Books and Reading

10/12/2011 - 1:00pm
Books by Janet Evanovich

 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.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich: "Watch out, world. Here comes Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie's opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey.She's a product of the "burg," a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six.Now Stephanie's all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad's, doing her best to sever the world's longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case.Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures her new pal, fearless bounty hunter Ranger, can teach her what it takes to catch a crook.Her first assignment: nail Joe Morelli, a former vice cop on the run from a charge of murder one."

If you like Janet Evanovich's character Stephanie Plum and want some other book suggestions with plucky, smart mouthed gals, have we got some suggestions for you! All of these characters are the type you just KNOW you could be good friends to bond with over pizza and beer!

Most of these titles are parts of a series. To see the titles in series order, you might want to check out "What's Next," a database maintained by the Kent District Library in Michigan. This is a wonderful and easy to use way to find out the exact order for series. Go to http://www.kdl.org and click on the "What's Next" link.


A is For Alibi by Sue Grafton
Sue Grafton's "alphabet" mysteries featuring P.I. Kinsey Millhone are popular favorites. Kinsey is woman you'd like to know.

 

 


Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton
Agatha Raisin is a middle-aged businesswoman who decides to chuck it all and move to a cottage in the Cotswolds. She finds that a bucolic life in the English coutnryside is not her style, but luckily a murder stirs things up in the village.

 

 

03/25/2011 - 9:06am
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

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.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb: "'Mine is a story of craving: an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered....' Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Beached like a whale in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallmomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally rolls into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance beforereallygoing belly up.In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years. At once a fragile girl and a hard-edged cynic, so tough to love yet so inimitably lovable, Dolores is as poignantly real as our own imperfections." (Book Summary)

If you liked "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb, you may enjoy these titles:

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
"Greenville County, South Carolina, a wild, lush place, is home to the Boatwright family-rough-hewn men who drink hard and shoot up each other's trucks, and indomitable women who marry young and age all too quickly. At the heart of this astonishing novel is Ruth Anne Boatwright, known simply as Bone, a South Carolina bastard with an annotated birth certificate to tell the tale. Observing everything with the mercilessly keen eye of a child, Bone finds herself caught in a family triangle that will test the loyalty of her mother, Anney. Her stepfather, Daddy Glen, calls Bone "cold as death, mean as a snake, and twice as twisty," yet Anney needs Glen. At first gentle with Bone, Daddy Glen becomes steadily colder and more furious-until their final, harrowing encounter, from which there can be no turning back."-catalog summary

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen.
Fran is on the run from the husband who loves her - and beats her.


 

10/12/2011 - 12:20pm
If you like The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

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 Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd "explores a young girl's search for the truth about her mother; her courage to tear down racial barriers; and her joy as she claims her place within a community of women." If you like The Secret Life of Bees, you may also like these suggestions:

Bean TreesThe Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
"Feisty Marietta Greer changes her name to "Taylor'' when her car runs out of gas in Taylorville, Ill. By the time she reaches Oklahoma, this strong-willed young Kentucky native with a quick tongue and an open mind is catapulted into a surprising new life. Taylor leaves home in a beat-up '55 Volkswagen bug, on her way to nowhere in particular, savoring her freedom. But when a forlorn Cherokee woman drops a baby in Taylor's passenger seat and asks her to take it, she does. (Publishers Weekly)

 

CloverClover by Dori Sanders
"After her father dies within hours of being married to a white woman, a ten-year-old black girl learns with her new mother to overcome grief and to adjust to a new place in their rural black South Carolina community."
(Catalog Summary)


 

10/03/2016 - 12:58pm
If You Like The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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. See other book matches here.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Edmund Dantes, unjustly convicted of aiding the exiled Napoleon, escapes after fourteen years of imprisonment and seeks revenge in Paris. (catalog summary)
 

If you liked The Count of Monte Cristo, then you may also like these titles and authors.



Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Captain Alatriste is the story of a fictional seventeenth-century Spanish soldier who, after being wounded in battle during the Thirty Years' War, is forced to retire from the army. Now he lives the comparatively tame-though hardly quiet-life of a swordsman-for-hire in Madrid. (catalog summary)

 






The Eight
by Katherine Neville
Computer expert Cat Velis is hired to recover the chess pieces of the Montglane Chess Service of 1790, they have the ability to endow anyone playing with them unlimited power. (catalog summary)

 

 

07/27/2016 - 3:59pm
If you like The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

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.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons: their love, their sacrifices, their lies. (catalog summary)

Also by Hosseini, is his second book A Thousand Splendid Suns.

 

If you liked The Kite Runner, you might enjoy these other titles that also offer lots of plot twists and turns and a sprinkling of history:

Atonement by Ian McEwan
In this rich novel by the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Amsterdam, " a young girl unwittingly tells a tale that turns her family upside down. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, "Atonement" is at its center a profound--and profoundly moving--exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution. (catalog summary)
 

 


 

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
At the height of Mao's infamous Cultural Revolution, two boys are among hundreds of thousands exiled to the countryside for "re-education." The narrator and his best friend, Luo, guilty of being the sons of doctors, find themselves in a remote village where, among the peasants of Phoenix mountain, they are made to cart buckets of excrement up and down precipitous winding paths. Their meager distractions include a violin--as well as, before long, the beautiful daughter of the local tailor. But it is when the two discover a hidden stash of Western classics in Chinese translation that their re-education takes its most surprising turn. While ingeniously concealing their forbidden treasure, the boys find transit to worlds they had thought lost forever. And after listening to their dangerously seductive re-tellings of Balzac, even the Little Seamstress will be forever transformed. (catalog summary)
 

09/27/2010 - 10:47am

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.

