Dana’s Recommendation #2

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

the husband's secretDiscovering a tattered letter that says she is to open it only in the event of her husband’s death, Cecelia, a successful family woman, is unable to resist reading the letter and discovers a secret that shatters her life and the lives of two other women. By the author of What Alice Forgot.
“It’s a knowing, touching, and entertaining page-turner. What a wonderful writer—smart, wise, funny.” —Anne Lamott
“A novel that’s perfect for vacation reading.” —People
3 Similar Titles
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright


Weekly Spotlight on. . . Good Summer Chick-Lit Reads

Do you have a list of good books to read yet for the summer? A good e-book for the plane on the way to summer vacation? A good book while laying out in the sun with some lemonade? That “lazy days of summer” feel often brings the need to read, and sometimes we just like to read something light and fun. That’s where chick-lit comes in.

First of all, what is chick-lit? “Chick” refers to a woman, and “lit” is just an abbreviation of literature. Wikipedia defines chick-lit as “genre fiction which addresses issues of modern womanhood, often humorously and lightheartedly.” Chick lit can deal with anything from relationships, to family, to loss, to career, but it always features a female character.  Numerous sources point to the book The Diary of Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding as one of the first chick-lit novels, and this type of book became very popular starting in the 1990’s. 

Well-Known Must Read Chick Lit Novels:

(For those that just need a good place to get started!)

The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Recent and Upcoming Releases:

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella – Release Date: April 23, 2013

wedding night“Kinsella’s latest romantic romp revolves around two sisters with very different notions about love. Impulsive Lottie is expecting her boyfriend, Richard, to propose to her; she’s floored when he instead suggests a vacation using his frequent-flier miles. When Richard balks at the idea of marriage, Lottie breaks up with him. She runs straight into the arms of an old flame, Ben, with whom she spent a magical summer at the age of 18 on the island of Ikonos. Ben is more than ready to rekindle their relationship and walk down the aisle with her. When Lottie’s practical older sister, Fliss, gets wind of her plan to marry Ben, Fliss is determined to stop the nuptials. Ben’s coworker Lorcan seems equally opposed to the wedding, and Fliss thinks they’re set, until Lottie and Ben have a hasty ceremony and jet to Ikonos. Fliss decides she has to sabotage the honeymoon in the hopes of getting Lottie to see that she’s making a huge mistake. There’s plenty of silly fun to be had in this charming comedy of errors.” – Booklist

 All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue – Release date May 21, 2013

all the summer girls“In Philadelphia, good girl Kate is dumped by her fiance the day she learns she is pregnant with his child. In New York City, beautiful stay-at-home mom Vanessa finds herself obsessively searching the Internet for news of an old flame. And in San Francisco, Dani, an aspiring writer who can’t seem to put down a book—or a cocktail—long enough to open her laptop, has just been fired . . . again.

In an effort to regroup, Kate, Vanessa, and Dani retreat to the New Jersey beach town where they once spent their summers. Emboldened by the seductive cadences of the shore, the women begin to realize just how much their lives, and friendships, have been shaped by the choices they made one fateful night on the beach eight years earlier—and the secrets that now threaten to surface.” – Publisher

Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel  by Claire Cook  – Release date: May 21, 2013

wallflower in bloom“Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound.

Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. While drowning her sorrows in Tag’s expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Deirdre’s fifteen minutes of fame have begun.” – Publisher

Ladies’ Night by Mary K Andrews – release date: June 4, 2013

ladies' night“When Ben cheats on her, Grace drives his car into the swimming pool. Now she is living above her mother’s Florida bar, the Sandbox, and attending a court-assigned therapy group. But instead of therapy, Grace and the other women end up at “Ladies Night” at the Sandbox, discussing the therapist who seems to have her own problems. Even as Grace finds a little house to fix up, and a man with his own marriage problems, she can’t escape the mess she left behind. Set on Florida’s Gulf Coast, featuring sunsets and walks by the water, Andrews’s latest beach read (after Spring Fever ) will have great appeal for readers who enjoy stories of women rebuilding their lives, with the support of other women. Add in a dog, a sweet little boy, hilarious stories of women getting revenge, and romance, and it’s a vacation escape.” – Library Journal

