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Blind Date with a Book 2024!

It's been another fun one! Thank you to all those who went out on this year's bookish dates and gave us library staff, the literary matchmakers, thoughtful feedback on our disguised contenders.

We're also happy to report that we had quite an uptick in dates with books this year. Over 75 people went out on book dates and more than 50 date ratings were returned to us, by both first-time and long-time participants. Everyone that took on this challenge received a Chapter Two Books gift certificate, thanks to Friends of Milne Public Library, and some lucky winners were able to select book and love-themed items from a gift basket.

Below are just a few expressions of love (or not) written by readers about their likely destinies with the genres, authors or titles read. Also, ALL of the ratings will be available to view in our Blind Date with a Book Ratings notebook (in print) available for anyone to peruse here at the library.

True Love was found by some star-crossed books and readers!

How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told, by Harrison Scott Key: "This engagingly-written memoir is easy, and difficult, to read. The self-described 'horror novel masquerading as a comedy' describes the toughest moments of a marriage with transparency, and love."

Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan: "I could not put this book down! A fantastically entertaining and educational novel by two authors I've enjoyed - was a dream come true for this reader."

Wanderlust, by Elle Everhart: "I quite liked this book! Funny dialogue, awesome representation, relatable characters. Probably the best blind date I've ever been on, no definitely!"

The Words that Remain, by Stênio Gardel: "Typically I tend to steer away from romances, but this book has changed my perspective. It was very captivating and I was left wanting more."

But some pairs are happy to remain Just Friends:

Final Girl Support Group, by Grady Hendrix: "Interesting premise, however I felt like more could have been done with it. It could have used two or three chapters more introducing the characters. If you like this, try My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones."

Fortune Smiles, by Adam Johnson: "Just like being on a fun and interesting date, I find myself wanting to debrief and discuss this story collection more. It's been a while since I've read a book of short stories, and I'm reminded I do enjoy them and should read them more often."

The Love Plot, by Samantha Young: "This is a romance novel! I have NEVER read a romance novel before. After the first 30 pages or so, I thought the characters were not believable and the dialog was superficial. But then I was wondering what each character would do, and before I knew it, I had finished the book.... So this will be my last romance novel but for pure entertainment, this is charming, with a larger message about staying loyal to your true self."

We Refuse to Forget, by Caleb Gayle: "Important chapter of U.S. history little known. Everyone should read this. Just too bad the text is not written to really engage the reader."

And for others, it was a first date-only situation - Never Again!:

Bad Girl Reputation: an Avalon Bay Novel, by Elle Kennedy: "Light and fluffy reading - might be good on vacation, but not for mid-semester blues."

Breath: the New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor: "Really tried to be open to author's research on well-being and breathing. His overuse of notes, underuse of subjects, outlandish spending and finally the overlook of the actual subject - today's human, I am surprised this made the NYT bestseller list."

One Night, Two Souls, by Ellen Cooney: "Very somber. Couldn't get into it, but gave it the Nancy Pearl 50 page-try. Not really a late winter read."

With Love, from Cold World, by Alicia Thompson: "I chose two dates and considered it speed dating. I went into this one for the tags 'emotional, funny, hopeful,' which it was. However, I really did not need to be flooded with everything in our first meetup - drug addiction, overdose, foster care, LGBTQ intolerance, sexual harassment. The date ran like a corny Hallmark movie and I was ready to move on!"


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