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Staff Summer Reads

To celebrate the end of another successful Summer Reading program, the FTPL staff have put together a reading list of books we’ve enjoyed over the summer. Click on any of the covers below to place a hold on a book!

The Rope: A True Story of Murder, Heroism, and the Dawn of the NAACP:  Tresniowski, Alex: 9781982114022: Books
Seek You by Kristen Radtke: 9781524748067 | Books
Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing: Essays: Hough, Lauren: 9780593080764: Books

[On The Rope by Alex Tresniowski] “This narrative nonfiction book is extremely well-written and takes place mostly in Asbury Park, NJ. The story centers around a 1910 murder I hadn’t previously heard of, and also weaves in the stories of Ida B. Wells, the founding of the NAACP, and how crime scene forensics have changed over time.

[On Seek You by Kristin Radtke] This beautifully illustrated work of graphic nonfiction is a rumination on what loneliness does to us as individuals and as a society. The book covers everything from television laugh tracks to social media to experiments done on babies and animals that uncovered what isolation does to our brains. My favorite parts were when Radtke got personal about times in her life when she felt longing. The book centers on a very current topic, but the historical subjects and lovely illustrated treatment ensure it will remain relevant for years to come.

[On Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing by Lauren Hough] I remember reading Hough’s essay about working as a “cable guy” three years ago, so I was excited to see she recently published an essay collection. The essays are all so different, spanning different parts of Hough’s varied and interesting life, but they all fit together well and it’s a great read. Hough was raised in an abusive cult, The Children of God. As a young adult, she joined the Air Force, but was later kicked out for being gay. Afterwards, she held a series of working-class jobs including a club bouncer and “a cable guy” before figuring out she wanted to be a writer. If it sounds heavy, it definitely can be, but it is also a very funny and frank book about identity and family (born and chosen) and survival.” -Kerri, Adult Programming At the Edge of the Universe: 9781481449663: Hutchinson, Shaun  David: Books Sky Without Stars (1) (System Divine): 9781534410633: Brody,  Jessica, Rendell, Joanne: Books Separate No More: The Long Road to Brown v. Board of Education  (Scholastic Focus): 9781338592832: Goldstone, Lawrence: Books

[On At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson] “Tommy and Ozzie have been best friends since the second grade, and boyfriends since eighth. They spent countless days dreaming of escaping their small town–and then Tommy vanished. More accurately, he ceased to exist, no one remembers him, except Ozzie. How do you navigate when everyone thinks you’re crazy?! An engrossing story that beautifully intertwines romance and mental health. 

[On Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell] This is an inventive reimagining of Les Misérables – set in space!  With nonstop action and excellent world building, this is the story of three teens from very different backgrounds who are thrown together amidst the looming threat of revolution. 

[On Separate No More by Lawrence Goldstone] An absorbing recounting of many of the court challenges to racial segregation and historical events that paved the way for the monumental Supreme Court decision that outlawed racial discrimination in public schools.” -Karen, Young Adult Librarian

The Liar's Girl: Catherine Ryan Howard: 9781504782548: Books The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad): 9780143115625: French, Tana:  Books

[On The Liar’s Girl by Katherine Ryan Howard] “Alison was just a college freshman when her boyfriend was convicted of killing five young women… one of whom was her best friend. He was sentenced to life in prison. After fleeing abroad, she is pulled back into his world when another young woman is killed in the same manner. 

[On The Likeness by Tana French] Cassie Maddox transferred out of the Dublin murder squad, so she was confused when she was called out to the scene of a murder. The victim? A young woman who looked remarkably like her. The ID found on the victim said she was Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie used when she worked undercover. Who was this young woman and why would someone want her dead? Going back undercover seems to be the only way Cassie can learn the truth.” -Laura, Circulation

The Midnight Library: A Novel: Haig, Matt: 9780525559474: Books The World-Ending Fire: The Essential Wendell Berry:  9781640091979: Berry, Wendell, Kingsnorth, Paul: Books
Upstream: Selected Essays: Oliver, Mary: 9781594206702: Books

[On The Midnight Library by Matt Haig] “This is the most uplifting thing I’ve read this summer, and I highly recommend it to everyone. I found it to be life-affirming, thought-provoking, and fun to read.

[On The World-Ending Fire by Wendell Berry] While this certainly isn’t cheery summer reading, I think it’s an essential essay collection for our times. Berry’s writing speaks to our loss of familiarity with the natural world, food production, and community, and how these divides are at the core of so much of our planet’s current environmental woes.

[On Upstream by Mary Oliver] Whether reading her poetry or prose, I’m always comforted by the work of Mary Oliver. Upstream is an essay collection that will make you want to get outside and appreciate how beautiful the natural world is, even if you’re only traveling as far as your back yard.” -George, Adult Services

The Ten Thousand Doors of January: Harrow, Alix E.: 9780316421997: Books
The Wives: A Novel: Fisher, Tarryn: Books

[On The Ten-Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow] “If you love stories, then you will love this spellbinding novel. When young January finds a journal, her life changes forever. Not only does this journal reveal secrets of her past, but it also holds the key to discovering other worlds (literally). Harrow creates a rich world and a powerful story about the enduring power of love across time and space. 

[On The Wives by Tarryn Fisher] This book will keep you guessing with every page. Thursday knows that her husband has other wives, but she has agreed to never meet them or even know their names. One day, she discovers a receipt in her husband’s coat with a woman’s name on it, a woman named Hannah. Thursday cannot help herself, she tracks Hannah down and befriends her under false pretenses. But the more she learns, the more questions she has. Who is her husband really and who is the mysterious third wife?” -Susan, Circulation

What memorable books did you read over the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,
-George, FTPL

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