Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lit for Chicks!

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces." (Bridget Jones' Diary)

"Chick Lit" is a term used to describe any novel written and geared towards women, most often young twenty-and-thirty-something women. Often romantic, the topics vary from life changes (loss of job, new apartment, new boyfriend) to just keeping up with your friends. Sometimes serious, and always fun, here are some of our favorites:

Bridget Jones’ Diary, by Helen Fielding

One of the originals of the genre, written before the movie and its sequel became famous. Bridget is as funny in the book as she is on the screen – an everywoman who writes things she would never dare say.

Also by Fielding: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999) and Cause Celeb (2001)

The Dirty Girls’ Social Club, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

A first, too, in the subcategory of Latina Chick Lit, this is about six friends – Usnavys, Lauren, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Sara, and Amber – who call themselves “dirty girls” because of the color of their skin. Each girl has a life that seems pretty great from the outside, but inside, it’s full of trials, from Usnavys’ accepting herself and the size of her body (and finding a man who will love her for who she is) to Amber’s rock-and-roll life that helps her connect with her Aztec roots.

Also by Valdes-Rodriguez: Playing With Boys (2005) and Make Him Look Good (2008)

In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner

A story about sisters who share nothing but a shoe size, In Her Shoes is Weiner’s second novel. It’s a little deeper than most chick lit, which tends to be pretty frothy, but it’s a great book and the movie isn’t bad, either.

Also by Weiner: Good in Bed (2001) and Little Earthquakes (2005)

Can You Keep a Secret?, by Sophie Kinsella

While Kinsella is best known for her “Shopaholic” books, her stand-alone novels like this one are as good, if not better, showing ingenuity at new and strange situations her heroines find her in. This one finds the lead character, Emma Corrigan, thinking she’s going to die in a plane crash, and telling all her most secret secrets to the guy sitting next to her.

Also by Kinsella: The Undomestic Goddess (2006), and Remember Me? (2008)

If you’re not sure who’ll strike your fancy, try “Girls Night In” or “American Girls About Town” short story compilations released to benefit the War Child and Make-a-Wish charities.

*All of these books will be in the library's Fiction section, which is arranged alphabetical by author's last name, i.e. "FIC WEINER"*

Next Week: Urban Fantasy Chick Lit

Outside of a Dog, #10

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

We wouldn’t be able to conclude discussing romance without mentioning some of our own favorites. In no particular order or category here are a few we definitely recommend trying.

Elizabeth Berg

Her book “Open House” was chosen as an Oprah Book Club Selection several years ago. She writes novels noted for giving readers remarkable insights into human relationships. Although not strictly what we would call a romance writer, her stories often have strong romantic elements in each plot.

The Art of Mending (2004) WCV WAM

Say When (2003) WCV

Open House (2000) WCV WDB WMB WAM

Susan Carroll

She mixes a lot of different elements in her stories including magic, time travel, and reincarnation, but pulls it all together in an engrossing read.

The Dark Queen (2005) WCV TPL

The Night Drifter (1999) WAM ROG

The Bride Finder (1998) WAM SHL

Patricia Gaffney

An author who made the leap from writing Harlequin-type category romances to mainstream hardcover novels.

Mad Dash (2007) WCV

The Goodbye Summer (2004) SHL

Saving Graces (2001) WDM WAM

Feel free to comment with *your* favorite romances!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Images of America - Arcadia Publishing

Arcadia is a publishing company based in Chicago, specializing in pictorial books with a regional and local history viewpoint. Every book is a selection of photographs with a brief but informative paragraph underneath. Listed below is a selection of titles owned at the Warren Libraries. Many other titles can be found within the library cooperative. The Arcadia website lists their entire catalog. This is a link to all of their Michigan books.

