July Staff Reading Recommendations

Adrienne Gilbert, Programming Assistant at TCPL, brings us this month's book recommendations, which include nonfiction, fiction, and young adult fiction! Check out one of these great picks, all available at TCPL.

This year I’ve tried to “branch out” from my usual genres of fantasy and sci-fi, but it didn’t work. I keep coming back to titles that keep me reading to see if the hero or heroine can overcome the difficult situations and earth-saving obligations thrown their way. Two of my favorites are Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. I managed to read some non-fiction this year, and Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber was by far my favorite.

Accidental Saints by Nadio Bolz-Weber
This year I keep hearing authors on NPR describe their works and I want to read basically all of them. Accidental Saints was one of those that I tried and actually finished. It’s a memoir of sorts from Nadia Bolz-Weber, a tattooed, former stand-up comedian turned pastor. Nadia finds herself pastoring the kind of people who normally avoid church--anywhere from drag queens, felons, agnostics, and people hurt by the Church. It’s a beautiful, personal journey of people who are living their real, messy lives and finding God in the process.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Who doesn’t love a good post-apocalypse novel? This one is set in modern times, and follows several characters’ experiences of re-adjusting to a new lifestyle after disaster takes nearly everyone. I found this one to be both shocking and beautiful. It always leaves me wondering if I could survive similar circumstances, while also reminding me that there are aspects of life that are always beautiful, despite life’s difficulties.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
This is one of those books I would’ve avoided simply due to the title, but thankfully my co-librarian Emily recommended this one and it’s become one of my top favorites. This novel is one of those alternate-world-existing-alongside-our-own novels. This world is the one of clairvoyants (voyants) whose special powers are linked to spirits and the world of the dead. The main character, Paige, starts out in the underworld of voyants, staying mostly in hiding, then is captured and introduced to a hidden colony and a difficult life. What really keeps me reading in this series is the intersection of worlds, Paige’s grit and weaknesses, and the surprising turns of events throughout. I’m excited to see how this series ends up; currently books 1-3 are out, and the author is planning to make this a 7 book series.

I hope you find lots of great new reads this year!

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