Cary Grant agreed to the film Houseboat because he was in love with Sophia Loren, and their attraction is obvious in this warm family comedy. Grant plays a widower, Tom, who doesn’t know what to do with his three precocious children. Enter Cinzia, a sheltered Italian socialite who desperately wants the chance to meet a real American. Pretending to be a maid, she agrees to care for the children and helps to mend fences between Tom and his estranged family. Loren is captivating as the woman who wins all of their hearts with playfulness, understanding, and an appreciation for dolce far niente, “the sweetness of doing nothing.”
Check It Out
Just in time to highlight great listens for summer reading, the winners of the 2012 Audie Awards have been announced! Honoring the year’s best recordings in a rich mix of categories, these awards are a perfect source of listening suggestions while traveling on vacation, basking in the sun, or making everyday routines more exciting. Try one of the most recent winners below or sample past Audiobooks of the Year. Need more incentive? Don’t forget that listening to an audiobook counts as reading in our Summer Reading Program!
Audiobook of the Year: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Biography/Memoir: Bossypants by Tina Fey
Fantasy: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Humor: Shatner Rules by William Shatner with Chris Regan
Literary Fiction: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
Multi-Voiced Performance: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Mystery: Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke
Narration by the Author: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Personal Development: Prime Time by Jane Fonda
Romance: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Thriller/Suspense: The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner
Georgette Heyer is credited with inventing the historical romance subgenre known as the Regency romance. Her books, set in England during the early 19th century Regency era, are admired to this day for their meticulous research, sparkling wit, authentic colloquialisms, and inventive plots which include arranged marriages, cross-dressing, and the aristocracy. Heyer’s light comedy-of-manners romances set the tone for this entire genre.
When asked about her books, Heyer commented, “I think myself I ought to be shot for writing such nonsense…but it’s unquestionably good escapist literature, and I think I should rather like it if I were sitting in an air-raid shelter or recovering from flu.”
Known for their sparkling dialogue, humorous plots, and happily-ever-after conclusions, Regency romances are frothy period pieces set in England during the early 19th century. Suggestion: start with the Queen of the Regency Romance, Georgette Heyer!
For a wide range of Regency romance novels, click here.
One day, years after the death of her perfect husband, Natalie is surprised to find that Markus, her clumsy coworker, may be her second chance at love. Delicacy by David Foenkinos is a charming, short novel that explores “…the idea that what is most important in a love story is good timing.”
If you read Delicacy (or saw the movie) and want to talk about it, check back with the Library in the fall for a featured Sister Cities book discussion.
What if you could know the fate of a prospective relationship before it even began? The Heart Gem, an enchanted stone which reveals the essence of a couple’s future match, may hold great promise or aching despair, and it is Bremen Tyler’s task to restore it to its rightful place. A dramatic encounter with the unconventional Hallie Pinefoy divides his attention, but now he has even more of a personal investment in retrieving his ancestral treasure. Author Isabella Macotte, who makes her home in Mount Prospect, introduces her debut series with The Heart Gem, a romance both sweet and sensual. The course of true love never did run smooth, but this is one pair who will take their chances.
Does the constant noise of modern life rumple your spirits? Let Emma: Music from the Miramax Motion Picture transport you to a quieter time. This 1996 Academy Award winner for Best Musical or Comedy Score lightly trips along with soft, delicate melodies and the occasional touch of drama. Whimsical string arrangements and romantic woodwind solos dance airily, providing the perfect background for moments of relaxation and daydreams. With this recording, composer Rachel Portman became one of only three women to win a Scoring Oscar, triumphing over frequent nominees Alan Menken, Randy Newman, and Hans Zimmer. Jane Austen would certainly approve.
Click here for the best of the Library’s military romances.
The other woman, a shack-up honey, a kept woman, one’s inamorata…there are plenty of names for mistresses throughout history. Who do you side with? The mistress or the wife? Does it all depend on the story?
For a roll in the fictional hay with mistresses aplenty, click here.
We understand that not everyone is interested in books that win important literary prizes. Sometimes you just want to find a thrilling new story in your favorite category. If you can relate, be sure to check out the recent winners and nominees of the The Reading List, which honors the best in genre fiction. These must-reads are selected by librarians who know which titles not only have the best buzz but also live up to the hype. See below for the winners and click here for readalikes and the runners-up.
Adrenaline: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Fantasy: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Historical Fiction: Doc by Mary Doria Russell
Horror: The Ridge by Michael Koryta
Mystery: The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
Romance: Silk is for Seduction by Loretta Chase
Science Fiction: Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
Women’s Fiction: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh