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2018 Summer Reading Progarm > SRP 2018 Week 1: Great American Reads, Heroes

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message 1: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
Monday, June 25 - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Welcome to Week 1 of APL's Summer Reading Program!

If you have not registered yet for the program, please look back on our discussion titled "2018 Summer Reading Program Information!" to register and get all the information needed!

If you have registered, read on!

This week, we take inspiration from PBS' "Great American Reads" and highlight books about Heroes. What makes a hero? I think we can all agree that famous heroes portray some characteristics we all aspire to, including courage, integrity, patience, and selflessness; but what makes someone a "hero" to you? Below you will find some recommendations of "hero" books from the "Great American Reads" list.

Before I go, just a side note: remember to comment if you have finished a book this week, including the title and author. You can also stop into your local APL branch and pick up a BINGO card, if you prefer pen and paper to screen and keyboard!

PBS' "The Great American Read":
"Anne of Green Gables" L.M. Montgomery
"Charlotte's Web" E.B. White
"Dune" Frank Herbert
"The Giver" Lois Lowry
"The Great Gatsby" F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Harry Potter" (series) J.K. Rowling
"Hatchet" (series) Gary Paulsen
"The Help" Kathryn Stockett
"Hunger Games" (series) Suzanne Collins
"The Martian" Andy Weir
"Outlander" (series) Diana Gabaldon
"The Outsiders" S.E. Hilton
"Ready Player One" Ernest Cline
"The Wheel of Time" (series) Robert Jordan


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren C | 81 comments I will be the first to comment, to say that I just finished Puddin' by Julie Murphy. It's the follow up to Dumplin', which I greatly enjoyed. This one was good too, but didn't grab me in the same way.


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments I just finished Nagata Kabi's "My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness." It wasn't what I expected! Instead of a focus on sex or romance, it's a chronicle of the author's mostly-untreated mental health issues! I'd recommend it for people with depression, as well as their friends and family, for an inside view of the struggle to go on.
Also finished this week:
Samantha Chase's "This Is Our Song," for the "book about music" bingo square. A good read for serial romance fans!
Ron Wimberly's "Prince of Cats." Picture, if you will, "West Side Story" as written by Lin-Manuel Miranda and drawn by someone who tags highway overpasses.


message 4: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
Kathleen wrote: "I just finished Nagata Kabi's "My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness." It wasn't what I expected! Instead of a focus on sex or romance, it's a chronicle of the author's mostly-untreated mental heal..."
Those sound awesome! I have logged in your "read" books. Great start!


message 5: by Diana (new)

Diana | 84 comments I've read The Outlaw Album: Stories and Queenpin toward my card ('illustrated cover' and 'female author' squares), and really enjoyed both! Both in noirish genres, if that's your thing.

Planning to read The Intuitionist for my Great American Read title.


message 6: by Mirkat (new)

Mirkat | 226 comments I just finished Before I Fall . My review is here.


message 7: by Laurie (last edited Jun 26, 2018 10:26AM) (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Yesterday I finished Arcadia by Lauren Groff, who was a new author to me. I was interested in this because the fictional commune was in Western NYS. The story is told from the view point of Bit, starting from his childhood. I loved the characters and this book really got under my skin. Reviews seem to vary wildly on this - people either loved it or hated it, so you'll have to see for yourself.


message 8: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I have added all books above of these completed books to everyone's registration accounts. Great job everyone!


message 9: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments Do audiobooks count? If so, I just finished listening to Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta. Fast paced audiobook that kept me on the edge of my seat, even though the villains were over the top. Learned a bit about fighting forest fires too.


message 10: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Kathleen wrote: "I just finished Nagata Kabi's "My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness." It wasn't what I expected! Instead of a focus on sex or romance, it's a chronicle of the author's mostly-untreated mental heal..."

You had me at Lin-Manuel! Definitely going to check out Prince of Cats graphic novel


message 11: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments I just returned it, so it should be available to request!


message 12: by Diane Brown (new)

Diane Brown | 32 comments This week I finished Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (audiobook) and The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I wasn't in love with any of them but probably enjoyed the Alienist the most despite the gore.

