Monday, February 27, 2017

Moonlight - Best Picture Winner at the 89th Academy Awards

Image result for moonlight poster

The Academy Award for Best Picture went to Moonlight this year, a triptych-like coming of age story of a young black man growing up in Miami. Moonlight comes out on home video tomorrow, February 28, and you can place a hold to rent a copy now: Click here to place a hold on MOONLIGHT.

If you're waiting for your copy, or saw it and want something similar, try the following titles:

Thursday, February 23, 2017

More Great Listening for Audiobook Lovers

One source for great audiobook recommendations is the recently released annual RUSA Listen List. (RUSA is a division of the American Library Association). This list highlights audiobooks with extraordinary narrations that merit special attention by a general adult audience. You can view the entire list here.

Here are some highlights from the list that you can borrow from your library. There is something for almost every audiobook listener here. 

For short story listeners from a short story master:
(available on CD and downloadable through MyMediaMall)
Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, King’s collection of career-spanning stories is read by a talented cast of actors.

For fans of historical romance:
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, narrated by Rosalyn Landor
(available on CD and downloadable through MyMediaMall)

If you enjoyed A Man Called Ove:
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick, narrated by James Langton (available on CD and downloadable through MyMediaMall and hoopla)

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey, this historical melodrama might be for you:
Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia by Julian Fellowes, narrated by Juliet Stevenson
(available on CD and downloadable through MyMediaMall)

For dog lovers:
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley, narrated by Michael Urie
(available on CD, Playaway and downloadable through MyMediaMall)
For fans of historical fiction and the American West:
News of the World by Paulette Jiles, narrated by Grover Gardner
(available on CD)

If you like your crime fiction mixed with humor:
Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen, narrated by John Rubinstein
(available on CD, Playaway and downloadable through MyMediaMall)

If you like keeping up with award-winning books:
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, narrated by Bahni Turpin
(available on CD, Playaway and downloadable through MyMediaMall)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

58th Grammy Awards

The 59th Grammy Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, February 12, 2017.  Here are the winning songs and albums in our collection.

Record of the Year/ Song of the Year/Pop Solo Performance - "Hello" - Adele
Album of the Year - 25 - Adele
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance - "Stressed Out" - Twenty One Pilots
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album - Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin - Willie Nelson
Best Pop Vocal Album - 25 - Adele
Best Dance Recording - "Don't Let Me Down" - The Chainsmokers
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album - Culcha Vulcha - Snarky Puppy
Best Rock Performance/Rock Song - "Blackstar" - David Bowie
Best Metal Performance - "Dystopia" - Megadeth
Best Rock Album - Tell Me I'm Pretty - Cage the Elephant
Best Alternative Music Album - Blackstar - David Bowie
Best R&B Performance - "Cranes in the Sky" - Solange
Best Traditional R&B Performance - "Angel" - Lalah Hathaway
Best R&B Song - "Lake by the Ocean" - Maxwell
Best Urban Contemporary Album - Lemonade - Beyoncé
Best R&B Album - Lalah Hathaway Live - Lalah Hathaway
Best Rap/Sung Performance - "Hotline Bling" - Drake
Best Rap Song - "Hotline Bling" - Drake
Best Country Solo Performance - "My Church" - Maren Morris
Best Country Song - "Humble and Kind" - Tim McGraw
Best Country Album - A Sailor's Guide to Earth - Sturgill Simpson
Best Americana Album - This Is Where I Live - William Bell
Best Bluegrass Album - Coming Home - O'Connor Band with Mark O'Connor
Best Reggae Album - Ziggy Marley - Ziggy Marley
Best World Music Album - Sing Me Home - Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
Best Spoken Word Album - In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox - Carol Burnett
Best Musical Theater Album - The Color Purple - Stephen bray, Brenda Russell & Allee Willis
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media - Miles Ahead
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media - Star Wars: The Force Awakens - John Williams, composer
Best Song Written for Visual Media - "Can't Stop the Feeling!" - Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters
Best Surround Sound Album - Dutilleux: Sur le meme accord; Les Citations; Mystere de l'instant & Timbres, espace, movement
Best Orchestral Performance - Shostakovich: Under Stalin' Shadow - Symphonies Nos. 5, 8 and 9
Best Opera Recording - Corigliano: The Ghost of Versailles
Best Choral Performance - Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance - Third Coast Percussion - Steve Reich
Best Classical Instrumental Solo/ Classical Compendium/Contemporary Classical Composition - Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album - Schumann & Berg - Dorothea Roschmann; Mitsuko Uchida

