Categories
Booklists Recommendations

Hot Books for Summer

by Adult Services Library Associate Debbie

Every time of year is a great time for reading but there is something about summer with it’s longer days, lemonade and lounging that is particularly inviting to curling up with a good book. Here are some of the buzziest books of the season for all sorts of summer fun!

Best Book to Throw in a Beach Bag

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry | print / digital

Alex is quiet and studious. Poppy is a wild child. But after sharing a ride home for the summer, the two form a surprising friendship. Every summer the two find their way back to each other for a magical weeklong vacation. Until one trip goes awry, and they lose touch. Now, two years later, Poppy’s in a rut and nothing is making her happy. In fact, the last time she remembers feeling truly happy was on that final, ill-fated Summer Trip. The answer to all her problems is obvious: She needs one last vacation to win back her best friend.

Best Book on a Family Vacation

The Guncle by Steven Rowley | print / digital

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits. When tragedy strikes, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.

Best Book to Enjoy the Summer Sizzle

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams | print

Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer. Shane Hall is a reclusive, award‑winning novelist, who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can’t deny their chemistry—or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years. Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect—but Eva’s wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered..

Best Book for Readers Who like Twists and Turns

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris | print / digital

Young, literary, and ambitious, Nella Rogers has spent the last two years as an editorial assistant at Wagner Books, a premier publishing house, where she’s been the only Black person in the room. She’s excited when she detects another Black girl on her floor: finally, someone else who gets it. And she does, at first. Wagner’s newest editorial assistant, Hazel-May McCall, cool and self-possessed, is quick to befriend Nella, echoing her frustrations with the never-spoken racial politics of their office, encouraging her to speak up. But it doesn’t take long for Nella to realize there’s something off about Hazel, even if she can’t quite put her finger on it.

Best Book While Sipping a Cocktail

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin | print / digital

For years, rumors have swirled about a secret, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: But no one knows for sure. That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she’s going to get the scoop and break into the club. But the deeper she gets into this new world, the more suspicious Jillian becomes. The women are really into astrology and witchcraft, and their lives are somehow perfect. Too perfect. These women have a secret.

Have a fun summer of reading!

Categories
Booklists Programs Recommendations Virtual Book Club

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

by Adult Services Library Associate Beth

Did you know that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? During the month of May, we recognize the contributions and achievements of Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans in history, culture, science and beyond. Celebrate with us this May (and every month) by reading, watching, and listening to the multitude of AAPI authors and artists available to you through the Bexley Public Library and the CLC consortium! See the small collection of films, musical albums and books below to get started. 

And be sure to register for this month’s BPL Virtual Book Club, where we’ll be discussing Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise, winner of the 2019 National Book Award. Provoking conversations about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, Trust Exercise is sure to inspire a lively discussion. The discussion will take place on Wednesday May 5 at 7pm on Zoom. Hope to see you there!

Films

  • The Farewell; Written and directed by LuLu Wang | DVD
  • Lucky Grandma; Directed by Sasie Sealy, Written by Angela Cheng and Sasie Sealy | DVD / digital
  • Minding the Gap; Directed by Bing Liu | DVD

Music

  • Omoiyari by Kishi Bashi | CD
  • Nectar by Joji | CD / digital
  • Be the Cowboy by Mitski | CD

Books

Categories
Booklists Recommendations

Celebrating Toni Morrison

by Adult Services Manager Whitney

February 18 is Toni Morrison Day, a statewide holiday in Ohio due to legislation passed late last year. It also would have been her 90th birthday.

Born Chloe Ardelia Wofford, Morrison grew up in Lorain, and later set two of her earliest books, The Bluest Eye and Sula, in Ohio. Morrison was the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Beloved.

She also worked as an editor: she was the first black woman senior editor in the fiction department at Random House, and helped lift up black writers like Angela Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, and Wole Soyinka.

There are many ways to celebrate Toni Morrison Day! Read or listen to her novels, watch a documentary about her life, and read other authors she promoted, admired, or inspired. Check out her books, as well as these titles, available with your Bexley Public Library card:

  • Toni Morrison, The Pieces I Am | DVD / digital
  • The Toni Morrison Book Club by Juda Bennett | print / audio ebook
  • Who’s Got Game? by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison | print / digital
  • The Source of Self-Regard: selected essays, speeches, and meditations by Toni Morrison | print / digital
  • Well Read Black Girl by Glory Edim | print / digital
  • Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays, and Conversations by Toni Cade Bambara | digital
  • Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis | print / digital
  • The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 | print / digital
  • Africa39 by Wole Soyinka | print / digital

Categories
Staff Book Reviews

Boom Town by Sam Anderson

A book review from BPL team member, Jeff.

It feels necessary to start this review with a disclaimer: I have never been to Oklahoma City (OKC), nor do I have any family roots or any ties whatsoever to Oklahoma. I first heard about Boom Town from an interview with the author, Sam Anderson, on Zach Lowe’s basketball podcast, The Lowe Post. (Another disclaimer: you don’t need to be a basketball fan to enjoy this book).

The “boom” in Boom Town takes on a number of roles throughout this book: in one instance, literal sonic booms as a result from supersonic flight. In one of the book’s most entertaining chapters, Anderson describes Operation Bongo. In the 1960s, the U.S. government wanted to test supersonic flights, or more specifically, the effects of repeated sonic booms and the disruptions they cause to human lives. Oklahoma City, with its need for commerce and desire for relevance, happily agreed to become the site for these tests and Operation Bongo was born. The results are equal parts amusing and awful.

The main significance of “boom” in Boom Town, however, is that of boom and bust. It’s the idea of balancing meticulous planning and the love of the process with chasing something glamorous and immediate. This narrative thread ties the book together and is the lens that just about every aspect of OKC history is viewed through. From the chaotic “Land Run” that birthed the city and the tornadoes that threaten to upend its very existence, to Sam Presti, the scrupulous, bespectacled General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has carefully constructed one of the best franchises in basketball and given the city a much needed source of civic pride.

Oklahoma City is not without its share of tragedies, both self-inflicted and otherwise. It is unfortunately unsurprising to learn of the city’s history of displacing both the Native and Black populations. However, as Anderson points out, OKC tends to cultivate particularly tenacious citizens such as Clara Luper, a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement whose nonviolent sit-in protests led to the desegregation of many OKC establishments. And sadly, the people of Oklahoma City were subjected to the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in U.S. history during the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

And yet, the city mourned and rebuilt. Throughout its 100+ year history, Oklahoma City has struggled with its sometimes misguided, perpetually optimistic dream of becoming a first-rate American city. Today, it finally resembles the bustling metropolis so many of its residents fantasized about.

As an outsider to the city, Sam Anderson treats the history of Oklahoma City with curiosity, and depending on the situation, skepticism or reverence. In Boom Town, Anderson has crafted a thoroughly engaging, wide-ranging history of a city that truly encapsulates the breadth of the American experience.

Recommended for fans of U.S. history, basketball, and easily readable non-fiction in general.