Summer Book Choice

 A Lesson Before Dying book image


A Lesson Before Dying

by Ernest J. Gaines
Year Published: 1993

From the author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teach visits a black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.

To learn more about the book:

Author Interview

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All We Have Left

by Wendy Mills
Year Published: 2016

Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.

To learn more about the book:

Book Review



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Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Year Published: 2013
 

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him. He instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer


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Death Coming Up the Hill

by Chris Crowe
Year Published: 2014

It’s 1968, and war is not foreign to seventeen-year-old Ashe. His racist father married his passionate peace-activist mother when she became pregnant with him, and ever since, the couple, like the situation in Vietnam, has been engaged in a “senseless war that could have been prevented.” When his high school history teacher dares to teach the political realities of the war, Ashe grows to better understand the situation in Vietnam, his family, and the wider world around him but finds himself trapped, with no options before him but to enter the fray.

To learn more about the book:

Book Review


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Girl in the Blue Coat

by Monica Hesse
Year Published: 2016

In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke spends her days delivering black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. When a client asks Hanneke for help to find a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer


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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

by Mohsin Hamid
Year Published: 2013

The astonishing and riveting tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over “rising Asia.” It follows its nameless hero to where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.


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In the Time of Butterflies

by Julia Alvarez
Year Published: 1994

This is a tale of courage and sisterhood set in the Dominican Republic during the rise of the Trujillo dictatorship and is inspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government. Alvarez breathes life into these historical figures as she imagines their teenage years, their gradual involvement with the revolution, and their terror as their dissentience is uncovered.

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Book Trailer


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Never Let Me Go

by Kazuo Ishiguro
Year Published: 2005

As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. Years later, Kathy is a young woman, and Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. She is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer



 Olive Kitteridge Book Image



Olive Kitteridge

by Elizabeth Strout
Year Published: 2008

“Each of the short stories that comprise Olive Kitteridge offers intimate insight into the characters of Crosby, Maine. Crafted with care, each story possesses a balance of acute sensual detail, psychological complexity and a sense of infinite forgiveness for the flaws in people — who are, after all, so often in a state of pain, sadness and fear.” -The Huffington Post

To learn more about the book:

Olive Kitteridge Book Review