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Staff blog

From the Friends: What Are You Reading this Summer?

The board of the Friends of the Library tries to save time at the end of every board meeting to discuss what we are reading. Fiction, nonfiction, articles, books - we all love to read and hear what others are reading!

Learning what your friends are reading generates dialog on all manner of subjects and broadens your outlook. And summer is a great time to read or listen to a book.  You can read at the beach or listen to a book in the car. In addition, a hot summer day spent reading in the cool, quiet of the library is always a treat. Check out these recommendations from Friends’ board members!

From Kathy Clark:

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

This is a fascinating story about an ethnic minority in the mountains of China, their culture and how it is ultimately impacted by globalization starting in the 1990s.  The story focuses on two strong women, their relationship, with insights into the tea industry, Chinese-American adoptions, and more.

Fallout by Sara Peretsky

A great summer read for mystery fans.  Another V.I. Warshawski novel, this one set in Kansas.  Lots of plot twists and well-developed characters will make you stay up late to finish.

From Susan Lofton:

I have been enjoying Ann Cleeves' mystery books about Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez and Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, both of which are BBC series on PBS. The TV series featuring Jimmy Perez is called Shetland. The show based on the Vera Stanhope books is called Vera.

I prefer the Perez books over the BBC Shetland series, but rather like the Vera series over the books probably because Brenda Blethyn does a terrific job as Vera.  Ann Cleeves is a skilled writer and offers complicated storylines that deliberately confuse and mislead the reader most delightfully. Her books provide a perfect summer vacation to the Scottish Isles and British countryside from the comfort of your Shorewood home.

Raven Black is the first of nine in the Jimmy Perez books. The Crow Trap is the first of seven currently available in the Vera Stanhope titles. 

From Jeannee Sacken:

After the Storm, a Kate Burkholder mystery by Linda Castillo

A tornado levels part of Painters Mill, unearthing thirty-year-old human bones, and Police Chief Kate Burkholder must identify the remains. This case takes her deep into her former Amish community and creates tension with her live-in partner, State Agent John Tomasetti.

From Joan Spector:

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

McEwan’s lively storytelling takes us on a Hamlet spin. It is entirely a soliloquy by an 8-months in-utero baby that has gained its worldliness and prescience from its mother’s radio listening, and lost its innocence through the three senses available. Agonizing about choices, he controls his world by his entrance to it. Satisfying and funny, as well as a tale of murder.

From Anne O’Meara:

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

I recently read this book since it was the Big Read selection for Milwaukee. It is based on the true story of the Mirabel sisters, three of whom were killed in the last days of the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic. Alvarez creates each of the sister’s stories in first-person chapters as she explores faith, family, freedom and what makes a person willing to stand up against what is wrong.

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

This short novel explores love, marriage, parenthood and betrayal in a third-person voice that is almost poetic, then heartbreaking and often laugh-out-loud funny.

-Submitted by Anne O’Meara



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