Reading Room Blog

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)

 

 

10/19/2016 - 1:37pm
If you like Once a Princess by Johanna Lindsey

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.

Once a Princess by Johanna Lindsey 
Once Upon A Time...in a rustic Missiissippi tavern, a beautiful exiled princess was forced to dance for the pleasure of others--unaware of her regal birthright...and infuriated by a magnificent golden-eyed devil who crossed an ocean to possess her. (catalog summary)
 

Here are some other fairy tale romances you may enjoy:
 




Beauty
 by Susan Wilson
Disfigured by a rare genetic disease, mystery writer Leland Crompton lives as a recluse in New Hampshire, but agrees to have his portrait painted by Alix Miller. In the long hours that follow, Alix discovers a remarkable man in Lee—a man she could come to love. (catalog summary)

 

 



Beauty and the Werewolf
 by Mercedes Lackey
The eldest daughter is often doomed in fairy tales. But Bella vows to escape the usual pitfalls. She dons a red cloak and ventures into the forbidden forest to consult with "Granny," the local wisewoman. On the way home she's attacked by a wolf—who turns out to be a cursed nobleman! Secluded in his castle, Bella is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh—when he isn't howling at the moon. (catalog summary)

 

10/19/2016 - 11:23am
If you like Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

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.

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
Prosecuting Attorney in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi held a unique insider's position in one of the most baffling and horrifying cases of the twentieth century: the cold-blooded Tate-LaBianca murders carried out by Charles Manson and four of his followers. What motivated Manson in his seemingly mindless selection of victims, and what was his hold over the young women who obeyed his orders? Here is the gripping story of this famous and haunting crime. (catalog summary)


If you like the true crime aspect of Helter Skelter, try these titles as well:



Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-occupied Paris
by David King
A gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld. (catalog summary)

 

 



In Cold Blood: A True Account of A Multiple Murder and Its Consequences
by Truman Capote
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence. (catalog summary)
 

10/19/2016 - 12:42am
Blind Sight: A Detective Mallory Novel by Carol O'Connell

Detective Kathy Mallory has another intriguing case on her hands.

In Carol O’Connell’s new novel Blind Sight, a cloistered nun is found dead on the mayor of New York City’s lawn, along with three other unlinked bodies. The pattern is the same for all of the victims except for the nun: loners and shut-ins. The real mystery lies behind why Sister Michael was chosen for a bitter and horrifying end.

10/18/2016 - 11:14am
If you like Holiday Tales

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.

If you're looking for general, heart-warming holiday tales for the season, check these titles out.

The 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright
When eight-year-old Charlee and ninety-year-old Marva are both diagnosed with cancer, the prospects of having a merry Christmas seem bleak. That is, until a series of letters and gifts that coincide with the 12 days of Christmas begin appearing. And the last letter—for the 13th day of Christmas—might just be the most important one of all. (catalog summary)
 

The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson
Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club—enjoying one another's company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they're sure that without her the group can't continue. When the group gathers "one last time" to open a bag Abby's husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way--little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever. (catalog summary)

 




Christmas Bells
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a story inspired by the classic poem, Christmas Bells, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (catalog summary)

 

 

 

12/02/2016 - 11:00am
If you like Holiday Horror

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 a spooky, but festive, good time? Check out these book titles with frightening Christmas themes.
 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (catalog summary)


 

 

 




Merry, Merry Ghost by Carolyn G. Hart
When a determined heir moves to block a wealthy woman's attempt to include her newly discovered grandson in her will, it is up to good-intentioned ghost Bailey Ruth Raeburn to protect a little boy, foil a murderer, and save Christmas. (catalog summary)

 

 


 




NOS4A2: A Novel
by Joe Hill
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photography, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it's across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing—and terrifying—playground of amusements he calls "Christmasland." Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx's unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He's on the road again and he's picked up a new passenger: Vic's own son. (catalog summary)


 

10/18/2016 - 9:35am
If you like Christmas Mysteries

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.
 

Looking for some chills and thrills this holiday season? Check out these holiday mystery titles.

Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen (Historical Fiction)
It's Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. She has a family of her own now: she and Daniel have a baby son and twelve-year-old Bridie is living with them as their ward. As Molly and the children listen to carolers in the street, they hear a lovely voice, the voice of an angel, and see a beggar girl huddled in a doorway, singing "Away in a Manger." Bridie is touched by the girl's ragged clothes and wants to help her out if they can. They give her a quarter, only to watch a bigger boy take it from her. But Molly discovers the boy is the girl's older brother. They've come from England and their mother has disappeared, and they're living with an aunt who mistreats them terribly. Molly quickly realizes that these children are not the usual city waifs. They are well-spoken and clearly used to better things. So who are they? And what's happened to their mother? As Molly looks for a way to help the children and for the answers to these questions, she gets drawn into an investigation that will take her up to the highest levels of New York society. (catalog summary)

 



The Body in the Sleigh
 by Katherine Hall Page
The Fairchild family is spending the Christmas holidays on idyllic Sanpere Island in Maine while the Reverend Thomas Fairchild recuperates from surgery. His wife, Faith, is rejoicing in the rare, holiday family-time together—but Faith's high spirits are dampened when she discovers the body of a young woman on Christmas Eve. Then, on Christmas morning, she learns of an abandoned, newborn baby boy who was left in a nearby dairy barn along with a note and $50,000 cash! (catalog summary)



 

Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop: 'tis the Season to Be Deadly : Stories of Mistletoe and Mayhem From 17 Masters of Suspense
Each year, for the past seventeen years, Otto Penzler, owner of the legendary Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, has commissioned an original story by a leading mystery writer. The requirements were that it be a mystery/ crime/suspense story, that it be set during the Christmas season, and that at least some of the action must take place in The Mysterious Bookshop. These stories were then produced as pamphlets, 1,000 copies, and given to customers of the bookstore as a Christmas present. Now, all of these stories have been collected in one volume-- Christmas at the Mysterious Bookshop . Some of the tales are humorous, others suspenseful, and still others mystifying. This charming one-of-a-kind collection is a perfect Christmas gift, appropriate for all ages and tastes.Contributors include: Mary Higgins Clark, Ed McBain, Anne Perry, S. J. Rozan, Jonathan Santlofer, Donald E. Westlake and more. (catalog summary)

 

10/18/2016 - 12:41am
Cover to The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Before reading The Book That Matters Most and seeing the list its book club picked, think about the book that matters most to you. I asked several friends and the members of my book group. The books they came up with were also Ann Hood’s choices.

At the beginning of the novel, Ava is lonely and angry. Her do-gooder husband has left her for a yarn bomber, for goodness sakes! She makes huge yarn objects to make political and social statements. Her children, Will and Maggie, are living abroad. Her daughter is a lost soul and trying to find herself in Paris.

10/14/2016 - 12:38am
If you like The Shining by Stephen King

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 Shining by Stephen King
Jack Torrance's new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he'll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote--and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old. (catalog summary)
 

If you like Stephen King, read some of his other popular horror novels:

 

Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget. (catalog summary)

 

 

Cujo By Stephen King
It happens innocently enough, but doesn't it always. A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind. (catalog summary)

 

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