August Staff Picks

by Christine on 2022-08-01 08:00:00

Our summer reading programs might be just about over, but summer reading as a concept — lying out in the sun, or inside with the AC blasting, or listening to an audiobook in the car, or winding down before bed with a warm breeze blowing through your open window — is still very much alive and well.

We've had so much fun during our youth and adult summer reading programs, and it's all thanks to your enthusiasm and participation! And the fun isn't over — youth ages 0–18 can sign up for Read With "Pizza"zz, our August reading program. Log nine more hours of reading throughout the month of August and earn a free individual-sized pizza, plus be entered to win the grand prize of a free large pizza! For more information, visit the library or print out a reading record here. Meanwhile, adults who completed the summer reading program, have you seen all the great prize bundles that are up for grabs? Check out our Facebook post for more information about those and watch your email over the coming days as we contact the adult summer reading winners!

Now, on to our staff picks! This month's books feature two "Hallmark-esque" tales, a graphic novel series, a book about the trials and triumphs of owning a little free library, maybe the worst man you'll ever meet, and more. Plus, our staff have actually read the books we're recommending this time — if you haven't seen it, make sure to check out last week's post where we detailed the books we'd like to read but haven't yet.

Each title links to the catalog entry, where you can find out where the book is in the library or place it on hold. Also provided is whether the book can be found as an e-book or e-audiobook on Libby or Hoopla.

Happy reading!


Christine:

Fangirl: The Manga (2020, 2022)
adapted by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs, illustrated by Gabi Nam

I love Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl (2013), and I love graphic novels, so learning this book was turned into a manga was a beautiful "worlds collide" moment for me. The basics: Cath and her twin sister Wren are starting college, but after sharing so much for so long, Cath realizes college will bring out the sisters' differences more than ever before. One of those differences: their (formerly?) shared mega-love of the Simon Snow book series — and the fanfiction they wrote about it — which Wren seems to be outgrowing before Cath's eyes. Fangirl: The Manga sees Gabi Nam's illustrations bring out Rowell's already strong prose in a whole new way. My only complaint, I guess, is that this is going to be a four-volume series, but only two of the volumes have been published so far. Because of this, I would definitely recommend reading Fangirl before diving into the manga — you'll get the full story, of course, but you'll also better appreciate this work as an adaptation.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Libby

~~~

John:

The Ginger Man (1955)
by J.P. Donleavy

This novel features the exploits of Sebastian Dangerfield, one of the most despicable characters in modern literature. He is a selfish, lazy, entitled, drunken womanizer who is going through the motions of law school and marriage in Dublin as he waits for his father to die so that he can receive what he hopes will be a huge inheritance. It is Donleavy's masterful writing that causes the reader, despite Sebastian's many shortcomings, to root for him, and to hope he can pull himself out of the many desperate situations in which he finds himself. The writing is both poetic and often very funny, an excellent way to complete your summer reading.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Hoopla

~~~

Susan:

Fresh Water for Flowers (2021)
by Valérie Perrin

This tale revolves around a small graveyard in a small French town, Bourgogne. You will meet an array of interesting characters, including Violette. The story of her life is slowly revealed to readers through her own words and through the interconnectedness with the lives of other people. It is a profoundly sad novel, but at the same time will leave you with a sense of hope and belief in the strength of a human heart. Perrin’s writing is elegant, melancholic, and beautiful and will stay with you a long time. Pretty sure it will be my favorite book this year.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, both

~~~

Lori:

Ellie and The Harp Maker (2019)
by Hazel Prio

This a wonderful book about love and friendship with an unexpected twist in the middle. You will have a hard time putting this book down. Also, the author is an enthusiastic and experienced harp player based in Somerset and Exmoor. Her repertoire spans many styles of music and includes singing with harp accompaniment.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Libby

~~~

Amber:

Book Lovers (2022)
by Emily Henry

Yes, I jumped on the bandwagon. Emily Henry is fast becoming the beach/summer read favorite. Her lighthearted romance novels hit home for many because they are character-focused and reach beyond the love story. This was my favorite of her three released titles. Our main character Nora is a literary agent and often refers to herself as the woman everyone hates in all the Hallmark movies, but really Nora is just misunderstood. Charlie is an editor and after one bad meeting is now the bane of Nora's existence. Of course, this is an enemies-to-lovers story ... it's a beach read, after all!! My favorite part of the whole book is Nora and Charlie's chemistry. Their conversations often had me laughing out loud. This is 100% my summer read of 2022.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Libby

~~~

D’Lacey:

The Littlest Library (2022)
by Poppy Alexande
r

As a little free library steward myself, I couldn’t help but pick this one up! In this definitely Hallmark-esque book, librarian Jess finds her life turned upside down when she decides to buy a quaint cottage, move to a new town, and take responsibility for a decommissioned telephone box-turned-Little Free Library. As the free books start to circulate, the town is split between avid readers and those who see the library as a nuisance (an actual LFL problem!). A heartwarming read about community, books, and the power both have to change lives for the better.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Libby

~~~

Steve:

Why We Work (2015)
by Barry Schwartz

The author explores why so many believe that the goal for working should be to earn money, how we arrived to believe that paying workers more leads to better work, and why this has made our society confused, unhappy, and has established a dangerously misguided system. How did we get to this tangled place? How do we change the way we work? With great insight and wisdom, Schwartz shows us how to take our first steps toward understanding, and empowering us all to find great work.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Hoopla

~~~

Emily:

The Night She Disappeared (2021)
by Lisa Jewell

Nineteen-year-old Tallulah goes missing after a night out with friends.  Her mother Kim desperately searches for her, only to find deadends.  The search comes alive when a newcomer to the posh British town gets involved.  This is a good book for folks who like psychological thrillers, particularly those with split narratives that focus on a crime.

Available on Libby/Hoopla? Yes, Libby