Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Well, it’s not exactly dinner, but the winners of our last drawing of Three Good Books prizes did get a Starbucks gift card good for a small treat. Not too shabby.

We drew names from reviews from the past two weeks, as well as another drawing with all the participants over the summer who had not yet won a prize. Congratulations to the winners!

Here are some of the books mentioned in the final group of Three Good Books reviews. (We are only listing the titles and not the reviews due to participants’ request.)

Everything I Never Told You,
by Celeste Ng

The Genius of Birds, by Jennifer Ackerman

Growing a Feast, by Kurt Timmermeister

Legend, by Marie Lu

 

 

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened,
by Jenny Lawson

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett

Rich People Problems, by Kevin Kwan

The Twelve, by Justin Cronin

 

Three Good Books was a program in conjunction with Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program for all ages. If you have not yet claimed your First and Second Prizes you are missing out. We have a limited amount of free books as prizes and the range of titles is getting smaller each day. So don’t dally any longer! You have until September 15, 2017 to redeem your prizes.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our adult reviews program this summer. We hope everyone reading these posts found some good picks for their to-be-read list!

 

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Congratulations to Abby, the latest winner in our adult summer book review drawing! Abby let us know about three books that she recommends and she won herself a Starbucks gift card. A good book and a cup of tea, what more could you ask for? Adult readers in Dublin have until Saturday, August 13 to submit their Three Good Books review and qualify for the next prize drawing.

Three Good Books is a program in conjunction with Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program for all ages. If you have not yet logged your reading times and activities, be sure to do so by August 24. While participants have until September 15 to claim their First and Second Prizes (free books y’all!), the Grand Prize drawing for participants who have earned 500 points or more will be held on August 25! Those who have made it to 500 points by that date will automatically be eligible, no need for an extra registration.

If you’re still searching for something good to read as you rack up your reading minutes, come and check out our Three Good Books display in the library, see our previous posts, or try some of these patron picks…

Abby chose:

 

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, by Mike Massimino
(autobiography)
riveting, inspiring, fascinating

Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, by Michael Gibney
(non-fiction)
interesting, humorous, high-brow

Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King
(fiction)
gripping, edge-of-your-seat action, thrilling

 

 

 

Elena recommends:

Brain Storms: The Race to Unlock the Mysteries of Parkinson’s Disease, by Jon Palfreman (bio-medical non-fiction)
poignant, timely, understandable

Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin
(historical children’s non-fiction, WWII era)
African-American literature, Local History, Sadness

The Resurrection Fields, by Brian Keaney
(science fiction)
Young Adult, Horror, Absorbing

What three words/phrases would you choose to describe that great book you just read? Library patron Steve, who recently won our latest drawing in Dublin’s Three Good Books program, chose “timely,” “thought-provoking,” and “chilling” to entice readers to try the book Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid.

Sure, we could tell you the plot of a book, but sometimes it’s more fun and  informative to talk about how a book makes you feel, or what the experience of reading a particular book is like.  That’s what inspired this summer program for adults and I hope you’re finding it as interesting as I am.

There’s still time to submit your Three Good Books. You can reply to this post or come in to the library and pick up the form at our display. The last day to submit your entry is Sunday, August 14.

Here are Steve’s three books and two more submitted recently. Happy reading…

 

Steve’s Three Reads:

Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, (dystopian fiction)
timely, thought-provoking, chilling

When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II,
by Molly Guptill Manning, (nonfiction)
touching, unexpected, evocative

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing,
by Melissa Mohr, (nonfiction)
bawdy, clever, surprising

 

 

Alex recommends:

 

 

Ukridge, by P. G. Wodehouse (fiction)
entertaining, quick-witted, enjoyable

Leave it to Psmith, by P. G. Wodehouse (fiction)
gripping, fast, hilarious

The Clothes They Stood Up In,
by Alan Bennett (fiction)
thought-provoking, unusual, uncanny

 

 

 

 

Bethany’s picks:

Relativity, by Antonia Hayes (fiction)
intriguing, realistic, scientific

Dear Ijeawele,
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (non-fiction)
feminist, supportive, open-minded

The Martian, by Andy Weir (science fiction)
funny, futuristic, scientific

Have you told us your Three Good Books yet? As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the Dublin Library is asking adults this summer to share three good books that they’ve read recently. Tell us the title/author, what type of book it is (fiction/non-fiction) and three adjectives that describe the book and you will be eligible to win a gift-card in our monthly drawings now through August 13.

