Category: Chick Lit
Spending some time at the beach? Have a look a this web site:
Top Books to Read at the Beach
Here is one of the titles mentioned:
Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews
Summary: To survive, Savannah Belle BeBe Loudermilk is reduced to spiffing up a broken-down motorcourt - the one thing her slick-talking boyfriend didn't steal from her. When she hears he's back in the area, she gathers her friends and plots a very neat sting. Library Journal
For Mystery Beach Reads, check out this blog post on the Murder by the Book mystery fiction blog.
Check out the New Book Releases Page on the RPL website.
New Fiction for July includes:
Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank
Here's what the Publisher's Weekly review had to say:
Frank's latest novel displays a rare talent that fans will welcome. Cate's philandering husband has died, leaving her nothing, and the entire contents of her sizable home have been repossessed. She returns to her relatives in Charleston hoping to get a grip on what has happened and on what comes next. Cate's new life with her firecracker of an aunt in the South is told primarily through hilarious and engaging dialogue with family and friends, with a smattering of seriousness along the way. The recently widowed protagonist's journey to rediscovering joy and love will thrill readers, especially with the addition of a suavely integrated story-within-a-story involving a one-woman play about the lovers who wrote Porgy and Bess. There's a certain authenticity to the lives Frank tells that will resonate with many women. Frank's telling of this tale will help readers celebrate love and sexuality after 60.
2011 Women’s Fiction Reading List Winner
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announced the winners of its annual Reading List awards in several categories, including Women’s Fiction, for books published last year.
Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson
Summary: Recently widowed Glory Solomon collects stray animals and damaged souls. Facing bankruptcy, she creates a new life catering themed weddings. This deeply felt yet unsentimental novel explores grief, healing, and second chances.
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
Summary: Four months after her husband's death, Janie LaMarche remains undone by grief and anger. Her mourning is disrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival of a builder with a contract to add a porch onto her house. Stunned, Janie realizes the porch was meant to be a surprise from her husband—now his last gift to her. As she reluctantly allows construction to begin, Janie clings to the familiar outposts of her sorrow—mothering her two small children with fierce protectiveness, avoiding friends and family, and stewing in a rage she can't release.
The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch by Marsha Moyer
Summary: Lucy Hatch never expected more of life than to spend it on an East Texas farm with her silent and stoic husband, Mitchell. Now that the curtain has abruptly come down, she's back where it all started -- in tiny Mooney -- living in a rundown old house perched on the edge of nowhere, meaning to carry out her widowhood in the manner of her old maid Aunt Dove, in peaceful solitude. But life, and the folks of Mooney, have other plans for Lucy.
The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle
Summary: Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care.
One Day by David Nicholls
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself. Synopsis from Amazon.ca
Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray
Life has suddenly become vastly more complicated for Ruth - her hospital administrator husband is laid off, she misses her son who is newly away at college, and her sixteen-year-old daughter is sullen and moody. Ruth's mother has lived with the family for a couple of years after a break-in made her fearful of living alone - and now Ruth's estranged lounge-pianist father calls to say that both his wrists are badly broken, and he will need to stay with them until he has healed.
Ruth has always baked cakes to relieve her anxieties, and with this perfect storm of events, her therapeutic cake-baking ramps up in response. Her father's occupational therapist issues Ruth a challenge - why doesn't she start her own business? Soon, the whole family is involved in the new enterprise, with some interesting results.
The Dewey Dames read this for their May title, with the full realization that this would be a fun, frothy read. Our expectations were met, and we all enjoyed reading the book. Some of the characters were quite well-developed; the interplay between Ruth's long-estranged parents learning to live in the same household again was particularly charming.
Ruth's husband Sam seemed the most one-dimensional of the characters, and his efforts to find meaning in life never quite got off the ground, making the denouement of the book a little on the flat side.
Some book club members also thought that the about-face behavior of the daughter was not adequately explored or explained.
Those of us who love to bake (or eat) very much enjoyed going to Ruth's safe place in the tunnels of cakey goodness, and described the book as "cake porn."
One of our members baked the pistachio cake from the recipes included in the back of the book, and it was mighty fine. It would be fun, if you had sufficiently motivated book club members, to try some of the more elaborate cake recipes as well.
Review: Sheila Roberts' Angel Lane
Angel Lane by Sheila Roberts
Summary: Keep the heart in Heart Lake. That’s exactly what three small-town shop owners hope to do when they launch their crazy-ambitious “Have a Heart” campaign — asking neighbors to commit one random act of kindness every day. However, for shop owners Emma, Sarah, and Jamie, their good intentions may bring more heartache than they bargained for...
May's Review: Okay so in the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I ended up crying towards the end of the book.
Most times, I get teary-eyed especially if the beloved heroine is on her deathbed (e.g. Judith McNaught's Something Wonderful), but for some strange reason, I had tears flowing down my face when one of the lead characters was going through her personal crisis in the book. I am not saying this is a sad book. In fact, it's pretty much standard chick-lit fare that is highly reminiscent of Debbie Macomber's novels. In fact, Angel Lane has a little bit of everything that will appeal to Macomber fans--romance, female friendship, civic action in the form of small good deeds and of course, a touch of humour. If you like Debbie Macomber's Twenty Wishes, then be sure to check out Roberts' Angel Lane.
P.S. We often remember the last time we cried when watching a movie, but do you remember the last you cried while reading a book? I dare you to post the name of the book that made you cry in our comments section.
Not as Fabulous as We'd Hoped
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
We picked this title for the first book club meeting of the Dewey Dames - a group of library workers with a serious reading habit. We selected it as our first read because the premise seemed intriguing.
Fifty-six-year-old Annie Freeman has recently died, and has left instructions and arrangements for five of her closest friends to travel around the United States to learn more about Annie's life history, and to have a chance to form new, deep, friendships.
We fully anticipated that there would be laughter, tears, and a message about the importance of maintaining personal relationships, and of enjoying life while you are living it.
What we didn't anticipate was having these messages repeated ad nauseum; both the gist of the plot and the writing style were overdone and belaboured the obvious. I personally felt that there was an unrealistic amount of crying among the book's characters; others felt that it WAS a funeral, and they thought it reflected how they would respond in the circumstances. Another member said that she started counting the number of times the word "love" appeared on each page, and gave up in disgust.
There were some charming moments, and I found myself really wanting to like this book. I found the ending perhaps the most annoying section, as in addition to the psychological and emotional benefts that were expected to occur by the end of the "traveling funeral", there were also material benefits.
Mysterious stranger, upgrades in hotels and restaurants, free flights for another journey, and a triumphalist airplane take-over where one of the passengeres shanghais the airline host's microphone to congratulate the funeral members on how they have changed the lives of all the in-flight passengers and the other passengers who were also stranded overnight at the airport.... Yes, it's fiction, but this just didn't ring true to any of us.[Perhaps because we are more repressed and somewhat more cynical Canadians, not Americans?]
One member offered the idea that perhaps each member of the traveling funeral was intended to represent one facet of Annie's personality, and another thought that perhaps the entire plot was intended as a metaphor for the choices each of us must make on our life's journey.
Regardless, this wasn't an enjoyable read for our group, so we would suggest that you only tackle it if you are fond of Harlequin romances or Dr. Wayne Dyer-type books.
From the Book to the Big Screen
Confessions of a Shopaholic
By Sophie Kinsella
Recent graduate and financial writer, Rebecca Bloomwood, is up to her head in debt. When her imaginative excuses run out, and she can no longer ignore the grim letters regarding the state of her account, Becky decides she must take action in order to secure her financial future.
A damsel in a commercialized distress, a wealthy, good-looking prince charming, and a happily ever after: this book is a fairy tale for adults. Confessions of a Shopaholic sums up all of the lame excuses we use to justify the purchases we really don’t need. If you’re looking for something shallow, humorous, and really light, this would be the book to wile away the hours.
Confessions of a Shopaholic the movie will be coming to theaters on February 13, 2009 starring Isla Fisher and Hugh Dancy.
See ya at the theaters!!
Posted by the Rogue Reader
The Time Traveler’s Wife
By Audrey Niffenegger
When Henry meets Clare, he is 28 and she is 20. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was 6. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare’s attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. The Time Traveler’s Wife is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it’s about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time. (Book Description)
My Review: All I can say is wow! that was probably the most original novel I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife but I found it to be really sad in a there's-no-such-thing-as-a-happy-ending sort of way, especially when the love story started out so beautifully. To be fair, I think the novel can be split into two parts: the fairy tale beginning when everything in a relationship is fresh and new and perfect (which I savored); then reality sets in during the second part of the novel when the trials and tribulations of time travel, maturity and life become evident (which harshly threw me into the real world but was enjoyable nonetheless). Niffenegger writes with such originality and vividness, it’s hard to put this one down.
The Time Traveler's Wife is currently being made into a motion picture. Eric Bana will be starring as Henry and Canada's very own Rachel McAdams will be taking on the role of Clare Abshire. So far the release date is unknown.
The Rogue Reader
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
From the book:
Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother…
Fleeing a life of bad luck and big mistakes, Della Lee has decided Josey’s clandestine closet is the safest place to crash. In return she’s going to change Josey’s life—because, clearly, it is not the closet of a happy woman. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey is soon forgoing pecan rolls and caramels, tapping into her startlingly keen feminine instincts, and finding her narrow existence quickly expanding.
Before long, Josey bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who makes the best sandwiches in town, is hounded by books that inexplicably appear whenever she needs them, and—most amazing of all—has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush.
As little by little Josey dares to step outside herself, she discovers a world where the color red has astonishing power, passion can make eggs fry in their cartons, and romance can blossom at any time—even for her. It seems that Della Lee’s work is done, and it’s time for her to move on. But the truth about where she’s going, why she showed up in the first place—and what Chloe has to do with it all—is about to add one more unexpected chapter to Josey’s fast-changing life.
Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.
I LOVED this book. I was a little hesitant going in though, as I'd had trouble getting into Allen's first book Garden Spells, and never did quite finish it. But this one was as sweet as the title implied, full of magic, romance and friendship it was a delightful late summer, chick-lit read that I could not put down and was sad to finish. I found myself setting it down for the night only to open it a few minutes later just to read "one more" page. I haven't felt that way about a book in a long time.
Check out the review of Garden Spells on the Romance Blog!
--The Library Technician
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