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New in Romance: Dating Experiments, Kidnappings, and Facing Fears

Take a look at some of the newest romance titles that have arrived at the Library! You can get swept up in Patricia Park’s modern re-telling of Jane Eyre, see if in Love After All Chelsea Gardner’s foolproof list of requirements in a man will work, and enjoy the mess of two single parents accidentally renting the same Guest Cottage. Have any recent romance favorites of your own? Stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk or on Facebook and let us know which books warm your heart.

Cover of Traveling Tea Shop
The Traveling Tea Shop
by Belinda Jones
There’s nothing a nice cup of tea, a sweet treat, and a little bit of friendship can’t heal…

Cover of Love by the Book
Love by the Book
by Melissa Pimentel
Lauren turns her love life into an experiment: each month she’ll follow a different dating guide until she discovers the science behind being a siren.

Cover of Re Jane
Re Jane
by Patricia Park
Re Jane is a bright, comic story of falling in love, finding strength, and living not just out of obligation to others, but for one’s self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of Love After All
Love After All
by Jaci Burton
Sometimes, a relationship that looks totally wrong on paper can turn out incredibly right…

Cover of Captive
Captive
by Brighton Walsh
Madison dreams of someday leaving her life behind. She just never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Cover of Moonlight on Butternut Lake
Moonlight on Butternut Lake
by Mary McNear
While the seemingly endless days of summer unfold, Reid and Mila take the first steps to healing as they discover love can be more than just a dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of Language of Paradise
Language of Paradise
by Barbara Klein Moss
Sophy must decide whether to live and paint in the world her husband has made or escape to save her child and herself.

Cover of The Love Letters
The Love Letters
by Beverly Lewis
Marlena Wenger’s life takes an unexpected turn on the day she learns she must care for her estranged sister’s baby.

Cover of Perfect Match
Perfect Match
by Fern Michaels
An injured ex-athlete discovers that giving up on the game of life is not an option.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of The Guest Cottage
The Guest Cottage
by Nancy Thayer
Best-laid plans run awry when Sophie and Trevor realize they’ve mistakenly rented the same house.

Cover of Hold Me
Hold Me
by Susan Mallery
Part of Destiny aches to let go when she meets former world-class skier Kipling…the rest is terrified what will happen if she does.

Cover of The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress
The Daring Exploits of a Runaway Heiress
by Victoria Alexander
Lucy Merryweather tries to fulfill as many of her deceased aunt’s scandalous wishes as possible while eluding prying reporter Cameron Effington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 15, 2015 Categories: Books, New Arrivals, Romance

Book Discussion Questions: The Kommandant’s Girl by Pam Jenoff

Cover of The Kommandant's GirlTitle: The Kommandant’s Girl
Author: Pam Jenoff
Page Count: 395 pages
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Romance
Tone: Mesmerizing, Intrigue

Summary:
Nineteen-year-old Emma Bau has been married only three weeks when Nazi tanks thunder into her native Poland. Within days Emma’s husband, Jacob, is forced to disappear underground, leaving her imprisoned within the city’s decrepit, moldering Jewish ghetto. But then, in the dead of night, the resistance smuggles her out. Taken to Krakow to live with Jacob’s Catholic cousin, Krysia, Emma takes on a new identity as Anna Lipowski, a gentile.
Emma’s already precarious situation is complicated by her introduction to Kommandant Richwalder, a high-ranking Nazi official who hires her to work as his assistant. Urged by the resistance to use her position to access details of the Nazi occupation, Emma must compromise her safety—and her marriage vows—in order to help Jacob’s cause. As the atrocities of war intensify, so does Emma’s relationship with the Kommandant, building to a climax that will risk not only her double life, but also the lives of those she loves.

SPOILER WARNING:
These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

1. A Publisher’s Weekly review called The Kommandant’s Girl “historical romance at its finest”.

Is this a historical romance? Would you categorize it differently? Mira Books, which published the novel, is a division of Harlequin. Did it ever seem like a Harlequin romance novel?

