Willingham here presents a spin-off from his popular Fables graphic novel series. The Fairest series will star the women of Fables, presenting the histories and backgrounds of Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White, and more. Volume one follows the adventures of Briar Rose immediately following the events of Fables Vol. 16, in which she was kidnapped, while still deep in a magically-induced sleep, by the goblin army. Fans of Fables will find much to enjoy here as Willingham and his collaborators flesh out the worlds of the the Fables characters.
2012 Award Winners
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Way by Ben Fountain
Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search of Identity by Andrew Solomon
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro
Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights by Marina Warner
Useless Landscape, or A Guide of Boy by D.A. PowellCall
What seemingly begins as a tense dinner between two couples at a posh Dutch restaurant, soon evolves into something much more sinister. Brothers Serge and Paul have come together with their wives to discuss a matter involving their sons: a disturbing video has been leaked on the internet. This video has the potential to become quite the scandal and a strategy to control the damage must be discussed. The brothers soon give up hiding their utter contempt for each other, and the dinner soon becomes a battle of ideologies in which privilege, mental illness and violence all play a part. The Dinner, with its dark humor and expertly-paced plot, is a psychological thriller you won't be able to stop thinking about.
The Voyeurs is a memoir of five years in the life of Gabrielle Bell. It collects episodes from her series Lucky, in which she travels to Tokyo and other places, but it centers on her life in Brooklyn. Bell gives us a glimpse into the life of an artist who is more often watching and recording her friends and others rather than experiencing life herself. The illustrations are wonderful.
The winner of several awards including Library Journal's Best YA Lit for Adults 2012, Code Name Verity is the story of a friendship that remains strong through the dangers and upheavals of WWII. A female British spy is captured in Nazi-occupied France, tortured and forced to reveal all the information she knows. Her writings become an enthralling account of the woman whose identification card she happened to be carrying, her best friend, Maddie. Together, they ended up working for the British war effort, although in two very different ways, one as a transport pilot and the other as an intelligence officer. The narrator remains cryptic until the story switches to Maddie's point of view and we find out she is closer than her best friend thinks and trying her hardest to find her.
This tale is fascinating and keeps up a good pace all the way through. If you have the chance, check out the audiobook. One narrator especially brings the story to life with her soft Scottish accent.
This historical debut novel is about a young woman in turn-of-the century England who finds independence and love when she leaves London and journeys to a seaside resort for employment. Betsey Dobson boards a train from London with nothing other than her battered valise and bruised ego. After trying to make it in a male-dominated world, she is finally able to find herself--and a man whom she can love--in this idyllic setting. Not all goes smoothly but, of course, in the end she is better for it. An enjoyable read!
Lunatics by Dave Barry
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
8 by Dustin Lance Black
The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
Why Read Moby-Dick by Nathaniel Philbrick
Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith
Named one of the best graphic novels of the year by Library Journal, The Hypo gives us a glimpse into a little-talked-about period of Abraham Lincoln's life before he became president. As a 28 year-old lawyer, criticized young politician, burdened with debt and new to Springfield, Lincoln is constantly struggling with meloncholia, or "the hypo". Far from the wise, confident leader he will be known as years later, this portrait of Lincoln is one of a deeply-flaw, self-critical and sometimes miserable young man. Even when he meets his intellectual match in Mary Todd, Lincoln battles with his fear of failing to meet expectations. Only when he overcomes a nervous breakdown is he able to confront his insecurities and begin to evolve into the force we have all come to know him as. A love story, political drama and biography in one, The Hypo, is an engaging look at of our most famous president. Emotionally rendered in black cross-hatching and reflective of the period in language and scenery, the story is a beautiful example of a graphic novel that also functions as a vivid historical account.
Sixteen year old Rue Silver thinks she might be going crazy. Her mother vanished a few weeks ago, her father has been acting very strangely, and now Rue has started to see things…strange beings walking among the people of her town. But then Rue learns that not only are those strange beings real, but she herself is one of them. Her mother is a faerie, one of the Good Neighbors of human folklore, and Rue herself is half-faerie as well. Not only that, but Rue’s grandfather has a sinister plot to steal the entire town away to create a new faerie realm and a prophecy has declared that only his own flesh can stop him. Since Rue’s mother shows no signs of doing so, Rue has to take it upon herself to save both her peoples from each other.
The three volumes of this urban fantasy graphic novel (Kin, Kith, and Kind) are a fascinating self-contained story of the fair folk in the modern world. Rue is a sympathetic character, and her assortment of friends and family members add depth and interest to the story. The illustrations, all black and white, are detailed and switch easily between the mundane and the bizarre as Rue moves between the worlds.
Frank Nichols is running. Running from memories of WWI’s trench warfare…memories that still wake him up at night sweating and thrashing…running from the fall-out from the two year affair he conducted with married colleague Eudora which ended in her divorce and his unemployment. Luckily, he has someplace to run to; he has inherited a house and property in small Whitbrow, Georgia, from an aunt he never knew. His aunt’s letter urged him to sell the property without visiting, but instead, Frank and Eudora decide to start their lives fresh in Whitbrow. Frank is planning to research and write a book about his great grandfather, a slave owner known for particular cruelty. Eudora has taken a job at the local grade school. At first, all is well in Whitbrow. Eudora is settling in nicely with her students and Frank is happy to spend his days talking to the men at the local general store. But when impoverished Whitbrow makes the decision to cease a strange local tradition—every month on the full moon, the town sends sacrificial pigs into the woods across the river—all hell begins to break loose. Strange things are seen in the woods, and people begin to die. Frank soon finds out that those who live across the river have a far more personal connection to him and his family than he could have imagined.
This is that rarest of books, a novel that is literary first and horror second. The characters, especially Frank, are fully-realized, believable, and interesting. The setting is atmospheric and vividly rendered, with the racial tensions of the time and place completely realized. The horror elements, when they are introduced, are creepy and visceral. Highly recommended.