One Book, One Chicago Spring 2011
The Devil You Know
By Mike Carey
Felix Castor has had enough; he is ready to leave the exorcism business forever. Felix takes one last job removing a ghost from a large government archive in London, but nothing is ever easy and Felix soon realizes that the dangerous forces behind this haunting are after him.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union
By Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon masterfully blends hard-boiled mystery and alternative history in an entertaining and darkly humorous novel. Imagine a world in which Sitka, Alaska has been set up as a temporary settlement for Jews following World War II. It is here that Detective Myer Landsman discovers his heroin-addicted neighbor dead with a gunshot wound to the head. As Landsman begins his investigation, he is ordered to stop and soon discovers that this case is much more than it seems.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
By Susanna Clarke
Mr. Norrell, the last practicing magician in Great Britain, is called upon to assist his country during the Napoleonic War. While campaigning with Wellington’s army, Mr. Norrell meets the young and magically talented Jonathan Strange. He takes him on as a pupil but soon they become rivals instead.
The Stolen Child
By Keith Donohue
Keith Donohue found inspiration for his debut novel from a W.B. Yeats poem of the same name. In this adult fairy tale, 7-year-old runaway Henry is kidnapped by hobgoblins who then replace him with an impostor. Told in alternating chapters, the changeling lives the life that was meant for Henry while Henry must adjust to a life away from his family and friends.
By Katherine Dunn
Al and “Crystal Lil” Binewski are not very profitable at running their traveling carnival, but they have a plan. The Binewskis will start their own freak show, not by finding performers but by creating their own. Through the use of drugs and radiation, Al and Crystal Lil produce their own family of freaks and take them on the road.
The Princess Bride
By William Goldman
What more could you want in a novel? Pirates, adventure, mistaken identity, revenge, miracles and most important, true love, all come to life in William Goldman’s beloved classic.
By Joe Hill
Aging rocker Judas Coyne has a taste for the macabre. He cannot pass up the opportunity to purchase a haunted suit, a decision he comes to regret when his life and the life of his girlfriend fall into jeopardy.
By James Hilton
In this classic post-World War I adventure tale, diplomat Hugh Conway’s quest for Utopia is fulfilled in the mystical Himalayan Valley of the Blue Moon, called Shangri La.
The Lies of Locke Lamora
By Scott Lynch
In the first book of The Gentlemen Bastard Series, Scott Lynch introduces readers to Locke Lamora, a young orphan and leader of a group of con men and thieves in the land of Camorr. Lynch’s action-packed adventure, reminiscent of Robin Hood and full of adventure, revenge and manipulation, will keep readers riveted.
A Game of Thrones
By George R.R. Martin
The first book in the renowned fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin’s exhilarating novel offers a world full of danger, ambition, magic, romance and intrigue as four powerful families vie for one throne.
Kraken: An Anatomy
By China Miéville
Cephalopod specialist Billy Harrow is preparing the kraken, a giant squid, for exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London. When the squid is stolen, a world that Billy never imagined is revealed. Cults, wizards and mythical creatures roam London as Billy tries to uncover the truth behind the missing squid in this bizarre and horrifying urban fantasy.
A Dirty Job
By Christopher Moore
For Charlie Asher, consignment shop owner and proud “beta-male,” life is turned upside down when his wife dies after giving birth to their first child. As if this is not traumatic enough, Charlie is recruited by Death to collect the souls of the recently deceased in the San Francisco Bay area. Charlie is aided in his new career as a “Death Merchant” by a colorful cast of characters in this irreverent and hilarious novel.
Going Postal: A Novel of Discworld
By Terry Pratchett
Going Postal asks an important question: what’s worse, to hang for your petty crimes or to reopen the Ankh-Morpork post office? Keep in mind that the mail has not been delivered in over 20 years! This is the choice facing Moist Von Lipwig in Terry Pratchett’s hilarious novel from the Discworld series.
The Thirteenth Tale
By Diane Setterfield
In this thrilling ghost story, young writer Margaret Lea is compelled to write the biography of a renowned and aging author Vida Winter. For years Vida had altered her life story and now it’s Margaret’s job to sort the facts from fiction.
By Kurt Vonnegut
In Kurt Vonnegut’s classic work of satire, narrator John sets out to write a book about the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He becomes fascinated with Felix Hoenikker, one the bomb’s creators. John soon discovers that Hoenikker left behind a weapon even more devastating in the hands of his unscrupulous children.
Peter and Max: A Fables Novel
By Bill Willingham
Peter and Max Piper (that’s right, of Pied Piper fame) illustrate sibling rivalry at its worst. Bill Willingham, author of the highly successful comic book series Fables, revisits the gritty roots of folk and fairy tales in this dark fantasy.
