Reading Suggestions

Find your next great read here

The Imaginary Atlas: Novels with Maps

Leave a comment

A convention of fantasy literature, maps are used in all literary genres to (literally) draw readers into the world of the author’s imagination!

Printer-friendly version

**************************************************************

FIC BRE  Marie Brennan.   A Star Shall Fall.

The Royal Society of London plays home to the greatest minds of England. It has revolutionized philosophy and scientific knowledge. Its fellows map out the laws of the natural world, disproving ancient superstition and ushering in an age of enlightenment. To the fae of the Onyx Court, living in a secret city below London, these scientific developments are less than welcome. Magic is losing its place in the world and science threatens to expose the court to hostile eyes. In 1666, a Great Fire burned four-fifths of London to the ground. The calamity was caused by a great Dragon: an elemental beast of flame. Incapable of destroying something so powerful, the fae of London banished it to a comet moments before the comet’s light disappeared from the sky. Now the calculations of Sir Edmond Halley have predicted its return in 1759. So begins their race against time. Soon the Dragon’s gaze will fall upon London and it will return to the city it ravaged once before. The fae will have to answer the question that defeated them a century before: How can they kill a being more powerful than all their magic combined? It will take both magic and science to save London, but reconciling the two carries its own danger.

FIC COE  Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist.

A fable about undauntingly following one’s dreams, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens features dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. 

FIC DEF  Daniel Defoe. Robinson Crusoe.

During one of his several adventurous voyages, an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for thirty years on a desert island before being rescued. 

FIC ECO  Umberto Eco. The Name of the Rose.

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns to the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon to find the killer. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey (“where the most interesting things happen at night”) armed with a wry sense of humor and a ferocious curiosity.

a

FIC EVA  Richard Paul Evans. The Walk.

What would you do if you lost everything–your job, your home, and the love of your life–all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts but then decides to take a walk, heading for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life. 

FIC GOL William Goldman. The Princess Bride.

Presents the timeless love story between a farm boy named Westley and the beautiful Princess Buttercup, along with the author’s comments on life and art as he attempts to edit the children’s classic.

FIC HOE  Peter Hoeg. Smilla’s Sense of Snow.

When her six-year-old neighbor falls to his death, and no one is willing to suspect foul play, Smilla Qaavigaaq Jasperson finds her own investigation taking her into the files of a Danish company.

FIC KIN  Stephen King. Under the Dome.

Just down Route 119 in Chester’s Mill, Maine, all hell is about to break loose. . . . On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day, a small town is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and rain down flaming wreckage. A gardener’s hand is severed as the dome descends. Cars explode on impact. Families are separated and panic mounts. No one can fathom what the barrier is, where it came from, and when–or if–it will go away. Now a few intrepid citizens, led by an Iraq vet turned short-order cook, face down a ruthless politician dead set on seizing the reins of power under the dome. But their main adversary is the dome itself. Because time isn’t just running short. It’s running out.

FIC WAN  Walter Wangerin. The Book of God.

Reading like a great historical novel, The Book of God dramatizes the sweep of biblical events, making the men and women of this ancient book come alive in vivid detail and dialogue. From Abraham wandering in the desert to Jesus teaching the multitudes on a Judean hillside, The Book of God follows the biblical story in chronological order. Priests and kings, apostles and prophets, common folk and charismatic leaders–individual stories offer glimpses into an unfolding revelation that reaches across the centuries to touch us today. Wangerin recreates the high drama, low comedy, gentle humor, and awesome holiness of the Bible story. Imaginative yet meticulously researched, The Book of God offers a sweeping history that stretches across thousands of years and hundreds of lives, in cultures foreign and yet familiar in their common humanity. History and fact take on personality and warmth. Wangerin shows you human hands–Abraham raising the knife over his son Isaac on Mount Moriah, a priest offering incense in the temple at Jerusalem, Joseph the carpenter at work with his tools. He shows you human faces–Moses and Aaron face-to-face with the king of Egypt, Mary smiling like a white rose, and Jesus laughing with a Samaritan woman. Gardens, humble homes, olive groves, palaces, temples, and the hills of Judea shining in the afternoon sun–Wangerin makes the places where the events of the Bible took place come to life in the imagination. Wangerin helps you understand what it was like for each person to be caught up in the events of a particular time and place–a time and place where the eternal God somehow reached out and touched ordinary men and women.

M BAR  Nevada Barr. Hunting Season.

When Anna Pigeon answers a call to historic Mt. Locust, once a producing plantation and inn on Mississippi’s Natchez Trace Parkway and now a tourist spot, the last thing she expects to encounter is murder. But the man Anna finds in the stand’s old bedroom is no tourist in distress. He’s nearly naked, and very dead, his body bearing marks consistent with an S&M ritual gone awry. On a writing table nearby is an open Bible, ominous passages circled in red. It seems the deceased is the brother of Raymond Barnette, local undertaker and a candidate for sheriff, who wants to keep any hint of kinkiness out of the minds of the God-fearing populace. Ray may be hiding a house full of secrets in the old family homestead, but before Anna can start her investigation, she’s waylaid by malevolent poachers, peevish coworkers, and a suddenly turbulent romantic life. And when hidden agendas and old allegiances are revealed, it’s suddenly Anna’s life that’s on the line.

M CRO  Deborah Crombie.   No Mark Upon Her.

