This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you.
"The Spellman Files" by Lisa Lutz is the start of a very funny series featuring Izzy Spellman (and her anger management issues) and the rest of her family of private detectives. If you like your mysteries well-laced with humor, and your heroines feisty, you might like the following titles:
"Agnes and the Hitman" by Jennifer Crusie. Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window.His name is Shane, no last name, just Shane, and he has his own problems: he's got a big hit scheduled, a rival trying to take him out, and an ex-mobster uncle asking him to protect some little kid named Agnes. (from summary) [Actually, I think you'd like any Crusie title. She kind of got stuck in the "pink ghetto" of Romance, but her books are very funny contemporary fiction with a little steamy sex thrown in]
"Sleeping With the Fishes" by MaryJanice Davidson. Fred is not your ordinary mermaid. She's not blonde. She's not buxom. And she's definitely not perky. (from summary) [This is the first in a series featuring Fred the Mermaid. Davidson has two other series you would probably like - the "Undead" series featuring reluctant vampire Betsy Taylor and the "Royal Alaska" series]
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.
If you enjoyed "Cooking for Mr. Latte" by Amanda Hesser for the romance and the food, you may enjoy these books:
by Marsha Mehran
"Beneath the holy mountain Croagh Patrick, in damp and lovely County Mayo, sits the small, sheltered village of Ballinacroagh. To the exotic Aminpour sisters, Ireland looks like a much-needed safe haven. It has been seven years since Marjan Aminpour fled Iran with her younger sisters, Bahar and Layla, and she hopes that in Ballinacroagh, a land of "crazed sheep and dizzying roads," they might finally find a home. From the kitchen of an old pastry shop on Main Mall, the sisters set about creating a Persian oasis. Soon sensuous wafts of cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron float through the streets-an exotic aroma that announces the opening of the Babylon Cafe; and a shock to a town that generally subsists on boiled cabbage and Guinness served at the local tavern. And it is an affront to the senses of Ballinacroagh's uncrowned king, Thomas McGuire. After trying to buy the old pastry shop for years and failing, Thomas is enraged to find it occupied-and by foreigners, no less. But the mysterious, spicy fragrances work their magic on the townsfolk, and soon, business is booming. Infused with the textures and scents, trials and triumphs of two distinct cultures, Pomegranate Soup is an infectious novel of magical realism. This richly detailed story, highlighted with delicious recipes, is a delectable journey into the heart of Persian cooking and Irish living."-catalog summary
"How to Cook a Tart"
by Nina Killham
"A dark, wildly funny, and deeply imaginative first novel about the pleasures of food and the perils of marriage. Cookbook author Jasmine March's life is like a perfectly prepared beacute; chamel-rich, satisfying, and drenched in butter. Pleasingly plump and glowing with health and happiness, Jasmine spends her days concocting high-calorie, flavor-saturated recipes. But even a great beacute;chamel curdles sometimes. Her husband, Daniel, has taken up with one of his Zone-dieting drama students; Careme, her daughter, is bent on starving herself to death; and Jasmine's fellow foodies have had just about enough of her astronomically caloric recipes. To make matters worse, her publisher is threatening to cancel her contract. And then there's the small matter of the dead body she finds one morning on her kitchen floor. It's up to Jasmine to set things right, and she does it with characteristic zeal. Filled with mouth-watering descriptions of Jasmine's creations- caviar canapeacute;s, venison stew with Madeira and juniper berries, crispy chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and mint-Nina Killham's smart and spirited first novel is good enough to eat."-catalog summary
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age--and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness--assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism--and a surprising connection between themselves.
If you like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (followed by the next two books in the Millennium trilogy: The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest), you may like these titles -- some have intriguingly complex plots, while others offer portraits of unusual, unique females.
by Josh Bazell
The carefully orchestrated life of Manhattan emergency room doctor and witness-protection program participant Peter Brown unravels in the course of a high-stakes day that begins with a mugging, an elevator encounter with a sexy pharmaceutical rep, and a new patient who knows him from his previous existence.
A Beautiful Place to Die
by Malla Nunn
"Jacob's Rest, a tiny town on the border between South Africa and Mozambique, 1952. An Afrikaner police officer is found dead. Detective Emmanuel Cooper, a man of uncertain parentage in a country that demands racial purity, follows a trail of clues that lead him to uncover a shocking forbidden love and the imperfect life of one Captain Pretorius."-catalog summary
This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Eat, Pray, Love "presents the memoir of a magazine writer's yearlong travels across the world in search of pleasure, guidance, experience and wholeness."
There have been some wonderful books with the theme of self-discovery through travel, as in Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Their journeys have been life changing for them and perhaps also for the reader.
Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape by Barry Lopez.
This classic won the 1986 National Book Award. This book is based on a number of extended trips the author made into the Arctic region. His descriptions of the flora and fauna not only evoke the northern landscape, but give a true sense of the Arctic's importance to the health of our planet. More than twenty years after its publication this book has an even more important message for us.
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
A wild and fun travel narrative focusing on Horwitz's adventures sailing on a recreation of Captain's Cook's ship. Like Eat, Pray, Love it is well written and a lot of fun to read.
If you liked Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Born of Ice" for the romantic SF, see what you think of these selections, which range from the more serious to the lighthearted:
by L A Banks
"All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a top act ... But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons - predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. Damali and her team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires has been striking down other musicians. When strange attacks erupt ... Damali realizes these killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. Instead of neat puncture marks in the neck showing where the blood has been drained from the body, these corpses are mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Soon she discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire Damali has ever met - a seductive beast who is coming for her next...."-catalog summary
If you like books such as those written by Kurt Vonnegut or Jonathan Safran Foer, satirical, with "beautiful and intriguing use of language," here are some suggestions:
TC Boyle - The Road to Wellville
If you like books by Victoria Johnson, you may like these suggestions. Here are some other historical mystery series, most of which can be described as novels of manners, with strong period details, and relationships which grow despite societal class distinctions. Enjoy!
Cordelia Frances Biddle - Martha Beale/Thomas Kelman series
If you liked The Da Vinci Code because of its thrilling chases and suspense, you may enjoy these titles:
by James Rollins
“Ubar, a lost city buried beneath the Arabian Desert, is more than mere legend, and something astonishing waits there.”—catalog summary. This is the first in the Sigma Force series by Rollins.
If you like "One Shot" by Lee Child, you may also like these titles and authors:
Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn.
In the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, CIA director Irene Kennedy and operative Mitch Kelly are dispatched to the Middle East to diffuse Iran's sworn retaliation against the United States. (Catalog summary)
Nancy Thayer wrote the "Hot Flash Club" books, which always feature smart, sassy, sexy women - perhaps past the first blush of youth. If you are looking for books like those, then you may like:
- Mid-Life Madness: stories for People of a Certain Age
- Marriage Can be Murder
- Later Love
- That Would be Ma'am to You
Some specific titles you may enjoy: