Sunday, December 30, 2012

Upcoming Book Releases in 2013

It is never too early to be aware of new books.  Our favorite authors are hopefully plugging away at this very minute, working on their next novel.  2013 looks like it might be a great year for books fans, with several authors putting out intriguing looking titles.  Here is a list of those you won't want to miss.  Most of these have tentative publishing dates, so the release dates might change, and they do not appear in the library's catalog yet.  Keep checking back to place holds on these titles:

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time series finally comes to a close after over twenty years on January 8.  Click on the link to place your holds now!

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
The author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns  is back with another book sure to be a bestseller when it's released on May 21.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
On April 23 the latest collection of essays from America's favorite satirical writer comes out.

Gulp: A Trip Down the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
The researcher and author of books like Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex returns with this book about the science of eating on April 1.

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
A new novel by bestselling Jodi Picoult is set to be released on February 26.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009 for her book Olive Kitteridge.  On March 26 her latest book about two brothers will be out. 

Montaro Caine by Sidney Poitier
Actor Sidney Poitier has written two autobiographies, but on May 7 his first novel will be published!

Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende
An American girl on a remote island, surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, writes the story of her life.  This one should be in bookstores on April 23.

Insane City by Dave Barry
This is the first novel for adults Dave Barry has published in more than ten years.  This one is already in the catalog, so place your holds now.

Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones
The Albuquerque author unveils the latest in her vampire series in July.

See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
The author of Mr Potter and A Small Place returns with her first novel in a decade on February 5.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The author of Case Histories and Started Early, Took My Dog returns on April 2 with her latest novel.

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
On May 7 another adventure of Sookie Stackhouse will be released.  This book is said to be the last in the series.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The award-winning author of Half a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus is back with a novel of a Nigerian couple who fall in love.  This one should be out on May 14. 

Requiem by Lauren Oliver
The third book in the Delirium series will be released March 5.  In the meantime, check out the ebook supplements, told through the point of view of minor characters. 

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
Released on January 8, Chevalier's latest historical novel is about a Quaker in Ohio during the days of the Underground Railroad.  This one is also in the catalog, so click the link to place a hold.

Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff
A new young adult novel from the author of The Replacement is also set for release on January 8.

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman returns to adult fantasy fiction when this little book is published in June.

Joyland by Stephen King
Stephen King is the author who never sleeps.  In 2013 he is set to release two books.  Joyland comes out in June and Dr. Sleep, the much anticipated sequel to The Shining, will be published in September. 

Also keep an eye out for new books by Malcolm Gladwell (author of several bestselling books including Blink, Outliers, and The Tipping Point), Diane Setterfield (author of The Thirteenth Tale), and Lionel Shriver (author of We Need to Talk About Kevin) who have new books due to come out sometime in 2013. 

Obviously, there are lots more books that will be published in the upcoming year.  This is just a small sample of some major releases that are already generating some excitement in the book world.  To keep up with more of the latest titles stop by the library to pick up a free copy of Bookpage, the magazine of new book releases.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Literary Links: Best Books of the Year

As the year winds to close, we are inundated with "best of 2012" lists.  Here are a few of our favorite book lists so far!

Amazon's Omnivoracious blog has a series!  2012 Best Books of the Year: Recommendations by Authors

Best Art Books of 2012

Michiko Kakutani's 10 Favorite Books of 2012 (also check for fellow New York Times' reviewers Janet Maslin & Dwight Garner's lists)

Atlantic Wire: Books We Loved in 2012

Slate: Staff Picks of 2012

Brain Pickings: Best Science Books of 2012

Best Children's Books of 2012

O Magazine: Best Books of 2012

What were your favorite books of 2012?  Do you have a go-to best-of list?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


You may have already noticed a new format in ABC Library's audiobook collection - Playaway.  If you haven't, you might want to check one out!

If you are a fan of audiobooks, but don't always have a CD player to hand (for instance, if you are exercising), Playaways are for you!  Each Playaway is an entire audiobook contained in one small, portable, easy-to-use device, which you check out with your library card. Playaways in the catalog are denoted by this symbol to the left of the item record:

You can also look them up in the system using an author search of  "Playaway Digital Audio". Try one out today and let us know what you think! The library does not provide headphones or batteries.

