Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

Vanessa has 26 first and second cousins, but no siblings. Working as an accountant in Palo Alto, Vanessa struggles with visions of the future, sometimes predicting death. Her Aunt Evelyn, who has the same talent, brings Vanessa to Paris for several weeks to help with the opening of Evelyn’s tea shop and to teach Vanessa how to handle her visions. Vanessa would rather tour Paris with fellow Asian-American Marc; foodies and Francophiles will really enjoy their sightseeing and delicious meals. Readers of Sarah Addison Allen and Joanne Harris may also find the hints of magic appealing. I would have enjoyed more scenes with Vanessa’s many interfering but well-meaning aunties, who enjoy bargaining at antiques stores and are as comfortable at a tiny café as at a lavish banquet. Vanessa also shows skills at matchmaking, but has been told she’ll never have a lifelong romance. I found some of the descriptions in the book a bit much; I didn’t need to know the size of Vanessa’s condo or the exact number (75) of oysters appearing on a platter. I also wanted to learn if Vanessa’s sometimes dire visions of the future could be averted. This is a good summer read that’s sure to be popular. This book will be published on August 4; her earlier book is Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune.

Brenda

I Was Told It Would Get Easier

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

A road trip with nine other Los Angeles area families to visit East Coast colleges could be a perfect chance for mother-daughter bonding for Jessica and Emily. Busy lawyer Jessica spends so much time taking calls and texts for work that she misses a whole day of the tour. 16-year-old Emily is worried about a scandal at her private high school, and has no clue where she’d like to attend college or what she wants to study. A couple of joint sessions with a college counselor might have made the whole trip unnecessary, but then the reader would miss out on a very funny and heartwarming mother-daughter relationship. Emily is the most interesting character, but visits with her mother’s college friends reveal more of Jessica’s personality. There’s also cute, geeky Will and his attractive father to make their free time in Philadelphia, New York City, and Rhinebeck, New York even more appealing. This witty novel is sure to appeal to readers of Waxman’s novels The Garden of Small Beginnings and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Brenda

July 2020 Virtual Book Discussion: If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now

On July 28 at 7:00 pm, please join the Tuesday Evening Book Group on Zoom as we discuss If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now, by Christopher Ingraham. Continuing our summer theme of armchair travel, this is the true story of a data reporter who wrote about the least desirable place to live in the lower 48 states, based on scenery and climate. Residents of Red Lake County in northwest Minnesota objected to the article, invited the reporter to visit, and he unexpectedly moved there with his young family. My earlier review is here. Register for the book discussion here. Copies of the book are available on Hoopla and from Media on Demand (our Libby/Overdrive collection). More copies will be available at the library soon.

Brenda

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café by Jodi Thomas

I picked this book because of the gorgeous cover. In reading the novel, I enjoyed a pleasant visit to a small Texas town with plenty of secrets, a possible ghost, and not quite enough descriptions of breakfast at the café. Sam Cassidy gets an unexpected request to be interim pastor in Honey Creek. Sam, while a seminary graduate, is a pilot and firefighter, but is drawn to Honey Creek for a personal reason. Mayor Piper Jane is late to welcome Sam and give him a tour of the town because she’s distracted by another newcomer, Colby McBride. Colby is undercover, investigating the disappearance of a man whose car was found in a nearby river. Two seniors graduating from the local high school are also drawn together; hardworking Pecos and sweet, popular Kerrie. In this contemporary novel, appealing characters, some humor, and a little romance make for a heartwarming story. More Honey Creek stories are planned.

Brenda

A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair by Allison Montclair

I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful mystery, a sequel to The Right Sort of Man. Widowed Gwen Bainbridge and former intelligence operative Iris Sparks run The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, where their diverse talents make them successful matchmakers in post World War II London. When Gwen’s cousin asks for help in vetting a suitor for Princess Elizabeth, the adventures begin. Wonderfully witty dialogue, appealingly complex characters, and lots of action scenes put this mystery on my list of sure bets for summer reading. A July 28 publication date is planned.

