Chocolate Day Reads

Try some chocolate themed fiction. We have sweet chocolate stories, dark chocolate stories, and even some hot chocolate stories.

Maybe nonfiction is more to your taste. We’ve got you (chocolate) covered.

Happy Reading (and sweet snacking)!

~Megan

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Everyone fell in love with Fredrik Backman’s breakout #1 bestseller hit, A Man Called Ove, a few years ago. Backman’s back with a new #1 bestselling book called Anxious People which is taking the literary world by storm. Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers—including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages and a plucky octogenarian—discover their unexpected common traits. Find Anxious People on Overdrive here (where there’s another long waiting list!).

While you wait for your precious hold to come in, take a look at these books with a similar feel that you can read while you wait!

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty catalog link

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty 

Gathering at a remote health resort for a 10-day fitness program, nine strangers and their enigmatic host become subjects of interest to a brokenhearted novelist who develops uncomfortable doubts about the resort’s real agenda. 

Nine Perfect Strangers Overdrive link


The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson catalog link

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Overdrive link

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick catalog link

The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick 

A shy librarian whose kind heart is often exploited receives a mysterious book of fairy tales from the beloved grandmother she believed dead and embarks on a perspective-changing journey of astonishing family secrets.

The Library of Lost and Found Overdrive link


Night of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy catalog link

Night of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy 

Four strangers, with nothing in common but a need to escape, meet in a Greek taverna high above the small village of Aghia Anna. From Ireland, America, Germany and England, they have each left their homes and their old lives, when a shocking tragedy throws them unexpectedly together. 

Night of Rain and Stars Overdrive link

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe  catalog link

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe  

Taking refuge on a friend’s farm when a hurricane threatens the Southern coast, an eclectic group of evacuees confronts unresolved issues in the face of excruciating losses, discovering new priorities along the way. 

The Summer Guests Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Check back next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!

My Top 10 Favorite Horror Graphic Novels

As promised, I’m back this week to share some of my all-time favorite scary, spooky, and otherwise guaranteed to keep you up late at night books. It was so difficult narrowing this down, so I decided to share my top ten favorite horror graphic novels this week- saving my favorite traditionally formatted prose novels for next week.

Below you’ll find melancholy stories of hauntings and witches, disturbing tales of otherworldly creatures, horrific murder mysteries, and more tales that will leave you contemplating whats lurking in the shadows long after you close the book’s covers.

  1. Harrow County by Cullen Bunn
  2. Wytches by Scott Snyder
  3. Clean Room by Gail Simone
  4. Revival by Tim Seeley
  5. Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge
  6. Black Hole by Charles Burns
  7. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa
  8. Outcast by Robert Kirkman
  9. Locke & Key by Joe Hill
  10. Redlands by Jordie Bellaire

Check out one of these great book today at the library or pop on over to Hoopla to read graphic novels without ever having to leave your couch!

Virtual Book Club – Spooky Sci Fi and Fantasy Books

What better way to celebrate spooky season than reading some scary books? This time, instead of your standard haunted houses and paranormal happenings, we’re looking at mash-ups of horror with science fiction and fantasy. 

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer catalog link

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer 

The Southern Reach trilogy is the creepy love child of science fiction and metaphysical horror. A group of women explore Area X, a mysterious, ever-expanding, and reality-warping region, where previous explorers have disappeared without a trace. Follow up this short book with the sequels, Authority and Acceptance.

Annihilation Overdrive link

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling catalog link

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling 

Gyre Price lied her way to a caver position on a strange planet. As she plumbs the depths of the caves, she realizes that something is off. Her handler topside omits information as it suits her, supplies aren’t where they are supposed to be, and Gyre can’t shake the feeling that someone is following her in the dark.

The Luminous Dead Overdrive link

The Luminous Dead Hoopla link

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins catalog link

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Carolyn and a dozen other children being raised by “Father,” a cruel man with mysterious powers, begin to think he might be God, so when he dies, they square off against each other to determine who will inherit his library, which they believe holds the power to all Creation.*

The Library at Mount Char Overdrive link


The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan catalog link

The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

After discovering an unfinished manuscript hidden in an old house, Sarah becomes obssessed with the subject of the work–an ancient oak on a desolate corner of the property– and risks both health and sanity to uncover its secret.*

The Red Tree Overdrive link


The Changeling by Victor LaValle  catalog link

The Changeling by Victor LaValle 

Resolving to commit to marriage and parenthood unlike the father who abandoned him, Apollo Kagwa, who suffers from bizarre dreams, is shocked when his wife commits an act of astounding violence before disappearing, compelling Apollo’s odyssey through a world he barely understands.*

The Changeling Overdrive link


*Plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Check back next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!