According to the Playaway website:

Playaway is the only format that makes audiobooks accessible for everyone—providing the portability of a digital audiobook with the grab-and-go convenience of a physical format. Unlike CDs, Audio Cassettes or downloads, Playaway does not need a separate player. Playaway comes preloaded and ready to use with High Definition Audio Content, earbuds, and a battery.
  • Holds up to 60 hours of audio content
  • Equipped with a universal jack; works with almost
    any type of headphone or mobile accessory
  • 5 narration speeds; listen at your own pace
  • Automatic bookmarking remembers where you stopped listening
  • Lockable keypad for on-the-go usability
  • Weighs only 2 ounces

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Winter Books

Robert Frost said "You can't get too much winter in the winter" (from "Snow"), & here at abcreads we couldn't agree more. The weather is chilly, it's getting dark early, you want to stay indoors by the fire - how about picking up one of these off-the-beaten-track winter reads for a quick browse or a little infotainment?

Winter: Five Windows on the Season by Adam Gopnik

Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon by Michael O'Brien

Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colón

Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich

Impressionists in Winter: Effets de neige by Charles S. Moffett ... [et al.].

The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (And a Mother who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale by Susan Maushart

Scarpetta's Winter Table by Patricia Cornwell

Delia Smith's Winter Collection

New Mexicana, anyone?

Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande by Jimmy Santiago Baca

The River in Winter: New and Selected Essays by Stanley Crawford

Surviving the Winter: The Evolution of Quiltmaking in New Mexico by Dorothy R. Zopf

Ski Pioneers: Ernie Blake, His Friends, and the Making of Taos Ski Valley  as told to Rick Richards

How about a bilingual book to share with the kids?

Winter Afternoon = Tarde de invierno  by Jorge Luján

And if reading's not your bag, how about lifting your voice in song?

Sing the Cold Winter Away: Family Songs for Wintertime by Kathy Reid-Naiman [music CD]

Bonjour, l'hiver by Charlotte Diamond [music CD]

Maybe you'd like to while away the hours checking out some really chilly climes?

Frozen Planet [DVD]

Friday, December 21, 2012

Your Ideal Bookshelf

"The books that we choose to keep-let alone read-can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In The Ideal Bookshelf, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most-books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world." ~ from the publisher

David Sedaris' ideal bookshelf

Sometimes, it's not enough to just read books - you also may find yourself reading about them!  This fun new book allows you to see the virtual shelves of  books that have meant the most to a variety of famous folks including author Michael Chabon, actor James Franco, chef Alice Waters, filmmaker Judd Apatow, and more! Each contributor includes a one page explanation of their choices. If anything, you will wish that the explications of most of these shelves went into more detail.  You can also make your own ideal bookshelf using their template (available in the book & on their website). 

If you're at a gathering this season & stuck for a discussion topic, why not talk about what would be on your ideal bookshelf? Or just let us know in the comments - what's your favorite book? What book changed your life? What book do you read again & again?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Recommended Reads: Sports Stories

Got a sports fanatic in the house?  In the off-season, maybe you can get them interested in these athletically minded reads!

For Adults - Fiction

Calico Joe by John Grisham
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Sudden Death by David Rosenfelt

Testimony by Anita Shreve

For Kids & Teens

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Hothead by Carl Ripken Jr.
The Final Four by Paul Volponi
Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

Suggested by two articles from Booklist magazine: "Listenalikes:Talking Sports" & "Top 10 Sports Books for Youth: 2012".

Monday, December 17, 2012

eReader Holiday Gift Guide

giftIt's that time of year again, where you might find yourself scratching your head trying to come up with good gift ideas.  Judging by the number of questions I get asked, eReaders are going to be a big hit again this year.  Since there are a wide variety of devices available that are compatible with the library system, a little guidance might be handy for those looking for a gift (or a gift for oneself!)

eReaders can be broken down into two basic types: Tablet-style and E-Ink.  Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so continue reading to figure out what kind best matches what you had in mind.

Tablet-style eReaders are actually tablets that also function as eReaders.  Beyond reading eBooks on them, you can also listen to audiobooks and music, play videos and movies, connect to the internet, access apps,  and play a variety of games.  These have color backlit screens, like a computer or smart phone screen.  So while color is nice, even necessary for some functions, battery life can be short with long use, requiring frequent charging.  These screens may also be difficult to see in sunlight or cause eye fatigue.  One of the nicest things about tablet-style eReaders is that you can load library apps on them, so borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks is easy and doesn't require any other devices.  While tablet-style eReaders are a little larger and heaver than E-Ink ones, if you find yourself ferrying a bag full of devices around, these tablets may allow you to leave more of them at home.

Tablet-style Recommendations: Many are quite nice, so I can't point to one particular one as a must-have.  However, I recommend ones running either iOS (Apple iPads) or Android (Kindle Fire, Nook HD, and any number of other tablets from electronic manufacturers).  Tablets come in multiple sizes, ranging from about 7" tall to 11" tall, so seeing a variety in person can be helpful.  Along with a variety of choices, there are a variety of prices, from less than $100 to upwards of $500.