Civic Center Library:
Detroit City of Industry 977.434 P
Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 977.434 M
Romeo 977.439 M
Hudson’s: Detroit's Legendary Department Store 977.434 H
Detroit’s Belle Isle: Island Park Gem 977.434 R
Remembering Detroit’s Olympia Stadium 796.068 W

Dorothy Busch Library:
Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 977.434 M
Baseball in Detroit, 1886-1968 796.357 P

Arthur Miller Library:
Motor City Mafia: a Century of Organized Crime in Detroit 346.1066 B
Cruisin’ the Original: Woodward Avenue 977.434 A
Detroit’s New Center 977.434 F
Catholic Churches of Detroit 977.402 G
Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 977.434 M
Detroit’s Belle Isle: Island Park Gem 977.434 R
Remembering Detroit’s Olympia Stadium 796 W
Detroit, 1900-1930 977.434 B
Detroit, 1930-1969 977.434 P
Detroit, 1860-1899 977.434 P

Maybelle Burnette Library:
Labor in Detroit: Working in the Motor City 331.88 S

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #9

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Last week we talked about adventure and humorous romances. This week we’d like to suggest some contemporary and inspirational or Christian romances.

Barbara Bretton writes a contemporary romance story that features interesting characters and old-fashioned story-telling. Only published in paperback her website www.barbarabretton.com offers a complete list of all her titles.

Just Desserts (2008) SHL TPL

Just Like Heaven (2007) WCV

Someone Like You (2005) WDB TPL

Girls of Summer (2003) WCV

Claire Cook’s books are a delight to read. Humorous and insightful, they deal with family and romantic situations we can all relate to.

Summer Blowout (2008) (to be released on June 3rd)

Multiple Choice (2004) WAM TPL SHL

Must Love Dogs (2002) (now a movie – but trust us the book is so much better) WCV RSV SHL

Karen Kingsbury is a big name in the arena of inspirational fiction. She has almost 30 novels to her credit including continuing series and stand alone efforts. Her Red Glove series is published in a smaller hard cover format. The books are easily identifiable by the small red glove that appears on the cover. Her website www.karenkingsbury.com gives a full listing of her titles as well as author information, newsletters, and speaking engagements.

Oceans Apart (2008) SHL

Between Sundays (2008) WMB

Forever (2007) WCV

Ever After (2007) WCV

Just Beyond the Clouds (2007) ROK TPL

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #8

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

Believe it or not, there are all different types of romances. Adventure romances, humorous romances, inspirational or Christian romances, contemporary romances, paranormal romances, romantic suspense, chick lit, and romances that deal with a variety of so-called women’s issues. In this issue of Outside of a Dog, I’d like to give readers an example or two of adventure romance’s notable authors:

Cherry Adair’s books are a good illustration of adventure romances. She gives her readers a strong romantic plot blended with an exciting adventure storyline. Most of her novels deal with strong male characters who are involved with the military, police, or Special Forces. The majority came out originally in paperback. Here are just a few of her recent titles.

White Heat (2007) SHL TPL ARM

Edge of Darkness (2006) WCV WMB

Edge of Fear (2006) WMB

Edge of Danger (2006) WMB

Hot Ice (2005) ROG SHL TPL ARM

Susan Anderson’s titles, on the other hand, feature a blend of romance and suspense but it is the large dose of humor that keeps her audience turning the pages.

Just for Kicks (2006) WAM SHL

Head over Heels (2002) WMB WDB

All Shook Up (2001) CLL SHL TPL

Next week we will give you some suggestions for contemporary and inspirational romances.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bring May Flowers...

*Due to an unexpected misplacement of data, Outside of a Dog will not appear this week. Thank you for your patience.*

Did you know that May is National Sports and Physical Fitness Month?

May is a great time to get outside in the sunshine and put some play into your day! Play a game, watch some sports (Go Tigers! Go Red Wings! Go Pistons!), or learn a new way to feel great! As the weather heats up, come and play in the fountains at city square! (Be sure to bring a towel!)

Why not try these selections from the Warren Public Library?

* Tigers Essential: Everything you need to know to be a real fan! 796.357 C WCV
* High-Flying Stars J 796.323 F WDB
* Bend it Like Beckham DVD B162 WDB
* America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation 796.332 M WMB
* Hockey: A People's History 796.962 M WAM
* Bellydance: Basic Moves With Neena and Veena VC 793.3 B WCV
* Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies DVD BKS 613.7046 B WMB
* Budokon: Beginning Practice by Carmen Shayne DVD 613.7 S WAM
* Cardio Salsa DVD 613.71 C WDB

Don't forget to check out our Yoga for kids and teens in May and June at the Civic Center!
Interested in getting out and moving? Check out your local gym or YMCA for programs like Cycling, Forza, Zumba, Kickboxing, and Bellydancing!