Suggest a Book for Greenwich Reads Together 2013

| 28 Comments
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Greenwich Reads Together is a community-wide reading experience which will engage all of Greenwich in exploring a single book. Members of the community are encouraged to suggest their favorite books in the comment box below. 

In order to be selected, the book should be of high literary quality, reflective of universal issues and capable of generating thought-provoking discussions. It should lend itself to engaging public programs and appeal to a diverse population. It must also be currently in print and available in large quantities and in multiple formats, including paperback, e-book, audiobook and large print. The suggestions will be evaluated by a Library staff committee and announced later this fall. 

Please note: Due to our anti-spam procedures, your comment may take up to one day to appear on this blog. If do not want to leave your name, please choose a pen name such as "Greenwich Reader" instead of "Anonymous" in the name field.

28 Comments

Suggested by Nancy Kulinski:
For your Greenwich Reads together program, I would strongly suggest Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand. An astonishing story of courage and survival against daunting odds. To know that Louis Zamperini still lives is another amazing story in itself.

Following are suggestions from the Greenwich Public School staff:

I vote for The Help! I think it is readable, accessible, and discusses topics that would be good for kids to learn about! – Michael Galatioto

Atlas Shrugged would be a good read because it is relevant to today’s society because it mirrors our current economic strife. Also, today’s society could most definitely relate to the characters. – Elisa Maniscalco

I recommend Wonder by RJ Palacio (middle school level but amazing for elementary or high school students, as well as adults – great for empathy and anti-bullying messages) – Jeannine Madoff

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – Michelle Friedman

Two books I loved: City of Thieves by David Benioff – fiction, siege of Leningrad during WWII; and Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick – non-fiction, oral history, defectors from North Korean. I especially like Nothing to Envy because North Korea is such a mystery. – Carol Sutton

Suggested by Morna:
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, the great novel about the insanity of war.

Submitted by Christine McArthur
I keep telling people to read Ultimatum by Matthew Glass. It was recommended by The Economist a few years ago as a political thriller and I took a chance and loved it. It's particularly current in that it's about climate change and what the newly elected President of the US discovers about the "real" state of the world when he comes into office in 2032!
Great to read even if it's not the chosen one!!

Submitted by Jo Marie Halsey:
I have recently finished a wonderful book, The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a non-fiction book about the migration of African-Americans from the south to the north from 1917 to 1970s. The book is beautifully written, authentic and compassionate. Please give it some consideration for Gr Reads.

I strongly suggest The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht. It is a beautiful first novel by Obreht that explores themes of family relationships, war, and the power of story. It won the UK's Orange Award (for female writers).

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. A classic and can be supplemented by the film version. The novel is set in suburban Connecticut (might as well be Greenwich) and the characters reminded me of many people in our town....the "hopeless emptiness" of our monotonous and tedious lives...stability and "doing what's expected" over excitement, risk-taking, the pursuit of dreams, etc. Would probably be a nice mirror for the lives many of us are leading.

From a Greenwich Library Employee:

I would like to suggest The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, and Giants in the Earth by Ole Edvart Rolvaag.

I would like to recommend Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This is a true story and a great read. I think many readers may have read the book but I do feel that many would read it again for a second time. Most important - there are so many themes and ideas in this book that would make your programs very appealing, diverse and exciting to all age groups.

Two suggestions for Greenwich Reads -

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
This is an example of great storytelling! Set in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during turbulent years of social unrest there, Verghese tells a fascinating story about twin brothers who are orphaned shortly after birth and how they grow up in a hospital compound surrounded by wonderfully loving characters. This is a powerful novel and can be enjoyed by readers of various ages.

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder
Kidder's book is about Paul Farmer - a fascinating man whose life work involves establishing medical facilities in Haiti. A true story, Kidder's terrific writing makes Farmer's inspirational life come alive. Mountains Beyond Mountains can be read by a wide age range and can serve as the source of many wonderful discussion topics.

Here are two suggestions for Greenwich Reads...

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming - What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, than by reading Fleming's first book featuring Bond - Casino Royale. Some critics have claimed that Ian Fleming did not get the acclaim he deserved. But, Casino Royale is fun, enjoyable reading and introduced a most-enduring character to readers.

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
A fascinating book written about how cells from Henrietta Lacks were used for scientific studies for decades after her death. Skloot makes the science portion of this story most understandable and this book can be a great source of many discussion.

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:

Ultimatum by Matthew Glass. It's a thriller about global warming and the battle between the USA and China to negotiate what their limits are when it comes to putting the world at risk. It starts after the US elections somewhere in the future, 2030 I think, and the incoming president meets with the outgoing president and finds out what the REAL state of the world is! It was recommended by The Economist a couple of years ago as being absolutely the most exciting read and was not to be missed. I picked it up from the library and couldn't put it down till it was finished! Anyone I have recommended it to had the same experience because it’s all so very possible and scary.

