1. The Seven Lady Godivas by Dr. Seuss: I was so excited when I first happened upon this book; “What? A Dr. Seuss book I haven’t heard of? What sorcery is this??” The fact that I discovered it in the adult fiction section of the library further added to my intrigue and I devoured the slim book quickly. The mystery as to how this book had hitherto eluded my attention was brought to light as the illustrations are less than child friendly.
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I mainly picked up this novel because I’m a fan of Noelle Stevenson who did the cover art (and yes, I do judge a book by it’s cover) but I continued reading it because Rainbow Rowell really encapsulated that insecure feeling that is the first year of college. I would highly recommend it to any high school grad about to embark on their first long term away from home adventure.
3. Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand: Ok, this is another book I picked up because I’m a fan of the illustrator that did the art work (I’m just a sucker for pretty line work) but the book has turned out to be a favorite of mine to recommend to kids in the 9-12 age range. After Olivia Stellatella moves into a run down concert hall with her father and grandmother things go from bad to worse as it turns out the concert hall is haunted! But as Olivia helps the resident ghosts move onto the next life she is able to heal the hurts in her own life and begins to mend the cracks in her own broken family.
4. Ms. Marvel: No Normal by Willow G. Wilson: It’s refreshing to read a fun and lighthearted superhero comic book. Especially when the heroine is a Muslim Pakistani-American teenager who is just dying to fit in at her Jersey City high school. Kamala Khan feels like Peter Parker for the modern age.
5. The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Lang: This comic book tells the fun and ingenious back story of a little known superhero created during the 1940’s: the Green Turtle, the first Asian American superhero to ever grace the pages of a comic book.
6. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Here is a graphic novel that tells the intimate biography of a girl living in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. This is a story of a place and people that are very important to our modern political climate and who’s culture is often misunderstood. Persepolis is a beautifully and simply illustrated story.
7. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson: If it isn’t obvious already, I have a weak spot for good artwork in a story. So when I read this fantasy novel where the ingredients for magical undertakings is color I was sold. If you’re at all familiar with Mr. Sanderson’s writing you also know you’re in for an exotic and creative fantasy adventure.
8. Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed): In addition to being obsessed with a good piece of illustration I also have a huge weak spot for animation. Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette animation masterpiece is a beautiful example of the creativity and versatility that can be used in animation. This full length piece of animation even predates Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by 10 years!
9. The Illusionist: A nearly silent animated film about an illusionist who is down on his luck. He meets an innocent young girl named Alice who changes his life forever. It’s a richly animated story, a little melancholy in tone but rather thought provoking in the end.
10. Song of the Sea: Ok, I have a little bit of an animation crush on Cartoon Saloon, the studio that created this lovely little story. This is an emotional family story imbued with elements of Irish folktales and mythology. While watching this movie I couldn’t help but fall in love with the family dynamic and the climax nearly brought me to tears.