This book came to my attention a few years ago but I didn’t have a chance to read it until now. I really liked it and I’m torn between being sorry that it took me so long to get to it and glad that I finally did.
It fits into so many categories, historical fiction, romance (I use this one cautiously), and a mystery though it isn’t classified as one. Notice I didn’t say it was a ghost story but it is loaded with atmosphere especially as it takes place in 18th century Cambridge, England. The author shows a cloistered, mostly male, world of the academics which was political, religious and blasphemous mix, but he also offers a glimpse into the life of the people who serve that world and the Cambridge of that time. I can’t wait to read more of this author’s works. (Submitted by Renee)
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I forgot the last time I read a book and laughed so much. The Rosie Project sure made me smile and chuckle more than a few times. The main character, Don Tillman, has an Asperger’s syndrome – a condition that is pretty much permanent in one’s life and clearly not a laughable matter. However, once you meet Don and get to know his way of thinking and his approach to life, you begin to ease a little and think- things are not that bad for Don, actually he seems like he figured out life better than most people. Don adores order, rules, predictability and it’s easy to label him as rigid and control-loving. But, he is also a nice, smart, talented, kind, and caring person.
Fun begins when Don decides to seriously look into his “Wife Problem” (he is in his late 30s and single) and this is how the “Wife Project” gets underway. Don Tillman, being a scientist (geneticist to be exact) approaches the love aspect of life fully prepared, with scientific research and measurements. Find out what happens next! (Submitted by Mariya)
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If you fall in love with The Rosie Project, read The Rosie Effect afterwards!
This Dark Endeavour is a prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I am always a bit skeptic about prequels that are written a century or more after the initial novel. Yet, this book is a pleasant surprise: it is believable (as if indeed it is the real pre-story to Frankenstein). This Dark Endeavour is like a triple-flavoured ice-cream. The novel literally has lots of layers: history, science, magic, love, integrity – just to name a few. All of these subjects are covered deeply enough to create a sense of realism, but not too deep to instill a sense of boredom. Kenneth Oppel does a marvelous job depicting 18th century Europe: I submerged into it head and toes! There is never a dull moment; the novel is always moving forward. There are three main characters: Victor and Konrad Frankenstein (twin brothers) and their cousin Elizabeth. The three of them grew up together and were happy playmates until they reached their adolescent years. Very soon, they learn too many things at once: love and friendship don’t always go together, jealousy knows no boundaries, passion and duty are often on the opposite ends of the spectrum, and there is never a good or smart way to outwit death… (Submitted by Mariya)
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Me Before You has an unusual twist which really saves the novel from being another redundant Jane Eyre-Cinderella type of story.
Louisa Clark is a simple girl with down-to-earth expectations of life. She is from a working class family, living in a little town. At a first glance, she is unremarkable, except for her peculiar tastes in fashion. However, when you get to know Lou, you see that she has such a vibrant personality: her liveliness, optimism, perseverance, and kindness can fuel the universe for years to come!
William Traynor is a handsome, successful, daring, witty, and rich young man.
Lou and Will would have been a cliche-perfect romantic pair. But, here is where the author takes matters into her hands and writes an unexpected destiny for the couple. Will ends up in a road accident that leaves him a quadriplegic. Ironically, that’s when the beauty of the story kicks in.
After you are done with the book, borrow a movie! Still want more? Get the sequel – After You.
Surrey Libraries have them all: the book, the movie, and the sequel. Just drop by your local branch! (Submitted by Mariya)
Delicacy, by David Foenkinos, is one of the loveliest books I have read. It is the story of a woman finding love after the death of her first husband, who she thought was the one love of her life. The characters are brilliant, and the story, very engaging. Throughout the book, the reader keeps being called back to the title, because so much of the story is subtle and gentle. Natalie, the story’s lead character, is very fragile in her mourning. The way Markus approaches Natalie, and the relationship that develops, is a tale of astounding delicacy that infuses every word and every page of the book.
As an additional point of interest, author David Foenkinos, himself, made a movie out of his novel. Directed by David and his brother, Stephane, the film La delicatesse is as wonderful as the book. You can find the book, the eBook and the movie (with Audrey Tautou and Francois Damiens) in Surrey Libraries. (Submitted by Eva).
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In Dumplin’, we meet Willowdean, a 16-year-old girl a little on the chubbier side who lives in a small Texas town. Willowdean is confident and funny–and crushing hard on the cute jock who works at the fast food restaurant with her. Willowdean’s self image and self-confidence get skewed when she discovers that her crush likes her back. All of a sudden, she’s anxious about how people will view them as a couple. On a whim, she decides to enter the town beauty pageant run by her mother with a number of misfits from school. This young adult book was charming and engrossing. I finished it in a day. (Submitted by Meghan).
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I never read historical fiction and rarely romance, but I read this one because Susanna is coming to speak at Guildford Library on October 27th. Well, it was a great book! It has an interesting plot about a British art dealer with the power to touch an object and know its history. Nicola travels to Russia to help a client prove her wooden firebird is connected to Russia’s Empress Catherine. Ah, and there is romance, with Rob, who has more developed psychic powers than Nicola herself. This book had a pace that moves along quickly, with interesting settings and realistic, likeable characters. I will try other books by this author now. (submitted by KA)
Meet Susanna Kearsley in person! Join us at Guildford Library on Sunday, October 27 from 3-4pm. Call 604-598-7366 to register.
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