Reading Room Blog

10/21/2016 - 10:21am
If you like A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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 other book matches here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. As her feelings toward him transform from hostility to a fiery passion, the threats against the faerie lands grow. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse or she will lose Tamlin forever. (catalog summary)

Read the other book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series:


A Court of Mist and Fury

Though Feyre now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, but as she navigates the feared Night Court's dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

If you like Maas' epic, romantic fantasy check out these other titles (adult and teen) as well:



The Accursed
by Joyce Carol Oates 
In 20th century Princeton, New Jersey, a powerful curse, which besets the wealthiest of families, causes the disappearance of a young bride, and when her brother sets out to find her, he crosses paths with the town's most formidable people, including Grover Cleveland and Upton Sinclair. (catalog summary)

 

 




Beastkeeper
by Cat Hellisen
Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast—unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

10/21/2016 - 10:16am
If you like Creepy Classics

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 other book matches here.

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
 "We will each write a story," poet Lord Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. (catalog summary)

Here are other creeptastic classics you must get your claws on, and read:
 

 

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
Howard Philips Lovecraft reinvented the horror genre in the 1920s, discarding ghosts and witches, and instead envisioning mankind as a tiny outpost of dwindling sanity in a chaotic and malevolent universe. S. T. Joshi, Lovecraft's preeminent interpreter, presents a selection of the master's fiction, from the early tales of nightmares and madness such as "The Outsider" to the overpowering cosmic terror of "The Call of Cthulhu." (catalog summary)



 

 

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker's classic vampire story has haunted and disturbed the modern imagination for a hundred years. Set in Transylvania, London, and Whitby, it pits the sinister but seductive Count Dracula against a team of Vampire-hunters armed only with typewriters, phonographs, and syringes. Vividly presented in the form of diaries and letters, the narrative blends ancient superstitions with modern technologies, and pulsates with obsessive fears of foreignness and sexuality. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/20/2016 - 4:18pm

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 other book matches here.

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
She thinks more highly of snow and ice than she does of love. She lives in a world of numbers, science and memories--a dark, exotic stranger in a strange land. And now Smilla Jaspersen is convinced she has uncovered a shattering crime. It happened in the Copenhagen snow. A six-year-old boy, a Greenlander like Smilla, fell to his death from the top of his apartment building. While the boy's body is still warm, the police pronounce his death an accident. But Smilla knows her young neighbor didn't fall from the roof on his own. Soon she is following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow. For her dead neighbor, and for herself, she must embark on a harrowing journey of lies, revelation and violence that will take her back to the world of ice and snow from which she comes, where an explosive secret waits beneath the ice. (catalog summary)
 

We've pulled together a few suggestions for further reading. Some share the literary thriller aspect of Hoeg's book, some the Nordic atmosphere. 


Case Histories
by Kate Atkinson
Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night.
Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack.
Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.
Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge...(catalog summary)

 

 

Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Winter, 1919. Amanda Starkey spends her days nursing soldiers wounded in the Great War. Finding herself suddenly overwhelmed, she flees Milwaukee and retreats to her family's farm on Nagawaukee Lake, seeking comfort with her younger sister, Mathilda, and three-year-old niece, Ruth. But very soon, Amanda comes to see that her old home is no refuge—she has carried her troubles with her. On one terrible night almost a year later, Amanda loses nearly everything that is dearest to her when her sister mysteriously disappears and is later found drowned beneath the ice that covers the lake. When Mathilda's husband comes home from the war, wounded and troubled himself, he finds that Amanda has taken charge of Ruth and the farm, assuming her responsibility with a frightening intensity. Wry and guarded, Amanda tells the story of her family in careful doses, as anxious to hide from herself as from us the secrets of her own past and of that night. Ruth, haunted by her own memory of that fateful night, grows up under the watchful eye of her prickly and possessive aunt and gradually becomes aware of the odd events of her childhood. As she tells her own story with increasing clarity, she reveals the mounting toll that her aunt's secrets exact from her family and everyone around her, until the heartrending truth is uncovered. (catalog summary)

 

10/20/2016 - 3:50pm

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 other book matches here.

Rococo: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani
In Our Lady of Fatima, N.J., plucky narrator Bartolomeo di Crespi, aka B, reigns supreme: he can doll up an ottoman with kicky trim and sparkly crystals with the best of 'em, and he decorates all the area's best houses, including the manse belonging to the mother of his putative fiancè, Capri Mandelbaum. (Really they're just friends, but Aurelia, Capri's mother, is certain they'll marry.) When the local church comes due for a major renovation, B gets the commission, after Father Porporino is convinced (forcibly, it's later revealed) that a tony Philadelphia firm won't do. But can B come up with a timeless yet innovative design for the church he loves? He calls in the experts-all of them sexy-takes trips to London and Italy, and benefits from a minor miracle amid a cast of family and friends who fight, fall in love, have babies and come out of the closet. (catalog summary)

 

Romance and lust and family dynamics feature prominently in Rococo by Adriana Trigiani. Some other titles that you might like:



Baker Towers
by Jennifer Haigh
Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens—and the five children of the Novak family—the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill. (catalog summary)

 

 


Bet Your Bottom Dollar
by Karin Gillespie
Welcome to the Bottom Dollar Emporium, where everything from coconut mallow cookies to Clabber Girl Baking Powder costs only a dollar, and coffee and gossip are free. For Elizabeth, Mavis, and Attalee, logging nine to five at the Bottom Dollar is not just work time, it's family time. So when news gets out that the Super Saver Dollar Store chain plans to set up shop and run the Bottom Dollar out of town, things go catawampus. Manager Elizabeth, who has a good head for business even though she flunked pin-curling in beauty school, teams up with a crew of dedicated do-gooders bent on saving the Bottom Dollar from the fate of spare change. But when Elizabeth's unlikely new love interest—who also happens to be Cayboo Creek's wealthiest bachelor—pitches woo, out come some startling revelations about her past that turn life more than a little interesting for all her friends and neighbors. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/20/2016 - 3:33pm

I recently had to get 12 stitches in my leg. It was mesmerizing to watch! But for some reason, nobody wanted to see the pictures I took of the bloody gash or the resulting row of neat black stitches.

I grew up with a nurse mom and a nuclear physicist dad, so our dinnertime conversations were often scientific discourse about what happened in surgery or the emergency room. I didn't realize that this wasn't normal until I horrified some of my playmates with stories they found unbearably gruesome.

In college, I was a serials check-in clerk for the medical library and was fascinated by some of the medical journals. I couldn't wait to look at the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report!

If you find medical history fascinating, look at some of the books on my Medical Mysteries and Maladies booklist.  

10/19/2016 - 3:58pm

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 other book matches here.

Magician's End by Raymond E. Feist
Three decades...Five Riftwars...One magnificent saga: Magician's End is the final book in New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist's science fiction epic Riftwar Cycle.

Thirty years ago, Feist's first novel, Magician, introduced us to an orphan boy named Pug, who rises from slavery to become a Master Magician, and to Midkemia and the Riftwar, an epic series of battles between Good and Evil that have scarred Pug's world for generations. After twenty-nine books, Feist delivers the crowning achievement of his renowned bestselling career: Magician's End, the final chapter in The Chaos Wars, the climax of his extraordinary Riftwar Cycle. Pug, now the greatest magician of all time, must risk everything he has fought for and everything he cherishes in the hope of destroying an evil enemy once and for all. But to achieve peace and save untold millions of lives, he will have to pay the ultimate price. (catalog summary)

 

If you like books with a similar writing style to those by Raymond Feist, you may enjoy the following titles (some of them are not in the fantasy/sf genre, but are wonderful, just the same!):
 



Across the Nightingale Floor 
by Lian Hearn
Set in an imaginary, ancient Japanese society dominated by warring clans, Across the Nightingale Floor is a story of a boy who is suddenly plucked from his life in a remote and peaceful village to find himself a pawn in a political scheme, filled with treacherous warlords, rivalry-and the intensity of first love. In a culture ruled by codes of honor and formal rituals, Takeo must look inside himself to discover the powers that will enable him to fulfill his destiny. (catalog summary)


 





American Gods
by Neil Gaiman
Upon his release from prison, a widower accepts a job as a bodyguard and joins the battle between the gods of yore and the neotoric gods of persent-day America. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/19/2016 - 3:35pm

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading  recommendations, fill out thebook-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Darkness by Karen Robards
BOOM. That's the sound that changes everything for Dr. Gina Sullivan, a renowned ornithologist on a group research grant trip on the remote island of Attu, Alaska. When an everyday outing turns sinister at the onset of one of Attu's infamous storms, Gina expects thunder and lightning--but what she doesn't see coming is the small jet plane that drops out of the sky and into the water mere feet from her boat. Even more unprecedented: there's a sole survivor from the crash, and he needs Gina's help. But it turns out that rescuing the stranger and getting them both out of the oncoming storm is just the beginning. (catalog summary)
 

Karen Robards's style of romantic suspense and domestic fiction sugests that these titles may appeal to you:




First Light
by Bill Rancic
A moving story of love, family, and survival against all odds from beloved entrepreneur and reality TV star Bill Rancic. (catalog summary)


