#Jax Stacks - April 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.
You can also sign up for Jax Stacks email reminders on the Library U enrollment page.
#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.
In April, we will move across town to start our next set of three meetings at the Beaches Branch! Join us on April 3 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss “A historical book set in Africa" and A book in translation."
#Click here to register!
#A book written before 2000:
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
This modern epic of a man’s search for meaning became an instant bestseller on publication in 1974, acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters. It continues to inspire millions.A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions on how to live.
#A book in a genre you don't usually read:
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Your mileage may vary on what and who you find funny, but chances are there’s a comedian’s memoir that will work for you! In this memoir, The Office star shares stories about her life before and after achieving comedy fame.
#A historical book set in Africa:
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. The life he foresees for himself and the tale he tells is full of sadness and tragedy, but inexplicably he is born with a smile on his face. Nearly called back to the land of the dead, he is resurrected. But in their efforts to save their child, Azaro's loving parents are made destitute.
#A book in translation:
Cobalt Blue was written by Sachin Kundalkar and translated by Jerry Pinto and originally published in Marathi. Recently adapted into a stunning Netflix film.
Brother and sister Tanay and Anuja both fall in love with the same man, an artist lodging in their family home in Pune, in western India. He seems like the perfect tenant, ready with the rent and happy to listen to their mother’s musings on the imminent collapse of Indian culture. But he’s also a man of mystery.
#A book written by an author when they were under 30:
One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter by Scaachi Koul
This novel was published in 2017, when Koul was 26.
Scaachi Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share all the fears, outrages, and mortifying moments of her life. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of color: where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision, or outright scorn; leaving little room for a woman not solely focused on marriage and children to have a career (and a life) for herself.
#A book read by a Library book club in 2023:
The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin
Beautifully moving, warm, and uplifting, The Music of Bees is about the power of friendship, compassion in the face of loss, and finding the courage to start over (at any age) when things don't turn out the way you expect.
Selected for the Shelf Conscious Book Club at Maxville. Come talk about it on May 23 at 6 p.m. – register here!
#A book by a 2023 Lit Chat author:
Savage Pageant by Jessica Q. Stark
Stark explores the concept of US American spectacle and its historic ties to celebrity culture, the maternal body, racist taxonomies, the mistreatment of animals, and ecological violence.
Appearing live at the Willow Branch Library and on Zoom on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. Register for this and other April Lit Chats here!
#A self-improvement, how-to or DIY book:
How to Disappear: Erase your Digital Footprint, Leave Fake Trails, and Vanish Without a Trace by Frank M. Ahearn
The authoritative and comprehensive guide for people who seek to protect their privacy as well as for anyone who's ever entertained the fantasy of disappearing--whether actually dropping out of sight or by eliminating the traceable evidence of their existence.
#A book banned in the last 10 years:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons given (according to the American Library Association): “challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to ‘lead to terrorism’ and ‘promote Islam.’”
#A book by a Nobel Prize winner:
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
Written by the winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature
Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.
#A book with illustrations:
The Paper Garden: An Artist (Begins Her Life’s Work) at 72 by Molly Peacock
In 1772, upon the death of her second husband, Mary Delany arose from her grief, picked up a pair of scissors, and, at the age of seventy-two, created a new art form: mixed-media collage. Over the next decade, Mrs. Delany produced an astonishing 985 botanically correct, breathtaking cut-paper flowers, now housed in the British Museum.
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.