What’s Trending at Cheshire Public Library

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Do you ever wonder what your fellow patrons are reading?  Or what’s getting checked out the most?  Well, welcome to our new What’s Trending feature! We’re starting off with authors: the top 10 most popular during the previous month and how many times their books circulated. Click the author’s name for a list of their books.

james patterson James Patterson – 145 circulations.  In 2011, it was estimated that one-in-four of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold were written by James Patterson. He is the first author to achieve ten million ebook sales, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn’t based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

mary higgins clarkMary Higgins Clark – 52 circulations.  An author of over thirty-five suspense novels and four collections of short stories, each one of her books has been a best seller and many of them have been made into feature films or TV movies.  She has sold over 100 million copies and has eighteen honorary doctorates!

 

janet evanovichJanet Evanovich – 49 circulations.  Although she started out as a Romance author, she now known for her contemporary mysteries featuring Stephanie Plum.  She also writes the Lizzy and Diesel series,  the Alexandra Barnaby novels, as well as the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg. Note: Go read her bio on her website. It’s hysterical.

david baldacciDavid Baldacci – 47 circulations.  A best-selling author who writes thrilling suspense books.  He has carried over the suspense theme into several children’s books as well.  Several of his titles have been adapted for film and television.  He has over one hundred and ten million books in print.

nora robertsNora Roberts – 46 circulations.  This prolific author writes several genres within the Romance genre.  She also writes Mysteries under the pen name of J. D. Robb.  Her books are consistently on the top seller lists.  She was the first author inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.  See a previous post here.

debbie macomberDebbie Macomber – 44 circulations.   She is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, she brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope.

john grishamJohn Grisham – 43 circulations.   A former lawyer, he began his writing career as a hobby after hearing about a court case in 1984.  His hobby quickly became his career after he sold the film rights of his book, The Firm.  He started writing legal thrillers for children ages 9-12 in 2010.

danielle steelDanielle Steel – 39 circulations.   She’s currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold.   Her formula is fairly consistent, often involving rich families facing a crisis, threatened by dark elements such as jail, fraud, blackmail and suicide.

robert b. parkerRobert B. Parker – 37 circulations.   Long acknowledged as the dean of American crime fiction, he was named Grand Master of the Edgar Awards in 2002 by the Mystery Writers of America.  He was renowned for his Spenser novels, featuring the wise-cracking, street-smart Boston private-eye, which  was turned into the television series, Spencer: For Hire. He wrote 9 novels based on the character Jesse Stone and 6 novels based on the character Sunny Randall.

clive cusslerClive Cussler – 35 circulations.   An adventure novelist and underwater explorer, his thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than 20 times.

 

How’s this list stack up against what you’ve checked out recently?  Any of your favorite authors here?  Let us know who your favorite author is.

Linda Reads: The Collector by Nora Roberts

collectorAfter being disappointed in Ms. Roberts’  last book Whiskey Beach (reviewed here), I wasn’t sure what to expect from her newest, The Collector I’m happy to report I’m very pleased with this one.  It’s a bit different –  an intriguing mix of Ms. Roberts’ writing and J.D. Robb’s – making it an entertaining, edgy, romantic suspense thriller.

Lila Emerson is a quirky professional house-sitter and author of young adult werewolf books.  She enjoys living in other people’s homes and she takes great pleasure in scoping out her surroundings.  With the use of binoculars, she spies on the neighborhood and uses her vivid imagination to create stories about her neighbors.  Unfortunately, one evening she witnesses a murder.  The police conclude a boyfriend murdered his girlfriend and then took his own life.  However the boyfriend’s brother, Ashton, is sure they are wrong and enlists Lila’s help in finding out the truth.

Ashton is a famous artist and comes from a close, loving, somewhat dysfunctional family of considerable wealth – so different from Lila’s life.  Of course it’s predictable that they will fall in love, but that part of the story unfolds slowly, exquisitely, while the hunt for the truth leads to Faberge eggs, and murder.  There is a great supporting cast – Ashton’s best friend and Lila’s best friend turn out to have a history together and a lovely romance blossoms there.  The detectives working the case add some insight into the world of overworked cops with wit and humor.  We get a peak into the world of the rich and into the world of evil.  There are gruesome murders, ruthless assassins, touching love stories, great family interaction, art, antiques, cops, and humor all woven into an entertaining, engaging story.

