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Aug 03

Series Saturday - Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan!

Posted on August 3, 2018 at 4:16 PM by Lindsey Kult

Crazy Rich Asians Movie Poster

This week’s Series Saturday is headed to the big screen in a couple of weeks - it’s Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asian series! Both of the Lindseys are huge fans of this series. They enjoy how outrageous the characters are and the exotic settings! Lindsey K. feels like the series only got better after the first book, while Lindsey S. thought they were all great. Much like the “Real Housewives” series, this book shows a world that most people will never experience but of which can’t get enough.


Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Covers

Genre: 

Fiction

Location in Howard Miller: 

Adult Fiction, AF KWAN

Setting: 

Mostly in Singapore but also Paris, New York, private islands, and mainland China.

Tysersall Park is the ancestral home of the Young family and becomes an important plot point.


Meet the Characters: 

This is a LARGE family! We’ll be covering characters in the first book, as we’d be giving away spoilers to tell you about the later characters. To help you keep track here is a photo of the family tree:


Crazy Rich Asians Family Tree from Refinery29
(From Refinery29’s article, “Trust Us - You’ll Need This Crazy Rich Asians Family Tree")

The main characters in these books are absolutely Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young. However, like many books, each character carries his or her own plot points which can overlap. But we’ll start from the beginning.


Rachel Chu is a Chinese-American girl who was raised by her single mother. Having grown up in a mainly white community, Rachel is unaware of the dynamics of Asian culture. She has never even dated Asian guys prior to meeting Nick. Both she and Nick are professors in New York City and have been dating for 2 years when he asks her to come back to Singapore with him to attend a wedding. Her first shock comes when they get special treatment on the flight to Singapore. Suddenly she is questioning not only the clothes she packed, but who Nicholas Young is.


Nicholas Young is the only grandson bearing the Young name, giving him the strongest claim to the Young family fortune. He is from one of, if not the, richest families in Singapore. His grandmother, Shang Su Yi, literally lives in a palace. Despite being raised as practical royalty, Nick has no interest in the material goods of his family. This is one of the reasons he hasn’t told Rachel about his family. Nor has he let his family have access to Rachel up until now.


Eleanor Young is Nick’s mother. She married into the Young family, and Su Yi has never let her forget it. Like any mother, she wants the best for her only child - and the best is NOT dating an American girl while living in relative poverty in New York City. So Eleanor takes it upon herself to find out more about this young girl from a disgraced family who has stolen her son from his family. Despite not being in Su Yi’s good graces, Eleanor has a number of wealthy friends who she can turn to for information and support.


Astrid Teo is Nick’s cousin and is the child of two of the richest families in Asia. Astrid’s beauty has made her a fashion icon. Despite both her fame and fortune, Astrid is an extreme private person. Her father has worked hard to keep his family out of the public eye and Astrid has always followed his wishes. This becomes more difficult as her husband, Michael Teo, continues to fall from her family’s graces and his start-up nears financial collapse.


Felicity Leong is Astrid’s mother and eldest child of Su Yi. She tries to stay out of her husband’s way.


Victoria Young is Astrid and Nick’s aunt. She is unmarried and extremely religious. She is the only family member living at Tysersall Park with Su Yi.


Alix Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s other aunt. She is married to world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Malcolm Cheng. She and Malcolm have two sons. They attempted to raise them humbly, but their oldest son Eddie has always been frustrated with their apparent refusal to spend their great wealth.


Eddie Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s cousin. He is extremely materialistic and insists on his family being picture perfect at all times. He can become abusive when things do not work out the way he hoped. He is probably one of the most dramatic characters in the series.


Fiona Cheng is Eddie’s wife. She is also from old money, but Hong Kong money. She is almost everything her husband is not. She does not care what people think of her and her family. She often appears embarrassed by Eddie’s antics.


Alistair Cheng is Eddie’s younger brother. He desperately wants to be involved in the Hong Kong movie business. He comes across as very naïve, especially in his relationship with Kitty Pong.


Kitty Pong is a soap opera star who is dating Alistair without fully understanding his family history. She denies the rumors that she was in porn before meeting Alistair. The only thing Kitty wants more than anything is to be accepted in the richest circles.


Goh Peik Lin is Rachel’s best friend and seemingly her only ally in Singapore. Peik Lin thinks her family is rich, until she meets the Young family.


Colin Khoo is Nick’s best friend and is getting married in the first book. He is also Astrid’s cousin on her father’s side, making him one of the richest men in the world. He is marrying fashion icon Araminta Lee. Their wedding is comparable to the royal wedding for East Asia.


