Friday, March 11, 2011

Read Alike: Nicholas Sparks

Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks doesn’t like his novels to be called romances, he prefers “love stories.” His seventeen novels are easy to read and heartwarming, with characters who are family oriented. A quote from his website “ Fans know what to expect from Nicholas Sparks: a compelling love story centered on two appealing individuals” seems to capture what readers like most about his works.

Authors with a similar style include:

Richard Paul Evans writes light, sentimental love stories, many centered around the Christmas holiday season. His popular title The Christmas Box is a story of healing that lifts the spirit.

James Michael Pratt The Last Valentine (1998), by Pratt, became a 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame production, retitled The Lost Valentine, and was watched by over 14 million viewers. Pratt's earliest works are romantic stories with historical settings.

Karen Kingsbury Many of Kingsbury's stories of love and loss have a Christian theme, like those of Nicholas Sparks. Also like Sparks, her characters may be facing a moral dilemma or personal tragedy. Kingsbury's novels move at a slightly faster pace than Sparks, often with cliff hanger chapter endings.

Jeffery Stepakoff worked on many TV series, including: Dawson's Creek, Sisters, Major Dad, and The Wonder Years. His first novel, Fireworks over Toccoa "reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time."

K. C. McKinnon is best known for Candles on Bay Street, made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie, starring Alicia Silverstone. Her story of a young women who returns to her hometown after being away for many years is a tear-jerker that requires a large box of tissues.

Lisa Kleypas is well known for her sometimes steamy historical romances, but she also has several titles considered contemporary romance. Her latest title Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor is a charming romance set on an island off the coast of Washington.

Rosamunde Pilcher retired from writing in 2000, but her many novels were some of the most popular sagas of the 80's and 90's. Many were republished as e-books in 2010.

Elinor Lipman is a contemporary author of romantic comedies. Readers find her novels humorous, although some have a serious subject. Her stories are warm hearted with engaging characters. The Family Man, her latest book, is described as an entertaining and satisfying story.

Readers who enjoy Nicholas Sparks also enjoy romance writers: Sandra Brown, Janet Dailey, Jude Deveraux, Kay Gibbons, Emily Grayson, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, Luann Rice, Nora Roberts, and Danielle Steel. James Patterson also has a couple gentle reads, including Sundays at Tiffanys, Sam’s Letter to Jennifer and Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas which are similar in style. And, of course, we can't leave out Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County, the bestselling love story set in Madison County, Iowa.

Six of Nicholas Sparks’ novels have been made into movies particularly popular with teens. The library owns all of them in DVD and many are also available in Blu-ray.

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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