Did I actually write at the beginning of April that it felt like spring? I take everything back. But you can at least pretend you’re on a nice vacation with The Hotel Nantucket, one of the most popular upcoming releases here at the library. On the non-fiction side, we have a memoir by Delia Ephron – if the name is familiar, she’s Nora Ephron’s sister, and together they wrote the screenplay for You’ve Got Mail. And as always, since both of these books have waitlists, I’ve put a few read-alikes together as well!
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand
Fresh off a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend, Nantucket sweetheart Lizbet Keaton is desperately seeking a second act. When she’s named the new general manager of the Hotel Nantucket, a once Gilded Age gem turned abandoned eyesore, she hopes that her local expertise and charismatic staff can win the favor of their new London billionaire owner, Xavier Darling, as well as that of Shelly Carpenter, the wildly popular Instagram tastemaker who can help put them back on the map.
And while the Hotel Nantucket appears to be a blissful paradise, complete with a celebrity chef-run restaurant and an idyllic wellness center, there’s a lot of drama behind closed doors. The staff (and guests) have complicated pasts, and the hotel can’t seem to overcome the bad reputation it earned in 1922 when a tragic fire killed nineteen-year-old chambermaid Grace Hadley. With Grace gleefully haunting the halls, a staff harboring all kinds of secrets, and Lizbet’s own romantic uncertainty, is the Hotel Nantucket destined for success or doom?
Read-Alike 1: Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler
Micah Mortimer is a creature of habit. A self-employed tech expert, superintendent of his Baltimore apartment building, cautious to a fault behind the steering wheel, he seems content leading a steady, circumscribed life. But one day his routines are blown apart when his woman friend (he refuses to call anyone in her late thirties a “girlfriend”) tells him she’s facing eviction, and a teenager shows up at Micah’s door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah’s meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever.
Read-Alike 2: The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan
Marilyn Grimes, wife and mother of three, has made a career of deferring her dreams to build a suburban California home and lifestyle with her husband, Leon. She troubleshoots for her grown kids, cares for her live-in mother-in-law, Arthurine (and elderly poodle, Snuffy); keeps tabs on her girlfriends Paulette and Bunny and her own aging mother and foster sister—all the while holding down a part-time job. But at forty-four, Marilyn’s got too much on her plate and nothing to feed her passion. She feels like she’s about ready to jump. She’s just not sure where.
Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Delia Ephron
Delia Ephron had struggled through several years of heartbreak. She’d lost her sister, Nora, and then her husband, Jerry, both to cancer.
She channeled her grief the best way she knew: by writing a New York Times op-ed. The piece caught the attention of Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist, who emailed her to commiserate. Recently widowed himself, he reminded her that they had shared a few dates fifty-four years before, set up by Nora. Delia did not remember him, but after several weeks of exchanging emails and sixties folk songs, he flew east to see her. They were crazy, utterly, in love.
But this was not a rom-com: four months later she was diagnosed with AML, a fierce leukemia.
Read-Alike 1: In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Mary Bloom
Amy and Brian’s world was changed forever with his diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s. Forced to confront the daily frustrations and realities of the disease and its impact on their lives and marriage, Brian resolved not to let it dictate his life and instead asked himself: What makes life meaningful, and how do I want to live the rest of mine? His decision led them to learn about Dignitas and to fly to Zürich for a peaceful ending of Brian’s life. In Love is the illuminating story of a marriage, of the gradual awareness that something was deeply wrong, and of a disease’s effect on a man, a woman, a family.
Read-Alike 2: Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler
A divinity professor and young mother with a Stage IV cancer diagnosis explores the pain and joy of living without certainty. Thirty-five-year-old Kate Bowler was a professor at the school of divinity at Duke, and had finally had a baby with her childhood sweetheart after years of trying, when she began to feel jabbing pains in her stomach. She lost thirty pounds, chugged antacid, and visited doctors for three months before she was finally diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. As she navigates the aftermath of her diagnosis, Kate pulls the reader deeply into her life, which is populated with a colorful, often hilarious collection of friends, pastors, parents, and doctors, and shares her laser-sharp reflections on faith, friendship, love, and death.