Goosebumps is a series originally written by R.L. Stine, a man frequently called the “Stephen King of children’s literature”. While he does have other books and series out there, he’s most known for the Goosebumps books.

werewolf of fever

Of the ones we have in our NIDL collection, The Werewolf of Fever Swamp is one I always recommend. Grady and his sister have just moved with their parents and they’re right next to a swamp and not so close to town. Why did they move? So their dad can do scientist work on studying swamp deer.

One day Grady finds a dog that looks a lot like a wolf. The dog quickly becomes his best friend and Grady’s mood starts to improve. Especially once his parents let him keep the dog when no one in town answers their found dog flyers.

But suddenly there’s a rabbit that’s found mutilated. And swamp deer start getting spooked a lot more frequently. And there’s this awful howling at night. Especially during the full moon. Grady meets another kid who seems to come out of the swamp, but something doesn’t seem quite right. Especially when he starts telling Grady stories of the werewolf in the swamp. Is Grady’s new dog the werewolf? Is there a werewolf?

Sound interesting? Why not read it? Or another of Stine’s other books.

Heather: I was easily scared as a child and R.L. Stine was the first “scary” author I could read. And I could read him at night before bed and not have intense nightmares. I was thrilled to watch the T.V. show Goosebumps because I knew the books so well by the time I started watching it. Now, I’m a bit of a horror nut. I still love reading Goosebumps books. Thank you, Mr. Stine.

You’ve never seen a library like this. At least, I don’t think you have. The Unshelved books are collections of the comic strip by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. Bill is a cartoonist, Gene is a librarian, and they’ve been publishing this strip since 2002. And that information comes straight from the website unshelved.com.

unshelved 1 unshelved 2

I don’t remember how I came across this comic, but I’m glad I did. Whenever there’s a new strip it makes me laugh. That’s what it’s meant to do! Main character Dewey (doomed from birth, perhaps?) is the Mallville Library Teen Librarian (according to his character description on the website, at least). Tamara is the extremely bubbly Children’s Librarian, and Mel is the manager. Mel deals with all the insanity that Dewey brings her way. She also can’t state an opinion without the opposite happening (“It’s so quiet today.” and suddenly there’s a marching band through the library).

The strip is hilarious and if you like comics give it a try. Or you can visit their website and start at the beginning.

Heather: I do enjoy this strip and I signed up for getting e-mails. On Fridays they have book recommendations. It’s a total blast and the Eckhart Public Library does have some of the books that they’ve recommended over the years. I’ve noticed it just browsing along the shelves or even looking up titles if I’m really curious. They recommend a variety of materials.

The Baudelaire siblings, very close to their parents, find out suddenly that they’re now orphans. Violet, aged 14, is fantastic with gadgets. Klaus, aged 12, is a voracious reader and has wisdom far beyond his years because of such. Sunny, still an infant eating from a bottle, has dangerously sharp teeth and if she doesn’t like you, you’re going to know it.

snicket 1

Starting with book 1, The Bad Beginning the children learn their parents are now dead and they are being carted off to go live with relatives. People they don’t even know. Their only choice is to stick together, now more than ever.

Their first relative is Count Olaf. A member of a theatre troupe and nothing but nasty. One night the kids are assigned to make dinner for the troupe and when the troupe gets back Olaf is demanding roast beef. When the children remind him he never requested it to begin with he strikes Kalus. Olaf is only after the Baudelaire fortune.

There’s mayhem, a theater play, and so much more happening in this book that it keeps your attention. And you want to know what happens next when the kids get away from nasty Count Olaf. Let’s go to The Reptile Room, shall we? Uncle Monty is waiting.

snicket 2

In The Reptile Room the kids are sent to live with distant relative Dr. Montgomery Montgomery, herpetologist. He’s a very friendly man who treats the kids with kindness and love. And the kids are fascinated with the snakes! But soon enough… Things aren’t so good. There’s a new assistant in the picture, Stephano. Count Olaf is back!

I’d love to tell you more about this book and the series as a whole, but it’s best if you read for yourself. The best part? It’s going to be a Netflix original series. Why not give it a read? All 13 books are available on NIDL in eBook format.

Heather: I fell in love with this series years ago before they were all published. The occasions I would get to go to the bookstore with my parents I might be able to get one or two books as a child and I’d be reading in the back of the car, at night, no light, and get through a fair portion of the book before we got home. It’s touching, it’s sweet, it’s painful, and you feel for the kids. You want to adopt them. Protect them. At least, I did. I can’t wait for the series and I will likely be rereading the books very soon.

bite me

Young, urban vampires. Not Twilight. Sarcasm and romance. Christopher Moore brings it all in this book. Bite Me.

There’s not a ton I can say about this story without giving some really cool things away. What I can say is this book is funny. It was the first of Moore’s work that I read and whenever I think about it I laugh. Vampires and want-to-be vampires (yes, wanting to be vampires) in San Francisco trying to figure things out. The perspective is weird, but it works.

Christopher Moore writes with sarcasm and a lot of hilarious happenings. His stories are dark, but you’ll smile reading them. Give him a try.

Heather: This is one of my favorite stories. I read it years ago and back then I was not the type of person who would laugh out loud in public at a book. This changed that. Without a doubt one of the weirder things I’ve read it’s something that makes me laugh when I think about it. Great for Halloween!

Does anyone remember that movie Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe where he wakes up in a drunken stupor trying to forget that the love of his life is dead and the whole town blames him? Or the post I wrote about the book before the movie came out? I’m back on a Joe Hill kick, especially with his new book The Fireman being out.

heart shaped

Let’s go back a few years to one of his earlier books, Heart-Shaped Box.

Meet Judas Coyne. He’s a collector of the macabre with things like a cookbook for cannibals, a used hangman’s noose, and a snuff film in his collection the aging death-metal rock legend is always looking for more. One day while on a bidding site he sees something that he can’t buy fast enough. Someone selling a suit that belonged to her step-father. Nothing unusual there, except his ghost is attached to it. After constantly battling his own ghosts Judas isn’t the least bit afraid to invite one into his home. But then the ghost is everywhere. Behind doors, on the T.V., in Jude’s car, outside the window… All the time with a razor blade dangling by a chain from his wrist.

This is just one of the stories Joe Hill has worked on. He’s also done graphic novels, edited and compiled short story collections, and written with other authors (like Stephen King).

Can’t find what you’re looking for on NIDL? Towards the bottom of your results there should be a button that says something along the lines of “Add titles you can recommend”. When you click on that you’ll get a list of related results that you can request for the collection. If it’s something you truly want make sure you place a hold on the item. If you have trouble with this or anything on NIDL stop by and see us. We’ll be glad to help you out. Looking for a little more in-depth help? Contact us to set up an appointment with one of our Technology Tutors. We’re happy to help you.

Heather: I’m not even entirely sure how I got started reading Joe Hill anymore. Maybe it was the buzz around Horns when the movie was in production? Or reading something by him and Stephen King? I don’t remember. All I know now is that I love his work and I’m excited whenever a new book comes out.