Reading Room Blog

01/30/2017 - 9:59am
CRRL My Librarian: Novel Histories

Who doesn’t love a good story? While history books abound, a great way to learn about another time period is to pick up a novel set in the past. Good historical fiction not only tells a compelling story but also focuses on the people, events, and details of daily life in that time period. Any novel or short story that takes place in the past, usually more than 50 years before the author wrote it, is considered historical fiction. A selection of historical fiction novels that are well-told and evocative of their time periods are on these two lists: History in Fiction and Novel History.

02/08/2017 - 9:29am
If you like James Patterson's BookShots


BookShots by James Patterson: "Life moves fast—books should too." 

BookShots are paperbacks developed by notable author James Patterson that are 150 words or less. They are also cheap—five dollars, no more, no less. Not only do the BookShots feature Patterson's famous characters like Alex Cross and Michael Bennett, but they also feature other genres Patterson is known for as well. You can read on any electronic device as well.

Featured below are the BookShots we have, divided in genre form. All summaries are from JamesPatterson.com/bookshots
 


Steamy Romances

$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal



$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal Will you marry me for $10,000,000?
I am a creative, open-minded businessman with limited time and desire to play the field. This is a serious proposal. A mysterious billboard intrigues three single women in LA. But who is this Mr. Right? And is he the perfect match for the lucky winner?

 

 

02/02/2017 - 12:20pm
Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

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.

Looking for that perfect love story for Valentine's Day? From humorous, complicated love, to urban fantasy, check out these newly aquired romance titles in our catalog. Includes eBooks and print books.
 

Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis
Unwilling to commit to a career woman who loves him but unable to stand her dating anyone else, a man who has forfeited his job in law enforcement sabotages her dates before realizing that he must prove himself. (catalog summary)

Alaska Skies

Alaska Skies
by Debbie Macomber

Location: north of the Arctic Circle. Population: 150 (mostly men!). But the three O'Halloran brothers, who run a bush-plane charter service called Midnight Sons, are heading a campaign to bring women to town. Features the short stories, Brides for Brothers and The Marriage Risk. (catalog summary)


 

Arizona Heat
Arizona Heat
by Linda Lael Miller

After years spent trying to remember her past, Mojo Sheepshanks just wants to put it behind her. She's finally got the life she always wanted—sisters she loves, a career that keeps her on her toes and Tucker Darroch, the handsome cop who's stuck by her against all odds. But for the people around her, moving on is hard to do. Tucker can't seem to let go of his past, while Mojo's sister Greer is being blackmailed for secrets in hers. And Mojo's stuck in the middle again. Meanwhile, danger is stalking the citizens of Cave Creek, Arizona, Mojo's adopted home. And even as she and Tucker work to keep everyone safe, Mojo will discover that there are mysteries in Cave Creek that someone is willing to protect at any cost. (catalog summary)
 

01/18/2017 - 12:09am
Cover to The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary

If you like a good cooking show—and a good story—dive into John O’Connell’s The Book of Spice for a lot of kitchen knowledge, delivered with an English accent. From his first try at tandoori chicken at a family picnic, Mr. O’Connell was hooked on the beautiful differences spices could make.

As seasoned cooks know, spice is very nice, and there are certainly more of them available now, both online and in the supermarket. Indeed, there are so many herbs, spices, and blends that it’s a daunting proposition to select one to try out. Surely it would be better if you understood not only their uses but also their fascinating histories.

02/22/2017 - 12:52pm
Our Stories: A Panel Discussion Inspired by Hidden Figures

As fascinating and inspirational as we find the trials and triumphs of the African American women mathematicians profiled in our Rappahannock Reads selection, Hidden Figures, there are many, many such stories that our own friends and neighbors can tell us. We’ve invited some of those friends and neighbors to join us on Thursday, February 23, 7:00, at Headquarters Library for a lively panel discussion and to share with us their stories that parallel, in ways both large and small, those of the women of Hidden Figures. The stories may describe our past, but they will illuminate our present day and inform our future. Our panel members include: Ambassador Pamela Bridgewater, Daisy Howard-Douglas, Dorothy Jackson, Johnny Johnson, Sandra and Donald Manigault, Cynthia Montague, Xavier Richardson, and Frank White.  Our moderator will be DeShawn Robinson-Chew.

Come to the library, and join the discussion. We’ll even serve refreshments! Read more about the panel members below.

01/10/2017 - 12:04am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most

In The Book That Matters Most, Ava, a French professor at the local university, is blindsided when her husband announces he’s rekindled the flame with a lover of long ago. Yes, his job often dominated their free time, and, yes, their daughter had created stress by following a rocky path of drugs and unhealthy relationships, but Ava felt these obstacles were surmountable. She had been content in her marriage.

The shock and subsequent embarrassment of the betrayal prompts Ava to sequester herself. For years, her close friend Cate had unsuccessfully tried to recruit her to join the library’s book club. When another opening becomes available, Ava views the club as a quiet avenue to venture back into the world.

