against the confines of Victorian culture and her family, naively navigating her strange relationship with Dodgson and the impact it has on the rest of her life; the strained connection she has with her competitive older sister and mother, as well as the opportunities and misfortunes she experiences in the realms of love and family.
If you are looking for a charming tale, you will not find it here. Rather, Benjamin paints a picture of a girl who became entwined in something far more damaging than she imagined; a memory that would come to haunt her for the rest of her life. For historical fiction fans, this is a gem. Benjamin is a wonderful storyteller who balances fact with human feeling very well. Prepare to have your perspective of this children's classic changed forever. Make sure to pick up Benjamin's latest novel, Mrs. Tom Thumb.
This beautifully crafted story opens with Atkinson introducing the reader to three seemingly unrelated crimes: a missing child from thirty years ago, a murderous office rampage, and a new mother who kills her husband after a mental breakdown. Private investigator Jackson Brodie has been hired to solve the cases by the loved ones left behind who desperately need closure. While the investigations have been cold for years, Brodie slowly begins to weave together the details of each one until all three have startling revelations.
While the book contains a good mystery, Atkinson also delves into the lives of the family members who hired Brodie, touching upon the deep emotional impact of the missing and the murdered along with the power of suspicion and doubt. In all three cases, the resolution was closer than any wished to see. Readers will enjoy both Brodie's struggle to unearth long-forgotten evidence, connect with his clients as well as his attempts to resolve his own disappointments, both past and present. Those looking for a refreshing and different mystery will enjoy Atkinson. Make sure to check out the rest of the Jackson Brodie mysteries, including the latest, Started Early, Took My Dog.
Pilot Chip Linton is plagued by the guilt he feels after an unsuccessful water landing claimed the lives of 39 of his passengers and crew. He and his wife Emily and their 10-year-old twin daughters decide to start over and move to a rambling old Victorian house in a small town in New Hampshire. But Chip, suffering from PTSD, phantom pains, and depression, does not find rest and respite in their new home. He quickly becomes obsessed with a strange door in the basement—a door bolted shut with exactly 39 heavy-duty carriage bolts. When Chip’s phantom pains increase, he begins to understand that what he’s feeling are the fatal injuries sustained by three crash victims—a young woman, and a father and daughter. The three begin appearing to Chip and the dead father attempts to convince Chip to kill his own daughters to provide playmates for the dead girl. Meanwhile, Emily is being befriended by a group of women in the town, all of whom are named for plants, all of whom have greenhouses filled with strange and exotic herbs and flowers, and all of whom have a very unusual and sinister interest in the Linton twins.
The Night Strangers is slow-starting, with a gradual and inexorable build-up to the truly creepy ending. However, many readers may wish Bohjalian had focused more on either the ghost story or the herbalists’s plot, the two stories being so unrelated outside of their cast that at times it feels one is reading two different books at once.
Quentin Coldwater has always expected magic. He read the Fillory book series—similar to the Narnia series—long after most children had moved on, and was always subconsciously expecting to find his own passage to those magical lands. So when he pushed through the tangled over-growth in an old abandoned lot one wintry New York City afternoon and found himself walking across a warm and summery sunlit field toward a huge stone edifice, he was startled, certainly, but not really surprised. He wasn’t in Fillory, though—just upstate New York, but the building he was walking toward was Brakebills Academy, a school for magic. Quentin, it seemed, had been specially chosen to take the entrance exam. And thus began what should have been the adventure of Quentin’s life! Except that learning magic was actually a lot of hard work, and the students and faculty were really a lot like the students and faculty at any pretigious private university, and Quentin was never quite certain just what to do with his magical life after he and his friends graduated. But when another former student showed up one day claiming that not only was Fillory a real place, but that he had a way for all of them to actually go there, the adventure of Quentin’s life really began. Except…
The Magicians has been compared to Narnia and to Harry Potter, but written for adults, and that’s a fair comparison. All three share magic and wonder and an escape from the real world. But Grossman sets out to show us that even when magic is real, people are people and life is life and there is no magic spell for happiness. Engrossing and inventive.
