What's the Difference Between a Romance Novel and a Love Story?

In literary terms, the distinction between a romance and a love story is arguably subjective and open for interpretation--perhaps rooted in literary snobbery--but as someone who appreciates both genres, this is how I discern the two.

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Six Debut Novels About Families for Book Clubs

From ancient Rome to 20th century Middle East to contemporary USA, these debut novels will inspire lively conversation about family from vastly different angles. The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, The Confusion of Languages and George and Lizzie take a close look at marriage and parenthood; Salt Houses takes us into a Palestinian family caught between present and past, displacement and home; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine focuses on how to open your heart to create family; and Feast of Sorrow shows how disregarding family can ultimately destroy you. While all six books are quite different from one another, they are all reminders that the foundations of life are relationships--and family, whether the one you're born into or the one you make, is the most critical relationship of all.

Please add your own recommendations if you wish.

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Six Books for Adults that Spark Empathy

Empathy seems to have taken a bit of a hit recently. There's rarely a week when blatant hate or some form of intolerance isn't at the forefront of the news; and there can be few of us who haven't felt the need to disconnect from the media at times unable to take anymore. It would seem we could do with more empathy in our lives. With this in mind, here are six books for adults that have helped me see empathy – and its importance. Books can't solve everything but perhaps reading can be one kind of spark to creating more kindness in our world.

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The Book of Separation