Escape from hectic life with romance novels

  • Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Have you gotten to the point in your reading life where you just need to have something that lets you escape?

Me too. After working at our very busy branch, running a household, doing errands and taking care of my family and my cat, sometimes (okay, many times) all I want to do is pull out one of those books my English teacher, Ellen Kaufman, would have despised.

Yes, I’m talking about those lowlifes of the reading world, romance books. At the conclusion of most of my days, all I want is for my pre-sleep reading to be filled with predictable strife and an ending which I know will be happy. Maybe you do, too.

Have you, like millions of others, read Nora Roberts? I particularly enjoyed her Chesapeake Bay series from the 1990s, about three boys who became brothers. My favorite Nora Roberts book is the fourth book in that series, “Chesapeake Blue” (2002). Her books are filled with well-developed characters and snappy dialogue, and while there is always a happy ending, the path to that ending can be devious.

Historical romance books (yes, the bodice rippers) are a fun perspective on times gone by. Authors such as Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Jo Beverley and Stephanie Laurens all provide entertaining stories set in England in the 17th and 18th centuries, with likable characters and despicable villains. Just don’t expect period dialogue and you won’t be let down.

An historical author in a class by herself is Diana Gabaldon, whose Outlander series – combining elements of science fiction, mystery, adventure, history and romance – is much more than straightforward romance. Each book is enthralling and there is something in it for everyone.

Of course, I can also recommend many other books, not just because

I’m a librarian, but because the aforementioned Miss Kaufman instilled in me a love for good reading. Because of her, some of my all-time favorite books are “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte, “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens, “Anne of Green Gables” by L. M. Montgomery and “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger.

In the past few years I have greatly enjoyed reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak, and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. I can also wholeheartedly recommend any fiction by Jeffrey Archer, particularly his short stories – their twists are reminiscent of O’Henry – and his novel “The Eleventh Commandment,” as well as most any book by Bill Bryson. Bryson’s “In a Sunburnt Country” made Australia come alive to me.

At some point in the future (after I retire? if I ever retire?) I will read those more thought-provoking books that I currently just can’t seem to concentrate on.

But for now, it’s been a long day, and my romance novel is calling…

Library programs:

Adults and Teens:

Teen Movie: “Holes” (teens)

Wednesday, June 12 from 2 - 4 p.m.

If you get into trouble at Camp Green Lake, you dig holes as punishment. But there is more than meets the eye in this film about long lost treasure, which stars Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight. Rated PG, 117 minutes.

Family, Estate and Asset Protection Workshop: (adults)

Thursday, June 13 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

What is probate? What is a trust? Is the will that I made in another state valid in S.C.? How do I protect my home and assets? How do I plan for long term care needs? Paul Enck of Planning Solutions will help you learn the answers to these questions and more in this informative workshop.

Writing Critique Group: (adults and teens ages 16+)

Saturday, June 15 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Open to all writers. For more information, call the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

Homeschool Information Session & Discussion Group: (adults and teens)

Thursday, June 20 from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

An information session & discussion group for current & prospective homeschoolers and unschoolers. Adults and teens are welcome.

Children’s Department

Sing with Farmer Jason: (ages 6-11)

Thursday, June 13 at 4 p.m.*

Enjoy music by this Emmy award-winning children’s entertainer.

* Tickets will be given out 30 minutes before program.

PLAY: STAR Therapy Dogs (all ages)

Saturday, June 15 at 10:30 a.m.

Dig into reading, and share books with a furry friend.

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