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Blind Dates With Books

Book wrappedWho doesn’t want to be set up with an enchanting stranger — particularly one you can simply put down on the shelf if you don’t find a spark?  In the spirit of a charming book marketing gimmick, we’ve taken the liberty of writing up “dating profiles” for a few books we enjoy, both classic and contemporary.  If you’re interested, click on the link to meet your “date” and prepare to be swept off your feet.  Links are provided to Internet Archive and to Overdrive (the latter requires a participating public library).

Bonus points if you can guess the titles from the descriptions!

Contestant #1

Pick me if you like: Long walks on the beach, long walks in the garden… long walks, really.  If you want a companion who’s earnest, thoughtful, and sensitive (and you can live with a few hang-ups), crack open the first volume of this epic novel and prepare to lose track of time.

Comparison: Karl Ove Knausgaard before it was cool

Available: Internet Archive, Overdrive

Contestant #2

Pick me if you like: Thrillers, scammers, and grifters!  If you’re intrigued by and suspicious of people who seem a little too smooth, this one’s for you — and it’s got interesting thoughts about gender, class, imitation, and desire lurking behind its compulsively readable plot.

Comparison: The Great Gatsby as a Lifetime Original Movie

Available: Internet Archive (as trilogy), Overdrive

Contestant #3

Pick me if you like: Gender fluidity, and science fiction that’s more interested in different possibilities for humanity than in futuristic gadgets.  Almost more “anthropology fiction” than science fiction, really; it’s a guided tour of an alternative world that makes us think about our own in a new light.

Comparison: Isaac Asimov with a better ear for dialogue (no offense, Asimov fans)

Available: Overdrive

Contestant #4

Pick me if you like: Sad songs, childhood memories, and quiet melancholy.  This strange coming-of-age story ruminates on love and loss in understated, wistful prose, creating a feeling that lingers long after the final page.

Think: The Fault in Our Stars as written by Franz Kafka

Available: Internet Archive, Overdrive

Contestant #5

Pick me if you like: Poker, beef jerky, and death, as the subtitle puts it — or someone who can make you laugh and think at the same time.  This novelist’s witty nonfiction account of his participation at a professional poker tournament is a perfect virtual road trip: time flies and you won’t want it to end.

Comparison: A too-cool-for-school David Foster Wallace

Available: Overdrive

Contestant #6

Pick me if you like: Tortured antiheroes with mysterious pasts, love triangles, and psychological drama!  If you feel drawn to gloomy mansions and characters described as “brooding,” pick up this classic that reads like a thriller.

Comparison: Jane Austen by way of Alfred Hitchcock

Available: Internet Archive, Overdrive

Tag clougd with online resources

See the full list of online resources, such as eBooks, audiobooks, videos, and newspapers.