Tag Archives: Romance

National Romance Awareness Month

Don’t let February fool you. August is National Romance Awareness Month. To celebrate, we wanted to read some great love stories besides the classics we know and love.  Here are just a handful of books filled with romance, laughter, missed opportunities, and deception.

One Day by David Nicholls—It’s amazing what a difference one day can make. On July 15, 1988, Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley met.  On the same day for the next twenty years, a snapshot of their relationship is revealed. They face ups and downs and love and missed opportunities.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon—After being torn apart during World War II, Claire Randall and her husband are finally together and on a second honeymoon in the British Isles.  When Claire walks through a standing stone, she is transported to 1743. Among fighting Scottish clans, she meets James Fraser, a young warrior. Together they experience a love so strong that Claire is torn between fidelity and desire.  Part historic romance and fantasy, the Outlander series is a complicated and adventurous love sage.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger—Clare, an art student, and Henry, a librarian, met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six years old. When Clare was twenty-three and Henry was thirty-one, they were married.  Although this is seemingly impossible, Henry is the first person diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, where his genetic clock is randomly reset and he finds himself misplaced in time.  Since his disappearances are unpredictable, it creates urgency to every moment Clare and Henry can spend together. Can their love endure their unusual relationship?

Love Stories introduction by Rosamunde Pilcher—This collection of romantic tales has stories from great authors, such as John Updike and Rosamunde Pilcher. In John Updike’s “A Constellation of Events,” a woman recounts her first affair. In Catherine Cookson’s  “Miss Geraldine Parkington” is about a woman who proposes to her gardener.  Rosamunde Pilcher’s “Lalla” is on a girl who gives up a modelling career to marry her childhood sweetheart.  Love stories has something for every kind of romantic.

Friends and lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey—Experience the love, betrayal, and friendship of two young men and two young women in Los Angeles.  This funny and heartbreaking story follows their ordinary and not-so-everyday lives.  Friends and lovers gives an honest portrayal of contemporary love, friendships, and the gender gap.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Don Tillman is a brilliant but socially inept  genetics professor looking for love without much luck. In order to find the perfect woman he creates the Wife Project, a survey designed to weed out the smokers, the drinkers, and the chronically late.  When he meets Rosie, he automatically disqualifies her for the Wife Project; but, Rosie came to Don asking for help to find her biological father. While working with Rosie on the Father Project, Don quickly realizes that love cannot be quantified.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore—Grace Hamblin’s life is safe and secure until her father dies.  She falls in love and marries her childhood friend, Freddie. He takes on Grace’s father’s duties; and, Grace is grateful, except there’s another man she can’t get off her mind. Years later, their daughter Trixie falls in love with a wild musician, Jasper, whose band might make it big. When Jasper’s brother dies, he is called home to England. Before he leaves, he asks Trixie to wait for him. Confident he will return for her, Trixie refuses to listen to her mother’s advice.  As both mother and daughter search for love and happiness, they must confront their past to change their future.

The Rocks by Peter Nichols—A mysterious and traumatic secret tears two young honeymooners apart on a small Mediterranean island. For sixty years, they never spoke to each other, despite living on the same island. Decades after they part ways, their children (unrelated) are drawn together in a Romeo & Juliet inspired affair. The Rocks is a multi-generational love story and mystery that slowly unravels as it moves back in time to the moment that started it all.

How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer—The Toledo Institute of Astronomy is a premiere center for astronomical discover and research. Here, George Dermont searches the stars for proof of the existence of God.  Irene Sparks, another scientist in the institute, creates black holes in captivity.  While they share much in common and long for a connection with a partner, their differences keeps them apart.  Irene and George were raised separately to be each other’s soulmates; and, their chemistry together is palpable.  Will the two astronomers ever discover the truth of their destinies and find out if their love is written in the stars?

A Lover’s Vow by Brenda Jackson—Dalton Granger is passionate and handsome; but, Jules Brandshaw, a private investigator, is not impressed with his player reputation. Dalton is determined to show Jules that he’s more complicated than his reputation and prove that he’s an honest and devoted son and brother. As Jules and Dalton work together to save his family and their legacy, they grow closer together and realize there is even more at stake then what they imagined.

