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2018 Summer Reading Progarm > SRP 2018 Week 8: Great American Read, Villains & Monsters

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message 1: by Cassandra (last edited Aug 13, 2018 11:34AM) (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Monday, August 13 - Saturday, August 18, 2018

Welcome to Week 8, the final week of APL's Summer Reading Program! This is the last official week of our program, but readers can pick up prizes until the end of August.

If you have not registered yet for the program (waiting until the last minute, are we?), 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's "The Great American Read" and highlight books about villains and monsters. We are drawn to stories of power, lust, revenge, and evil, with characters who haunt our sleep and torture our psyches. What accounts for the attraction these stories exert? Where does this urge to enter the mind of a killer, or descend into another person’s madness, come from? Perhaps we choose stories featuring villains and monsters because they allow us to experience our fears safely, and put them down again when we need to get away. Whatever form they take, our fears have much to teach us, and from Shelley to Rowling the experience of reading these books is cathartic, and quite often, wicked fun. What do our favorite books about villains, monsters, and evil forces tell us about ourselves and our darkest desires?

Below you will find some of our recommendations of villains and monsters books. Remember to comment if you have finished a book this week, including the title and author, and include reviews for books you have read that other summer readers might be interested in. 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!


1984 by George Orwell
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Game of Thrones (series) by George R. R. Martin
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Lord of the Rings (series) by J. R. R. Tolkien
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
The Stand by Stephen King
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold


message 2: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
So glad to see some conversation about the Great American Read. I have been remembering every day to get on and vote for my favorites and enjoyed the special (that you can view online if you missed it on TV- which I did) hosted by Meredith Viera.


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 62 comments Finally got around to reading Looking for Alaska! I didn't really like any of the characters, but they're high schoolers, so they're allowed to be terrible. It's a decent examination of loss as a part of coming-of-age.
Also read this week: Takane + Hana Volume 1. A cute romantic comedy that doesn't rely on slapstick and pratfalls!


message 4: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Kathleen wrote: "Finally got around to reading Looking for Alaska! I didn't really like any of the characters, but they're high schoolers, so they're allowed to be terrible. It's a decent examination of loss as a p..."

Kathleen, your books have been added.

I read Looking for Alaska several years ago, and I agree. I think one of the common issues with John Green's characters/stories is that they are often high school-age characters, and they make questionable decisions, which is what many of us did when we were that age.


message 5: by ED (new)

ED | 13 comments The Store by James Patterson was a ridiculous joyride. This narrative shows how a mega online store [Insert Amazon here!] is taking over the lives of consumers, employees and the government. The pacing is extremely fast and the characters, setting and situation are all too bizarre. You can't look away, the catastrophe is too enticing.


message 6: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
ED wrote: "The Store by James Patterson was a ridiculous joyride. This narrative shows how a mega online store [Insert Amazon here!] is taking over the lives of consumers, employ..."

Eva, I added your book. You can pick up your level 3 prize the next time you visit an APL branch.


message 7: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments The Wrong Stars - Tim Pratt first in a scifi series. Great characters, very inclusive. I'll be reading the 2nd one when I get a chance.


message 8: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments I read 'Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship' by Lisa Aronson Fontes. I've known several women affected by such relationships and am aware that I is a major issue in U.S. society so I felt that I should learn more. I recommend it to anyone, especially other men.


message 9: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments I also finished the audiobook 'Between the World and Me' by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The book is nonfiction and is in the form of a letter to his son. In it he explains the U.S.'s history of rigging the mythical American Dream against black folks, describes his personal experiences as a black man in this society, and offers advice to his son on how to live within this system. Also a huge problem and also recommend reading this to anyone, especially other white folks.


message 10: by Michelle (new)

Michelle I finished reading Shop on Main Street by Kay Correll and in anticipation of the the movie release, I re-read The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald.


message 11: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Laurie, Kristopher, and Michelle, I have added your recent reads.

Michelle, you can pick up your level 4 prize the next time you visit your local APL branch!


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 44 comments finished Unlocked, a novella in John Scalzi's Locked In world. As always, his razor sharp wit comes through the writing. This was written as an oral history backstory of the early days of Hadens disease, a fast mutating off shoot of HN viruses (this is the premise).


message 13: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "finished Unlocked, a novella in John Scalzi's Locked In world. As always, his razor sharp wit comes through the writing. This was written as an oral history backstory of the early days of Hadens di..."