I am currently reading The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer and Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory.


message 13: by Lauren (new)

Lauren C | 81 comments Susan wrote: "Do audiobooks count? If so, I just finished listening to Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta. Fast paced audiobook that kept me on the edge of my seat, even though the villains..."

Hi Susan,
Audiobooks definitely count!


message 14: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I have added all of the books listed above to your accounts. Audiobooks definitely count! Keep going guys, this is a great start to summer reading program!


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan (susande) | 219 comments Diane wrote: "This week I finished Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (audiobook) and The Alienist by Caleb Carr. I wasn't in love with any of them but probably enjoyed th..."

Kathleen wrote: "I just returned it, so it should be available to request!" Wow, you are taking summer reading to the next level!


message 16: by Emily (last edited Jun 27, 2018 10:46AM) (new)

Emily (slushies) | 16 comments I just finished Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop. It was an nice conclusion to the Courtyard of Others series and I look forward to reading more from the World of Others as she writes them. Plus, Bishop lives in upstate New York!


message 17: by Molly (new)

Molly | 15 comments I’ve read Sound of glass and Dreams of falling both by Karen White


message 18: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Molly wrote: "I’ve read Sound of glass and Dreams of falling both by Karen White"

I added the books you read to your account. This is a great start for summer reading. Keep it going!


message 19: by Karie (new)

Karie Kathleen wrote: "I just finished Nagata Kabi's "My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness." It wasn't what I expected! Instead of a focus on sex or romance, it's a chronicle of the author's mostly-untreated mental heal..."

Prince of Cats sounds amazing.


I finished reading A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas this week. I have pretty mixed feelings about the series, but I've committed to it so on to the third.


message 20: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 11 comments In this first week of the summer reading program, I read "When Life Give You Lululemons" by Lauren Weisberger and "Seven Days of Us" by Francesca Hornak.


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca  Angel (rebeccaangel) | 15 comments Cool. I've read 11/14 books listed.

I just finished reading Nuts by Alice Clayton. I picked it up because I was looking for an escape read, but it was a little close to home. It's a romance between a city girl and farmer (pretty standard) but it takes place in the Hudson Valley and is was Maxwell Farms- which happens to be the husband's family's real farm! Very amusing.


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Marsico | 10 comments I finished two books since the 23rd: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (devoured in half a day at the swimming hole) and What is the What by Dave Eggers. I don't even feel ready to comment on that one yet, I'm still processing it. It has so many themes of the classic Hero's Journey/epic but doesn't follow the standard narrative order at all. It's written the way life is lived, where we move front and back and sideways in our minds even as we're standing still.


message 23: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Jessica wrote: "I finished two books since the 23rd: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (devoured in half a day at the swimming hole) and What is the What by Dave Eggers. I don't even feel ready to comment o..." Secret Life of Bees has been on my list, but I never seem to get to it. If you read it in half a day, it must be a good story.


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Marsico | 10 comments You should read it. It is no light reading emotionally and thematically but it goes quickly. To be honest I've read it many times in the past (a few decades ago I probably read it several times a year, like being with best friends) but hadn't in so long, and my 14 year old daughter reads it often and wants to talk about it but there were details I couldn't remember.
You should read it soon!


message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Jessica wrote: "You should read it. It is no light reading emotionally and thematically but it goes quickly. To be honest I've read it many times in the past (a few decades ago I probably read it several times a y..." I'll move it up the list :) In the middle of a few now and some holds are coming for me before I get back on TBR list.


message 26: by Ali (new)

Ali | 5 comments Alexandra wrote: "Monday, June 25 - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Welcome to Week 1 of APL's Summer Reading Program!

If you have not registered yet for the program, please look back on our discussion titled "2018 Summer..."

This is not a Great American Read but there is a Hero involved. Just finished A Court of Wings and Ruin. In my eyes, Tamlin evolved into a hero on every level. <3


message 27: by Karie (new)

Karie Ali wrote: "Alexandra wrote: "Monday, June 25 - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Welcome to Week 1 of APL's Summer Reading Program!

If you have not registered yet for the program, please look back on our discussion t..."


