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Library Matters

Library Matters is a podcast by Montgomery County Public Libraries exploring the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning.
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Library Matters is a podcast of Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) in Montgomery County, MD. Each episode we explore the world of books, libraries, technology, and learning. Library Matters is hosted by Julie Dina, Outreach Associate, Lauren Martino, Children's Librarian at our Silver Spring branch, and David Payne, Branch Manager of our Davis branch and Acting Branch Manager of our Potomac branch.  

Feb 14, 2018

Listen to the audio

David Payne:  Welcome to Library Matters with your host David Payne.

 

Julie Dina:  And I’m Julie Dina. 

 

David Payne:  And for today's episode we’re going to be talking about romance just in time for Valentine's Day.  And joining me today I have two I have romance readers from our MCPL staff both Children’s Librarians at our Silver Spring branch Carly Beveridge.

 

Carly Beveridge:  Hi, everybody.  It’s nice to be here today. 

 

David Payne:  And Michelle Halber. 

 

Michelle Halber:  Hello, thank you so much for having us. 

 

David Payne:  And thank you very much for joining us.  Let’s start with a bit about yourselves, why do you both like romance books?

 

Carly Beveridge:  I started reading romance novels back in high school.  I think they're just kind of sometimes it’s just an escape to read them.  The nice thing is they have so many different mixes with different genres.  And they have you can find great stories and great characters. 

 

Michelle Halber:  I started actually much later.  I was a snob about romance novels when I was younger.  But as I've gotten older I have three kids and I definitely like to have the happy ever after and it's just fun.  You can read the historicals where you get pretty clothes and pretty dresses and lots of friendships and then you can read the contemporaries and it just is a lot more fun to read that something that's a little bit lighter and not as heavy. 

 

Julie Dina:  Would you then say that thank God for romance books now you have your three kids. 

 

Michelle Halber:  I've never got it that way.  [Laughs] But yes, actually they do help keep me more safe. 

 

David Payne:  Obviously, a new way of thinking there.

 

Michelle Halber:  There is a new way of thinking.  I love my historicals.  I love the children’s books but it’s just so especially right before bed, it's just a way for me to relax.  I know I don't have to necessarily worry I can get into a story.  They can still be engrossing.  There can still be some thriller types or romantic suspense novels.  But I know I don't have to worry about whether the heroine or the hero is going to survive till the end of the story. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Well, I can say even as a single person that God for themselves [Laughs].  I think that’s a nice thing about them is that anybody can really pick them up and there is such a wide variety even just for anybody.  So I enjoy them.  The nice thing is with my family we kind of go, hey, this is a good one to read and my dad and I even share them like my mom and I and my dad and I we share them and say hey, this is a good one because we look for good stories, not just hey, this is that it’s very typical body stripper where it is just what they call the smut book or it’s just nothing but hey, they’re romping around in the sheets.  [Laughs] So we look for like this and the good characters, the good story just like any good book.  So like I said my family we share them around.  And Michelle and us one of the things we’ve started talking about we share authors back and forth and hey, this is a good book so, yeah. 

 

Julie Dina:  That’s really cute. 

 

David Payne:  That’s great.  But awful family reading. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yeah.

 

David Payne:  So we’ll know in our heads what a romance novel is.  But let me ask you, maybe start with Michelle, how would you define a romance book?

 

Michelle Halber:  That's one of the really nice things about romance is they’re not.  There is no one definition of a romance book even in Montgomery County Public Library systems you will find romance novel, you will find books about romance or books that have romance in it in the fiction shelves, in the romance shelves even in the science fiction shelves.  So there is not really one type of book, there is romance with a little bit of supernatural, there is romance with there are stories Philippa Gregory's books could be kind of considered she has written a whole bunch of stuff on the Tudors about the wives and of Henry VIII and that could be considered in some ways romance.  It may not necessarily and happily but it’s still there is still romance in it.  Just about any book could be considered to be a romance book.  And that's I think one of the things that a lot of people don't realize in a story.  I mean, you can pull up a James Patterson or a Victor Flynn and there is some kind of romance somewhere.  Indiana Jones, there is romance in that so part of that is a romance whether it is considered a romance novel or not. 

