#Jax Stacks - July 2023
Welcome to a new month of the 2023 Jax Stacks Reading Challenge! We are going to give you suggestions for each* category in the challenge every month so that you always have a great library book waiting for you when you need it. Check our blog every month for a new round of ideas, and feel free to share your progress and recommendations on social media using #jaxstacks.
Sign up for Jax Stack book recommendations, program reminders and more at bit.ly/JaxLibraryUpdates.
#Jax Stacks Book Club
Share what you're reading with other Jax Stacks readers at our monthly Jax Stacks Reading Challenge Book Club. Each month we will highlight and discuss one or two categories at the book club. You are welcome to share whatever books you’re reading as long as they count for the challenge.
On Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m., we'll be meeting at a new location! Join us at Southeast Regional Library to discuss "A Book Read by a Library Book Club in 2023" and "A Book by a 2023 Lit Chat Author."
#A book written before 2000:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger... What do they have to do with Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government? Follow Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin O'Keefe on their adventures through time and space in this 1963 Newbery Medal winner.
#A book in a genre you don't usually read:
Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
Mysteries have been a staple of fiction for hundreds of years. This classic of the mystery genre is considered to be the first detective novel and is a different look at Poe if you’re used to his spookier short stories and poems.
#A historical book set in Africa:
Woman of the Ashes by Mia Couto
The first in a trilogy about the last emperor of southern Mozambique by one of Africa's most important writers, Woman of the Ashes combines vivid folkloric prose with extensive historical research to give a spellbinding and unsettling account of war-torn Mozambique at the end of the 19th century
#A book in translation:
Convenience Store Woman was written by Sayaka Murata and translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori (originally published in Japanese)
Tokyo resident Keiko Furukara has never fit in - neither in her family, nor in school - but when at the age of 18 she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of national convenience store chain Smile Mart, she realizes instantly that she has found her purpose in life.
#A book written by an author when they were under 30:
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
This novel was published in 2002, when Foer was 25.
Follows a young writer on his travels through Eastern Europe in search of the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis.
#A book set in a place you want to visit:
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide. It has more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else: sharks, crocodiles, the ten most deadly poisonous snakes on the planet, fluffy yet toxic caterpillars, seashells that actually attack you, and the unbelievable box jellyfish (don't ask). Bill Bryson adores it, of course, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond the beaten tourist path.
#A book read by a Library Book Club in 2023:
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects and writing stories about them.
Selected for the Nuts About Reading Book Club at West Branch Library. Come talk about it on August 15 at 6 p.m.
#A book by a 2023 Lit Chat author:
Florida Woman by Deb Rogers
A gleefully dark and entertaining debut for fans of Kevin Wilson and Karen Russell, about one young woman’s sensational summer at a Floridian wildlife center for exotic monkeys.
Appearing live at the West Library and on Zoom on July 24 at 6:30pm. Register for this and other July Lit Chats here!
#A self-improvement, how-to or DIY book:
How to be Black by Baratunde Thurston
The Onion’s Baratunde Thurston shares his 30-plus years of expertise in being black, with helpful essays like “How to Be the Black Friend,” “How to Speak for All Black People,” “How To Celebrate Black History Month,” and more, in this satirical guide to race issues.
#A book with a non-human protagonist:
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
"The Secret Life of Pets meets The Walking Dead" in this big-hearted, boundlessly beautiful romp through the Apocalypse, where a foul-mouthed crow is humanity's only chance to survive Seattle's zombie problem.
#A book by a Nobel Prize winner:
Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Written by the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature
A profoundly compelling portrait of a butler named Stevens. At the end of three decades of service at Darlington Hall, spending a day on a country drive, Stevens embarks on a journey through the past in an effort to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving the "great gentleman," Lord Darlington. But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness," and much graver doubts about the nature of his own life.
#A book with illustrations:
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
Dating back to the 5th century B.C., The Art of War is an ancient Chinese text on military strategy whose teachings have become very influential and popular in the west. Though authorship is attributed to Sun Tzu (“Master Sun”), many scholars believe the bulk of the text was written by his descendant Sun Bin, who lived some hundred years later.
#A book under 300 pages:
Women Talking by Miriam Toews
Based on actual events that happened between 2005 and 2009 in a remote Mennonite community where more than 100 girls and women were drugged unconscious and assaulted in the night by what they were told (by the men of the colony) were "ghosts" or "demons", Miriam Toews' bold and affecting novel Women Talking is an imagined response to these real events.
#New Jax Stacks Prizes Have Dropped!
Are you close to completing the Jax Stacks Reading Challenge? You know have your choice between a Jax Stacks-branded tumbler or sunglasses (while supplies last). Be sure to send a picture with your completed bookmark to us at email@example.com to claim your prize!
Note: We can’t help you with “A book you’ve read and loved before”, but we’re happy to have you share them with us on social media! We love to see what folks are reading.
Second note: All of these recommendations can fit in the category “A book recommended by a library staff member," and we encourage you to seek out your local branch staff or request a personalized booklist for more recommendations.