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Library Buzz for July 8 Edition

Let’s face it, 2020 has been an intense year. It’s barely half over, but we’re already exhausted.

I recently heard someone say, “I wish I could go live on another planet for a while until all of this craziness on Earth blows over.”

Doubtless many of us feel like we need to escape. But the pandemic follows us to the beach, the news is everywhere, and Mars isn’t colonized yet.

Enter fiction, the realm of imagination. When you pick up a fiction book, you can be instantly transported into another world without leaving your home. What’s more, you can choose the destination that best suits your mood at the time.

If you’re the type of person who just wishes everyone would get along and life could be uncomplicated, you might enjoy a cozy mystery or inspirational romance. These worlds look more like we wished ours could be, where settings are quaint and minor problems work out happily in the end. Try Beverly Lewis, Jan Karon, or Alexander McCall Smith.

If you’re stuck at home but dying for adventure, try some vicarious thrills. Suspense, horror and thrillers will give you goose bumps and raise your heart rate even when you’re sitting in your armchair listening to happy birds chirping. Experience the excitement without the risk. Try Lisa Scottoline, John Sandford or Tana French.

If you want to get away from real life altogether, try fantasy or science fiction. These stories feature imaginary worlds where anything is possible. Fantasy often gets impossible things done by magic, where science fiction uses advanced technology or alien powers. Try George R.R. Martin or Neil Gaiman (fantasy), Anthony Weir or Orson Scott Card (science fiction).

If you think 2020 is bad, try dystopian fiction. These futuristic worlds answer the question, “What would happen if everything on Earth went wrong?” Sometimes it can be quite a relief to immerse yourself in an environment so grim that when you come out of the book, you find that the world we live in is a pretty sweet deal after all. Try Margaret Atwood, Suzanne Collins, or Aldous Huxley.

If you long for a travel back in time, check out historical fiction. Immerse yourself in the realistic or idealistic lifestyles of real or fictional characters from decades or millennia past. Try Philippa Gregory, Ken Follett or Edward Rutherford.

Fortunately, you can try out new genres for free at your local library. While we’re not open for browsing quite yet, you can place holds on items for curbside pickup as well as check out ebooks. If you don’t like what you got, try something else. Give yourself a break from the stressors of 2020, and dive in to the world of fiction.

-Julie Phillips

Botetourt County Libraries

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