Jacqueline Ling is Su Yi’s goddaughter and mother to Nick’s ex-girlfriend. She aides Eleanor’s attempts to undermine their relationship - so her daughter can marry into the Young fortune.


Oliver T’sien is a cousin of Nick’s and is almost like the family fixer. His social game cannot be beat and he is a master manipulator.


Carol Tai is one of Eleanor’s closest friends. She runs prayer groups as a devout Christian. Her husband is a corrupt billionaire, but no one seems to mind. Her son, Bernard Tai, is a young man who has become a spoiled brat thanks to his father.


Charlie Wu is Astrid’s ex-fiancé. He still has feelings for her, especially since it was her parents’ disapproval of his family line that broke up the engagement.


Number in Series: 

There are three books in this series. They’re all on OverDrive and available in the library. The first book is also on the NOOK.

  1. Crazy Rich Asians
  2. China Rich Girlfriend

  3. Rich People Problems


Final Word: 

These books are like definitely “fluff” reads. They’ve been called the Asian version of Gossip Girl! You’ll be caught up in the drama, humor, and outrageous situations that suddenly make up Rachel’s life. These books definitely use adult language, but they’re not graphic. They introduce you into a world you might not have known exists, but that you’ll be drooling over by the time you get to the last book.



Jul 03

UPDATED Series Saturday - Andy Carpenter!

Posted on July 3, 2018 at 5:31 PM by Lindsey Kult

Andy Carpenter Book Collage

This week's Series Saturday is an updated post! Still a favorite among many of the staff - it's David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter series! This series is already popular and the 17th book is being released this week.  As entertaining as these books are for Rosenfelt fans, some readers might take offense to the strong language used in conversations between characters. Strong language is present in these books, however, it is used much less than other popular authors (for example, no where near as often as Patterson books). 

Genre: 

Fiction, Mystery

Location in Howard Miller: 

Mystery, MYS ROSENFELT

Meet the Characters: 


Andy Carpenter is difficult to describe. He's a likable defense attorney (apparently it is possible), who is extremely self-confident (except when it comes to physical prowess). He is both the laziest person and the hardest working person. When not on a case he is incredibly lazy, but once he has a client he will stop at nothing to defend them. One of the reasons you will love this series is because Andy is delightfully hilarious and clever. When you aren't laughing at his commentary, you're caught up in his investigative strategies. His self-deprecating humor will get you every time!
Andy has two special ladies in his life - Laurie Collins and Tara, World's Greatest Dog. Laurie is Andy's lead investigator and the love of his life. As a former police officer, she does not always see eye-to-eye with him at the beginning of cases. Laurie's big heart and strong instincts keep the team safe and connected.
She brought both Kevin and Marcus to the team. Kevin is Andy's hypochondriacal co-counsel. Marcus is a shorter version of Terry Crews without any of the good-humor. He is smart, silent, scary, and a bodyguard when necessary.
The last two regular team members are Sam and Willie. Willie is a former client of Andy's, who now runs their dog rescue - The Tara Foundation. Sam is Andy's accountant and computer guy. He could be called the team's computer hacker, but Andy is so inept with computers that Sam does a little of everything. There are many more wonderful characters in this series, but we've already gone on too long for this section!

Number in the Series: 


As stated before, this series is popular already. We rarely have half the books on the shelf. Click on this link to place any of the books on hold. Many are also available on OverDrive. 
  1. Open and Shut
  2. First Degree
  3. Bury the Lead
  4. Sudden Death
  5. Dead Center
  6. Play Dead
  7. New Tricks
  8. Dog Tags
  9. One Dog Night
  10. Leader of the Pack
  11. Unleashed
  12. Hounded
  13. Who Let the Dog Out
  14. Outfoxed
  15. The Twelve Dogs of Christmas
  16. Collared
  17. Rescued - Coming July 17, 2018
Final Word: 

This series is the perfect mix of humor, suspense, and mystery! As you probably noticed, many of the book covers have dogs on them. These books are enjoyable for anyone, not just dog lovers! (Cute dogs sell books - David Rosenfelt has caught onto this trend) One of the reasons you will love this series is because Andy is delightfully hilarious and clever. When you aren't laughing at his commentary, you're caught up in his investigations. As added bonus, audiobook listeners will love the narrator for the series! Grover Gardner captures Andy's personality perfectly. Lindsey compares his dry wit to Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. These books are excellent mysteries that you won't want to put down!
Jun 22

Series Saturday - Author Edition Fannie Flagg!