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fantasy Author Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell Kaye Hamilton, aka: Laurell Kaye Klein and was born February 19, 1963 in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Laurell grew up in Sims, Indian with her grandmother Laura Gentry.
Her education includes degrees in English and biology from Marion College (now called Indiana Wesleyan University), a private Evangelical Christian liberal arts college in Marion, Indiana. She met Gary Hamilton, whom she married, there. They have one daughter together, Trinity.
Hamilton is involved with a number of animal charities, particularly supporting dog rescue efforts and wolf preservation.
Ms. Hamilton currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her daughter Trinity, and husband Jonathon Green whom she married on 2001.
Hamilton is an American fantasy and romance writer. She is best known as the author of two series:

Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series centers on Anita Blake, a professional zombie raiser (necromancer), vampire executioner and supernatural consultant for the police. The Anita Blake Series currently has 25 book to its credit.
Merry Gentry series centers on Meredith Gentry, Princess of the Unseelie court of Faerie, a private detective facing repeated assassination attempts. Hamilton's Merry Gentry books has 8 books in the series.

Both fantasy series follow their protagonists as they gain in power and deal with the dangerous “realities” of worlds in which creatures of legend live.
Ms. Hamilton also has a Marvel comic book series called Anita Blake Vampire Hunter. She has been involved with this series since 2011.

Crimson Death is Laurell K. Hamilton's new book.
The twenty-fifth adventure, of the Anita Blake vampire hunter series.
Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.
And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.
Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer: Ireland.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Conclave by Robert Harris

I recently listened to the book Conclave by Robert Harris and narrated by Roy McMillan. The novel is a great listen and one of my favorites in the thriller genre.

This wonderfully narrated (8 hours) thriller takes us into the Sistine Chapel during the ultra-secret papal conclave. In the novel, the fictional pope has just died, and 117 or so cardinals from around the world are summoned to Rome to elect the next pope. Unbeknownst to the cardinals the now deceased pope named the Filipino Archbishop-Cardinal of Baghdad, in pectore (appointments to the College of Cardinals by the pope whose names are not publicly revealed, mostly to keep the cleric safe from persecution). In the aftermath of the pope's sudden and unexpected death rumors begin circulating that he was planning to fire a few cardinals. In charge of overseeing the papal election is the Dean of Cardinals, Cardinal Lomeli. Lomeli feels it is his duty to uncover what the pope knew before he died because some of the cardinals in question are in the running to succeed him. Tension and high suspense surround the elaborate, richly described ceremonies of each vote as secret revelations about the leading contenders surface. Once again Harris delivers a knockout of an ending.

Like Papal fiction, try one of these....

Woman of God by James Patterson (2016)
The Third Secret by Steve Berry (2006)
The Last Pope by David Osborne (2004)
The Accidental Pope by Raymond Flynn (2000)
Cardinal Galsworthy by Edward Sheehan (1997)
White Smoke by Andrew Greeley (1996)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NPR 10 Top Books Of 2016

The 10 Best Books Of 2016 Faced Tough Topics Head On
Maureen Corrigan of NPR's Fresh Air:

I hesitate to say it, but the one word that characterizes my best books of 2016 list is "serious." These books aren't grim and they're certainly not dull, but collectively they're serious about tackling big, sometimes difficult subjects — and they're also distinguished by seriously good writing. Here are Maureen Corrigan's top 10 that you shouldn't miss.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is my pick for the book of the year. When Whitehead made his debut in 1999 with The Intuitionist, he was praised for his ingenuity: After all, who thinks up a novel about elevator inspectors and race? The Underground Railroad, set in antebellum America, is every bit as imaginative, while its vision of the surreal insanity of racism is even more devastating.