 

David Payne:  So typically a romance novel can cross several genres.

 

Michelle Halber:  It can cross every genre. 

 

David Payne:  Yeah, would you agree?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yes, I would agree the nice thing about romance is that it has many sub genres.  I’m going to give you the definition for the romance novel itself.  It has to do with a plot that actually centers around two individuals falling in love but there has to be an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.  Now lately there has been some disagreement between authors whether or not there actually has to be that optimistic ending whether there has to be a happy ending or not.  Because not everything you know not everybody like the Tutors that kind of stuff.  There Philippa Gregory, her books, you know, can be considered romance, but there is not always a happy ending.  So you know, not every romance situation is going to be a happy ending.  But so people are more open to that kind of stuff now.

 

David Payne:  Is that a newer trend?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yes, that is a newer trend, yes. 

 

Julie Dina:  And you’re one.  [Laughs] So while we’re still on the topic, what are the typical characteristics of a romance literature?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Okay, so the typical characteristics.  So obviously you’re going to have two we tend to have two main characters.  A lot of times it’s either told first person, third person point of view.  Doesn’t it mean once what do you think Michelle?

 

Michelle Halber:  Traditionally there is going to be an expectation of a happy ending.  There will be some kind of arc in terms of a meeting whether it's brand-new or whether it's a past love and then usually right around the midway point in the book is where the relationship really starts to deepen and then it’s usually some kind of conflict.  It's just like any traditional novel because I forgot the question.  But the typical characteristics so it’s just like any traditional novel.  And that's I think part of why I don't necessarily understand the negative stereotype because it really is a traditional novel.  It's just gotten a bad wrap over the years I think.

 

Julie Dina:  Why do you think?

 

Michelle Halber:  I think it has to do with back, you know, back when they first really started coming out back in what was 1800s, early 1900s it was seen more as a you know we be woman's kind of book to pass the time is kind of a frivolous type book.  So I think that's kind of where it started and then a lot of people they look at some of the I think the Harlequin type series where they see those just the covers and go oh, that doesn’t look like a good reading.  And a lot of times if you get into the books those covers look absolutely nothing like what the characters depict inside even look like.  So it’s just really taking the time just like any book, you got to look at read the first chapter see what it's about, look read the inside cover.  So you got to look past the cover of the book, which is why a lot of times when somebody is looking for when I'm helping customers and patrons a lot of times if somebody is looking for a light read I will hand them something like Kristan Higgins, which my favorite of hers is The Best Man, it’s a cute story, it’s lot of fun, nothing serious. 

 

But it's just got a picture of a boy and a girl and they're just standing around.  And so it's not and I've had a customer say, oh, good it's not a shirtless man that’s on the cover, yeah.  So it’s a nice way of kind of leading them in and not I think the e-readers have made a huge difference in this.  I think this is when 50 Shades became so big was because people could read it on their e-reader until nobody knew what they were reading.  And it's a little bit less intimidating than somebody seeing you on the subway with a shirtless man covered book, right.  But that's part of it I think is that not the shirtless men covered books are not good because they are but it makes some people hesitant to take them seriously

 

Julie Dina:  And they might catch a cold.  [Laughs]

 