Posted on June 22, 2018 at 1:26 PM by Lindsey Kult

The All-Girl Filling Station Last Reunion Fannie Flagg Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

This week’s Series Saturday is not about a series at all! It’s about author Fannie Flagg and her books. These books are mostly stand alone, but occasionally they reference characters from other books. Fannie Flagg is another staff favorite, for good reason! She tends to be a perfect read for summer or vacations. She’s got humor, heart, and a touch of drama that will keep your interest from page 1 to the last page! As staff member Sharlynne said, “She covers some deep topics, but you’re enjoying her plot so much you don’t realize it until you’re done!”

Genre:

Adult Fiction, Women's Fiction, Southern Fiction

Location in Howard Miller:

Adult Fiction, AF FLAGG

Setting: 

Southern States - Often Alabama and Missouri

Books and their plots: 

I realize that "Meet the Characters" doesn't work with an author edition of this blog - whoops! So I will try to summarize Fannie Flagg's style with summaries* of her plots: 
  •  Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man - A journey to the South that only Southerners know, to a time when "Blue Velvet" was played at the Senior Prom, and into the life of Daisy Fay Harper. Daisy is a sassy, truth-telling heroine who just can't stay out of trouble. What's more, she tells us everything. 
  • Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - It's first the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Treadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women -- of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Care Wobegon offering good barbeque and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. 
  • Welcome to the World, Baby Girl - A novel spanning late 1940s small-town America and the New York media world of the 1970s. It tells the story of a television interviewer with emotional and drink problems who was abandoned as a teenager by her mother. Elmwood Springs Book 1 
  • Standing in the Rainbow - Meet the unforgettable residents of Elmwood Springs, Missouri, in a story that captures the humorous and complex realities of ordinary people, including Neighbor Dorothy, a radio hostess, and her wayward son Bobby, the Oatman Family gospel singers, and hotshot salesman Hamm Sparks. Elmwood Springs Book 2
  • A Redbird Christmas - A short and poignant Christmas story for all the family. Oswald T. Campbell, aged 52, down-and-out in a Chicago winter, is only given months to live unless he moves South. He finds himself in the small town of Lost River, Alabama, amongst all its eccentric but friendly residents. 
  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven - Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here? Elmwood Springs Book 3
  • I Still Dream of You - Though her friends think Maggie has the perfect life, she's actually perfectly miserable. The former Miss Alabama is worried about how her life has turned out - she's given up on her dream of living in a beautiful home like Crestview, and instead is a real estate agent in Birmingham. But just when Maggie begins to wonder if there's much point in going on, her life takes a wild turn, and she finds herself catapulted into one surprising discovery after the next. As Maggie learns valuable lessons about the nature of friendship, the challenges of modern life, and the dangers of impossible dreams, she starts to see how much more there is to life than what can be listed in a Miss Alabama bio. 
  • The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion - Mrs. Sookie Pool of Point Clear, Alabama, has just married off the last of her daughters and is looking forward to relaxing and perhaps traveling with her husband, Earle. The only thing left to contend with is her mother, the formidable Lenore Simmons Krackenberry. Lenore may be a lot of fun for other people, but is, for the most part, an overbearing presence for her daughter. Then one day, quite by accident, Sookie discovers a secret about her mother's past that knocks her for a loop and suddenly calls into question everything she ever thought she knew about herself, her family, and her future. 
    Sookie begins a search for answers that takes her to California, the Midwest, and back in time, to the 1940s, when an irrepressible woman named Fritzi takes on the job of running her family's filling station. Soon truck drivers are changing their routes to fill up at the All-Girl Filling Station. Then, Fritzi sees an opportunity for an even more groundbreaking adventure. As Sookie learns about the adventures of the girls at the All-Girls Filling Station, she finds herself with new inspiration in her own life.
  • The Whole Town's Talking - Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. "Resting place" turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking. Elmwood Springs Book 4
*Summaries taken from Fantastic Fiction or GoodReads

Final Word: 

Fannie Flagg's flare for humor and just enough drama comes from a lifelong affair with the written word. Fannie Flagg has been writing, acting, and producing plays/films since she was 19! She didn't write her first novel until she was 37 - that's when her career actually took off. Fannie Flagg has a talent for weaving past and present in her plots. So while these books are exactly historical fiction, you get a taste of that genre while you read. All of her books feature strong female heroines who are experiencing some crazy stuff, but are still relatable!