Shelf Life Blog
After her husband Mike is murdered, young FBI agent Cassie McKenna decides to take some much needed R & R. On leave from the Bureau, she moves back to her hometown in the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia. She’s thrilled to sail her boat on the bay’s calm waters and to finally get relief from the sudden tragedy, both mentally and physically.
But the serenity she’s looking for does not last.
“I wouldn’t trust them skinnies with food advice. How do you know they really feel passionately about food? I’ll admit it. I consciously try not to take food advice from thin people.”
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.
Middlemarch by George Eliot: "Set in a provincial Victorian neighborhood, the author explores the complex social relationship and the struggle to hold fast to personal tragedy in a materialistic environment."
If you enjoyed the philosophical and social themes of Middlemarch, here are some other titles you may enjoy:
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Into the narrow social world of New York in the 1870s comes Countess Ellen Olenska, surrounded by shocked whispers about her failed marriage to a rich Polish Count. A woman who leaves her husband can never be accepted in polite society. Newland Arthur is engaged to young May Welland, but the beautiful and mysterious Countess needs his help. He becomes her friend and defender, but friendship with an unhappy, lonely woman is a dangerous path for a young man to follow - especially a young man who is soon to be married (worldcat.org)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven major characters create a dynamic imbalance, playing out the contrasts of city and country life and all the variations on love and family happiness. (amazon.com)
Dancing Feet is a colorful guessing game for little ones. Each page spread alternates between questions and answers of which animal might be moving and grooving on the next page.
When author Ashley Rodriguez and her husband realized that most of their evenings at home were spent either staring at the computer or TV screens, eating different versions of takeout, and nonstop child-rearing, they decided to mix up the normal routine with a once-a-week date night for themselves. Date Night In: More than 120 Recipes to Renew Your Relationship contains delightful and romantic recipes that you and your significant other can create together, carving out that alone time to cook, talk, and rekindle an intimate relationship.
“I have a meanness inside of me, real as an organ.” - Libby Day
Young in years but not so much in worldly cares, Rose Meadows is set adrift when her wayward father abandons her permanently and her handsome, caretaking distant cousin takes up with the local Bolshevik crowd. But, in Cynthia Ozick’s historical novel Heir to the Glimmering World, Rose doesn’t give up. She takes matters into her own hands and answers an advertisement for a research assistant in a town miles away.
Melkorka has the best that life has to offer in 10th-century Ireland, born to a wealthy, powerful king and his queen. She and her mother often admonish her sister Brigid to Hush and not ask so many questions. In turn, Brigid demonstrates that to understand and relate to animals, one must hush as well.
Once Upon an Alphabet is as ambitious as picture books come. Author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers presents 26 short tales, each based on a different letter of the alphabet. An astronaut who is afraid of heights, a daredevil girl who laughs in the face of death, and a lightning-struck lumberjack are just a few of characters we meet.
One of the food trends with the strongest staying power has to be vegetarianism, or at least dishes that are unabashed in their embrace of vegetables, grains, and fruits. Before “Farm to Table” was a thing, we still had farmers’ markets, and cooks would take advantage of them and their own backyard gardens to serve meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients.