November Reading Resolutions…When I Was Growing Up

Relive your favorite decade with November's Reading Resolutions challenge; read a book set in the decade in which you grew up. Whether it's your childhood, teen years, or young adulthood, let a book transport you to a simpler (or maybe not so simple) time in the past.

 

Our online catalog includes books set in decades from the 1920s through the 2000s. You'll find selections from every genre: classic literature, thrillers, heartwarming gentle reads, romance, horror and more. Browse the collection, or come into the Adult Services Department at the Main Library on Harnish Drive, and check out the books on our monthly Reading Resolutions Display. You can also give us a call, and ask an Adult Services staff member for suggested reads set in your favorite decade.

When you've finished your book, enter the title in Beanstack and activate this badge. You'll be entered  into our monthly drawing for a $10 gift card, and eligible for our year end grand prize drawing for a $100 gift card.

Read on for suggested reads for each decade!

1920s

Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg- Flagg's classic novel begins in 1929, and transports readers to the small town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, where sweet widowed Ruth, and tomboyish Idgy run the Whistle Stop Cafe. Ruth and Idgy's friendship, the community of unforgettable characters who frequent the cafe, and a very strange murder mystery inspire a lonely woman in the 1980s to see life, and herself, in a new way.

1930s

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert- Growing up in the 1930s, for Toni, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. She and her brother help their parents at the stand where they sell homemade French fries amid the roar of the Cyclone roller coaster. There is also the lure of the world’s biggest salt-water pool, complete with divers whose astonishing stunts inspire Toni to take on impossible feats of her own.  Evocative and moving, Palisades Park takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler—except, of course, it wasn't.

1940s

The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman. In November 1941, Army Corps nurse Eva Cassidy is stunned by the splendor of Pearl Harbor; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a navy intelligence officer, who clearly has secrets of his own. When Clark warns Eva that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

 

1950s

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín- Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. An Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America--to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland." Eilis finds work in a department store, and when she least expects it, love. Tony, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future

1960s

Downtown by Anne Rivers Siddons- The year is 1966, a time of innocence, possibility, and freedom. And for Atlanta, the country, and one woman making her way in a changing world, nothing will be the same . . .

After an airless childhood in Savannah, Smoky O'Donnell arrives in Atlanta, dazzled and chastened by this hectic young city on the rise. Her new job as a writer with the city's Downtown magazine introduces her to many unforgettable people and propels her into the center of momentous events that will irrevocably alter her heart, her career, and her world.

1970s

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid- In 1970s LA, everyone knows Daisy Jones. She's been sneaking into clubs on the Strip since her teens, and while the sex and drugs are thrilling,  it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

1980s

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard- In 1980s Austin, Sean Suh, just released from a psychiatric prison,  is determined to stay away from temptation. But he can't resist Annabelle, who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he's desperately trying to be. Then Annabelle disappears.

Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened then he’s able to remember?

1990s

How To Be Famous by Caitlin Moran-  Johanna Morrigan  has it all:  she lives in  London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. The man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994’s hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will write a monthly column, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. But as Johanna’s own star rises, she begins to realize that with celebrity comes sacrifice, and hers may mean giving up the one person she was determined to keep.

2000s

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer- Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

October Reading Resolutions…Read A Scary Book

October is here, and it's time to pair that Pumpkin Spice Latte with a tasty, and terrifying read.

While every Reading Resolution challenge encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, picking up a horror novel can really feel that way.  Of course, you're free to choose something a bit less scary. Cozy mysteries work just fine, as do thrillers, spooky classics, haunted histories, and true crime.

But if you're  in the mood for a good scare, the horror fans among the Adult Services staff are happy to offer suggestions. Read on, if you dare. You can also visit our special online catalog to place an item on hold, or browse more selections on the pop-up display at the Main Library.

Be sure to check off this badge in the Reading Resolutions challenge in Beanstack, to be entered into our monthly drawing.