Added!


message 14: by Josanna (new)

Josanna (josanna14) | 4 comments I’ve been binge reading, I’ve read The Girl Inside by Karyn Masters, Broken by Claire Adams, Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere and Collide by Ella Adams.


message 15: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments As my final book for this summer reading challenge I finished the audiobook of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey today. It is very sexist and racist. It's also a great snapshot of the desperation and hopelessness that many, myself included, feel about U.S. society. But the book's overall message is actually quite hopeful.


message 16: by Kristopher (new)

Kristopher Aadahl (hawaiianguy3) | 23 comments This was fun. My whole family and participated in the challenge. My partner and daughter completed level 4. (I'm going to steal that cooler!)

Thank you to Cassandra, all of the other library employees, Mayor Sheehan (who met with some lucky kids who read a lot), assemblymember Fahy (who sponsored the program), and anyone else who made this happen!


message 17: by Emily (new)

Emily (slushies) | 16 comments This week I read Geek Love, a book I had been meaning to read for several years and now seemed like the perfect opportunity!


message 18: by ED (new)

ED | 13 comments Yes, thank you Cassandra. I had such an enjoyable experience participating in this book club. Your recommendations opened the door to new authors that I will further look into.


message 19: by Abi (new)

Abi (foureyedabi) | 75 comments Just finished Fever Dream, by Samantha Schweblin, which was an absolute nightmare but an amazing one.


message 20: by Mirkat (new)

Mirkat | 226 comments Ugh, I really got stalled this summer. At least I got a bookmark. Next summer I hope to do better.


message 21: by Paul (last edited Aug 20, 2018 06:34AM) (new)

Paul R | 46 comments I slowed down this past week. I only managed to finish two books. I finished The Best of Me by Nicolas Sparks and Forged in Ash by Trish McCallan. Thank you for the opportunity to more closely track my reading. I was pleasantly surprised. It also reminded my to use Libby on my phone to listen to a book while I walk. The prizes were a great bonus, Thank you. Forged by Ash is book 2 of a series with SEALS. The female antagonist actually changes in this novel and confronts the primary male antagonist who had killed her husband and children - a true villain.


message 22: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (readersbeadvised) | 96 comments Mod
I read one book that would qualify under this heading, I'm Not Missing about who is responsible for the teen girl leaving her hometown (but she leaves a not that she's not missing) and who the real monsters are that took advantage of her and the people she had to deal with throughout her life.


message 23: by Meredith (new)

Meredith | 11 comments For the final week of the challenge, I completed: "Unstoppable: My Life So Far" by Maria Sharapova and "We Begin Our Ascent" by Joe Mungo Reed.


message 24: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I have added all of the books listed above!


message 25: by Diana (new)

Diana | 84 comments Just finished Track Conditions: A Memoir (...really been on a horse-racing kick; I blame Saratoga!), which was beautiful. An elegant and eye-opening memoir.


message 26: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra C | 135 comments Mod
I have added your book!


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna (ambiologist) | 9 comments Thanks for organizing this. I turned in my bingo card and picked up my prizes last week. I loved the topic categories to prompt me to think about what I want to read, rather than just browsing the "new book" and monthly theme/librarian recommendation shelves. No need to add these, but I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (bingo square "going to be made into a move in 2018) and I liked it a fair bit. Sometimes books that are written as a series of letters seem a bit gimicky, but it worked for me with this one. I think it helped build suspense and to keep the lighter tone of what might otherwise be too intense of a plot.
I also read Secrets of a Happy Marriage and In Her Shoes which were both good in the "chick lit" category; tons of happy endings for everyone in the books, but besides the romance parts, both are about healing family relationships.
Then I just finished "Simon and the Homo sapiens agenda" (also to be made into a movie in 2018). I liked it, but not as much as Turtles all the way down.


message 28: by Katie (new)

Katie Kurtessis | 10 comments Got a little behind on adding but that week I read:

The Incendiaries: R.O Kwan
Fruit of the Drunken Tree: Ingrid Rojas Contreras (one of my favorite books of the year)
Sorority: Genevieve Sly Crane
The Light We Lost: Jill Santopolo

Thank you APL for this fun summer activity!!!


message 29: by Alissa Paige (new)

Alissa Paige | 6 comments Just finished "Hamilton: The Revolution," by Lin-Manuel Miranda.Time to develop thoughts about if Burr (or other characters) count as a "villain" or if natural human tendencies were brought to an extreme giving all of us villain possibilities.


message 30: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 80 comments Mod
Katie and Alissa, I added your final reads. Thank you for participating in our adult summer reading program this year!

Anna, thank you for your feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed the reading bingo card and it helped you to consider the books you read.


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