Hello Challenge Readers and welcome to April! This month we’re going to be reading about a favorite topic of all of ours – Reading! The choices range from books about bookshops and libraries, to brave librarians (is there any other kind of librarian?!) to books within books. There’s no shortage of great titles! Here are a few of mine.
First and foremost, The Library Book by Susan Orlean. Centered on the 1986 fire that destroyed a huge part of the Los Angeles Public Library, Orlean delves into such diverse subjects as architecture, fire fighting, the history of Los Angeles and the presence of libraries in our lives. Beautifully written, it’s a love letter to libraries. (There’s a waiting list so if you haven’t read this, get your name on the list right away even if you don’t read it for the April Reading Challenge!)
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCracken is a very unusual romance between a small town librarian and a 7 foot tall giant. McCracken’s observations about librarys and librarians is spot on and the platonic love story is poignant and beautifully written.
Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan mixes a magical realism and an epic search for the answer to a hundred year old puzzle. The clues are hidden in books in a mysterious bookstore in San Francisco, patronized by an odd collection of characters. A fun and twisty read. Bonus: the cover glows in the dark! Really! I checked!
Want to read something classic? Try Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 or Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Science fiction readers will love Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series about a police force that guards anyone from getting into a book and changing it. For something more serious, try The Book Thief by Markus Zusak set in Nazi Germany or Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi about educating girls in Iran. Love graphic novels? Then The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffeneger is a great choice. Prefer something lighter? Try The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett which answers the question, what would happen if Queen Elizabeth became an avid reader? And if you haven’t read it yet now is the perfect time to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which is lovely and fun but with a serious undertone.
As always, there will be displays at each Davenport library location with lots of titles to choose from.
I am planning on reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield which has been on my list for a long time. Although, I’m also considering The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler. Or even The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. Hmmmm. So many good choices. Any recommendations? And what will you be reading in April? Let us know in the comments!
September was a fun month, wasn’t it? What better topic for book lovers to read about than books and bookstores and libraries? It’s win-win. And there are a lot of great titles to choose from – makes it hard to pick just one!
The title I settled on for Books About Books was The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. With elements of a Gothic ghost story, secrets from the past and conflicting, tangled stories, this reads more like a mystery than straight fiction.
When Margaret Lea, an unremarkable biographer that helped her father in his bookstore, received a letter from reclusive author Vida Winter requesting that Margaret write her biography, she is understandably skeptical. Winter is infamous for weaving one fantastic tale about her life after another, stories that conflict and confuse. Where does the fiction stop and the truth begin? It is now up to Margaret to untangle the stories and present them, cohesive and whole, or as close to the truth as possible.
This is an engrossing read, with imaginative leaps and unexpected twists that challenges you again and again – what exactly is the truth?
What about you – what brilliant book did you discover this month? Or did you pass on this month’s reading challenge? Remember, the challenge is to help you find great titles that you might not have tried before – have fun with it! And stop by Monday for information on the next Online Reading Challenge!
Hello Fellow Readers!
Here’s your mid-month check up for this month’s Online Reading Challenge! How’s it going – have you found something to read this month that gets you excited?
I had every intention of reading The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, but it just didn’t grab me. I wasn’t liking any of the characters and the portrayal of Iowa was not sitting well with me. Maybe I should have stuck with it a little longer; maybe it would have grown on me. But, you know what – life’s too short to read books you don’t like, no matter how highly recommended they come. (And lots of people like this book – check out our own blogger Rachel’s review – so don’t take my word for it!)
So, I’m changing horses in the middle of the stream and reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield instead. This is another title that has been highly recommended to me, about a writer who is hired to help a mysterious author write their biography. Lots of intrigue and secrets and research. I’m hoping this one grabs – and keeps! – my attention.
If you’re still looking for that great Book About Books, I’d steer you towards The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, a quick read that is by turns sweet and sharp and often very funny, about a bookseller on a remote island that unexpectedly finds love.
Let us know what you’re reading – everyone likes a good recommendation (whether we end up reading the book or not!)