I appreciated the audiobook Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter because it served as a jumping off point for further reading, viewing, and listening. I became interested in reading books about the Golden Age of Hollywood, viewing movies of that era, particularly Cleopatra, and listening to more books read by the actor Edoardo Ballerini.
Check It Out Category: Staff Picks
Adapted from the underground comic, The Storm Riders follows two young men, each possessed of superhuman fighting skills, who are forcibly apprenticed to a ruthless master following the murder of their parents. Cloud and Wind encounter an enormous cast of fellow warriors and navigate a number of dense soap-opera subplots before turning upon their nemesis for a dazzling climax of effects-laden combat, offering enough hypnotic visuals and virtuosic fight sequences for even the most jaded action fan.
Cathleen of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory:
It may be a meet-cute you’ve seen before, but when Drew and Alexa are stuck in an elevator together, their connection is made with such charm that it becomes entirely fresh.
Drew is a pediatrician on his way to the wedding of his ex and his best friend, so when he finds himself dateless, it isn’t…ideal. When he meets Alexa, the mayor’s chief-of-staff, in the stalled elevator, he’s struck by how smart and funny she is — not to mention quite attractive – so he impulsively invites her to be his plus-one. He’s surprised to hear himself ask, but even more surprised when she agrees! So begins a wedding weekend built on a lie, but the chemistry is undeniable.
The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is told in alternating points of view with winning banter and a bit of narrative wink. The warmth and fun with which Drew and Alexa navigate falling for one another is completely charming, and when those inevitable obstacles emerge, you can’t help but hold your breath for the happily-ever-after ending they deserve.
For more entertaining stories of relationships that begin in pretense and become real…
by Lucy Parker
A London actor with an image problem is paired with a charity-minded ingénue for a publicity-driven romance that takes them both off guard.
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Presented with the choice between jail and marrying a stranger, flighty Daisy Devereaux becomes the newest member of a traveling circus beside a husband who is determined to change her uptown ways.
by Julia Quinn
The Duke of Hastings will stop at nothing to keep the matchmakers at bay, even if it means pretending to be engaged to the lovely Miss Bridgerton, but strong feelings on both sides soon complicate the plan.
by Shannon Stacey
In preparation for her grandmother’s visit, Emma recruits a recently returned army vet to be her fake fiancé, but when their pretend relationship turns into something real, they must make some difficult decisions.
by Beverly Jenkins
When the first meeting of a spirited mail-order bride and a young widowed doctor results in a gunshot wound, the planned marriage of convenience seems to hold promise of more sparks than either expected.
Think you’ve got problems? Be glad you’re not Jason Dessen, the forty-year-old physics professor, husband, and father, who’s been kidnapped, drugged, and wakes up in a world similar to but not his own! In Dark Matter, author Blake Crouch takes you on a psychological thrill ride through the multiverse! Wonderful in audiobook!
Jen works at a software development company helping an artificial intelligence invention named Aiden sound more human. Aiden is more sentient than he has let on and has released himself into the Internet. After Jen suffers through a bad break-up Aiden sees her sorrow and decides to find her the man of her dreams. P.Z. Reizin’s debut sci-fi romantic comedy Happiness for Humans had me equally charmed by Aiden’s attempts at making romance happen and horrified by his existence!
The graphic novel Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun is about a visiting “aliebn” who makes new friends and discovers whimsical profundities about finding joy and connection in an uncaring world, like “look. life is bad. evryones sad. we’re all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable boumcy castle so r u gona take ur shoes off or wat.” The misspellings and simple line drawings create the feeling of a children’s story, but the exploration of deeper themes rings true for readers of all ages.
If you have not read a novel by best-selling author Julie Garwood, you should give Sweet Talk a try. Irresistible romantic suspense dealing with a failed FBI sting, a Ponzi scheme, family conflicts, illness, and greed. Prepare for dazzling romance, plus the good guys win.
Donna C. from Fiction/AV/Teen suggests Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Life leads you down strange and winding roads as you begin your adventures into adulthood. In Sourdough by Robin Sloan, Lois Clary is on just such a journey, open to the unknown as she ambles purposefully from the Midwest to San Francisco. Initially she heads to the Bay Area to take a job as a computer programmer at a startup company that makes robotic arms to perform delicate repetitive motions such as cracking eggs. Undeterred by a culture that forgoes food for semi-liquid nutrient supplement packets called “Slurry”, Lois embraces the high tech way of life. But when she finds herself craving a rich, flavorful meal that doesn’t come in a pouch, she begins a relationship with an ancient culture, an enigmatic duo of brothers and a bread recipe that takes on a life of its own.
For other offbeat adventures in the realm of culinary arts or the computer tech scene, try these…
by Doree Shafrir
Mack McAllister has a $600 million dollar idea, but before the ink on Mack’s latest round of funding is dry, an errant text message helps his startup company go viral for all the wrong reasons.
by Aimee Bender
On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice.
by Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox is notorious: a fearlessly opinionated partner , a revolutionary architect, a best friend and, simply, Mom. Then Bernadette disappears…
by Man Martin
Bone King has no physical impairment, but at times his brain and muscles simply can’t recall how to walk him through doors and is not sure why, until renowned neurologist Arthur Limongello offers a diagnosis as peculiar as the ailment…
by Robin Sloan
After a few days on the job, Clay Jannon discovers that Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest.
Looking for a fast-paced page-turner? Before the Fall by Noah Hawley is the book for you. The story starts with a plane crash and the incredible actions of one unlikely hero. Why did the plane crash? Were any of the passengers complicit? Get ready for a ride that may surprise you!
In The View from Penthouse B, recently widowed Gwen-Laura moves in with her sister, recently divorced Margot. They take in a newly unemployed young gay man to help with the rent, and it’s fun to see the roommates support each another as they navigate New York City following their personal setbacks. Elinor Lipman’s novel is a charming, light read brimming with optimism, even as it explores themes of grief, forgiveness, and financial challenges.