Summer Reading at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne

As we near the end of our summer term, a condensed semester that can be stressful for students and teachers, remember that Intersession break is coming! Here are some light reading recommendations from your library staff. Any of our staff can help you check them out. We wish everyone a relaxing, enjoyable break.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt. Fort Wayne General Collection F294 .S2B48 1994

I’ve been immersed in True Crime recently while creating displays on our forensics resources, and decided to try this old bestseller in the genre. It is perfect for summer reading, as it takes place in sultry Savannah, Georgia. There is nothing remotely gorey or scary about the story, even though it centers on a fatal shooting. The real-life characters are fascinating, and richer than many fictional people. (Ann Spinney)

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. (Available at four Ivy Tech libraries)

While delayed in an airport recently, I picked up this 1970 book, which has been reissued to capitalize on the Amazon Prime TV series. What a total delight! It is full of clever jokes, from the props – an angel eats deviled eggs while a devil eats angel food cake – to the dialog, the footnotes, and even the fonts. The story is one of the most goodness-affirming I have ever read, imagining how a child thwarts the Apocalypse. It centers on the power of friendship and kindness, through several subplots. The authors are giants of fiction and together they made a masterpiece while having a lot of fun. (Ann Spinney)

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Baker & Taylor leased books

Don’t let the lack of umbrellas and sand on the front cover fool you – this is totally a beach read! The entire book is formatted as a transcript from one of those “Where Are They Now?” shows. Daisy Jones was once the epitome of the beautiful, fearless Hollywood princess, and when she merged her voice with up-and-coming rockers The Six, they exploded onto the music scene in a way that’s never been forgotten. This book is a fun read, especially for those of us who remember the 70s fondly. (Carol Gibbs)

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. Baker & Taylor leased books

Linda Holmes of NPR fame has written her first novel, and it’s well worth a read. Yes, it’s a romance, but it’s so much more than just waiting for the gal and the guy to finally realize they’re the perfect couple. This gal and guy come off as real people with flaws and problems and hey, guess what – what passes for true love isn’t enough to fix them. They have to dig a little deeper in order to do that. The book deals with emotional abuse, abandonment, the “yips,” and how to start over. A wonderful, heartwarming, satisfying read. (Carol Gibbs)

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith. Baker & Taylor leased books

McCall Smith writes multiple book series, and this is the first title in a new one he’s recently launched. His writing is quietly humorous and full of meandering thoughts as his characters interact. This series is a parody of the Scandinavian Noir genre, such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It’s called Scandi Blanc, and no crime is too insignificant to investigate by the Sensitive Crimes Division. Why was someone stabbed in the back of the knee? Who do you call when an imaginary boyfriend goes missing? And of course: vampires. The fun isn’t found in solving the ‘crimes’ as much as following the preposterous conversations needed to crack the cases. (Carol Gibbs)

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (with Recipes) by Lorna Landvik. Baker & Taylor leased books

This is the story of a long-time columnist for a small-town newspaper. When a stroke sidelines Haze Evans, the newspaper decides to rerun some of her columns written throughout the decades of her employment. What follows is a nice historical retrospective, reminding the reader of how many cultural changes this country has weathered. The people surrounding Haze read her words again and are sometimes able to use them to change their perspectives or see their lives differently. Fun to see how many people were connected through Haze and her words. (Warning: this book does slant to the left. If you’re a curmudgeon like Joseph Snell, one of Haze’s critical readers, this isn’t the book for you!) (Carol Gibbs)

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. Baker & Taylor leased books

College students attending college in a small California town begin to fall asleep. They can’t be awakened. Some of them die. And then the sleeping sickness spreads out to the rest of the community. The news media descends to cover the crisis, complete with special terminology and logos. Some think it’s all being faked. Everyone is terrified that they could be next. For such an alarming premise, the writing is amazingly soothing. It’s gentle, even calming. Maybe even dream-like. One of my favorite things about this book was the way the lives of the different characters were shown to be interwoven, even if they weren’t aware of it. I read this book months ago and still sometimes find myself thinking about it. (Carol Gibbs)

Our non-fiction recommendation comes from Elina Puckett, who writes: “This got exceptional reviews. I am listening to it now and have a hard time putting it down.”

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life by Peter Gray. Baker & Taylor leased books

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