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Love and Cupcakes

Sweet Stuff book coverExchanging crowded Chicago for the island of Sugarberry wasn’t a hardship, especially when it meant broken-hearted Riley could have a fresh start. Now she enjoys a slower pace and a new career staging real estate. Quinn Brannigan, a bestselling author with leading man charisma, arrives early for an open house and is taken with both the property and the freckled, accident-prone hostess. Their flirtation heats up over decadent cupcakes and soon serves up a sexy courtship that will have you licking your lips in anticipation. Sample the delicious romance in Sweet Stuff by Donna Kauffman and tempt yourself further with recipes for the frosting-topped confections.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 15, 2013 Categories: Books, Romance

Best Audiobooks of the Year

Age of Miracles audiobook coverCelebrate June is Audiobook Month by turning a ready ear to the brand new winners of the 2013 Audie Awards. Whether on a sunny walk, a cross-country road trip, or even a daily commute, you will find the journey to be all the better in the company of an expert story. Audiobook listeners can also earn chances for prizes in MPPL’s summer reading program, Have Book, Will Travel, so why not start with one of these?

Science Fiction: The Age of Miracles (Walker) – read by Emily Rankin
Literary Fiction: Bring Up the Bodies (Mantel) – read by Simon Vance
Mystery: The Beautiful Mystery (Penny) – read by Ralph Cosham
Romance: The Witness (Roberts) – read by Julia Whelan
Solo Narration – Female: Katherine Kellgren for The Boy in the Suitcase (Kaaberbøl and Friis)
Solo Narration – Male: Edoardo Ballerini for Beautiful Ruins (Walter)
Teens: The Fault in Our Stars (Green) – read by Kate Rudd
Children’s Title for Ages 8-12: Same Sun Here – written and read by Silas House and Neela Vaswani
Children’s Titles for Ages Up to 8: The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case (McCall Smith) – read by Adjoa Andoh

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 1, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Literary, Romance

Cathleen’s Pick: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Cathleen staff picks pictureThe Flight of Gemma Hardy transports the story of Jane Eyre to twentieth-century Iceland and Scotland, successfully honoring the source material while still offering a few surprises. The graceful, lilting narration of reader Davina Porter perfectly renders Gemma’s progression from neglected waif to independent young woman.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 29, 2013 Categories: Audiobooks, Picks by Cathleen, Romance, Staff Picks

If Evanovich Wrote the Grim Reaper

First Grave on the RightLooking for an audiobook with laugh-out-loud humor, steamy romance, quirky suspense, and memorable supporting characters? If so, take a chance on Darynda Jones’ First Grave on the Right. Since she was a little girl, Charley Davidson has been talking to dead people. Now there are three murdered lawyers who won’t cross over, and it’s her responsibility to help them. She also has a very sexy someone visiting her lifelike dreams each night. What’s a woman to do? Lorelei King, the award-winning voice of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, plays to her strengths in narrating with the right blend of sarcasm, vulnerability, and fun.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 24, 2012 Categories: Audiobooks, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Romance

Ten Years of Talking Like a Pirate

Blackbeard book coverAvast, me hearties! Today marks the tenth anniversary of International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  Shiver your  timbers by treasure hunting at the Library. Solve the mystery of Why Do Pirates Love Parrots? or check out a soundtrack for your own pirate shenanigans. Be thrilled by buccaneer novels,  true pirate stories, or romance on the high seas. Adjust your eye-patch and choose a favorite pirate movie. Ahoy, matey, ye don’t want to be thought a landlubber or a scallywag, do ye?

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 19, 2012 Categories: Books, Movies and TV, Nonfiction, Romance

What the French Are Talking About

Delicacy book coverNot everyone has the chance to meet and marry her soul mate, but Natalie does. She and Francois are ridiculously happy together and full of plans for the future — plans that are cut cruelly short when an accident takes him away. Heartbroken and barely functional, Natalie isolates herself until one day when she impulsively kisses a stunned coworker. The odd but charming courtship that follows is the subject of La Delicatesse by David Foenkinos, a runaway bestseller in France and the adult fiction selection for this year’s Book Crossing program. At heart, it’s a playful, offbeat story about the journeys of two unlikely souls and how we are sometimes given what we need instead of what we expect.

JOIN US to chat about Delicacy on Monday, October 1, at 7 pm, and also hear about similar books and movies you may enjoy. A screening of the film adaptation starring Audrey Tautou will be shown Tuesday, October 2, at 1 pm. Registration is required for each event.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on September 17, 2012 Categories: Books, Humor, Movies and TV, Romance

Rewarding Romance

The Black Hawk book coverBe still our hearts! The Romance Writers of America have named the most outstanding published romance novels of the year and honored them with the 2012 RITA Awards. No matter if your preferred hero wears a kilt, holds a Regency title, has ties to the supernatural, or appreciates homebaked goods, you’ll find a winner to enhance your dreams.

Best Historical Romance: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne

Best Regency Historical Romance: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal

Best First Book: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Best Paranormal Romance: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison

Best Romantic Suspense: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb

Best Young Adult Romance: Enclave by Ann Aguirre

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on August 1, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

Award-Winning Faith Fiction

Promises to Keep book cover

The 2012 Christy Awards, designed to honor and promote excellence in Christian fiction, newly announced top picks in a variety of genres. Click here for a complete of nominees, and choose one of the winners below to inspire your end-of-summer reading.

Contemporary Standalone: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Contemporary Series: The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Suspense: The Queen by Steven James

Historical: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Historical Romance: The Maid of Fairbourne Hall by Julie Klassen

First Novel: Words by Ginny Yttrup

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 25, 2012 Categories: Awards, Books, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Romance

When Cary Met Sophia

Houseboat DVD coverCary 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.”

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on July 23, 2012 Categories: Humor, Movies and TV, Romance

Celebrate June is Audiobook Month

Bossypants audiobook cover

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

Solo Narration (Male): Simon Vance, narrator of The King’s Speech

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

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 11, 2012 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Humor, Literary, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance