“It was easier to lie when you believed the lie.”

boyerasedBooks on Tap read Boy Erased by Garrard Conley at Champion Brewery on June 6, a memoir of Conley’s time in the Love in Action gay conversion therapy center after his first year of college. Conley describes being raised in a religious bubble with a larger-than-life father who is leading his own church when Conley is outed by his rapist. 

We acknowledged that we were probably not Conley’s intended audience but we were taken by the painful choice he lays out between being true to his religion and family expectations or actually being himself. Conley skips between time periods, which we found confusing and we would have liked more explanation of the institute he was enrolled in and an epilogue to bridge the end of the book with his much different current life. We were most taken by the author’s relationship to his parents. His mother genuinely likes him while his father seems afraid that he’ll fall off the right path. Conely is sympathetic to the ways in which his grandfather’s alcoholism and abuse color his own father’s view on life and parenthood. In fact, it was the realization that he didn’t hate his father that helped Conley leave Love in Action with his mother’s support. 

We would recommend this memoir to teens and parents of teens who are coming out. Below is a list of books that contained similarities. 

More Information:
About the author 
About the book
Author’s podcast 
Movie adaptation 

Related Titles:
We the Animals by Justin Torres
Educated by Tara Westover 
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak 
Celebrating the Third Place 

 Books on Tap Information:

  • July 4 No meeting

Have a suggestion for future titles? Add them to this list
Previous titles
Posted in Books on Tap

Still Time for the Summer Challenge

The JMRL Summer Challenge ends on August 31, so you still have time to turn in your challenge sheets (and be entered to win the grand prize!).

There will be grand prizes at each of the branches. The grand prize for children will be a gift card to Barnes and Noble (or another local bookstore- check with your local branch). The grand prize for teen will be an Amazon gift card, and the adult grand prize will be a Kindle. The drawings will be held after the program ends on August 31.

One of the challenges for Sheet 3 (also available in Spanish) is to download an eBook or audiobook. JMRL has several digital collections located in the eLibrary, one of the most popular is OverDrive.

To get started using OverDrive you’ll need to set up an account using your library card number. If you want to read or listen to a book on your tablet or phone, it’s best if you download the Libby app from OverDrive through the app store or play store. There are also videos and tutorials linked on the eLibrary page that can take you through the process. If you’re going to read or listen to a book on your computer, you’ll just need to go to the OverDrive website and login to your account.

There are thousands of titles available, both fiction and nonfiction, for all ages. There are bestsellers, classics, test prep books and travel guides- something for every reader!

Follow these steps to use the Libby app:     libby

STEP 1
Install the Libby app from your device’s app store.

STEP 2
In Libby, follow the prompts to find your library and sign in with a valid library card (we are part of the Southwest Virginia Public Libraries).

STEP 3
Browse JMRL’s collection and borrow a title.

STEP 4
Borrowed titles appear on your Shelf and download to the app automatically when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, so you can read them when you’re offline.

From your Shelf, you can:
Tap Open Book, Open Audiobook, or Open Magazine to start reading or listening to a title. Tap Manage Loan to see options like Renew, Return, or Send to Device to send a book to Kindle

If you have questions, you can always call the Central Reference department at 434-979-7151 ext. 4 or email us. You can also stop by any library with your device and ask for help with downloading (some branches require an appointment- so call ahead)!

“The indiscriminate reading of novels is one of the most injurious habits to which a married woman can be subject.”

dept of speculation coverBooks on Tap read Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill at Champion Brewery on August 2. The novel, short on plot but long on introspection, follows a writer who hopes to be an “art monster” as she marries, has a daughter, teaches writing in college and negotiates her marriage after her husband’s infidelity. Told in short bursts, it has been likened to an x-ray, drawing on the author’s experimentation with poetry during a bout of writer’s block. It starts in close first person, switches to third person after the cheating is discovered and then back to first as the husband and wife reconcile.

We all liked this witty rumination on growing older, knowing oneself and making compromises. Two of us listened to the audiobook and missed all the formatting (and thought we had missed entire chapters!). We didn’t think that the characters were particularly sympathetic but the narrator’s emotions resonated. Her desire not to lose her identity and drive after childbirth and her questioning of priorities accurately reflects life in middle age. However, the point of view is so narrow, it only serves to confirm that you can never truly know what happens in another couple’s relationship. The book contains all aspects of a full life: family, career, loneliness, romance, anger. Its format also mirrors how we communicate now, inward-turning short bursts with (inaccurate?) quotations of famous people. While the ending wasn’t particularly happy, it was happier and happy enough.

More Information:
About the author
Interviews with the author
About the book

Books on Tap Information:

 

Have a suggestion for future titles? Add them to this list.

Previous titles