This mystery novel embroils Kincaid and James in the case of the puzzling drowning of a rower, a Met detective, on the Thames. It is twisting tale of psychological suspense, a story rich in deadly secrets, salacious lies, and unexpected betrayals. 

M DAV  Lindsey Davis. Venus in Copper.

In the heyday of the Roman Empire, a small accounting error has left Marcus Didius Falco sharing a cell with a large rat. But the Empire’s most beleaguered investigator is finally bailed out, and promptly accepts a commission to help a family of freed slaves fend off a professional bribe. This is a full-cast radio drama of the third Marcus Didius Falco mystery, set in first-century Rome, and starring Anton Lesser.

M MCCA  Alexander McCall Smith.  Forgotten Affairs of Youth.

In this latest installment of the beloved Isabel Dalhousie series, our inquisitive heroine helps a new friend discover the identity of her father. Isabel and her fiancé know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate. Jane Cooper, a visiting Australian philosopher on sabbatical in Edinburgh, has more questions than answers. Adopted at birth, Jane is trying to find her biological father, but all she knows about him is that he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. When she asks for Isabel’s help in this seemingly impossible search . . . well, of course Isabel obliges. But Isabel also manages to find time for her own concerns: her young son, Charlie, already walking and talking; her housekeeper, Grace, whose spiritualist has lately been doubling as a financial advisor; her niece Cat’s latest relationship; and the pressing question of when and how Isabel and Jamie should finally get married. Should the forgotten affairs of youth be left in the past, or can the memories help us understand the present? In her inimitable way, Isabel leads us to a new understanding of the meaning of family.

M PET  Ellis Peters. Rose Rent.

In honor of her husband, young, beautiful, and wealthy widow Judith Perle donates a house to the Abbey at Shrewsbury–for the annual rent of one white rose. Judith has no shortage of suitors, and if she remarries, her dowry would be all the greater if the house were returned due to non-payment of rent. So when a priest charged with delivering the rose is found murdered, and the rose bush is found hacked to pieces, Brother Cadfael finds he must root out a killer.

 

“I am told there are people who do not care for maps, and I find it hard to believe.” –Robert Louis Stevenson

SCFIC BRO  Terry Brooks. The Sword of Shannara.

The Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy the world. The sole weapon that can be used against him is the sword of Shannara, and it must be held by a true heir of Shannara. Half-elfin Shea Ohmsford learns the fate of all races rests with him. 

SCFIC EDD  David Eddings. The Diamond Throne.

After ten years in exile, Sparhawk returns to Elenia only to find his Queen Ehlana trapped in a block of ensorcelled crystal. Sephrenia, the great sorceress, reveals that he is the only person in the west who can defeat the evil forces plotting against the realm. 

SCFIC FEI  Raymond Feist. Prince of Blood.

Princes Boric and Erland head for Kesh, but when Boric learns of plans to assassinate them, he rallies to save himself, his brother, and the empire.

SCFIC JOR  Robert Jordan. Wheel of Time series.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

SCFIC MAR  George R.R. Martin. Game of Thrones.

The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and the arrival of barbarian hordes. 

SCFIC SAL  R.A. Salvatore. Vector Prime.

Twenty-one years after the Rebel Alliance had destroyed the Death Star, unrest begins to break out, threatening the tenuous security of the Republic. 

SCFIC TOL  J.R.R. Tolkien. Lord of the Rings series.

W HEN  Will Henry. Gates of the Mountains.

Meriweather Lewis and William Clark set out to claim the newly purchased Louisiana Territory for the United States, a journey that holds more than a few perils.

W LAM  Louis L’Amour. Utah Blaine.

Colonel Utah Blaine, held captive by the army of the revolution, broke out of jail and headed north from Mexico with nothing but the clothes on his back. Then he found new trouble struggling at the end of a noose-and stepped in just in time to save the life of a Texas rancher. The would-be executioners were the rancher’s own men, looking to steal his land. Utah has a unique proposition to this dilemma: he wants the wealthy Texan to play dead while he introduces himself as the spread’s new foreman, and takes care of the outlaws one by one. But Utah falls in love while earning his wage, creating a completely unexpected dilemma.

JFIC JUS  Norton Juster. The Phantom Tollbooth.

A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

JFIC STE  Robert Louis Stevenson. Treasure Island.

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate’s fortune. Includes illustrated notes throughout the text explaining the historical background of the story.

YA AND  Eric Chase Anderson. Chuck Dugan is AWOL.

Naval cadet Chuck Dugan gets a startling letter containing a treasure map drawn by his father, who has been dead for several years. There’s also the disturbing news that his mother is about to marry a bullying scofflaw. To stop the wedding Chuck sets out on a cliffhanging race against buccaneers and death to find the treasure.

YA COR  D.M. Cornish. Foundling.

Having grown up in a home for foundlings and possessing a girl’s name, Rossamünd sets out to report to his new job as a lamplighter and has several adventures along the way as he meets people and monsters who are more complicated that he previously thought. Includes glossaries and maps. 

YA JAC  Brian Jacques. Redwall.

When the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall’s inhabitants destroy the enemy. 

YA PIE  Tamora Pierce. Protector of the Small series.

Ten-year-old Keladry of Mindalen, daughter of nobles, serves as a page but must prove herself to the males around her if she is ever to fulfill her dream of becoming a knight. 

YA WES  Scott Westerfeld. Leviathan.

In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s