It’s summertime, and the reading is easy

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Arts

It’s summer and time for a good relaxing read. But how to choose the perfect book (or 10)? For me, a light and breezy, laugh-out-loud book is ideal, but frankly, whatever book ends up in my earphones that grabs my attention is the best summer read. Most recently, it was anything but light. I just finished listening to Sam Quinones’ seminal work on the drug epidemic in America, “Dreamland.” It was sobering, but it kept my attention, and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to know the story behind the overdose stats.

Strategies for selecting your next book range far and wide: suggestions from friends (solicited or not), Facebook recommendations, or just whatever is sitting on the top of a pile on your bedside table. It can be a daunting task, but the library is here to help.

Ask a Librarian: Choose a book the old school way. Ask a librarian. He or she can ferret out a list of books based on your preferences. Give a few clues like European action-packed mystery and voila! Your reading suggestions will be generated. Better yet, come in and browse the shelves. The great thing about using the library is you’re not out any money. You can take a chance on an unknown author or genre. You can check out a pile of books and sample them until you find one that grabs you.

Best Sellers and Curated Lists: On the catalog page of the library’s website, you’ll find a bunch of lists highlighting the newest acquisitions in the collection, certain subjects, or the “New York Times” Best Seller list. The library subscribes to a service that will recommend books based on your reading list. If you liked “Dreamland,” you’ll like “Dopesick.” You can find those recommendations on the library’s website under your account.

BookPage: We subscribe to a publication called BookPage for recently published materials. It’s free for the taking and is chock full of author interviews, book reviews and reading recommendations. The reviews are divided into genres.

No matter how you choose your books for the summer, we hope you’ll log the hours for our Read City USA Dive In Deep challenge. The individual goal for the summer is 30 hours. If you make that goal, you’ll earn a great prize!

Congratulations to our own Terry Lee Caruthers, special projects librarian for the Calvin McClung Historical Collection. Her book “Vivie’s Secret” was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Eric Hoffer Awards in the Young Adult Category. The book follows 12-year-old Vivie and her family as they flee the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary. Terry’s book “The Big Day” was also recognized this year by the Eric Hoffer Awards for the Small, Academic and Independent Press.

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for the Knox County Public Library.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *