Discussion Thread: Favorite Literary Love Story

books and roses

 

Every week, I tell you all about what I am reading and watching, but this week, it’s your turn to tell me what you’re reading and watching!

Last week was Valentine’s Day, but it’s still the perfect time to revisit your favorite literary love stories and discover new ones. . . .

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Deborah Cadbury’s Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages That Shaped Europe (2017)

victoria matchmaking

If you enjoy PBS as much as I do, chances are you’re also spending your Sunday nights watching Victoria. Even if you’re not following the show, if you like historical nonfiction with a hefty dose of fascinating interpersonal relationships, have I got a book for you! Not your typical Valentine’s Day read but full of romance nonetheless.

Deborah Cadbury transitioned to writing historical nonfiction after a long career as a BBC producer. Quite a few of her books have focused on royalty, though this one has a much broader focus and grander ambition.

At its heart is Queen Victoria in her later years and the various schemes she and her extended family concocted to marry off her grandchildren. Her overarching goal was one of balancing power and ensuring peace in Europe, and she firmly believed that marital alliances between her grandchildren scattered across the continent and their respective royal houses was the key to achieving this ambition. However, her interests were not entirely mercenary, as she also plotted to pair up those whom she felt were the most well-suited for each other. But as the old saying about the “best-laid plans of mice and men” acknowledges, nothing actually went according to plan. . . .

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Book Buzz: Searing Literary Debuts, Murderous Siblings, and Cow-Induced Friendships

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For February, we’re looking at an acclaimed new literary novel about contemporary urban Native American life, a zany Nigerian horror-comedy about siblings and serial murder, and a heartwarming memoir of friendship and the culture of cows in India.

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The Death of Stalin (2018)

death of stalin

Okay, so I’ve never really watched the show Survivor, but the catchphrase is embedded in my brain from years of commercials: “Outwit, outlast, outplay.” If one were to devise a similar catchphrase for the historical comedy film The Death of Stalin, it would probably be “Out-scheme, out-mourn, outlive”. . . .

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Old Favorites: Arthur Miller

We’re focusing on newer books, movies, and television shows for 2019, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely ignoring old favorites! After all, what’s that saying–what’s old may just become new again (or something like that)?

I’ve always loved reading plays–and especially mid-20th century American plays. My favorite playwright would probably be Tennessee Williams, but I also always enjoyed Arthur Miller’s work. Today marks 66 years since his play The Crucible premiered, and what better time to explore the life and career of this master of the American stage?

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Guest Blogger Courtney: Independently Published Books, A Reader’s Perspective

[Usually blog posts are written by Shirley, Berryville’s library services associate, but today we have a special treat–a guest review written by Courtney, one of our local business owners and fellow book bloggers. She wrote an excellent piece on historical Christian fiction for us last year. This time, she’s talking about indie authors.]

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Book Buzz: Short Story Anthologies, Standalone Debuts, and Libraries

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For January, we’re looking at a prestigious annual literary collection, a standalone mystery from one of the most popular crime writers working today, and a profile of the Los Angeles library system.

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