Hey Ali - I'm reading that now! I absolutely hated what's been going on with Tamlin/Lucien, so I am really looking forward to seeing a redemption arc. Lucien was my fave in ACOTAR, so I'm rooting for him in this one.


message 28: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
Thank you to everyone who has posted what they completed this week: you guys are doing awesome, and it is only week one! So excited to see how many books we will read collectively this summer. I have added everyone who has posted above, the books they completed to their accounts!


message 29: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Finished Simon vs The Homo-sapiens agenda by Becky Albertalli


message 30: by Diana (new)

Diana | 84 comments Motoring away with Three Strides Before the Wire: The Dark and Beautiful World of Horse Racing ('book of my choice') and Providence ('book cover').

Three Strides Before the Wire is a great introduction to a significant moment in horse racing's recent history--definitely recommended for readers new to the sport. I liked Providence overall (and got a giveaway copy from Goodreads!), but it took me a while to get into it. I'd recommend it for Lovecraft fans looking for something new, or fans of low fantasy who've already read Victor LaValle and Sarah Gailey.


message 31: by Katie (last edited Jun 29, 2018 08:50AM) (new)

Katie Kurtessis | 10 comments I'm keeping it light and summer-y right now. This week I finished The Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti (meh, struggled through it) and The Husband Hour by Jaime Brenner (this falls in my category of a beach read, but I thought it was a really good story line!).


message 32: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
All the books above have been added! Keep it going!


message 33: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
Also, @Kathleen/Kathy M, and @Diane, you are at Level 1: 3 Books Read and can grab your prize from your local Albany Public Library branch!


message 34: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments Alexandra wrote: "Also, @Kathleen/Kathy M, and @Diane, you are at Level 1: 3 Books Read and can grab your prize from your local Albany Public Library branch!"

Great! Let me add a few more I read this week. (I like to start with a bunch of quick books, like graphic novels.)
Nephylym Volume 1: cute story where angel-like creatures help students battle evil.
Einstein's Beach House: short stories with a Jewish bent. Leans toward magical realism.
Steve Jobs: Insanely Great. A graphic novel biography. The line weights bothered me, as it looks like it was drawn with a pencil.
The Best of O. Henry (on Playaway): A fun listen! The twists get predictable after a while.
I Was the Cat: The memoirs of a cat trying to take over the world through a series of nine lives.
Return of the Dapper Men: I'm not sure I "get" it, but I enjoyed it. A story about growing up, maybe?


message 35: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments Hello! I recently finished up 'Your Fathers, Where Are a They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever?' by Dave Eggers.


message 36: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments Oh, and I also read 'Habibi', a graphic novel by Craig Thompson.


message 37: by Emily (new)

Emily Shoop | 15 comments I read The Wife Between Us this week. It was a great read...I love the style of Sarah Pekkanen so I've been grabbing titles written by her lately. This book was co-written by both Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks.


message 38: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Finished History of Wolves by Emily Friedlund. Did not care for the ending


message 39: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments Rounding out the week with "Nana," volume 2: another book about musicians! I really ought to go back and finish reading this series. I loved all the relationship drama.
Also just finished the audiobook of "Yukon Madness." It's pretty good pulp, but don't expect accuracy in anything! I mean, I've *been* to Alaska and that seems to have been more research than L. Ron Hubbard did.


message 40: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I finished 3 books during this week:
Where the Lillies Bloom - Vera and Bill Cleaver
Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman
The Home for Unwanted Girls - Joanna Goodman


message 41: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Finished Starless by Jacqueline Carey. Beautifully written


message 42: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenb_jb_jb) | 10 comments Hi - In week 1 I finished 2 audiobooks:

Binti #1, by Nnedi Okorafor - looking forward to my holds on novellas 2 and 3 coming available for download!

White Night, by Jim Butcher - #9 in the Dresden Files fantasy detective series. A turn from the feminist fantasy books I've been enjoying (these books are pretty misogynist at times), but I wanted to find a long, engaging fantasy series where most of the books were available for audiobook download, and this fit the bill.


message 43: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
As a school librarian (and avid reader) with loads more time on my hands, I figured I can't really post until the end of any week because I'll burn through plenty of books and was pleasantly surprised that I've read all but two on the heroes Great American List.