For these and other great books to bring a little romance to your life, stop by the 2nd floor of the library.

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Read to the Rhythm: Summer Reading Fun

rhythm

On June 1, 2015, we kicked off the summer with our summer reading program for children and grown-ups. We’re excited to enjoy the sunshine and a good book or two. Here are a few books that we’re looking forward to reading this summer.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins— Billed as “the next Gone Girl,The Girl on the Train is the perfect summer psychological thriller. Rachel takes the commuter train every day, riding past the home she and her ex-husband used to share. Now he lives there with his new wife and baby.  A few doors down from, Rachel watches another happy couple and fantasizes about their life together. One day, Rachel sees the woman kissing a man that is not her husband. The next day, the woman goes missing. Rachel offers what she knows to the police and becomes intertwined in the investigation.

Ruby by Cynthia Bond— Ruby Bell is “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” but has experienced profound suffering in her small Texas town. She runs off to 1950s New York City and beings a new life. When she is forced to come back to Texas, Ruby must face her traumatic past. Ruby is a story of passion, courage, and loyalty.  Ruby is also the newest Oprah Book Club selection.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah— Fans of All the Light We Cannot See will also love this great book set in France during World War II.  Vianne and Isabelle are sisters that are only united for the love they have for each other. Vianne lives in the country while Isabelle lives in Paris.  Vianne must say good-bye to her husband as he goes off to fight in the War, leaving her and her daughter vulnerable when German soldiers decide to quarter in her home. Meanwhile, Isabelle is young and in love in Paris. When her relationship turns sour, she joins the resistance. The Nightingale tells the heartbreaking story of two sisters that are united in love for each other and in their strength in fighting for what’s right.

Dead Wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson—On May 1, 1915, the Lusitania set sail out of New York City toward Liverpool, England. It was 10 months into WWI, and everyone on the ship was at ease, even though Germany already declared the Atlantic a war zone. The Lusitania was a “greyhound of the sea,” carrying 1,962 passengers, including a record amount of children and infants. On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat. Larson crafts a compelling narrative surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania from multiple perspectives.

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James—On December 3, 1976, seven gunman stormed Bob Marley’s house in an assassination attempt. Marley and several others were left wounded but alive. Not much is known about the gunman and their fate. James examines this dangerous time in Jamaican history, crafting memorable and compelling characters. Jamaica’s turbulent past is recounted through many unique voices.

Us: a novel by David Nicholls—Connie and Doug couldn’t be more different. Regardless, they fell in love and built a life together. After more than 20 years of marriage, Connie tells Doug she thinks she wants a divorce. Before her decision is final, she agrees to go on one last vacation with Doug and their son, Albie: a tour of Europe. Doug is convinced that the trip will help fix their family problems; but, is it too late?

Song of the Shank : a novel  by Jeffery Renard Allen – Tom Wiggins, or “Blind Tom,” was born a slave and became known as a musical prodigy. This work blends history and a little fantasy to tell the struggles and transformation of a former slave to the first African American to perform at the White House.  After almost a decade of research, Allen crafted a complex, enthralling story that will give readers a profound understanding of the inhumanity of slavery and 19th-century racial attitudes.

To join in on the summer reading fun, stop by the Fiction desk on the 2nd floor. Sign up and start reading to win books and be entered into drawings for some great prizes, including an Amazon Kindle Fire and Beats by Dre headphones. What book are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Fairy Tales for Grown-ups

Spring is a wonderful season.  After a long, dreary winter, the world is new and magical again. As we enjoy the spring season, our thoughts turn to  fairy tales. Here’s a short list of fantastical stories written for adults to bring some magic to your life.

