Hays Public Library offers Fantasy Book Club


Tiger Media Network

Searching for a new, exciting way to escape reality? Want to travel to faraway places without leaving the warm comfort of your home? Hoping to become more involved within the Hays Public Library community? The Fantasy Book Club might just be your solution to each of these dilemmas and more.

Jessica Shields, public services librarian at the HPL, explains the monthly club is offered by the HPL to adult members of Hays and that the club meets to discuss the featured fantasy book that is highlighted each month.

“Each month, we read a different book that explores a different subgenre of fantasy,” Shields said. “We meet on the last Monday of the month, unless it is a holiday, then we meet on the third Monday.”

Shields details that the Fantasy Book Club is coming up on its first anniversary and has done well in the last year.

“The fantasy book club has been ongoing since January of 2023. I believe it has done very well, and we have a normal group of attendees and new members attending frequently,” she said. “We have heard great reviews from attendees who love having more diversity in book clubs offered through the library.”

Within this past year, the Fantasy Book Club has read and explored the following books and their corresponding subgenres.

  • Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo, Subgenre: Young Adult
  • Amari and the Night Brothers – B.B. Alston, Subgenre: Middle Grade
  • The Call – Peadar O’Guilin, Subgenre: Horror
  • Kill the Queen – Jennifer Estep, Subgenre: High Fantasy
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow, Subgenre: Portal Fantasy

Although Shields has thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these publications, one book, in particular, stood out from the rest, House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City Series book 1)  – Sarah J. Maas, subgenre: High Fantasy.

“Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life – working hard all day and partying all night – until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. With a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach. As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion – one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.”

Shields speaks on the future of the Fantasy Book Club, beginning with the reveal of January 2024’s spotlight book, Nettle & Bone by Ursula Vernon, who goes by the pen-name T Kingfisher.

“The remainder of the year is still being decided as we have to look to see what choices are available through InterLibrary Loans,” Shields said. “The list should be finalized at the end of this month and there will be a bookmark listing the next six months’ books.”

Shields invites anyone that is interested to stop in the library and ask any questions that they may have or to grab the month’s book and join the club at the meeting. She believes the club will grow even more prominent in the community in the upcoming year, and for good reason.

“The book club benefits the Hays community through offering a safe space for patrons to gather and discuss books,” she said. “It promotes literacy and networking in a fun environment.”

The Fantasy Book Club will be hosting its last meeting of the year on Monday from 6-7:00 p.m. on Monday in the Hays Public Library Main Level Conference Room.

More information about HPL events in the upcoming months can be found at https://hayslibrary.evanced.info/signup/Calendar