It’s easy as sweet cherry pie to participate and… drumroll… we have our first winner!  Vivian submitted the following three good books and three reasons to read each title. Thanks, Vivian for your enticing descriptions!

Submitted by Vivian C.

1984, by George Orwell (dystopian fiction)
Thought-provoking, compelling, captivating

Stumbling on Happiness,
by Daniel Gilbert (non-fiction, psychology)
Interesting, informative, fascinating

The Outliers,
by Malcolm Gladwell (non-fiction, psychology/sociology)
Eye-opening, educational, helpful

 

And here are three more entries from Dublin Library patrons to whet your appetite for good reads this summer:

 

Submitted by Anonymous

Everything, Everything,
by Nicola Yoon (Young Adult fiction)
Fresh, twisting, loving

The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (Fiction)
Sad, passionate, fresh

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,
by JK Rowling (Children’s Fiction)
Powerful, funny, exciting

 

 

Submitted by Liane R.

 

 

Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert
(historical fiction about life, love & leprosy)
A great summertime read

Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks
(historical fiction about a woman during the time of the plague)
A heart-wrenching story

A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry
(historical fiction about India in the 1970s)
Makes you feel blessed to live in the USA!

 

 

Submitted by Elena S.

On the Road with Janis Joplin, by John Byne Cooke (biography)

Orphan Train, by Christing Baker Kline (historical fiction)

Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky (children’s fiction about a transgender person)

 

Come by the library today to see our display and add your own three good books! We’re having three more prize drawings before the program ends. Plus, if you haven’t yet signed up for the Summer Reading Program, you can still do so and get even more prizes. Yes, adults can play, too!!

Looking for a few good books? Come by the library this summer and see what others are suggesting, and leave your own suggestions, too!

Now through August 13th, 2017, the Dublin Library is asking adults to share three recent reads that they have enjoyed and three adjectives to describe each title. Come in and see our display at the library and fill out our Three Good Books form.

When you turn in your Three Good Books form you will be entered in our twice-monthly drawings for $5 gift certificates to Starbucks. Enjoy a snack or drink with your beach read!

Here are Three Good Books submitted by some Dublin Library staff…

Adult Librarian Diane’s choices:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
Teen Fiction
smart, endearing, romantic

A Gathering of Shadows, by V.E. Schwab
Fantasy set in alternate Londons (book 2)
thrilling, engaging, clever

Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi
Fiction- Family Saga
engrossing, intense, eye-opening,

 

Teen Librarian Mary’s picks:

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, by Kate Moore
Non-fiction (history, science)
Engrossing, poignant, unsettling

Bull, by David Elliott
Teen/YA (verse, mythology)
Entertaining, twisted, comical

Daughter of the Pirate King, by Tricia Levenseller
Teen/YA, Fantasy/Adventure
Fun, sarcastic, daring

Adult Librarian Eugene’s books:

The Invention of Wings, by Sue Monk Kidd
Historic Fiction
Informative, ante-bellum society, gripping

Rocket Girl, by George D. Morgan
Biography (of author’s mother, a space scientist in the 1950s)
Inspiring, informative, presentation of societal attitudes

City of Women, by David R. Gillham
Historic Fiction (Berlin in last years of Third Reich)
Thriller, spies, resistance

Now that you have some good books to read, sign yourself up for Alameda County Library’s online Summer Reading Program for all ages!  It’s not just for the kids. No matter how young or old you are, you can read books and do activities to earn free books and enter a grand prize drawing. Just register online, log the time you’ve read and/or do the activities listed to earn points.