If it is a historical romance, then romance between whom? Emma and Jacob? Or Emma and the Kommandant?

2. Did you believe the romance between Emma and Jacob?

3. Emma and Jacob were married only a few weeks before they were separated. How do you think the story might have been different if they had been married for six months? One year? Five?

4. Was Jacob right to leave the way he did? Do you think he knew what Emma was doing?

5. Did you believe the romance between Emma and the Kommandant? Did the age difference bother you? As Emma wonders, if they had met in a different world, a different time, do you think they could have been happy together? Were they “star-crossed lovers”?

6. Did you find yourself more invested in Jacob or in the Kommandant?

7. Did you find Emma a sympathetic character? heroic? Was she a believable 19-year-old?

8. What was the most difficult challenge faced by Emma? How did her choices affect others?

9. Did her attraction to the Kommandant make her situation easier? What if she had not had feelings for him?

10. Emma struggled not just with betraying her husband, but betraying her faith. Do you think her struggle was portrayed realistically? Would you say she was unfaithful? Given the circumstances, were her actions “right”? In other words, do the ends justify the means?

11. Another review (Booklist) claimed that the author “succeeded in humanizing the unfathomable as well as the heroic”. Would you agree that the Kommandant, for example, was humanized? Did you find him sympathetic? Why or why not? If so, were you uncomfortable (as Emma was) with your sympathy?

12. Was the Kommandant really going to shoot Emma?

13. What was your opinion of Malgorzata and her role in the story?

14. How does Lukasz change the story? What if it had just been Emma and Krysia involved in the deception? What does Krysia add?

15. How was the underground portrayed? Did you feel you understood the danger? What did you think of Alek? Was his death a surprise?

16. How did you feel about Marta? Did your feelings change at any point?

17. Was Jenoff’s choice to have Emma tell the story from her point of view a good one? Was it well-utilized?

18. This is a first novel for Jenoff. Is that apparent? How so? Do you like the author’s style?

19. What was the greatest strength of the book? Its most serious flaw?

20. The book was originally titled A Fine Crack of Light. What do you think that meant? Which title do you prefer?

21. Even among those who like the book, the ending is often singled out as somewhat flawed. Did it end the way you expected? Was it satisfying?

22. How might you respond to other concerns/ criticisms:

-too many coincidences, especially in closing chapters
-language (e.g., Emma’s habitual answering of “okay”)
-not as deep or as evocative as could have been (tells, doesn’t show)
-too-familiar story; market full of WWII fiction titles
-too serious a topic to treat lightly

23. Many authors have an idea and then research the time and place. Jenoff walked the streets, was immersed in stories, and then felt compelled to write. Can you tell? Did that serve the story well?

24. Did the book’s setting enhance the story? What about the individual settings, such as the ghetto?

25. What themes would you say are throughout the story? The publisher suggests “timeless themes of hope, struggle, defiance”; would you agree with these? Are there others you would add? How well were the themes addressed and/or communicated?

26. What was the purpose of the book? Was it to learn about history? Did you?

27. What’s next for Emma? Did she and Jacob have a happy life? Does she change her mind about telling Jacob about the baby? Should she?

28. What life do you predict Lukasz will lead?

Other Resources

Mount Prospect Public Library Discussion Resources
Harlequin Discussion Questions
Lit Lovers Reading Guide
Personal Q&A with Pam Jenoff
Interview with Jenoff about the book
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website
Kommandant’s Girl backstory

If you liked The Kommandant’s Girl, try…

Cover of The Lost WifeThe Lost Wife
by Alyson Richman

Cover of AnyaAnya
by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer

Cover of The Diplomat's WifeThe Diplomat’s Wife
by Pam Jenoff (sequel to The Kommandant’s Girl)

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 6, 2015 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every other Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

New: Historical Fiction Books

Cover of Driving the King Cover of The Marriage Game Cover of A Touch of Stardust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving the King by Ravi Howard
The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
Cover of The Secrets of Midwives Cover of Mrs. Grant and Madame Julie Cover of The Nightingale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
Mrs. Grant and Madame Julie by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

