The Tourist Attraction

The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler

In this quirky debut romantic comedy, Zoey Caldwell meets grumpy Graham Barnett on her first night in Moose Springs, Alaska. Graham reluctantly serves tourists from a nearby luxury lodge at his diner, The Tourist Trap, but he’d rather be spending time with his dog or making sculptures with a chain saw. Zoey has been saving her tips for years to afford a two-week vacation in Alaska, and is happy to sleep on the sofa in her friend Lana’s suite at the lodge. Determined to see as many Alaskan attractions as she can, Zoey’s day trips are with a budget company and she goes whale watching in heavy seas, and gets an uncooperative horse on a trail ride. Graham is part of a long-running local versus rich tourist feud, but introduces Zoey to his dog, his friends, and takes her to a local favorite bakery for giant cinnamon rolls. Graham is a bit too ready to get into a fight for my tastes, but clearly has a soft spot for Zoey and her friend Lana. Funny and engaging, with a great sense of place, this novel will have readers eager to visit Moose Springs, Alaska, ASAP. Fortunately, the author’s second book, Mistletoe and Mr. Right, will be published this October. Other reviewers suggest books by Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Robyn Carr, and Debbie Macomber as readalikes. The Tourist Attraction will be our virtual book discussion selection on August 25.

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

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

 

Virtual Book Discussion: America for Beginners

I have missed hosting monthly book discussions at the library. We are taking our book discussions online, using Zoom. Our next book discussion is on Tuesday, May 26, at 7:00 pm. We will be talking about the novel America for Beginners, by Leah Franqui. My earlier review is here. This first novel, which is both poignant and funny, is about Pival Sengupta, a widow from Kolkata, India, who books a private tour from New York to California, to find out what happened to her estranged son, Rahi. Her tour guide, Satya, has never traveled west of New York City, and her companion, Rebecca, is an aspiring actress. Please register here. The book is available to download at Hoopla and from our Libby/Overdrive collection, Media on Demand.

Happy reading! Brenda

March 2020 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7:00 pm on March 24 to discuss Daughter of Moloka’i by Alan Brennert. This sweeping family saga, set in Hawai’i and California from 1917 through World War II is the long awaited sequel to Moloka’i. Here is my earlier review.

On Thursday, March 19, the Crime Readers will meet at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame). “Working as a private investigator after losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike takes the case of a legendary supermodel’s suspicious suicide and finds himself in a world of multi-millionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, desperate designers and hedonist pursuits.” Discussion begins at 7:00 pm, with optional dinner at 6:00 pm. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public LIbrary.

 

Copies of both books are available now at the Circulation Desk.

Enjoy!

Brenda

February 2020 Book Discussions

In February, the book groups will be discussing two titles set in December, but in very different climates: the hot Australian outback and an upstate New York snowstorm. Take your pick and join us; copies of both books are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will be discussing The Lost Man by Jane Harper at 7:00 pm on February 25, about a rancher who seems to have everything but is found dead by a lone headstone in the summer heat. My earlier review is here.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 pm on Thursday, February 20 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming, the first book in the Clare Fergusson mysteries series. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Optional dinner is at 6:00 p.m.

Happy reading! Brenda

 

January 2020 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Evening Book Group will meet at 7:00 p.m. on January 28 to discuss Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts, a biographical novel about Maude Gage Baum, whose husband wrote The Wizard of Oz. Finding Dorothy is a Library Reads pick, and I’m one of many readers advisors who nominated it. Here’s my earlier review, which I shared with the author at a book signing.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss the Japanese crime thriller The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Optional dinner is at 6:00 p.m.

Copies of both titles are available for checkout at the Circulation Desk.

Brenda

October 2019 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Evening Book group will meet at 7:00 p.m. on October 22 to discuss Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver, a novel centered around a house that needs renovations in two very different time periods.  My earlier review is here.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 p.m. on October 17 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, a psychological thriller.  Come at 6:00 p.m. for an optional dinner. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.

Copies of both books are available now at the Circulation Desk.

Brenda

Summer Book Discussions and Book Buzz

It’s time for summer reading! Deep Dive Into Reading is the library’s Summer Reading Program for adults and teens. Sign up online or at the Reference Desk. The Kids Summer Reading Snorkel is also going on.

I am hosting a Book Buzz! What Will You Read Next? program on Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m. Register here for a free tote bag, and come to hear about new and forthcoming books for adults and teens from Penguin Random House. There will be a few book giveaways and light refreshments.

Stop at the Circulation Desk to pick up a copy of Meet Me at the Museum, by Anne Youngson, and come to our book discussion on Tuesday, June 18, at 7 p.m. A British woman on a farm begins exchanging letters with a museum curator in Denmark, in this charming contemporary novel. Here’s my earlier review. Note the earlier week.

On Tuesday, July 16, we’ll meet at 7 p.m. to discuss Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a riveting story set in meticulously planned Shaker Heights that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. My review is here.

Happy summer reading!  Brenda

May 2019 Book Discussions

The Tuesday Evening Book group will meet at 7:00 p.m. on May 28 to discuss Clock Dance, by Anne Tyler. This contemporary novel is bittersweet yet hopeful, about the turning points in Willa Drake’s life, and self-discovery. My earlier review is here.

The Crime Readers will meet at 7:00 p.m. on May 16 at Home Run Inn Pizza in Darien to discuss The Dry, by Jane Harper. Here’s my earlier review of this excellent if rather dark contemporary mystery, set in a small outback town in Australia. Come at 6:00 p.m. for an optional dinner. The Crime Readers are co-sponsored by the Indian Prairie Public Library.

Copies of both books are available now at the Circulation Desk.

Brenda