Staff Favorites

             Patrons often ask our staff to suggest books to read.The titles on this list were compiled by asking our staff to recommend their favorite books and describe great books they have read and enjoyed.

 

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Chick Lit

 

 

Fantasy

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The Accidental Sorcerer by K. E. Mills
Fantasy
Call#: F Mills
He blew up a factory and lost his job. To stay alive and hide, Gerald Dunwoody takes a job in a small insignificant kingdom. He is not only a mightier sorcerer than he bargained for, but also an accidental hero, whose duty it is to save both the princess and the kingdom. Clever and written with dry humor, I found this first book of the Rogue Agent Trilogy an interesting and fast read.
Submitted by Tammy Laitinen 9/09

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Bad Prince Charlie by John Moore
Fantasy
Call#: F Moore
After the king of Damask dies, his illegitimate son is put on the throne. 'Bad Prince' Charlie is entrusted with the task of being a terrible ruler and helping his brothers sell out the country to the neighboring country of Noile. Through the advice of the king's drunken ghost and the 'High' (as in, pot-smoking) Priestess, Charlie has to figure out how to save his country and himself in this highly entertaining satirical fantasy novel. The author is inspired by great authors such as Terry Pratchett and Robert Asprin, but stands out through his sense of irony and similes to life in modern times.

Submitted by Richard Jon Burgener

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The Battle Sylph by J. L. McDonald
Fantasy
Call#: F McDonald
Solie finds herself kidnapped as bait for a dangerous Battle Sylph named Heyou, but she fights back and takes control of him, an immensely powerful shape shifter. Solie & Heyou flee death to seek sanctuary, and Heyou begins to fill Solie with desires that threaten to change the world. (Amazon)
Submitted by Joan Christensen 5/10

33 Things Every Girl Should Know

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Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
Fantasy
Call#: F Yolen
The story of Sleeping Beauty seamlessly blended with an old woman's experience of the Holocaust, and her granddaughter's quest to understand her grandmother's past.
Submitted by Sara Weikel 12/08

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The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
Fantasy
F Pratchett
Wizard school dropout Rincewind tries to mind his own business and stay out of dangerous situations, but he gets forcibly recruited to serve as escort and bodyguard for Discworld's first tourist, helpless but enthusiastic Twoflower and his man-eating luggage. Meanwhile the gods gamble with the lives of their chosen heroes, and Death is very put out that Rincewind keeps missing appointments with him. Cracked and hilarious, perfect for fans of Douglas Adams.
Submitted by Sara Weikel 2/12

Conquistadorcover

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Conquistador by S. M. Stirling
Fantasy
Call#: F Stirling
When John Rolfe discovers a gate that allows him to enter an alternate world where the white man never discovered America, he establishes his own country there. Sixty years later his country is threatened by neo-mafioso and his granddaughter and a California fish and game warden must defeat the takeover by the bad guys.
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 2/07

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The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
Fantasy
Call#: F Stewart
Wonderful, thrilling book. Keeps the reader's attention. Well written with a very interesting twist. It's a book that you can't put down. Absolutely great book.
Submitted by Janene M. Alvey

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A Darkness Forged in Fire by Chris Evans
Fantasy
Call#: F Evans
Konowa Swift Dragon, former commander of the Iron Elves in Her Majesty's service, is recalled to help lead a newly formed regiment of Iron Elves. The new commander is the Prince of the Empire and they must take the Iron Elves to find the Eastern Star, a powerful magical force.
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 5/09

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Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
Call#: F Marillier
Wonderful fairytale-type romance. I couldn't put it down.
Submitted by Geanie Roake

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Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick
Fantasy
F Resnick
Esther Diamond is a struggling actor working in a show that centers around a magic act. Finally, Esther gets her break when a disappearing act goes really wrong. With the help of an ancient wizard, Esther hopes to solve the mystery.
Submitted by Jan Elkins 4/11

 



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The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy
F Sanderson

In this delightful novella Shai is an artistic forger who is caught by palace security stealing a priceless treasure. She bargains for her life with the Royal Council. They want her to create a soul stamp to duplicate their Emperor's soul. Elegant world building, humor and moral puzzles will appeal to adults and teens!

