Welcome to the Adult Summer Reading Program!

by West Bend Library on 2022-06-06 08:00:00

Welcome to Read Beyond the Beaten Path, the 2022 adult summer reading program at the West Bend Community Memorial Library! We’re excited to see you all summer long and we’re excited to introduce you to a whole world of new reading material.

In the spirit of this year's theme, we want to challenge adults (18+) to read books or genres you might not normally read. From the 12 genres listed on your reading log, we challenge you to read five books in five categories. Once you've read five or more books, bring your reading log back to the Reference Desk between July 11 and August 2 and we'll enter you to win one of our many prizes. If you read books in all 12 categories, you'll earn another prize entry!

Visit our display on the first floor beginning Monday, June 6 to pick up a reading log and information about the program, or click the previous links to download those materials at home. If you prefer tracking your reading entirely online, no paper reading log required, sign up for Beanstack and complete the challenge there instead! You’ll be eligible for all the same prizes.

Now, on to the good stuff! Every week for the duration of the program (June 6 to August 2), we’ll take a deep dive into one or two of the 12 categories. Let’s say you really want to read from the Graphic Novel category, but you've never read one before so you're not sure where to start. We’ll have a Graphic Novel display both here on the blog and at the library for a full week to offer reading suggestions! These displays will offer suggestions for both physical books and books you might only be able to find at other library branches or digitally on Libby or Hoopla. (Never used Libby or Hoopla? We’ll have pamphlets you can take home at each display, or you can visit our blog post about them.)

The complete display schedule is listed below. First floor displays are located in our reading area near the copy machine, and second floor displays are located at the big display shelf by the Reference Desk. (And don’t worry — you don’t have to complete the challenge in this order.)

  • Week of June 6: June Staff Picks (1st floor); Wisconsin Author or Takes Place in Wisconsin (2nd floor)
  • Week of June 13: Something You Picked Because of Its Cover or Title Alone (1st floor)
  • Week of June 20: Young Adult Fiction (1st floor)
  • Week of June 27: Inspired a Movie or TV Show that Came Out in 2020 or Later (1st floor); Graphic Novels (2nd floor)
  • Week of July 4: July Staff Picks (1st floor); Historical Fiction Taking Place Outside the United States (2nd floor)
  • Week of July 11: Banned or Challenged (1st floor); Memoirs Written by Women (2nd floor)
  • Week of July 18: New York Times Best Sellers (1st floor); National Book Award Winner or Finalist (2nd floor)
  • Week of July 25: Something You've Always Wanted to Read (1st floor)

So let’s get started! This week’s displays are all about our June Staff Picks and, in honor of Wisconsin's 174th statehood anniversary on May 29, books that are about Wisconsin, take place in Wisconsin, or were written by someone with Wisconsin ties. Next to each book is its catalog entry (so you can put it on hold), a link to a summary of the book, and where you can find it as an e-book or e-audiobook, if applicable — Libby (L) and/or Hoopla (H).

Without further ado, here are our Week 1 book lists (with our usual Staff Picks recommendations):

Staff Picks

Here are our Staff Picks for June (L = Libby, H = Hoopla):

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
( catalog entry | L )

A dystopian novel, it tells the story of a father and his son walking to the sea through a ravaged, cold and grey world hoping to somehow find a better place. The real beauty of the novel isn't on the outside though, but resides inside, in the incredible bond uniting father and son. The book invites readers to reflect on what makes a life meaningful beyond a primal survival instinct — what makes life worth living even when there is no hope in sight. — Steve

The Island by Adrian McKinty 
( catalog entry | L )

The newly-published book starts off with an innocent family vacation to Australia and a risky side trip to a private island in search of koala bears. An unfortunate accident puts the family in a life-or-death situation with the large family that owns the island. It will have you breathless and on the edge of your seat from the very first page. — Marnie

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman 
( catalog entry | L, H )

Did you read the Heartstopper graphic novel series, then watch the Netflix show and miss Aled? This novel catches up with Aled two years after the events of the Heartstopper series (though it's a standalone story, so you don't need to have read anything to follow it). It's narrated by Frances, an ultra-studious high school student who is also a huge fan of Aled's podcast Universe City. Here's the thing, though: Frances doesn't know Aled is behind the podcast, and Aled doesn't know Frances is a fan of it. The two become close friends amid many changes in their lives, as Aled starts college and Frances tries to get into Cambridge while figuring out what she really wants to do, even if it might not be college. — Christine

