Good Chemistry: More Adult Summer Reading Reviews

Posted In: Events and Programs, Guest Contributors, Recommendations, Summer Reading for Adults
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By Shaileen B.

There has been definite chemistry between certain participants in Literary Elements, our Adult Summer Reading program, and certain books! Here are examples:

Joanne S. (Central Library) on The Double Game by Dan Fesperman: “The Double Game is a love letter to the genre of Cold War era spy fiction. The plot twists and turns through Vienna, Berlin, Belgrade, and Georgetown in Washington, D.C. Fesperman references dozens of real authors of spy fiction, most of them former spies themselves. But he also invents an author of his own. Passages from the various novels serve as bait and clues: not only do they lure the protagonist on his journey to solve a mystery, but they also entice the reader. I started a notebook myself to list all the authors and novels mentioned in the first 100 pages of the story, only to discover that the Appendix of the book contains its own list. Oh, lover of spy fiction, look no further than this book to give you ideas for future reading!”

The Cuckoo's CallingSarah D. (Central Library) on The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith: “I loved this book. As a Harry Potter fan it was a must-read for me and it did not disappoint. This book is enthralling and well written, a really fun mystery novel!”

Lynae P. (Central Library) on Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities by Johnnetta B. Cole and Beverly Guy-Sheftall: “A didactic book useful for tracing, understanding, and criticizing the modern effects of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy's attack on black women's bodies.”

Colleen H. (Govans Branch) on Life in Motion by Misty Copeland: “Just read the entire book in 3 hours this morning!! Outstanding read!! I would recommend any parent to read along with their children!!”

Geneva S. (Govans Branch) on Why? The Autobiography of John Carlos by John Carlos: “As a young child growing up, I was always fascinated with the picture of two African American males standing with fists raised at the Olympics. After 40 years, I found this book in a secondhand bookstore and now I understand why I was fascinated. That's my history--Black History. The salute proved to be controversial but he stood up for the rights of all colored people in the world that day.”

Christine R. (Govans Branch) on Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: “A young man finds himself taking a job in a bookstore to keep the wolf from the door during the recession. Little does he know that it will lead him to romance, intrigue, and the quest for immortality.”

Kathe F. (Hampden Branch) on The Sports Gene by David Epstein: “If you are interested in sports and what makes professionals different from us average sloggers then this is the book for you. Fascinating review of scientific findings but very readable at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Terry H. (Light Street Branch) on Private L.A. by James Patterson: “Patterson is a favorite of mine. This book is about Jack Morgan and his team at Private Investigations. He's working a couple of cases. One is ‘No Prisoners’ who is on a killing spree. They have demanded money. Who are they and why are they doing this? Who will be next? Also, Jack's brother is a creep who's out to destroy Jack. Morgan has a lot on his plate. Great read from start to finish.”

The Book ThiefLaura F. (Light Street Branch) on The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: “This book tells an emotional journey through the innocence of a German girl during World War II. Such a beautiful story! I bawled through the final chapters, even though I knew what was going to happen.”

Mona P. (Light Street Branch) on The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh:“I loved this book. The writing is magical. The story is gripping. The characters are all unusual. I could not wait to finish it and I did not want to finish it. A special experience.”

Mary B. (Mobile Library Services) on The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari: “My husband originally borrowed this book and said it was so engrossing he could not put it down. He almost called his physical therapist to reschedule to read the last 40 pages. He was right on. This book will keep you turning pages until the very end.”

Sarah L. (Northwood Branch) on You Can't Make Me by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias: “This Christian-based book has helpful pointers in it for everyone who deals with strong-willed children. It is a quick read and details specific ways for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child instead of constantly being at odds, helps you to appreciate the strong-willed nature as an asset to be directed instead of a liability to be destroyed, and encourages you to maintain a good relationship with your child while maintaining your authority. I found most of the tips and the examples in the book to be helpful and easily applied to my own situation. A good resource for those kids who constantly push your buttons!”

CloakedMelissa B. (Patterson Park Branch) on Cloaked by Alex Flinn: “Fun, light reading for summer. This book takes a lot of lesser known fairytales and weaves them into one story. I liked how the author gave a quick summary of each fairytale at the end of the book. I suppose the only down side is that the story is completely predictable, hence the ‘light reading’ label.”

Arin G. (Roland Park Branch) on The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger: “A hilarious and cleverly written story of divorce told through emails, legal memos, and other documents. I could not put it down.”

Elizabeth D. (Roland Park Branch) on Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir: “Even though I recently read another book on the early Tudor period (Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England), I really enjoyed this book. There isn't much original to say about Elizabeth of York, but Weir manages to make her story interesting through careful examination of primary sources and the exhaustive detailing of her life--the books in her library and who they may have been gifts from, the food she ate at royal events, the charitable gifts she made, her wardrobe, etc.”

Ashley B. (Southeast Anchor Library) on What Would Michelle Do? by Allison Samuels: “Great guide for young woman entering the dating scene, maintaining a career, and just life period. Great advice.”

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