By Shaileen B.
We counted over 1,000 participants reading over 4,500 books in the 2016 Adult Summer Reading program. Thank you to everyone who joined in this reading adventure!
Here's one last batch of reviews:
Orealle W. (Central) on Fasting by Jentezen Franklin: This book is awesome! It breaks down every element of fasting and how fasting is more than abstaining from food for a period of time, it's a physical sacrifice done in private that reaps spiritual and public rewards. A must-read.
Anne M. (Govans Branch) on Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann: Excellent, best book I read in a very long time. Writing is superb. Novella comprising four short stories. Emotional landscapes of characters' lives is poignantly revealed. I had to catch my breath several times.
Helen B. (Light Street Branch) on The Passenger by Lisa Lutz: A story of shifting identities, guilt and innocence, betrayal and trust, The Passenger tracks Tanya DuBois as she flees from a crime she didn't commit -- but would have given the opportunity. In a deft combination of flashbacks and points of view, we learn about Tanya's checkered past. During the course of her journey (both geographic and psychological), Tanya experiences the highs and lows of recreating herself in a skewed version of the American dream of second chances. A departure from the popular Spellman series, this novel showcases a new depth in Lutz's writing.
Bob B. (Light Street Branch) on The Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart: Endlessly fascinating and original with lovely line drawings of these little horrors, I picked this book up on a whim and just could not put it down. If you're not already afraid of insects, I can pretty much guarantee you will be when you finish this amazing book.
Deborah C. (Reisterstown Road Branch) on Fair Labor Lawyer by Marlene Trestman: Beautifully written, fully researched biography of a joyful, super-hard working "model citizen" to whom millions of us are indebted. Fascinating U.S. History, political history, legal history, and "how things came to be." Remarkably thorough research by her much younger fan and friend who took time to gather so much material and to understand it all very, very well.
Jeanne L. (Southeast Anchor Library) on The Assembler of Parts by Raoul L. Wientzen: A child born with congenital anomalies navigates his short life with courage, intelligence and insight. Narrated by the child (from birth on) the book rings uncannily true, perhaps because the author is a long-time pediatrician. The book is totally original, and strangely uplifting.
Kristen F. (Waverly Branch) on The Martian by Andy Weir: This book was geeky and clever and completely fascinating. Weir creates a highly believable near-future world where Mars travel is possible, and it's amazing to see how he uses genuine science to devise solutions to the problems facing astronaut Mark Watney. The book goes into far more detail than the movie (in a good way), and I flew through it in just a few days.
Lucy J. (Staff) on Grunt by Mary Roach: A no-visible-holds-barred look at military science--what's done, by whom, to what benefit (if any), with Roach's signature unflinching keen sense of the ridiculous and earnest humor.
Meredith V. (Staff) on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, by Jack Thorne and J. K. Rowling: First things first -- reading a play is not the same as watching a play. Nor is it the same as reading a novel. So, would I have enjoyed this more if I had been watching it, or if it had been a novel? Undoubtedly. But I still enjoyed it a lot. My favorite thing (besides Scorpius, who is the best!!!) was that I was totally right -- naming their kid Albus Severus was a terrible idea. Good times. You definitely don't need to read this to feel complete with Harry Potter, but if you enjoy Harry Potter, you'll probably really like it. And, like me, you will probably have a very hard time imagining Harry, Ron, and Hermione as grownups.
Julie S. (Staff) on Bernie by Ted Rall: Fabulous biography of Bernie Sanders in graphic-novel form. This book has much more historical "meat" than you might expect from a book that looks like this. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to understand the recent history of the Democratic Party and why Bernie Sanders's campaign was a real departure. Great book!
Tracy D. (Staff) on Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser: Glaser digs into the brains of young women and complicated social interactions, sexuality, emotions veiled in apathy. Nothing is resolved, but the emphasis in this book is the interactions in college (art school) and early 20s years. I don't want to be friends with these people, but I want to watch, then evaluate how I treat others. You'll love this too if you dig Amelia Gray and Lindsay Hunter – both blurbed the book.