By Shaileen B.
Wondering what books are hot this summer? Check out these reviews from participants in our Adult Summer Reading Program:
Caitlyn L. (Central Library) on The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos: "As a poet, Marisa de los Santos writes books that are just as intriguing for the plot as for the language. She is certainly one of the most beautiful writers I've read. Her books are page turners and deal with those big ideas of love and family and second chances with an important nuance. I couldn't recommend this -- and all her rest -- more!"
Michael R. (Central Library) on The Informant by Thomas Perry: "The third book in a series about the Butcher's Boy, a top contract killer, who has been living quietly and happily married in England since his last run-in with his former employer: the Mafia. Here the Mafia tries again to revenge itself on him, forcing him to again use his superlative skills to escape them. The story also focuses on his long-time nemesis, a woman at the Justice Department who wants to save him and make him turn state's evidence, and how their goals clash and interact. Spellbinding."
Ethel B. (Govans Branch) on A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint: "Exotic locale, even more colorful characters coupled with a thrilling plot make for a wonderful beach, porch, or anywhere read. Absolutely delightful."
Rob M. (Govans Branch) on Wonder by R. J. Palacio: "I read this book with my nine-year-old daughter. A great book to read with your child if they're in late elementary school, early middle school. This book focuses on a child with craniofacial anomalies and discusses the other children's reaction to him, and their acceptance. Issues discussed include bullying and cliques. Nice to be reminded what a typical day is for a middle-school kid."
Mark C. (Govans Branch) on Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole: "From the author of Open City, a series of vignettes from his trip back to Lagos, Nigeria. The vignettes are more like character sketches of modern day Nigeria, weaving together the author's remembrances of Nigeria as a youth with experiencing places anew after years of being in the United States. Wonderfully written, providing insights on a culture not known by many as well as insights into the author straddling being a writer and a doctor. A quick read (162 pages) that made me wish that his stay had been longer."
Beverly F. (Hampden Branch) on The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman and The Oatmeal: "A fantastic and motivating graphic novel!"
Catherine C. (Herring Run Branch) on The Spirit Level by Richard G. Wilkinson: "Excellent explanations of what the statistics suggest and statistics in general. I love that the authors tell us to make up our own minds about income inequality and its effects on our social life."
Joni D. (Light Street Branch) on Dancing on Broken Glass by Kia Hancock: "Lucy has a family history of breast cancer and Mickey has bipolar disorder. They meet and marry, knowing with each step forward together that thy have to keep watch and deal with the result of their individual DNA. The author writes eloquently about the bipolar experience: the signals, the decent, the pain, the emotional toll and the sadness that comes with a life where even with the best care, attention, support, and pharmacological help -- there is a limit to the amount of control that can be exerted over mental illness.
"When Lucy learns that in spite of all efforts to the contrary she is pregnant, emotions rise and challenges must be met. When she learns that she has a recurrence of cancer, it sends everyone -- the sweet sister Lily and her always-reliable husband Ron, the tough oldest sister Priscilla, the caring friends and neighbors, the concerned and amazingly always available doctors -- into campaigns that reflect their individual agendas.
"Both Lucy and Mickey are honest about what they have to deal with but also lie to themselves and others in an effort to exert control and meet their immediate needs -- and that is true to the characters and how real people behave. Unlike most of the book however, the ending is sweet, with lots of tear-jerking moments, all amped up over the Christmas holiday and everyone rises to the occasion in order to produce the happy ending."
Steven P. (Mobile Library Services) on The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee's Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History by Jonathan Horn: "Good read for history buffs. Easy to read about a Washington-like personality. Stoic, righteous, and a tactical genius who made several mistakes (not necessarily his) which might have changed the outcome of the war had he not made them."
Andrea S. (Southeast Anchor Library) on The Best American Travel Writing 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert: "A book of short stories for summer reading about traveling is a great small getaway.... These are not only small gems but insightful mini-vacations...designed for small patches of time."
Join the fun! Submit an entry to the Adult Summer Reading Program here.