David Payne:  Leaving nothing to the imagination.  So with that let’s go to our big question.  I’ll start with you, Carly.  Do you have a favorite romance author and novel?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Oh, okay, yeah, Michelle and I’ve been talking about this for a while.  So I don’t know just like it's really hard to pinpoint.  I have a couple of favorite readers authors that I go to.  I really like Lynsay Sands, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kerrelyn Sparks.  I tend to like the more paranormal kind of like a vampire, werewolf those kinds of stories.  And I like the series stories where you get to continue on with familiar characters.  So I tend to go with those.  But I also like The Outlander series so that’s more of your historical time travel.  I am a – I like reading all kinds of different stuff.  Also my family is also Scottish, so that throws that there in too.  But honestly I’ll go into library or Barnes & Noble or even the grocery store and I'll look at the books and I’m like oh, I haven't seen this one yet.  So I'll turn the book over and I’ll start looking at it.  But yeah, like I’ve said, I need good characters, I need a good story.  If I see like I’m kind of turned away by characters that are like oh, she is just sitting there just crying that’s not going to do it for me.  I like strong characters. 

 

She is getting up a lot of the ones in like some of Lynsay Sands characters or female characters they’re vampires and they get how they have connections they have life mates.  And the guy would then go, I’m here and you're my life mate and you go like, no, you’re not.  [Laughs] I don’t know what you’re talking about.  So like I said, I like the strong characters and they’re set in more I'm fine with contemporary modern times, and like I said with The Outlander, what's neat with that one is it skips around between Scotland and World War II England and World War I and then I also my family they’ve read all the books too.  So like I said, my family we share books and we also watch the TV series too.  So yeah, those are some of my favorites.  Lately, I've also been going to Overdrive, one of our e-reading.  I'll go for more for the audio books for that to download the audio books just because I have a nice long drive to and from work. 

 

So it’s great with my car.  And I've got one of the cars with the Bluetooth sinking between my phone and my car so I can listen through my car which is very nice.  I go to Overdrive to download the books and several of those authors are on there.  We may not be able to find it on the shelf at the library.  So I'll go there and get the audio book or the e-book and the nice thing too is I've made requests there for purchases to be made.  And I’ve got notifications that they've been requested.  So that's been really nice too.  So we can always get the requested at the library, but we can get it on Overdrive.

 

David Payne:  And Michelle?

 

Michelle Halber:  For contemporary my favorite author is Kristen Ashley.  And there is only just a few of hers that's available through Overdrive.  She has got a couple on audio through Overdrive and then one for the e-book.  I do a lot of e-book reading.  I tend to do it a lot more than I do the actual paper copies because I'm going to and from different appointments and shopping the book I’d rather just take the reader it’s a lot easier.  One of the things I do like about Kristen Ashley is that she tends to have more mature characters.  Some of them are past childbearing age.  Some of them are in their mid to late 20s and early 30s.  And that's a more unique population and it's not you know the 18-year-old who was just coming in and the young adult type book.  She is more of an older a lot of her characters tend to be older and she has written a ton of books.  She has written like 50.  For historical, I guess, and only in thinking about all of this if I realize that I probably actually tend to more historical and I had talked to Carly and she tends to do those series. 

 

And I’m like by book 25 I kind of go by The Harry Potter Rule.  If it’s more than seven oh my god [Multiple Speakers].  Come on.  No, so I kind of like a series to start and end.  You can have some cross meeting of characters from different series and that’s a lot of fun.  But yeah, I’d like a series to end.  I don't want the children of the children or where the next cousins in the town over but we start a new series.  But I do tend to go to historical I really like Julia Quinn.  She has got a lot of humor in her books.  The Viscount I guess who I can’t remember the title is just so funny.  So she has got a lot of humor.  Lisa Kleypas has a series called the Wallflowers Series.  I think it secrets on an autumn night.  I think is book one it’s just four girls who are considered wallflowers for different reasons and they kind of band together and it’s much about friendship as it is about love. 

 

So you're seeing their relationships with each other develop as well as you’re seeing relationships with partners develop.  For diversity and historical Beverly Jenkins is phenomenal and Alyssa Cole is on a ton of lists as having one of the best romance novels of 2017.  And I'm still in the middle of that because that is a pretty powerful book.  So it's not one that you can just read as easily as you can some of the other romances.  You really do need to sit down to really enjoy it because there is a lot of rich historical detail in there. 

 

David Payne:  Great, thank you.

 

Julie Dina:  That’s plenty. 

 

Michelle Halber:  We should give you more. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  I’m sure. 

 

Michelle Halber:  We have lists. 

 

David Payne:  How much time do we have?

 

Julie Dina:  I guess this won’t be the time for me to say, tell me more, tell me more.  So with all of this being said, would you say romance novels or romance movies have changed within the past 15, 20 years?

 

Michelle Halber:  Well, as I said, I have three kids an 18-year-old, a 12-year-old and an 8-year-old.  So I have not [Multiple Speakers] getting out of house was an accomplishment for many, many, many years.  So I cannot tell you about those movies but hopefully Carly can. 

 

Julie Dina:  Maybe Carly can.  It’s on you Carly.

 

Carly Beveridge:  I don’t know like as far as movies and TV shows and things like that I think people are still interested in watching like we've still seen redoing things like Jane Austen and those kinds of books.  So there are certain classics, things like that.  I don't think those are going to lose, those are timeless.  We have seen things like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies things like that.  So we've seen kind of some trying to update and get more of the young adult teen interested in that and trying to modernize some of that.  But you’ve gotten things like Bridget Jones Diary, which is considered the chick lit in there.  But I think what you have seen is maybe more acceptance of like the LGBT in with the romance genre with more of those characters with romance movies and TV series, things like that.  I think that’s maybe the big change that we’ve have seen in past several years.

 

Michelle Halber:  Even Downton Abbey, there was a lot of romance in Downton Abbey.  And the arcs just kept going I mean, when the actor who played Matthew I think his name was left the show, they ended up trying to find that character another guy and that was part of the series.  So they knew that even in something like Downton Abbey part of what was keeping people interested was a type of romance and there is some LGBT in that show.  So they are definitely there are some new conversations that are being added to these books and these movies that make it I think a little bit more unique than there used to be. 

 

Julie Dina:  I'm glad you mentioned chick lit.  What's the difference, what’s the primary difference between the two, between chick lit and romance?

 

Michelle Halber:  The main difference is that with chick lit you don't always have to have its not always just to focus on romance between a woman and partner.  A lot of times is more contemporary.  You're looking at usually from the woman's point of view a lot of times it could be between about woman's friendships in her workplace and things like that.  Again one of the iconics is Bridget Jones Diary that that's kind of an iconic chick lit book movie those kind of things.  So I guess it's often the modern womanhood is what you're looking at with chick lit.  You do have kind of a lot of controversy around some chick lit as far as you know is it really a legitimate kind of field and you know whether or not it's worth, you know, is it great to read.

 

Julie Dina:  I like your expressions here.  [Laughs]

 

Michelle Halber:  But you know what, it’s very popular.  And those books just they can have great storylines being great characters and strong characters.  So chick lit is I’ll say I think it’s just as important.  Those stories are just as important and people identify with those characters.  So and they a lot of times do have romance and one of the lines that really sticks out in Bridget Jones you know that iconic he likes you just the way you are.  So I love that line.  So it gets flashing but it has great, they have great lines, great stories.  So again, it's your choice what you read. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  And a lot of romance, especially contemporary romance does have a piece of like a romantic suspense to it either there is some danger and that wouldn't be in the chick lit or there is a kidnapping or I can even think.  But there is more to what's happening in the romance because there can be military romances.  So you could be on the battlefield, which you wouldn't see in a chick lit.  There could be I don’t know sports brawls and all sort of things like that that wouldn't come up in a chick lit type novel.  So especially with the contemporaries and that's usually what chick lit is, it’s usually a contemporary novel.  There is some I hate to say there is sometimes a more depth in the romance then there is a chick lit but that's almost the way it is because there is usually a conflict in the romance that has a little bit stronger than the conflicts that would be in a chick lit that made any sense [Laughs].

 

David Payne:  Yeah, so perfect sense to me. 

