Valerie’s Staff Picks

Looking for something new to read and looking for some direction in your reading selections? Check out this list of recommended titles from the Library’s very own Khristine!  We hope this list of science fiction and fantasy favorites helps to inspire you to keep reading and keep using the Library.  

*Some titles may be available in other formats.*

Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood – A post-apocalyptic novel starring a lone human named Snowman and the strange creatures that accompany him. His story before the catastrophe, when he was known as “Jimmy”, is told in flashbacks and addresses the consequences of genetic engineering in the wrong hands.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Galaxy Stern is an unlikely Yale student tasked with monitoring the mysterious, reclusive Societies during rituals where the veil between worlds is thin. Not all are pleased by her presence or abilities.

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh – Six teenagers act as the backup crew on a 23-year exploration to an Earth-like planet. On their journey, they’re confronted with issues of isolation, mental illness, and wanting to belong.

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – “In the myriadic year of our Lord – the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! – Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.” This fantastic line opens the story of a snarky swordswoman and her charge as they make their way through a haunted mansion in the middle of space.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – After their predecessors fell to disaster, four women compose the twelfth expedition to a zone known only as “Area X”. I like to describe this one as “ecological horror”. 

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine – When a diplomat’s “imago-machine” containing the memories of her predecessor fails her on a mission to another world, she finds herself caught in the middle of conspiracy. The way this book plays with the intricacies of language is incredible.

Palimpsest by Catherynne M. Valente – In this gorgeously written novel, four strangers find themselves connected through their visits to Palimpsest, a sexually-transmitted city unlike anything they’ve seen.

Starless by Jacqueline Carey – Khai is a warrior born to protect the princess Zariya, his “soul’s twin”, in this middle-eastern inspired fantasy in a world where gods walk the world. Toys with themes of gender roles and disability.

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemu – A long-passed-down recipe for gingerbread transports its consumers into another world. Part fairytale, part family saga.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – Sorcha and her family are cursed by the sorceress Oonagh; her brothers turned into swans, Sorcha must rescue them, all while remaining mute. Inspired by Irish mythology.