Library at SLCC: Gentle Fiction

Librarian of the Month: Nancy Garlish

Jan Bobbett

Gentle, or romantic, fiction is a genre we seldom mention, since most of our readers are inclined toward best sellers, but we like to have books available for readers of a romantic bent as well. Some are written by distinguished authors like Alexander McCall Smith.

The cozy is one type of romantic fiction. The term “cozy” dates back to the late 20th century, and cozies can be defined by their lack of violence, explicit sex, and foul language. The tone of cozies can be serious, but often it’s lighthearted, playful, or humorous.

Cozies often have interesting settings, like a strawberry farm or the local teddy bear museum. With a focus on relationships, there is typically no sexual content, and certainly no swear words or overt violence in cozies.

Yes, you will find crime in cozies. And along with crime, you will probably find someone who is a good investigator. And by that I mean someone who knows how to find clues and make connections but isn’t a police officer. These characters might have a job or vocation that allows them to wander, ponder clues, and put the pieces (clues) together—like might be done by a neighborhood person who is a librarian, store owner, or handyman. And that potential clue finder is often a woman. Few problem solvers are actually detectives in a cozy. Instead, it is the amateur sleuths who detect and solve crimes.

Many publishers publish cozies. That contrasts with somewhat similar books that are published by a single publisher, namely Harlequin. Under the large heading Romance in our library we have two rows of shelves to display an array of Harlequin romances. Not cozies, which are around the corner. In our library the cozies are under the Cozies heading.

Unlike cozies, Harlequin executives make the rules, so their books must be in categories they are publishing at any given time. On our shelves, the many Harlequin books are divided by category. Here are some of the categories you will find in our Harlequin section: Heartwarming, Intrigue, Historical, Special Release, Love Interest, Suspense. Look for those and other types of Harlequins in our library under the big heading Romance.

My advice: Visit the library and spend some time perusing our shelves in both sections described here and see what catches your eye.

Librarian of the Month: Nancy Garlish

Before volunteering at our library, Nancy had a career as a cosmetologist until ending that for health reasons, and then she worked as a librarian in Casa Grande schools, where they stressed neatness. She kept books ship-shape, which commitment she applies at our library, too.

She enjoys mysteries, including books by J.A. Jance and especially Nicholas Sparks.

With health issues, she can no longer play bocce ball nor pitch & putt. Instead, she walks four to five miles per day, starting with speed walking.

Nancy is an outgoing person (Type-A!) who loves her friends. She joins Norma Futch’s coffee group each morning and enjoys going out to dinner with friends.