E-Ink eReaders are meant for one purpose: to read eBooks.  These have black and white E-Ink screens, which look very similar to a printed page.  Battery life can last a very long time between charges, as very little power is needed for turning pages.  E-Ink is easy to read in bright sunlight and shouldn't tire eyes any more than reading print books.  However, borrowing eBooks from the library requires a few more steps and possibly the use of a computer, depending on your eReader.  E-Ink eReaders are generally, small, thin, and lightweight and don't take up much room in a handbag or briefcase, but they don't have all the extra features that Tablet-style ones do.  There are even ones that have a built in light so that you can read in the dark without a separate light source.

E-Ink Recommendations: Again, there are many nice ones, so I can't pick one as the best.  However, I can make some broad recommendations.  If you plan to buy most of the books you read, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have the largest and most established book stores for eBooks.  If you want to read in the dark without a light, try the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, or the KoboGlo.  If you want the easiest access to library books, try the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (no computer required to check out).  Most E-Ink eReaders have 7" screens and most are under $200, with many less than $100. 

Consumer Reports has recently tested many brands of both Tablets and E-Ink eReaders (look for Tablet and eReader reviews).  You'll need your library card number and PIN to access reviews through the link.  If you'd like to learn how to use any of these devices with the library, look for a Gizmo Garage at a library branch near you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Doomsday Prophecies

Post-apocalyptic is very in right now, as you might imagine from the success of books such as The Hunger Games and The Road, and the accompanying movies (not to mention Mad Max, The Book of Eli, I Am Legend, and more).  The library catalog has 70 items that use the word doomsday in their descriptions, 203 results show up in a keyword search of the word apocalypse, and there are 25 subject headings that include end of the world (with Armageddon, Beast of the Apocalypse, Judgement Day, and Tribulation as secondary suggestions).  We read about it, we write about it, we think about it, and we have December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, coming up fast, with the possible end of the world that that implies.

What to think? The SETI Insitute says on their site that there is "widespread and unnecessary fear" about this date and NASA's webpage says "12-21-12 Just Another Day".  If you are fearing for the end of the world, apparently there's a village in France called Bugarach that has been prophesied to be "the only place on earth left standing" after December 21st.  Whatever your beliefs on this topic, there are a lot of items in the library catalog you can study and discuss during the next couple of weeks.  These include:


The 2012 Anthology. Disc 1, Doomsday 2012, Mayan Doomsday Prophecy

Nostradamus 2012

2012: Science or Superstition


The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012 by David Stuart

The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies & Possibilities

2012: Mayan Year of Destiny by Adrian Gilbert

The Source Field Investigations: The Hidden Science and Lost Civilizations Behind the 2012 Prophecies by David Wilcock

The Real History of the End of the World: Apocalyptic Predictions from Revelation and Nostradamus to Y2K and 2012 by Sharan Newman

A Doomsday Reader: Prophets, Predictors, and Hucksters of Salvation edited by Ted Daniels [eBook]

For more items about doomsday prophecies, you can also search  with the subjects Prophecies, Nostradamus, or Mayas - Prophecies

The library catalog also features guides to help you in disaster preparedness, such as Extreme Weather: A Guide to Surviving Flash Floods, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Heat Waves, Snowstorms, Tsunamis, and Other Natural Disasters by Bonnie Schneider, Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison, and Preparedness Now! An Emergency Survival Guide for Civilians and Their Families by Aton Edwards [eBook]. You can find more by searching subject headings such as Emergency Management.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Looking for a few good books?

Do you find yourself frequently checking the New Book shelves of your branch?  Do you like receiving book recommendations from friends?  Are you just looking for something good to read?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may be interested in our NextReads newsletter options.  NextReads sends you an email on a monthly or bimonthly schedule with a book recommendation booklist.  The booklist contains some highlighted new books as well as a section of books on a theme within the subject area you signed up for.  From the booklist, you'll be able to check if the books are currently available at your closest branch or place holds if they are not.  There are 25 different newsletter options, with fiction, non-fiction, kids, teen, and audiobook options.  If you'd like to sign up for one (or many!), you may do so here.

If you don't want your inbox cluttered, you can also look at the current newsletters by going to the sign up page and clicking on the newsletter that you'd like to see.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Family Survival Guide For the Holidays



Your library is here for you this holiday season, as you connect with your loved ones with empathy, loving detachment, and compassion. Whether your family is endearingly quirky and off beat, or dysfunctional to the extreme, these thoughtful resources can help to keep some perspective and inner peace, along with peace in general.

