By Shaileen B.
From North to South Baltimore, East to West, the Groundbreaking Reads participants are book-worming through rich earth. Every time they finish a book and tell us about it online or with the paper form available at any Pratt Library, they get a chance at a terrific prize.
The best prize, of course, is a good read, and our participants have found some real zingers. Here are examples.
Herman M. (Roland Park Branch) on Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger:
A classic in every sense of the word. If you've never read these stories, then treat yourself. In particular, "For Esmé—With Love and Squalor" is one of the greatest works of short fiction ever penned by anyone.
Dwight H. (Clifton Branch) on The Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues by Walter Dean Myers:
I enjoyed this historically based realistic work of fiction. With baseball season here it is a great read for children and adults.
Quanshay H. (Forest Park Branch) on Me, Myself, and My Natural Strand by J. L. Greenhill:
I received this book as a gift from the author at Morgan State University. The book shouts with pride about the beauty of African American hair! I plan on giving the book to my little nine-year-old sister, so that she too can experience the pride displayed in the book.
Rob M. (Govans Branch) on Tenth of December by George Saunders:
Excellent short stories, very dark and very deep. Reminded me of Vonnegut.
Catherine C. (Hamilton Branch) on Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle:
Go to Stillness Speaks when you want a spiritual glass of water.
Kristen D. (Hampden Branch) on Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo:
A fantastic nonfiction novel on contemporary India! Boo constructs a beautifully raw depiction of life for children, teens and adults living in Annawadi, a Mumbai slum. I highly recommend it!
Pinchas G. (Reisterstown Branch) on And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer:
A worthy addition to the Hitchhiker's Trilogy. Eoin Colfer has brought the characters from Douglas Adams's classic sci-fi comedy back to life. Full of references to Adams's earlier works, and with enough of his own touch, Colfer's book brings the humor of the originals and adds a touch of suspense. (Not to give away too much of the plot, but the Vogons are back.)
Carrie S. (Roland Park Branch) on Where We Belong by Emily Giffin:
Very good read about a woman who decides to give her baby up for adoption and then opens the door to meet the girl 18 years later.
Catherine L. (Washington Village Branch) on Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield:
Beautiful book about the struggles between social responsibilities and personal desires.
Joan D. (Waverly Branch) on Teacher Man by Frank McCourt:
Funny, heartfelt account of 30 years teaching high school English in New York City.
Elaine M. (Hamilton Branch) on To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis:
This is possibly the BEST time-travel romp ever written. It helps if you've read Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat first, or have some knowledge of Victorian literature, but I think even if you don't you'll find plenty to amuse you here. I've read it at least four times and enjoyed it enormously each time. Willis is a wonderful writer!
Troy W. (Hampden Branch) on Red Moon by Benjamin Percy:
Interesting take on the werewolf mythos—called "lobos," it's now a prion-based disease that has led to deep mistrust between the infected and noninfected worldwide...as well as a war marked by long occupations and acts of terrorism. Percy writes beautifully, with tight, crisp scenes that propel the book forward and provide some sly incipient commentary on real-world issues we face now. However, somehow at the end of the day these don't quite gel into a transcendent whole. Quite above most "summer reads," though, and a serious, thought-provoking book that has some fun on the way.
Christine R. (Roland Park Branch) on Radioactive by Lauren Redniss:
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Curies, radioactivity, romance, the uses of radium and uranium, and Polish history. The illustrations are ethereal and compelling.