This latest novel by Jennifer Chiaverini relates the hardships and violence suffered by the women who fought for the voting rights in the early 1900’s. Some of the characters are modeled on real life activists. Alice Paul was a vocal activist for women’s rights, and organized the March, Maud Malone, who was a NYC librarian, and Ida Wells-Barnett, a journalist and researcher as well as an activist, who also had to battle racism. It is thanks to these brave women that the 19th amendment eventually was passed in 1920, giving women the right to vote. Chiaverini describes in riveting details the 1913 women’s long Suffrage March from NYC to Washington, D.C., in March, just before President Wilson was inaugurated. We truly owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals and others who worked tirelessly to achieve the vote. A great piece of historical fiction.
Piper Parrish’s husband goes out fishing one day from Frick Island in the Chesapeake Bay, and never returns. But why is Piper acting like he is still alive? She walks around town, pretending that Tom is beside her, making conversation. When Anders Caldwell, a young newspaper reporter living on the mainland, is assigned a story about the Frick Island Cake walk four months later, he takes the ferry out to the island. Unbeknownst to him, Anders life is about to undergo a huge change. Can he figure out the mystery behind Tom’s disappearance? Read this quiet love story about the power of faith to find out…
Marie Benedict and Victoria C. Murray have collectively written a new novel about J.P. Morgan’s librarian, who curated his personal library of art, books and other rare materials. Belle da Costa Greene was hired by Morgan in 1905 and she was very successful in adding to his vision for the library. But what no one knew (except her family) was that Belle was keeping a huge secret. She was not descended from a Portuguese grandmother, the reason she used for her darker skin color, but she was in reality Belle Marion Greener, an African American woman. Belle successfully kept her secret and her job throughout her life, and was left an inheritance from J.P. Morgan, at least in the story. I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction, one of my favorite genres. If you would like a glimpse of this amazing library, check it out here.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams is a very witty novel about a human who survives the destruction of the Earth to make way for an intergalactic highway. Not realizing that aliens exist before he is saved, Arthur Dent is taken throughout the universe by his best friend (and alien) Ford Prefect and the help of a good towel. The dry humor of Adams along with the interesting descriptions of alien technology makes this book an entertaining read. 5/5 stars.
–From an anonymous Summer Reading participant.
Britain’s Guardian is a reliable source of book reviews and recommendations. I usually discover a title or author not yet popular in the United States. They recently published: ‘Summer Reading: the 50 Hottest New Books Everyone Should Read.’ Divided into categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Paperbacks, Children and Teens, the list delivers both well-known and more obscure authors you will want to know about (the list contains new works by Rachel Cusk, Michael Rosen, and Patricia Lockwood). Most are readily available in the library. Well worth taking a peek.