Check It Out Category: Summer Reading Programs

What is a Microhistory?

Category O in the 2016 MPPL Summer Reading challenge encourages you to read a microhistory. But wait, what is a microhistory? It is a very narrow or specific study on a single event or object throughout history. Below are just a few of the many titles we carry at the Library! Take one out and become an expert.

Labor of Love book coverLabor of Love: The Invention of Dating
by Moira Weigel
Weigel examines dating throughout the ages, from the days of video dating in the 1980s to today’s texting.
The Warmth of Other Suns book coverThe Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Three American migrants are traced as they moved from the South to the North to create an emotional yet inspirational story of the struggles involved.

 

The Most Perfect Thing book coverThe Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird’s Egg
by Tim Birkhead
Bursting with everything you wanted to know about bird eggs, this will cause you to look at birds in a new way!
Banana book coverBanana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World
By Dan Koeppel
A life without bananas? Sounds impossible, right? Wrong! Koeppel tracks bananas through the ages and the sobering reality that bananas as we know them are at risk.

 

Paper Paging Through History book coverPaper: Paging Through History
by Mark Kurlansky
How has paper changed from its beginning to now? Kurlansky (known for Salt) shares the unique roles paper has played in society.
Oneida book coverOneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table
by Ellen Wayland-Smith
Wayland-Smith explores the Oneida community in America, which rejected monogamy, marriage, and the traditional family structure in 1848 and eventually turned itself into a successful silverware company.

 

It’s not too late to join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!
Share what you read and see what other people are reading using #MPPLsummer16

For reading suggestions, email us at readers@mppl.org or tweet at us @MPPLIB

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Fiction: Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton

Margaret the First book coverWell-behaved women seldom make history,” and it isn’t for lack of trying that the once-notorious Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, is now largely unknown. After a shy, sheltered girlhood, a later life at court led to a new-found confidence in her intelligence, imagination, and ambition. She unabashedly flouted social norms, even earning the nickname “Mad Madge”. The one thing she did retain from her youth was her passion for writing, and she published extensively under her own name and with the support of her husband, both of which were nearly unheard of in the 17th Century. Danielle Dutton presents the life of Margaret the First in a series of personal tableaus that play out in short and fast-moving chapters.  You’ll be introduced to a fascinating woman from history who still has quite a bit to say to the world today.

This title will count as category F in the Summer Reading Challenge: Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900.

For more pre-1900 biographical fiction about fearless characters in the arts, try..

Exit the Actress book coverExit the Actress
by Priya Parmar
The Master book coverThe Master
by Colm Tóibín
In America book coverIn America
by Susan Sontag

 

It’s not too late to join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!
Share what you read and see what other people are reading using #MPPLsummer16

For reading suggestions, email us at readers@mppl.org or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Read a Book with Nonhuman Characters

Up for a challenge? Read a story that is told from the perspective of an object, an animal, or an idea! You may be well familiar with the many books centering on dogs or cats (and we’re fans of those, too), but try stretching yourself to see what you can learn about the human condition from something less familiar but just as decidedly nonhuman.  Below are a dozen noteworthy entries in different genres that can help you Read for the Win!

Firmin book covera rat

 

Jacobs Folly book covera house fly

 

My Name is Red book covera coin, a corpse, a tree…

 

The Bees book coverbees
The Bees

 

Join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Print your events list and scorecard here.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!

For reading suggestions, email us at readers@mppl.org or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Regardless of what you read and how you choose to read it, share your picks using #MPPLsummer16

LGBTQ Romance: Love Wins

male couple holding handsThere are many stories to tell in LGBTQ literature, not just coming-of-age or coming out. Especially when real-life events weigh on the heart, losing yourself in the promise of two people finding each other and hoping for that happily ever after can offer sweet satisfaction.

Celebrate life with these recommended titles, eligible for Summer Reading Challenge options (R) Read a romance or (K) Read a book by or about someone who identifies as LGBTQ.

 

Dont Let Me Go book coverDon’t Let Me Go
by J.H. Trumble

Nate and Adam are high school sweethearts separated by post-graduation dreams. Can young love survive a long-distance relationship, or might others hold the key to their hearts?

New Beginnings book coverNew Beginnings
by KC Richardson

Scarred by previous relationships, Jordan and Kirsten each discover solace in their new friendship and are tempted by the promise of something more.

Whistling in the Dark book coverWhistling in the Dark
by Tamara AllenTwo young men damaged in body and soul on the battlefields of The Great War cross paths in 1919 New York City. Despite a world of differences, their attraction cannot be denied.

Undertow book coverUndertow
by Amy Schutzer

In alternating chapters, Macy and Dotty recount their chance meeting but must cope with past ghosts before moving forward in their relationship.

Night We Met book coverThe Night We Met
by Rob Byrnes

When Andrew, who is stuck in a dead-end publishing job, falls in love with Frank DeBenedetto, the son of a Mafia boss, his life is unexpectedly fraught with danger, drag queens, and an overly sensitive FBI agent.

Love Burns Bright book cover

Love Burns Bright: A Lifetime of Lesbian Romance

Curated by award-winning editor Radclyffe, these stories of lesbian couples celebrating their lives and relationships are heartfelt, and best of all, sweetly sexy.

 

 

Join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Print your events list and scorecard here.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!

For reading suggestions, email us at readers@mppl.org or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Regardless of what you read and how you choose to read it, share your picks using #MPPLsummer16

Read a Book of International Fiction

Shake your days up by taking an international trip this summer without leaving your armchair! While the books below vary in plot and tone, they each will take you on an adventure into someone else’s slice of life with the added bonus of no travel fees.

Try one of these titles for worldwide reading adventures and your choice can help you meet one of the Adult Summer Reading Challenge goals!

Australia
The Slap book coverThe Slap
by Christos Tsiolkas
Bosnia
The Making of Zombie Wars book coverThe Making of Zombie Wars
by Aleksandar Hemon
AfghanistanEarth and Ashes book coverEarth and Ashes
by Atiq Rahimi
Turkey
The Forty Rules of Love book coverThe Forty Rules of Love
by Elif Shafak
China
Dream of Ding Village book coverDream of Ding Village
by Yan Lianke
Cuba
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love book coverThe Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
by Oscar Hijuelos
Netherlands
The Dinner book coverThe Dinner
by Herman Koch
CroatiaGirl At War book coverGirl at War
by Sara Novic

 

Join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Print your events list and scorecard here.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!

For reading suggestions, email us at readers@mppl.org or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Regardless of what you read and how you choose to read it, share your picks using #MPPLsummer16