School's finally out and now it's time for summer vacation road trips. Nothing makes a road trip fly by faster than listening to a great story on audio while you drive. The Fond du Lac Public Library has a great collection of books on CD and playaways, with everything from the latest James Patterson thriller to family friendly titles guaranteed to entertain.
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith is inspired by a real-life 17th century female Dutch painter and alternates with the fictional story of a woman who was an art student in the 1950s. The character of Sara de Vos is based on the real Sarah van Baalbergen who was the first woman to be admitted to the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in the Netherlands in 1631.
The Fond du Lac Public Library Summer Reading Program starts today and it is for the entire family! How does it work? It is so easy. Simply sign up online or go to any library desk, at the Main Library or FDLPL Express. You will be given a card with circles on it. Read anything you like − books, magazines, audiobooks, comics - and mark off a circle on your card for every 30 minutes you read. When it's full, bring the card to any library location and get a prize. In addition, all adults' cards are entered into weekly prize drawings. There are 4 cards total and the prizes are awesome.
Popular Wisconsin author Jane Hamilton has written another book--The Excellent Lombards--a humorous story about family relations and growing up and featuring an endearing main character and a bittersweet ending. Set in the 1990s, main character Mary Frances Lombard (also known as Frankie or Francie) lives with her parents Jim and Nellie and her brother William in southeastern Wisconsin on their farmland.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen's works you might enjoy these authors' modern versions of some of her greatest classics. I finished Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld this weekend and I have to say I was impressed. The story was very well written and the author has some thoughtful commentary on modern society, which I think Miss Austen would have appreciated.
Check out the display on family saga novels at the Library! Family is a common theme for stories and a popular theme for readers. Among the titles on display is I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker. This is a good book for anyone who likes family sagas and anyone who likes to read books with a Wisconsin connection.
The second installment in her paperback Mystic Creek series, New Leaf by Catherine Anderson is another excellent read by one of my favorite authors. It is most definitely a romance novel, but the book also touches on some very real social issues trending in the world today; attitudes toward law enforcement officers, as well as how wealth and dishonesty can affect court decisions. I think the author addresses these issues in a very real and believable way.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a charming debut novel by a Swedish author. Ove is a grumpy man with fixed routines and standards who has been forced into early retirement. He loves his wife and his Saab but is difficult and bitter with everyone else. Yet beneath his crusty exterior is a tender heart. The first thing that brought tears to my eyes when I read this book was that (spoiler) Ove’s beloved wife Sonja is dead.
If you like suspenseful stories with alternating chapters of "then" and "now", Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky should be your next read. The first few chapters get you hooked. There are two newlyweds, a shocking confession, and a murder scene in two different locations, New York and St. Lucia, and you will fight the urge to jump ahead because each chapter gives you just a little bit more of the story and leaves you hanging. Although the story is a bit grizzly at times it is an overall thrilling tale from beginning to end.
The first line of this debut novel, Contrary Motion by Andy Mozina, sets the tone for the story: “I’m a Midwesterner, born and raised in Milwaukee, where they manufacture beer and the heavy machinery you should not operate while drinking it.” Main character Matt Grzbc (pronounced Ger-bik) is a harpist barely getting by living in Chicago. He is divorced from Milena but isn’t really over her even though he has a new girlfriend, Cynthia.