Readalikes for The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles catalog link

Thanks entirely to the kids on TikTok, nine years after it was first publised, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is once again a bestseller! If you’re waiting for your copy, or if you’ve read it and would like something similar, I’ve picked some romantic books that have the same feeling as Achilles: sweeping historical events, thoughtful mythological retellings, or a lush fairy tale tone.

Never heard of Song of Achilles? Here’s the scoop:

Patroclus, an awkward young prince, follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate. Set during the Trojan War.

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. Find The Song of Achilles on Overdrive here and on Hoopla here (no holds, no waiting!).

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker catalog link

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

After her creator dies en route to America, Chava, a golem from a Polish shtetl, must navigate the streets of 1899 New York City by herself — her only ally is a rabbi unsure whether to destroy her, or allow her to fulfill her destiny as the harbinger of destruction. Ahmad, a jinni from Syria’s deserts has been released from his thousand-year-old glass bottle by a tinsmith but has little intention of remaining a metalworker, despite his uncanny talent for it. Chava and Ahmad meet and discover that they’re soul mates, but a dangerous adversary threatens their future. This vibrant blend of myth, adventure, and romance will enchant fans of stories based on folklore.

The Golem and the Jinni Overdrive link

Uprooted by Naomi Novik catalog link

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

A tale inspired by the “Beauty and the Beast” story follows the experiences of Agnieszka, who becomes the latest girl chosen to serve an immortal wizard who protects their village from the malevolent forces of a nearby forest.

Uprooted Overdrive link



The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson catalog link

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

A concubine in the royal court of Granada at the height of the Spanish Inquisition and her mapmaker friend risk their lives to escape when the latter is accused of sorcery.

The Bird King Overdrive link

The Bird King Hoopla link

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty catalog link

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Nahri, a young con artist, inadvertently summons a mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, revealing the existence of true magic before the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom falls into her hands.

The City of Brass Overdrive link


The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden catalog link

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

The Bear and the Nightingale Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Gretchen Berg COMING SOON – April 6th

You are cordially invited to author Gretchen Berg’s presentation of  The Operator.

Join us on Tuesday, April 6th from 7:00 – 8:00 pm.

Please register for the Zoom event at – 

https://rrpl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails?EventId=26453&backTo=Calendar&startDate=2021/04/01

The early 1950’s in Wooster, Ohio is the setting for this debut novel. Vivian Dalton is a switchboard operator who has a penchant for eavesdropping on telephone conversations. The operators are not supposed to listen in on  conversations, but they all do. When a rumor about Vivian’s husband is discussed over the phone lines, it’s not fun anymore. Vivian needs to find out who is spreading the rumor and if there is any truth to it. Vivian does not confront her husband initially but attempts to discover the truth on her own. Has she been living a lie?

~Emma

Discover@RRPL

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

It’s 1917 when 19 graduates (1888-1914) from Smith College formed the Smith College Relief Unit and headed to Grecourt, France. The French government had asked the volunteers to work there. People were desperate. Their lives and homes had been totally disrupted and destroyed by the Germans. They needed basic necessities.

There are three main characters in the novel including: kindhearted Emmie Van Alden, Kate Moran a good friend of Emmie’s who was a scholarship recipient at Smith, and Dr. Julia Pruyen disliked by Kate and a cousin of Emmie’s. All of the women came with necessary know-how and willingness to learn new skills including assembling a truck delivered with all the parts in boxes, driving, taking care of livestock, and basic nursing care.

The story is based on real-life experiences found in documents stored in the Smith College Archives. Those records include directors’ reports, financial information, letters, journals, photographs and albums, news clippings, correspondence with the War Service Board and information about the reconstruction. The novel showcases bravery, perseverance, a little romance and a few secrets revealed in the midst of constant danger. This is a treat for fans of historical fiction.

~Emma

 

 

10 Recommended Funny Books by Women

Are you in need of a good laugh? I’m sure most of us are seeking humor more than usual during this difficult time and one of my favorite ways to be heartened is cozying up with a hilarious book. I just finished Shit, Actually by Lindy West, a collection of scathing and laugh out loud funny reviews of popular films, which was exactly what I needed this past week.

If you are interested in women’s comedy, which has long been a prime spot for women to talk back and break taboos in mainstream popular culture, join us tonight on Zoom for Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics at 7 pm Eastern. This sure to be engaging virtual program with Linda Mizejewski, Ph.D, Distinguished Professor in Ohio State University’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Department, is an overview of women’s comedy beginning with Mae West and ending with the new generation of women comedians such as Tina Fey, Wanda Sykes, and Ellen DeGeneres who flout the pretty-versus-funny dynamic, targeting glamour and in some cases making it clear that in popular culture, “pretty” almost always means “white.” Click here to register!


There are a plethora of fabulous titles out there by my favorite funny women, and I’ve selected ten of my top choices for you below.

