Staff Picks: Books of Summer
The lazy days of summer are over (and so is our Summer Reading Program) and the children are back in school. Although it might mean less time to read, hopefully you will still be able to find time to kick back and enjoy a good book. Here are a few favorites that staff at the Warrenton central library read this summer which you too might enjoy.
The Last Queen of England by Steve Robinson
“The Last Queen of England” is third in Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte series. Each book in the series is better than the last. The series follows Jefferson Tayte, genealogist and ordinary guy, as he stumbles into and uncovers family secrets that some would prefer to remain hidden. Who knew genealogy could lead to murder? Apparently, some would kill to cover their family secrets.
“The Last Queen of England” finds Tayte in a race to stop a murderer and find the true royal bloodline of England. If you love history, this might be the book for you. I found it very hard to put down!
~Maria, Library Clerk
Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Maris
This is a debut book by a very talented writer. I would recommend this book not only because it is beautifully written, but because the subject matter is relevant and poignant to our times. As I turned the pages, I became engrossed in the lives of the two main characters and loved how their very different worlds came together during Apartheid-era South Africa. As I read, I often stopped to reread a passage or think deeply upon the profound words of loss, love and prejudice. A thought-provoking read and a very good read!
~Kathie, Library Clerk
William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
These days my reading interests are heavily influenced by the books that cross the circulation desk during patrons’ check-in and check-out process. As a busy working mom, I don’t have much time to think very hard about what I might want to read, so when something catches my eye, I grab it. Such is the tale of how “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope” came to be on my nightstand, and believe it or not, it really is the story of Episode IV (the first of the original trilogy) told in iambic pentameter. As you might imagine, it’s a hilarious read for avid Star Wars fans, as Doescher does a masterful job compressing the original story into blank verse. As a bonus, drawing inspiration from Shakespeare invites soliloquies from previously untapped characters like R2D2, who don’t speak in the movies but offer much reflection here. Creativity abounds in Doescher’s work; if you enjoy this one, continue the Star Wars saga with the rest of his titles.
~Emily, Library Clerk
The First Signs: Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols by Genevieve Von Petzinger
Travel back to Europe 40,000 years ago to explore the beginnings of human culture. In “The First Signs,” Von Petzinger searches for meaning in prehistoric geometric images found near and around other cave art. These images are more prevalent than spectacular cave drawings of horses and bison but have largely been unstudied until now. By cataloging these symbols, Von Petzinger hopes to understand how our ancestors’ brain worked and when they developed the capacity for modern language.
This book takes you on a journey along with Von Petzinger as she traverses caves across Europe. She also takes you back in time with great detail to explore what life might have been like for early homo sapiens. I like how the author explains why she believes the statements she makes, traditional scholarly viewpoint and more modern theories and evidence.
~Lindsey, Library Clerk
The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook by Alexe Van Beuren
Author Alexe Van Beuren had no idea how to run a grocery, write a business plan or operate a cash register but she had a clear vision of the impact an old-time market would have on her little Mississippi town. With an abundance of energy and resourcefulness, Van Beuren opens the B.T.C. (Be the Change) market, providing a dose of Southern revival to her quaint Main Street community.
Packed with down-home recipes, take-me-there photos, and endearing stories of her blunders and triumphs, “The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook” is a delightful read. You don’t have to be a cook to enjoy this book, but an appreciation for traditional Southern meals such as a helping of B.T.C’s Cornbread Squash Casserole with a side order of Miss Cora’s warm fried pies will satisfy.
~Julia, Circulation Manager