Virtual Book Club – Favorite Books with Dragons

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved dragons. Give me a book with a dragon in it, and I’ll devour it cover to cover. The Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey were probably my first introduction to dragons in ‘mature’ literature, and I instantly fell in love. If you, too, are a lover of all things draconic, or maybe even wished to have a pet dragon of your very own, check out some of my favorite fantasy novels featuring dragons! 

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. I’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. 

His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik catalog link

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik – first book in the Temeraire series

Naomi Novik does not only pen fairy tales for adults – you may know her as the author of the witchy fairy tales Uprooted and Spinning Silver, but she got her start with an alternate universe history of the Napoleonic Wars. Her Temeraire series features an English Navy captain who accidentally bonds with a baby dragon and then must join the air force, where sentient dragons are employed as living airships.

His Majesty’s Dragon Overdrive link

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan catalog link

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – first in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series

In Marie Brennan’s delightful Lady Trent series, a famous, distinguished scientist and lady of the peerage and pens her memoirs and recounts her humble beginnings as an ordinary young woman who discovers the long lost secrets and history of dragons. 

A Natural History of Dragons Overdrive link


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman catalog link

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman – first in the Seraphina series

In this inspired take on dragon lore, the dragons aren’t gigantic scaly fire-breathers – at least not all the time. They can transform into human-shape and are nearly indistinguishable from regular humans, which is why they are treated like second-class citizens by fearful humans. When a prince of the realm is murdered, seemingly by a dragon, our hero Seraphina must solve the mystery. This young adult series is a treat for teens and adults alike!

Seraphina Overdrive link

The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker catalog link

The Bone Ships by R. J. Barker – first in the Tide Child trilogy

In this grimly realist novel, two nations have been at war for as long as anyone can remember. They make sailing ships out of dragon bone, but their ships are disintegrating and no one has seen a dragon in hundreds of years. When a dragon is spotted far out to sea, the two nations must race to see who can capture the dragon and win the war. 

The Bone Ships Overdrive link

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede catalog link

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede – first in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles series

Yes, this one is a children’s book, but it’s so much fun! In this irreverent fairy tale, Princess Cimorene is bored with living in a castle and decides that she doesn’t want the traditional princess life of being pursued by the princes from surrounding kingdoms, so she runs away to live with a dragon.

Dealing with Dragons Overdrive link

Dealing with Dragons Hoopla link

If you’re a dragon lover like me, any of these books will scratch that dragon itch. Share your favorite dragon books in the comments below!

Make sure to join us next week for a very spooky installment of the virtual book club!

Reconnect@RRPL – Keep Calm … and Read Historical Fiction

2020 has been something else! To escape, lately I’ve been reading one historical fiction novel after another. Not only does taking a peek at the trials and tribulations across centuries help me feel like we really don’t have it that bad, but it is also really entertaining.

The atmospheric The Lost Orphan by Stacy Halls is set in 1754 in London. Bess is a street hawker of shrimp who is forced, due to poverty, to give up her illegitimate day-old daughter to the nearby foundling hospital, with the intention to reclaim her one day. Six years pass before Bess has enough money to do just that, but instead learns that the girl has already been taken, years previously, by someone claiming to be Bess. As she seeks to find out what happened to her little girl, Bess’s story is contrasted with that of a wealthy woman who, under the guise of protecting her own young daughter from the dangers of London, does not allow her to leave the confines of their home. This captivating novel about family, secrets, class, equality, power and the meaning of motherhood is a good reminder that the struggle between the haves and have-nots is indeed a very old story.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline is another page-turning historical about the plight of less fortunate women. It is set in the early 19th-century in Van Diemen’s land, a penal colony in Australia, where thousands of convicts were shipped from overcrowded English prisons and forced to provide free labor to the settlers there. This novel follows the journey of two such young English women, Evangeline and Hazel, both of whom were wrongly accused and imprisoned. Their stories intertwine with that of an Aboriginal girl, Mathinna, who at the age of eight is adopted as a “curiosity” by white colonists who attempt to “civilize” her. Impeccably researched, this novel educates and enthralls. I read it in one sitting.

Perhaps you also need an escape. Find it in these and other books when you Reconnect@RRPL.

-Carol

Reconnect@RRPL – We Read Together, We Stand Together Reading Challenge

Beginning in September, we invited patrons to join us in a reading challenge. It’s not too late to get started, however! First, join Beanstack, or sign in if you’ve already created an account. Then read any book that fits within the following 10 topics: African-American Voices, Asian-American Voices, Diverse Abilities, Female Voices, Hispanic-American Voices, Immigration, LGBTQ+ Voices, Native American Voices, Social Injustice, and Voices Experiencing Poverty and Homelessness.

Within each category, you are asked to look at the lists of books provided and read and share the name of one book you’ve read in that category. Then you earn a ticket to enter a drawing to win a gift card from the following businesses: The One World Shop, Al-Pita, Brown Sugar Thai, Southern Cafe West, and the Vegan Donut Company.

Starting today, visit the library, where we will have a display of titles and book lists so that you can find a book to get started. Also, check out Shannon’s past blog posts– she lists books and organizations that address difficult topics, from Immigration to Incarceration. The American Library Association’s Celebrating Diversity Recommended Reading is also a place to start.

Over the next weeks, I’ll share a few titles that I’ve personally read that fit into these categories, starting with African-American voices:

The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Beloved or The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
The Fifth Season series by N.K. Jemisin
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Americanah by
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride


Hope to see your choices in our Reading Challenge; when we read together and share together, we stand together.

~ Dori


Virtual Book Club – The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett catalog link

This week for the virtual book club, we’re looking at #1 New York Times bestseller The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett. Fans of Follett’s mega-popular ‘Pillars of the Earth’ series know that it is a multigenerational saga of medieval England that chronicles the political, religious, and social upheaval of the Middle Ages. 

While you wait for your copy, we’ve selected a few series (and some standalone novels) that should scratch that ‘multigenerational family saga’ itch for you. These stories span the globe and take place from the time of the Vikings to the 20th century, so there’s something for everyone. 

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find The Evening and the Morning on Overdrive here

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell catalog link

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell – first book in the ‘Saxon stories’ series

Captured and raised by Danes in the ninth century, dispossessed nobleman Uhtred witnesses the unexpected defeat of his adoptive Viking clan by Alfred of Wessex and longs to recover his father’s land. 

The Last Kingdom Overdrive link

The Last Kingdom Hoopla link

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson catalog link

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – first novel in the Gilead series

As the Reverend John Ames approaches the hour of his own death, he writes a letter to his son chronicling three previous generations of his family, a story that stretches back to the Civil War and reveals uncomfortable family secrets. 

Gilead Overdrive link

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett catalog link

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett 

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past.

The Dutch House Overdrive link



The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver catalog link

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver 

The family of a fierce evangelical Baptist missionary–Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters–begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives forever transformed over the course of three decades by the political and social upheaval of Africa. 

The Poisonwood Bible Overdrive link

The Poisonwood Bible Hoopla link

North and South by John Jakes catalog link

North and South by John Jakes – first novel in the North and South trilogy

Chronicles two great American dynasties over three generations. Though brought together in a friendship that neither jealousy nor violence could shatter, the Hazards and the Mains are torn apart by the storm of event that has divided the nation. 

North and South Overdrive link

North and South Hoopla link

All plot summaries from Novelist, except The Dutch House, which is from Goodreads. 

Join us next week for a slightly different, high-flying installment of the Virtual Book Club! 

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny

All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny catalog link

Fans of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache know that he is one in a million – kind, thoughtful, and the best detective in the Sûreté du Québec. Over time, Gamache and Penny have attracted more and more fans to the series, and now her 16th novel featuring Gamache, All the Devils are Here, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. In this new novel, Inspector Gamache travels to Paris, where he must find the person who attacked his wealthy and elderly godfather.

However, along with the surging popularity of the series comes a very long holds list at the library, so your friendly librarians are here again with similar detective series that might remind you of Chief Inspector Gamache. 

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find All the Devils are Here on Overdrive here

Cover Her Face by P. D. James catalog link

Cover Her Face by P. D. James – first novel in the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series

When a sly and sensuous young woman who had used her body and her brains to climb the social ladder is murdered by someone who had clearly decided that the wages of sin should be death, it falls to Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find out who the killer is. 

Cover Her Face Overdrive link

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon catalog link

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon – first novel in the Guido Brunetti mystery series

When renowned opera conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, the victim of cyanide poisoning, Guido Brunetti, the Vice Commissario of the Venice Police, must sift through several suspects. 

Death at La Fenice Overdrive link

Death at La Fenice Hoopla link

Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen catalog link

Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen – second novel in the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series (also known as Love and Murder)

Sally Love’s exhibition at the Mendel Gallery includes a mural depicting the private parts of her past lovers, and when protestors appear in droves, two dead bodies are found, and Sally’s childhood friend, Joanne Kilbourn, must investigate the crimes. 

Murder at the Mendel Overdrive link

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd catalog link

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd – first novel in the Ian Rutledge mystery series

Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after fighting in the war, still suffering from shell shock. His next case, with a war-ravaged ex-soldier as the witness, could spell disaster for him. 

A Test of Wills Overdrive link

A Test of Wills Hoopla link

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George catalog link

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George –  first novel in the Thomas Lynley mystery series

Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is getting a final chance for a promotion. Because of her abrasive personality, she’s been unable to work with any of the detectives at Scotland Yard. Assigned to work with Inspector Thomas Lynley, whom she despises because of his privileged upbringing, the two head to Yorkshire to investigate the murder of a man by his daughter. She was found sitting by her decapitated father and would only say “I did it. And I’m not sorry”, and she has refused to say another word. The townspeople believe she is innocent, and Lynley and Havers learn to work together as they solve the case.

A Great Deliverance Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!