Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cult Reads: Reading Outside the Mainstream

If you like books with non-traditional storytelling, try a work of cult literature. We currently have cult reads on display at the Warrenton Library.

Cult literature is a label for books with an intense fan following. Cult reads might not make it on bestseller lists right away, but like cult classic films, they attract readers who are looking for something outside the mainstream.

Here's a miscellany of cult reads that I heartily recommend.

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Cat's Cradle hinges on a scientific invention that threatens to end the world and a journey to a Caribbean island that's home to a strange but moving invented religion. Vonnegut uses dark humor to explore how science and religion can doom or save us.

This science fiction satire will appeal to fans of Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) or Jonathan Lethem (The Fortress of Solitude).

Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon

In Blue Highways, Heat-Moon describes his cross-country trip on local roads in search of authentic American culture and personal enlightenment. The result is an incredible journey through small-town America.

Warning: Reading this book will make you want to jump in your car and travel across the country. The library cannot be held responsible for any life-changing moments of spiritual growth that result.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

If you're game for some 70s nostalgia, try the first book of this hilarious series.

First published as a newspaper serial, Tales of the City is a funny melodrama following a Cincinnati native who relocates to San Francisco and, despite culture shock, gathers a circle of memorable bohemian friends to help her navigate her new life.

Despite the light tone, Tales of the City is a compelling sketch of the cultural transformations of the 70s.

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

Titus Groan is the first book of a gothic trilogy about Gormenghast, an ancient castle inhabited by a very strange family.

With its intricately described world and off-kilter humor, Titus Groan reads like a cross between Charles Dickens and J.R.R. Tolkien. As the story progresses, the tension ratchets up to deliver a tale that's epic in scope.

If you like long, weird novels that transport you to a different world, don't miss this one. The trilogy continues with Gormenghast and Titus Alone.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson

Calvin and Hobbes doesn't often get labeled as a "cult classic," but it certainly deserves it. This comic strip is so well loved that a documentary has recently been made about its impact on devoted fans and young comic artists.

If you haven't recently flipped through this charming comic about a boy and his quasi-imaginary tiger, you'll find it has a lot to offer an adult reader: lovely art, imaginative stories, and surprisingly intelligent, thought-provoking humor.

We have Calvin and Hobbes volumes both in our adult and children's collections.

Happy reading!

Becky @ Warrenton

To learn more about the Fauquier County Public Library's collection, events or programs, visit us on Facebook, Twitter (Kiddosphere twitter is hereor online.

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