Being currently unemployed limits the chance I have for reading new books. That said, however, I have a whole list of books I can recommend that give a fresh perspective to a stock image or two.

Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series. They are as follows:

1- The Eyre Affair
2- Lost in a Good Book
3- The Well of Lost Plots
4- Something Rotten
5- First Among Sequels

Jasper Fforde’s Nursery Crime series. As follows:

1- The Big Over Easy
2- The Fourth Bear

When his new book, “Shades of Grey,” is released this December I will be first in line to get it at my local bookstore.

Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. As follows:

1- The Lightning Thief
2- The Sea of Monsters
3- The Titan’s Curse
4- Battle of the Labyrinth
5- The Last Olympian

Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series. As follows:

1- Fabelhaven
2- Rise of the Evening Star
3- Grip of the Shadow Plague
4- Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary

When book 5 comes out next year I will definitely be first in line.

Charlie Fletcher’s Stoneheart Trilogy. As follows:

Stoneheart
Ironhand
Silvertongue

Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series takes the same format of male hero, two best friends, one female and one male, of Rowling’s works (and many others I’m sure) but sets it in an equally believable and immersive setting all its own. His twists on other sort of stock sci-fi/fantasy images are creative and original all his own as well. Ages 12-14. (Thereabouts. I’m not an industry professional so I’m not an expert.)

Fforde’s works turn the world of literature on its ear, almost quite literally. They are inventive, fun, and profound all at the same time. Thursday Next and Detective Jack Spratt are well-rounded, emotionally complex characters who fight battles we all face in our lives and do it with poise. Ages 18 and up.

Mull’s works are a rich tapestry full of the fantasies every child wishes would come true. Children of all ages will enjoy growing with Mull’s characters as they face some very tough foes and even some allies all with a little help from family and friends. Ages 12-14.

Fletcher’s trilogy sets the world of London, England on its end and creates a complex fantasy world-view contained within the confines of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Taking the stock image of the loner child he forms a complex view of childhood and overcoming all its inherent challenges and foibles. Ages 12-14.