By Shaileen B.
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend," Groucho Marx supposedly said. "Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Here are some books that were friends to 2013 adult summer reading participants:
Catherine H. (Waverly Branch) on Ape House by Sara Gruen:
Another winner from the author of Water for Elephants. It's bonobos this time, along with chimps our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. This novel is inspiring, educational, and entertaining—what more could a reader ask?
Jerome B. (Central Library) on A Little Yellow Dog by Walter Mosley:
Of all the Easy Rawlins mysteries I've read thus far, A Little Yellow Dog is the best. The very first chapter's magnetic ability to pull the voyeur in is incredible. The storyline is compelling and each character's role is laid out in a manner that is easy to follow. You arrive at several "AHA" moments as you discover the bourgeois Rawlins family and its patchwork origins.
Alicia A. (Govans Branch) on All is Well by Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz (on Amazon):
Very interesting take on how to integrate complementary medicine with traditional Western medicine. Great read for doctors!
Bethany D. (Hampden Branch) on Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford:
Incredibly interesting book about the role the Mongol Empire had in shaping the world. Turns out what I thought I knew about the Mongols was entirely wrong! Highly recommend!
Joyce C. (Central Library) on Alibi II: Nard's Revenge by Teri Woods:
I love, love, love everything Teri Woods writes. This gifted and talented writer proves once again that she's "True to Her Game" (pun intended). Liddles was loyal even after 20 years. Daisy learned the hard way that every goodbye "ain't" gone. What you do comes back to you! Kudos to Nard for his ingenious, calculated revenge. Payback is... well, you know!
Wendy S. (Hamilton Branch) on Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell:
A love story for all ages. Eleanor is an abused teen who does not know how to make her life better and Park is a half Korean in an all white school. They meet on the bus and friendship leads to love. But, Rowell knows how to keep your interest and how to make an ending that is realistic, even if it is a little sad.
Sarah T. (Hampden Branch) on Living Downstream by Sarah Steingraber:
A classic for anyone interested in understanding the (huge) impact environment has on our health. This is an eye-opening and inspiring read.
Iris R. (Hampden Branch) on The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
It is amazing that a book written in 1908 can still be an exciting and well-plotted read.
Joni D. (Light Street Branch) on The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout:
Jim Burgess and his younger twin siblings Bob and Susan live in Shirley Falls, Maine. A freak accident kills their father and the boys move to New York City. Jim a famous and wealthy attorney is snarky. Bob a legal aid attorney is goofy, bighearted and a little odd. When Susan calls them with news that her son Zach is in trouble, the brother return to their hometown with the intention of helping out. But buried tension surface.
Well crafted, this story is not just about siblings and family and returning home; it's also about racial tolerance, intolerance, the struggles of community and people's ability to ignore, hide from, or ultimately face their life. The writing never hits a false note. Elizabeth Strout is both tender and tough in her treatment of family., and her characters have dimension and depth.
Kelly M. (Light Street Branch) on The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes:
Perfectly Marian Keyes! Another story of Mammy Walsh's clan, this one focused on Helen. A light, enjoyable read, perfect for summer.
Virginia H. (Light Street Branch) on Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander:
The book was interesting, especially because it came from someone with a scientific background. Reading about how the brain works made me believe this experience could be true, and not just hallucinations. This book could give a person hope.
Quandra G. (Patterson Park Branch) on Men Are Like Waffles—Women Are Like Spaghetti by Bill Farrel (on Amazon):
This book puts a humorous spin on the differences between men and women on all levels especially on the spiritual side.
Andrea J. (Roland Park Branch) on The Billionaire and the Mechanic by Julian Guthrie:
This book is AMAZING!!! I could not put it down, finishing it in two days. What a gripping, true story—a billionaire who wants to be in the America's Cup and needs a yacht club to sponsor him. When established clubs won't work with him, he ends up connecting with a blue-collar boat club run by a radiator repairman. I have no interest in sailing, yet I found this story to be entirely readable. It's a compelling tale of these men's tenacious determination to achieve their goals. Fascinating stuff.
Nicholas F. (Southeast Anchor Library) on Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:
This book almost reads itself. It will challenge your psyche while not hanging you up on verbiage.