The summer reading program is in full swing at the Fond du Lac Public Library. The theme this year is Behold! The Power of Reading. You can sign up for the program online at www.fdlpl.org, or at any of the library service desks. Anyone can participate, and it only takes a minute to sign up. It is so easy - simply mark off a circle on your reading card for every 30 minutes of reading you do. It can be reading together as a family, or reading to others. Any format of reading qualifies, even listening to audiobooks.
For me, reading Dogwood Hill by Sherryl Woods was a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The twelfth in her Chesapeake Shores series, it is a continuation of the O'Brien family saga in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Those O'Brien's are a meddlesome and loveable family, full of matchmakers known for lots of well-intentioned hijinks. Dogwood Hill is a simple story that is just plain pleasant and enjoyable and filled with family love and subtle humor – a perfect reading getaway.
Two senior citizens find love and danger in the driftless area around Soldiers Grove and Viroqua in Paul Zimmer’s novel The Mysteries of Soldiers Grove. This is a quick read with some humor, some serious points about growing old, and a happy ending. Told in alternate chapters by Cyril and Louise who both live at the assisted living center in Soldiers Grove. Cyril is alone in the world. He had a hard childhood with drunken parents and sought comfort in reading biographies in the encyclopedia.
The Liar is the perfect title for the latest romantic suspense novel by Nora Roberts. Richard Foxworth, the man who swept Shelby Pomeroy off her feet and whisked her away from small town Tennessee to the most exclusive suburb of Philadelphia, fathered her child, and bathed her in luxury, was one of the biggest liars of all time. When he is declared missing at sea in the Atlantic Ocean, all of Richard's lies and deceitfulness are revealed and Shelby, and her three-year-old daughter, Callie, are left to pick up the pieces.
I finished reading Love Letters by Debbie Macomber this weekend and it felt like I was visiting an old friend. I say that because with an old friend you know what to expect, you are always entertained and rarely disappointed. Love Letters is the third book in the Rose Harbor series (a spin-off of her Cedar Cove series) and is just as good as the two previous books. As usual, Macomber creates interesting and complicated characters that you grow to care about. Her writing truly touches your emotions, happy and sad, and that is a wonderful gift not all authors have.
It is almost here people - the most romantic day of the year. Valentine's Day is mere days away and love and romance is in the air at the Fond du Lac Public Library. If reading romance is your thing, stop in and check out our "Sweet and Spicy" display, filled with romance books ranging from classic romance to paranormal romantic suspense.
The Sweetheart Sisters series by Shirley Jump combines sweet stories with plenty of heat. Set in Rescue Bay, Florida, the "sisters" are a trio of sassy, well-meaning grannies living at the Golden Years Retirement Home who think their mission in life is to play matchmaker for the town of Rescue Bay, all while giving some old-school lessons in love. Add in the elements of an animal rescue facility and numerous subplots, and these stories tug at your heartstrings while making you laugh out loud.
I have long been a fan of author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her romance stories are written with style and grace, and most times love conquers all when the story comes to a happy ever after ending. She certainly surprised me with her latest book, Heroes are My Weakness. Even though the title hints at a romantic setting, this one has a much darker and serious feel to it. In some ways, the beginning had elements of classic gothic romances like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
It might be the chill in the air, or the fact that winter is right around the corner, but lately I seem to be drawn to books about food. The storyline in The Glass Kitchen: a novel of sisters by Linda Francis Lee revolves around food, but is also the story of a young woman plucked from her childhood home in Texas and dropped into the bustling world of Manhattan. Struggling to make a new life for herself, with the help of her sisters, Portia Cuthcart uses her kitchen as a refuge which allows her to forgive, forget, and open herself up to her unique gift of magical food.
The family saga first introduced in The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs continues in The Beekeeper's Ball, the second installment of the Bella Vista Chronicles. Former celebrated chef Isabel Johansen is opening a destination cooking school focusing on local produce and products at Bella Vista, her family estate in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel. Isabel is a reserved, organized woman and seems so together, but when renowned journalist Cormac "Mac" O'Neill arrives on the scene he certainly shakes things up.