If you enjoyed "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella for the humor, romance, and clever writing, these titles may appeal to you:

The Little Lady Agency by Hester Browne
"Melissa Romney-Jones can bake a perfect sponge cake, type her little heart out, and plan a party blindfolded. But none of that has helped her get far in life or in love. When she gets sacked -- again -- she decides to market her impeccable social skills to single men. To avoid embarrassing her father, a Member of Parliament, Melissa dons a blonde wig and becomes "Honey," a no-nonsense bombshell who helps clueless bachelors shop, entertain, and navigate social minefields. She even attends parties if a client needs a "date." But when a dashing American starts to request Honey's services on a regular basis, it's only a matter of time before Honey's and Melissa's worlds collide...."-catalog summary

Babyville by Jane Green
Bestselling author Jane Green has won the hearts of thousands of readers with her fresh take on single life and the dating jungle. Now in Babyville, she applies her golden touch to the next phase of a girl's life, in an irresistible ... novel about two young women coping with the chimes of their biological clocks, and one independent glamour-girl who tries to tune hers out. (Book Description)

07/19/2010 - 1:59pm

    Bastille Day (July 14) provides a great excuse for sharing a few French-flavored books.  Ludwig Bemelmans’ “Madeline” series, set in Paris, is just the thing for preschoolers.  The rhymed story about “twelve little girls in two straight lines,” the daring Madeline (”to the tiger in the zoo Madeline just said ‘Pooh-pooh’”), and the dramatic appendicitis attack in the middle of the night (“Miss Clavel turned on her light and said, ‘Something is not right!’”) makes a read-aloud that children will ask for over and over. 

07/21/2010 - 4:26pm

Just listen!  Barbara Kingsolver has earned a world-wide reputation for her writing, but who knew she is a fantastic reader as well?  Her performance of her newest novel, The Lacuna, kept me looking for errands to run so that I could hop back in the car to hear more.  The 16 CDs brought the story to life in a way I doubt I would have appreciated in reading the words without her voice in my head.

 The book jacket blurb summarizes the plot:

"BK takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J.Edgar Hoover ... a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identity."

True enough, but doesn't get at the nuances of character development Kingsolver accomplishes in her extended portrait of protagonist Harrison Shepherd and the people impacting his life.

Harrison Shepherd is a writer, following from boyhood that compulsion common to many writers to chronicle their days. Year in and year out Shepherd fills notebooks comprising a detailed journal of his life.  How we come to read those journals and empathize with the writer and move with him from the "interesting times" he experiences in mid-1950s Asheville, North Carolina, back to his coming of age in Mexico is to acknowledge writer Kingsolver's extraordinary skill in structuring her narrative.  On paper,  the novel is 500 pages long, yet the tension as the story develops keeps the reader [or listener] hooked. As her protagonist says, more than once, "the most important part of the story is the piece of it you don't know" --- until the end!

07/20/2010 - 11:22am

January 30, 1649, was chosen to be King Charles’ death day. Among the sober observers were tall, flaxen-haired Gideon Jukes, musketeer and spy for Cromwell’s New Army, and lovely Juliana Lovell, the still loyal though seemingly abandoned wife of a Cavalier officer.

Juliana has criss-crossed wartorn England and now lives in London on the brink of starvation with her two young boys. She has a lady’s manners but has had to develop cunning to survive her years alone while her husband serves in the King’s army. Her path crosses with Gideon’s when they both flee the Tower in the aftermath of the King's execution.
 
Their lives before the war were so very different. Gideon, rebellious son of a wealthy merchant, nonetheless was cheerfully apprenticed to a printer of many things, including seditious literature. When the call came to join Parliament’s cause with the London trained bands, he quickly volunteered, eager to get away from a strange and unpleasant marriage. Without family and in need of a protector, Juliana had wed a trickster, a lesser noble, who fascinated her and kept her true to him despite their years apart.
 
Rebels and Traitors is a massive novel—nearly 750 pages—set in a time most Americans know little about. But they should and this story is an engrossing way to immerse oneself in a time every bit as exciting and compelling as the American Civil War or the French Revolution. Those who enjoy James Michener’s historical sagas and Bernard Cornwell’s military tales of the British past should find summer solace in this lengthy tale. The pacing fluctuates between battles and sackings of towns--punctuated with periods of domestic normality, friendships, love, and even humor.
09/20/2016 - 12:34pm
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

 by Jacob Puckett, an 11 year-old guest reviewer

"Deep within me, words pile up in huge drifts. Mountains of phrases and sentences and connected ideas. Clever expressions. Jokes. Love songs....
 
...But only in my head.

I have never spoken one single word. I am almost eleven years old." (Excerpt from Chapter 1)
 
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is a striking book about a girl named Melody Brooks who has cerebral palsy, a disease that disables you so you can’t walk, can’t control your body movements, and, most frustrating to Melody, can’t talk. Every "normal" kid at school thinks that all the "special" kids are either dumb as dirt, crazy, or both! But most kids don’t know that just because you can’t speak or walk doesn’t mean that you’re not smart.
 

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