Tag Archives: Adult Fiction

Cross-Genre Works: A Reading List

bone-out-from-boneville

I was thinking about my colleague Maya’s post on comics (an excellent read!) while I was downsizing my bookshelves in preparation for a move, when I came upon my collection of graphic novels and manga. Among them are the Bone comics by Jeff Smith (which I love and am definitely keeping) and I thought it would be fun to talk about them and other works that I consider ‘cross-genre’.

But first, a definition of the term. According to Wikipedia: “A hybrid genre is a literary or film genre that blends themes and elements from two or more different genres. Works in hybrid genres are also referred to as cross-genre, multi-genre, mixed genre, or fusion genre. ” [Emphasis mine.]

Bone is definitely a cross-genre series. If I had to describe it in as few words as possible, I would say it’s the Snoopy comics meets The Lord of the Rings. They’re comical and funny, but set in a fantastical world with a plot that gets increasingly dark and the stakes increasingly higher. There’s a prophecy, dragons, lost princesses, a failing kingdom, a great eldritch evil, corrupting power…and strange little ‘bone’ creatures on the run from the fallout of a financial scam that had them chased out of their city by an angry mob. Hijinks and nonsense abound, as well as quests and heartbreaks.

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Cat Person/Dog Person, Pet Person?

Here’s something I never thought I’d say/type: I miss our cat. I’ve always been a dog person, though I never had one of my own, and I thought that when I finally had room for a pet in my life, it would be a dog. Enter my now-wife and her cat Loki, and I can see the appeal of the temperamental little murder machines. It probably helps that Loki’s personality is more dog-like, and he would sooner run from a mouse than kill it, but he’s grown on me, and having to leave him with a friend while we move/renovate has made me realize how true this is. While it can be irritating being trapped on the couch because Loki won’t get off my lap, maybe he’s just looking out for me and telling me to slow down a bit. So, while thinking of my own pet, I decided to highlight some items in our collections that focus on pets and their bonds with us1.

The cover of The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Thinking of Loki being far from home triggered a memory from my childhood, a memory of a golden retriever, bull terrier, and Himalayan cat trekking through the wilderness to find their owners. I’m aging myself here, as the movie came out in 1993, but I thought I’d search our catalogue for it anyway, and lo and behold, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is in our collection. I remember watching this one as a kid, then, as kids do, immediately re-watching it. After rewinding the VHS, of course. I have no nostalgia for that. Give me a DVD and the ability to instantly skip to any part of the film over having to wait for physical media to wind through spools any day. So, for those unfamiliar with the movie, it follows the three animals on their journey through the Sierra Nevada mountain range to find the family that they think abandoned them during a move… I’m glad Loki doesn’t have this kind of homing instinct. At least, I don’t think he does. He somehow knew the parking garage of the condo despite only ever being in it in his astronaut bag, though his does not look like a Pokeball. I’ll have to ensure he doesn’t try to bolt for “home” when we have him in the new house. Okay, no more side-tracks.

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So what are Publishers Pushing? Or: A Public Library Association Conference Adventure.

My alternative title might make this post sound more grandiose than it is, but if you’ve already fallen for the clickbait, you may as well read the rest of the post, right? I’m a nerd, I make no attempt to hide or apologize for this fact. And it should be evident that one of my flavours of nerddom is library nerd. So imagine my elation when my application for Vaughan Public Library to send me to the Public Library Association Conference was approved. VPL coordinated with libraries across southern Ontario to send a busload of librarians across the border and down to Columbus, Ohio, for three days of library programming and learning. It was a blast, and I’ve come back with ideas I can use for my programs and things that I need to talk to people higher up to implement. Sorry, there are no spoilers about any of that, but since VPL is constantly innovating, you shouldn’t be at all surprised when new things happen; just astonished by what they are.

The cover of Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman, Illustrated by Heather Fox. Read this book. I don't care if it's a picture book. Read it! It's amazing and hilarious and laughter is good for you.

So, why am I even mentioning this if I won’t divulge what I learned? Because alongside the informative lessons was a giant vendor hall packed with all kinds of neat stuff. Including therapy dogs! I very much want some of it for my own branch, but precisely what I’m hoping for is another thing I’m keeping hush-hush1. Aside from the doggos and cool STEAM stuff, though, there were a whole lot of publishers there giving out books. Sometimes advance copies, sometimes signed copies, sometimes just regular copies, but the point is: I brought back a whole bunch of books. Piles of books. More books than any librarian should ever collect2. But it’s soooooo hard to say no to a free book! And, to be fair, I mostly tried to be a good uncle and took books for my..? I had to look this one up: Niblings. So, I don’t have to worry about storing them, and get to thrust that issue on my siblings while still being the cool uncle.

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