SJPL Recommendation News: March 2024

Welcome, or welcome back, to the Rec News, an occasional publication featuring recreational and recommended reading from our SJPL Librarians. In our last issue, we took a look at books in line with two large February celebrations; Black History Month and Valentine's Day. For those of you in search of March reads to honor Women's History Month or Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, jump back to Rec News in March 2023; there are plenty of lists to help you out, and they've all undergone a recent update. This year for March our reads are focused on helping you read to honor a literary observance- Will Eisner Week.

Will Eisner Week is held annually from March 1 - 7. Will Eisner Week is in commemoration of Will Eisner, who was an influential figure in the world of comics and graphic novels. In fact, Eisner was the one that popularized the term "graphic novel" with the release of his book A Contract With God in 1978. Such is his renown, there are awards specially for graphic novels called the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards. These highly prestigious awards are considered to be something akin to the Academy Awards for graphic novels (find a complete list of Eisner Award winners here). Will Eisner Week is a celebration of comics and graphic novels, encouraging everyone to read and explore this expressive format.

Graphic Novels

Cover of Mexikid by Pedro MartinCover of A First Time for Everything by Dan SantatCover of Frizzy by Claribel A. OrtegaCover of Squire by Nadia ShammasCover of The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred SearleCover of Lore Olympus. Volume One by Rachel SmytheCover of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate BeatonCover of Wash Day Diaries by Jamila RowserCover of The Night Eaters. Book 1, She Eats the Night by Marjorie M. Liu

Graphic novels can be fiction or nonfiction, and are rapidly gaining popularity among readers as the format expands into every conceivable genre and subject. For example, you can review the history of beer and brewing in graphic novel, or learn to cook Korean food through graphic novels. Beloved series are being reproduced in graphic novel format, such as Percy Jackson and the Olympians or His Dark Materials. You can now even enjoy many Classics that have been updated to the format, such as To Kill a Mockingbird. Graphic novels can be a collection of serials, like Black Panther vs. Deadpool (#1-5), or an original story intended to be told in the format, like This One Summer (a multi-award winning graphic novel for teens). They can be manga (such as the horror manga from legendary Junji Ito), a specific kind of graphic novel that's read, at least as we would generally say here, back to front, right to left. Graphic novel is also a popular format for personal narratives, such as in Blankets or Lighter Than My Shadow. And of course, in addition to beloved superhero stories, fans of romance, sci-fi, fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, magical realism, noir, satire, and beyond, will all find something of interest to read as a graphic novel. Plus, we have publications from past winning entries to San José Public Library's annual Summer tradition, the Graphic Novel Making Contest (look for the announcement of and information on this contest for 2024 in May). A lot of these titles have a fast pace, so if you're the kind of reader that likes quicker moving reads, these are an overall win.

In honor of Will Eisner Week, our featured booklists this month will be all about graphic novels. Specifically, we've got a great collection of award-winning graphic novels to help anyone find an excellent read making use of a delightful mix of storytelling and art. You'll find some Eisner Award winners here, of course, but you'll find a great deal of other award winners to fill out to-read lists. Enjoy!

Award Winning Graphic Novels Picks

SJPL Picks: Quick Links

If this month's featured reads aren't your favorite themes, or you're looking to expand your browsing, try checking out any and all of the lists from our librarians on our SJPL Picks team. All our lists will be labeled "SJPL Picks" or "SJPL Recommends".

SJPL 5forU

If you're looking for further recommendations and aren't in the mood to browse, let us do the browsing for you! San José Public Library's 5forU team offers personalized recommendations via email. You can also fill in the profile on someone else's behalf and we can find just the right titles - perfect for caregivers looking to recommend books to their children, for book clubs stumped on what to discuss next meeting, or if you're hoping to give the gift of literature. Just fill in the profile and we'll do the rest - and remember, the more information you give us in the profile, the better and more tailored your recommendations will be! Hearing exactly why you love or hate a book gives us more clues to find your new favorite. Requests will be answered within 5-10 days. Ready to begin your 5forU journey? Start your 5forU request!

Until next time...Happy Reading!