Tom Cooper

Library director

Webster Groves Public Library

-In my book discussion group, we will be reading The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. It’s a bestseller in Australia, with a laugh-out-loud story about an eccentric genius who decides it’s time to find a wife. He puts together a questionnaire that women have to answer. It’s a great read for anybody who wants a light-hearted read or watches The Big Bang Theory, because this is how Sheldon gets Penny.

-The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell is a crime novel set in the Prohibition underworld. Through her connections at the precinct, a police typist gets involved with bootleggers for a fun story with crime and intrigue.

-Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is another book-discussion-group pick. A woman relives her life again and again, seeing the different ways her choices influence the people around her. Everyone in the discussion group found the plot intriguing, involving and intense.

-For those who like reading about Missouri mysteries, or who liked Winter’s Bone, The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh is a good pick. It’s set in fictional Henbane, Missouri, a small town that’s harboring a deep secret.

Gina Gibbons

Head librarian

Brentwood Public Library

-A lot of people like historical romance, so I recommend The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James. It’s about a late-1800s marriage of convenience for the groom—and inconvenience for the bride. So, she runs away and becomes a pirate. It’s great if you love Jane Austen but want more drama.

-Sort of akin to Gone Girl, Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know is the story of two girls abducted from a mall in Maryland 30 years ago. A woman in the present time comes forward and claims to be one of the girls. It goes back and forth between present day and the time the girls were abducted, and keeps you wondering.

-In The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, a man who survived a pandemic finds a 1950s aircraft and spends his time flying the aircraft looking for other survivors. It’s been compared to The Road by Cormac McCarthy, but whereas The Road is bleak and dark, this one has humor and hope.

Sarah Steele

Reference specialist

St. Louis County Library Headquarters

-Serena by Ron Rash is a dark tale about a lumber farmer in North Carolina in the 1920s and ‘30s. A movie version of the book starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper is coming out in the fall; so although this is a heavier book than some people like to read during the summer, it’s great for those who like to read the book before they see the movie.

-In Sarah Addison Allen’s most recent book, Lost Lake, a young widow and her eccentric daughter run away to an old-fashioned summer resort that’s run by the widow’s great aunt. It’s heartwarming and has a bit of magical realism in it. If you can’t get away to a resort yourself, this would maybe satisfy you or even inspire you to run away on a whim.

-One Summer by Bill Bryson is an engaging and funny look at the historic summer of 1927. He includes humor and anecdotes when writing about the important things that happened that summer involving Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and Al Capone. Who knows? Maybe this summer will be just as historic.

Krista Rakers

Youth services librarian

St. Louis Public Library Schlafly Branch

-Blackberry Pie Murder is a good mystery book by Joanne Fluke. It’s part of a series, but you don’t have to read all in order to enjoy them. The main character, Hannah, runs a cookie shop; and the books center around her as she finds dead bodies, and ends up helping solve the case of who did it. There’s always some humor, and the books are fun.

-A non-fiction book that I recommend is Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave by Shyima Hall and Lisa Wysocky. It’s told from Hall’s perspective: How she was sold into slavery in Egypt, and brought to the United States. Eventually, she was rescued.

-Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken is a new collection of short stories that I’m enjoying. One story is about a children’s librarian who becomes friends with a patron, and the patron ends up murdered. All the stories are a little odd, but well-written and compelling.

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