In order to highlight some of the best and newest additions to the Jacksonville Public Library’s collection, the blog will have a regular curation of mini book reviews. If you’re interested in any of these titles, stop in or give us a call!
- “I’d Die for You” by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Anne Margaret Daniel: This is a new collection of Fitzgerald’s previously unpublished or uncollected short stories. Not every story is destined to become a new classic. However, each story gives readers insight into the famed author’s psyche while trying to produce new work.
- “Anything Is Possible” by Elizabeth Strout: As with other works by Strout, it’s hard to quite tell if this is a novel or a collection of short stories. Either way, each chapter or story is connected by common themes. Strout’s newest book is well-written and examines ideas like class (as in working-class etc.), insecurity, and forgiveness. Don’t miss out!
- “The Pearl Thief” by Elizabeth Wein: I am reviewing a novel for young adults because both adults and teens alike enjoy reading them. This book is published by the same author as Code Name Verity. However, you do not need to read the previously published novel to understand and enjoy this new one. It’s both a murder mystery and a coming-of-age story. The thing I loved most about this book was the main character–she’s witty and real.
- “House of Names” by Colm Toibin: This book is quite tragic… Characters are thrown into dungeons and the amount of violence that occurs is quite staggering. However, the violence isn’t gratuitous. With Toibin’s adept writing, the characters are alive with depth. This book doesn’t quite seem like Toibin’s other work, but it is a great book on its own. I was sitting on the edge of my seat as I turned every page.
- “The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore: This book is all about workers’ rights. The women Moore writes about died from the radium they were exposed to while working for dial-making factories. The women’s lives were painful and tragic, but their legacy has paved the way for the protection of workers today.
- “The American Spirit” by David McCullough: This collection of speeches is tied together by the theme of history. McCullough is synonymous with expert as he has won 2 Pulitzer Prizes and the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his previous work. These speeches instill a much-needed hope at a time of unrest on both sides of the aisle.
- “Shattered” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes: This book explores the ins and outs of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president. Ultimately, it looks at what went wrong and tries to make sense of Clinton’s shocking loss last November. This book is the first word on 2016, but it most certainly will not be the last.
- “The Shadow Land” by Elizabeth Kostova: In Kostova’s third novel, she returns to Eastern Europe–Bulgaria. The author has spent much time in this country as this is where she met her husband. The novel starts in 2008 with the main character teaching English in a new country and quickly turns into a mystery to figure out the life of a man named Stoyan Lazarov. Kostova has managed to make another masterpiece so check it out today!
- “The Upside of Unrequited” by Becky Albertalli: This new young adult novel explores all the challenges and beauty that comes with new love. This book is super fun with a cast of characters that will keep you entertained. Try this one out for a summer beach read!
- “Richard Nixon” by John A. Farrell: This biography turns Richard Nixon into a human with depth and feelings. However, it doesn’t let Nixon off the hook for the corruption of his presidency. The book also brings previously unknown details to light from diaries and reports that were recently discovered. If you’ve ever been curious about Nixon, the man, this book is for you.