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Meg Raymond

12/10/2014 - 1:29pm
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

This readalike is in response to a customer'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.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: "A story as light and sweet as a Victoria Sponge cake. Although they are castle dwellers, 17 year old Cassandra's family is quite impoverished, and the castle is decrepit, drafty and moldering. Her diary entries chronicle six months in the castle - a time of great changes, and a first taste of love. "

If you enjoyed this novel, you may enjoy some of the following titles:

 

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
A deeply moving family story of happiness and heartbreak, Behind the Scenes at the Museum is bestselling author Kate Atkinson's award-winning literary debut. National Bestseller Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets. 


 

A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
On her sixteenth birthday in 1936, Sophia begins a diary of life in her island country off the coast of Spain, where she is among the last descendants of an impoverished royal family trying to hold their nation together on the eve of the second World War.

 

08/29/2014 - 10:08pm
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson

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.

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson: "Katie Wilkinson has found the perfect man at last but one day, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read. The diary is written by a woman named Suzanne and is addressed to her new baby boy, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about the joy he has brought her. As Katie reads this moving story, she realizes that the man she's fallen in love with is Suzanne's husband, Nicholas' father. She reads on, filled with terror and hope as she struggles to understand what happened and whether her new love can survive." (Book summary)

If you like relationship stories with strong, complex emotional impact, you may like these titles:

The amateur marriage: a novel by Anne Tyler
Tyler's ambitious sixteenth novel explores a weighty topic, the erosion of a marriage, over an unusually long period of time, 1941 to the present. Once again, you'll enjoy Tyler's trademark light yet insightful touch. The ill-fated couple at the story's center, Michael and Pauline, are as familiar as relatives-just "two good people who are bad for each other," as Tyler puts it. The point of view in the book's 10 chapters shifts from one family member to another, allowing sympathy for all.


The annunciation by Ellen Gilchrist
Follows the desires of Amanda McCarney: an unwed mother on a Mississippi Delta plantation at age fourteen, a wealthy New Orleans matron into her early forties, and now a divorced poetry student living in a university community in the Ozarks. When Amanda finds herself infatuated with an intense young musician, what at first appears to be a sexual intrigue becomes a grand and impossible passion that unfolds with striking parallels to the life of the eighteenth-century French poetess whose work she is translating. (Book description, amazon.com)

04/23/2014 - 3:01am
The Circle by Dave Eggers

Technology for good and wonderful purposes is good and wonderful, right? That is the jumping off point for The Circle, by Dave Eggers. The Circle is a company that has figured out a way to link every bit of online life into one package. Banking, blogging, buying—it’s all connected. No anonymity online—everything is completely polite and nice, as well as totally secure. The company has created or invested in other awesome projects—and all of them are things that Make Life Better. Who doesn’t want to eliminate child abductions? Or, make voter registration super easy—AND immune to any fraud! Or map the entire Amazon rainforest. Or, or, or, or. The list of what the Circle is doing is endless and SO COOL AND INSANELY AWESOME.

10/18/2013 - 12:44pm
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
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.
 
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: What a great book!  Covering two continents and generations, it is a wonderful read.   Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she is an adult that she is not their child.
 
If you like The Forgotten Garden, you may also like these titles:
 
The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years.
 
 
 
 
Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the
Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous
woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation
years ago.
 
 
 
08/02/2013 - 8:17am
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness
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.
 
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness: "Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her." (Book description)
 
Some other titles that have similar themes, or evoke the same "feeling" as A Discovery of Witches include:
 
Blackout by Connie Willis
Time-traveling historians Michael, Merope, and Polly find themselves in World War II, facing air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history.
 
 
 
 
The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
Excitement, danger, and romance await independent, headstrong author Theodora Lestrange when she flees 1858 Scotland and miserable spinsterhood for the wilds of Transylvania, joining a childhood friend who will soon be wed. 
 
 
 
 
07/26/2013 - 8:28am

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.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: "Raised by a loving family of thieves, orphan Sue Trinder is sheltered from the worst of the seamy Victorian underworld until it becomes her turn to make her clan's fortune. She must help a professional rogue named Gentleman marry an heiress and then steal the poor girl's inheritance by declaring her insane. Sue wants to please her adoptive mother and friends and persuades herself that she can do the job, but once she's confronted with the seemingly hapless victim, Maud, she begins to have doubts. Sue and Maud's connection is just one reason the scam quickly falls apart. Each clearly drawn character is ensnared by secrets and lies that force his or her actions, and everyone is both a predator and a victim." (Library Journal)

If you like Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, especially the Victorian time period and the gripping suspense of the novel, you may also like these titles:
 
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Seventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
 
 
 
 
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Abandoned on a 1913 voyage to Australia, Nell is raised by a dock master and his wife who do not tell her until she is an adult that she is not their child, leading Nell to return to England and eventually hand down her quest for answers to her granddaughter.
 
 
 
 
07/19/2013 - 8:24am
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: "As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island."  

A novel told through a series of letters is called “epistolary fiction” - don’t you just love that word?  Some other epistolary fiction you might like:

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanf
Hanff, a New York writer, responds to an advertisement by a London bookseller and inquires about purchasing some out-of-print books. Her inquiry to Marks & Company is answered by a very proper Englishman, Frank Doel. Thus begins a witty, challenging, ever-literate exchange of letters. 
 
 
 
 
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
An epistolary novel set in the fictional island of Nollop situated off the coast of South Carolina and home to the man who invented the phrase The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog.  
 
 
 
 
 
04/30/2013 - 3:31am
Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

Facing forty, Benjamin Benjamin finds himself in a dingy church basement attending a class called The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, which is also the name of a poignant novel by Jonathan Evison. Benjamin has lost his home and family, and a caregiver certificate might be his only chance at finding his way back to normalcy.

04/03/2013 - 3:30am
Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May

You've seen the attention-grabbing headlines while you're standing in line at the grocery store. You know you look at them. In the tabloids there are always lurid accounts of death - gruesome, improbable, and even the ones that are funny-except-someone-died. So losing your mum in a botched hold up attempt really doesn't even rate.  Sad, yeah, tragic even, but only to those directly involved.

In Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May, Billy Smith is 19, working at a social history museum for his gap year, when his mother is killed. He is suddenly responsible for his six-year-old half-brother, Oscar.  He thinks they're doing fine, but his aunt, the social workers, Oscar's teachers and even his friends think maybe not.  Even Oscar's dad shows up, which he's never done before.

When the courts decide that Oscar will be better off with his aunt, Billy decides there is only one way that he and Oscar can stay together forever.

03/15/2013 - 3:30am
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton: During a party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the road and sees her mother speak to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

The Secret Keeper is historical, slightly creepy and mysterious, and shows how secrets can reverberate across generations in families.

Some other books that have similar themes include:

The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years.

 

 

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
When Framboise Simon returns to a small village on the banks of the
Loire, the locals do not recognize her as the daughter of the infamous
woman they hold responsible for a tragedy during the German occupation
years ago.


 

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