Fable by Adrienne Young 
( catalog entry | L, H )

Fable is the daughter of a ruthless pirate/trader. After a horrible accident at sea in which she loses her mother, her father leaves her to fend for herself on an island of thieves and villains. Fable must find a way to escape the island in order to inherit her future fortune. Fable was such a fun and gritty YA pirate read, it’s no surprise that this was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. — Amber

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena 
( catalog entry | L )

Fred and Sheila Merton are murdered. Their three children are the main suspects. All three have a motive. This is a fast paced thriller similar in style to authors Mary Kubica, Lucy Foley, and Megan Miranda. You are sure to enjoy! — Emily

The Address by Fiona Davis
( catalog entry | L )

This is a compelling novel about two women, a century apart, who both find their lives forever changed by the Dakota, Manhattan’s most famous apartment building. Once you start books by Fiona David, you don’t want to put them down. — Susan

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
( catalog entry | L, H )

I started reading this because of the series on Netflix. The book is filled with very shocking and interesting facts about how intense labor was decades ago. Every character has their story and they come alive. — Sandra

Ice to the Eskimos: How to Market a Product Nobody Wants by Jon Spoelstra 
( H )

In this book, the author used what he learned while marketing for the New Jersey Nets; these same ideas and principles can be applied to any product. It is a practical guide, not just for marketers, but for anyone who runs a business. Highly recommended. — Marta

* We don't have a physical copy of this book in our system, but you can check out another Jon Spoelstra title, Marketing Outrageously: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts.

Great Jones Street by Don DeLillo 
( H )

This novel serves as a good snapshot of the bleak year it was written, 1973, with themes of rock and roll, drugs, mindless violence, urban decay, and the excesses and the price of stardom. While the main character, Bucky Wonderlick, is trying to become a recluse, he is unwillingly drawn into a scheme to produce a mind-altering drug. The reader is forced to confront the issues of commodification and what, or who, we are all willing to sacrifice for some mind-numbing entertainment. — John

* We don't have a physical copy of this book in our system, but you can check out other Don DeLillo titles in the catalog.

Be sure to check out our past Staff Picks if you're looking for more to read in this category!

Wisconsin Author or Takes Place in Wisconsin

(L = Libby, H = Hoopla)


Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay 
catalog entry | summary | L, H )

We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
catalog entry | summary | L )

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
catalog entry | summary | L, H )

Paris By the Book by Liam Callanan
catalog entry | summary | L )

The Second Home by Christina Clancy
catalog entry | summary | L, H )

Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub 
( catalog entry | summary | L )

Map Quilt by Lisa J. Lickel 
( catalog entry | summary  )

Milwaukee Noir by Jennifer Morales and Reed Farrel Coleman
catalog entry | summary | L )

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
catalog entry | summary | L )

Driftless by David Rhodes
catalog entry | summary | L, H )


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
( catalog entry | summary | L )

Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland by Kurt Dietrich
( catalog entry | summary | L )

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
( catalog entry | summary | L, H )

The Land Remembers: The Story of a Farm and Its People by Ben Logan
( catalog entry | summary | L, H )

Wisconsin On the Air: 100 Years of Public Broadcasting in the State that Invented It by Jack Mitchell
( catalog entry | summary | L )

Proud and Determined: A History of the Stockbridge Mohicans, 1734–2014 by Jeffrey Scott Siemers
( catalog entry | summary  )

Blankets by Craig Thompson
( catalog entry | summary  )

The Capital Times: A Proudly Radical Newspaper's Century-Long Fight for Justice and for Peace by Dave Zweifel
( catalog entry | summary | L )

Note: Check out our Wisconsin Circulating Collection on the second floor for lots of nonfiction specifically about Wisconsin! Ask the librarian at the reference desk if you need help finding it.

Digital Only

Time and Again by Jack Finney
( summary | L, H )

Thanks for bearing with us for this extended Week 1 explanation! These posts will be a lot shorter for the rest of the program. Happy reading!