Looking for your summer reading? We’ve solicited recommendations from our Libraries staff and are featuring those books in a new display at the Main Library. It’s on the first floor, to the left of the checkout desk, and right across from the door to the cafe area. The books circulate like any regular book, with regular checkout periods. We’ll be adding more recommendations as books are checked out, so check back often.
Here are the books currently on display:
Hope Dies Last by Studs Turkel, chosen by Walter Biggins, UGA Press
Given the world we live in, and given that we all are perpetual screwups within it, how do we keep going? And why? These are the central questions of life, and Studs Terkel talks to over 60 activists, politicians, and world changers about the potential answers. Hope means different things to different people, and the quasi-oral history doesn’t offer a definitive answer. (If the Bible can’t even do it, why would we expect it of Terkel’s tome?) But the wrestling with the questions is the main thing, and that wrestling is lucid, tear-jerking, insightful, and deeply, deeply moving.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durell, chosen by Jenifer Marquardt, Cataloging Department
Gerald Durrell was one of the first to believe that zoos should be used to help preserve and regenerate species. My family and other animals is a biography covering the period of his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu. The book is a mix of funny tales of his British family, which included Lawrence Durrell, and the naturalistic studies of a young child.
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, chosen by J. R., Cataloging Department
My hopes for this one were so high that I was inevitably a little let down through absolutely no fault of the author’s. I’m choosing this one nonetheless, because I think what he did here was incredibly valuable, and I can probably say very little about this exploration of the way in which our pettiest actions can crush another human being that hasn’t already been said. One scene in particular was hard for me to get through, in the best possible way, because of its spot-on portrayal of people’s utter lack of compassion for the suicidal person.
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin, chosen by Amy Watts, Reference Department
If you saw the movie, forget about it. It was rubbish. Rachel is best friends with Darcy, who is engaged to Dexter. Rachel first fell in love with Dexter back in law school, right before he met Darcy. After too many drinks on Rachel’s 30th birthday, she and Dexter end up sleeping together. So then what? Will the marriage go ahead? Whether it does or doesn’t, what happens to Rachel and Darcy’s lifelong friendship? A novel about infidelity that makes you sympathetic to both the cheater and the cheated-on; a story about the fine line between a friend and a “frenemy” – this book is called “Chick Lit” mainly because it’s got a pink and cover and is written by a woman; the issues it’s confronting will be relatable to many readers.