It was fun to visit the life of a house-sitter, and an artist and learn about Faberge eggs.  Having no interest in those particular subjects, Ms. Roberts was able to keep me entertained, interested and engaged in the characters and story line.

 

 

Romance Books – Fall In Love With A Series

happyA little romance is just the ticket to get you through this winter.  Settle in with a romantic series and enjoy some  “happily ever after”.  (A great thing about all of these series is that you don’t have to read them in order.   They are great as stand alones!)

1.   Blackberry Island  by Susan Mallery.  A real place located near Olga, Washington.  On historic Blackberry Island, Washington, visitors discover what locals know: Life Is Sweet.  Book one – Barefoot Season Book two – Three Sisters.  Book three (due to be released in March) – Evening Stars 

2.  Bad Boys of Crystal Lake by Julianna Stone.  Realistic and edgy, with a large-world perspective as well as warm characters and an appealing small-town feeling.  Book one –  The Summer He Came Home.  Book two – The Christmas He Loved Her.  Book three (due to be released in April) The Day He Kissed Her.

3.  Black Knights, Inc. by Julie Ann Walker.  As tough and unique as their custom-made Harleys, the men of Black Knights Inc. will steal your breath and your heart.  Book one – Hell On Wheels. Book two – In Rides Trouble.  Book three – RevIt Up. Book four – Thrill Ride.  Book five – Born Wild.

4.  Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak.  A small-town romance series with a twist – all the characters are significantly different from each other.  Engaging, full of heart and humor.    Book one – When Lightning Strikes Book two – When Snow Falls.  Book three – When Summer Comes.  Book four – Home to Whiskey Creek.  Book five – Take Me Home For Christmas.  

5.  Thunder Point by Robyn Carr.  Share the joys, heartbreaks, challenges and triumphs of the people who inhabit the small Oregon town of Thunder Point.  Book one The Wanderer Book two – The Newcomer Book three – The Hero.  Book four – (coming in March) The Chance.

6.  Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts.  Meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac—the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.   Book one – Vision in White Book two – Bed of Roses.  Book three – Savor the Moment.  Book four – Happy Ever After.

7.  Bachelor Firemen by Jennifer Bernard – For the men and women of San Gabriel’s Station 1, the road to romance takes some wild and hilarious curves. But true love is always worth it.  Book one – The Fireman Who Loved Me.  Book two – Hot For Fireman. Book three – Sex and the Single Fireman.  Book four – How To Tame A Wild Fireman.  Book five – Four Weddings and A Fireman.

8.  The Destiny Series by Toni Blake – Welcome to Destiny, Ohio, a quaint small town brimming with heart-stopping romance, searing passion, good friends, laughter, a sense of community, and even a few dark secrets.  Book one – One Reckless Summer.  Book two – Sugar Creek.  Book three – Whisper FallsBook four – Holly Lane.  Book five – Willow Springs. Book six – Half Moon Hill.

9.  Ocean Breeze Trilogy by Sherryl Woods –  The stories of three sisters’ quests for love and family in a North Carolina beach community ravaged by a hurricane.   Book one – Sand Castle Bay.  Book two – Wind Chime Point. Book three – Sea Glass Island.

10.  Simply Quartet by Mary Balogh.  These are the stories of four teachers at Miss Martin’s School for Girls in Bath, England.  Book one – Simply Unforgettable.  Book two – Simply Love.  Book three – Simply Magic.  Book four – Simply Perfect.

BOOK REVIEW: Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

I have mixed feelings about this latest book from Nora Roberts.  It was very good –  entertaining, intriguing, enjoyable – but it just didn’t flow as well as some of her other books.