The big over easy by Jasper Fforde  Follow Detective Jack Spratt and his partner, Sergeant Mary Mary, of the Nursery Crime Division, as they investigate the death of Humpty Dumpty. Half mystery and half fantasy, Fforde’s nursery crime books incorporate familiar fairy tale characters into funny stories of mystery and intrigue. The next book in the series, The fourth bear, is a mystery involving Goldilocks, the three bears, and a maniacal gingerbread man.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman  Gaiman is the master of the modern myth. This novel smartly blends fantasy, Americana, and myth into a story that examines the American culture. According to the story, gods and mythological creatures only exist because we believe in them.  As people immigrated to America, they brought the gods of their home countries with them. American culture is changing and the old gods are disappearing to make room for the “new” gods, such as media, technology and celebrity. Join the main character, Shadow, on his fantastical road trip across the country as he helps rally the gods of the past to fight the new American gods.  For more great books by Gaiman, check out The ocean at the end of the lane, Fragile thingsAnansi Boys, Stardust,  or Neverwhere.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman What’s a fairy tale list without a little romance? Read the timeless story that inspired the classic movie. The beautiful Buttercup lives in the country and one day falls in love with a farm hand, Wesley. When Wesley goes off to find his fortune so the two can be married, his ship is taken over by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Buttercup abandons hope that Wesley will return to her; but, is their love story over?

The snow child: a novel  by Eowyn Ivey  Jack and Mabel are desperate for a child. One day, they find a young girl wandering around the woods by their home in the Alaskan wilderness. They take the little girl in. As the couple takes care of the girl and falls in love with her, what they learn will change their lives forever.

Confessions of an ugly stepsister by Gregory Maguire  In this beautiful re-imagining of the Cinderella story, Iris, her mother, and her sister,  are cast from their home in England and are forced to take refuge in the Netherlands. Iris’s mother tries to improve her family’s station and marries a painter. As the story begins to transform  into the classic Cinderella story we all know, characters and their motivations are re-examined to tell a sympathetic tale. For more great stories, check out Wicked, the book that inspired the Broadway musical and the rest of the books about the Wicked years (Son of a Witch, A lion among men, and Out of Oz) .

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern In Victorian England, a mysterious circus travels from town-to-town. No one knows when it will arrive. The black and white tent opens at sunset and closes at sunrise before moving onto the next town.  Within this beautiful, mysterious circus, two young magicians, Marco and Celia, are raised to be masters of their craft.  The two fall in love, beginning a series of events that will leave the circus performers and patrons in the balance.

Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi  Mr. Fox is a writer with a problem: he can’t stop killing off the heroines in his stories. One day his muse, Mary, comes to life and confronts him for his creative choices.  Fantasy, reality, literature, and love are all examined in this inventive novel.  For other whimsical stories by Oyememi, try  Boy, snow, bird : a novel , White is for witching, and The Icarus girl.

Now that you have a magical story to read, enjoy it outside or in your garden. Be sure to keep an eye open for fairies!

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

ImageWho needs a Valentine when you can go looking for love in all the right places — BOOKS!

Here are just a handful of titles to keep you company this week.  

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks shows how love can overcome almost anything.

Are you Waiting To Exhale?  Terry McMillan takes you along on a search for Mr. Right.

Wedding bells are ringing in Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin but are they for the right twosome?

Revisit the classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and fall in love all over again with Mr. Darcy.

Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me will have you rooting for the odds on favorites in this sweet tale.

The historical romance Always and Forever by Beverly Jenkins takes you along on a wagon train ride towards love!

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

Let the shopping begin!

This list of books will do one of two things….  get  you all revved up for Black Friday shopping madness OR let you enjoy that madness vicariously.  The best part is you won’t have to spend a cent to get these books.  They are yours to enjoy from your Southfield Public Library!

In the food based mystery Chopping Spree the author,  Diane Mott Davidson,  will take you to the premier shopping event of the season.  Yet, in the middle of all the luxury and high prices…. MURDER!

Alex Kava’s book, Black Friday,  shows how idealistic students plan to carry out a protest on the busiest shopping day of the year.  That protest turns violent and investigators soon uncover a deeper plot than first believed.

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella, and its many sequels, follow the path of  Becky, a financial advisor who doesn’t follow her own advice.

Best of Everything is Kimberla Lawson Roby’s  take on a pastor’s wife who is used to the finer things in life and finds herself living beyond her means.

The Sistahood of Shopaholics is a collection of short stories all centered around….. shopping!

 

Happy Reading!