Genre Friday – Hobbit Day Tribute Edition

Baggins BDay

Welcome to the house that Tolkien built. Epic Fantasy (also known as High Fantasy) is the quintessential fantasy sub-genre, the fount from which all other fantasy sub-genres have flowed, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s elves and orcs and rings (oh my) utterly dominate the field. There are, of course, stand-outs and outliers, stories that forge news paths in an old sub-genre, but even when a tale isn’t filled with staff wielding wizards and subterranean, master-craftsmen called dwarfs anything called epic fantasy still contains a few essential elements that were originally established when Tolkien first fleshed out Middle-earth on paper.

Epic fantasies create entire worlds, with long and complex histories and vivid cultures and lifestyles. How complex and vivid? Tolkien actually created (or adapted) a historic timeline leading back to the creation of the world, myths, legends, deities, several races of creatures (many of which have become staples of the fantasy genre), multiple kingdoms, and an entire language for the fictional inhabitants of his world! If you look hard enough in the right places I bet it wouldn’t take too much effort to find someone that speaks at least passing Elvish. They are not all that in depth, but that is the kind of detail you are potentially looking at when you jump into an epic fantasy.

In case that isn’t enough to wrap your head around, epic fantasy also almost always has a large cast of characters taking part in quests and adventures that will affect the fate of an entire kingdom or world. Possibly multiple worlds.

So, it is a complex workout for your imagination and memory. What else?

MiddleEarth

While hand-drawn maps of the world are not strictly mandatory, they are strongly encouraged. 

It’s big. Aside from its often immense geographic scope, as it is not unusual for the cast of characters to have to trek across continents and cross oceans in the pursuit of their goal, these stories can also cover large spans of time, with years, decades or even generations passing by in the course of the story (or series of stories). They are also big in another way – these are not typically short books. Once you get sucked into an epic fantasy series you are in it for the long haul.

 

Examples:

Sheepfarmer's DaughterThe Belgariad series by David Eddings

The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy by Elizabeth Moon

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

The Original Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Advertisements

Paperback Thrills: 16 Best Thrillers of the Last 100 Years

by Keith Rice, appearing first on Signature Reads

Thrillers

The perfect thriller is a difficult beast – a complex mix of pacing, plotting, and tension all doing a high-wire act to keep readers on the edge of their seats and glued to the page. The thriller is also one of the literary world’s broader genres ranging from intricacies of espionage to the supernatural, tension-filled courtrooms to haunted houses, howcatchems and whodunits to grisly murders. The one thing all of these tales have in common? An unparalleled ability to draw readers in for that can’t-put-it-down reading experience. Looking back over the last 100 or so years, we’ve pulled together our list of sixteen of the most essential thrillers. Find a comfy spot and settle in; once you start one of these great reads, odds are you won’t be able to step away until you hit that final page.

Click for the complete list of thrillers.

That went quickly.

Just in case you missed them this summer, here is a list of 20 popular, debut novels from that hit the shelves this summer.

Debuts

by Cybil, first appearing in Goodreads Blog on August, 22

Click here to read the original article.

Over the last few months, a new class of bright voices has arrived in bookstores. And now’s the perfect time to catch up on these rising literary stars.

Below you’ll find 20 debut novels—both adult fiction and YA—that hit bookshelves from May to August, capturing the attention of our readers. From a young girl who tries to escape an abusive survivalist father (My Absolute Darling), to a riveting tale of Lizzie Borden (See What I Have Done), to the aftermath of a teen’s murder (Girl in Snow), these books will take you from summer to fall.

Debut Adult Fiction

Goodbye, Vitamin

What We Lose

See What I Have Done

My Absolute Darling

Stay with Me

Girl in Snow

The Windfall

Sour Heart

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Chemistry

The Leavers

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Debut Young Adult Fiction

Wicked Like a Wildfire

Daughter of the Burning City

Words on Bathroom Walls

The Color Project

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

One of Us Is Lying

When Dimple Met Rishi

Royal Bastards

Post-Binge Reads

Post-Binge

By Keith Rice and first appearing on  Signature Reads

The words “peak TV” get thrown around a lot, but the fact is we are in a period where television is daring, complex, and quite possibly at a creative zenith. Basic stations are catching up with the creativity of cable networks. Streaming services and premium networks continue to push the envelope ever further. Unfortunately, TV series do not operate on a perpetual schedule and there can sometimes be seemingly interminable waits between seasons. How should you fill your time between the premieres of your favorite series?

We’re glad you asked.

There is thankfully no shortage of literary analogues for the best television has to offer. To whet your appetite for a little literary exploration, we’ve taken a few of our favorite series and paired them with the books to read when you’re through binge-watching.

The ones that really stick with you…

9 Favorites

By: Adam Sockel, co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast, and first appearing on OverDrive Blogs 

Books, as a whole, have the ability to shape our childhoods and help establish our literary preferences but sometimes a book scene becomes so ingrained in our minds that it becomes part of who we are.

Here are some other of Team OverDrive’s favorite book scenes (Warning: some potential spoilers for older books ahead).