Submitted by Sue Lorens 5/13

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Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
F Marillier

Maeve was badly burned 10 years ago. She has been living with her aunt and uncle and they have helped her heal all she can, but she still can't use her hands to open a door, brush her hair or get dressed.  She is going to go home to Sevenwaters to help with a  horse that needs her special skill of calming animals.  She worries about going home to Sevenwaters because there have been strange disappearances and her younger brother is bothered by past problems and new troubles.  How can Maeve help and what skills does she possess that will aid her family and 2 stray dogs she has come to love?
Submitted by Naomi Bass 5/13

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Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Fantasy
Call#: F Martin
Extraordinarily rich saga, with splendid characters, kings and queens, knights and renegades who struggle for control of a throne in an intricate plot with a backdrop of real depth and texture. In the Seven Kingdoms, where the unpredictable seasons my last decades, three powerful families allied themselves to smash the ruling Targaryens and depose the mad King Rhaegar. Some years later they find themselves involved in plots, counter-plots, whispers, double-dealing  and murder.


 

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Heart’s Blood
 by Juliet Marillier       
Fantasy    
F Marillier   
Heart’s Blood is the story of a young scribe, Caitrin, who in an effort to get away from certain people within her home, is hired for the summer to copy papers on Whistling Tor, a place that frightens the people of the nearby town.  She must fight evil to win the freedom of those she cares about.
Submitted by Naomi Bass 11/10


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Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
Call#: F Marillier
With her mother confined to her bed, Clodaugh takes up the role as Mistress at Sevenwaters. Her mother delivers a son, but soon after he is taken and a mysterious changeling child is put in his place. Clodaugh must find a way to retrieve her brother from the world of the faerie before the loss kills her mother and ruins her family. This is a wonderful tale that will sweep you away from the very first.
Submitted by Allison Madsen 5/09


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The High King's Tomb
by Kristen Britain
Fantasy
F Britain
Karrigan is a "Green Rider"for the king. It is a dangerous profession and the life expectancy is not high. Evil is trying to break through the wall near Blackveil and destroy the kingdom. In the past, the wall has allowed people to come inside to strengthen and repair it, but now the wall does not trust anyone and no one is allowed inside to fix it. Karrigan and the other riders give their best to help King Zachary. Will that be enough?
Submitted by Naomi Bass 2/13

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The Infernals by John Connolly
Fantasy
F Connolly
Young Samuel Johnson and his trusty sidekick Boswell are back for an encore! Mrs. Abernathy opens another portal from Hell, once the CERN collider is up and running again, and sucks Samuel, a van of drunken dwarfs, an ice cream van and a police car with occupants to Hell. Luckily, Samuel's odd friend Nurd comes to the rescue.

Submitted by Jewel Nelson 12/11


 

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Jasmyn by Alex Bell
Fantasy
F Bell
A woman’s husband dies suddenly and mysteries surrounding him start springing up. She begins exploring these mysteries, which turn out to be deeper than Jasmyn expected, and she quickly finds herself immersed in a magical story of swans, castles, and bones; of murder and a vicious battle between brothers; of a lost past and a stolen love.
Submitted by Jen Beckstead 3/11

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Kraken by China Miéville
Fantasy
F Miéville
Being chased by cults, a maniac, and the sorcerers of the Fundamentalist and Sect-Related Crime Unit, cephalopod specialist Billy Harrow inadvertently learns that he holds the key to finding a missing squid – a squid that just may be an embryonic god whose powers can destroy all that is, was, and ever shall be. An exceptionally well-written fantasy-thriller with Miéville once again in top form.

Submitted by Greg Near 9/10

 


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Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey
Fantasy
Call#: F Carey
Fourth in a series. This is a sophisticated, lush adult fantasy novel. An alternate European setting where life is ruled by a sacred passion for art, beauty and desire. This story follows the third generation of characters   through a web of intrigue and danger, as they try to find their place in this fascinating world.
Submitted by De Peterson 12/06

How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life

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The Line Between by Peter Beagle
Fantasy
Call#: F Beagle
A collection of wonderful short fiction by the fantasy master, Peter Beagle, including additional stories from the universe in "The Innkeeper's Song" and a sequel to "The Last Unicorn".
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 12/07

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The Loch by Steve Alten
Fantasy
Call#: F Alten
A page-turning thriller for those who are not even fantasy fans.  This will appear on the big screen soon!  A meticulously researched book about the Loch Ness Monster that even seems plausible.
Submitted by Linda Frederick

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Magic Kingdom for Sale--Sold! by Terry Brooks
Fantasy
Call#: F Brooks
Lawyer Ben Holiday is tired: of his work, his friends, his empty life.  Still reeling from the sudden death of his beloved wife, Annie, he seeks a new challenge.  The answer comes in a strange advertisement in a department store Christmas Wish book:  Magic Kingdom for Sale . .
.
Submitted by Daniel J. Sorenson

33 Things Every Girl Should Know

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Midwinter by Matthew Sturges
Fantasy
Call#: F Sturges
An imprisoned military leader is given the opportunity to be released if he leads a risky mission for the queen. He is allowed to choose his own crew which includes an Elfish princess, a disgraced guard, and a human scientist. This caper/heist novel is set in a fascinating world of fairies, elves, orges, and other creatures from folklore and mythology.
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 10/09

Conquistadorcover

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Mistborn: the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy
Call#: F Sanderson
A street thief born of the slave class finds that she has mystical powers derived from metals. While magic powers abound in fantasy books, I felt that the format for the Mistborn powers was fairly original. Hard to put down.