Curiously Creepy

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage - Suzette loves her daughter Hanna, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband is both menacing and alluring.  Even of the house begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. As Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

Twisted Twists

Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - The lives of the Barretts are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With Marjorie's father out of work and bills looming, the family soon find themselves the unwitting stars a hit reality television show. When events explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. A mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid - In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

Horribly Humorous and Gloriously Gross

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare - Quinn and her father moved to Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

The Gates by John Connolly - A boy and his dog are trick or treating and witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out. Can one small boy defeat evil?

Don't Turn Off The Lights!

It by Stephen King -Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real. The seven friends were teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher - When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. Mouse stumbles across a journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you.

September Reading Resolutions…Read A Literary Classic

It’s Back to School season, and no matter how long ago you graduated, this time of year beckons us to settle into a new routine, and create new habits.

Since Reading Resolutions is all about our reading habits, there’s no better time than September to tackle a literary classic. It might be a book you read in school and loved. It might be one you didn’t like as a student, but want to give another try. It might be a book first published hundreds of years ago– or twenty years ago. It might be a graphic novel, or even a childhood favorite.

You see, literary classics don’t have to be old, boring, or hard to read. They can be suspenseful, or scary. Some are even funny! Here are a few suggestions  from our online literary classics catalog that might surprise you. To place one on hold, give the title a click. Find more great reads by browsing the catalog, or come into the library and check out the new Reading Resolutions display in the Adult Services Department. Old favorite, or new discovery…the choice is yours.

Jurassic Park (1991) by Michael Crichton – What happens when an entrepreneur decides to create the world’s most astonishing theme park, full of genetically-cloned dinosaurs? If you’ve seen the movie, you already know things go horribly wrong. The novel packs all the action and thrills of the film, but is also full of fascinating scientific detail that make a Michael Crichton novel like no other.  The New York Times calls it “full of suspense.” Jurassic Park is a classic by a one-of-a-kind author at the top of his game.

 

 

The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller- Time Magazine calls The Dark Knight Returns one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of All Time, in a reboot of one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created. Ten years after the Dark Knight’s retirement, Gotham City has gone to rot.  Mysterious millionaire Bruce Wayne must resurrect his crime-fighting alter ego Batman against a new generation of criminals. He’s joined by a new Robin, a young girl named Carrie Kelley, who is every bit the equal of her predecessor.

 

Ramona the Pest (1968) by Beverly Cleary- A childhood classic, this is the story of kindergartner Ramona Quimby, who is determined to make her mark. When her efforts to be the best kindergartner EVER backfire, she’ll do anything to salvage the school year.  Joined by her sister Beezus, her best friend/worst enemy Henry Huggins, her long-suffering parents, and a green-haired doll named Chevrolet, Ramona’s laugh out loud adventures make this a book a timeless favorite.

 

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994) by John Berendt- A classic read for true-crime fans, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is more than the story of a murder; it’s a depiction of one of America’s most unique cities, Savannah, Georgia. The sprawling cast includes society ladies, drag queens, gigolos, debutantes, and a voodoo priestess, all offering their perspective on a mystery that gripped the city for a decade.

 

Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch- From true crime, to fictional, this dark, creepy novel was inspired by legendary serial killer Ed Gein and became Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous film. Motel manager Norman Bates lives with his mother in an old house behind the Bates Motel. Too bad Mother has been dead for twenty years. When a beautiful, and desperate young woman checks into the Bates Motel, Norman’s tempted. Good thing Mother, and her butcher knife, are there to protect him.

 

 

Don’t forget to update your Reading Resolutions page in Beanstack by highlighting this month’s activity badge, to be entered into our end of the month drawing for a $10 gift card. Need help? Give us a call!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Reading Resolutions…The Great Outdoors

Whether its an epic excursion on the high seas, a journey to the deep woods, mountain tops or the land down under, reading can take you on an unforgettable adventure!

