Favorite Fridays highlight media the HCDL staff recommend. Find your next favorite book, audiobook, movie, TV show, magazine, etc., here every Friday this summer— and share your own favorites in the weekly posts’ comments!

This week we’re sharing some of our librarian’s favorite stories with strong character connections, friendships, and family relationships. If you’ve read these titles, share your thoughts in the comments along with your own favorite books with great human bonds!

*Hoopla is available to Howell library district residents only.

The Quite Nice and Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book by Neil Gaiman

Call# Fiction Gaiman

Good Omens follows the unlikely pair of an angel and demon, destined since the Garden of Eden to be enemies but bonded for their mutual love of life on Earth, as they work together to stop the apocalypse from occurring, despite the desires of their respective sides in the Battle for Good and Evil. To stop the apocalypse, they have to track down the Antichrist, who has coincidentally been misplaced and is being raised in a small English village, free from both Good and Evil intervention. Arguably, the strong friendships in Good Omens are the most important tools in the fight to stop the apocalypse, without which the battle would have been lost in Chapter One. Also check out the one season television series based on the book!

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

Call# Scifi Eason

Rory Thorne is not your typical princess. When she was born, she was given thirteen fairy blessings, the last and most important being a “curse” to always see through flattery and platitudes. Rory Thorne is thrust into assassination plots, wars, and a tentative peace that requires Rory’s betrothal to the minor and somewhat foolish prince of a distant world. While separated from her blood family due to the requirements of her peace arrangement, Rory is surrounded by a group of allies, both from her childhood and newly made in the unfamiliar world she’s found herself trapped in. Together, they must work to stop a treacherous plot against her betrothed, as Rory must save her damsel prince in distress in order to secure the peace between their worlds. 

#Imomsohard by Kristin Hensley

Call# 306.874 Hen

Listening to audiobooks read by the author is one of my favorite things. So a book read by two authors was a special treat. Kristin & Jen are moms and friends, who became well known for their short, humorous videos about motherhood and now travel the country doing stand up comedy shows as well. Parenting is hard, and no one actually knows what they’re doing (including me). Some days I feel like I’m knocking it out of the park, other days I feel like I must be the world’s worst mother. Jen & Kristin get it! This book made me feel SEEN. In a good way. It also made me laugh, a lot, and want to call up all my girlfriends and thank them for being awesome. #IMomSoHard is a light, fun, easy read or a great listen.

The Mountains Sing : a Novel by Phan QùðΜ Mai Nguỳ¬іn

Call# Fiction Nguyn

This debut English novel by Vietnamese poet Nguyễn is an epic multigenerational tale of the Trần family, spanning most of 20th century Vietnamese history, including Japanese occupation and the Great Famine in the 1940s, the 1950s Communist Land Reform, and the Việt Nam War and its aftermath into the 1980s. The heartbreaking and hopeful story is told alternately by Hương, coming of age in Hà Nội during the War and raised by her grandmother, and that same grandmother Trần Diệu Lan’s experiences in the earlier half of the century, bringing to life the human costs of conflict. I learned so much about Việt Nam’s history from this book and the rabbit holes of internet searching listening to Nguyễn’s novel sparked.

Prudence by Gail Carriger

Call# Fantasy Carriger

This first book in the Custard Protocol series is a wonderful extension and expansion of the world the author began in the Parasol Protectorate, which introduced the alternate steampunk and supernatural Victorian England of Alexia Tarrbotti (the first book of which I recommended in an earlier Favorite Friday post: Soulless). Now we zoom forward to see how Alexia’s daughter, Prudence (Rue for short), manages the political machinations and relationships, which Rue’s many parents and relations have failed to share or explain to her before throwing her in feet first. Really I should say, showing her the deep end and letting her cannonball in of her own volition, because Prudence, while devoted to her dear adoptive vampire father Dama and tied to her birth parents (a preternatural and a werewolf), is very much her own strong, vibrant, adventurous, capable, resourceful, and domineering (when she needs to be) person. Her personality is fabulous, but it’s only one vital part that makes her so successful as a creature of her world and as a character. Her strong, loving, reciprocal relationships with her family and friends make her a fantastic heroine and this book worth reading or listening to, much like the rest of the author’s works.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

Call# Scifi Jimenez

Set in the far future when fast interplanetary travel between populated planets and space stations has been made possible, The Vanished Birds follows ship captain Nia Imani and her crew as their usual work is upended by the discovery of a strange young boy, fallen from the sky. The boy doesn’t speak, but uses music to communicate with the crew and grow closer to the captain. As the unlikely pair grow closer through their travels through space, they have to fight to keep their new family from forces who want the mysterious child for themselves. For fans of diverse relationships between ship crewmates and lovers of found family narratives, this science fiction adventure is a thrilling read that I highly recommend.