Today a sweeping best seller turned into a movie will be released. It has become a phenonmenon that sadly twists an abusive relationship into love. There are better books and more talented authors.
Let’s get back to good books, to well written stories, to authors who have honed their craft, and gifted storytellers. Please give rise to these authors and their works of fiction that are well written, tender, moving stories. As long as consumers keep devouring books like 50 shades, they will keep getting published. Jane Austin would swoon over these stories, give them a go.
If you have not yet discovered the delightful Rainbow Rowell, you are in for a treat. This is a novel told primarily through company emails. Rowell is a master at quick, smart dialogue. The lives of a night computer security worker, and daytime employees connect through secret email reading without meeting face to face. Lincoln, the main character is hired at night to ensure the employees are following standard procedures. He reads through emails and checks on employees computer activity. Situations get awkward when Lincoln starts to fall for a woman through her email prose. The voices in the novel are witty, crass, and unbelievably awesome. You will adore the banter between the characters and the odd love story that unfolds. I wish there were more books like hers. Wonderful, wonderful read.
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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Gabrielle Zevin writes a story of true and sacrificial love. She shows us that blood is not always thicker than water, and love can shake you free from a painful stupor gone on too long. The main character A.J. is suffocating under grief and hardship. He runs a bookstore on an island (yes, it is as charming as it seems) and is struggling in modern day book selling in the midst of e-readers and online shopping. He drowns his sorrows in wine in the evening, and his world turns upside down when his prize possession, a rare Edgar Allen Poe original, is stolen from his home. As quickly as the book is taken from him, a mysterious baby is left in his care with a note explaining her parents are not up for raising a child. The rest I will leave to you to read for yourself. The characters are all quirky and lovable, flawed,and oh so human. I truly believe there should be a special genre of books only written about people that adore books. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry would shine in such a genre. Many more events unravel in this story, I felt like I had moved onto the Island and gotten to know all the characters. When the book was over, I was sure I would miss all of them. It is not all happy, but it is sweet, and real, and worth your time.
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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
A character driven novel is one in which the character would say and do the same things regardless of the time or circumstances the author places them in. The Rosie Project is the most charming and heartwarming novel of this kind that I have stumbled across in recent months. Don Tillman is successful in his job and many endeavors, however love and relationships is not one of them. Don has autism and does not grasp human relationships or social interactions in the slightest. He concludes that it is time to find a romantic relationship; but decides leaving to chance meeting someone compatible randomly is unlikely and inefficient. He comes up with a compatibility measurement test to approach the quest from a logical and scientific angle. Of course, we all know there is no science to love, so Don’s world gets turned upside down and back again. The author captures the mind of an autistic person with precision, compassion, and humor. This love story is quirky and wonderful; I am praying they do not turn it into a movie.
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Man called Ove is quietly brilliant and utterly charming. Ove is a man of unchanged routine, from his home, to his Saub, to his job, he holds onto the familiar with clenched fists. He is an angry, prickly old man, and has settled into a life of despising most people. Ove is pushed out of his job of thirty years and he is left without purpose. To add insult to injury, new neighbors arrive across the street, he is grumpier than ever. He irritably helps the Iranian neighbors through a medical emergency and a tentavtive friendship is born. This story unfolds like a tapestry, telling the reader the story of Ove’s life as it has merged with the residents in their neighborhood of row homes. This book captures the joy and pain of true sacrificial love, friendship with roots as strong as family, and forgiving the past. The best thing about this book is how it makes you feel as you read, compassion for sweet old Ove, and hope that good can reign over bad. Rich storytelling and subtle humor make it a moving novel. I loved every up and down, from the beginning to the end.
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Longbourne by Jo Baker
Longbourne is reminiscent of Jane Austin’s story telling. You will like it If you are looking for a book will elements similar to Pride and Prejudice. However, it is not a retelling of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Let Longbourne speak for itself and tell its own story. It is classic in its theme, tension, and hierarchy between servants and higher class. It is romantic in its story of love hoped for, but unspoken and uncertain. As a reader you need to attentively tune into the tension and longings of the characters. The things that go unsaid are almost as important as what is said. Longbourne takes you into old England, carriages, foggy mornings, stone houses, and quiet romance. I enjoyed this book, it is not a page turner, but a story that unfolds with quiet reserve.
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