 

Julie Dina:  Perfect. 

 

David Payne:  Talking about terminology and I think you mentioned the term earlier called the bodice-ripper. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yeah.

 

David Payne:  Something is always associated with the romance genre.  Can you talk about what bodice-ripper actually is?

 

Carly Beveridge:  I think a lot of that stigma has to do with again the whole Fabio covers with the romance.  It’s, you know, just that whole picture in your head of the scene of just the woman's old-style bodice being bulled after like the elaborate sex scene.  But really it's a lot of times in the stories you know that's a very small piece of what's actually happening.  And you have a range from some stories that really there is just some small kissing to all the way to U genre like the erotic genre where it’s more in depth.  But yeah, I think that’s really what it comes down to it’s just that whole stigma of that picture of you know just that scene in people heads. 

 

Michelle Halber:  And there is actually a sub genre of romance I mean, Carly was talking about some of them, but there is actually something called clean or Christian romance, which is a one without a whole lot of physicality mentioned descriptions or anything like that but it's all still romance.  So it’s not just the bodice-ripper.  It's not just the girl waiting to be saved.  Courtney Milan, who is generally historical I mean, her characters what I love about her stuff and I think we have some of the books at Montgomery County Public Libraries but it’s also Overdrive.  And even some of them are on cloudLibrary as well, which is the other downloadable e-book we can access through Montgomery County Public Libraries with your library card and your pin number, which is usually the year you were born. 

 

She has got scientists.  She has got just very unique characters.  She has got one woman who was a champion chess player for many years when she was a child.  She has got another one who is a scientist and had to hide her papers under her friends name because he was male and could take all of these really, really intellectual smart women struggling to survive in a time period where that love is difficult.  I don’t even know how we got onto that the bodice-ripper.  [Laughs] But it’s not like these women are necessarily stupid either, so there is just an intelligence about these characters that make it very appealing and it’s not the bodice-ripper is such a we don’t want people to think that that's how we don’t want you to view it that way anymore. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yes.

 

David Payne:  Somewhat old-fashioned.

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yes.

 

Michelle Halber:  It’s an old-fashioned terminology of looking at, yes, there we go, thank you. 

 

Julie Dina:  There has been a change. 

 

Lauren Martino:  And now a brief message about MCPL service and resources. 

 

Lisa Navidi:  This month we celebrate Black History month not only with displays of books and DVDs, but also with special films, speakers, book discussion and a virtual trip from Selma to Montgomery.  There is something for everyone in your family.  You can find a link to our Black History month events and resources in this episode show notes. 

 

Lauren Martino:  Now back to our program.

 

Julie Dina:  So do either of you have any favorite romance characters?

 

Michelle Halber:  Okay, so I’d have to say one of my favorite is Jamie from Outlander.  He is definitely one of my favorites. 

 

Julie Dina:  Are you in love?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yeah, I’ve got part of it, tattooed on my arm.  Part of it’s because I’m Scottish but part of it has to with Outlander.  I love my Outlander.  [Multiple Speakers]

 

David Payne: Must be that kilt.


Carly Beveridge: Yeah, the kilt, the hair, and the accent.


Julie Dina:  How about you Michelle?

 

Michelle Halber:  No, I don’t think so.  Well, I'm reading it.  I can follow them with any character. 

 

Julie Dina:  Yeah.

 

Carly Beveridge:  But no.

 

Julie Dina:  That’s good too.  And it could be in the next book.

 

Carly Beveridge:  Could be.  I could fall in love with the character in the next book and that’s always part of the fun. 

 

Julie Dina:  And I’m sure, MCPL will have to have book for you. 

 

David Payne:  So as I mentioned earlier we’re coming up to Valentine's Day.  Do both of you have suggestions for anyone feeling particularly lonely on Valentine’s Day, where would you start?

