Friday, March 4, 2011

Read Alike: Jennifer Chiaverini

The seventeenth book in Jennifer Chiaverini's popular Elm Creek Quilts series, The Union Quilters, was released in the last week of February. Ms. Chiaverini, a Wisconsin native, writes heart-warming stories that focus on the characters' relationships. Sylvia, Elm Creek, Pennsylvania's Master Quilter, is the connection for most of the books in the series, either in guiding those new to quilting, or in exploring her own ancestry and heritage. The series starts with The Quilter's Apprentice, but avid quilters may also enjoy starting with More Elm Creek Quilts, which collects quilts, patterns, and stories from the series (beware spoilers!).

While you're on the waiting list for Jennifer Chaiverini's latest novel, we've compiled a list of other authors you may enjoy:

Sandra Dallas' novels focus on the lives of her quirky, quick-witted heroines and the relationships they build in small town America. The Persian Pickle Club tells the story of rural quilting group in 1930s Kansas that is shaken up by the arrival of a reporter from the big city.

If you aren't already a fan of Debbie Macomber's contemporary romances and inspirational heroines, you might enjoy her Blossom Street Series. The first novel in the series, The Shop on Blossom Street, is the story of a new knitting store that offers a class on knitting a baby blanket, and so much more.

Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap is the story of self-proclaimed spinster Ave Maria Mulligan and her colorful 1970s Virginia hometown. This series is known for the humor the heroine uses while facing challenges of romance, family, and small town life.

Ann Hood is the author of fiction, short fiction, and autobiography. Her writing deals honestly with the complex emotions inspired by difficult events, often drawing inspiration from the tragedies of her own life. Her novel, The Knitting Circle, and the memoir, Comfort: a journey through grief, both deal with a woman who turns to knitting after the unexpected death of her young daughter.

Kate Jacobs' first novel, The Friday Night Knitting Club, introduces a cast of characters brought together by Georgia Walker's New York City yarn store. The women of the eponymous club, find strength in their relationships to weather the unexpected challenges of life.

Anne Bartlett's Knitting: A Novel is the story of two very different Australian women who are brought together when they both stop to help a man who has fallen. They find that they share the grief of widowhood and come to collaborate on an exhibition on the evolution of knitting over the years.

Jan Karon's heartwarming novels have a similar focus on friendship and family to Chiaverini, though there is a larger religious emphasis. Her popular Mitford series starts with At Home in Mitford, which introduces the charming North Carolina town.

Kaye Gibbons' novels are character-driven stories of the rural South. Charms for the Easy Life is the story of a traveling midwife and her daughter in the early 20th century.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!

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