Though summer is winding down, you can still enjoy a wild reading getaway, with our August Reading Resolution challenge, The Great Outdoors.

In addition to real-life stories of wilderness exploration and survival, Westerns, and classics such as James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, or Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, you can choose romantic beach reads, horror, thrillers, science fiction, and literary fiction titles. Non-fiction books are a great choice too; including those addressing climate change, marine biology, botany, and other topics related to the natural world.

Here are a few suggested titles:

Literary Fiction

News of the World by Paulette Jiles – In the aftermath of the Civil War, an itinerant news reader is offered fifty dollars to bring an orphan girl, who was kidnapped and raised by Kiowa raiders, from Wichita Falls back to her relatives in San Antonio. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous.  Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

 

 

 

 

Relationship Fiction

Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe- In the summer of 1974, Charleston socialite Olivia “Lovey” Rutledge takes refuge from social pressures, and her philandering husband at her family’s rustic beach cottage. There, she pursues her passion for studying loggerhead sea turtles, earning her the nickname, Turtle Lady. When biologist Russell Bennett visits to research the loggerheads, their shared interest and knowledge brings them together, and blossoms into love, forcing Lovie to an agonizing decision.

 

 

 

 

 

Non-Fiction

 Atlas of a Lost World: Travels In Ice Age America by Craig Childs- A vivid travelogue through pre-history, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago, and describes the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light

 

 

 

To help you find more books, we’ve created a special online catalog.  Our monthly Reading Resolution display in the Adult Services section has plenty of suggested reads as well. For even more outdoorsy books, be be sure to check out the Hot Days/Cool Reads display near the Reference Desk. Don’t forget to to track your Reading Resolution reads in Beanstack, so you’re eligible for our monthly prize drawing, and for our large drawing at the end of the Reading Resolution Challenge. Not sure how? Give the Adult Services department a call.

Find this badge in your Beanstack account.  Enter the title of the Great Outdoors book you read to change it to color, and be entered in our prize drawings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July Reading Resolutions…#OWNVOICES

July’s Reading Resolutions theme is more than a trending hashtag. #OWNVOICES is a broad description for stories of marginalized people, told by authors from those same groups. It’s not only about celebrating diversity in our communities, and our reading choices,  it’s also a way to gain new perspectives and appreciation for those who have been traditionally under-represented.

Our #OWNVOICES online catalog includes fiction and non-fiction written by authors of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, and those with disabilities. The books cut across genre, and include everything from contemporary rom-coms, to hilarious memoirs, science fiction, thrillers, and more. Read on for genre-based suggestions:

If you love romance, try You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria. After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez returns to New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy. A casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez, who is worried about his career after his last telenovela character was killed off. A disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had, so Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. Rehearsal leads to kissing, kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. Will the media spotlight on Jasmine destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret?

Horror fans won’t want to miss Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic.  After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Noemí is an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid. Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

A gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood is the sinister setting for Alyssa Cole’s best-selling thriller, When No One Is Watching. Sydney Green’s  beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block–her neighbor Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised. When does coincidence become conspiracy? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other–or themselves–long enough to find out before they, too, disappear?

Groundbreaking science fiction author Octavia Butler’s  work has proven to be chillingly accurate, and her dystopian “Parable” books depict climate change, political extremism, domestic terrorism and more. In The Parable of the Sower, (1993) in 2025, Lauren Olamina and her family live behind the walls of their defended enclave, where Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of others try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

Comedian Jessi Klein’s memoir You’ll Grow Out of It offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories–a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her “transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man, ” attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called “ma’am” and “miss” (“Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds”).

Want more suggestions? Stop by the display in the Adult Services department, or ask a staff member for help. And don’t forget to  count your Reading Resolutions books toward Summer Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a Summer Psychological Thriller with the latest Big Library Read!

