Summer Staff Picks (July-August 2018)

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. Also check out our new Goodreads Group for reviews, online bookclubs, and more!

 

   

Borne

By Jeff VanderMeer

'Am I a person?' Borne asks Rachel, in extremis. 'Yes, you are a person,' Rachel tells him. 'But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.' In a ruined, nameless city of the future, Rachel makes her living as a scavenger. She finds a creature she names Borne entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic despotic bear that once prowled the corridors of a biotech firm, the Company, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly, and broke free.

 

  

 

 

The fog

By Kyo Maclear

Warble is a small yellow warbler who lives on the beautiful island of Icyland, where he pursues his hobby of human watching. But on a warm day, a deep fog rolls in and obscures his view. The rest of the birds don't seem to notice the fog or the other changes Warble observes on the island. The more the fog is ignored, the more it spreads. When a Red-hooded Spectacled young girl appears, Warble discovers that he's not the only one who notices the fog.

 

 

 

 

The potlikker papers : a food history of the modern South

By John T Edge

A people's history that reveals how Southerners shaped American culinary identity and how race relations impacted Southern food culture over six revolutionary decades.

 

 

 

    

American war

By Omar El Akkad

A second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle--a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself. Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. 

 

 

Second chance of summer

By Morgan Matson

Taylor Edwards' family might not be the closest-knit--everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled--but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor's dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere.

 

  

  

Less: a novel 

By Andrew Sean Greer

Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his fiftieth birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself, and making connections with the past.

 

 

 

But what if we're wrong? : thinking about the present as if it were the past

By Chuck Klosterman

Klosterman "visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who'll perceive it as the distant past, [asking] questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction?

   

One good thing about America

By Ruth Freeman

FAnais, who has recently emigrated from Africa to Maine with her mother and young brother, copes with acclimating herself to a new country, understanding American culture, learning English, figuring out how to fit in at school, and moving from motel to shelter and finally to a permanent apartment.

 

 

 

 

Born a crime : stories from a South African childhood

By Trevor Noah

Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.

 

  

The summer of chasing mermaids

By Sarah Ockler

After a boating accident takes her beautiful singing and speaking voice from her, Elyse d'Abreau, the youngest of six sisters, leaves her home in Tobago to stay in an Oregon seaside town where Christian Kane, a notorious playboy, challenges her to express herself and to overcome her fear of the sea.