Posts tagged with "Contemporary Women's Fiction"

Posted by jdunc on 03/28/14
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Listening to Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding is like a visit from a completely irrational, but insanely hilarious old friend. In some ways, Bridget is the same Bridge we met almost 20 years ago------ drinking too many units of wine and clueless about the dating world, but with the added stresses of understanding Twitter, adjusting to being a single mum to two young kids, and dealing with the death of her husband, the much loved Mark Darcy.

The audio is read by Samantha Bond, perhaps better known as Rosamund Painswick of Downton Abbey. As I listened, I could picture Bridget obsessively checking for new “twitterati” and the complete chaos of her home. She has much needed support from her  friends, Tom, Jude, Talitha, and Daniel Cleaver. Bond does wonderful voices of all the characters, especially 6-year-old Mabel (lisp included) and 30-year-old boy toy, Roxster.  Bond's ability to capture Bridget’s hurt and loneliness at losing her husband made me tear up, but in true Bridget style I was laughing again by the next diary entry. As a Bridget Jones fan I really enjoyed this book and revisiting her life 20 years later. It was comforting to see Bridget is the same neurotic, obsessive, lovable woman we met so long ago. The audio was so much fun to listen to and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Posted by jdunc on 09/30/14
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From the bestselling author of the Husband’s Secret, comes the latest novel from Liane Moriarty. Big Little Lies follows a cast of characters that interact as parents of kindergarten aged children at Piriwee Public School on the coast of Australia. Moriarty provides witty and funny characters that all have dark lies. At the center of the story is a death that occurs during trivia night to raise money for the school. The book begins 6 months earlier and intersperses police interviews with other parents into the narration. The reader is not only guessing who the murderer is, but also who was murdered for much of the story, with a twist in the last 50 pages.
 
The novel focuses on three mothers who form a quick, tight friendship. Jane is a plain, shy, young single mother who seems to be hiding a secret. Madeline is a flamboyant, outspoken mother of three on her second marriage. Celeste is a beautiful, wealthy mother of twin boys who seems to have a perfect life. Each carries their own big, little lie. While the plot is somewhat dark, Moriarty has the ability to seamlessly include humor which results in both disturbing and laugh out loud moments. At its heart, Big Little Lies exposes the "little" lies we tell ourselves and others to keep us going through life.
 
 
 

Posted by jdunc on 01/28/15
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Yes, we are a little beyond Christmas and on our way to Spring but Christmas at Tiffany’s, by Karen Swan, has surprisingly little to do with Christmas. In fact if you are looking to escape to some of the most magnificent cities around the world, then Christmas at Tiffany’s offers the perfect vacation. Cassie, Suzy, Kelly, and Anouk have been best friends since they met over fifteen years ago at boarding school. Cassie settled in the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Kelly is a fashionista in New York city, Anouk is a chic jewelry designer in Paris and Suzy is a fabulous wedding planner in London.
 
During her tenth wedding anniversary party, surrounded by her three best friends, Cassie learns her husband has a child with another woman. Devastated by this revelation, Cassie flees into the arms of her three best friends. It is decided that Cassie will spend the next year of her life living in New York, Paris, and London as she puts the pieces of her life back together and tries to discover what she is meant to do. It is exciting to follow Cassie on her journey as she tests out the fashion industry in New York, works with a Michelin star chef in Paris, and finally put the pieces together in London. Through it all she meets new friends, has a little romance, and rediscovers herself.
 
Fans of Mary Kay Andrews and Jane Green will thoroughly enjoy Christmas at Tiffany’s!
 

Posted by Sltader on 03/27/17
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It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany packs a lot of emotional impact into a relatively short read. The story centers around two best friends, Tyler and Amber, who have helped each other through rough times in their lives. You meet them as teenagers dealing with issues like body images, eating disorders, anxiety, broken families and strained relationships, and unrequited love. The story is told from both perspectives so you see the characters grow up and their friendship expand over the years, as they get older. Then one horrible night in their twenties, something happens that changes not only their relationship but also their lives forever.

For me, this book read as a very real story. The blurry details, the guilt, and the emotions -- the reader feels all these things from both characters. Unfortunately, this story happens all over the world and is often never reported nor discussed. The topic of consent is one every parent must discuss with both their daughters and their sons. This novel vividly highlights the strength it takes to move beyond an assault. The pages Hatvany wrote capture the emotional toll that rape takes on an individual, their family, and sometimes their assailant.

Hatvany describes what it is like to be on both sides of the date rate spectrum, and her story drives home why it is so important to have conversations with both our sons and daughters. Every high school and college student should read this book to see how one very serious act could ruin the lives of both involved.

Posted by jdunc on 12/23/15
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“We make choices, big and small, every day of our lives, and those choices have consequences. Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices”.  Can one small choice really change the course of your life? In her latest novel, Taylor Jackson Reid explores the questions of fate, choices, and how they influence finding “the one”. Hannah Martin is going aimlessly through life, moving from place to place on a whim and can’t quite get her life together. She decides to return home to Los Angeles after an affair with a married man ends badly. On her first night home, while out with friends, she makes one choice that creates two vastly different lives and stories. Should she stay at the bar and rekindle a romance with an old high school boyfriend or should she leave with her best friend?  In alternating chapters, Sliding Doors style, Hannah’s life takes two vastly different directions.