 

 



Flawless
by Heather Graham
There's a pub in New York City that's been in the Finnegan family for generations. Now Kieran and her three brothers own it. Kieran Finnegan is also, as it happens, a criminal psychologist—a fitting reaction, perhaps, to her less-than-lawful teenage past. Meanwhile, New York's Diamond District has been hit by a rash of thefts. No one's been killed—until now. FBI agent Craig Frasier is brought in to investigate; he and Kieran meet at a jewelry store in the middle of a heist. She's there to "unsteal" a flawless stone taken by her light-fingered youngest brother as an act of vengeance. Craig's there to stop the gang. (catalog summary)

 

10/19/2016 - 2:52pm
If you like The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

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 other book matches here.

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks
To save his own marriage, a middle-aged man takes inspiration from his in-law's enduring love. (catalog summary)



You asked for inspirational fiction and said that you enjoyed The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks. With that in mind, I'd make the following suggestions:



Angel Light
 by Andrew Greeley
In an engaging if opportunistic plundering of publishing trends, Greeley unites angels and the Internet in a saccharine tale based on the Old Testament's Book of Tobias. Narrator Toby Tobin, a young Chicagoan, is a computer hacker who stands to inherit $10 million from his late great-uncle if he can travel to the Emerald Isle and marry his gorgeous cousin Sara Anne without revealing to her the conditions of the will. Toby proves a reluctant romancer until he's contacted in cyberspace by his guardian angel, a seraph named Raphael who persuades him to make the journey. (catalog summary)



 


The Course of Love by Alain De Botton
How does love survive and thrive in the long term? In Edinburgh, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love, get married, have children. But this is their story after the first flush of infatuation. As Rabih and Kirsten reform their ideals under the pressures of an average existance, they discover that love is a skill that needs to be learned, and not just experienced. (catalog summary)



 

 

10/19/2016 - 2:22pm
If you like heart-pounding, non-stop action books

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 other book matches here.

I love heart-pounding, non-stop action books, too. These types of books can range from laugh-out-loud funny to seriously gruesome. Some suggestions for you:

Acts of Revision by Martyn Bedford
For most first novelists, having a manu-script plucked from the slush pile is only a dream, but it really happened to Bedford. His novel, which has since been sold in nine countries, features a solitary bachelor who decides to right the wrongs done to him by a string of harshly judgmental teachers through "acts of revision"—that is, murder. (Library Journal)



The Charm School
by Nelson DeMille
A KGB enterprise called "The Charm School" eventually involves three Americans: "Sam Hollis, an Air Force office, who will fly one last covert mission into the center of a mad experiment; Lisa Rhodes, an embassy liaison, who will see her political hopes and ideals brutally tested; and Seth Alevy, the chief of the CIA's Moscow station, who will find his intricate dance of destiny and death reaching its devastating conclusion. (catalog summary)






The Death and Life of Bobby Z.
by Don Winslow
A Mexican drug lord offers to free a DEA agent in return for an American gangster who is in jail in Thailand. In fact the gangster is dead, but the Mexican does not know this. Convicted killer Tim Kearney is offered his freedom by the DEA if he will impersonate the gangster and Kearney jumps at the opportunity, only to discover the Mexican wanted the gangster free so he could kill him. (catalog summary)

 

 

10/19/2016 - 2:02pm
If you like I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

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 other book matches here.

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation. (catalog summary)
 

You stated that you liked "I Know This Much is True" by Wally Lamb and like the "inspirational fiction" genre. There are many books that deal with difficult or emotional topics, but in an ultimately uplifting and/or redemptive manner. Some suggestions:



The Deep End of the Ocean
by Jacquelyn Mitchard 
By her own admission, Beth Cappadora is a rather haphazard mother and wife. Still, her family is reasonably happy and her career as a photographer relatively satisfying. In a few short minutes in a crowded hotel lobby, Beth's world changes forever. Her two-year-old son, Ben, left in the care of older brother Vincent, disappears. Despite the efforts of police and friends, the search for Ben fails, and Beth retreats into grief. Emotionally abandoning her other children and her husband, she spends the next nine years in self-absorbed brooding, unmoved by either the increasing delinquency of Vincent or her husband's demands for change. Ben's miraculous return results more in shock than joy and initially drives the family further apart. (catalog summary)
 



The Hour I First Believed
by Wally Lamb
Relocating to a family farm in Connecticut after surviving the Columbine school shootings, Caelum and Maureen discover a cache of family memorabilia dating back five generations, which reveals to Caelum unexpected truths about painful past events. (catalog summary)

 

 

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