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:

I would like to recommend Life In a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer. The book is a tremendous story of a group of students in Southwestern Kansas who “rescued the rescuer,” Irena Sendler, from the dustbin of history by creating a National History Day project around her successful efforts to save 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Forgotten under Communism, Sendler ended up as a nominee for the Nobel Prize in 2008 as a direct result of the students' inspirational play and project. The former students can bring a performance to Greenwich and the author is a Vermont resident. GHS Social Studies teacher Aaron Hull can provide a “virtual walking tour” of the Warsaw Ghetto from his trip there last March. Former Superintendent Ernie Fleischman calls his recent read of the story “transformative.” PLEASE CONSIDER THIS BOOK!!!

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:

Outliers or Blink by Malcolm Gladwell- to bring in a cognitive focus to societal issues.

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:

Classic: East of Eden by John Steinbeck-- classic, rich language, would like to share with others.

New: Swamplandia by Karen Russell (critics say it should have won Pulitzer for fiction, though no fiction was recognized). Also, see New York Times review and NPR reviews.

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:
I highly recommend Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvon. The writing is easy to follow and allows those of us who haven't served in the military a chance to understand some of the struggles our returning vets face. And did I mention “Tuesday”??? This book beautifully combines issues of social justice, mental and physical health issues, and therapy dogs. Luis is local (as is one of the therapists he worked with) and the facility that trained Tuesday is about an hour from here. There is no end to the speakers that could be brought in for this (including the Wounded Warrior Project). Please, please pick this book!

This suggestion was submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:
Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever. Great study of Lincoln and his time. Good YA and children's books and materials on the subject.

These suggestions were submitted through the GRT 2012 survey:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon or Zahra's Paradise by Amir and Khalil both abounding with collaborative, visual opportunities.

Submitted by Alexandra Stevens:
I would like to recommend The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. Here's the blurb from our online catalog on it - "The author, a Rhodes scholar and combat veteran, analyzes the various sociocultural factors that influenced him as well as another man of the same name and from the same neighborhood who was drawn into a life of drugs and crime and ended up serving life in prison, focusing on the influence of relatives, mentors, and social expectations that could have led either of them on different paths." I really enjoyed it and think it would lend itself very well to programming and discussion.

The Linnet Bird, by author Linda Holeman, a fantastic-engaging read.
A historical romance, opens in Calcutta flashes back to 1823 Liverpool, England, where its heroine, Linny, is turned into a prostitute by her father at the age of 12, clinging to her deceased mother's assurance that she has noble blood, Holeman has captured your attention to engage in a drama of page turning tension.

I would like to suggest When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka. It is about a Japanese-American family that was interned during WWII. The story is told from the viewpoint of each member of the family.
It's beautifully written, covers important themes, and is appropriate for adult and teenage readers alike. Otsuka lives in the area, and I understand that she is available to speak (she did in Wilton). It is a relatively short book.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a very well received historical novel dealing with Henry VIII. It's next on my list and it would be great to know the Town is reading it with me.

Matterhorn tells the story of the Baby Boomers' war - Vietnam. People are finally starting to talk about this war. The author spent 30 years writing his manuscript. Everyone I know who read it stayed up all night to finish the book and then gave it to a friend.

I strongly recommend Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire. This is a wonderful memoir that combines history, poignancy, and humor. Eire has such a deft touch in recalling this transformative time in Cuba and in his young life. The fact that Eire is just up the road at Yale teaching History and Religious Studies is an added bonus.

Suggestions via our Facebook page:
The Life of Pi by by Yann Martel was suggested by Martha Deegan.
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was suggested by Lauren McClelland Mendoza.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

LOTS to talk about on so many levels - internment of Japanese American citizens during WWII (especially in light of Michelle Malkin's book praising internment) , racism, school bullying, families, choices under difficult circumstances, doing the right thing even when it is frightening and potentially dangerous.

Could be paired with Graham Salisbury's Eyes of the Emperor for the middle schools.

I'd like to suggest the book Walking Papers: The Accident that Changed My Life, and the Business that Got Me Back on My Feet by Francesco Clark. This young 20 something man from Bronxville, NY drove into a pool and broke his neck, paralyzingly himself instantly. His story is heartfelt, positive, and inspiring as he struggles to regain his mobility and independence with his families help. The book is both serious and quite funny. Topics for further discussion could include adapting to life with a physical disability, stem cell research, health insurance, and over coming great obstacles.

I'd like to suggest Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It's got science fiction, 80's geek nostalgia and social issues all wrapped up in a very entertaining package.

I'd also like to (re-)recommend Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Road.

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This page contains a single entry by Kate published on September 13, 2012 12:27 PM.

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