Eli Landon is a Boston lawyer who endured an intense year being accused of murdering his soon-to-be ex-wife.  There wasn’t enough evidence and the case was dismissed, but his reputation, life and career are ruined.  He needs to get away and he chooses to go to his family’s home in Whiskey Beach, Mass.  Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach for more than 300 years and not only is it stunning in its appearance, it holds the key to a long ago mystery of death, treasure, and betrayal.  Eli not only needs to heal from his ordeal, but he has promised his grandmother, who lives at Bluff House, but is currently recuperating in Boston from a fall, that he would look after the house.

Abra Walsh has been caring for Bluff House and Gran for a few years now.  She was once a mover and shaker in Washington, D.C., but has escaped to Whiskey Beach to become a jill-of-all-trades:  maid, cook, massage therapist, yoga instructor, jewelry maker.  She, too, is escaping a terrible ordeal and chose Whiskey Beach to do her healing.

It takes awhile for Ms. Roberts to give the reader some insight to Abra’s past and Eli’s troubles.  The story moves a bit sluggishly.  But the characters have vintage Roberts’ charm and likeability.  You are still drawn into the story (there is danger, murder, mystery, pirate treasure and romance) and are anxious to read the book to its conclusion.  The characters are multi-faceted and likeable, although Abra Walsh seems just a little too good to be true.  I was quite disappointed in the ending.  It took a long time to get there, then was hurried and stingy in details.  But the theme of love, trust, and friendship ring true.

Nora Roberts fans will enjoy this book, she truly has never written a bad book.  It just doesn’t have the “zing” some of her other books have.

Author Profile: Nora Roberts

nora robertsNora Roberts was born in Silver Springs, Maryland, the youngest of five children.  She married young and worked briefly as a legal secretary – “the worst ever”.  After her two sons were born, she became a stay at home mom and immersed herself into gardening, canning, stitching and knitting.

Her road to writing began during the February blizzard of 1979.  Stranded at home with her two young sons and a lack of chocolate, she was looking for some non-child related entertainment.  Coming from a family of readers, she got a notebook and started writing down a story that was in her head.  She knew then that writing was the thing she was supposed to do.

She started writing category romance (also known as “series”), since she had just started reading Harlequin romances.  At the time, Harlequin had mainly British authors and was the only publisher of category romances.  All of her manuscripts were rejected.

In 1980, she heard of a new publisher, Silhouette, who was looking for American authors to write category romances and in 1981, they bought Nora’s first manuscript, Irish Thoroughbred.

In July 1985, Nora married her second husband – a local carpenter she hired to build some shelves for her home.  He went on to build many things in her home – including a solid marriage.

In 1987, she began writing single title books for Bantam. In 1992, she moved to writing single title hardcovers as well as original paperbacks for Putnam under the name of Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb.

In the early years, she wrote when she could squeeze in the time between her sons’ school time and activities.  Now she spends 8 hours a day, every day, writing.  She has written over 200 books.  When she’s not writing, she tries to exercise in her pool or elliptical trainer and she is an avid gardener.

Nora’s husband, Bruce Wilder, owns a bookstore named Turn the Page Bookstore and Café in nearby Boonsboro, Maryland.  Directly across the street was an old, run down hotel which Nora and her husband bought in 2007. They began renovating it into a bed and breakfast called Inn BoonsBoro.  This was not an easy undertaking.  In February 2008, the Inn caught fire and was completely destroyed, and many buildings on the block were damaged. Undaunted, they started from scratch and in February 2009, the Inn opened to rave reviews.  This experience inspired The Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy.  The titles of this trilogy are:  The Next Always, The Last Boyfriend, The PerfectHope.

Some fun facts:

  1.  Since 1999, every Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb book has made the New York Times bestseller list.  Fifty-three have debuted at number one.
  2. Celebrity in Death is the 34th book in the series.
  3. She is the third author to sell more than one million Kindle books.
  4. Her books are published in over 34 countries.
  5. If you place her books from top to bottom, they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles 18 times.
  6. Many of Nora’s books have been made into movies shown on Lifetime television.
  7. Nora was one of the first authors to communicate via the web when she launched her website in 1996.

Her latest book as Nora Roberts is Whiskey Beach and as J.D. Robb, the title is Calculated In Death and are available at the Cheshire Library.