The book itself is not about regret but focuses on the idea that life is what you make of it. It begs the question is there such a thing as fate? Does life end up the way it is supposed to be or are the series of choices you make have a greater influence? Fast-paced and at times humorous, you’ll want to rush to through it to see how the two stories end.

Posted by Auntie Anne. on 04/16/13
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Will was a wealthy and successful businessman who climbed mountains and parachuted out of airplanes in his spare time, that is until he was struck by a motorcycle which left him paraplegic.  Lou was a quirky British lass who had just lost her job at the local coffee shop, but had no plans for herself other than to live at home and watch TV with her parents, that is until Will's mother hired her to be his caregiver and companion.  In spite of Will's acerbic tongue and mood swings, Lou refused to treat him with kid gloves.  Upon the realization that he had attempted to take his own life, Lou sets about a plan to show Will that life is worth living.  The result is an unexpected love affair with a heartbreaking ending.  An ending that is hopeful and thought-provoking, not at all schmaltzy or predictable.
 
I can't remember the last book I read that had me laughing out loud on one page and crying on the next.  Me Before You is that rare book that takes you through so many emotions, but effortlessly and flawlessly.   It's a book that teaches you that it's never too late to start living.

Posted by jdunc on 08/01/16
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If you’re looking for a light, fun read to add to your summer reading list, look no further than Nine Women, One Dress. It is the perfect pick for soaking up the last bits of summer at the pool or beach.

Debut author, Jane Rosen is witty and engaging as she seamlessly weaves nine separate stories around one black dress. Each story is neatly wrapped up with a satisfying ending by the conclusion of the book. Some stories include: a Bloomingdale sales women starting a relationship with a movie star, a private investigator, a recent college graduate who has created a fake life on social media, an aspiring model, and a middle aged secretary in love with her boss. All of their lives are changed for the better by this one black dress. The dress itself transcends age and culture to take on a character of its own. I loved it from start to finish.

Posted by jdunc on 06/25/14
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I love Mary Kay Andrews and was especially pleased with her latest summer novel Save the Date. All of Andrews’ novels take place in and around Savannah, Georgia and feature strong, smart, entrepreneurial women, usually down on their luck. The main character of her latest novel is Carrie Kryzik, a struggling florist overcoming a tough divorce who is working her way into Savannah society. Carrie is determined to make a name for herself as a premier florist and prove to her father that she can be successful. Andrews’ elaborate descriptions of the southern weddings and spectacular flower arrangements are fitting given wedding season. Especially entertaining are the cast of demanding brides and their mothers. When Carrie is pulled into the drama of planning a massive wedding of two well-known Southern families, chaos ensues.
 

Along the way, Carrie meets Jack Finnerty, a gruff handsome man that keeps showing up at all of the weddings around Savannah. Their Goldendoodle puppies, Poppy and Shaz, play a comical role in the lives of Carrie and Jack and their romance. While there are some bumps along the way, you definitely root for Carrie, Jack and her flower business. I especially loved all of the intricate descriptions of flowers and wedding details. This perfect light summer read with a guaranteed happy ending

 

Posted by Sltader on 07/18/17
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid features alternating timelines as an aging starlet, Evelyn Hugo, participates in a journalism interview about her life story. Lucky for us, her answers take on a life of their own, allowing readers to be sucked back in time to an era of glamour, strategy, and secrecy. Jenkins Reid’s writes a fascinating story that is easy to forget that it is fiction. It feels like an actual memoir. Evelyn's character shares perspectives on equality issues, relationships, the spectrum of sexuality, the cost and consequences of success, and taking ownership of (and responsibility for) one's life. It is also, about how times have changed, and although opportunities of significance are becoming more and more accessible to women these days, sometimes we are the ones who continue to stand in our own way.

Evelyn is a highly complex woman.  She is bold, undaunted, fierce, unapologetic and surprisingly tender and vulnerable as well. She was so well crafted that I felt like I was getting the inside scoop on a Hollywood icon’s life even though she is a fictional character. The story is glamorous, scandalous and filled with juicy gossip, yet it was also touching. It really reads like the epic saga of one woman’s life and I enjoyed every mesmerizing page of this book. I recommend The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo as the perfect vacation or beach read!

Posted by jdunc on 06/10/16
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It isn’t summer without the newest beach read from Mary Kay Andrews. Her latest, The Weekenders, leans more toward mystery than light romance. Riley is a wealthy mother of a 12-year-old and in an unhappy marriage to her husband Wendell. Each summer Riley and her extended family vacation on Belle Isle, North Carolina, an island that her family built. When her estranged husband doesn’t show, Riley is livid, until his body is discovered in the water.

As the sheriff and Riley try to get to the bottom of her husband’s death, they uncover more secrets and lies. But it isn’t a Mary Kay Andrews novel without a little romance. Riley finds support and romance from her teenage love. This novel is more serious than many of Andrews’s other works, but still very much a page turner. Andrews has a history of mystery writing, publishing several mystery novels under the pseudonym Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will enjoy the untangling of secrets and lies in a quaint beach town.

 
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
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