Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year:
February is Black History Month and with Valentine’s Day approaching we want you to get passionate about some romance series that we love, written by African American authors.
If you haven’t read anything by the prolific author Beverly Jenkins by now, we highly recommend you begin any of her numerous series. She’s a seasoned author known for her award-winning historical romance novels. Try her latest book, Rebel, from her new series Women Who Dare. Set in post-Civil War New Orleans, Valinda Lacy has a passion for teaching recently emancipated children and adults how to read and write. However, there are many who are unhappy with the outcome of the war and when she’s threatened by racist villains, the hero, Drake LeVeq, saves her from her attackers. As the reader, you can’t help falling in love with these characters and will swoon over the development of their romantic relationship. Though this novel is set in a painful time period, Beverly Jenkins has the magic to balance sorrow with beauty that will surely delight you. Continue reading “African American Romance Writers”
Are you a reader who would like to explore some new genres, but don’t know where to start? Fret not, librarians have got you covered. At the American Library Association Midwinter conference in January, a number of different committees met to discuss and honor books published in 2019. There was the Notable Books List, honoring literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List, highlighting outstanding audiobooks; the Sophie Brody Medal, for achievement in Jewish Literature; the Stonewall Book Award for LGBTQIA+ books; and many more. But today I want to talk about The Reading List, which highlights outstanding genre fiction across eight genres: Adrenaline (thrillers, adventure stories), Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Relationship Fiction, Romance, and Science Fiction.
While each genre has a winner, it also has a four-title shortlist. Among those five books are a range of what a reader can find in the genre, different types of stories for different readers, with hopes that everyone from a diehard fan to a new reader can find a title of interest. Check out the list, below, or in our catalog.
Coming-of-age stories, a life lived out-of-order, baseball in a dystopian United States, queer librarian spies on horseback, and a dedicated Victorian detective – February has some gems waiting for you to discover!
2/4: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham – A family saga follows one family over two decades in Nigeria, as each sibling searches for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life.
2/4: Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump – In this coming of age novel, Claude McKay Love leaves the South Side of Chicago for college, only to discover that there is no safe haven for a young Black man in today’s America.
2/4: The Resisters by Gish Jen –In a near-future world ruthlessly divided between the employed and unemployed, a once-professional couple gives birth to an athletically gifted child whose transition from an underground baseball league to the Olympics challenges the very foundations of their divided society. A Peak Pick!
2/4: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd – In Victorian London, a female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child.
There are times as a reader when you pick up a book and you think you know exactly what you’re getting: this is an historical romance; this is a novel about a family. And you’re right, but you also discover that it is deeply about something else. That was my experience with the two novels below, novels which contained a surprising-to-me amount of high quality embroidery content.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (historical romance)
In the early 1800s Lucy, a scientist and an astronomer, has spent her youth helping her father with his work and publishing work under his name. After his death, she travels to London to apply to the Polite Science Society, a premier scientific organization of the day, and to try her hand at translating a French astronomy text. Turned away by the Society because she’s a woman, Lucy finds refuge with Catherine, a society widow who spent years supporting her explorer husband and is now interested in being Lucy’s patron. There is a lot here about the science of the era and the way it existed as a kind of gentleman’s pursuit; the roles available to women; and, for sure, the love that grows between Lucy and Catherine (this is a romance novel, so expect some steamy sex scenes). But I devoured it because of the detail lavished on Catherine’s hobby: embroidery. She embroiders maps, and botanical motifs, and the night sky on a finely woven scarf! The description of Catherine’s work made me hungry to see the way embroiderers blend colors, how elements of the natural world can be depicted, how craft becomes art. Continue reading “Unexpected Embroidery Content”