Many of you went on a blind date with a book in February, when we provided gift-wrapped books with only a hint on the outside as to what they were about. So - how did those dates go? This year we asked you to rate your dates, and we thought we'd tell you about the most successful ones - the ones that rated a 9 or 10.
Nobody rated their date a disaster, by the way, or they were kind enough to not talk about it. And even readers who gave their dates a 4 or 5 out of a possible 10 said they still loved the idea of gift-wrapped books. Our readers are a kind group!
Here are this year's most successful date books:
The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch, a novel about a privileged young man who graduates from Yale, is disillusioned by his work in politics, and sets off for Oxford. (Rated 10.)
The Assembler of Parts by Raoul Wientzen, a novel in which a young girl born with birth defects reviews her short life from heaven, discovering its meaning and purpose when her death unleashes events beyond her control. (Rated 10.)
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, a novel about the love between a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time and an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. (Rated 10.)
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, a novel about a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family, neighbors and the Jewish man they are hiding during World War II. (Rated 10.)
Fin and Lady by Cathleen Schine, a novel set in the 1960s about the relationship between an 11-year-old boy uprooted from his family farm and his glamorous, city-dwelling older sister. (Rated 9.5.)
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, a novel about the intersecting lives of four people - a young American nurse, her dying English patient, a handless American thief, and an Indian soldier in the British army - in a deserted Italian villa at the end of World War II. (Rated 9.)
Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. When an anonymous benefactor offers to put Samantha Moore through school, with the stipulation that she write frequent letters to him on her progress, Sam finds safety in the letters as her program and her peers force her to confront her past. (Rated 9.)
Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews. Cut off from her palatial home and checking account after an act of post-divorce rage, rising media star Grace Stanton bonds with three women as they plot respective pursuits of justice and closure. (Rated 9.)
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan. The supervisor in a chocolate factory ends up working at Paris's elite chocolatier Le Chapeau Chocolat. With a bit of luck and a lot of patience, she might learn that the sweetest things in life are always worth working for. (Rated 9.)