From the Stacks
By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian
It’s no secret that I’ve found slim pickings from bookshelves of late. Books that I’ve waited for with great anticipation have not lived up to my expectations and older titles that I’ve kept in reserve just have not looked as inviting as when I put them on my list. And then I casually picked up “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry and was saved from my book desert.
So last week when I was again at loose ends, needing a book and finding nothing that piqued my interest, I went back in the stacks and grabbed Henry’s “Beach Read.” It was difficult to put down while baking last weekend and having just finished it this morning, I can safely say Emily Henry will now be recommended when I’m asked, “what’s a good book?” (assuming you’re not looking for historical fiction or scary thriller).
I would compare her writing to Abbi Waxman’s—I got the same type of vibe as I did when I read “Bookish Life of Nina Hill.” Perhaps because both “Book Lovers” and “Beach Read” deal with aspects of the book selling/publishing industries but I could see similarities with the characters. Yet, when I looked at various websites we use at the Reference Desk to come up with readalikes for folks, not a single one linked the two. So I either have no idea what I’m talking about or I’m a visionary!
So how would I describe her books? They definitely fit into the rom-com category but carry a bit more gravitas than some (but I think that most current rom-coms are trending in that direction). They don’t require a lot of concentration but point the reader into directions that one doesn’t always find in a sweet, “meet cute” title. What I liked about them (I assume “People We Meet on Vacation” and her next book, “Happy Place”, due out in April of 2023 will be much the same) is that Henry told a good story with smart writing—nothing earth-shattering that turned my life around, just good, solid entertainment.
And really, what else does one need in a book?