Whitehead's premise is that the Underground Railroad was an actual network of trains running beneath the soil of the American South. His story follows an enslaved woman named Cora in flight from a plantation in Georgia.

Whitehead's novel bows to other great African-American writers — from Harriet Jacobs to Ralph Ellison — who've chronicled a variety of similar journeys. Yet, even in so doing, Whitehead's Underground Railroad is one of a kind.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
My pick for best debut novel of the year is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. It's a multi-generational family saga that opens in 18th century Ghana with a depiction of the slave trade among Africans.

Two half-sisters named Effia and Esi are born in different tribal villages and grow up in ignorance of each other's existence. Effia is married off to an Englishman who's the acting governor of Cape Coast Castle, one of the sites that feature an infamous "door of no return" through which captives were pushed onto ships to carry them into slavery in the New World. In a section that personalizes the malign capriciousness of the slave trade, Esi is captured in a raid and winds up in the dungeon of Cape Coast Castle, the very dungeon that her half-sister walks over daily.

Gyasi pulls her readers deep into her characters' lives through the force of her empathetic imagination.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Not to be confused with Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, Ben H. Winters' Underground Airlines approaches the topic of slavery through the genres of alternative history and noir suspense.

Winters' novel imagines the Civil War never happened and that slavery still exists on corporate plantations in some Southern states called "The Hard Four." The other states in the union have agreed that any escaped "Person Bound To Labor" must be captured and returned. That's where a bounty hunter named Victor comes in.

Victor is adept at infiltrating abolitionist groups because he's black himself; or, rather, as Victor tells us, he's "moderate charcoal" with "brass highlights," which is one of the "172 varietals of African American skin tone delineated in the US Marshals Service field guide." Victor's voice — melancholy and wry — leads us through the hunt for fugitives, as well as through the puzzle of his own identity and deeper purpose.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran
Jonathan Safran Foer's Here I Am is a thick, frenetic and deeply moving novel about a marriage and family falling apart — a personal disaster paralleled on a grand scale by a devastating earthquake in the Middle East.

The story takes place over four weeks in the life of the Bloch family of Washington, D.C. Jacob is a novelist turned television screenwriter; Julia is an architect. When Julia finds a hidden cellphone filled with erotic text messages, Jacob's affair comes to light.

Foer tells his story through an array of voices, memories and pages-long catalogs in which he riffs on everything from the contents of the Blochs' medicine cabinet to the old-fashioned and now unpopular names on the headstones in a Jewish cemetery — names like "Pincus," "Beryl," "Hymie" and "Wolf."

Foer's tone constantly slip-slides from melancholy to comedy, ultimately settling on melancholy as most fitting for the human condition.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue is just that: "a wonder" of a story about religious delusion and self-denial set in 19th century Ireland. Like her 2010 breakout novel, Room, which was also a film, The Wonder is set in a confined space, but these small rooms of Donoghue's teem with drama and great moral questions.

The story takes place in a farmer's cottage in central Ireland. An otherwise ordinary young girl claims to have been living on manna from heaven for the past four months; the British private-duty nurse who has been hired to watch her suspects a fraud. There are strains in this increasingly sinister situation of both Henry James' The Turn of the Screw and Ron Hansen's brilliant 1991 novel about female martyrdom, Mariette in Ecstasy. Donoghue manages to engage larger mysteries of faith, doubt and evil without sacrificing the lyricism of her language or the suspense of her storyline.

Lonely City by Olivia Laing
In her 2013 book, The Trip to Echo Spring, critic Olivia Laing explored the link between great writers and alcoholism; in her latest book, The Lonely City, she investigates the connection between loneliness and visual art.

Laing says her own experiences of raw loneliness made her curious about isolation and the creativity that can arise out of it. By, as the poet Adrienne Rich put it, "diving into the wreck" of artifacts like Andy Warhol's Time Capsules and scenes from Alfred Hitchcock's ultimate tribute to urban voyeurism, Rear Window, Laing illuminates the strange contours of these works. In doing so, she campaigns against what she calls "the gentrification" of cities and of emotions. By that she means "the homogenizing, whitening, deadening effect" that causes us to deny the existence of the shameful and the unwanted. The Lonely City is a provocative work of memoir, biography and criticism.

Eleanor Roosevelt: The War Years And After, 1939-1962 volume 3 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

In this third and concluding volume of her (there's no other word for it) monumental biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, the eminent feminist historian Blanche Wiesen Cook focuses on the war years.

As Franklin's attention was absorbed by World War II, Roosevelt redoubled her efforts to protect New Deal programs. Roosevelt's homeland concerns (like fair housing laws and the relaxing of quotas on immigration) ensured that she and her so-called "pink pals" would be constant targets of anti-Communists. When America entered the war, Roosevelt traveled to Blitz-ravaged London and flew across the Pacific to visit servicemen in Bora Bora and Guadalcanal. Even there, she continued her campaigns against racism, visiting and shaking hands with "Negro" servicemen.

You get the sense that as Roosevelt grew into the role of "First Lady of the World," she was so busy that even death (when it finally came calling in 1961) had to take a number and wait.

Eyes On The Street: The Life Of Jane Jacobs by Robert Kanigel

Eyes on the Street by Robert Kanigel traces the life of Jane Jacobs, the writer and activist who battled Robert Moses' plan to build an expressway through the heart of Lower Manhattan. Jacobs also wrote The Death and Life of Great American Cities, a staple of urban-studies courses and one of the classic books about New York. "Eyes on the street" is a phrase that Jacobs herself coined about the crucial importance of a vibrant street life to neighborhood safety and community. Kanigel acknowledges Jacobs' shortcomings as a thinker and a human being: He makes room for those critics who fault Jacobs for downplaying the harsher realities of how race and class influence the composition of city neighborhoods. But, in all, Eyes on the Street is a powerful and all-too-rare biography of the making of a female public intellectual.

Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run is a lyrical and self-aware spin on the essential American story of the kid from Nowhere who manages, through talent, aspiration and hard, hard work, to become Somebody ... in this case, not Jay Gatsby but "The Boss." Better than most folks, fictive and real, who've made that improbable journey, Springsteen remembers where he came from (Freehold, N.J.) without tainting his reminiscences about, say, sleeping under the Asbury Park boardwalk as a broke young musician with false humility. (Indeed, according to Bruce, it was fun!) In one of his many reflections here about holding onto his roots, Springsteen says: "I didn't want to erase, escape, forget or reject. I wanted to understand. ... No one you have ever been and no place you have ever gone ever leaves you. The new parts of you simply jump in the car and go along for the rest of the ride."

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
At the age of 36, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi was caught up short by a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer. His posthumously published memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, is by turns a raw and elegant inquiry into the meaning of it all — education, professional ambition, love, family — in the face of the inevitable ending that awaits us all.

Several times, Kalanithi, who also attained a master's degree in English, quotes the famous Samuel Beckett line: "I can't go on. I'll go on." His charged memoir is, in part, Kalanithi's own way of going on — a qualified miracle that books make possible.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Enhancing GPL's A Year of Reading 2017: Readalikes for February

February is the month of love and romance and happy hearts. I was so impressed with the February titles for the Love Connections theme, I thought I would enhance this list with similar book picks.

For A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena De Basi, try:
  • Only in Naples by Katherine Wilson - Americans fall in love with Italians and with Italy; while food is a central piece in both memoirs, it's a family affair in Only in Naples, and (at first) a solitary pastime in A Thousand Days in Venice.
  • Still Love in Strange Places by Beth Kephart - These two engaging memoirs trace the lives of women who fall in love with foreign men, move to their country, and learn to fit into the local culture. Along the way, each encounters linguistic, cultural, and social challenges.
For Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg, try:
  • Data, a Love Story by Amy Webb - Drawing on their own experiences, the authors of these books examine technology's influence on human relationships. Modern Romance surveys the dating pool from a sociological standpoint, while Data, A Love Story recounts the author's personal quest to find love online.
  • Labor of Love by Moira Weigel - Each concerned with the vagaries of finding a mate, these issue-oriented books differ in their precise focus. Labor of Love looks at a history of dating in the U.S., while Modern Romance looks at contemporary courting in a number of locales.
For  Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare, try:
  • A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James - These witty, upbeat Regency historical romances take the tropes of classic fairy tales and reinvent them as they follow spirited, resourceful heroines and their unlikely aristocratic love interests from Once Upon a Time all the way to Happily Ever After.
  • The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn - These romances feature damaged heroes who are forced to spend tie in close quarters with the heroines, during which a romance slowly develops. The stories are full of witty banter, heartfelt conversations, humor, and drama.
For Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis, try:
  • You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy - Secrets and lust are the focus of these banter-filled contemporary romances set on opposite coasts. Though Sweet Little Lies favors a heartwarming tone and You Don't Know Jack is funnier, both are steamy and touched with a bit of magic.
  • Make You Mine by Macy Beckett - In these banter-filled, heartwarming contemporary romances, the road to true love is rocky, if steamy. Is it the fault of a wish or a curse?
Hope you find a Love Connection with one or more of these titles!

Prepare for the 89th Academy Awards!

This year's Academy Awards ceremony will air on Sunday, February 26th. Below is a complete list of all 62 films nominated for awards. While we don't have access to all of  them yet, many of them you can check out or at least place a hold on! How many have you seen? What are your predictions?

  • Allied (Costume Design)
  • Arrival (Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Adapted Screenplay)
  • Blind Vaysha (Animated Short)
  • Borrowed Time (Animated Short)
  • Captain Fantastic (Actor - Viggo Mortenson)
  • Deepwater Horizon (Sound Editing, Visual Effects)
  • Doctor Strange (Visual Effects)
  • Elle (Actress - Isabelle Huppert)
  • Ennemis Intérieurs (Short Film)
  • Extremis (Documentary Short)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Costume Design, Production Design)
  • La Femme et le TGV (Short Film)
  • Fences (Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor - Denzel Washington, Supporting Actress - Viola Davis)
  • Fire at Sea (Documentary Feature)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins (Costume Design, Actress - Meryl Streep)
  • 4.1 Miles (Documentary Short) 
  • Hacksaw Ridge (Best Picture, Directing, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Actor - Andrew Garfield)
  • Hail, Caesar! (Production Design)
  • Hell or High Water (Best Picture, Film Editing, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor - Jeff Bridges)
  • Hidden Figures (Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress - Octavia Spencer)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Documentary Feature)
  • Jackie (Costume Design, Original Score, Actress- Natalie Portman)
  • Jim: the James Foley Story (Original Song - The Empty Chair) 
  • Joe's Violin (Documentary Short)
  • The Jungle Book (Visual Effects) 
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (Animated Feature, Visual Effects)
  • La La Land (Best Picture, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Original Screenplay, Actor - Ryan Gosling, Actress - Emma Stone, Original Song - Auditon, Original Song - City of Stars) 
  • Land of Mine (Foreign Film)
  • Life, Animated (Documentary Feature)
  • Lion (Best Picture, Cinematography, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor - Dev Patel, Supporting Actress - Nicole Kidman) 
  • The Lobster (Original Screenplay)
  • Loving (Actress - Ruth Negga)
  • A Man Called Ove (Foreign Film, Makeup and Hairstyling) 
  • Manchester by the Sea (Best Picture, Directing, Original Screenplay, Actor - Casey Affleck, Supporting Actor - Lucas Hedges, Supporting Actress - Michelle Williams)
  • Moana (Animated Feature, Original Song - How Far I'll Go)
  • Moonlight (Best Picture, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Original Score, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor - Mahershala Ali, Supporting Actress - Naomie Harris)
  • My Life as a Zucchini (Animated Feature)
  • Nocturnal Animals (Supporting Actor - Michael Shannon)
  • O.J.: Made in America (Documentary Feature)
  • Passengers (Original Score, Production Design)
  • Pear Cider and Cigarettes (Animated Short)
  • Pearl (Animated Short)
  • Piper (Animated Short) *Find on the DVD for Finding Dory!
  • The Red Turtle (Animated Feature)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Sound Mixing, Visual Effects) 
  • The Salesman (Foreign Film) 
  • Silence (Cinematography) 
  • Silent Nights (Short Film)
  • Sing (Short Film)
  • Star Trek Beyond (Makeup and Hairstyling)
  • Suicide Squad (Makeup and Hairstyling)
  • Sully (Sound Editing)
  • Tanna (Foreign Film)
  • 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Sound Mixing)
  • 13th (Documentary Feature)
  • Timecode (Short Film)
  • Toni Erdmann (Foreign Film)
  • Trolls (Original Song - Can't Stop the Feeling) 
  • 20th Century Women (Original Screenplay)
  • Watani: My Homeland (Documentary Short)
  • The White Helmets (Documentary Short) 
  • Zootopia (Animated Feature) 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Love Your Library!