 

Michelle Halber:  I would absolutely not have them read a romance novel that might make me feel little lonely but I’ll lead them to a very interesting non-fiction perhaps.  [Laughs] Something interesting, something about somewhat no, my gosh, no of course not.  You think read one the day after they can read one day before but the day of Valentine’s Day, no.  You got your friends.  [Multiple Speakers] The joint motion like all the single ladies thing with Beyonce where they used to I don’t know if they still do.  Don’t quote me where they used to teach the dance for women and men, presumably in their theater at one of their studios on Valentine's Day.  So I would do and the power of being one.  I wouldn’t focus on the fact that you don't necessarily have anybody to spend and I go and have fun, don’t read a romance novel that would be what I would say. 

 

David Payne:  How do you follow that Carly?

 

Carly Beveridge:  I'm going to go if I go out, go have fun. 

 

David Payne:  And there you have it. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Why do you do that to yourself?

 

David Payne:  So do you have or both of you a favorite romance novel trope, is there a trope that you absolutely can’t stand. 

 

Michelle Halber:  I used to but I used to have these things that I didn't like, like oh please, like again.  But yeah, these authors even when they're doing I mean, there is some that I will shy away from unless it’s an author I really, really trust.  But there is always the surprise baby, there is always the old love, which turns out to be some of the best books I've read.  So I’ve learned not to say no to anything.  I'm willing to try it, that’s the neat thing about romance.  There is the supernatural with Susanna Kearsley there is Lynsay’s and J.R.  Ward is probably right in there for the vampires, right in the ones that Carly would like and there are werewolves and there is historical and it's just there is so much that I’ve learned not to say no to anything I’m willing to try it.  But yeah there is a couple I would be like oh, please but not anymore. 

 

Julie Dina:  And what about you?

 

Carly Beveridge:  No, there is not yeah, there is not too many that I won't.  I mean, again like I said I like it to actually have a story just like any book.  I wanted to have a good storyline.  If I start reading it and I feel its storyline is weak or the characters just aren't connecting for me I’ll put it down just like when I talk, I told my kids, if it’s a story you’re starting to read it, don't like it put it back.  So yeah, I'm willing to try.  I’m going to try anything. 

 

Julie Dina:  Would you happen to know if any romance literature that has actually made it to the box office and it’s been a big hit?

 

Michelle Halber:  Pride and Prejudice.  Is that what you're asking? I mean, Pride and Prejudice is the classic romance.  It's not even necessarily again but it’s more about communication and understanding and the different classes and caste system is that they have.  But I think a lot of it does come from the Jane Austen beginnings.  What do you think Carly?

 

Carly Beveridge:  As far as movies that I can think of like I said Bridget Jones Diary that was came from chick lit some of the others Waiting to Exhale, there is another considered chick lit.  More recently, you've got the Nicholas Sparks movies in the books that’s another big draw.  Those are considered more contemporary then you got some of your others I'm trying to think of some of your other books that are considered YA.

 

Michelle Halber:  The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Well, that one is almost like the young adult chick lit you could consider because they has to do with friendships.  No, there is another one. 

 

Julie Dina:  Twilight. 

 

Michelle Halber:  Yeah, Twilight can be considered one, yeah and that one really bridges pretty much several genres.  [Laughs] No, I have another one that I'm trying to think of that actually has to do with like it has to do with like Zombies but it's more of like a YA.  Now when I can kind of think of is Stardust that came out a few years ago based on an older book but I love that one.  Once a great one Robert De Niro’s and that one.  Claire Danes and that one too.  So that’s a great one if you haven't seen that one.  But a lot of many more if they think there is some kind of audience they'll go for it. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yeah, they’ve even started a smaller company called Passionflix that you can subscribe to which is I know nothing about it, this is not an endorsement.  I haven't seen any of their movies.  But just to show you I mean romance is romance writing and romance books is a huge market. 

 

Michelle Halber:  It is the number one selling genre.

