A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

“This novella is a gently funny story of the first meeting of a very odd couple set in a world built on kindness and community. The rich world and character building will make readers feel deeply invested in the success or failure of Dex and Mosscap’s very low stakes road trip. A warm, optimistic tale of finding purpose.” – DG Library Staff 

On the moon of Panga, a monk named Dex sets off from the city in search of a new purpose. When a robot named Mosscap approaches their camp one night, they become the first person in living memory to meet a robot. Together the unlikely pair head off the beaten path and try to find the answer to the question “what do people need?”

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

“This is a classic and trailblazing book for a reason and I’m so glad I finally picked it up. What I found most powerful is that it feels both timeless and contemporary, despite being written in the 1970s.” – DG Library Staff

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given…

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

“This is a refreshingly unique space adventure that will keep readers on their toes until the end. I just want to put this into as many hands as possible” – DG Library Staff

Two boys, alone in space. After the first settler on Titan trips her distress signal, neither remaining country on Earth can afford to scramble a rescue of its own, and so two sworn enemies are installed in the same spaceship. Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: Evidence indicates strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother, and his handsome, brooding shipmate has barricaded himself away. But nothing will stop Ambrose from making his mission succeed—not when he’s rescuing his own sister. In order to survive the ship’s secrets, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together and learn to trust one another… especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

“This book didn’t go anywhere I thought it would! I love all things superhero, and reading something so different was a great ride. It’s full of twists and turns and people you start out liking and end up hating and people you start out hating and end up liking. Vicious (and the sequel, Vengeful) is one I try to get everyone to read so I have more people to scream about it with.” – Erin, Kids Room 

Eli and Victor, college roommates and friends, discover a relationship between near-death experiences and superpowers. When they both get what they think they want, their friendship is destroyed. One becomes a villain and one becomes a hero…but which one?

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

“My first five-star read of 2021! It was sweet, it was funny, it was diverse, and the cast of characters pops. It’s one of those books that I finished and was so happy that it exists.” – Erin, Kids Room

Former best friends Lita and Chicky team up to help Lita win the Miss Meteor pageant–a feat that no girl who looks like either of them has ever done. For Lita, winning the pageant means not fading into stardust (yes, really). For Chicky, it’s a way to save her family’s struggling restaurant. Together, along with the boys they may have feelings for, and Chicky’s opinionated older sisters, they’re determined to prove they can win it all.

Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia

“For me to say that this book is carried by its ridiculous premise would be a disservice to the quality of its writing, but the truth is that it has so much thoughtful and adult humor that eventually you take it for granted, and it becomes the natural setting for the mystery our detective is uncovering. When I’m reading, my emotions bounce back and forth from moments of laugh-out-loud comedy about human-suit wardrobe malfunctions to cringing at tense and believable drama. And if you love a story with a great late-game twist, this one has you covered.” – Max, IT

This is a detective novel in the tradition of Dashiell Hammet or Raymond Chandler. A hard-boiled and disillusioned private investigator just wants answers, but gets wrapped up in a conspiracy that could cost him his life. Oh, and did I mention that he’s a velociraptor? Wait, I should also explain that dinosaurs didn’t go extinct, but instead have evolved into more humanoid shapes stuffed uncomfortably into human disguises. It’s very important that humans don’t discover the existence of dinosaurs among them, that might shake society to its core. Anyway, it’s really a detective story about our private eye trying to uncover the truth, seek justice, and navigate the treacherous path between dangerous criminals, manipulative politicians, and mad visionaries, all while keeping the two worlds apart.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End by Naughty Dog

“I’m a married woman in my 30s, and my husband and I (like Nate and Elena) often wonder whether life is merely a series of bills to be paid. Uncharted 4 resonated with me on so many levels. The globe-trotting is thrilling, the scenery is gorgeous, the puzzles and secret passages are atmospheric. There are car chases, cliff-scaling, (non-gore-y) gunfights, consistently funny quips and banter, bro-time with the guys, and romance. It’s Indiana Jones + Tomb Raider + Jason Bourne + Pirates of the Caribbean (the 1st one, of course!) all rolled into one. But more than that, it’s a cinematic story about being yourself while accepting new phases of your life.” – Kelly, Circulation

Nathan Drake is an ex-treasure-hunter who’s been out of the game for years. Though his marriage to journalist Elena is a happy one, the tedium of staying in one place is wearing him down. He eagerly throws himself back into an adventure to help someone from his past… even if that means lying to his wife and putting himself and (fan-favorite) Victor “Sully” Sullivan back into bad guys’ cross-hairs.

Empire of the Ants by Bernard Werber

“The story is tense and fascinating, indulging my love for mystery, conspiracy, and speculative fiction. But my true admiration comes from the author’s thorough understanding of ant species; their biology, society, and behavior. There were many moments where I would stop to research an outlandish claim the book would make, such as ants keeping herds of domesticated livestock, only to discover that it’s not only true but far more complex than the book chooses to explore. The book’s ability to portray the characteristics of these tiny insects while drawing accurate comparisons to human analogs makes the narrative all the more chilling and relatable.” – Max, IT

This novel is a thriller told both from the perspective of a man who moves into his eccentric uncle’s house and from the perspective of an ant that is part of a nearby colony. As each is compelled to investigate different mysterious occurrences, their worlds draw closer together.

Your Name = Kimi no na wa by Makoto Shinkai

“Glorious animation, emotional voice acting (I watched the original Japanese version), a perfect soundtrack, and a surprisingly-edge-of-your-seat teen romance collide in Your Name. At a certain moment, I began crying… and basically cried all the way through to the credits. Empathetic tears, nervous tears, sad tears, happy tears. A beautiful roller coaster of a film experience!” – Kelly, Circulation

Mitsuha and Taki are strangers. She lives in a rural town and he’s in faraway Tokyo. Yet they begin regularly waking up in each other’s bodies. Navigating their swapped daily lives, friendships, families, and jobs… they grow to know one another intimately. Is this Fate? The tug of the Universe itself? Will they ever meet one another as their true selves?

The Expanse Series by James S.A. Corey

“Amos! And Avasarala. The characters are all pretty great; nobody is perfect and they all have their own personal issues. The series (books 1-8 so far) is sort of like a space-based A Song of Ice and Fire (George R. R. Martin), with the chapters following different characters – but don’t worry, the books are released at a much quicker pace. If you enjoy TV adaptations, we’ve been enjoying that as well.” – DGPL Staff

It’s the space-future, and the human residents of Earth, Mars, and The Belt in space are totally at odds with each other. Then things take a hard turn for the even-worse, as some sort of unimaginable and terrifying alien weirdness is re-awoken. And the humans STILL can’t get along.