Coping In a Dysfunctional Family by Raymond M. Jamiolkowski

12,000 Miles In the Nick Of Time : A Semi-Dysfunctional Family Circumnavigates the Globe by Mark Jacobson ; with additional commentary by Rae Jacobson

Awkward Family Pet Photos by Mark Bender

Toxic In-Laws: Loving Strategies For Protecting Your Marriage by Susan Forward with Donna Frazier

What Do You Want From Me? Learning to Get Along With In-Laws by Terri Apter

Crossing the Tracks For Love: What to Do When You and Your Partner Grew Up in Different Worlds by Ruby K. Payne

Healing Your Holiday Grief: 100 Practical Ideas For Blending Mourning and Celebration During the Holiday Season by Alan D. Wolfelt

Simplify the Holidays by Allana Baroni with Vicki Webster; illustrations by John Holm

Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives by Pia Mellody with Andrea Wells Miller and J. Keith Miller

Codependency For Dummies by Darlene Lancer

Boundaries In Marriage by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Boundaries With Kids: When To Say Yes, When To Say No, To Help Your Children Gain Control Of Their Lives by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Emotional Sobriety: From Relationship Trauma To Resilience and Balance by Tian Dayton

Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, and Kwanza may come but once a year, but our families are gifts that keeps on giving.

Friday, December 7, 2012

How to Survive Finals

It’s that time of year again.  The holidays are almost upon us, but before you can kick off your shoes, eat pie, and spend quality time with your friends and family, you have to slough through that annual necessary evil known as FINALS.  Whether you’re writing papers, studying for exams, or working on projects and presentations, you are certainly feeling the pressure to do a lot of quality work in a short period of time.  So how do you keep your sanity while still putting in your best effort?  You’re probably already aware that you should get good sleep, eat healthy food and drink plenty of water (to counteract the dehydration caused by all that caffeine you’re likely consuming), turn off your phone, and avoid Facebook, but what about the actual time you spend with your nose in the books? Here are a few tips to help you make the best of this stressful time:

Choose a Good Work Space
…[C]ognitive scientists suggest that alternating study spaces is a more effective way to retain information, according to the New York Times. Memory is colored by location, and changing your study locales increases the likelihood of remembering what you’ve learned.”[1]

Make Specific Study Plans
“‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’ We have all heard and agreed with that old adage, but how many times do we still forget to plan? If you just start studying without a plan, you are likely to overlook important areas and over-study unimportant subjects. Plan your week, plan your day, and plan what to study.”[2]
Mix Up Your Approach
“In keeping with the age-old proverb that values quality over quantity, scientists have found that immersion is not an effective method of study, the New York Times reports. Rather than sticking to one subject and spending hours attempting to master it, you should switch between a few (related) topics. It’s less boring -- and you’ll learn more.”[3]

Take Frequent, Short Breaks
After studying for the time you found was best, you must then take a rest for about five minutes. Do something else not connected with your work. Listen to music, have a snack, refresh yourself - but don't stop thinking about what you were reading. This may be an unusual thing to do in the middle of a study session, but your brain needs that time to sort out the information in your short-term memory. At the end of the rest period, the information you were reading will be much clearer than it was to begin with. [4]

 Avoid Plagiarism, a.k.a. Academic Self-Sabotage
Since most plagiarism is unintentional, the best way to avoid plagiarism is to develop good habits of scholarship and writing, and to be familiar with the concepts related to plagiarism. Some of the necessary habits of scholarship are simple common sense. When writing a paper:

  • give yourself enough time to do a good job. Students who procrastinate are more likely to plagiarize because rushing makes them sloppy. (Being out of time is also the primary incentive for deliberate dishonesty.)
  • revise your paper. Significant re-writing can eliminate plagiarized passages.
  • proofread for errors. Proofreading can help you find missing citations and quotation marks, as well as other errors.”[5]
Stop Studying When You’re Ready
"How do you know when you've studied enough? It's not when you're tired of studying! And it's not when you've gone through the material one time! You should stop only when you get to the point that you feel confident and ready for whatever will be on the exam—when you're actually eager to see the exam to find out if you guessed its contents correctly."[6]

Hopefully these tips will breathe some new life into your study routine.  In the meantime, here are some books in the library catalog that you also may find helpful:

Meditation Made Easy by Lorin Roche. 158.12 Roche

The Overwhelmed Person's Guide to Time Management by Ronni Eisenberg with Kate Kelly 304.23 Eisenberg

Study Strategies Made Easy by Leslie Davis and Sandi Sirotowitz with Harvey C. Parker. 371.3028 Davis