Brenda

Peace Talks

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Eagerly awaited by the legion of fans of Chicago wizard Harry Dresden, this 16th book in the series is definitely worth the wait. While there is another cliffhanger ending, there is also a welcome surprise: Book 17, Battle Ground, is to be published on September 29. Karrin Murphy, no longer with the Chicago Police Department is Harry’s closest friend, recovering from serious injuries. There are some wonderful scenes featuring magical illusions, and many characters from earlier books return as there are peace talks in Chicago. Not much is peaceful for Harry, as the wizards might kick him off the White Council, faerie Queen Mab wants Harry to do a couple of favors for vampire Lara, and Harry’s half-brother is in prison after an assassination attempt. In addition, Harry has other family members and friends to worry about, but there are some very funny scenes to balance the danger. If you’re new to this exciting Chicago set fantasy series, start with Storm Front, and you’ll have plenty of books to binge read. Peace Talks is scheduled for publication on July 14.

Brenda

June 2020 Virtual Book Discussion: Meet Me in Monaco

Our next virtual book discussion is on Tuesday, June 23, at 7:00 pm., using Zoom. We will be talking about the novel Meet Me in Monaco, by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. This book continues our theme of armchair travel for summer reading. Sophie Duval is a parfumier in Cannes, France. She helps Grace Kelly, in town for the Cannes Film Festival, avoid British photographer Jim Henderson. The trio continue to cross paths leading up to Grace’s wedding to Prince Rainier in Monaco.  Please register here. The book is available to download at Hoopla and from our Libby/Overdrive collection, Media on Demand.

Other virtual programs this month include librarian chats on Zoom. Comfort Reads with Brenda and Katie will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 15 and What We’re Reading with several librarians is at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 22. Please join us online! More information is at woodridgelibrary.org

Happy summer reading!

Brenda

 

New Books! Available Now with Curbside Pickup

Since you can’t browse the bookstacks at the library right now, I took some pictures with my phone this morning. Lots of new titles and books you may have missed this spring are available now for Woodridge library cardholders. Just place a hold, call us at the Adult & Teen Services Reference Desk at 630-487-2577 or email us at askus@woodridgelibrary.org. We are always happy to suggest titles you might enjoy. Happy reading! Brenda

Here are some new cookbooks:

New mysteries include titles by Jeffery Deaver, Alexander McCall Smith, Sara Paretsky, Anne Perry, Ian Rankin, and Deanna Raybourn

New Fiction, with titles by Anne Enright, Lori Foster,Carol Goodman, Heather Gudenkauf, Quan Barry, Stephen King and many more.

Mother Land

Mother Land by Leah Franqui

After moving from New York City to Mumbai, India, Rachel’s husband Dhruv is happy with his job, while Rachel isn’t sure what to do next. When Dhruv’s mother Swati shows up for an unannounced visit, Dhruv is sent on a long business trip and will stay with his father in Kolkata. The two women struggle to connect, and it’s fun to see Rachel from Swati’s point of view. Rachel shows only the positive side of life in Mumbai on her social media posts, not sharing her struggles, except with other expats. When Rachel gets a job doing voice over work for a soap opera, Swati is fascinated. The author is from Philadelphia and lives in Mumbai; the city is vividly described. Another fine armchair travel book for summer, this is for readers who prefer character-focused stories. Mother Land will be published in July. The author’s first book is America for Beginners, and I’m looking forward to her next book.
Brenda

 

Romantic Comedies

Our Summer Reading Program, Book Your Backyard Adventure, begins today. If you’re in the mood for something light and entertaining, here’s a list of new and forthcoming rom-coms, or romantic comedies. Sounds good to me right now.

Romantic Comedies

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert
Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
The Two-Date Rule by Tawna Fensker
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
Beach Read by Emily Henry
Take a Hint, Dani Brown, by Talia Hibbert
The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai
The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton
A Highlander in a Pickup by Laura Trentham
Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

Happy reading! Brenda