Shelf Centered

A blog about books & culture from the librarians who love them

Library of America Literary Videos

By Suzanne Arist, Adult Services Librarian

Library of America is a non-profit publisher of classic American literature. They have been making a compelling series of videos on that topic conducted by scholars/experts. The series includes discussions on authors ranging from James Baldwin, to Louisa May Alcott to Charles M. Schulz. The link:

Visit the Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern University

By Susan Kaplan-Toch, Youth Services and Adult Services Librarian

If you are a fan of William Shakespeare and of flowers, shrubs, trees and herbs, you will certainly enjoy visiting the Shakespeare Garden located on Garrett Place at Northwestern University.  Shakespeare loved writing and using poetric imagery about nature in his sonnets and plays, and this garden is an homage to his creative gifts.  It's free and it's a gem!

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage

by Nancy Wagner, Adult Services Librarian

August 2020 marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.  In addition to several programs the Library will be offering in August to spotlight this historic event, tune in to WTTW to watch "The Vote", a two part series scheduled for July 6 and 7.

And watch for more information about the Library's Suffrage programming!

LGBTQ+ Romances That Won’t Make You Sad

By Krista Hutley, Teen Librarian

We all need a happily ever after sometimes. Here are seven novels for adults featuring LGBTQ+ characters that will give you all the feels. 

Once Ghosted, Twice Shy: A Reluctant Royals Novella by Alyssa Cole
While her boss the prince was wooing his betrothed, Likotski had her own romance. Unfortunately it ended in heartbreak. She runs into the woman who broke her heart while back in NYC and agrees to meet again, hoping to find out why Fabiola unceremoniously dumped her. Their meeting goes well enough that they end up exploring the city together and wondering if they can take a second chance on each other.

Digital Library of Illinois Ebook:


American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera
Nesto Vasquez has six months to make it work after moving his Afro-Caribbean food truck to the wilds of Upstate New York —the last thing he needs is a distraction. Jude Fuller is proud of the life he's built on the banks of Cayuga Lake, with a great job and friends, but he’s lonely. Jude can’t help flirting with Nesto when he tries Ithaca's most-talked-about new lunch spot. Their connection is real but can they overcome their pasts to be together?

Digital Library of Illinois Ebook:

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Bisexual Danika Brown is anti-romance; she devotes her time to her academic career with an occasional roll in the hay to relive all that tension. When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues her from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, his heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae - and Zaf is begging Dani to play along to help his kids’ nonprofit. Dani's plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. But grumpy Zaf is secretly a romantic - and he's determined to corrupt Dani's stone-cold realism.

Call number: F Hibbert, T (coming soon)

Digital Library of Illinois Ebook:


How to Be a Normal Person by TJ Klune
Gustavo Tiberius is not normal. He knows this. Everyone in his small town of Abby, Oregon, knows this. And he's fine with that. All he wants is to be left alone. Until Casey, an asexual stoner hipster and the newest employee at Lottie’s Lattes, enters his life. For some reason, Casey thinks Gus is the greatest thing ever. And maybe Gus is starting to think the same thing about Casey, even if Casey is obsessive about Instagramming his food.

Digital Library of Illinois Ebook:


When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
Katie Daniels is a perfection-seeking 28-year-old lawyer living the New York dream who has gladly left behind her Kentucky past. Her bubble is burst when she is suddenly dumped by her finance, art curator Paul Michael, leaving her devastated and completely lost. On a whim, she agrees to have a drink with Cassidy Price--a self-assured, sexually promiscuous woman she meets at work. The two form a newfound friendship, which soon brings into question everything Katie thought she knew about sex--and love.

Call number: F Perri, C.


Two Rogues Make a Right by Cat Sebastian

Will Sedgwick can't believe that after months of searching for his oldest friend, Martin Easterbrook is found hiding in an attic like a gothic nightmare. Intent on nursing Martin back to health, Will takes him to the countryside to recover. Martin doesn't much care where he is or even how he got there. He's much more concerned that the man he's loved his entire life is currently waiting on him hand and foot. Martin knows he's a lost cause, one he doesn't want Will to waste his life on. As a lifetime of love transforms into a tender passion both men always desired but neither expected, can they envision a life free from the restrictions of the past?

Digital Library of Illinois Ebook: (coming soon)


The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover's sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn't until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband's scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door. Unexpectedly to both, they fall in love, but sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

Call number: F Waite, O.

Dr. Fauci = Romantic Heartthrob??

By Nancy Wagner,  Adult Services Librarian

As reported in Kirkus Magazine's  June 1, 2020 issue:

"The novel coronavirus pandemic has led Americans to develop some unlikely new celebrity crushes— among them Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.The 79-year-old immunologist definitely has his share of admirers: Just do a Twitter search for “anthony fauci daddy” if you don’t believe us.

Happy Endings by Sally QuinnJournalist and author Sally Quinn, however, recognized the good doctor’s hotness long before the rest of us. Fauci was the inspiration for a character in Quinn’s steamy 1991 novel, Happy Endings, reports Washingtonian magazine.  Quinn told the magazine that the character of Michael Lanzer, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, was based on Fauci, whom she met at a Washington dinner. “I just fell in love with him,” Quinn said. “He was so different from most Washington people, because he’s so self-effacing. He’s not in it for the glory or the name recognition.”

In the novel, the character of Sadie Grey—the widow of an assassinated U.S. president—falls for Lanzer, who, inconveniently, is married.

Unfortunately you will have to wait to get a copy as the novel is only available as an Interlibrary loan.  However please be advised that back when it was first published Kirkus said  it was “laborious, stilted, and—perhaps worst of all—fantastically unsexy.”!!



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