Ready to kick back with a thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night?  Then grab a copy of The Quiet Girl, the latest selection for the Big Library Read, the world’s largest digital book club.

From June 28- July 12, AAPLD cardholders can borrow the ebook from our OverDrive/Libby digital collection with no holds or waiting.  Share your thoughts on social media using  #biglibraryread and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a tablet and a copy of the book signed by the author.

The Quiet Girl, the debut novel by S.F. Kosa, begins when Alex, a struggling businessman, arrives at the cottage kept by his novelist wife Mina as a writing retreat,  to try to salvage their marriage. He finds an empty wine glass, Mina’s wedding ring, and a chilling unpublished manuscript unlike anything Mina has ever written. The police believe that Mina has simply left, but Alex soon discovers other clues in the cottage that signal a disturbing reality: Mina has always had a secret. As Alex searches for the truth, he encounters a mysterious young woman named Layla, who has information to share that might hold the key to Mina’s secrets. To find his missing wife, Alex must face what Layla has forgotten.

Author S.F. Kosa is a clinical psychologist with a fascination for the seedy underbelly of the human psyche. Though The Quiet Girl is her debut psychological suspense novel, writing as Sarah Fine, she is the author of over two dozen fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels, several of which have been translated into multiple languages.

Kirkus calls The Quiet Girl “a twisty and poignant debut,” and Publisher’s Weekly says, “Kosa does a masterly job of weaving together two versions of reality,” that fans of Alfred Hitchcock won’t want to miss.

“For me, reading has always been both an engine of imagination and thought as well as a place of rest and delight. And for the last decade or so, writing has been as well, which is why I am so incredibly honored that Overdrive selected The Quiet Girl as one of its Big Library Reads,” says Kosa, in a statement from Overdrive.

The Big Library Read is the world’s largest digital book club, with over 20,000 libraries participating. Between June 28 and July 12, library card holders can download copies of The Quiet Girl with no waiting. After reading, check out the discussion questions (click here to download) and share your thoughts on The Big Library Read discussion board. And join the Professional Book Nerds podcasters for a free live conversation and Q&A session with S.F. Kosa, on Wednesday, July 7, at 11 am, central.  Click here to register.

If you haven’t used Libby or Overdrive previously, install the free app to get started. You’ll find instructions here. Download your copy, join the fun, and get caught up in this compelling summer read!

June Reading Resolutions…Read a Romance novel or Love story

Summer lovin’… brides and grooms… the moon in June makes you swoon… if there’s a better month than June to fall in love with a romantic read, we don’t know what it is! That’s why the June Reading Resolutions challenge is to read a romance novel or love story.

If you’re new to romance fiction, you might not be aware that there is a difference between Romance novels and love stories, but the proof is in the book’s ending.

Romance novels end with the couple together, enjoying their Happily Ever After (or in the case of teens, Happy For Now). Well-known Romance authors include Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Palmer, and Debbie Macomber, as well as newcomers such as Farrah Rochon, Helen Hoang, Alyssa Cole and Casey McQuiston.

Find this badge in your Beanstack account. Enter the title of the Romance book you read to change it to color

Love stories… well, just like Erich Segal’s famous 1970 novel “Love Story,” the endings may be bittersweet or even tragic.  Authors known for tearjerker love stories include JoJo Moyes, Jill Santopolo, Nicholas Sparks and John Green. (Danielle Steel and Rainbow Rowell write both HEAs and bittersweet endings). Classics such as Wuthering Heights, and Romeo and Juliet are both considered love stories.

Even if the ending isn’t in doubt, romance fiction offers readers a whirlwind emotional ride, unforgettable characters, and books that cover a variety of settings and subgenres, including contemporary, historical, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, young adult, and inspirational. Some are G-rated, others have more explicit content, so if you’re unsure, an Adult Services staff member can help steer you in the right direction.

We’ve set up a Reading Resolutions online catalog to help your browse from home, and a special display in the Adult Services department, to help you find a book you’ll fall in love with.

