Summer Challenge Book Recommendations

JMRL’s summer challenge is underway and here are a few adult book recommendations for the first challenge sheet. Finish any five challenges and bring your sheet into any of the branches for a prize! And for personalized book recommendations, fill out this form.

Read a love story:
510yzqD6ukL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_The Princess Bride by William Goldman
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts, pain, death, brave men, cowardly men, strong men, chases, escapes, lies,  truths, passions, and of course, Westley and Buttercup. The novel is set in 1941, is rich both in character and satire, and is framed as a retelling of a centuries-old story.

Me-Before-You-Cover_ojyg2vMe Before You by Jojo Moyes
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose. Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. Will has always lived a huge life and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

51X-WC6f9UL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Sadness is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
A young man is preparing to serve in the Israeli army while also trying to reconcile his close relationship to two Palestinian siblings with his deeply ingrained loyalties to family and country. Jonathan wrestles with the question of what it means to be proud of your heritage and loyal to your people, while also feeling love for those outside of your own tribal family.

Read something thrilling:
810thFmb1xLThe Collector by John Fowles
Ferdinand is a lonely and awkward young man who works in city hall and has always loved collecting butterflies. But, he becomes obsessed with a young college art student, Miranda, and he decides to add her to his beautiful collection, against her wishes. This psychological thriller is narrated by both Ferdinand and Miranda. 

41MB3w01u+L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules–a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders–a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman–have stirred up a hornet’s nest of resentment.

915TfNakL4LThe Persian Gamble by Joel Rosenberg
Former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to elude detection and capture by Russian special forces, but he must also convince his own government to grant safe harbor to the one man responsible for the global mayhem-Russian double agent and assassin Oleg Kraskin.

Try a story with speech bubbles:
9781770460256_p0_v1_s550x406The Burma Chronicles by Guy Delisle
Guy Delisle’s newest travelogue revolves around a year he spent in Burma (also known as Myanmar) with his wife, an administrator for Médecins Sans Frontières, and young son. Delisle gives an informative look at a country that uses concealment and isolation as social control in this memoir.

517WkP8WNEL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Cousin Joseph by Jules Feiffer
The story opens in the midst of the Great Depression. Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way, against a rising tide of left-wing unionism, strikes, and disruption that plague his home town. At the same time he makes monthly, secret overnight trips on behalf of Cousin Joseph, a mysterious man on the phone he has never laid eyes on, to pay off Hollywood producers to ensure that they will film only upbeat films that idealize a mythic America.

51Pj+L+ivrL._SX347_BO1,204,203,200_A Distant Neighborhood by Jiro Taniguchi
Who hasn’t dreamt of going back to childhood? But who has actually made the journey? Hiroshi Nakahara is a forty-something salaryman returning to Tokyo from an intense business trip. He is tired and somewhat hungover as he boards his train at Kyoto’s enormous station. He awakens to discover he is traveling back to the town of his upbringing, not Tokyo.

Beach Reads

Summer is (almost) here! That means it’s time to check out some beach reads! So, what’s a beach read? Usually it’s described as contemporary fiction that’s on the lighter side. But, it can also also be a tear-jerker or a thriller. Basically a beach read allows you to escape for a few hours, so if you have a book and read it on vacation then it counts as a beach read (at least to us)!

Take a look below at some of the hottest beach reads this year:

The Windfall by Diksha Basu – For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners and gossipy neighbors. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status.

The Glitch by Elisabeth Cohen – This is the story of a high-profile, TED-talking, power-posing Silicon Valley CEO and mother of two who has it all under control, until a woman claiming to be a younger version of herself appears, causing a major glitch in her over-scheduled, over-staffed, over-worked life. But when Shelley meets a young woman named Shelley Stone who has the exact same scar on her shoulder, Shelley has to wonder: Is some sort of corporate espionage afoot? Has she discovered a hole in the space-time continuum? Or is she finally buckling under all the pressure?

Halsey Street by Naima Coster – Penelope has scrapped her failed career as an artist in Pittsburgh and moved back to Brooklyn to keep an eye on her ailing father. She’s accepted that her future won’t be what she’d dreamed, but now, as gentrification has completely reshaped her old neighborhood, even her past is unrecognizable. Even her mother, Mirella, has abandoned the family to reclaim her roots in the Dominican Republic. When Penelope moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she’s found a semblance of family–and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from Mirella asking for reconciliation.

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu – A group of young girls are camping and find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. This one night changes everything and will shape their lives for decades to come.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll – When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan – The last person Alice expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. 

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer – College student Greer, finds her perspectives transformed by a mentor activist at the center of the women’s movement. She challenges Greer to discover herself in ways that take her far from the traditional life she envisioned.

You can find even more beach reads on our wiki, JMRL Reads.