Hop on over to our Overdrive catalog to snag one of these fabulous titles now, or request a print copy, and let the laughter begin! Happy reading all.

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here we have some new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week! Click on the red text to go to our catalog and place a hold!

The Bounty by Janet Evanovich & Peter Evanovich – Straitlaced FBI agent Kate O’Hare and international con man Nick Fox reluctantly team up with the fathers who taught them everything they know to prevent a shadowy international organization from claiming a fortune in Nazi gold.

Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Graff – Fleeing into the woods believing that they have accidentally murdered an abusive parent, two young boys, unaware that they have become the focus of a desperate search, navigate dangerous natural threats in their effort to survive.

Eternal by Lisa Scottoline – An aspiring writer, an athlete from a professional cyclist family and a mathematics prodigy find their bond tested by a love triangle and the spread of anti-Semitism and fascism in 1937 Italy. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Someone Knows.

The Consequences of Fear by Jacqueline Winspear – Entreated by a witness nobody believes to investigate a murder, Maisie Dobbs uncovers a conspiracy with devastating implications for Britain’s war effort during the Nazi occupation of Europe. By the award-winning author of The American Agent.

A Question Mark Is Half a Heart by Sofia Lundberg – A successful Manhattan photographer is drawn back to her past as a poverty-stricken child in Paris whose daily realities were shaped by an abusive parent and a friend who still remembers her deepest secrets. A first novel.

Danger in Numbers by Heather Graham – Investigating a ritualistic murder in a small north Florida community, an agent from the State police reluctantly partners with an FBI cult specialist to uncover dark local secrets and the violent activities of a doomsday prep group.

Double Jeopardy by Stuart Woods – Stone Barrington launches an investigation in coastal Maine, where he confronts high-connected and well-funded family enemies hiding in plain sight among the region’s stately houses and private clubs. By the Edgar Award-winning author of Chiefs.

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson – A bride’s dream honeymoon with her beloved millionaire groom is upended by the appearance of an obsessive one-night stand who would claim her for himself. By the award-winning author of The Kind Worth Killing.

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz – Haunted by the unsolved disappearance of the love of this life a decade earlier, writer David Thorne visits her suspected killer in prison before meeting a woman who uncannily resembles the person he lost.

The Palm Beach Murders by James Patterson – Three stories from the world’s best-selling author include the tale of a pair of divorcees who begin a strangely intense game of make-believe and a popular advertising exec who notices the people around him are being murdered.

A Million Reasons Why by Jessica Strawser – Suffering from irreversible kidney failure, worrying for her young son and mourning other devastating losses, Caroline considers reaching out to Sela, a vulnerable potential donor who is unaware that she is Caroline’s half-sister.

Red Island House by Andrea Lee – The National Book Award-nominated author of Lost Hearts in Italy presents a tale of love and identity that follows two decades in a marriage between an African-American professor and her wealthy Italian husband in tropical Madagascar.

Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old by Andrew Steele – A young scientist takes readers into the frontiers of the science of aging, and reveals how close we are to an astonishing extension of our life spans and a vastly improved quality of life in our later years.

Loneliest Polar Bear, The: A True Story of Survival and Peril on the Edge of a Warming World by Kale Williams – An Oregonian science and environmental reporter shares the heartbreaking but hopeful story of abandoned polar bear cub, Nora, discussing the efforts of dedicated zookeepers, veterinarians and conservationists who are working to rescue the species from extinction.

~Semanur

Reconnect @ RRPL – A Sequel Worth Waiting For

I read and loved The Outlander by Gil Adamson when it was released in 2008. Set in 1900 in the Canadian wilderness, this novel follows Mary Boulton, a young woman who is on the run from her two brothers-in-law, after having killed her husband. Atmospheric and suspenseful, with quiet moments of introspection and flashbacks of Mary’s earlier life, this character-driven novel is just exactly my favorite type of reading. If you asked me for a good historical fiction to read over the last 12 years, it is likely that I handed this one to you.

Finally, this story continues with the release of Ridgerunner, which was published in February. Ridgerunner is set in 1917 and focuses on 12-year-old Jack Boulton. Jack is the son of the recently-deceased Mary and also the son of the man known as the “Ridgerunner,” a notorious wanderer, loner, and thief. Jack is left in the care of a nun with a dark past, as his father robs mining towns and distant outposts in order to build a nest egg for Jack’s future. Don’t let this book’s online description as a “literary western” put you off. Not only does it have the descriptive and well-researched renderings of Canada and the Great Plains that won me over in The Outlander, Ridgerunner also explores the area’s physical landscapes changing due to tourism and the challenges of homesteading at the beginning of the 20th-century. Ridgerunner is a suspenseful ride, as well as an emotional journey between father and son, with twists, turns and secrets that you won’t see coming.

While The Outlander and Ridgerunner can be read independently of one another, why not thoroughly immerse yourself and read both? You can find these books and others by Gil Adamson on our library’s catalog.

Discover@RRPL.org

The Four Winds

by Kristen Hannah
The story begins in Texas in 1921. Having suffered from scarlet fever as a young girl, Lisa Wolcott's family over-protected her. She wasn't allowed to finish her education and could rarely leave the house except for church. At 25, Lisa decides to attend a dance in town where she meets the man who would become her husband, Rafe Martinelli. Rafe doesn't really love her but marries Lisa when she becomes pregnant. The wealthy Wolcott family will have nothing to do with Lisa and her new family, but the Martinelli's welcome her. 

The promise of a better life in California convinces Rafe to abandon his entire family. Lisa and her two children stay in Texas as long as they can. Eventually they head to California where life for them is just as difficult as it was in Texas. They pick cotton where the owner takes advantage of his workers with low wages, a nasty migrant camp, bigotry and the constant threat of violence.
This is a story of a mother's love, perseverance, friendship, courage and sacrifice. It's hard to imagine the suffering these people endured. 
                                                       ~Emma

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

These are the books we are adding to our collection this week. Click on the blue text to go to our catalog and place a hold today!

Body of Stars by Laura Maylene Walter – A debut novel by an award-winning short-story writer imagines a dangerously psychic alternate-reality world where the birthmarks, freckles and moles on a woman’s body determine her future role and security.

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry – Returning to her Southern hometown in the wake of a tragedy, Lila and her brother uncover details surrounding their domineering mother’s suspicious death, who had been in the care of their third sibling.

Meant to Be by Jude Deveraux – The award-winning author of A Knight in Shining Armor presents a latest historical family saga chronicling the lives and loves of three generations of women in a small Kansas community.

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex – A debut non-pseudonymous novel of psychological suspense, based on true events, follows the experiences of three wives on a remote Cornish Coast tower when their lighthouse-keeper husbands go mysteriously missing.

Win by Harlan Coben – A high-suspense follow-up to the best-selling The Boy from the Woods is presented from the viewpoint of Myron Bolitar’s fan-favorite sidekick, Windsor Horne Lockwood III. TV tie-in.

Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs – Tapped by the FBI to investigate the disappearance of an entire small community, mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham become dangerously compelled by a mysterious force in the nearby California mountains.

Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson – Investigating the murder of a property developer in Yorkshire, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his team begin scanning the victim’s security tapes only to discover that a brutal second crime was also captured.

The Energy Paradox: What to Do When Your Get-Up-and-Go Has Got Up and Gone by Steven R. Gundry – The best selling author of The Longevity Paradox expands upon previous discussions about gut, microbiome and mitochondrial health, linking immune malfunctions to the physical and mental symptoms of fatigue while outlining recommendations for bolstering energy and brain stamina.

No Pain, No Gaines: The Good Stuff Doesn’t Come Easy  by Chip Gaines – The star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper shares anecdotal insights into the value of a strong network, explaining how a team of family members, friends and neighbors can become an essential component of personal success.

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson – Serial Crimes Unit DI Anjelica Henley races to stop a copycat killer and prevent her own death before the ruthless murderer who is being imitated takes matters into his own hands.

Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight by Julia Sweig – A magisterial portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, and a major reevaluation of the profound yet underappreciated impact the First Lady’s political instincts had on LBJ’s presidency.

Already Toast: Caregiving and Burnout in America by Kate Washington – Despite feeling profoundly alone while providing care to her sick husband, a writer discusses how she discovered she was one of millions of exhausted and stressed unpaid caregivers in America and argues that more should be done to support them.

The Performance by Claire Thomas – An unbending professor on the cusp of retirement, a philanthropist with a traumatic past and a theater usher worried for her girlfriend become unexpected companions during a play that is interrupted by a suddenly out of control wildfire.

~Semanur

Discover Films @RRPL

Did you know that RRPL is an online provider of entertainment to our patrons? We offer entertainment through the streaming services AcornTV, Hoopla and Kanopy. Simply go to our website here. Click on the streaming service of your choice, create an account with your library card and begin browsing.

On a monthly basis we offer two separate programs, Film Club and Streaming Stories Spotlight, which highlights a film selected from one of our streaming services.

In March, Film Club will be discussing Ex Machina, a 2014 science fiction psychological thriller.  If you are a fan of West World, you will love this film.  It’s a clever sci-fi narrative with high level intrigue and unpredictability.  We will meet on March 25th at 7pm, and you can sign up here.  The film is currently streaming on Kanopy. 

Ex Machina (2014) - IMDb

Also in March, Streaming Stories Spotlight will highlight Float Like A Butterfly, a 2018 film about Irish Travellers, boxing and female emancipation. The film is currently streaming on Hoopla. You can view our review of this film here.

Float Like a Butterfly (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes