All Time Faves: Gentle Reads

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If you enjoy reading about the activities of a small town or a gathering of friends, comfortable characters, and humorous personalities that lighten the tone of the novel, then try some of these.

 

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Nights in Rodanthe
By Sparks, Nicholas
2004/08 - Warner Vision
0446612707 Find It

The latest #1 "New York Times" bestseller by Sparks is the tender story of hope and joy, of sacrifice and forgiveness--a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when it is least expected. ...More

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Cold Sassy Tree
By Burns, Olive Ann
1986/06 - Delta
038531258X Find It

If the preacher's wife's petticoat showed, the ladies would make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things took a scandalous turn. That was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson -- a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy's adventures began and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town came to life. Not since "To Kill A Mockingbird has a novel so deftly captured the subtle crosscurrents of small-town Southern life. Olive Ann Burns classic bestseller brings to vivid life an era that will never exist again, exploring timeless issues of love, death, coming of age, and the ties that bind families and generations. ...More

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The Last Promise
By Evans, Richard Paul
2002/11 - Dutton
0525946969 Find It

The bestselling author of "The Christmas Box" spins a passionate, bittersweet tale set in Italy about the fantastic joy and great sorrow life can throw our way. Rich and complex as a vintage Chianti wine, "The Last Promise" is in the end an uplifting, all-too-human tale about the magnificent power of true love. ...More

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Patty Jane's House of Curl
By Landvik, Lorna
1996/09 - Ballantine Books
0449911004 Find It

Patty Jane's House of Curl is an easy-to-read, joyous and funny story of a family of women, the tragedies in their lives, the strengths they find within themselves, and their ultimate victories. It follows the lives of two wacky Minnesota sisters, Patty Jane and Harriet, in a female Lake Wobegon where humor and hope overcome life's trials. ...More

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The Shop on Blossom Street
By Macomber, Debbie
2004/05 - Mira Books
0778320448 Find It

A BookPage Notable Title
In her signature warm and compelling style, Debbie Macomber tells the story of a small town yarn store owner and cancer survivor who shares life-affirming lessons with her customers through knitting classes.
...More

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Cape Light
By Kinkade, Thomas
Spencer, Katherine
2004/04 - Jove Books
9780515137323 Find It

Inspired by the artistic vision of world-renowned landscape painter Thomas Kinkade--and imbued with the light of his uplifting message--this heartwarming novel introduces readers to the quaint town of Cape Light, and those who call it home. ...More

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Standing in the Rainbow
By Flagg, Fannie
2002/08 - Random House
0679426159 Find It

Fannie's back in town--at her funniest, most touching, rooted, and surprising best. She has also brought along several characters from her earlier bestseller, "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, " plus some new folks to make readers smile, laugh, and cry. ...More

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Blessings
By Quindlen, Anna
2002/09 - Random House
0375502238 Find It

In this richly written novel by the author of "One True Thing, " Skip Cuddy, caretaker of the Blessing estate, finds a baby asleep in a box and decides he wants to keep her. The secrets of the past, how they affect the decisions and lives of people in the present--these are at the center of this work by the beloved author called "a national treasure" by Alice Hoffman. ...More

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The Miracles of Santo Fico
By Smith, Dennis L.
2004/01 - Warner Books
9780446690362 Find It

THE MIRACLES OF SANTO FICO was published in Warner hardcover in 1/03, with a first printing of 36,000 copies. It received widespread acclaim in publications, including a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and was a Booksense 76 pick. Film rights have been optioned by Tailor-Made Films.- This heartwarming story follows in the tradition of such bestselling novels as "Chocolat (Viking, 1999) and "The Sixteen Pleasures (Soho Press, 1994).- Foreign rights were sold in Australia, Bulgaria, England, Germany, Holland, Japan, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. ...More

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On Bear Mountain
By Smith, Deborah
2002/01 - Warner Books
9780446610674 Find It

The dirt-poor Powell family has lived on a Georgia mountain for generations. In the 1960s, Ursula Powell's father convinces the wealthy Tiber family to commission a huge iron sculpture of a bear for their town. Decades later, the rejected sculpture, left to rust on the Powell farm, is now worth such a fortune that the artist's embittered son comes to reclaim it--and changes everything Ursula believes about the past. ...More

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Wish You Well
By Baldacci, David
2007/04 - Warner Books
0446699489 Find It

David Baldacci has always delivered great stories, authentic characters, and thought-provoking ideas since he burst on the literary scene with Absolute Power. Now this versatile writer movingly evokes the charms of rural America as he makes us believe in the great and little miracles that can change lives -- or save them.

Precocious twelve-year-old Louisa Mae Cardinal lives in the hectic New York City of 1940 with her family. Then tragedy strikes -- and Lou and her younger brother, Oz, must go with their invalid mother to live on their great-grandmother's farm in the Virginia mountains. Suddenly Lou finds herself coming of age in a new landscape, making her first true friend, and experiencing adventures tragic, comic, and audacious. But the forces of greed and justice are about to clash over her new home...and as their struggle is playe ...More

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Nora, Nora
By Siddons, Anne Rivers
2000/08 - HarperCollins Publishers
006017613X Find It

It is summer, 1961, and Lila Lee Bayliss, motherless since birth and now 13, doesn't quite know what to make of Nora Findlay, a woman with a secret from her past. The beloved bestselling author of "Up Island" returns with the story of the free-thinking Nora, who turns the small town of Lytton, Georgia, on its ear. ...More

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Quite a Year for Plums
By White, Bailey
1998/06 - Alfred A. Knopf
0679445315 Find It

Bailey White introduces us to the peculiar yet lovable people who inhabit a small town in south Georgia. Meet serious, studious Roger, the peanut pathologist and unlikely love object of half the town's women. Meet Roger's ex-mother-in-law, Louise, who teams up with an ardent typographer in an attempt to attract outer-space invaders with specific combinations of letters and numbers. And meet Della, the bird artist who captivates Roger with the sensible but enigmatic notes she leaves on things she throws away at the Dumpster. ...More

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Ladies with Options
By Hartwick, Cynthia
2006/02 - Berkley Publishing Group
9780425208441 Find It

What happens when a bunch of nice, middle-class, midwestern ladies strike it rich while investing in Microsoft in 1983? "A delightful, heartwarming story of women who learn to make their own dreams come true . . . touching and laugh-out-loud funny . . . a joy from the first page to the last".--Jennifer Chiaverini, author of "The Quilter's Apprentice". ...More

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Friendship Cake
By Hinton, J. Lynne
2000/05 - HarperSanFrancisco
0688171478 Find It

This spirited debut novel forms the recipe for the celebration of women, faith, friendship, and delicious Southern food. "Friendship Cake" involves five women of the Hope Springs Community Church in North Carolina as they knead their sorrows and joys into loaves of bread and their hopes and dreams into pecan pies. ...More

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Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book
By Richardson, Bill
1997/09 - St. Martin's Press
0312167792 Find It

Hector and Virgil first appeared in Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast, which documented their unique haven for bibliophiles. Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast Pillow Book continues their irresistible collection of sweet doggerel, annotated recipes, anecdotes, gossip, memories of childhood, and lists of recommended reading. This time, the events at the brothers' fictitious bed & breakfast establishment variously involve Waffle, the cat; a garrulous Amazon parrot named Mrs. Rochester; Hector's lady friend, Altona; Caedmon, the handyman, hagiographer, and bread-dough artist; Polly Perch, the prying lifestyle journalist; and June and Rae, now mothers of little Martina. The local poet, Solomon Solomon, takes a star turn, leading to a hilarious revelation about the lineage of the fiftyish twin landlords. ...More

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House of Light
By Thomas, Joyce Carol
2001/03 - Hyperion
0786866063 Find It

 

 

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