Dorie's Picks

Dorie was born and raised in central Wisconsin and graduated from the UW Eau Claire in 2008 with a BFA in Illustration.  In 2010 she and her husband Adam crammed everything they owned into a compact car and drove halfway across the country to western Washington’s Skagit Valley, chasing their dream of never having to shovel their car out of three feet of snow ever again.  For various reasons they’ve gone about half an hour north every few years since, but as of their latest move they’re thinking it might be time to settle down, because moving half an hour north of Lynden would require a whole lot of paperwork.  Dorie spends most of her time sketching, playing video games and annoying the hell out of her cat Sheeba (who totally started it.)

Sabriel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062315557
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins Publishers - June 3rd, 2014

One of my best friends loved the Old Kingdom series as a child and recommended it to me when I was already in my 20’s.  Although I first experienced these books as an adult, they held up completely, sweeping my imagination up into their unique setting.   One part early 20th century England, with prim boarding schools and overtones of WWI, one part grim fantasy world filled with necromancy and strange primal magic, the Old Kingdom books are unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

Watership Down Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743277709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner Book Company - November 1st, 2005

You think it’s just about bunnies, but then WHAM, it hits you with the evils of complacency and facism.  I’ve read this so many times that my copy’s cover fell off years ago.

The Handmaid's Tale Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385490818
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor Books - March 13th, 1998

A classic work of brutally dystopian science fiction that every sci-fi fan should experience.

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307382474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Broadway Books - May 14th, 2013

I like to recommend The Black Count as an example of really engaging history writing, because it’s fast-paced, informative, emotional, and surprisingly funny.  There’s nothing dry about this book, which follows the story of novelist Alexandre Dumas’ father, the man whose life inspired his novel The Count of Monte Cristo.  From slavery in Haiti to revolutionary France to Napoleon Bonaparte’s military campaigns, this true story of one man’s travails gives weight to the adage that truth is stranger than fiction.

Color: A Natural History of the Palette Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812971422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - December 30th, 2003

A little bit travelogue, a little bit history, a little bit anthropology… Color is an enlightening look at the social and scientific legacy of art, and the things people are willing to do in the pursuit of the perfect pigment.  It also happens to be a hell of a lot of fun to read.

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060976255
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 17th, 1994

An exploration of comics as an art form, with in-depth discussion of the history, development and forms of the medium, all wrapped up in an engaging and easy to understand package- a graphic novel!  How better to explain graphic storytelling than to present it in the very form being discussed?

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451666175
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Touchstone Books - October 29th, 2013

Demented, noodle-armed stick figures tell hilarious stories from the author’s life- including her battle with depression.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, sometimes you’ll probably do both at the same time.

Nimona Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062278227
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - May 12th, 2015

I don’t even know what I could say about Nimona that would convey all of its facets properly.  It’s a perfect little package of a comic- a setting that’s equal parts sci-fi, fantasy and YA dystopian, with characters it’s easy to love and a darker, more complex story than you’d necessarily expect from its bright and appealing artwork.


The Curse of Chalion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061134241
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Voyager - April 11th, 2006

I can confidently say as a fan of speculative fiction that I have never been more completely swept up into a story than I was while reading this novel (and its loosely-related sequel, Paladin of Souls- also excellent!)  Intensely character-driven, with an interesting and unique religious system and approach to magic.

Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1 Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553573398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spectra Books - March 1st, 1996

Assassin’s Apprentice is the first volume of the Farseer trilogy, itself the first installment in the world of the Realm of the Elderlings, consisting of several interconnected book series featuring various recurring characters tied together by a world-spanning plot.  If you like the human-focused, political intrigue style fantasy of Game of Thrones, this might be a good series for you.  If you think that Game of Thrones is a bit TOO grimdark and murdery and would like something slightly less bleakly brutal but in the same vein, this is DEFINITELY the series for you.

Guards! Guards! Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062225757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTorch - April 30th, 2013

I would recommend absolutely anything written by Terry Pratchett, but if you’re interested in finding a good place to start in his expansive Discworld series, this is a great one.  Humor, fantasy and dagger-sharp social satire rolled up into one, Discworld pokes fun at all the old tropes we know and love from fantasy fiction while leaving us with the hopeful message that no matter the odds, decent people who care enough can fight against injustice and win.

Ghost Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451464071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roc - August 7th, 2012

Ghost Story happens to be my favorite installment so far in the modern-fantasy Dresden Files series, which begins with the novel Storm Front.  I came for the tongue-in-cheek references to pulpy noir detective tropes, stayed for the snarky humor, action-packed plots and massive cast of supporting characters that I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with.