Of Food and Love

As a lover of food media such as the Great British Baking Show, as well as a lover of romances, I am definitely the target audience for romance novels that include a strong food-based storyline. If you are too, or want to see what that means, check out one of these recent romantic comedy novels featuring cooking competitions:

Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
Reena has fiercely maintained her independence from her caring, meddling family, pursuing a career outside the family business and firmly rejecting her parent’s efforts at matchmaking. Recently laid off, her friends convince her to pursue a reality TV cooking competition for amateurs. The catch? Contestants must enter as part of a couple. Enter Reena’s hunky new neighbor, Nadim. New to town but already a fan of Reena’s cooking, Nadim agrees to pose as her fiancé for the show. As quick banter turns to real attraction, buried secrets from Reena and Nadim’s Toronto Indian diasporic community loom.

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#BookBingoNW2021 Romance

Need a suggestion for your #BookBingoNW2021 Romance square? Look no further than the comforting, happily-ever-after recommendations listed below:

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai 
Rhiannon and Samson are rival dating app creators with a complicated history. Forced to interact on a professional level, they both wonder if a second chance at love might be possible after all.

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London.
This charming debut novel revolves around Bea, author of a popular plus-size fashion blog. One night after getting a little tipsy watching Main Squeeze, a Bachelor-esque show, Bea writes a scathing review of reality television’s lack of inclusion of the plus-size community. After the post goes viral Bea is shocked to learn that Main Squeeze wants her to be the next bachelorette. She agrees to go on the show, embarking on a wild ride of self-discovery and romance. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Romance”

New Always Available eBook Collection

I love living – and being a librarian – in a city of readers, but I won’t lie: the eBook hold queues can be intense. New this month are 170 eBooks that are always available – no holds, no wait! Here are some highlights to get you started.

Book Club Picks

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A guide to exploring new genres

Each year, groups of librarians from across the country hole up in a room (this year, a virtual room) to discuss and select the best books from the year before. The Notable Books List features literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; the Listen List is all about outstanding audiobooks; and The Reading List, which I want to tell you about today, highlights outstanding genre fiction in eight genres: Adrenaline (aka 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 of runners up. Taken together, the five books in each genre represent a range of the types of stories a reader can find in that genre, with the idea that both longtime fans and folks new to the genre can find a title of interest. If you are looking to branch out into new areas of fiction reading, it is a great place to start. Check out the 2021 winners (for books published in 2020) below, with annotations from the ALA Reading List Council, or in our catalog.


The Holdout by Graham Moore
Ten years after Maya Seale convinced her fellow jurors to acquit a man of murder, a true crime documentary reunites the jury amid claims of new Continue reading “A guide to exploring new genres”

Read Something Amorous

Maybe it’s Bridgerton, or the promise of Spring; Valentine’s Day, or the promise of vaccination day, but more and more readers these days are discovering the wondrous and diverse world of romance fiction. Ever one of the most popular genres around, last year saw rising numbers of romance readers, with more expected in the year ahead, and while the Romance publishing industry has been justly called out for its traditional lack of diversity, there are encouraging signs that this is changing as we speak, in many ways. The happy ending: this is an exciting time to be a romance reader! So whether you’re a diehard fan, or just beginning to explore the literature of love, this week we turn over the card inviting you to Read Something Amorous!

Shelf Talk has long been a friend to literary lovers, (just click on the tags on this post if you don’t believe me), so to get things started, here are a few stellar romance titles representing the genre’s range:

How to Catch a Queen, by Alyssa Cole. Shanti Mohapi finds out that life as a queen isn’t all it is cracked up to be, when her new husband – King Sanyu of Njaza – barely seems to know she exists. Continue reading “Read Something Amorous”