Book Buzz

Current picks, all-time favorites, what’s coming soon, and other books that get readers excited.

Category Archives: Book Buzz

Current picks, all-time favorites, what’s coming soon, and other books that get readers excited.

Book Buzz | April 15th, 2015

Book’d in Burbank Celebrates Libraries!

Book'd in BurbankBookish social gathering, Book’d in Burbank, returns Thursday, April 23rd! If you’re in the Los Angeles area you won’t want to miss this evening of author readings and literary entertainment. In anticipation of the event, the participating authors share their favorite memories on the book they checked out and remember most from every bookworm’s favorite place — the library!

Alicia Bien

Alicia Bien, Author, Paris! Take Me Away!

In grade school I read the library book Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blaire Lent. It is a retelling of the Chinese folktale about the boy with the very long name who falls down a well. When his younger brother with the short name, Chang, goes for help, Chang has to repeat his brother’s long name, which slows down the rescue party with disastrous results. This story is meant to explain why Chinese people have such short names, although its original roots are in Japanese culture.

As a girl, I was fascinated by this story and the culture that would name the first son a long name and the second son a short name. As my family’s fourth child, I would have been lucky to even have a name in China. This book sparked my interest in other cultures and led to a fascination in travel, foreign languages and cross-cultural understanding. Thanks for having it, Library!


Sean Cameron, Author, Catchee Monkey (Rex & Eddie Mysteries, #1)

The library book that’s changed my life the most is Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel Amen. What can I say? It changed my brain, and changed my life. In 2009, a car knocked me off my bicycle and gave me a nasty head injury; I wore a helmet but my chin took most of the brunt. After that brain-rattling encounter, I had trouble with fatigue and focus. While researching ADD for a character I created, I learnt I had developed symptoms myself. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life helped me make lifestyle changes that fixed the problem. Now I have more energy and focus than before the accident, and it definitely helped me write and publish my novel.


Kate Carlisle, Author, This Old Homicide (A Fixer-Upper Mystery, #2)

There are so many to choose from, but one particular library book that changed my life was Dorothy L. Sayers’ Gaudy Night. It wasn’t my usual style—or so I thought when it was first recommended by a librarian 20-something years ago. First of all, there was no murder. And it was English, of course, during a time when I was reading nothing but hard-boiled American PI novels and police procedurals. It also wasn’t the first book in the Lord Peter Wimsey series—it’s number 12—and I had always been a stickler for reading series books in order. But none of that mattered as soon as I opened the book and started reading. Gaudy Night was simply brilliant from page one, the writing so smart and wonderful and the characters fascinating and mostly female. All of the books in the series are entertaining and well written, but anyone who’s read them will agree that Gaudy Night stands out as the best of them all. I finished the book in one day and went back and checked out every Lord Peter Wimsey I could get my hands on! I’ve since bought them all for my home library and re-read many of them at least once a year. And I always feel smarter and happier for having done so.

Felice Fox_Author Lg 

Felice Fox, Author, Dark Lashes (Cameron Ranch Series, #3)

It wasn’t your typical Holocaust diary—the siblings on the cover were beautiful, thoughtful, sexy even. I remember the shock of discovering it in the stacks at the Tel Aviv University library and renewing it for months just so I could stare at its black and white cover. They were cool. She looked like my best friend back home, and he, well, what can I say? I was 17. He was gorgeous. And a true rebel. I’d wished I had a time machine to rescue them from their fate. At the Heart of the White Rose: Letters and Diaries of Hans and Sophie Scholl, were the writings of a brother and sister who were eventually killed for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. Until then, I hadn’t known that there had been Germans—young, Christian looking and sounding like my own friends—who had rebelled against the Nazis. Their passion and commitment were familiar. I found myself profoundly grateful for their sacrifice and moved by their humanity. The cover haunted me, as if it were the only photo I had left of a dear friend.



Book Buzz | April 13th, 2015

New Releases 4.14.15

From romantic suspense to historical fiction, this week’s best new releases hit all of our favorite genres.


The Liar by Nora Roberts

Roberts is a blockbuster author whose books always land on the bestseller lists—and this is another title sure to go straight to the top.

Book Buzz | April 9th, 2015

Challenging Myself to Write Strong Female Characters by Bryon Quertermous


I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by strong, talented women my entire life. My best friends growing up were mostly women, I always related well to my tough female teachers who were viewed by others as “ball-busters,” and I married a tough, strong women. So when it came time to write my first novel, you’d think it would be full of strong, talented women who defy stereotypes, right?

Eh. Sort of.

Book Buzz | April 6th, 2015

New Releases 4.7.15

Spring has (finally) sprung! Get started on your spring cleaning and make room for some new reads. Here are our picks for the best new books of the week.


Haven Lake by Holly Robinson

This story promises to be a gripping family saga. Sydney left home when she was 16 and never looked back, determined to get away from the heartache and tragedy that destroyed her family.

Book Buzz | April 6th, 2015 | 2 responses

Hysterical Love: Books for a Road Trip and Beyond by Lorraine Devon Wilke

BookCover_HystericalLoveIn my new novel, Hysterical Love, the protagonist, Dan, finds himself floundering after a series of major life events, and sets off a road trip in a quest for answers. Which left me thinking about what books are perfect for a road trip, yet fit specifically into the narrative of Hysterical Love? Certainly any road trip is ripe for good reading, but a major element of Dan’s character is that he’s the son of a retired American Literature teacher, one who endowed him with a love of words and books, and turned him into an avid reader of both classics and contemporary fiction. Compiling a Hysterical Love reading list becomes, then, a simple task of literary intuition!

Book Buzz | April 3rd, 2015

Why I Set My Murder in a Book Group by Maggie King

MABG Front Cover

Book groups can be dangerous.

What a strange statement. Aren’t book groups’ places where you get to share your passion for books with like-minded people? Don’t book groups let you socialize and make new friends? Where’s the danger?

You can find the full range of human behavior at a book group and that can add up to one thing: conflict. There are the domineering sorts who take over the discussion with their non-stop chatter. Then there are the shy ones who are intimidated by the overbearing ways of the talkers. Conflicts arise over what to read and how the group should be conducted. Political differences get some up in arms. Others don’t read the assigned book. Some come only for the socializing and refreshments. No doubt about it, if you want conflict, a book group can satisfy that need.