But the books I read this week include fiction: Boneless Mercies bu Tucholke, Darius the Great is Not Okay by Khorram, People Kill People by Hopkins, What the Night Sings by Stamper, and Front Desk by Yang. Nonfiction: The Making of America: Abraham Lincoln (HERO ALERT!), (Don't) Call Me Crazy edited by Jensen. Graphic novels: Sheets by Thummler, and Check Please! by Ukazu, and picture books: King Alice by Cordell, Eleanor Wyatt Princess-Pirate by MacFarlane, So Tall Within: Soujourner Truth's Long Walk Toward Freedom (HERO ALERT!) by Schmidt, and Potato Pants! by Keller.

Reviews are posted for most on my Goodreads account, though I'm also on an award committee and can't review any books that are by debut authors!


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul R | 46 comments Hi, I have had a great week of reading including some ARCs I have received from some authors. I even met the deadlines. Lots of finished books helped by retirement The first ARC is WIth These Two Hands by Lori Ryan & Kay Manis. A Second is Before Twelve: Jamie's Story by Robin Edwards. The last ARC is Lethally Wedded by J.A. Jones All were fine reads. I have also read Love's Funny That Way by Pamela Burford and A Map to Destiny in Fortune's Bay by Nicole Ellis with it's included short story Becky and Mac. Thanks for the opportunity to share. I can't match Alecia's vast amount of reading - Kudos, Alicia.


message 45: by Diane Brown (new)

Diane Brown | 32 comments I just finished Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. It wasn't bad, but I was never able to get into it. I also finished Gwendy's Button Box
by Stephen King. This was an audiobook. Although the story was not so original, I (almost) always enjoy audioversions of Stephen King's books.


message 46: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Jen wrote: "Hi - In week 1 I finished 2 audiobooks:

Binti #1, by Nnedi Okorafor - looking forward to my holds on novellas 2 and 3 coming available for download!

White Night, by Jim Butcher - #9 in the Dresde..."


Binti looks interesting, so I put it on Hold. So much to read...never enough time ;-)


message 47: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "Hi, I have had a great week of reading including some ARCs I have received from some authors. I even met the deadlines. Lots of finished books helped by retirement The first ARC is WIth These Two H..."

Thanks, Paul. I'm an avid reader and there's sometimes a big difference between young adult and adult titles in terms of length, so I tend to read more in general, but summer provides ample opportunity to sit by a pool while watching my kids and reading!


message 48: by Anna (new)

Anna (ambiologist) | 9 comments I just finished "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver. I liked it, mostly. I liked Kingsolver's realistic portrayal of the slow slog of doing real science (making careful measurements over and over, careful record keeping, etc.). I also like how she doesn't shy away from tough topics.
As much as the book is about climate change (true to the cover description), it is even more about the poverty, both material poverty and the poverty of dashed dreams. If Dellarobia is the hero of the book (and she is, if grudgingly so, and mostly in the little, normal person acts of heroism) she spends most of the book being frustratingly pushed around by the forces of chance and the desires of others, and at times I found my self flipping ahead in annoyance to see where things were going.
My favorite scene from the book has Dellarobia up at the field site talking with a man who has travelled to get people to sign a pledge to lower their carbon footprints, and he at first implies that people like her need to take the pledge the most, and yet as he goes down the list (eat out less, recycle your old computers, fly less) he realizes that despite a culture of climate change denial in Dellarobia's community, if a person can't afford to eat out or buy a computer, etc., they aren't contributing as much to climate change as more affluent folks. It reminded me a lot of the message of a book I just finished a few weeks ago called "factfulness" that encourages us to stop dividing the world into "us and them" and to not make assumptions about other people based on our own lives and experiences.


message 49: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
All the books above have been added. For those of you who have read 3 books (or more), be sure to pick up your prize at your local APL branch if you haven't yet. And be safe in this heat!


message 50: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments Finished The Gentleman's guide to Vice & Virtue - Mackenzie Lee


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