Quick Reads

Enjoyable as it is to immerse your self in an inches-thick book, having the time and focus to do so is becoming somewhat of a luxury–especially during the busy holiday season. Here are a few excellent titles to recommend to patrons that will only take a short time to read.


Vinegar Girl by the renowned author, Anne Tyler is a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s, “Taming of the Shrew”.  The story centers on Kate Battista, a preschool teaching assistant whose quirky personality always makes her presence known.  She is put to task when approached by her scientist father to help his lab assistant stay in the country by agreeing to marry him. The drama that ensues between all the characters is mixed with more humor and gentleness than the original version but still makes for a lively, interesting read!


Timothy Christopher Greene’s latest novel, If I Forget You, is a story of lost love. Twenty-one years after a love affair this memorable couple have parted; a chance encounter brings them back together.  Each has married, Margot still unhappily married and Henry, now divorced.  This love story is told in both past and present; each chapter brings a shift in time and delves into the different stages of a relationship. As the book evolves, each realizes that it is a love worth fighting for and one they do not want to lose again.  This novel confirms how the choices we make can change the path of our lives forever.


Jacqueline Woodson’s, Another Brooklyn is breathtaking! This unforgettable novel explores the beauty and hardship of girlhood in 1970’s Brooklyn. Woodson manages to bring four black girls, August, Sylvia, Angela and Gigi, and their separate home situations, to life in vivid color. The story follows their lives and struggles and the family conflicts that they all endure.  The friends share their hopes and fears and learn all about the complexities of youth, loss, friendship, family, race and religion.


Father’s Day, by Simon Van Booy is a beautifully written book about a little girl named Harvey. Harvey becomes an orphan at the age of six following a car accident that took the lives of her parents. Harvey is put in the care of her father’s estranged older brother, Jason, who has more than his share of problems.  An ex-con and recovering alcoholic he is now suddenly thrown into the most important role of his life so far, that of a legal guardian to Harvey.  Together they negotiate the map of life building beautiful memories while learning the importance of family.


The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick is a fast read with unforgettable characters that move through grief and the process of starting over.  After forty years of marriage, Arthur’s wife dies unexpectedly.  On the first anniversary of her death he decides to clean out her belongings.  It is here he finds a gold charm bracelet full of charms.  He makes it his mission to trace his wife’s life through these charms.  It is amazing what he discovers not only about her but also about himself in the process.

-Caroline Wandell,  Fraser Valley Regional Library




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