01/05/2017 - 3:19pm
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding

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 Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding
As Thaniel, a wych-hunter, and Cathaline, his friend and mentor, try to rid the alleys of London's Old Quarter of the terrible creatures that infest them, their lives become entwined with that of a woman who may be either mad or possessed. (catalog summary)
 

Looking for a spooky historical fiction? Look no further and check out these titles:

 

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
In post-World War I England, eleven-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something's terribly wrong, and to try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family. (catalog summary)


 



The Cure for Dreaming
by Cat Winters
In Portland, Oregon, in 1900, seventeen-year-old Olivia Mead, a suffragist, is hypnotized by the intriguing young Henri Reverie, who's paid by her father to make her more docile and womanly but who, instead, gives her the ability to see people's true natures, while she secretly continues fighting for women's rights. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 1:20pm
Firmament by Tim Bowler

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.

Firmament by Tim Bowler
While struggling to cope with the death of his father, a gifted musician, fourteen-year-old Luke must deal with a dangerous bully, a lonely old woman, a blind young girl, his mother's romantic involvement, and his own musical talent. (catalog summary)
 

If you're looking for other titles involving music, check out some of these!

 


Born to Rock by Gordon Korman
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican, learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend. (catalog summary)

 

 



Four Seasons by Jane Breskin Zalben
Over the course of a year, thirteen-year-old Allegra Katz, a student at the demanding Julliard School and the daughter of two musicians, tries to decide whether she wants to continue to pursue a career as a concert pianist or to do something else with her life. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

01/05/2017 - 11:52am
The Nobodies Album: A Novel by Carolyn Parkhurst

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 Nobodies Album: A Novel by Carolyn Parkhurst
On her way to deliver the manuscript to her editor, bestselling novelist Octavia Frost reads a news crawl in Times Square and learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been arrested for murder. Though she and Milo haven't spoken in years—an estrangement stemming from their tragic past—she drops everything to go to him. (catalog summary)
 


The Boy on the Bus: A Novel
by Deborah Schupack
One afternoon, Vermont housewife Meg discovers that the boy on the school bus outside her door is almost, but not quite, her eight-year-old son, Charlie. Meg's panic recalls her aloof, restless husband from his job in Canada and her bratty, rebellious teenage daughter from boarding school, but neither they nor the local sheriff nor the family doctor can verify Charlie's authenticity. Unlike the old, asthmatic Charlie, who was both an emotional anchor and a ball-and-chain to Meg, the new Charlie is more mature, robust and adventurous, threatening to follow his father and sister out of the house, untether Meg from her caretaker role and force her to confront her own thwarted ambitions. (Publisher's Weekly)
 

 



Every Last One: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
Mary Beth Latham is first and foremost a mother, whose three teenaged children come first, before her career as a landscape gardener, or even her life as the wife of a doctor. Caring for her family and preserving their everyday life is paramount. And so, when one of her sons, Max, becomes depressed, Mary Beth becomes focused on him, and is blindsided by a shocking act of violence. (catalog summary)

 

 

01/04/2017 - 1:02pm
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

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.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage...not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves. From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. It is a battle for survival—a crucial bid to destroy a creation of inconceivable genius...an impregnable code-writing formula that threatens to obliterate the post-cold war balance of power. Forever. (catalog summary)

If you like technothrillers, like Digital Fortress, or thrillers in general, check out these titles as well:



9800 Savage Road: A Novel of the National Security Agency by M.E. Harrigan
In a tale inspired by events leading up to the September 11 attacks, a small team of intelligence analysts is horrified when satellite phone calls by Osama bin Laden are abruptly halted in the wake of a high-profile murder that marks the beginning of an escalating series of disasters. (catalog summary)

 

 

The Boost by Stephen Baker
Ralf is a software prodigy. He works in the US government office that updates the software in the population's boosts—networked supercomputers contained in a chip implanted within the brains of 99 percent of the world's population. Invented by Chinese researchers in 2032, the boost is credited with leading humanity to its most significant cognitive leap since the discovery of fire. Days before a national upgrade, Ralf notices that the update includes an open surveillance gate—meaning that Americans, who had negotiated high levels of privacy with the Chinese manufacturers, will now be subjected to the invasive Chinese standard. Ralf attempts to hack the boost, but is caught by agents working for Washington's preeminent lobbyist. His boost is ripped from his head, and Ralf barely escapes with his life. Pursued by the lobbyist's mercenary cadre, Ralf flees to the US-Mexico border, where there are others like him—"wild" humans on the fringes of society, unenhanced by technology. It's a frightening and backward world controlled by powerful drug lords. Ralf's only hope is to somehow work with these wild bosses of the analog world—in hopes of winning back freedom in the digital one. (catalog summary)

 

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