Top Picks: Novelist Alice Hoffman

Readers love the whimsical elements that turn ordinary life into something magical in Alice Hoffman's stories. The novelist creates compelling characters that you can root for while she explores the relationships in families and between lovers in ways that ring emotionally true. Over a 40-year career, Hoffman's written her trademark luminous prose, filled with images of nature, in […]

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Wreaths and Wraiths: Holiday with a Touch of Horror

The holidays bring images of cheerful songs, feasts and gifts, but as you sit by your yule log, don’t forget your Christmas Eve ghost story. W…what?! When I first discovered this historical tradition a few years ago, I found something lovely and nostalgic about people gathering to eat, drink, make merry and then try scare […]

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With Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

Her: A Novel

Friends, enemies and frenemies—women's relationships can be complex: a source of endless comfort and strength or something that makes you wish human mothers ate their young. Here are some novels to help appreciate all the really good women in your life, or to help you recognize the ones that need to be un-friended!  Her by Harriet Lane. A disturbing, […]

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That’s Love (and Marriage) Baby!

Man's and woman's feet clad in dancing shoes

Famous couples often only need one name each—Anthony and Cleopatra, Scott and Zelda, Bogart and Bacall—but what do we really know about their story? What's it like to have a famous spouse, or to live your life in the spotlight or be at the center of history? Here are some power couples as they appear in fiction. Above […]

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Doctor Who, Take Me With You!

Doctor Who's blue tardis

As a Doctor Who fangirl (yes, I saw Matt Smith at Comicon 2014), I was excited to see the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, debut on BBC America last year. A show that lasts for 50 years is a testament to people's enduring fascination with time travel, aliens and odd men who pop out of police boxes and offer to take you on their […]

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I’m Dreaming of a Dark Christmas

Trees surrounded by fog

I'm the first person to sit down with a cup of cocoa and a cheesy Christmas movie (Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas, anyone?), but after a surfeit of sweet films and books, a little sorbet is in order. Apparently, I'm not alone on this one, as there is a long tradition of Christmas Ghost Stories. Whether you […]

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Love Bites: Vampire Romances

fake red flowers and fake blood

Maintaining a relationship with a vampire has all sorts of complications: Where to live? Must be able to fit a casket, so scratch the studio apartment. What types of social occasions? Movies, yes; church weddings, no; having friends for dinner...maybe. How to introduce him/her to your family? And then there's the whole drinking blood thing. […]

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Bring Me an Orange Every Day

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One of my favorite patrons, Carlos, was telling me about his volunteer work at a hospice and the elderly man he visited. When Carlos found out he liked oranges, he brought a bag in and carefully peeled one for him as they talked. As Carlos was leaving, the elderly gentleman told him to take the bag with […]

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“I Don’t!”: Romance at Almost Weddings

June is the ultimate month for brides, grooms, flowers, the march down the aisle. But what happens when the wedding doesn't happen? Sometimes the bride runs away or the groom gets cold feet or someone steps forward and says "I object!" It sounds like a nightmare, but in a real romance novel there's always an […]

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