Okay, so “dying” is quite an exaggeration, but sometimes hyperbolic language is necessary when you’re really really excited to crack open one of your favorites. Lately, more and more, I have been inspired to revisit some old friends of mine, rather than discovering new books. There is something ultimately comforting about starting a book already knowing how much you love it.
The types of books I am talking about are the ones that whenever I see them on display for my Staff Picks, I want to selfishly snatch them up and check them out before anyone else gets a chance to read them. I just can’t help myself – these books are so good. Here are three of my all-time favorites that are all at the top of my “To Read Again” pile.
#1 The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
K.J. Charles is a favorite author of several of us at LPL because she manages to create such interesting and complicated characters you can’t help but fall in love with, all in around two hundred pages or so. I’m not sure how she does it! Stephen is an adorable, uptight magician with a major chip on his shoulder and Lucien is the sassy and (somewhat) sophisticated Lord with a scandalous history.
I could dedicate an entire blogpost as to why I love Lucien so much as a character – he is always quick with a comeback, shamelessly arrogant, and chronically overdressed. Set in a Victorian London where magic is so prevalent, there is plenty of fantasy to compliment the romance. When you combine that with characters you can’t help but love, you have yourselves a fantastic little novel that is perfect for binge-reading.
#2 The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
I’ve already sung my praises of Meredith’s book suggestions in a previous post, so I’ll limit my gushing to this: Meredith’s book recommendations are sheer perfection. Thanks to her, I discovered this absolute gem of a book that is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, set in NYC in the 1920’s. This is one of my you had me at “hello” type of books where the setting and the plot are so unbelievably wonderful, I immediately knew it would be an all-time favorite.And it is! This is mostly due to Genevieve Valentine’s lovely, gorgeous prose.
The story unfolds slowly, being told mostly from the eldest sister’s point-of-view but eventually each sister has her say. A wistful exploration of sisterhood and responsibility, female friendship, and the lengths that humans go through to be truly considered free, this book gives me all of the warm and fuzzies. I can’t stop smiling, just thinking about it!
#3 Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese O’Neill
Last, and definitely not least, is a new(ish) favorite! I read this at the tail end of 2016 and I’ve been wanting to read it again ever since! Of all of the non-fiction titles I have read and enjoyed, this is the one that I recommend to others the most because it’s just so darn funny. Therese O’Neill takes an overly romanticized time period like the Victorian era, and gives a realistic portrayal of what it was actually like to live during that time.
The author sets the book up as if the reader is a time traveler, going back to the 19th century. She is a perfect tour guide – quick to inform and educate, personable, and freakin’ hilarious. There are some humorous books that make you smile, some that make you laugh-out-loud, and then there are those that make you laugh so hard, you nearly wet yourself. This book falls into the latter category.
I’m currently re-reading I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, which is another book I really liked. After that, who knows? Will I be in the mood for fantasy or non-fiction? Some more romance, perhaps? There is nothing that brings me more joy than to flip through pages and go to a place I’ve already explored, just so I can spend a few more moments there. I strongly suggest you do that same, whenever you are able.
-Kimberly Lopez is a Readers’ Services Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.