Already a Romance fan? Consider joining AAPLD’s Happily Ever After book club, for fans of Romance novels, women’s fiction and chick lit. The group meets the third Monday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. June’s read is the futuristic romantic suspense novel Naked In Death, by J.D. Robb, the first book in the long-running bestselling “In Death” series. Click here to register.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June Reading Resolutions…Read a Romance novel or Love story

Summer lovin’… brides and grooms… the moon in June makes you swoon… if there’s a better month than June to fall in love with a romantic read, we don’t know what it is! That’s why the June Reading Resolutions challenge is to read a romance novel or love story.

If you’re new to romance fiction, you might not be aware that there is a difference between Romance novels and love stories, but the proof is in the book’s ending.

Romance novels end with the couple together, enjoying their Happily Ever After (or in the case of teens, Happy For Now). Well-known Romance authors include Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Nora Roberts, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Palmer, and Debbie Macomber, as well as newcomers such as Farrah Rochon, Helen Hoang, Alyssa Cole and Casey McQuiston.

Find this badge in your Beanstack account. Enter the title of the Romance book you read to change it to color

Love stories… well, just like Erich Segal’s famous 1970 novel “Love Story,” the endings may be bittersweet or even tragic.  Authors known for tearjerker love stories include JoJo Moyes, Jill Santopolo, Nicholas Sparks and John Green. (Danielle Steel and Rainbow Rowell write both HEAs and bittersweet endings). Classics such as Wuthering Heights, and Romeo and Juliet are both considered love stories.

Even if the ending isn’t in doubt, romance fiction offers readers a whirlwind emotional ride, unforgettable characters, and books that cover a variety of settings and subgenres, including contemporary, historical, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, young adult, and inspirational. Some are G-rated, others have more explicit content, so if you’re unsure, an Adult Services staff member can help steer you in the right direction.

We’ve set up a Reading Resolutions online catalog to help your browse from home, and a special display in the Adult Services department, to help you find a book you’ll fall in love with.

Already a Romance fan? Consider joining AAPLD’s Happily Ever After book club, for fans of Romance novels, women’s fiction and chick lit. The group meets the third Monday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. May’s read is the futuristic romantic suspense novel Naked In Death, by J.D. Robb, the first book in the long-running bestselling “In Death” series. Click here to register.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May Reading Resolutions…Read a Young Adult book

Graduation season is almost here, so May is a great month to reflect on transitions; from middle school to high school, and from high school into the world beyond—whether that’s college, a job or another sort of adventure.

It’s also a great month to pick up a Young Adult fiction or non-fiction title.

Find this badge in your Beanstack account. Enter the title of the Young Adult book you read to change it to color

Adults, whose coming of age years may be decades in the past, especially those who don’t have teens of their own, may not realize how enjoyable these books can be. But since the goal of Reading Resolutions is to encourage readers to try new and unfamiliar genres, here are a few reasons to give YA a try, courtesy of YA author Janae Marks:

The books are entertaining! Since teens have so many distractions, including the ability to stream a hit movie or TV series straight from their phone, YA books need to grab and hold their attention. In addition to being page-turners, the stories also offer well-developed and relatable characters, compelling plots and vivid world building, which can make a reader feel like they’re living the story, right along with the characters.

They tackle complex themes. Like novels written for adults, YA fiction deals with serious themes, such as substance abuse, sexuality, racism, mental health, suicide, and violence at home, school and on the streets. At the same time, the serious topics are usually balanced by an uplifting, rather than cynical, tone. While the stories and endings aren’t always happy, readers can walk away feeling hopeful.

They’re often “clean” reads. Though there’s frequently a romantic element in YA fiction, books written for teens generally don’t have on-page sex scenes, or excessive swearing. While individual authors may include edgier content, it’s likely to be less explicit than what you’d find in adult genres. In addition, friendships and family ties are as likely as first love, to be at the emotional heart of a YA novel.

