Staff Picks: The Best Book I Read This Summer
Do you tend to read more books in the summer than at any other time of year? Summer is a laid-back season, when many people have more down time – either being on vacation, or on school break, or just taking the time to slow down because of the heat. The Warrenton Circulation Staff has several books to recommend for those lazy, hazy days of summer – check these out, and maybe one will be the best book you read this summer!
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
I’ve always wanted to read something by Colm Tóibín, and and was eager to explore his simple, spare style of prose. Brooklyn’s main character is Eilis Lacey, a young woman who lives in a small town in Ireland in the early 1950s. Her sister, Rose, decides she needs more opportunity than their small town of Enniscorthy can offer for her bookkeeping skills and life in general, and contacts a priest in Brooklyn, NY who sponsors her to come to Brooklyn. He helps her find a job, get a place to live, and start classes at the local college. She overcomes her initial difficulty in living in a new culture and makes friends, including a boyfriend. But she is torn between her life in Ireland (when she has to return for a family event) and the life she has made in Brooklyn. Her struggles with the question of where her home really is and her lack of voice in some of the decisions made for her is bittersweet, and results in a decision she alone makes, without strings being pulled by others.
For those who like books made into movies, the movie follows the book quite closely and is very well done. But read the book first!
~ Cheryl, Clerk, Warrenton central library
Rules of Prey by John Sandford
I love reading book series. I’m not terribly picky about the subject matter, but I really enjoy following one central character through many different stories. After struggling to settle into a new one, I finally let my guide be the books I see checked in and out at a rapid rate and picked up Rules of Prey. It’s the first in a long series of crime novels (26 and counting) that follow one Lucas Davenport, a legendary detective with the Minneapolis Police Department who’s got a serious bad-boy rep both on the force and, to a lesser degree, in his personal life. What Davenport lacks in respect for the rules, he more than makes up for in results on the job, which is good news given the serial killer who’s matching wits with him in this story. A word of warning: This cop drama isn’t for the faint of heart. Sandford honed his craft as a journalist and has a knack for communicating detail. Normally fantastic news, this can be a little disconcerting when you’re dealing with a tale of murder.
~ Emily, Clerk, Warrenton central library
Cards for Brianna by Heather McManamy with William Croyle
When I picked up Cards for Brianna I was unsure how it would go…sad and depressing or encouraging and uplifting. I found it to be an incredible lesson in living. It is a wonderful book that tells a tragic story of a young mom who at age 34 is diagnosed with an incurable disease. She is quite amazing in how she chooses to face this news and to LIVE (note the capital letters) her life. In her desire to “be there” for her toddler daughter she purchases and writes greeting cards for future milestones in her daughter’s life. The cards are to be given to the child at the obvious significant moments like graduation but also for the regular everyday moments in life, teaching her through the cards to celebrate life and to live it out loud. After seeing the impact on others through social media, she decided to write this book, which shares her difficulties but even more fully her love, joy and life!
~ Donna, Clerk, Warrenton central library
Dead to You by Lisa McMann
I set out this summer to find an enjoyable fiction book to read as an escape. Fast-paced and interesting, yet nothing too complex for my (occasional) lazy summer days. I found it in our library’s Young Adult section! The book Dead to You is about a teenager named Ethan. Ethan was abducted from his front yard when he was just seven years old. Now, at sixteen, he has reunited with his family. But with his inability to remember the past, tensions start to build. Things aren’t going smoothly and Ethan’s family is tearing apart all over again. Will he be able to put the missing pieces of his life back together? Why is his memory blocked? Give this page-turning realistic novel a try. It was a fun summer read!
~ Carol, Clerk, Warrenton central library
Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting by Thomas D. Seeley
No doubt about it-honey bees are fascinating little creatures. I usually pay little attention to their flitting about the clover in my summer lawn, but now, after reading Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Bee Hunting, I wonder where they go as they fly away with their bounty of nectar and pollen.
Bee hunting, also known as bee-lining, is the lost art of tracking a honey bee back to its wild colony in a tree cavity, old building or other mysterious place. Over the years, the practice of bee-hunting diminished as the popularity of beekeeping and managed hives grew. Seeley shares, “It may be a pursuit as old as humankind.” Searching for a wild colony of honey bees is not difficult: it requires only small, rustic equipment and plenty of time. It is a treasure hunt like none other.
Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, first learned the basics from an “old-timer” who willingly passed on his knowledge and skill. Interestingly, Henry David Thoreau learned of bee hunting in the same manner. Thoreau recorded notes of his 1852 attempt at bee hunting in his journal; Seeley shares Thoreau’s observations (in detailed Walden fashion) with his readers as well. Of course, you could learn a bit from the most famous bee (honey) hunter of our time by reading The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh.
So make a bee-line down to your favorite branch of the library to learn more about the craft and science of bee hunting!
~ Julia, Circulation Manager, Warrenton central library