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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.
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:
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
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.
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.
by J.R.R Tolkien
A homebody Hobbit is reluctantly swept up into an epic
journey by a wizard and thirteen dwarves.
Science Fiction TOLKIEN • ebook
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!
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.
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 MCQUISTON • ebook
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.
AUSTEN • ebook
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.
Tag(s): Vanesa Gomez, science fiction, romance, recommendations, lgbt, junior fiction, humor, historical fiction, found family, fiction, fantasy, classics, adventure
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.
A Fireproof Home for the Bride
by Amy 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
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.
Hundred Miles to Nowhere: An Unlikely Love Story
by Elisa 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
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.
Tag(s): romance, regional, recommendations, North Dakota, nonfiction, mystery, Minnesota, memoir, historical fiction, First Nations, fiction, coming-of-age, cold case
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on April 9, 2021 at 2:41 PM by Genesis Gaule
I remember the day I fell in love with graphic novels. On the walk home from school my older sister had told me all about a type of Japanese book genre called manga, and the cool stories of headband clad ninjas, flexible pirates, and sword wielding soul reapers that she had been reading with her “big kid” friends. As a kindergartener, I thought everything my sister thought was cool was the best thing in the world. When it came to manga, it turned out to be true; although wearing a dress over jeans, not so much.
Reading and rereading the first and only volume of Naruto we had until the pages were soft and worn was a ritual after school. Every trip to the library my sister and I would run right over to the small rotating bookshelves that housed the manga section and spend hours reading volume after volume standing up. Once I could navigate the internet, my obsession only grew. In addition to the mountains of traditional prose books I inhaled while at school, the manga I read was like candy that I couldn’t stop myself from getting a stomach ache from.
The diversity of genres that the storytelling medium offered broadened my horizons to ways of life, emotions, struggles I had never encountered in my day to day life. It wasn’t until I grew older that I learned about Western style graphic novels that went beyond the classic Marvel or DC superhero stories. While I will always hold manga near and dear to my heart, I have a newfound appreciation for western graphic novels.
If you are hesitant to jump into the deep end of teenager piloting fighting robots and brightly colored protagonists, here are a few western and eastern graphic novels to dip your toes into.
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
by Art Spiegelman
Our generation will soon become one of the last to hear first hand accounts of those that lived through the Holocaust. This meta story of the author listening to his father’s stories of life during this horrific time, is beautifully illustrated and will break your heart over and over.
The Magic Fish
by Le Nguyen Trung
The art itself is breathtaking, paired with riveting a narrative and take on identity struggles make this one of my all time favorites. Though marked as a junior graphic novel, this is a coming of age story for all ages.
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
This autobiography graphic novel is a powerful story that tells the tale of comic book artist Jarrett Krosoczka’s upbringing with family addiction and how he found solace in art.
The Color of Earth
by Tong-Hwa Kim
This series is a Korean graphic novel, also known as a manwha, is about the daughter of a single mother and the budding romances they both experience. It is a look into Korean culture and a unique mother-daughter relationship they share.
The Prince and the Dressmaker
by Jen Wang
This award winning graphic novel is full of beautiful dresses, fleshed out characters, and life lessons for all ages.
Tag(s): World War II, Vanesa Gomez, romance, recommendations, nonfiction, lgbt, holocaust, graphic novels, gender identity, fiction, coming-of-age, autobiography