Strategies for Studying: A Handbook of Study Skills. 378.170281 Strategies
The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything in Between by Nora Bradbury-Haehl and Bill McGarvey 378.198 Bradbury-Haehl

How to Succeed in College (While Really Trying): A Professor's Inside Advice by Jon B. Gould. 378.198 Gould

Up Your Grades: Proven Strategies for Academic Success by Ann Hunt Tufariello. 378.198 Tufariello

The Big Book of Relaxation: Simple Techniques to Control the Excess Stress in Your Life  edited by Larry Blumenfeld. 613.79 Big

Smart Food: Culinary Delights for Optimal Gray Cell Performance by Marlisa Szwillus. 641.5 Szwillus

Successful Time Management for Dummies by Dirk Zeller. 650.11 Zeller

How to Write Successfully in High School and College by Barbara Lenmark Ellis. 808.02 Lenmark-Ellis 2005

Essentials of the Essay: Writing, Reading, and Grammar 808.042 Dean


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Literary Links

Cloud Atlas Author David Mitchell: Adaptation is Translation
Find this book and others by David Mitchell in the library catalog

Read Today's Word at A.Word.A.Day
Find A Word A Day: A Romp Through Some of the Most Unusual and Intriguing Words in English by wordsmith Anu Garg in the library catalog

Downton Abbey 3 premieres on January 6, 2013!
Find Downton Abbey related items in the library catalog here and here and here

The Rumpus Book Club Interviews Jami Attenberg
Place a hold on Attenberg's The Middlesteins in the library catalog

Nerdy Book Club's Top 10 Read Alouds of 2012

Eight Best Bits of John Taylor's Duran Duran Tell-All
Place a hold on In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran in the library catalog

Literary Fiction is a Genre: A List

What do you think about "Out of Touch: E-reading Isn't Reading" from

Read "The Eye", a short story from Alice Munro's collection Dear Life
Place a hold on the book in the library catalog

David Foster Wallace on "The Nature of Fun", an excerpt from Both Flesh and Not: Essays
Place a hold on the book in the library catalog

Monday, December 3, 2012

The POTUS Diaries: Books Written by Presidents

"They are international superstars, and yet they are public servants. We are united by the ideal they represent, but we are often divided by the policies they enact. As the 2012 election concludes, take a look beyond the ballots and past the process."
~Robin Rothman, "Penned by Presidents"

Many of our former presidents have written books.  Most are autobiographies, but a few, such as John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, have written histories, a novel, even poetry.   Some have had their writings collected by editors, such as Harry S. Truman and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Since we just finished election season and with the latest Lincoln biopic currently in theaters (based in part on Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin), we thought this might be a good time to revisit the writings of some of our presidents of recent memory.

#32 Franklin Delano Roosevelt
FDR's Fireside Chats

#33 Harry S. Truman
Where the Buck Stops: The Personal and Private Writings of Harry S. Truman

#34 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Crusade in Europe

#35 John F. Kennedy
Profiles in Courage

#37 Richard M. Nixon
In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat, and Renewal

# 38  Gerald R. Ford
A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford

#39  Jimmy Carter
An Hour Before Daylight: Memories of My Rural Boyhood

#40 Ronald Reagan
An American Life

#41 George H. W. Bush
All the Best, George Bush:  My Life in Letters and Other Writings

#42  Bill Clinton
My Life

#43  George W. Bush
Decision Points

#44  Barack Obama
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Saturday, December 1, 2012

He Reads, She Reads, Teens Read: Romance Recommendations for Skeptics

Romantic fiction has a bad reputation in some quarters.  While many are devoted readers of romances, there is much scorn out there for the modern romance, particularly the kind with the lurid "bodice-ripper" picture on the cover.  However, no less than the illustrious Jane Austen is considered a pioneer of the genre, and romantic fiction comes in many formsBooklist's Kaite Mediatore Stover suggests that "Unexpected love in unusual places with unlikely people can make for fine romance and rewarding reading" and another Booklist writer, David Wright, asserts that "most guys enjoy a good love story, especially if it doesn’t proclaim itself too blatantly, sidling in under cover of some other topic or milieu, such as war, history, or humor".  Here's a list of some Booklist recommendations of recent romantic fiction that you might not have considered for men, women, & teens.  Give them a try - you might actually enjoy yourself!

He Reads

The Coldest Night by Robert Olmstead

The Various Flavors of Coffee by Anthony Capella

The Song is You by Arthur Phillips

She Reads

The English American by Alison Larkin

The Memory Palace by Mira Bartók

Fragile Beasts by Tawni O'Dell

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston

Teen Reads

The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony

Every Day by David Levithan

Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

Why We Broke Up by David Handler