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Imaginary Books: The Gentleman’s Book of Vices and The Princess Bride

30 Nov

I’ve seen it called literary inception. Could there be anything more relatable for a book lover than a story centered around a character’s love for literature even if those books themselves don’t exist? Two spins on this I recently enjoyed were The Gentleman’s Book of Vices and The Princess Bride.

The Gentleman’s Book of Vices
by Jess Everlee

Set in London in 1883, The Gentleman’s Book of Vices, has protagonist Charlie Price counting the days towards an arranged marriage which he needs to pay off his debts. He takes solace in his naughty novel collection and when he decides to track down the secret author of his favorite; he finds actual sparks with the author/bookstore owner, Miles Montague. Miles’s novels always end in tragedy for its protagonists; can he and Charlie make a happy life together in a time when their love is forbidden? Though the novel is fairly predictable as romances go, the charming characters made this a fun read. I liked that Charlie’s bride found her own happily ever after as well. The novel is the first in the Lucky Lovers of London series. I received an advance copy from the publisher and Netgalley.

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

Many people may be familiar with the Princess Bride in its movie form. Terrific casting and acting has made that story a romantic comedy classic. But the novel that the film is based on is also worth a read. We read it as part of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Club and many of the group shared stories about their first reads of the book but agreed that it held up for them over the years. One difference from the movie is the framing is that of a man recounting a book he loved as a child from the perspective of the author retelling a translation of the story, compared with the movie which shows a grandfather reading the book to his sick grandson. However, Buttercup and her long suffering farm boy Wesley, still fall in love and then are tragically separated. Adventures ensue with Buttercup being kidnapped and then forced to marry. Villains and heroes turn out not to be who they seem. It is as much a love letter to fairy tale romances as it is a parody of them.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

All About Book Club Books: The Toni Morrison Book Club, The Bromance Book Club, The Book Club Cookbook and the Maximum Security Book Club

11 Mar

I love curling up at night with a good book before I fall asleep, but sometimes the best part of reading isn’t about just reading it yourself, but also about the great conversations they spark and the bonding that occurs over the shared experience.  A variety of fiction and nonfiction books have even used book clubs as a source of inspiration.

The Toni Morrison Book Club
by Juda Bennett
Toni Morrison Book Club
This is one of our newest additions to our collection here at HPL and if you are a fan of Toni Morrison, like me, you’ll be interested in checking it out.  This memoir looks at a group of friends who vary in race, sexual orientation, and country of origin, but all share bonds over Morrison’s work.  Controversies spring up, but the book club also becomes a powerful way to not only look at Morrison’s own works, but also the participant’s lives.

The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams
Bromance Book Club
Looking for something a bit lighter?  Check out this fun ebook from eBCCLS or eLibraryNJ about a baseball player who turns to a romance book club when his own relationship starts to break apart.  Can he use the book groups latest read as a guide to saving his own marriage?

The Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors
by Judy Gelman
Book Club Cook Book
If you are hosting a book club, you may be wondering what to serve your guests?  Look no further than The Book Club Cookbook available from BCCLS libraries.  It includes recipe and discussion ideas for 100 popular book club choices so you can sample a good book and a delicious dish!

The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in A Men’s Prison
by Mikita Brottman
maximum security book club
In this memoir Mikita Brottman, a scholar, recounts her experience of reading literature with prisoners in a maximum-security jail near Baltimore.  Discussing selections like Macbeth and Heart of Darkness not only gives the book club members new insights, but also changes Brottman’s own experiences of the literary works.  The Maximum Security Book Club provides a unique perspective on both literature and the experience of those incarcerated in our nation’s prisons.  It is available from Hoopla as an ebook and digital audiobook.

Book Club
Book Club
Looking for a fun movie to watch with your book club friends?  Check out the 2018, Book Club starring the stellar cast of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgeon as four friends who decide to put aside their usual book club fare for the steamy Fifty Shades of Grey.

Looking for a book club?  Well you are in luck.  We have four unique genre book clubs at the Hoboken Library and we are reading some terrific books in the upcoming months.

Our Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group picked The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper for March, which looks at a world where the gender divide has become so great that walls keep them apart; a thought provoking look at a disturbing dystopia.  Come and discuss it with us on Monday, March 23 at 6 PM.

On Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 PM join us for the first meeting of the Hoboken Public Library’s Romance Book Club! We will be discussing Jennifer Robson’s The Gown.  Read more about the book in our Valentine’s Day blog post.

Our History Book Club will be back on April 6 at 6:30 PM, to read the Pulitzer Prize winning, A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, which looks at the fascinating life of and world of a midwife in 18th Century Maine!  You can borrow the DVD American Experience adaptation or stream it from Kanopy.

On April 14 at 6:30 PM the Mystery Book Club will discuss Eight Perfect Murders by award winning author, Peter Swanson.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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