February is the month of love in all forms-- including library love! Our winter reading program is in full swing, so don't forget to stop by the Reader Services desk every time you finish a book this month to get entered into our raffle for a fantastic gift basket.

Need some inspiration? Here are some books we're loving right now.

March: Book One by John Lewis

This graphic novel is 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. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

Examines the friendship of two Israeli psychologists who wrote the original studies on behavioral economics, undoing assumptions about the decision-making process and the influence it has had on evidence-based regulation.

11/22/63 by Stephen King

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King--who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer--takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Drawing on Victoria's own diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin brings us the brilliantly imagined life of a young woman about to make her mark on her nation--and the world.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Emile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Emile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family's business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Emile must decide what their love is worth.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen's Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon--from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic--to prevent her from wearing the crown


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Historical Love

Some of the greatest romances are those of real life historical figures.  Here are a few novels that follow the loves stories of some historical couples.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky - Nancy Horan
Chronicles the unconventional love affair of Scottish literary giant Robert Louis Stevenson, author of classics including Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and American divorcee Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. They meet in rural France in 1875, when Fanny, having run away from her philandering husband back in California, takes refuge there with her children. Stevenson too is escaping from his life, running from family pressure to become a lawyer. And so begins a turbulent love affair that will last two decades and span the world.

Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet - Stephanie Cowell
Sometimes he dreamt he held her; that he would turn in bed and she would be there. But she was gone and he was old. Nearly seventy. Only cool paint met his fingers. "Ma très chère." Darkness started to fall, dimming the paintings. He felt the crumpled letter in his pocket. "I loved you so," he said. "I never would have had it turn out as it did. You were with all of us when we began, you gave us courage.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Therese Fowler
 A tale inspired by the marriage of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald that follows their union in defiance of her father's opposition and her abandonment of the provincial finery of her upbringing in favor of a scandalous flapper identity that gains her entry into the literary party scenes of New York, Paris and the French Riviera.

Clara and Mr. Tiffany - Susan Vreeland
Louis Comfort Tiffany staffs his studio with female artisans--a decision that protects him from strikes by the all-male union--but refuses to employ women who are married. Lucky for him, Clara Driscoll's romantic misfortunes insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination.

The Hamilton Affair - Elizabeth Cobbs
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of legendary characters, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from passionate and tender beginnings to his fateful duel on the banks of the Hudson River.