Letters to Juliet tells the story of the hundreds of letters that arrive in Verona, Italy, addressed merely to “Juliet”–letters from people around the world who want to express their feelings about love–loves lost, love remembered or elusive love. They are seeking the advice of Juliet–the romantic character in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The Juliet Club is a group of women of Verona who have volunteered to send each correspondent a hand-written letter from Juliet, offering compassion along with advice in their replies. The book details the history of the first letters that arrived for Juliet and the man, a custodian at Juliet’s tomb, who began the tradition of replying to each letter. It also contains several of the letters that have been left in the hopes that Juliet’s romantic advice can be of help, as well as the replies from the Secretaries of Juliet. It is a fascinating look at the hopeful nature of love and romance.
Faith West is a children’s librarian in Chicago who is jilted on her wedding day for not being exciting enough. She decides to go on her honeymoon to Italy by herself, where she meets and spends her time with the handsome Caine. After finding out he is the employee of a rival private investigation firm to her family’s firm and was sent to keep an eye on her (and that he blames her father for precipitating his own father’s suicide), she ditches him and heads back to Chicago. Taking her ex-fiance’s cricism to heart, she quits her job at the library and goes to work for her father as a researcher and investigator. In her new job, Faith keeps running into Caine, and things just continue to become more complicated wtih each encounter.
Nathan Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea is an account of the voyage of the whaleship Essex–the story which is the basis for Melville’s novel Moby Dick. This is a fascinating and well-researched account of the 1819 ramming of the Essex by a gigantic sperm whale and of it’s subsequent sinking. The crew of the ship, forced into small whale boats, attempted to cross the vast reaches of the pacific Ocean in hopes of finding land or rescue by another ship. The account of their battle to survive their ordeal and the decisions they were forced to make are both harrowing and tragic. Philbrick relates their horrific story with a concise and scholarly approach. He enhances the story with descriptions of the life history of whales, descriptions of the whaling industry and life aboard a whaling ship in the 1800′s. He bases much of his story on the diaries of two of the survivors of the tragedy. This is a powerful, well-written narrative about endurance and the will to survive and overcome hardships–a story that will stay with you long after you have read the final chapter.
Angus McKettrick has worked hard all his life, raising himself from poverty to the owner of one of the largest ranches in the Arizona Territory, only to raise the three sorriest sons around. Rafe, Kade, and Jeb work the ranch as little as possible, spending the majority of their time drinking, fighting, and carousing. Deciding that something must be done, Angus declares that the first to get married and produce offspring will get the ranch, producing a mad scramble of activity. Rafe takes action by ordering a bride through the mail.
Tatiana de Rosnay has written ten books in her native French and the first one to be written in English was her smash hit Sarah’s Key that has sold over 2 million copies.. In that book she jumps between two time periods to tell the story of a secret hidden during the 1942 round-up of Jews in Paris and discovered 60 years later.
Jennifer Crusie’s new, offbeat, entertaining romance combines two orphaned children, a remote Gothic house, an ex-husband as well as a fiancee, visitors from the spirit world and lots of eccentric characters, creating a light-hearted romantic adventure. Andie Miller confronts her ex-husband, North, in order to return his alimony checks and close this chapter in her life. Instead, he convinces her to spend a month caring for two children under his guardianship, after the three previous nannies have abruptly quit the job. Her adventures begin when she arrives at the house, to find an odd housekeeper, two sullen and quiet children and more than one ghost. This book is filled with witty dialog, fun and unique characters and, of course, romance. If you enjoy romance with a ghostly twist, Maybe This Time is for you!
This riveting memoir by Jim Cole relates his amazing survival and recovery from not one but two attacks by grizzly bears. Cole walked away from a lucrative real estate business to follow his passion–studying the great bears. In Blindsided, he relates not only the stories of his attacks but also his fascination with bears, and tells of his miles (thousands!!) hiking and following grizzlies throughout their habitat to observe, photograph and document their behavior. His account of his survival and recovery after his second attack is inspiring, as is his continued love and respect for the animals he studies and to which he has dedicated his life. As he writes “The bottom line is that grizzly bears–and every powerful creature, from the bison to the wolf–should be treated with a mixture of awe, admiration and reverence.” Whether Cole’s actions in his study of the grizzly venture into the foolhardy are unclear, but what is clear is his love for the bear and his commitment to study and learn about their behavior, in the hopes that this intelligent mammal does not vanish from our wilderness.
Experience the beauty and romance of Ireland at Jan Karon’s website before you begin her newest Father Tim novel, In the Company of Others. The Celtic music and charming photographs will prepare you for a wonderful read.
There’s been some talk in the news in recent months about the trend of adults reading young adult literature. This New York Times article addresses the trend. There is also a blog called Forever Young Adult for adults who read young adult fiction. This trend seems to have really taken off with the Harry Potter series and continued with books like Twilight and The Hunger Games. These books were a gateway into young adult literature for many adults who continue to pick up YA titles. For those who haven’t read these runaway bestsellers or picked up a young adult title in recent years, here are some suggestions of young adult literature that appeals to many adults.
Miranda is a typical high school sophomore and her diary is filled with the typical high school sophomore student concerns. In Life As We Knew It, everything changes, though, when a meteor hits the moon and knocks it off its normal axis. The earth is wracked by tsunamies, floods and volcano eruptions. The weather changes drastically and food and gas shortages abound. Miranda doesn’t focus so much on the death and destruction in her journal as she does on the reality of how much everyday life has
Cassie Griffin is standing heartbroken and pregnant over her husband’s freshly dug grave when the suitors start fighting for her hand in marriage. Montana territory in 1875 is a harsh place for a woman on her own, but Cassie wasn’t expecting to have to choose a new husband when the old one isn’t even cold in the ground. Through the crowd she sees Red Dawson, maybe not the man of her dreams, but kind and hardworking. Neither of them wants to get married, but they know it must be done to save her from men who are more interested in her land than her well-being.
Oogy, a severly injured puppy, finds a chance for a new life when Larry Levin and his twin sons, Noah and Dan, take their very ill family pet cat to a local vet. The family did not expect to return with another pet, much less a young puppy who was nearly torn apart by a fighting dog.