At the last meeting of the Bring Your Own Book Club, a bunch of book lovers chatted about the books we’ve all been reading lately including those listed below. Looks like we’ll be doing it again on October 20th at 4:00 PM. If you’d like to tell us about some books or hear what your fellow readers suggest, join our Zoom chat.
Bone: The Complete Cartoon Epic by Jeff Smith
Meet the Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, three misfits who are run out of Boneville and find themselves lost in a vast uncharted desert. They make their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures. With the help of the mysterious Thorn, her tough-as-nails Gran’ma Ben and the Great Red Dragon, the boys do their best to survive in the middle of brewing trouble between the valley’s denizens. It will be the longest – but funniest – year of their lives!
Originally serialized in black & white comic books and graphic novels, the award-winning novel is presented complete and unabridged in this impressive 1300 page tome.
Honey Baby Mine by Diane Ladd and Laura Dern
What happens when we are brave enough to speak our truths to the ones we love the most?
Laura Dern and Diane Ladd always had a close relationship, but the stakes were raised when Diane developed a sudden life-threatening illness. Diane’s doctor prescribed long walks to build back her lung capacity. The exertion was challenging, and Laura soon learned the best way to distract her mom was to get her talking and telling stories.
Their conversations along the way began to break down the traditional barriers between mothers and daughters. They discussed the most personal love, sex, marriage, divorce, art, ambition, and legacy. In Honey, Baby, Mine , Laura and Diane share these conversations, as well as reflections and anecdotes, taking readers on an intimate tour of their lives. Complementing these candid exchanges, they have included photos, family recipes, and other mementos. The result is a celebration of the power of leaving nothing unsaid that will make you want to call the people you love the most and start talking.
Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand
Holly Sherwin has been a struggling playwright for years, but now, after receiving a grant to develop her play, The Witch of Edmonton, she may finally be close to her big break. All she needs is time and space to bring her vision to life. When she stumbles across Hill House on a weekend getaway upstate, she is immediately taken in by the ornate, if crumbling, gothic mansion, nearly hidden outside a remote village. It’s enormous, old, and ever-so eerie—the perfect place to develop and rehearse her play.
Despite her own hesitations, Holly’s girlfriend, Nisa, agrees to join Holly in renting the house out for a month, and soon a troupe of actors, each with ghosts of their own, arrive. Yet as they settle in, the house’s peculiarities are made known: strange creatures stalk the grounds, disturbing sounds echo throughout the halls, and time itself seems to shift. All too soon, Holly and her friends find themselves at odds not just with one another, but with the house itself. It seems something has been waiting in Hill House all these years, and it no longer intends to walk alone.
Starling House by Alix E. Harrow
Eden, Kentucky, is just another dying, bad-luck town, known only for the legend of E. Starling, the reclusive nineteenth-century author and illustrator who wrote The Underland–and disappeared. Before she vanished, Starling House appeared. But everyone agrees that it’s best to let the uncanny house―and its last lonely heir, Arthur Starling―go to rot.
Opal knows better than to mess with haunted houses or brooding men, but an unexpected job offer might be a chance to get her brother out of Eden. Too quickly, though, Starling House starts to feel dangerously like something she’s never had: a home.
As sinister forces converge on Starling House, Opal and Arthur are going to have to make a dire choice to dig up the buried secrets of the past and confront their own fears, or let Eden be taken over by literal nightmares.
If Opal wants a home, she’ll have to fight for it.
Holly by Stephen King
When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.
Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.
The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro
2018: Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras – The Queen of The Cicadas.
In 1950s south Texas a farmworker—Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico—is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship.
Belinda and the new owner of the farmhouse, Hector, find themselves immersed in the legend and realize it is part of their fate as well.
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.
I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee by Tom Scioli
Everyone knows Stan Lee: His work at the creative helm of Marvel Comics resulted in the creation of many of the superheroes we know and love today, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and more. During his decades-long career at Marvel, Lee turned the comic book publisher into a cultural juggernaut that shaped and defined the burgeoning industry.
In I Am Stan, critically acclaimed artist Tom Scioli reveals the man behind the comics and cameos using the same medium Stan Lee revolutionized. This stunning graphic novel takes readers from his early days in the comics industry through his rise at Marvel (then Timely Comics), where his career was touched by other iconic creatives including Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. Their collaboration would lead to the creation of the most iconic superheroes of today, and bring about the Marvel Age of the 60’s and 70’s that introduced new industry stars like Steve Ditko, and John Buscema. Readers will follow Lee’s trajectory from his daily life at Marvel to his later years as a spokesperson for the company and for comics as a whole, and finally to his last years away from the spotlight. Scioli provides a clear-eyed view of Lee’s triumphs at Marvel as well as the controversies that surrounded the creator at the end of his life.