Liked The Secret History by Donna Tartt? Try If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
Fans of Tarrt’s NYT’s bestseller will be immediately drawn into Rio’s debut book. If We Were Villains is set at the Dellecher Conservatory, an arts school with a heavy emphasis on Shakespeare. Readers will follow Oliver Marks in his final year at the school, both through a coming of age lens and during the investigation of the death of a fellow student. Marks quickly realizes the people with whom he’s spent countless hours over the course of three years aren’t quite who they seem.
Filled with easily recognizable Shakespearean and literary references, this book is equal parts literary fiction and thriller. The setting harkens back to Tartt’s Hampden College and the fresh exploration of the psyche of university students moves well beyond a simple who-done-it. Rio has truly offered up a page turner.
Liked On the Road by Jack Kerouac? Try Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson
Denis Johnson’s short story collection is more frenetic and less coherent than Kerouac’s classic, but the inability of the narrator to sit still, coupled with the ever changing setting offer a complementary bridge between the two. Johnson’s narrator, a heroin addict, encounters outlandish characters along the way and readers are treated to the highs and lows of his life.
Jesus’ Son is certainly a brutal and harsh set of stories, but redeeming qualities of the characters break through from time to time. Johnson’s book will remain with the reader long after it is finished.
Like Agatha Christie? Try Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
No book collection is complete without at least one Agatha Christie mystery novel. Known for the twists and turns of her plots and her unique settings, Christie is the bestselling author of all time for a reason. Dunn, a contemporary Oregonian, introduces readers to a well-formed, engrossing magazine writer and amateur sleuth, Daisy Dalrymple who lives in 1920s England.
Death at Wentwater Court is the first in her Daisy Dalrymple series and finds the title character stumbling upon a body at a grand country estate. She remains unimpressed by the police sent to investigate and, instead, decides to unmask the killer herself. A great read for those who enjoy Downton Abbey, P.G. Wodehouse, and, of course, Christie.
Written by Leigh Koonce
Who among us hasn’t, at one time or another, cracked open an Archie comic book or digest? Whether it’s at the cash register of a grocery store, in the comic shop, or at your local book shop, the juggernaut that is Archie Comics has been a flourishing publishing business for three quarters of a century. Fans have seen countless comic book series, several cartoons, a made for television movie, and now an extraordinarily popular television show, Riverdale.
2015 saw a major reboot of the traditional character and his friends. New storylines, a retooled origin story for all of the Riverdale gang, and more defined art in the comics all debuted to rave reviews. While the publishing house kept the traditional digests coming with new stories, the comic books shifted entirely to the new look.
2017 witnessed the premier of Riverdale, on The CW network. An amalgam of The OC and Broadchurch, the show follows the canonical characters as they navigate high school against the backdrop of an ongoing murder investigation in their small town. A series of comics was soon introduced to fill in the gaps left between the television episodes.
Whether you are a fan of crime shows, retro comics, or just quality, escapist graphic novels, Riverdale is for you!
Riverdale Vol. 1
A wonderfully penned graphic novel that presents new storylines following the action of the wildly popular show. Readers will learn why Archie and Jughead, perhaps the most well known best friends in comic history, fell out, how Veronica is adapting to life in Riverdale, and what Archie spent the summer doing. A must for every graphic novel shelf.
Riverdale Vol. 2
The next chapter in the series, readers will learn what life is like for Kevin Keller, why Reggie acts so insufferably, and the future of Josie and the Pussycats. This second volume doesn’t disappoint.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Part of the Archie Comics Horror imprint and soon to be a television show, the canonical Sabrina is rebooted and situated in 1960s Greendale. An interesting graphic novel selection for fans of H.P. Lovecraft, Poe, and retro horror comics.
Archie Vol. 1
Part of the previously mentioned reboot, the first few issues of the series are collected in this graphic novel. Archie is updated for the 21st century and brings his friends along. He’s still stuck in the decades old love triangle between Betty and Veronica and continues to go broke lending his best friend, Jughead, money for hamburgers. Great stories, great art!
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The Big Lie: A Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Story
Another new take on classic characters. Join Nancy, Frank, and Joe, as they seek to solve the murder of Frank and Joe’s father, as well as a major corruption problem within the Bayport Police Force. Dynamic illustrations and a captivating story line make this one a real page turner.
Batman ’66 Vol. 1
The classic television show is now available in graphic novel form! Join Batman and Robin as they battle well known superheroes, with a refreshing degree of humor and retro art.
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the single most tumultuous year of the 20th century in American history. Not only did Martin Luther King, Jr. fall victim to an assassin’s bullet, but, so too, did Robert F. Kennedy. Protesters were met by armed police at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, resulting in chaos in the streets. The anti-war movement reached its pinnacle, as did the bloody conflict in Vietnam. The birth of the Yippie movement brought one brief moment of possible levity, yet their not so veiled threats to dump LSD into Chicago’s water supply was all too serious. Last but not least, America elected the only president to ever resign the office, Richard M. Nixon.
In light of this quinquagenarian moment, we must take a moment to ruminate about what never was—the thought of a Bobby Kennedy presidency. The younger brother of a president, who started out as a hardline enforcer for his commander in chief brother, to a tough on crime United States Attorney General, then to the United States Senate from his adopted state of New York, and finally to a superstar presidential candidate who captured the support of ethnic minorities, liberals, and young voters, Kennedy is, without a doubt, a shining star in American political history.
To better understand Bobby Kennedy, Four Seasons Books offers up the following offerings:
Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye
“[Tye] has a keen gift for narrative storytelling and an ability to depict his subject with almost novelistic emotional detail.” - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews
“Matthews is skilled at weaving tension and conflict throughout the book. Matthews does an excellent job of pulling Bobby out from behind any family shadows to give us an in-depth portrait of what could have been.” - New York Journal of Books
The Revolution of Robert Kennedy: From Power to Protest After JFK by John R. Bohrer
“Jack Bohrer has brought us a new, vivid, and absorbing look at Robert Kennedy’s surprising transformation into the audacious hero exalted by American progressives today.” - Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage
Also of interest:
Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell
An illuminating look at one of the most surprising presidential election seasons in US history. O’Donnell examines the fall of President Lyndon Johnson, the tragic death of Robert Kennedy, and the surprising re-emergence and victory of Richard Nixon. A must read for those interested in the 1960s, presidential politics, and RFK fans.
Jack 1939 by Francine Mathews
A fictionalized account of John F. Kennedy’s time spent in Europe as a university student, Mathews crafts a gripping page turner that is equal parts historical novel and spy thriller. Those who enjoy Philip Kerr, John le Carre, and Ian Fleming will certainly want to add this to their shelves.