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Otis Library Asks:
Book reviews and best sellers lists are all well and good, but sometimes the best books are those you hear about from word of mouth. With that in mind, the Otis Library asks “What are you reading?” Add their recommendations to your own reading list! Remember to ask at the Information Desk if you need help locating one of these books.
Our reader this month is:
Growing up in a house with no brothers or sisters, I always had a book with me as my companion. As an adult, my appetite for reading competes with a full time job and an active household of three boys. Borrowing audio books from the library allows me to stay well read while making good use of my commute to and from work. I’m drawn to novels about challenging life circumstances and the choices associated with those situations. My most recent “car reads” have been Ellen Hopkins’ novels Identical (2008), Crank (2004), Glass (2007), and Tricks (2009). The themes of drug abuse, familial dysfunction and damaged self-image portrayed through young voices are compelling, heart breaking and tragically edifying. I’m actively seeking the audio versions of her other six novels.
As for “real” books that I’m currently reading, I have a variety on my nightstand. When I feel like laughing, I choose Laurie Notaro’s It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy (2011). She is self-effacing and hilarious and I want to be her friend. For a more serious (and work related) read, I find my place in the memoir Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (2012) by Susannah Cahalan. I’m intrigued by the story of her mental illness being told as a compilation of her internal perspective, medical notes, interviews with treatment providers and video footage of her inpatient stays. Lastly there is Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper (2012), a fable challenging the scarcity and measure of time. Books on tap include We Are Water (2013) by Wally Lamb (thanks to the author reading at Otis Library!), The Way Back (2013) by another local author, Jeff Turner and More Than a Race: Four 70-Year-Old Cyclists Ride the Race Across America (2013) by Don Metz.
This list doesn’t feel complete without mentioning my favorites so, here they are in no particular order: All of Wally Lamb’s books, Room (2010) by Emma Donoghue, Lottery (2007) by Patricia Wood, Crime and Punishment (1866) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Lovely Bones (2006) by Alice Sebold, House of Sand and Fog (1999) by Andre Dubus III, Still Alice (2007) by Lisa Genova, Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding, The Art of Racing in the Rain (2008) by Garth Stein, Oryx and Crake (2004) by Margaret Atwood, A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (1997) by Bill Bryson, Chemmeen (1979) by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, Nineteen Minutes (2007) by Jodi Picoult, Jemima J: A Novel About Ugly Ducklings and Swans (2001) by Jane Green and P.S. I Love You (2003) by Cecelia Ahern.