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Staff Recommendations

What We're Talking About

As summer gets underway here are a few recommended reads from Island Bound Bookstore.

 

James by Percival Everett

 

This novel is a reimagined version of Jim, from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Jim becomes James and regains his own story. The book is heartbreaking and humorous, tragic and thrilling - a wild ride of a novel that you will not soon forget. Percival Everett’s writing is beautifully unique and his compassion for the main character James, as well as Huck, is deeply moving. Along the way there are many adventures and a myriad of dubious characters are encountered as James attempts to forge a new life as a free man. 



 

Table For Two by Amor Towles

 

“Life jolting chance encounters and money - its absence, its abundance, its magical properties” animate Table for Two, Amor Towles new collection of short stories. Fans of Gentleman in Moscow will be reminded of the skill with which Towles weaves a tale with humor and wit. Each short story is equally entertaining and thought-provoking. There are some laugh-out-loud moments that we can all relate to regardless of backgrounds or circumstances. The collection begins with 6 short stories and ends with a novella that centers around the character Evelyn Ross from his previous novel, The Rules of Civility. His writing is just so smart - a truly joyous reading experience!




 

The Sewing Girl’s Tale by John Wood Sweet

 

The Sewing Girl’s Tale chronicles a true story of crime and consequences in Revolutionary America. The book takes place in the 1790s and tells of a young seamstress' fight for justice during a time when women did not speak out about sexual assault. It’s a multi award-winning account of the first published rape trial in American history written by a history professor. “The Sewing Girl’s Tale is a mystery, a true crime tale, a courtroom drama, and a scathing analysis of a society stacked against young women.” The carefully researched book will appeal to historians, feminist scholars, and provides all with a thoughtful history lesson.








 

Funny Story by Emily Henry

 

If you’re in the mood for something lighter you will enjoy the latest novel by Emily Henry, who is deemed “the beach-read master.” Two exes of their former fiance's end up rooming together. The irony is that their prospective exes are now a couple. Hence the title, Funny Story. As much as they are not each other’s “types,” they begin to form a  friendship based on heartache and a shared plot for revenge. 


 

The Wide Wide Sea by Hampton Sides


 

The complete title of The Wide Wide Sea includes the sib-title: Imperial Ambition, First Contact and the Fateful Final Voyage of Captain James Cook. On July 12, 1776, Captain James Cook, who was considered the greatest explorer in British history, set sail for his 3rd voyage on his ship the HMS Resolution. The book chronicles the danger, and the thrill, of exploration in the 1700s. Cook was also known as a humanitarian who showed great interest in the natives he encountered. Although, I think his humanitarian efforts could be heatedly debated. - It is now well documented that the Indigenous people suffered greatly from Britain's exploration. This final voyage describes Cook's struggle with his overt scientific intentions and his covert efforts towards imperialism. This conflict leads to James Cook’s death and a complicated legacy.



 

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

 

With his latest book, Erik Larson studies the 5 critical months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the start of the Civil War. Larson begins his book by sharing, “I was well into my research on the saga of Fort Sumter and the advent of the American Civil War when the events of January 6, 2021 took place.” The current divergent thinking in our country is reminiscent of the unrest of 1860. In the months prior to the American Civil War there were those who were trying to prevent it from occurring, those that were working hard to provoke it, and those who were undecided. Larson does such a brilliant job researching these events and the people involved. He weaves the history together to tell a story that entertains and provides a memorable experience for the reader. 

 

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