Want to know more? Check out Janae’s post here, or visit our online YA catalog to reserve your May Young Adult selection.

Already a YA fan? Consider joining AAPLD’s Forever Young book club, for adult fans of Young Adult literature. The group meets virtually, the second Monday of each month, at 6:30 p.m. May’s read is Kent State, by Deborah Wiles. Click here to register.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Reading Resolutions…Let’s Get Graphic!

This month’s Reading Resolutions challenge is to read a graphic novel or Manga. While our library has an excellent collection in our Young Adult/Teen area, these books might be less familiar to adult readers.

If you’re wondering what a graphic novel is, the simple answer is that it’s a story told through illustrations. While most people are familiar with comic books, and graphic novels are often referred to as comics, the label is deceptive.  Graphic novels can cover all genres of literature, (including non-fiction!) and aren’t limited to traditional comic book/super hero fare. Graphic novels can also include serialized works, and even illustrated versions of popular novels.

Find this badge in your Beanstack account. Enter the title of the Graphic Novel you read to change it to color

Manga are Japanese graphic novels and are read from right to left. Manga have a distinctive artistic style and are most often serialized into multi-volume stories.

We’ve created a special collection of graphic novels, which you can browse here , and we’ve also highlighted a few selections by genre. We’re sure you’ll find a great read, but if you’d like a recommendation, be sure to give us a call.

General Fiction

The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard – In this collection of evocative, unnerving slice-of-life horror, five stories explore what happens when one is desperate enough to seek solace in the unnatural, and what might be waiting for us at the Crossroads at Midnight.

Blankets by Craig Thompson – Loosely based on the author’s life, chronicling his journey from childhood to adulthood, exploring the people, experiences, and beliefs that he encountered along the way.

Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger – It’s February 12, 1947 and the cráeme de la cráeme of Paris Haute Couture is flocking to the momentous event of Dior’s first show. Clara, a freshly hired chronicler, is our guide in the busy corridors of the brand new house of Christian Dior. In a flurry of corolla shaped skirts, the parade of models file down the runway. Dior’s career is launched and Clara’s story begins when she is picked by Dior himself to be his model.

Victor and Nora: A Gotham Love Story by Lauren Myracle – Victor is mourning the death of his brother, and Nora is coping with the illness she knows will eventually kill her. Readers looking for a tragic romance with moral ambiguities, even those unfamiliar with the DC universe, will appreciate this backstory of one of Gotham’s most notorious criminals.

 

Autobiography and Non- Fiction

March by John Lewis – A  first-hand account of Congressman John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel – Author and cartoonist Bechdel tells of her childhood with a closeted gay father, who ran a funeral parlor. The book is the basis for a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

Persepolis: the story of a childhood by Marjane Satrapi –The great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions between public and private life.

The Beast of Chicago by Rick Geary – The true-crime tale of early 20th century serial killer Herman Mudgett, better known as H.H. Holmes, who was the inspiration for the book The Devil In White City.

 

Novel to Graphic Novel Adaptations

The Giver by Lois Lowry – Now in graphic novel format, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal–winning classic story of a young boy discovering the dark secrets behind his seemingly ideal world is accompanied by renowned artist P.Craig Russell’s beautifully haunting illustrations.

Octavia Butler’s Kindred by Damian Duffy – Dana is a 1970s black woman repeatedly and involuntarily whisked back in time to a nineteenth-century plantation, where she becomes embroiled in the lives of the people enslaved there, risking everything by educating their children, even as she forms an uneasy and dangerous relationship with her own white ancestor.

Anne Frank’s Diary by Ari Folman – Authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation, this volume beautifully brings to life the inhabitants of the Secret Annex. Although this account has not been adapted verbatim, owing to length, Folman and Polonsky effectively convey the material, and the visuals capture the heartbreak of families in prolonged hiding.