Famous evolutionary biologist Dawkins teams up with well-known illustrator Dave McKean to examine many of the most fundamental questions in science including why the seasons occur, whether life on other planets is possible, what are the building blocks of matter, and how evolution really works. Dawkins presents many of these ideas from a religious or mythological perspective first before delving into the real science. His writing is straightforward enough for most pre-teens or teens to grasp the concepts he’s presenting, but not so simplistic that average adults will feel that Dawkins is talking down to them. McKean’s illustrations, beautiful and complex as always, do a wonderful job of both explicating the concepts Dawkins is presenting and also demonstrating Dawkins’ central theme: that scientific truth is beautiful and magical enough on its own without any need for mythical or supernatural trappings.
Two rival magicians meet and seal a pact: each will train a protégé, and those protégés will compete in a contest only their masters fully understand. The ground on which the contest will be fought is Le Cirque des Reves—the mysterious monochrome Circus of Dreams, which arrives without warning to delight, amaze, and quite literally entrance its audience. The contestants are Celia, a young woman naturally skilled in illusions which only pretend to be illusory; and Marco, a strapping young man whose talents were won through research and study but are no less mesmerising for the effort involved. But when the two meet, their competition becomes a forbidden romance as both put their talents to work wooing the other and their masters look on, disapproving. The situation seems primed for tragedy, but can the other members of Le Cirque des Reves lend their myriad talents to save the lovers?
Whimsical, inventive, and wonderfully crafted, The Night Circus is a treat. Recommended for fans of Susanna Clarke, Peter Beagle, and Neil Gaiman.
When Anya, a teenager who is uncomfortable with everything from her body to her Russian family, falls down an abandoned well, she is surprised to discover she is trapped with the skeleton of a girl...along with her ghost. While Anya eventually escapes the cold, dark well and resumes her normal life, she feels guilty for leaving the lonely mysterious ghost, Emily, behind. By taking a piece of Emily's skeleton with her, the ghost is able to leave the well and experience life with Anya. At first, Anya is enjoying all the perks of having a spiritual sidekick, until she suspects that Emily has a darker past than she previously thought.
When Emily becomes too involved in Anya's love life, she decides to bring her bone back to the well so she can live in peace again. But there's one problem, Emily is no longer a lonely ghost; she has her own motives, desires and has even learned how to move physical objects. This quirky story takes a dramatic and creepy twist when Anya must find out who Emily really is in order to banish her back to the well. While an interesting, illustrated take on a classic ghost tale, Anya's Ghost is also a touching coming-of-age story about self-acceptance. The muted purple color pallete that Brosgol uses to illustrate the story gets increasingly darker as it progresses, perfectly complimenting the darkening plot.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Outlander, a legendary book that really has it all: time travel, romance, history, adventure and infinitely more. The story opens on Claire Randall, a strong-minded and independent nurse who is vacationing with her husband, Frank, in the Scottish Highlands after being separated for years by WWII. While investigating an interesting flower growing near a Stonehenge-type structure (botany being one of her many talents), she stumbles into a crack between two stones and is transported to 1743, landing smack in the middle of a battle between the English and Scottish clansmen. Claire, at first a captive of the Clan MacKenzie, proves herself invaluable because of her skill with "healing" and becomes quite comfortable in her new situation, despite being a suspected English spy. A romance soon blossoms between Claire and the mysterious outlaw, Jamie, and she finds herself being held to that time and place even more, despite her complete foreignness, the constant danger and her husband still living in 1945.
The plot is full of twists and turns, clan politics, witchcraft, battles, close escapes and a certain villainous English Captain who strangley resembles her husband back home. Although not a slim book (over 800 pages), you will be glued to every page. A great vacation read for historical fiction, romance and adventure fans. Find out what all the buzz is about and why Outlander is still such a sensation after twenty years.