It’s that time of year again, beloved patrons, when we here at the Library share our summer reading selections! Our library–and, indeed, the other NOBLE libraries–are fortunate indeed to be staffed with librarians of diverse reading, viewing, and listening habits, and in this series of weekly blog posts, we plan to bring you some of the titles they have recently enjoyed to help you choose your next favorite book, film, or album.
This year, we decided to extend our request for reading recommendations to the wider NOBLE network, and have been delighted to get a number of responses from library staff across the area. This means not only do we have the chance to offer you a wealth of new recommendations from new Library staff members, but also we get to encourage you to visit all the libraries in the NOBLE network! We hope you find plenty to enjoy in these recommendations, beloved patrons–feel free to let us know where your summer plans take you, and what literary, cinematic, or music adventures you enjoy!
From the Teen Room:
Bloom by Kevin Panetta, illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau: Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.
From our staff: Bloom is a YA graphic novel about a teenage boy, Ari, who works in his family’s bakery. Ari wants desperately to move with his band and leave the bakery behind, but a budding summer romance with his new co-worker, Hector, makes him rethink his decision. The art by Savanna Ganucheau gives the story a cinematic quality, and the chemistry between Ari and Hector is so natural you will be rooting for them all the way.
From the West Branch:
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce, narrated by Steven Hartley: It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people’s needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him?
From our staff: I was initially introduced to this author because I read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry for the Torigian Center Book Discussion. It was a book I wouldn’t have chosen for myself but loved so much that I found myself looking for other books by the author. I wasn’t disappointed with The Music Shop! From the two books I’ve read by Joyce, she seems to weave interesting stories that are based on quirky characters who become a makeshift family throughout the story. This one is set in the late 1980s which was the time of my coming of age following high school. I am a music lover so the setting and theme of the story were very appealing and nostalgic too as it revolves around the store owner’s commitment to vinyl records and eschews the change to CD. It was a great story and I plan to read more of this author!
From the Public Service Desk (Main Branch):
The Disaster Artist: My Life inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, written by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, read by Greg Sostero: In 2003, an independent film called The Room–starring and written, produced, directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau–made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the six-million-dollar film earned a grand total of $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, The Room is an international cult phenomenon. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons. In this heartfelt, but blazingly honest memoir, actor Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar and longtime best friend, recounts the film’s long, strange journey to infamy, unraveling mysteries for fans, as well as the question that plagues the uninitiated: how the hell did a movie this awful ever get made?
From Our Staff: Greg Sestero is a marvelous audiobook performer! His impressions, accents, and timing are terrific. I was already a fan of The Room (I mean, insofar as one can be a fan of it…), but I think this audiobook would appeal even to those who have not seen it. Greg’s story is a coming-of-age tale, an intriguing look into the inner workings of the movie business, and a wholly originally memoir about friendship and discovery that is worth a listen! For the record, I thought the film was a pretty lame adaptation of this book, but it’s still a fun watch in and of itself.
Until next week, beloved patrons–enjoy your summer reading!