Mary Ann’s May Recommendation

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Read a sample here!

far from the madding crowd

Mary Ann says:

I read this for a seminar – everyone in the class loved this story of a woman taking charge of a business when this was very rare (1874).  Equal time is given to love affairs.

A movie starring Carey Mulligan comes out soon. I’m glad to see that among the super hero blockbusters, people are making movies based on classic novels.  Articles have pointed out that the name of Katniss Everdeen is inspired by Bathsheba Everdene in Far From the Madding Crowd.  If the movies bring people back to these treasures in literature, readers are in for a treat.

P.S. Madame Bovary is coming out this summer.

Summary from Publisher: Gabriel Oak is a young shepherd. With the savings of a frugal life, and a loan, he has leased and stocked a sheep-farm. He falls in love with a newcomer eight years his junior, Bathsheba Everdene, a proud beauty who arrives to live with her aunt, Mrs. Hurst. She comes to like him well enough, and even saves his life once, but when he makes her an unadorned offer of marriage, she refuses; she values her independence too much and him too little.


Genna’s November Recommendation

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

the rosie projectLooking for a feel-good romantic comedy? Look no further. Simsion creates a lovely, heartwarming, and scientifically crafted novel. It’s the story of a genetics professor Don Tillman (who has Aspberger’s but remains unaware of his condition despite everyone around him knowing) and his opposite in almost every way: Rosie. Don goes to the supermarket each week to buy the same ingredients to create the same meals each day, in order to be more efficient. He follows a rigid schedule of sleep, exercise, and eating. His life is very methodical, and he struggles to find a mate.

He decides to craft a questionnaire designed to help him select a wife, dubbing it The Wife Project. His coworker sends him Rosie: a girl who doesn’t follow any schedule or pattern. She shakes up his habits, but Don finds that this is a good thing.

This is such a quick and fun read! A great break especially if you’ve just read something longer and more involved. They are making a movie out of this already.

3 Similar Reads

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Match Me If You Can by Susan Phillips

The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay


Tara’s May Recommendation

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger Lily“Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve ever heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”

This is how bestselling author, Jodi Lynn Anderson, begins her recent novel Tiger Lily. In this precursor to the well-known story of Peter Pan, Anderson paints a tale of unrequited love, heartbreak, and romantic tension. Narrated by Tinker Bell, we learn the backstory of Neverland, and that before Peter belonged to Wendy, he belonged to a girl with a crow feather in her hair. He belonged to Tiger Lily.

3 Similar Reads:

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama

Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman

Summerland by Michael Chabon

Victoria’s March Recommendation

Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

From Kirkus Reviews- “Sentimental, heartfelt novel portrays two children separated during the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. In 1940s Seattle, ethnicities do not mix. Whites, blacks, Chinese and Japanese live in separate neighborhoods, and their children attend different schools. When Henry Lee’s staunchly nationalistic father pins an “I am Chinese” button to his 12-year-old son’s shirt and enrolls him in an all-white prep school, Henry finds himself friendless and at the mercy of schoolyard bullies. His salvation arrives in the form of Keiko, a Japanese girl with whom Henry forms an instant and forbidden bond….A timely debut that not only reminds readers of a shameful episode in American history, but cautions us to examine the present and take heed we don’t repeat those injustices.”  Click here for the full review.

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms

Margaret’s November Recommendation

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

“Tom returns to Australia healthy but haunted from WWI to become a lighthouse keeper on an isolated island.  Tom is content to live this solitary life but by chance on a shore visit meets and falls in love with lively, spirited Isabel.  Somewhat remarkably, the two create a happy life together alone on Janus Rock, and Tom realizes he may be able to have a full life despite the guilt and horrors that he has carried since the war.  But, after Isabel suffers two miscarriages and a stillbirth, a heavy sadness descends on the cottage by the lighthouse.  Then, one day a boat washes up on the island with a dead man and a crying infant.  What follows is a heartbreakingly desperate story about right and wrong, family and love.  This is a well-written and affecting novel set in an interesting time and place. Stedman does a good job of catching hold of his readers’ emotions without veering too close to melodrama. Pick it up if you like historical fiction, family stories, or just good literary fiction.”

Read about or request The Light Between Oceans from the library catalog today!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) The Sea by John Banville

2) Latitudes of Melt by Joan Clark

3) Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

2) The Keeper of Lime Rock by Lenore Skomal

3) To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild

Rebecca’s July Recommendation

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Mr. Fox is a book of magical realism and the story of a love triangle.  The three featured characters are St. John, a writer, his wife Daphne, and his muse-made-flesh Mary Foxe.  The book alternates between the story of this love triangle (which is a compelling and slightly twisted story in and of itself) and the stories that take place in between.  While some of these individual stories featured throughout the book may require some literary knowledge, you can also enjoy them as stand alone stories as well.  The basic premise of the novel is that Mary Foxe has come to life from St. John’s imagination.  St. John is a mysoginistic and somewhat selfish writer who has a penchant for killing off his female heroines. Mary grows tired of these activities and challenges St. John to what can only be called a literary battle.  Meanwhile, the love triangle between St. John, his wife Daphne, and his ‘ideal’ becomes more intense as the book progresses.  A beautifully written work of magical realism–I would recommend this novel to those who love stories about stories and those who can appreciate elements of the fantastic amidst the real”.

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Fiction)

1) 1Q84by Haruki Murakami (Access to library catalog here)

2) Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Access to library catalog here)

3) The Pugilist at Rest: Stories by Thom Jones (Access to library catalog here)

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction)

1) Every Tongue Got to Confess by Zora Neale Hurston (Access to library catalog here)

2) The Annotated Brothers Grimm (Access to library catalog here)

3) Breaking the Magic Spell: Radical Theories of Folk and Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes (Access to library catalog here)

Mary Ann’s July Recommendation

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

This is the second staff recommendation for this book!  Just last month, Laona talked about how much she liked this book.  This is what Mary Ann has to say about it:

“I’ve been coming across reviews of this Young Adult novel for months.  It’s one of the many YA novels that deserve attention as books that will captivate readers of any age.  Lots of book discussion groups are adding YA novels to their lists.  No vampires or dystopias–it’s an unsentimental look at a couple of teenagers who meet at a cancer support group and fall in love.  They speak to each other with wit and humor about their fears and dreams.  Their situations will tug at your heart, but the writing never becomes sugar-coated nor sappy.  The depictions of the adults who hover over them and interact with them ring true”.

Check out Laona’s June Recommendation below for a link to the book in the library catalog as well as a list of some suggested similar reads!