 

Julie Dina:  Really. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  And so Passionflix is creating I think their goal is to create books based on and movies based on the books that people are loving that are not necessarily coming out into the theaters that are making it that way.  But yet clearly have a huge audience maybe some of them are Robert stuff will be in there.  I don't exactly even remember what, who is the authors that are being filmed.  But and I don't know how good they’re going to be.  But there is a huge market for romance. 

 

David Payne:  You think just because people want to escape, is that the biggest reason, does it offer that escape for people?

 

Carly Beveridge:  Yeah, I think for some its escape.  I think again it's you’re having more authors that have good storylines, good books.  You do have I think the percentage of men who are actually reading romance is still small, but you do have seen a bit of an increase in male writers in the romance genre, which is nice.  But yeah, some of its escape, some of its because there are good quality books out there, good series books out there.

 

Michelle Halber:  And a lot of people start by the self-publishing and they can get a lot of I shouldn’t say a lot, a number of them can get into the traditional book publishing system because they have enough of the market.  They have created enough of an audience that they have and their books are good.  Obviously there is a lot of stuff that wouldn't necessarily be good either but hopefully people will learn to separate that.  But because it's such a huge industry and publishing it’s even though something I think New York Times is like taking out their books, the romance stuff from the lists that they’re giving it a try.  They’re giving the writing a try.

 

David Payne:  Well, we normally wrap up our podcasts by asking our guests to talk about the book they’re current reading and enjoying or book they recently read and enjoyed.  So let me turn to Carly first, romance or not romance. 

 

Carly Beveridge:  Oh, gosh, okay.  So I'm one of those people who read like two and three books at a time because I’m usually listening to one and I'm reading some.  Okay, so one that I’ve got two that I kind of want to recommend.  So I just this past year I read Carve the Mark definitely highly recommend that one.  You’ve got some romance in there, but you've also got some kind of fantasy sci-fi in that as well.  So that’s the great it’s in the young adult and I've seen in the regular kind of adult as well.  We’ve got in both and in Montgomery County.  So that is a definite recommendation.  And the other one I would recommend that I have read not too long ago is Alex & Eliza.  It has to it's a historical romance, young adult, and it is fabulous and we have on order the second book that is coming out.  And it has to do with Eliza Hamilton and his wife when they are teenagers during the American Revolution it’s really good. 

 

Michelle Halber:  This is going to sound funny after we've been talking about the books that end with a happy ending.  But my best book of 2017 was actually a young adult titled They Both Die at the End, it's a phenomenal.  It talks about its kind of pose at this dystopian world where people are being notified when they're going to die that day.  And so it talks about these two different people and how they decide to live their lives.  There is a day that they think it's going to be the last day like if they walk out of the house move staying in the house keep them safe and protected and will they survive or if they walk out of the house it’s like these choices that you make. 

 

But the book is actually more about how you live and how you choose to live rather than how you may or may not die.  So that was my best book of 2017.  Right now my husband and I listening to the audio book of Endurance by Scott Kelly and we are fascinated by that.  He is an astronaut who has been in the international space station for over a year and he comes back and he is talking about just the whole process and like what happens to him after and how he goes before it’s fascinating.  And then what else am I reading, again a ton because I have X number of books on cloudLibrary, I’ve X number of books on Overdrive.

 

Carly Beveridge:  Me too and audible and yeah.

 

Michelle Halber:  Plus all the children’s books I'm reviewing and meeting for the children’s librarian stuff.  So I’m still I got to finish Alyssa Cole’s.  I think it's an undivided and that’s why I was trying to Google real quickly while Carly was talking.  I think it's an undivided union is book one in her series and so that’s what I’m reading at the moment. 

 

Julie Dina:  Well, thank you so much Carly and Michelle for joining us today.  I've got to say this was a very fun episode.  Let's keep the conversation going by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.  Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast on the new Apple podcast app, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.  Also, please review and rate us on Apple podcasts.  We’ll love to know what you think.  Thank you for listening to our conversation today.  See you next time.

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