Submitted by Jamie Jensen 4/07

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Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Fantasy
Call#: F Rothfuss
Kvothe tells his story to a Chronicler about his growing up years in an acting troupe, his parent's deaths, and his entry into the University to learn magic.
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 9/07

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Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
Urban Fantasy
F Alexander
To save her brother from his drug addiction, Nurse Edie Spence, agrees to work at the county hospital on a special floor, Y4. This floor caters to supernatural creatures of all sorts.
Submitted by Jan Elkins 4/13

Cotton

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Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
Fantasy
Call#: F Rardin
In this first book of the series, Jaz Parks is a CIA hit person teamed with an ancient vampire. Their assignment is to eliminate a Miami plastic surgeon with links to terrorism and the supernatural. Before they can accomplish this goal, complications arise and the plot thickens rapidly. This book is almost chick lit but not quite. Jaz is very funny and I could not help comparing her to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, but Jaz is actually competent and deadly.
Submitted by Jan Elkins 5/08

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One Foot in the Grave by William Mark Simmons
Fantasy
Call#:
F Simmons
In the aftermath of a road accident he can barely remember, Chris Csejthe's wife and daughter are dead and he has developed an unidentifiable disease that forces him to stay out of the sunlight. He is disinclined to believe in the existence of vampires--even when they have him on the run for his life! Simmons puts a few new wrinkles on the idea of vampirism (which is pretty hard to do these days) within the framework of a brisk and funny first-person adventure story.


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Poison Study by Maria Snyder
Fantasy
Call#: F Snyder
Well written and a page turner.
Submitted by Sheral Berrie


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The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Adult Fiction Fantasy
F Goldman
Farm boy Westley returns home from seeking his fortune to find that his true love Buttercup is in need of rescuing from a warmongering prince and a band of assassins. Features pirates, fencing, a battle of wits, and a miracle or two. Written with a melodramatic sense of humor.
Submitted by Sara Weikel 3/11


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Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore
Fantasy
Call#: F Moore

Dunleavy Mallorough is what's known as a Shield, a protector of those who defend cities against natural disasters. When the time comes for her lifelong partner to be selected, she hopes and prays she isn't paired with Lord Shintaro Karish, the best known hero in the land - with a reputation as a wastrel, womanizer, and rat. But when disasters threaten and other defenders wind up dead, she finds she has to learn to trust her companion - with her life and with her heart.
Submitted by Richard Jon Burgener

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The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
Fantasy
F O'Malley
This book has an incredible hook:"The body you are wearing used to be mine." The Rook combines fantasy elements including paranormal abilities (taking over another person's physical body, dream walking, humans growing porcupine quills) with a elements of a classic "Who-dun-it" mystery. The heroine and the reader journey together to figure out who wiped out the protagonist's memories. The story is full of intense cliffhangers and enjoyable on multiple levels. It's a great read.
Submitted by Marinda Keller 3/13

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The Scions of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Fantasy
Call#: F Brooks

300 years ago, the Druid Allanon passed from the Four Lands, the last of his kind. Now a shade, he summons the remnants of the House of Shannara to him to once again save the Four Lands from destruction. Par Ohmsford, bearer of the magic of the wishsong, Walker Boh, the Dark Uncle bearer of the trust given to his ancestor Brin Ohmsford three hundred years earlier, and Wren Ohmsford, who only has a bag of pretend Elfstones. To these three falls the task of saving the Four Lands--each with their own quest. Par must recover the lost Sword of Shannara, Wren the missing Elves, and Walker the Druids and their keep, Paranor. Each quest is impossible, yet somehow they must succeed, else the Four Lands will fall to the dangerous Shadowen.
Submitted by Daniel Sorenson


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Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
Fantasy
F Marillier
Sibeal has planned all her life to be a druid, but when a ship is wrecked offshore, she is drawn into the lives of several of the survivors and into danger both on land and by sea.
Submitted by Naomi Bass 4/11


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The Sentinel Mage by Emily Gee
Fantasy
F Gee
Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince—and the Seven Kingdoms. In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage’s blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head—and assassins at his heels. Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld’s side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him. But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death. (from Amazon.com)
Submitted by Jen Beckstead 6/11

 



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Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman
Fantasy
Call#: F Grossman
What really goes on in the mind of a superhero? A super villain? Soon I Will Be Invincible is both a superhero action story (think Justice League) and an introspective look at the minds and lives of the superhuman.
Submitted by Beth Downs 10/07

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Steal the Dragon by Patricia Briggs
Fantasy
Call#: F Briggs
A former slave girl gambles with her freedom to return to the land of her bondage--a world of deadly magic and deception.  Enlisted by the spy master of Sianim, Rialla goes back to try and save a man's life and to strike back at her former masters.
Submitted by Kendra Hutch

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The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
Fantasy
Call#: F Hines
What happens to Cinderella after she marries Prince Charming and doesn't always have the happily ever after ending. When Prince Charming is kidnapped, Princess Danielle (alias Cinderella) must fight to get him back with the help of Talia (Snow White) and Snow (Sleeping Beauty).
Submitted by Joan Christensen 4/09

33 Things Every Girl Should Know

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Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge
Fantasy
Call#: F Kittredge
Detective Inspector Pete Caldecott follows a tip about a missing child and comes face to face with strung-out heroin addict Jack Winter, whom she thought had died 12 years ago trying to raise a spirit. They have to work together both in this world and in one Jack calls the Black to find missing children before time runs out. Full of magic and good old street grit.
Submitted by Jen Beckstead 10/09

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Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn
Fantasy
Call#: F Shinn

Corie is the illegitimate daughter of a lord and spends every summer with her half sister Elisandra who is destined to marry Prince Bryan. As Corie grows older she no longer envies her sister, but pities her. At the same time, Corie's eyes open to the misery of the magical aliora, whom she loves, but who are hunted for sport and enslaved by the nobility. Can Corie save her sister or the aliora?
Submitted by Samantha Larsen 02/07


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The Summoner: Book One of the Chronicles of the Necromancer by Gail Z. Martin
Fantasy
Call#: F Martin
Nicely developed, engaging characters (there are a lot of them). The plot moves along swiftly and is exciting. This is high fantasy--chases, escapes, monsters, revenge, true love--complete with a magical battle between good and evil for an entire kingdom.
Submitted by Jenny Beckstead 1/10


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Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding
Fantasy
F Meding
When Evy Stone wakes up on an autopsy table in a strange body, she thinks things can't get any worse. Wrong. Now she has 3 days to help uncover a plot that could spell disaster for humans and leave the city in control of the Dregs (other worldly creatures). And everyone, human and supernatural, seems to be gunning for her. To make it through, she has to rely on an old friend and new and surprising allies. And if she is successful? Oh, yeah, she dies.
Submitted by Jan Elkins 4/12


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Touch of Power by Maria Snyder
Fantasy
F Snyder
Touch of Power is about a young woman named Avry, who is a healer. Healers are being blamed for a plague which kills all who sicken with it. Many people have died of the plague and healers have been hunted and killed until Avry is the only one left. She is captured by a small group of men who want her to heal a prince who has contracted the disease but is being kept in a state of stasis. Avry will die herself if she heals anyone of the plague.

Submitted by Naomi Bass 3/12

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True Blood by Patricia Waddell
Fantasy
Call#: F Waddell

Wonderful sci-fi fantasy book with hopes for a sequel. It has diplomacy, conspiracy, romance, mystery and a great setting in space. The warrior and the diplomat are trying to stop intergalactic war--a great space opera.
Submitted by Trish Hull 02/07


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Under Heaven  by Guy Gavriel Kay
Fantasy
F Kay
Shen Tai receives a gift of 250 Sardian horses, which puts his life in danger and involves him in a civil war in a setting evocative of 8th century China.
Submitted by Cherie Bitter 8/10

 


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Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy
Call#: F Sanderson
The King of Idris sends his youngest daughter, Siri, who is a bit rebellious, instead of his eldest daughter, Vivenna, to marry the mysterious and powerful God-King of Hallandren. The kingdom and God-King turn out to be a bit different than we expect.
Submitted by Naomi Bass 8/09

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When Darkness Falls by Mercedes Lackey
Fantasy
Call#: F Lackey

Lackey is a master fantasy writer. Her rich, believable worlds are peopled with fully realized, complex characters who struggle with good and evil, wisdom and power, the real world and magic. I can't get enough of her writing. If you enjoy fantasy fiction she is one of the best.
Submitted by De Peterson 12/06