Linda Stevens's blog

Wondering What to Read Next? Put Book Hunters on the Case

bookhunter

Not many people know good books better than librarians, though not all people agree on what makes a good book.  It's all about making the right match.  We'd like to offer our expertise in a new personalized service that connects readers with the books we think they will enjoy the most.

Perhaps you read much faster than your favorite authors can write new books.  It could be that you are overwhelmed by the number of book choices available in each genre.  Maybe you would like to encourage your teenager to read for pleasure, but have no knowledge about teen authors.  Whatever the reason, if you need any kind of reading advice, the HCPL Book Hunters can help!

Love and Laughs

Having long been a fan of the screwball comedy, I enjoy finding romance novels that feature many of the same laugh-out-loud characteristics.  You'll find the delightfully familiar kooky protagonists with love/hate issues, the gleefully eccentric secondary characters, the compounding misunderstandings, and the physical pratfalls, all tied together with sharp dialogue.  If you would like to try some laughs with your romance, why not try one of the titles below?lady be good

Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Lady Emma Wells-Finch has come to Texas to finally find some trouble and pro golfer Kenny Traveler is finally trying to avoid it.  When Kenny is blackmailed into chauffeuring Emma around town, he has to try to bail her out of one wacky situation after another.

HCPL Receives "A Place for All People" Award from MFAH

place for all people award 2010

Harris County Public Library was honored to receive one of the First Annual "A Place for All People" awards from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on September 15, 2010.  The "A Place for All People" award honors select partners whose mission, goals and work reflect and complement that of the museum.  "MFAH partners share a longstanding commitment to the Houston community and a belief in the importance of arts in education as a part of a well-rounded life, for all," said Victoria Ramirez, W.T. and Louise J. Moran Education Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Inspired by Arthur

arthur

I have always been a fan of the different stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  Rosemary Sutcliff, Mary Stewart, T.H. White, Marion Zimmer Bradley, I read them all, even Malory and Chretien de Troyes in college.  They are very romantic tales, in fact, the word romance as we are using it here derives from the medieval tales of knights and adventure written in the French language.  But the actual romances; Arthur and Guenevere, Lancelot and Guenevere, Lancelot and Elaine, Tristan and Iseult, Arthur and Morgause, Merlin and Nimue, well, you get the picture.  All pretty tragic stuff.

Bring On the Tortured Heroes

Thank you, Charlotte Brontë! If you hadn't created Mr. Rochester to be not very handsome, but mysterious, with a dissolute past, a strange sense of humor, and a honking big secret (not to mention the consequences of his ultimate trip through the fire), we might not be reading books featuring the modern romance version of the tortured hero. This character may have often suffered physical or emotional abuse, complete with internal or external scarring; he probably seems like an outsider, mysterious and/or dangerous, and still carries some pain within. So, what's the appeal? Next to him, the well-adjusted boy next door seems, well, boring.

Share Your Opinion About Summer Programs

srp 2010 posterWe'd like to hear your opinions about this year's Summer Reading Programs.  This year's Children's, Teen and Adult programs just ended and we'd like to encourage you to take our Summer Reading 2010 survey to assist us as we begin planning for next year.  The survey will be open through August 27th and paper copies are available in the library branches, if you prefer that format.  Help us make next year's programs the best yet!

 

Once Upon a Time

I imagine that many romance readers spent their childhoods repeating the same request I did, "Tell me a story."  The favorite stories were always fairy tales.  Romance novels and fairy tales have quite a bit in common:  they contain some level of formula and some element of fantasy, they focus on a romantic pair, and they are both often dismissed as trivial.  To the last claim, I will say that almost anyone, anywhere knows a basic version of the stories grouped below without me having to give any further information.  That's cultural power.

These books are some of my favorites that take a familiar fairy tale plot and spin it into a romance novel.  Did I miss any of your favorites?

Hours Change at Four Library Locations

Four library locations will have new hours starting August 16th, 2010.  The new schedules for the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library, Galena Park Branch Library, Parker Williams Branch Library and South Houston Branch Library are:

Team Other

As a fan of paranormal romance, sure I love reading about the vampires and werewolves.  But, what about the other creatures?  You know, the ones that don't make it into Burger King commercials. Fear not, for they also have their own romance series.  Demons, dragons, Valkyries, witches, shifters, the Fae, even warriors from Atlantis.  You'll find at least one of each in the stories listed below.  Why not read one for the "other" team?

Darkfever

Karen Marie Moning

Fever:  start with Darkfever, the latest is Dreamfever

Nobody is really sure just what exactly the mysterious Jericho Barrons is, but we are all eagerly awaiting the final book in January to find out!

Summer Reading: the Reviews are In!

Did you ever wonder what happens to the reviews you write for the Adult Summer Reading Program?  For one thing, they're linked to the library's catalog and posted on the ASRP page of the library's website.  Harris County readers can use them to help decide what they might like to read next, based on your recommendations.  Librarians also read these reviews to keep in touch with popular titles and discover new titles that would be good to add to the library's collection.  Just this month, these titles (and more!) were ordered based on positive Reader Nation reviews:

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