New: Romance Books

Cover of The Unexpected Consequences of Love Cover of A Bad CharacterCover of Sweet Surprise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell
A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor
Sweet Surprise by Candis Terry

Cover of Earls Just Want to have FunCover of The Years Cover of You're So Fine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
The Years by Nicholas Delbanco
You’re So Fine by Kieran Kramer

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on March 6, 2015 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Fiction: To Please a Lady by Susan Johnson

To Please a Lady book coverRoxane Forrestor, twice-widowed Scottish beauty and Countess of Kilmarnock, has succeeded in keeping several powerful suitors at bay, but her defenses are tested when a wanted rebel earl surprises her in her bedchamber. No matter how her heart feels, she must keep her head. The safety of her children may depend on it. Author Susan Johnson is celebrated for scenes of sizzling seduction, and To Please a Lady lives up to that promise. Balancing rich historical detail and dramatic turns of story, this early novel doesn’t shy from exploring heated encounters while maintaining brisk pacing. The partnering of an older woman with a persistent younger man isn’t often represented in historical romances, but breaking with convention only adds to the intensity of Robbie and Roxane’s love story.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 9, 2015 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, Romance

Movies and TV: The Wind Rises

The Wind RisesWind Rises DVD cover is a flight of fancy worthy to be the swan song of master animator Hayao Miyazaki. All of his hallmarks are on display: sweet yet dramatic storytelling, artful scenes, and an underlying whimsy that bubbles with imagination. It is the history of Jirô, a young man with a genius for designing aircraft, who often takes inspiration from imagined jaunts with an Italian aviation pioneer. A recurring line of poetry, “The wind is rising!  We must try to live!” quivers with thematic resonance not only against the backdrop of war, illness, and natural disaster, but also in the tentative steps toward selfless love. Both ambitious and intimate, this Academy Award nominee is at its brightest when celebrating the small moments that lead to epiphanies.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 2, 2015 Categories: Historical Fiction, Movies and TV, Romance

Fiction: Stealing Adda by Tamara Leigh

Stealing Adda book coverAdda Sinclair is a successful romance novelist known for her skill with male characters. If only that insight translated into real life! Her husband left her for her arch-rival, a pretty-boy cover model is more interested than she is, and the attractive publisher with plans to brand her books for male readers keeps her off-balance. What’s a girl with writer’s block and too little romance in her personal life to do? In Stealing Adda, it will take a public scandal, multiple misunderstandings, and a spiritual awakening to illuminate what’s most important. Author Tamara Leigh has created a funny and relatable heroine who comes to realize that roadblocks in life might serve a higher purpose and that perhaps she has it in her to write her own happily ever after.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 12, 2015 Categories: Books, Humor, Romance

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every other Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

New: Historical Fiction Books

Cover of Faint Promise of Rain Cover of The Empty Throne Cover of The May Bride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faint Promise of Rain by Anjali Mitter Duva
The Empty Throne by Bernard Cornwell
The May Bride by Suzannah Dunn

Cover of The LodgerCover of The Ambassadors Cover of Vanessa and Her Sister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lodger by Louisa Treger
The Ambassadors by George Lerner
Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar

New: Romance Books

Cover of The Kraken KingCover of Only Enchanting Cover of Caged in Winter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kraken King by Meljean Brook
Only Enchanting by Mary Balogh
Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh

Cover of Rogue SpyCover of The Wishing SeasonCover of In the Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
The Wishing Season by Denise Hunter
In the Cards by Jamie Beck

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 9, 2015 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance

Library Staff Favorites of 2014

With 2015 just around the corner bringing a whole new crop of to-be-read lists to tackle, shows to watch, and music to experience, Staff at Mount Prospect Public Library took time to pause and look at what brought us joy in 2014. Check out staff members’ favorite books, CDs, or DVDs they read, watched and/or listened to in 2014. Feel free to share what is on your list of favorites for the year!

