Burn for me book cover

Burn for me

Ilona Andrews


While searching for Adam Pierce, who can set anyone and anything on fire, private investigator Nevada Baylor is kidnapped by Connor "Mad" Rogan, a billionaire with dark powers who is also searching for Pierce and needs her help.

Melody's picture

If you judged a book by its cover, this would would taste like a plastic but romantic cheese. Ilona Andrews is such a beloved writer (duo) in the urban fantasy world, they don't need attractive book design! Their books will sell despite the cheese. I listened to this audiobook series out of turn and regret it after finishing the explosiveness that was Book 1, Burn for Me. I had complained that Book 2 (White Hot) was a little too action packed. Book 1 would have set up that action nicely. This book reminded me of superhero movies--lots of high powered magic and muscle. And that muscle? Apparently the book designer took that to heart, giving the hero a 6-pack so tight it required extra shading in the tendinous intersection. LOL. Who was the art editor that cried "more shadow!" But back to Book 1. Burn for Me began and ended with well developed characters in addition to all that action. I couldn't wait to revisit Book 2 so I can move on to Book 3 (Wildfire). -Melody

The giver book cover

The giver

Lois Lowry


Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.

Kara's picture

An amazing book by Lois Lowry that stayed with me for a long time after I finished reading it. -Kara

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone book cover

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone

J. K Rowling


Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches. This is the first Hary Potter book.

Kara's picture

I first heard about the Harry Potter books from Iowa's First Lady, Christie Vilsack during a Community Reading Month talk in about 1998. It's twenty years later the Harry Potter books are still very popular (and are some of my favorites). -Kara

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe : a story for children book cover

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe : a story for children

C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis


Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Kara's picture

I read most of the Chronicles of Narnia sitting in my awesome tree house - it was the best place to read when I was a kid. -Kara

Circe : a novel book cover

Circe : a novel

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Fiction, Fantasy

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.

Anne M's picture

Another great read from Madeline Miller, author of "The Song of Achilles." To me this book goes beyond telling a new side to an old story--it really brings Circe, her back story and motivations--to life. If you enjoy Greek mythology or just looking for a great summer read, pick up "Circe." -Anne M

Akata warrior book cover

Akata warrior

Nnedi Okorafor

Young Adult, Fantasy

Now stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny Nwazue, along with her friends from the the Leopard Society, travel through worlds, both visible and invisible, to the mysterious town of Osisi, where they fight in a climactic battle to save humanity.

Amanda's picture

Sunny is a young witch just coming into her power in Nigeria. This book is even better than the first book in the series, Akata Witch, because now Sunny is comfortable among the Leopard People (witches and wizards) and doesn't have to learn the basics of her new world. Now, she gets to spend more time doing serious, amazing magic. I can't wait for the 3rd book! -Amanda

Practical magic book cover

Practical magic

Alice Hoffman

FICTION Hoffman, Alice
Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Amanda's picture

Alice Hoffman writes so richly and beautifully--I could live in her prose for days. This book was published long before The Rules of Magic, and the two are wonderful companion pieces, but also stand alone just fine. Read this book for witches, romance, sisterhood, and strong women coming together to save each other. -Amanda

Bloodfire book cover


Helen Harper


Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won't allow the transformation to occur. With a terrible temper to match her fiery red hair, Mack is extraordinarily useful in a fight, and when her pack alpha is brutally and abruptly murdered, she swears vengeance. Unfortunately, his murder also draws in the Brethren - the leaders of the shapeshifter world - who will slaughter everyone in Mack's small rural pack if they discover her true identity. Unfortunately Corrigan, the green-eyed muscle-bound Lord Alpha of the Brethren, doesn't let much slip by him.

Melody's picture

I admit I was a bit turned off by the cover of this book and put off checking it out. When I took a chance on it, I found it to have inventive twists on traditional urban fantasy mythos. I like how Helen Harper experiments with a variety of characteristics in her heroines. Other heroines in her books might avoid conflict. Bloodfire's "Mack Attack" explores how her blood gets all firey when she gets angry. How refreshing it was to read a character whose anger can turn into action! -Melody

A discovery of witches book cover

A discovery of witches

Deborah E. Harkness

SCIENCE FICTION Harkness, Deborah E.
Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her.

Amanda's picture

This book is delightful! It starts a bit slow, but it's so worth sticking with it. It's part coming-of-age, part romance, part fantasy--and it's a series, so if you like it, there are more books! -Amanda

Akata witch book cover

Akata witch

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Okorafor-Mbachu, Nnedi
Young Adult, Fantasy

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

Amanda's picture

What a gorgeous book! I'm a sucker for all things witches, and I love YA. I'm so thrilled to see a popular book by a Nigerian author about awesome Nigerian and African American kids saving the world. The mythology is beautiful, the world building is phenomenal, and everybody should read it. -Amanda