Summer Staff Picks (June-August 2017)

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back each month for a new list. Need some recommended titles? Tell us five titles you have enjoyed and we'll send you a list of five more that we think you will like. 


Adult Summer Reading

Join us this year for our 3rd annual Adult Summer Reading at Alexandria Library and be entered to win a prize. This year, the theme is Reading by Design. Pick up entry bookmarks at any library location and let your favorite literary genres compete head to head until you’ve identified a winner. 


The matchmakers of Minnow Bay

By Kelly Harms

A young painter, Lily has reached a crossroads in her life. Her career hasn't taken off, her best friend may no longer be the trusted friend she thought, her boyfriend is a disappointment, and now she can't keep up with the rising cost of living in the city. With no one to turn to, Lily is forced to move from her beloved apartment, but while packing she comes across a piece of mail that had slipped to the back of her junk drawer: a letter detailing further action needed to finalize the annulment of a quickie Vegas wedding.


Half empty

By David Rakoff

The inimitably witty David Rakoff defends the commonsensical notion that you should always assume the worst, because you'll never be disappointed. In this deeply funny (and, no kidding, wise and poignant) book, Rakoff examines the realities of our sunny, everyone-can-be-a-star contemporary culture and finds that, pretty much as a universal rule, the best is not yet to come, adversity will triumph, justice will not be served, and your dreams won't come true.


The bell jar

By Sylvia Plath

This is short semi-autobiographical novel about what it's like to go down the road of severe depression and to come back out of it alive and healthier. The journey is taken by a young college woman struggling to make it as a writer. A classic!



At the edge of the universe

By Shaun David Hutchinson

July 3rd, 2017, Oswald Pinkerton had a boyfriend name Thomas Ross. July 4, 2017, Tommy has disappeared and no one remembers him except for Ozzie. While searching for answers and for Tommy, Ozzie figures out one terrible thing: the universe is shrinking. It is not a race to find Tommy, but will Ozzie be able to figure it out? This book blends Sci-Fi and Realistic fiction into a work that will leave you questioning everything.



Bound feet & Western dress

By Pang-Mei Natasha Chang

As a first-generation Chinese-American dutifully majoring in Chinese studies, Pang-Mei Natasha Chang stumbled across the name of her great-aunt Chang Yu-i in a history book. To Pang-Mei's astonishment, her eighty-three-year-old aunt, best known in the family for her retiring ways and masculine manner, had once been married to Hsu Chih-mo, China's preeminent modern poet, had run the Shanghai Women's Savings Bank during the 1930s, and had suffered the anguish of enduring what is considered China's first Western-style divorce. 



Everybody's fool

By Richard Russo

A best-selling and beloved author, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and the characters who made Nobody's Fool, his third novel, his first great success. The irresistible Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is now staring down a VA cardiologist's estimate that he only has a year or two left, and he's busy as hell keeping the news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years... the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren't still best friends. 



Under the egg

By Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Her grandfather's dying words lead thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny to a valuable, hidden painting she fears may be stolen, but it is her search for answers in her Greenwich Village neighborhood that brings a real treasure.



The opposite of loneliness : essays and stories

By Marina Keegan

An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world's attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation. Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. 


The vacationers

By Emma Straub

Celebrating their thirty-fifth anniversary and their daughter's high-school graduation during a two-week vacation in Mallorca, Franny and Jim Post confront old secrets, hurts, and rivalries that reveal sides of themselves they try to conceal.


Juana & Lucas


By Juana Medina

A spunky young girl from Colombia loves playing with her canine best friend and resists boring school activities, especially learning English, until her family tells her that a special trip is planned to an English-speaking place.


The worst of friends : Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the true story of an American feud

By Suzanne Jurmain

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were good friends with very different personalities. But their differing views on how to run the newly created United States turned them into the worst of friends. They each became leaders of opposing political parties, and their rivalry followed them to the White House. This is the story of two of America's most well-known presidents and how they learned to put their political differences aside for the sake of friendship.



The one & only : a novel

By Emily Giffin

Centering her life on the successful Walker family, into which she plans to marry, Shea struggles to end her affair with a less-than-stellar boyfriend only to have her entire existence placed in question by the death of the family's mother.