The Time Between by Karen White – Release Date: June 4th, 2013

the time between“Fourteen years after an accident left her sister Eve paralyzed and herself guilt-ridden, Eleanor Murray struggles to atone–not only for the accident, but also for falling in love with her brother-in-law, Glen. The accident fractured the family, dashing Eve’s future as a beauty pageant contestant. And after their father dies, Eleanor’s dreams of playing piano at Juilliard dissolve. Their mother holds Eleanor responsible for keeping together the family she broke apart. Eve knows she should forgive Eleanor, but she can’t quite let go of her anger. Glen, too, is torn between his commitment to Eve and his attraction to Eleanor. Balancing her work at a law office with caring for her mother, sister and brother-in-law, Eleanor too often finds that neither time nor money will stretch far enough. So she arrives late or leaves early, grateful that her boss, Finn Beaufain–the handsome, gray-eyed, divorced father of an adorable yet fragile daughter–tolerates her erratic schedule. She gets dinner on the table, bathes her sister, placates her arthritic mother and occasionally slips on a slinky red dress to play piano at a local dive, hoping someone might offer her solace in his unfamiliar arms. Finding her at the bar one night, Finn gives her a chance: a chance to recover her lost self and perhaps a chance at love. Finn gives her a job caring for his aunt Helena on Edisto Island, where Eleanor grew up.” – Publisher

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – Release date: June 4, 2013

Sequel to Devil Wears Prada

revenge wears prada“Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine–a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a high-end bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her hearts content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy cant shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing–not her husband, nor her beloved career–is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago–and directly into the path of the devil herself. . .” – Publisher

Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand  – Release Date: June 25, 2013

beautiful day“The Carmichaels and the Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride’s late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter’s future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event–but in reality, things are far from perfect.

While the couple-to-be are quite happy, their loved ones find their own lives crumbling. In the days leading up to the wedding, love will be questioned, scandals will arise, and hearts will be broken and healed. Elin Hilderbrand takes readers on a touching journey in BEAUTIFUL DAY–into the heart of marriage, what it means to be faithful, and how we choose to honor our commitments.’ – Publisher

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)

Ellen’s May Recommendation

The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be A Better Husband by David Finch

“This book is engaging, surprisingly funny, and provides plenty of food for thought about how we relate to one another, whether we are neurotypical (NT) or have Asperger’s Syndrome”.

Read about it or request it from the library catalog!

3 Similar Reads (Nonfiction):

1) Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert (Access to library catalog here)

2) Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s by John Elder Robison (Access to library catalog here)

3) Saving Milly: Love, Politics, and Parkinson’s Disease by Morton Kondracke (Access to library catalog here)

3 Similar Reads (Fiction):

1) Daniel Isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach (Access to library catalog here)

2) A Wild Ride Up the Cupboards by Ann Bauer (Access to library catalog here)

3) The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry (Access to library catalog here)

Rebecca’s February Recommendation

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

“It is hard to say what, exactly, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is about.  It is at once a depiction of the mysterious collapse of a marriage, a deadpan mystery novel, a young man’s search for his own identity, an investigation into the meaning of war and Japanese national identity, and a dreamlike tour through people’s psyches.  This book is as full of humor and wit as it is of tragedy and violence, and Murakami’s voice and imaginative storytelling propel the reader into the world of the young narrator.  This is an extremely literary, compelling, and leisurely paced novel that stretches genre boundaries–A reader of the mystery novel would likely find it as appealing as the reader of literary fiction, and Murakami’s humorous voice makes it incredibly appealing to all readers”.

Read about it or request it from the library catalog

Kimberly’s February Recommendation

The Odds:  A Love Story by Stewart O’Nan

“Art and Marion are on the brink of marital and financial collapse when they decide to take a last-ditch Valentine’s Day trip to Niagara Falls, scene of their honeymoon 30 years ago.   The backdrop of the Falls, casinos, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum and a rolicking Heart Concert (!) offer some fun quirky moments in a book that does a great job of exploring a marriage stretched, but not quite broken.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog

Sue’s January Recommendation

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

“An old favorite, Stegner’s Pulitzer prize (1972) book is the beautifully written story of Lyman Ward, a distinguished (but disabled) historian studying family documents in order to write a book detailing the story of his pioneer grandparents.  In researching the saga of his headstrong grandmother and steadfast grandfather, a couple whose marriage lasted in spite of tremendous adversity and tragedy, he comes to learn that he might not be a total victim in the demise of his own marriage.  I have read this book many times and each reading unearths something new as I reflect on it’s flawed, but very human characters.”

Read about it or request it from the library catalog