CGLC Reads discussion

July 2018 Beach Reads!

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message 1: by Vivian (last edited Jul 02, 2018 01:35PM) (new)

Vivian | 19 comments Mod
What light and fluffy reading are you doing on your summer vacations? What would you recommend to library workers? What would you recommend to patrons?

Check out some of our reviews at:

message 2: by Autumn (last edited Jul 18, 2018 06:19AM) (new)

Autumn | 3 comments Mod
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I initially chose this book because it was a recommended title from Reese Witherspoon’s own book club. I’ve really enjoyed the film adaptations her company has produced in recent years. This did not disappoint. It was well-written with quick-witted, multi-dimensional characters that you can easily understand. The writing style may lure you into thinking that the subject matter will be light but author Gail Honeyman touches on complex issues related to loneliness and mental illness. Helpful discussion section at the end too.

message 4: by Lisa (last edited Aug 03, 2018 12:50PM) (new)

Lisa | 5 comments Saints for All Occasions
This book has so many dimensions. I choose it because I love stories set in New England. The book opens with two sisters from rural Ireland moving to America (Boston) in the 1950s to marry and settled down. The story spans two more generations and is filled with family conflict and finally reconciliation. I couldn't put it down!

message 5: by David (last edited Jul 05, 2018 05:43AM) (new)

David Messier | 3 comments Marriage of a Thousand Lies

The only thing light and fluffy about my #summerreading is generally my pillows in an air-conditioned space.


Lucky and her husband, Krishna, live as a married couple although both are gay. Told from Lucky's perspective, this story explores the taboos of homosexuality in Sri Lankan Tamal culture as she attends her best friend (and secret lover), Nisha's, arranged marriage ceremony. The complex bonds between the women and the gender roles of the Tamal culture are exposed through the multi-generational relationships in Lucky's life. Her role as daughter, granddaughter, sister, and friend are in constant conflict with her desires for freedom and sexual liberation. Her marriage to Kris is one of convenience; They can both live the lives they wish, but never open in the public or with their families.

This story is told from a wholly female perspective. Although men are present in the story, such as Lucky's husband, Kris, and her father, Appa, they play minor roles in the development of the story. This book is a good read for anyone interested in Tamal and Hindu culture, as well, the complex bonds of love, guilt, shame, and dishonor that develop between mothers, daughters, sisters, and lovers. There are moments of laughter, humor, loss, love, and disappointment throughout the book.

message 6: by David (last edited Jul 10, 2018 01:52PM) (new)

David Messier | 3 comments Outside Is the Ocean

Okay, this book has the word, ocean, in the title. Am I getting closer to an actual #summerread?


More of a collection of short stories than a novel, Outside Is The Ocean, tells the life story of Heike, a German immigrant to America, and the breadth of her life of multiple marriages, strained relationships, and unconventional behavior through the stories and recollections of her children and her memories.

This book is very well written and each story builds on the narrative of Heike's life and that of her children. I found it be a deconstruction of the relationships that define family and an exploration of boundaries and social norms. The book deals with themes of mental illness, sexuality, independence, and self-worth.

This would be a good read for anyone that doesn't want to commit to reading a book all at once. The short stories make this an easy book to pick up and put down. Each story has the strength and structure to stand alone. Different chapters are from the different perspectives that come and go into Heike's life but this is book is an exploration of strained family relations and how they influence our ability to form lasting, healthy commitments to one another.

message 7: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Smith | 12 comments Mod
"Now That You Mention It" by Kristan Higgins

This book is the perfect beach read. Set on Scupper Island, Maine, it has all the classic elements of chic lit: love, friendship, humor, strong female lead. It’s a light, frothy confection you’ll be happy you read!

message 8: by Vivian (new)

Vivian | 19 comments Mod
Sing Unburied Sing was recommended as an audio book and I am so glad that I listened to it. The characters are voiced by different people and that made it very real. This novel is a mixture of supernatural, historical and realistic fiction. If you like these types of books, you will enjoy Sing Unburied Sing. It reminds me of Toni Morrison's Beloved but it is much easier to read or listen to. Sing, Unburied, Sing

message 9: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Smith | 12 comments Mod
"The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan

This isn't exactly a new book, and it isn't exactly a light and fluffy beach read, but it is a must-read! In this non-fiction book, Pollan discusses American food: where it comes from, how it gets to us, how it is grown or raised, and how all of that effects us. He researches meat, veggies, fruits, etc., using a journalistic, and at times scientific, approach.

It's not a quick read, more of a dense, put it down and come back to it later type of book. Some of the content is a bit hard to digest (get it? ha!), but the reader is better for knowing it. The material won't make you squirm in your seat or sick to your stomach; it is revelatory and timely and I highly recommend reading it!

message 10: by David (last edited Jul 19, 2018 05:37AM) (new)

David Messier | 3 comments The Disintegrations: A Novel

Definitely not a #summerread, except I read it during the summer.

I have very complex feelings about this book. I have equal parts love and loathe for this book.
Alistair McCartney's book, The Disintegrations, is a well-executed book. The author's writing style has a relaxed and intimate quality that pulls the reader in from the very beginning of the book. In reading the book, you can't help but reflect with moments introspection, as the narrator speaks to you in a conversational tone. The author's vocabulary is very strong and his sentences can shock as quick and sudden as a paper cut. I found myself checking the dictionary often and wincing as some sentences came to completion. This is a book of nuance; everything about this book, from the font, to the block style of the text, and even the physical dimensions of the book has meaning. Or, I should, has Meaning.

This book is drawn on the author's real life. While I sympathized with the narrator at the beginning, I came to despise him as a fairly wretched individual. I think I still do. The books serves as the author's attempt to understand and elude Death. It also becomes the manifesto of a narcissistic sociopath. The narrator is not a likable man. It is as if Holden Caulfield grew into a haughty intellectual and treated the world his usual naive disdain. What at first seems genuine about him is a mirage while his inner thoughts are solely absorbed on his self and his evasion of death.

I would not recommend this book to a novice reader. This is a book for an avid and advanced reader. It would make an excellent study for a literature or philosophy class. This book requires a level of maturity to fully appreciate. Death is never a light subject to write about and the author does a thorough job of engaging the reader through his ruminations on the topic. This book does not glorify death or pine for it, but it is a thorough dissection of the process of death and the disintegration of self.

message 11: by Jenny (new)

Jenny OH (jennyoh) | 1 comments Lisa wrote: "Saints for All Occasions"

Lisa, I just had this book recommended to me (by my grandmother, one of my favorite reading buddies!). How are you enjoying it so far?

message 12: by Autumn (new)

Autumn | 3 comments Mod
My second light and fluffy is the much-praised Ready Player One. We are listening to it via Audible and the reader is great! Even my non-reader husband is zooming through it. Ready Player One

message 13: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1 comments The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I enjoyed this fast paced book and all the twists and turns. What a great way to pass the long hot summer days indoors reading this domestic suspense thriller!

It all starts on a hot summer night with Anne and Marco attending their neighbor's birthday dinner party. By 1:00 am their baby girl, Cora is missing from her crib. The situation quickly spirals out of control as days go by and everyone becomes a suspect in her disappearance. As the police try to find out who took Cora and why, no one is who they seem to be and appearances are deceiving.

The story is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family--a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness. The book keeps you on the edge until the final shocking twist.

message 14: by Kristi (new)

Kristi Smith | 12 comments Mod
This sounds like a good book! I usually don't read suspense novels, but have been into true crime lately, so this book may be up my alley.

message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 5 comments Jenny OH: I finished Saints for all Occasions and enjoyed it very much. I think you’ll find it entertaining and moving.

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