I savored Ruth Reichl’s first foray into fiction (sorry for the pun – couldn’t resist!). I vacillated between eagerly turning the pages and pausing for a break, simply because I didn’t want the story to end. In Delicious!, we meet Billie as she prepares for an interview as the assistant to the editor of a food magazine.
In the engaging characters she encounters, the mouth-watering food she describes, and the foodie side of New York City she explores, the reader is drawn in to all of Billie’s new experiences. With an unexpected WWII tie (Billie discovers letters between James Beard and a precocious 11-year-old Lulu), a mystery, and unresolved family issues, this book is hard for me to describe – other than it was lovely and wonderful and completely worth a read.
After a five year wait, Heather Wells finally returns in Size 12 and Ready to Rock, the latest installment of this chick lit mystery series by Meg Cabot. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous three books – or, like me, you don’t remember the specifics – it’s easy to jump back into Heather’s zany life.
At 15, Heather Wells was a famous pop star who traveled the globe. At 30, she’s the assistant residence hall director at Fischer Hall (aka “Death Dorm”) in NYC. There’s another dead body and another mystery to solve, but more importantly, plenty of humor. I think I had a smile on my face for much of the novel. Escape for a few hours with this entertaining and engaging story.
To see how it all began, check out my review of Size 12 is Not Fat. And for more chick lit, check out our book list.
Going on vacation? Or just need to get away for a few hours? Pick up Sophie Kinsella’s latest standalone novel — it’s the perfect escape.
Poppy Wyatt is the loveable heroine who, a week before her wedding, loses her antique engagement ring and her cell phone, then finds a discarded phone. And craziness and hilarity ensue.
She’s desperately trying to hide the fact that she lost a family heirloom from her fiancé and his family, plus finalize wedding preparations. Oh, and that cell phone? It belongs to businessman Sam Roxton — who doesn’t appreciate Poppy interfering in his personal and professional life.
Enjoy the texts and emails between Sam and Poppy. Avid texters and Facebook users will appreciate the conversation more. And I love the footnotes — another way for Poppy to share her wry observations. The secondary characters and the Scrabble games will bring a smile to your face. Read the novel without taking it too seriously — suspending disbelief makes it an entertaining diversion for an afternoon.
Pick up a copy of I’ve Got Your Number today and get lost in this fun romance.
Augustus Whittlesby writes dreadful (yet entertaining) poetry – and has done so for more than a decade to aid the British cause. As a spy stationed in Napoleon’s France, Whittlesby’s ridiculous ramblings provide an excellent cover. Widowed American Emma Delagardie, friend to Napoleon’s stepdaughter and cousin to the American envoy, finds herself ensconced in the Paris social scene. The pair is thrown together when the newly crowned emperor requests a masque at his manor home, Malmaison.
Between uncovering a plot to invade England, exchanging delightful letters, and discovering a mysterious weapon, Augustus and Emma embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The Garden Intrigue is a must for fans of historical fiction, plus those who enjoy mystery and romance.
Although it’s the ninth installment of the Pink Carnation series, you can jump in with this delightful concoction. If you want to start at the beginning, check out The Secret History of the Pink Carnation (and check out my review of that title here).
Join us during National Library Week on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00pm for an appearance by Lauren Willig. She’ll talk about the Pink Carnation series, answer your questions, and sign books. Anderson’s of Downers Grove will be present to sell books. Reserve your spot today at calendar.ippl.info!
For more more books by Lauren Willing check out our catalog.
A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff (2010)
Isabel Wolff has written a delightful story to entertain and captivate. A Vintage Affair tells the story of Phoebe Swift, who leaves Sotheby’s to open her own vintage clothing shop. Each garment has a history and each garment has a future as far as Phoebe is concerned. Throughout the story we are treated to brief descriptions of designer named clothing and they do sound wonderful!
Phoebe goes to purchase clothing from an elderly Frenchwoman and finds a child’s blue coat among her things. They gradually become friends and share a connection because of the coat, which helps Phoebe heal her pain of a past heartbreak. Wolff’s writing is so lovely that the stories become vivid, endearing and special. The story includes two men competing for Phoebe’s affection, her mother who leans on Phoebe for life-advice, her father coping with a new family, and an amusing cast of customers.
Don’t miss A Vintage Affair. It’s a well put together, brilliantly amusing book.
Watch the clip below to hear the author discuss her book.
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (2009)
This is a charming, funny, enjoyable read with wonderfully developed characters, many of whom I’d love to meet and hang out with! I couldn’t help but root for each character to have a “happy ending” despite their flaws or shortcomings. If you like lighter, well-written fiction with an engaging storyline and likeable characters, you’ll love this one.
Preview the book, visit the author’s website and read the L.A. Times review.
Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern (2005)
Rosie and Alex are meant for each other. And yet life keeps getting in the way. Follow the pair through letters, notes, instant messages, and emails. Laugh at their correspondence with each other and with their friends and family.
These childhood friends become long distance pen pals when Alex moves from Dublin to Boston. Plans to reunite are constantly thwarted. College happens, then marriage, births, and deaths. And yet they keep in touch. Watch Alex and Rosie grow from childhood to middle age and find out if fate helps them finally get together.
Read reviews at Amazon.com and visit the author’s website.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (2005)
American grad student Eloise Kelly travels to England to conduct research for her dissertation (and to get over a cheating boyfriend). She’s fascinated by the spies (with flowery aliases) who saved England during the Napoleonic era and is trying to solve one of history’s greatest mysteries: the identity of the Pink Carnation.
Most of the story takes place in the early 1800s. Amy Balcourt travels to France to join the League of the Purple Gentian. She wants to avenge her parents’ deaths and dreams up schemes to defeat Napoleon. Lord Richard Selwick – aka the Purple Gentian – isn’t quite prepared for Amy (nor does he reveal his secret identity). Several English citizens work to stop Napoleon’s nefarious plot to invade England – the Pink Carnation among them – but you’ll have to read the book to discover the spy’s identity! The author’s debut, The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, is the first in a series.
I think Meg Cabot describes it best: “This genre-bending read—a dash of chick-lit with a historical twist—has it all: romance, mystery, and adventure.”
Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center (2009)
Lanie’s life is not turning out how she expected. When she is uprooted from Texas to live in the Northeast, she finds her life more out of control than ever. Lanie takes the opportunity to get control and ends up finding herself in the process. A light, funny read.
Read reviews at Amazon.com, visit the author’s web site, and watch a YouTube video.
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews (2008)
Gina Foxton, host of a Georgia public television cooking show, is stunned when her show is cancelled – and doubly so after she finds out why: her producer (and boyfriend) was caught sleeping with the sponsor’s wife. Things are looking up when Gina learns she has a chance to host a national show at The Cooking Channel. But there’s a catch: she’ll have to beat Tate Moody, host of a popular hunting/fishing/cooking show, in a reality show cook-off. Sparks fly as the two clash, cook, and click.
Enjoy the delightful Southern setting, the hilarious situations throughout the novel, and the wonderfully entertaining cast of characters surrounding Gina and Tate. A fun, breezy novel that’s perfect for the beach, or for a lazy afternoon in your own backyard.
Check out the Book Reporter interview with the author, or visit Mary Kay Andrew’s website for an excerpt and book discussion guide.