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'historical fiction'

Jul 02

These Are a Few of My Favorite Tropes! by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 2, 2021 at 2:18 PM by Genesis Gaule

While some people might think of any use of tropes as something that hurts an author’s writing, they may be surprised to find that almost every story utilizes them. They can be incorporated into a story to set up a character type, be creatively used to complicate a journey, or just used for some feel good content. If you’ve ever been waiting for a love triangle to unfold, you will either want to pull your hair out in frustration or be at the edge of your seat in anticipation. Coffee shop settings with romantic tension are either your cup of joe or make you yawn. Essentially, everyone connects with and favors some tropes over others. Here are a few books that incorporate some of my favorite tropes.

Found Family:

One of my all time favorites is the “Found family/Chosen family” trope. In these stories, a group of misfits find a home in the company of others in the group. They learn to confide, trust, and protect each other on their journey to complete a mission. It's a great way to create character arcs in a work of literature, when a ton of exposition for a large ensemble may feel out of place or unnatural. Over time we can see more of a character’s personality and background come out when they encounter difficulties. It’s also a reminder to readers that your family is made up of people that care about you, not necessarily the family you were born into.

Some books that incorporate this trope well are:

The House in the Cerulean Sea

by TJ Klune

When a group of children in an orphanage have the power to destroy the world, it’s up to Linus to investigate how dangerous they really are. Along the way, he may have to choose between saving his newfound family, or the world.
Science Fiction KLUNE

Six of Crows

by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.
Junior BARDUGO

Artemis Fowl Series

by Eoin Colfer

(Slow build over the entire 8 book series) Artemis is a young boy genius with a mantra to guide him through life: “Gold is Power”. When this leads to elaborate and risky schemes to maintain his family’s wealth, those he once considered enemies will turn out to be more than he ever expected.
Junior COLFER

The Hobbit

by J.R.R Tolkien

A homebody Hobbit is reluctantly swept up into an epic journey by a wizard and thirteen dwarves.
Science Fiction TOLKIENebook

Enemies to Lovers:

When it comes to romance, “enemies to lovers” books are particularly fun to read. In these stories, people who see the worst in the other person grow to find themselves lost without them. Snarky humor and heartfelt moments of character growth? What more can you ask for!

Red,White and Royal Blue

by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Claremont-Diaz--America's Goldenboy First Son--has a beef with Prince Henry across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Heads of state devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined... and could possibly upend two nations.
Fiction MCQUISTON

The Unhoneymooners

by Christina Lauren

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. When her eternally lucky tiwn sister Ami gets married, Olive, is forced to spend it with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.
Fiction MCQUISTONebook

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

At the end of eighteenth-century England, spirited Elizabeth Bennet copes with the suit of the snobbish Mr. Darcy while trying to sort out the romantic entanglements of two of her sisters, sweet and beautiful Jane and scatterbrained Lydia.
AUSTENebook

If you are curious to find out more about the patterns found in media, try looking up a book on Tropedia. You may find yourself surprised by the list of tropes a single novel contains, and even more surprised to see if there is a trend connecting all your favorite books.

Jun 04

6 Regional Reads by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 4, 2021 at 2:31 PM by Genesis Gaule

Books have the extraordinary ability to take you anywhere you can imagine: across the globe, to strange new worlds, back in time, or flung far into the future. They can even take you back home. There is a unique feeling of “hey I know that place” or “that character reminds me so much of my dad/mom/next door neighbor/etc” that I only get when reading books set in Minnesota and North Dakota written by people who lived here.

So if you are in the mood to journey through our own neck of the woods, here are 6 regional reads to take you there.

Fiction:

A Fireproof Home for the Bride

by Amy Scheibe
Fiction SCHEIBE 

Caught in a time bubble between a world war and the upheaval of the 1960's, 18-year-old Emmaline Nelson doesn’t have any say in her life or where it is headed. All her choices, especially who she will marry, are governed by her strict Lutheran parents. As her world opens up, she realizes that she longs to be something other than a farmer’s wife. But what can she do to escape the cage her parents have built for her? Peppered with charm and lush detail, this coming-of-age story of complicated family relationships, racial tension, and love is sure to transport you back to 1950’s Minnesota.

The Life We Bury

by Allen Eskens
Mystery ESKENS | Also in eBook and eAudiobook

A seemingly simple college assignment turns into deep dive to uncover the truth surrounding a brutal rape and murder. Tasked to interview a stranger and write a brief biography and his deadline looming, University of Minnesota college student Joe Talbert heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Car Iverson--a Vietnam veteran and convicted murderer with only a few months to live--and Joe’s life is turned upside down. Part mystery and part character study, Eskens debut novel crafts believable characters with compelling interpersonal drama.

The Round House

by Louise Erdrich
Fiction ERDRICH

Based on a number of true stories over the past 20 years, The Round House looks deeply into the fallout after a woman living on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota is attacked in 1988. As she descends into solitude and her husband seeks justice, their 13-year-old son is left alone to look for answers and try to save his mother. Born in Little Falls, MN, raised in North Dakota, and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Erdich is one of the most revered novelists of our time and a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life and culture.

Nonfiction:

Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story

by Elisa Korenne
813.6 KORENNE

When singer-songwriter, Elisa Korenne, took a month’s sabbatical from New York to be an artist-in-residence in “middle-of-nowhere” Minnesota, she didn’t intend to stay. And she certainly didn’t intend to fall madly in love with the local outdoorsman/insurance guy. Her story is an honest and heartfelt reflection on the ups and downs of their love story, culture shock, and what it means to live in community.

The Horizontal World : Growing Up Wild in the Middle of Nowhere

by Debra Marquart
921 MARQUART

From a very early age, Debra Marquart--the youngest and wildest of five children--knew she wanted out of the confines of her life on the family farm in North Dakota. Yet, returning home after years away for her father’s funeral, Marquart finds herself discovering a newfound respect for her father and her connection to the land she was so desperate to escape. Chronicling her rebellious adolescent life on the farm and subsequent exodus, Marquart’s wry understated memoir will resonate with anyone who has spread their wings but still calls the Midwest “home.”

If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now: Why We Traded the Commuting Life for a Little House on the Prairie

by Christopher Ingraham
070.92 INGARHAM | Also in eAudiobook

If You Lived Here... is a candid story of writer Christopher Ingraham’s decision to uproot his life and move his family to Red Lake Falls, Minnesota—the community he made famous as “the worst place to live in America” in a story he wrote for the Washington Post. As Ingraham and his family acclimate to their new life, all their preconceptions—good and bad—are turned on their heads.

Mar 26

Childhood Favorites are Just the Beginning by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 26, 2021 at 3:20 PM by Genesis Gaule

HeidiWhen I see a book I loved as a child, I smile. If possible, I pick it up and glance through it and continue to smile.

Sometimes, it’s the character like in Heidi by Johanna Spyri who took me into the mountains. I was scared when she was scared and ecstatic when she returned to the mountain. Heidi has been reproduced for years and in many formats. She is still a friend of mine.

Black BeautyBlack Beauty by Anna Sewell has also been reproduced in many different ways. We even have a graphic novel in the library now. I reread that story many times as a child. I can still picture the shelf it sat on in my elementary school library. The librarian told me I had to give others a chance to read it also. I had to find other favorites!

But what about the ones I can’t find? The ones that publishers do not think are worth reproducing or have deemed them no longer good choices. Maybe you were able to keep a favorite from your childhood and have protected it from use and the passing of time. I have no books from my childhood. Far too many moves and I have to admit to wearing some out to the point of no return.

Where the Red Fern Grows

My little brother read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls six times. He didn’t like to read but he loved that book. Our library has the movie and the CD audiobook.

Whether we had only a single favorite book or many, we need to remember when it was that it became a favorite and why. I read Heidi when I was about 8-years-old. Do I still like it? Yes, but it doesn’t give the same impact as it did in a second grader’s mind.

The Secret KeeperNow, I enjoy books about adventurous women, nature and stories about family relations like The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister and Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger. Did that interest start when I read Heidi? Probably.

My interest in reading about animals and their connection to people definitely started with Black Beauty. I loved horses as a kid; at least in books. I have little to no skill and less experience with horses but I still believe they’re beautiful animals. I have enjoyed a couple of our new children’s books with animals that are definitely being added to my Favorites List.

This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis has a wonderful horse friend. I immediately read it a second time. Crossings by Katy Duffield shows people caring for animals in such a way that I felt hope and have recommended it many times.

The Murmur of BeesAn adult title, The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia, is a story that held my heart’s attention. It takes place during the 1918 Flu when a little boy is protected by bees.

Yes, I remember favorites from when I was young and I can find new favorites now. The best way to do that is to read a variety. Rereading can be fun, but even better is finding a new story between a book’s covers!

And please let me know when you find one. I’ll want to add it to my list of Must-Reads.