2013’s Summer Reading for adults program is only a couple of weeks old but has been going on strong at the Southeast Anchor Library. If there’s one thing I like about working here it’s that I get to meet people from all walks of life who just so happen to be book people. Not only do they often reverse the procedure and give me, their librarian, good book recommendations—but sometimes they get me interested in titles that I wouldn’t have considered in the first place. As I sign up customers for our Summer Reading Program and read their book review entries, a few titles come to mind.
To take one such example—I hardly ever read thrillers, but our customer Harold Moore obviously does. He gave glowing but insightful reviews to David Baldacci’s The Hit ("Doesn’t go where you think it’s going to go—but winds up going
where you want it to go.") and to Dan
Brown’s Inferno ("This time we find
the redoubtable Dr. Robert Langdon in a totally different milieu… Brown has a
few twists in Inferno that would
definitely qualify him for the Mystery Master’s Hall of Fame."). Because Mr.
Moore’s tastes are discriminating, however, he couldn’t bring himself to
recommend the historical naval adventure Take,
Burn, or Destroy by S. Thomas Russell ("Too wordy, too many characters;
actually a rather depressing book. It is an emotional mishmash of
self-destructive characters in the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th-early
19th centuries. Master and
Commander was much better.").
I’ve never read romantic fiction—let alone breezy
and comedic ones. Melissa Torres recommends The
Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot, a young adult author’s first title geared for
grown-ups. Written over ten years ago, the novel is told entirely through
e-mail, and our reader Melissa found it a witty pre-social networking "throw
back to the days when e-mailing was new." Ah, the good old days.
Lately I’ve been reading biographies. Michael Kelly
recommends Evita: First Lady by David
Barnes and Henry Cabot Lodge by
William J. Miller. In Evita: First Lady,
Eva Peron rose from poverty to "international fame and fortune", whereas Lodge
was the "scion of Boston Brahmins" who "gave up his Senate seat to serve on
active combat duty."
I’m particularly interested in the latter title, as
I’m currently reading about Henry Cabot Lodge’s grandfather of the same name in
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by
Edmund Morris. Grandfather Henry was a prominent politician in his own right,
and a close friend and ally of Theodore. The
Rise is the first part of Morris’s epic TR trilogy, and covers his early
years up to the time he became President. I’m almost to the part where the
Spanish American War breaks out and Teddy forms the Rough Riders. I think I’ll
recommend it to my buddy George Koester, a regular to our library since it
first opened in 2007. George is a history buff and like me enjoys books about
brave men under fire. He is currently reading Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944 by Joseph
Balkowski, and was drawn to it after the recent 69th anniversary of
Stop by the library and let us know what you’ve