That should keep you busy and entertained this summer! As always, come in to the library or contact us for more reading and listening suggestions.

handmaidstale

Transfixed by the hulu series based on Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale? Of course you’ll want to read the original book, but why not also try some of these books that hit some of the same notes as the series and the book? Dark yet compelling, these novels are frightening plausible dystopias and/or are literary speculative fiction with philosophical themes. Give one a try and tell us what you think!

Handmaids Reads

Dystopias and Post-Apocalypse Stories:

Atwood created another grim tale of the future with Oryx and Crake, a title that with dark humor explores a world devastated by bioengineering and ecological disasters. It is the first in a trilogy, alongside The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam. Another dystopic tale that slowly reveals its disturbing truths, Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro is a haunting novel about coming to terms with one’s pre-ordained role in society.

In Children of Men, P.D. James imagines the societal upheavals brought on by the human race’s unexpected sterility. It is 2021, no babies have been born since 1995, and an Oxford historian is drawn into a revolutionary movement.  Or, for a more straightforward end-of-the-world title, try Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. While not really tackling heavy issues like The Handmaid’s Tale, it is one of more lyrical and memorable entries in the growing field of dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales.

Feminism in Speculative Fiction:

If it’s the feminist edge in The Handmaid’s Tale that intrigues you, try When She Woke, by Hillary Jordan. A speculative riff on The Scarlet Letter, this novel follows Hannah Payne, a woman whose skin is dyed red for the crime of having an abortion. Or, for a thought-provoking exploration of gender wrapped into a science fiction story, look no further than Ursula K. Le Guin’s Left Hand of Darkness, in which a human ambassador is sent to a world where the inhabitants can change their gender whenever they choose.

Octavia Butler’s science fiction often tackle issues of race, class, and gender. For readers who don’t really want the world-building and futuristic settings of the previous titles, you might like Butler’s time-traveling story Kindred. It tells the story of Dana, a black woman, who is repeatedly transported to the antebellum South, where she must protect her white ancestor.

Described as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mean Girls, Only Ever Yours, by Louise O’Neill, is a Young Adult title set in a future world where girls are created and raised solely to please men.  With few good options, young women find themselves competing against one another for prized positions.

Class Oppression & Rebellion:

More action-packed and less literary than Atwood’s books, Pierce Brown’s trilogy may appeal to those who want a tale set in a bleak future society torn by class divisions, but also want to see the oppressed rise up in revolt. The first title in the series is Red Rising.

For a somewhat out there suggestion, try The Bees, by Laline Paull. Yes, this book is literally about bees.  But it’s also about a strictly hierarchical society where Flora 717, a sanitation worker and a member of the lowest caste in her hive, gets woke to her status and the inequities inherent in her society.

You can find the titles discussed in this post in the library’s catalog by searching for “handmaid’s reads”.

Have a title you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Also of interest: Check out the book covers for Handmaid’s Tale from various editions around the world.

 

obama

The New York Times’ book critic Michiko Kakutani recently sat down with President Obama to talk about his reading habits and reflect on what particular titles, and books in general, have meant to him during his time in office. It’s a fascinating read, both the article and the transcript of the interview.

We’ve collected the books mentioned by title in these articles here for your convenience.

 

obama-reads-graphic

Some highlights from the interview:

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson: “I loved her writing in part because I saw those people every day. And the interior life she was describing that connected them—the people I was shaking hands with and making speeches to—it connected them with my grandparents.”

The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin: “The scope of it was immense.  So that was fun to read, partly because my day-to-day problems with Congress seem fairly petty—not something to worry about. Aliens are about to invade.”

Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison: “[It] is a book I think of when I imagine people going through hardship. That it’s not just pain, but there’s joy and glory and mystery.”

In addition to the books listed by title, Obama gained insight from presidential biographies, the writings of Gandhi, Mandela, Churchill, and others.

Read the full article, “Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books,” on the New York Times website.

Also see the White House posting about Obama’s summer reading lists from 2016 and 2015.