Happy Hanukkah and Thanksgiving! According to those who measure calendars, these two holidays won’t occur at the same time again for thousands of years. I had high hopes for either a Hanukkah or Thanksgiving romance post, but after racking my brain and searching ardently in the library catalog, I came up regretfully short on titles for either. Where are the romance stories featuring well-rounded Jewish characters celebrating Hanukkah? Or the cozy Thanksgiving stories with characters from any background or religion? It seems that romance publishers are determined to skip other holidays by focusing solely on Christmas titles, sometimes releasing them as early as October!
I don’t want to belittle the perennial cornucopia of Christmas romances too much, though; they are a pleasant and reliable sign of the season, and we will be highlighting some noteworthy stories in the coming weeks. After reading some prominent romance blogs, however, I found that I am not alone in my frustration over the lack of diversity in romance books in general, and holiday romance books in particular.
Determined to find some good Hanukkah and Thanksgiving reads, I pursued books in the Library catalog using the seemingly endless limits within Bibliocommons, our fun, easy-to-use catalog interface.
If you’ve never used the Library catalog to search for a great read, I beseech you to give it a try! Library staff and patrons have created some terrific lists, and have diligently rated the books in our collection, sometimes providing mini reviews in the comments. And unlike other review sites, no one is going to try to sell anything to you!
In my first search for Jewish love stories, I found The Things We Cherished by Pam Jenoff, which I subsequently placed on hold. Patrons have ranked this story with 3 and a half stars, and in the comments, patrons recommended other titles by this author. It’s not Hanukkah, but it’s a start! For Thanksgiving, there’s the aptly named Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich, which features a hunky pediatrician. If you already know of some romance books that focus on Hanukkah, or Thanksgiving, or if you end up finding some using our catalog, I highly encourage you to make a list in Bibliocommons for all to see! And if your search falls short, don’t forget that you help make our formidable collection of books even stronger when you give us suggestions for purchase.
Regardless of what you celebrate this time of year, we at the Library wish you an amazing final month of 2013, and a 2014 full of happiness, love, good books and, if you’re a regular reader of this column, good books full of happiness and love!