For information on the various artists who worked on these books, please refer to the catalog.
Pictures That Tick: Short Narrative
By Dave McKean
A decade’s worth of longtime Gaiman collaborator Dave McKean’s short pieces are collected here.
By Jamie McKelvie
Astrid just wants to finish high school and be in a band, which gets complicated when her imaginary friends from childhood suddenly become real and her supernatural relatives begin popping up around town.
By Linda Medley
Find out what happened after “Happily ever after…”
By Michael Mignola
Hellboy may be a demon, but he’s fundamentally good. He works for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, fighting monsters to keep us safe.
By Alan Moore
This series by comic book legend Alan Moore explores the nature of magic.
Mister X: Condemned
By Dean Motter
Insomniac Mister X must save Radiant City from the mayor’s urban demolition project. Why does the mayor want to destroy buildings? Because they’re making people go mad.
By Jon J. Muth
The classic 1931 Fritz Lang film is adapted into a graphic novel.
By Ian Rankin
Occult detective John Constantine has been asked to appear on the British reality TV show Dark Entries. The show’s cast is locked in a haunted house, but the ghosts they’re seeing aren’t those the producers planted.
Y: The Last Man
By Brian K. Vaughan
A plague has wiped out every male mammal on the planet except Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand.
By Bill Willingham
Snow White and many other fairy tale characters have been hiding out in New York and waging a secret war against The Adversary.
The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist
By various authors
The Escapist and other characters from Michael Chabon’s novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay embark on Silver Age-style adventures.
For more on London, both above and below:
London: The Biography
By Peter Ackroyd
From its founding as a Roman outpost to its modern position as a global city, Ackroyd takes the reader on a comprehensive (and often humorous) journey through the history of this marvelous metropolis.
London Transport Posters: A Century of Art and Design
By David Bownes and Oliver Green; with contributions by Jonathan Black
This book, edited by curators at the London Transport Museum, looks at posters displayed by London Transport, the railway formed in 1933 to consolidate several bus and underground railway companies in London.
The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic and How it Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World
By Steven Johnson
As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped our world.
Walking Haunted London: 25 Original Walks Exploring London’s Ghostly Past
By Richard Jones
This guide provides the curious with 25 walks that promise a plethora of historic—plus a few contemporary—ghostly sightings.
For more on the fantasy genre and those who love it:
Goth: Vamps and Dandies
By Gavin Baddeley
Cult author and scene veteran Gavin Baddeley delivers an incisively written and visually seductive history of the Gothic subculture, charting its eye-catching evolution from the 18th century to the present day.
Read On—Fantasy Fiction: Reading Lists for Every Taste
By Neil Hollands
Looking for more fantasy, but not sure what to read next? More than 800 titles are arranged by topic, themes and even length to help readers choose a book that will meet their needs in this funny, thorough guide.
Read these articles on any Chicago Public Library computer and on other computers with your Chicago Public Library card.
“London for Beginners: A Guide.”
Deseret News, June 8, 2003, p. T.01
“Charles Tyson Yerkes: Swindler Turned Visionary of the Tubes”
By Karyn Hodgson
British Heritage, v. 19, i. 6 (August/September 1998), p. 16
“Transported by the Architecture of London’s New Underground”
By Colin Martin
The Lancet, v. 356, i. 9233 (September 9, 2000), p. 947
“Gothic is Back, Gothic is Black: Why Does Goth Fashion Never Die?”
By Derek McCormack
National Post, September 13, 2008, p. WP.4
“St. Pancras International Station, London”
By Tobie Ueckermann
Civil Engineering: Magazine of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering, v. 16, i. 1 (January 2008), p. 24
For Kids and Teens
Have you seen these books? Whether above or below ground (or somewhere in between), the people and places in these stories are fantastical and frenetic, mysterious and marvelous, creepy and creative, intriguing and incredible. Come on in …
By Tom Becker
(Ages 12 and up)
By Kevin Brooks
(Ages 14 and up)
The Underland Chronicles
By Suzanne Collins
- Gregor the Overlander
- Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane
- Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods
- Gregor and the Marks of Secret
- Gregor and the Code of Claw
By Bev Cooke
(Ages 14 and up)
By Jeremy de Quidt, illustrated by Gary Blythe
Book of Ember series
By Jeanne DuPrau
By Roderick Gordon and Brian J. Williams
By Anthony Horowitz
Kiki Strike series
By Kirsten Miller
The Pickle King
By Rebecca Promitzer
The Book of Dead Days
By Marcus Sedgwick
(Ages 12 and up)
The Marbury Lens
By Andrew Smith
(Ages 14 and up)
By Hilary Wagner
By Brenna Yovanoff
(Ages 14 and up)