Picture of Amy

Amy
Community Services:
Tell the Wolves I’m Home
The Fall

Picture of Amy

Amy
Youth Services:
Never Say Die
Clink

Cover of Barb B.

Barb
Fiction/AV/Teen:
Enough Said
I Must Say

Barbara
Fiction/AV/Teen:
Orphan Black S. 2
Ready Player One

 

Picture of Carla

Carla
Administration:
The Round House
Omar

Picture of Carmel Shane

Carmel Shane
Circulation:
Once Upon a Time
18 Months

Picture of Carol

Carol
Community Services:
Little Failure
Hotel Florida

Picture of Cathleen

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen
:
Station Eleven
Bron/Broen

Colleen
Fiction/AV/Teen:
Steelheart
The 100

 

 

Picture of Cynthia

Cynthia
Research Services:
Ready Player One
The Returned

Picture of Dale

Dale
Research Services:
Hysterical
Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Picture of Diane

Diane
Fiction/AV/Teen:
Among Others
Guardians of the Galaxy

Picture of Donna

Donna
Fiction/AV/Teen:
Winter Street
Duets II

Picture of Janine

Janine
Circulation:
True Detective
Ready Player One

Picture of Joe

Joe
Research Services:
Lowball
Rick and Morty

Picture of KarenKaren
Registration:
Ancillary Justice
Neptune’s Inferno

Picture of Larry

Larry
Fiction/AV/Teen:
The Martian
Redshirts

 

 

 

Picture of Mary Jane

Mary Jane
Research Services:
Controlled Descent
How Dogs Love Us

Picture of Megan

Megan
South Branch
:
Red Rising
Saga

 

 

 

Picture of Nancy

Nancy
Fiction/AV/Teen:
My Salinger Year
American Hustle

 

 

 

Picture of Nicole

Nicole
Circulation:
The Paying Guests
Life in Motion

Picture of Paula

Paula
Registration:
Rush
Dad is Fat

Picture of Rosemary

Rosemary
Technical Services:

Natchez Burning
How the Light Gets In

Picture of Steven

Steve
Research Services:
Death on the Nile
Cosmos

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on December 19, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Literary, Movies and TV, Music, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Staff Picks

2014 Goodreads Choice Award Winners

Goodreads is a social media website readers can use to keep track of what they have read or want to read and interact with friends. Every year Goodreads hosts the Goodreads Choice Awards in which readers vote for what they consider the best books in different categories are. This year, there were over 3 million votes cast! Check out some of the winners below.

 

Cover of Landline Cover of The Opposite of Loneliness Cover of We Were Liars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiction: Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Nonfiction: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Young Adult: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cover of The Martian Cover of Written in My Own Heart's BloodCover of The Book of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction: The Martian by Andy Weir
Romance:
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
Fantasy:
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Cover of The Romanov Sisters Cover of This Star Won't Go Out Cover of Red Rising

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History and Biography: The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
Memoir and Autobiography: This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl
Debut Goodreads Author: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Cover of Yes Please #Girlboss Cover of Make it Ahead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humor: Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Business: #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Food and Cookbooks: Make it Ahead by Ina Garten

 

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on December 5, 2014 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Horror, Humor, Literary, Romance

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every other Friday the Library will bring you short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

New: Historical Fiction Books

Cover of Expo 58Cover of Bitter GreensCover of Ballroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe
Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
Ballroom by Alice Simpson

Cover of Sleep in Peace Tonight Cover of The Legend of Sheba Cover of The Hormone Factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep in Peace Tonight by James MacManus
The Legend of Sheba by Tosca Lee
The Hormone Factory by Saskia Goldschmidt

New: Romance Books

Cover of JiltedCover of Indecent Proposal Cover of Change of Heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jilted by Rachael Johns
Indecent Proposal by Molly O’Keefe
Change of Heart by Jude Deveraux
Cover of Never Marry a Viscount Cover of Unleashed Cover of the Zone of Interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never Marry a Viscount by Anne Stuart
Unleashed by Rachel Lacey
The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on November 14, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance