Joey Staff Photo
"The simplest thing to say is that I am a voracious reader. An average week of my reading goes through about two or three novels. Fantasy is my first love, of course, but I try not to limit myself to a single one thing. Anyway, here's some stuff I've read, loved, and want you to read, too."
The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375823459
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2002

I picked up all three of the books in this series recently, and after reading the first page of this one, I was completely hooked! I devoured all three volumes in less than a week and was so sad to see it all end. Lyra embarks on a journey to find her kidnapped friend, and from that step out of Jordan College comes a world-spanning journey that you'll not soon forget.

Lamentation Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765360915
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Tor Books - September 1st, 2009

I was a little skeptical of this one at first, it seemed just a little too much like cheesy generic fantasy (which I totally love, mind you). I didn't give it the chance that it deserved and I hope that you all learn from my mistakes! Lamentation is an awesome, complex, multi-threaded, nuanced work of mind-bogglingly huge scope. I really mean it, you need to read this if you love fantasy.

Watchmen Cover Image
By Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781401245252
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: DC Comics - May 13th, 2014

Who watches the Watchmen? A must have graphic novel for anyone who enjoys the comic artform. It is the tale of several former superheroes living in a post-superhero world where "masks" are outlawed. Then, someone starts killing the old masks...

The Purple Kangaroo Cover Image
By Michael Ian Black, Peter Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416957713
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - December 29th, 2009

*** March 2010 Newsletter Pick ***
The moment I saw this book I couldn't believe my eyes. Michael Ian Black, one of the funniest men to ever live, had written a book... for kids? Mind. Blown. It called to me, and who was I to deny that call? Inside is a monkey, despite the book being titled The Purple Kangaroo. But he isn't just any monkey. This monkey can read minds. He can even tell what you're thinking of! What are you thinking of? Well, a purple kangaroo of course. What else are you thinking of? Ask the monkey, he's the one who can read minds, not me!

Your Next-Door Neighbor Is A D Cover Image
ISBN: 9780806527598
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Citadel Press - August 1st, 2009

*** September 2009 Newsletter Pick ***
A surreal, kaleidoscopic journey through the various subcultures the Internet has fostered, this book could easily be called Fear And Loathing On The Internet had Hunter S. Thompson written it. From the mundane folk who house the souls of dragons and elves to the more bizarre and exotic enclaves that I dare not mention here, Your Next-Door Neighbor Is A Dragon is far more than just a list of weird people and their foibles. Parsons gets down in the trenches and witnesses everything firsthand - he even suits up and goes undercover to a Furry convention. Talk about investigative journalism! Horrifying, hilarious, and sweetly tragic overall, you will never, ever view the Internet the same way again.

The Manual of Detection Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143116516
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - January 26th, 2010

*** February 2010 Newsletter Pick ***
I'm not usually one for detective stories, but this one grabbed me right away and pulled me along despite my protests against the genre. Charles Unwin is promoted to being a detective against his will, but he is not a detective, he is a clerk. It is obviously a mistake, but when he shows up to work someone else is at his desk and his boss is dead. Both surreal and absurd, the incredibly tight pacing and gripping narrative pulls the reader along with a mystifying relentlessness. The closest experience I can compare reading it to would be if you could somehow read a dream. If you're looking for a clever twist on hard-boiled noir, The Manual of Detection is for you.

Boneshaker Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765318411
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - September 29th, 2009

I'm always a sucker for Steampunk, but when I saw that Boneshaker threw zombies into the mix, I absolutely couldn't resist. Happily, I wasn't disappointed at all. It's chock full of zombie slaying action, fantastical inventions, airships, an underground lair, and more gas masks than you can shake a severed arm at. Also, Briar is one of the most ass-kicking sci fi heroines since Ellen Ripley.

Scar Night Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553589313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spectra Books - November 27th, 2007

Scar Night may be the best fantasy novel I've read in a very long time. Intriguing characters, a fascinating world history, and a compelling adventure to boot. Dill is the last archon of the Church of Ulcis. Relegated to little more than ornament and tradition, he is just a pale shadow of the righteous angels that his ancestors were. He is assigned Rachel as his overseer, to protect and teach him what he needs to know as a temple battle archon. However, for all her prowess within Spine order, Rachel is seen as a flawed creature for her passion and emotion. The city's other angel, Carnival is a relic of a time long past, now more monster than angel, she stalks the shadows of the city, coming out every Scar Night to take her due in souls.

Postsecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060899196
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ReganBooks - November 29th, 2005

Frank Warren began with a simple premise: Anonymously contribute a secret you have never told anyone via postcard. The response was overwhelming; both hilarious and heartrending, each postcard itself is a unique work of art. An astounding experience.

Prelude for the Deceased Part 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781591820086
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: TokyoPop - July 23rd, 2002

How far would you go for love and revenge? Ivan Isaacs was an old west preacher until his childhood love was struck down by an unholy plague. Trading half of his soul to a rogue devil for the power to avenge his loss, he sets off on a bloody journey through the suddenly zombie filled wild west. This Korean comic demands reading!

Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781401225759
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vertigo - October 19th, 2010

After 72 years of imprisonment, Morpheus, Dream, the Sandman, has been freed. In his absence many things within the realm of Dream have gone awry, and the journey across realities and dreamscapes in order to set all right again begins in this first volume of the graphic novel epic.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345508843
Availability: Special Order - Please call to confirm availability
Published: Del Rey Books - January 26th, 2010

It's been a long time since I've read such a compelling high seas adventure. A ship the size of a small city, a young man who can understand any spoken language, a kung-fu princess (sorta), a tribe of pixie warriors, talking rats, a dire prophecy that could end the world, and the sinister plot to bring it about is barely scratching the surface of what is inside this wonderful book. Really, I can't say enough good about it.

Predator Cities #1: Mortal Engines Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545222112
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Scholastic Press - June 1st, 2012

This is a fun steampunk-esque romp through the far future after the people of the Ancient world (that's us) have gone and blown themselves up. From the ashes of that catastrophe have risen the great mobile Traction Cities that relentlessly hunt each other in a process called Municipal Darwinism. All at once familiar and terribly alien, follow Tom as he is quite literally cast from his home after saving his hero, the great adventurer Thaddeus Valentine, from an assassin, and his adventure to get back upon London's deckplates.

Snow Crash Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553380958
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: Del Rey Books - May 2nd, 2000

To me, this is the definitive cyberpunk novel. Practically dripping with style, this tale of a near-future America that is so outlandish and exaggerated that it makes complete sense.

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780786852949
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - September 1st, 2005

Poor Leonardo is just no good at being a monster! But when the perfect opportunity to scare the tuna salad out of someone comes along, what will he do?

The Name of the Wind Cover Image
ISBN: 9780756405892
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Daw Books - April 7th, 2009

Once, I heard Patrick Rothfuss was speaking and signing in San Diego for an afternoon. I drove three hours there, listened to him speak, got him to sign my book, even got a picture with him, and then I drove home. I hope that speaks the volumes of praise that I have for this book without getting all gushy and awkward about it.

The Darkness That Comes Before Cover Image
ISBN: 9781590201183
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Overlook Press - September 2nd, 2008

The Prince of Nothing series is a dark, philosophical fantasy epic about the guttering light of humanity in a world full of horror waiting to devour them in the most horrible, messy, traumatic ways possible. It's quickly become one of my favorite book series despite the soulcrushing bleakness to the whole thing. I know full well there'll be no happy ending, but it's just so good, I'm willing to take that hellish emotional ride. Followed by The Warrior-Prophet and The Thousandfold Thought.

The Magicians Cover Image
ISBN: 9780452296299
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: Plume Books - May 25th, 2010

The best way to sum up this book is to say that Harry Potter meets Less than Zero and they find themselves in Narnia. A cautionary tale of sex, drugs, and magic powers; the perils of getting exactly what you've wished for; and the terrible consequences of being a hero.  Followed by The Magician King.

The Blade Itself Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316387316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - September 8th, 2015

A grim and gritty fantasy series that turns every fantasy trope you might think applies absolutely on its head. From the captured and tortured war hero crippled and turned into a torturer himself, to the reluctant berserker struggling to leave behind the darkness of his savage half, nothing is what you expect. Followed by Before They Are Hanged and The Last Argument of Kings.

Mistborn: The Final Empire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765350381
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - July 31st, 2007

Everything sucks and God lives in your town. This is a very different kind of fantasy. The magic is almost scientific in its exact rules and requirements, and the bad guys have already won the war, and it's just about surviving in the wake of overwhelming oppression. If you couldn't tell by now, I have a thing for horribly dark stories, but Mistborn really is amazing!