Prompted by the recent heat wave, Assistant Director Ryan Johnson provided some intriguing summer reading recommendations in this week’s O’Fallon Weekly. He said, “Traditionally, beach reads are contemporary fiction and are generally considered to be light, fun, and easy reads.” Not something like Stephen King’s It or Melville’s Moby Dick.
“I’m taking a position that certain non-fiction titles fit perfectly into summer,” Ryan said. “I recommend a few titles that pair nicely with a shade tree, road trip, iced tea, pontoon boat…even a beach.”
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall was published in 2009 and is great for marathoners, 5k-ers and everyone in between, Ryan advised. “Even if you aren’t a runner, you are likely to find the stories included fascinating and inspiring,” Ryan said. “The author tackles topics ranging from anatomy and anthropology to the creation of the modern sneaker and super-competitive 100-mile races. The stories weave together perfectly, creating a fast-paced, engaging read,” Ryan said. “You’ll come away never knowing you could be so entertained by a book about ‘running.'”
Next, Ryan recommends John Hodgman’s Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches. The book is a mix of laugh-out-loud moments and tear-jerking vulnerability. Ryan said Hodgman’s humor and wit keep you turning pages. He tackles the realities of adulthood such as rearing children and seeing that he’s become like is own parent, Ryan said. “Pick this one up if you are looking for a small, relatable read to leave a smile on your face.”
Ryan also suggests The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They MatterThe Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax. “This 2016 title may scream ‘Hipster!’ but this one is good for anyone who appreciates a good record player or Moleskine notebook,” Ryan said. Part nostalgia, part forward-looking economic revival, Sax reveals why we are so drawn to certain “outdated” technologies and why they are making a comeback. “Chapters focus on varying topics, including film photography, board games, retail, and even the concept of summer (what a coincidence!),” Ryan said.
All three books will provide plenty of conversation fodder for Memorial Day BBQs and July 4th festivities, Ryan promised. But, if you’re interested in something more recent, Ryan suggested browsing our New Adult Non-Fiction section on the first floor. As always, you can check out our Reading Suggestions webpage.
Ryan reminded patrons about the upcoming Summer Reading Program that has something for everyone age 3 through teens and adults. Online registration starts May 29. The theme this year is “Reading Takes You Everywhere.”
Youth Services Manager Teri Rankin said, “We will explore locations near and far with contests, entertainers, special programs, reading/activity groups, crafts, and much more.” She said all reading will be easily logged with a new product called Beanstacks. This system will allow more flexibility for families taking vacations but still give kids plenty of virtual and real prizes and rewards. Teri said more information will be available soon on our OFPL webpage.
Finally, while the O’Fallon Weekly went to print before this announcement, we want to let you know that the library will be closed Tuesday, May 22 for building maintenance (new HVAC installation). We apologize for the inconvenience. No items will be due. Our parking lot and book return will be inaccessible.
Read more “Library News and Notes” in the O’Fallon Weekly each Wednesday.