In honor of the eclipse, here’s a recommendation for a fun, twisty thriller (think Gone Girl and Behind Her Eyes) that centers around a couple who also happen to be eclipse chasers.
“In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share. But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his. The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder–did she trust the wrong person? 15 years later, Kit and Laura married are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past. From Erin Kelly, queen of the killer twist, He Said/She Said is a gripping tale of the lies we tell to save ourselves, the truths we cannot admit, and how far we will go to make others believe our side of the story”– Provided by publisher.
I want to give a big (virtual) round of applause to all of our summer reading participants. Audra and I weren’t sure what to expect when we planned the OWL’s first ever Adult Summer Reading program. We hoped it would be a success–that readers would enjoy it and that it would encourage all of us to read outside of our comfort zones–but we never imagined the great numbers and positive feedback we’ve received. 118 people signed up, 55 met at least 8 challenges (and were invited to the After Hours Celebration) and of those 33 people completed the whole challenge card!
There are many of you who discovered that you really enjoy graphic novels, or audiobooks, or essays. And some who now know they definitely do not. 😉 We loved hearing about what you were reading all summer and helping provide you with suggestions to meet your challenges. And 647 challenges were met!!! Bravo!
It was a fantastic summer of reading and we cannot wait to do it again next year.
Your devoted librarian,
Thank you all for reading outside the box with us this summer. The official end of the program is Monday, August 7th–be sure to turn in your challenge cards. If you’re away give us a call (860) 567-8030 and let us know how many challenges you’ve completed. We want to be sure that everyone who finished at least 8 challenges gets invited to the party!
On August 14th at 7pm (after hours at the OWL) we will celebrate your reading accomplishments with ice cream, cookies, live music, and a prosecco toast. We will also choose a winner for the Booklover’s Basket! Get excited!
To a fantastic summer of reading–cheers!
In our continued effort to have as many patrons as possible complete our Read Outside the Box Adult Summer Reading Program we have put together a display of books that fulfill 2 challenge categories each (3 if you also use the book for a “Readers Choice”).
Complete 8 categories for an invitation to our After Hours Celebration on August 14th at 7pm. Enjoy music, ice cream, cookies, and a prosecco toast. Complete all 12 to also receive a special prize!
The final day of summer reading is AUGUST 7th–be sure to come into the OWL and turn in your challenge card!
Hello friends! We are rapidly approaching the end of our inaugural adult summer reading program–have you been reading outside the box with us?
Plans are in place for an exciting “after hours” party on Monday, August 14th at 7pm. Everyone who fulfills 8 challenges by August 7th will be invited. And if you go further and finish an entire card you will also be getting a prize!
The night of the party we will be celebrating our reading accomplishments with ice cream, cookies, and a prosecco toast! Chat with fellow participants about your most surprising and enjoyable reading experiences that came with choosing titles outside of your comfort zone. We will also have live music! Local favorite Nathan Day will be performing–check out his website.
And if you need help finishing some challenges quickly–just ask! We can send you home with display books that fulfill 3 (or more!) categories. We want to see you at the After Hours Social!
So, mark your calendars for August 7th (the final day of summer reading!) and August 14th at 7pm (party time!). See you there!
From informal chats at the circulation desk, it seems the poetry challenge is the one many of you are procrastinating on. I get it. Poetry can be overwhelming, but it is a rich and wonderful form of writing that we would like you to dip your toes into. There will always be poetry books in our summer reading display for you to choose from BUT I would encourage you to do some exploring on your own. Go up to the Emslie room and browse through our recently moved poetry collection. Choose a slim volume (after all, you only have a few weeks left to finish your challenge card), one that speaks to you and take a few moments to sit in the quiet space in a nice, comfortable chair and get ready to fall in love with verse.
This might be my favorite category in our Adult Summer Reading Challenge–revisit a childhood favorite. I am currently revisiting Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. If you don’t have a beloved classic in mind to meet this challenge here are some ideas:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl Young Charlie Bucket can’t believe his luck when he finds the very last of Mr. Willy Wonk’s Golden Tickets inside his chocolate bar.
Matilda by Roald Dahl Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend.
Stuart Little by E.B. White An adventurous and heroic little mouse, searches for his lost friend, the lovely bird Margalo.
Pssst…all of these titles are also available as audiobooks. Check off two categories with one title!
If you’re looking for some short & sweet titles that will also make a big dent in your Adult Summer Reading Challenge, look no further! Two authors whose books will fulfill at least two (and in some instances four!) categories and are also a joy to read are:
Sarah Addison Allen and Sarah Kate Lynch–both of these writers use magical realism (bye bye “fantasy” category) and often have food centered plots (so long “food novel” category). And Ms. Lynch is from New Zealand and often stages her novels overseas so any of her novels will ALSO fulfill your “foreign writer/foreign setting” category. Make it a “reader’s choice” and you’ve knocked off a third of your challenge card with a single short & sweet read.
Will you be joining Audra and I at the July 12th meeting of the Cookbook Club? Of course you will! There’s delicious food and lovely conversation–a perfect summer evening. You can also use it to fulfill a few of the Read Outside the Box challenge categories! At our July meeting we will be bringing recipes from food memoirs or food novels. Here is my top pick for each:
Food Memoir–The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber (fulfills Food Memoir/Food Novel AND Foreign Writer or Setting): A vibrant, humorous memoir of growing up with a gregarious Jordanian father who loved to cook. Diana Abu-Jaber weaves the story of her life in upstate New York and in Jordan around vividly remembered meals: everything from Lake Ontario shish kabob cookouts with her Arab-American cousins to goat stew feasts under a Bedouin tent in the desert. These sensuously evoked meals in turn illuminate the two cultures of Diana’s childhood – American and Jordanian – and the richness and difficulty of straddling both.
Food Novel–Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel (fulfills Food Memoir/Food Novel AND Foreign Writer of Setting): Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef.
The Slimmest of the Slim
To prove just how much Audra and I want you to succeed this summer. I am providing a list of some super-short books to kick-start your reading challenge!
- Woolgathering by Patti Smith Patti Smith tells real and imagined stories from her childhood. 80 pages.
- Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. 245 pages.
- Cries for Help, Various: Stories by Padgett Powell Presents a collection of short stories that cover the topics of longing, fear, work, loneliness, and cultural nostalgia. 182 pages.
- Stuart Little by E.B. White Stuart Little is a mouse born to a family of humans and lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. 131 pages.
- Whale Rider by Witi Tame Ihimaera As her beloved grandfather, chief of the Maori tribe of Whangara, New Zealand, struggles to lead in difficult times and to find a male successor, young Kahu is developing a mysterious relationship with whales, particularly the ancient bull whale whose legendary rider was their ancestor. 152 pages.