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South Salt Lake Journal

Explore a universe of stories at Salt Lake County Libraries this summer

Jun 19, 2019 04:57PM ● By Holly Vasic


By Holly Vasic | [email protected]

On June 1, Salt Lake County Library’s summer reading program began. The theme, A Universe of Stories, will be highlighted throughout the summer with different activities and a summer reading challenge. Partners like the Natural History Museum, ZAP, my529, and Clark Planetarium will help challenge both kids and adults who will receive incentives to read.

At Columbus Library branch, located on 2530 S. 500 East, librarians Laurie Hoecherl and Elizabeth Hanby have recommendations for every age who want to participate in the challenge. 

As the youth librarian, Hoecherl takes part in the weekly young children story time that occurs during the school year. 

Hoecherl’s baby book recommendations and location info:

  1. 1.“Chomp Goes the Alligator” by Matthew Van Fleet, JP Van Fleet
  2. 2.“Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings” by Matthew Van Fleet, JP Van Fleet
  3. 3.“Baby's Big Busy Book” by Karen Katz, JT Katz
  4. 4.“Say Hello Like This” by Mary Murphy, JP Murphy
  5. 5.“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, JP Brown
  6. 6.“Spot's Birthday Party” by Eric Hill, JP Hill
  7. 7.“Hello, Day!” by Anita Lobel, JP Lobel
  8. 8.“Clip Clop” by Nicola Smee, JP Smee
  9. 9.“Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See” by Bill Martin, JP Martin
  10. 10.“I Went Walking” by Sue Williams, JP Williams

During her children’s story time Hoecherl used a plethora of good reads but she also had her favorites of those too. 

Hoecherl’s ages 2 to 8 book recommendations with location info:

  1. “Bark George Bark” by Jules Feiffer, JP Feiffer
  2. “Rhyming Dust Bunnies” by Jan Thomas, JP Thomas
  3. “Froggy Gets Dressed” by Jonathan London, JP London
  4. “Duck! Rabbit!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, JP Rosenthal
  5. “The Paper Bag Princess” by Robert Munsch, JP Munsch
  6. “Go Away Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberley, JP Emberley
  7. “The Wide Mouthed Frog” by Keith Faulkner, JP Faulkner
  8. “Falling For Rapunzel” by Leah Wilcox, JP Wilcox
  9. “The Watermelon Seed” by Greg Pizzoli, JP Pizzoli
  10. “My Sister Ate One Hare” by Bill Grossman, JP Grossman

Hoecherl also has ideas for 8- to 12-year-old readers as well. “All of these titles were used in the Great Reads program,” Hoecherl said of her recommendations. The Great Read program is a monthly book club with activities that correlate with the chosen book in libraries throughout the valley. 

Hoecherl’s ages 8 to 12 book recommendations with location info: 

  1. 1.“The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart” by Stephanie Burgis, JF Burgis
  2. 2.“Word of Mouse” by James Patterson, JF Patterson
  3. 3.“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, JF Applegate
  4. 4.“City of Ember” by Jeanne DuPrau, JF DuPrau
  5. 5.“A Night Divided” by Jennifer Nielsen, JF Nielsen
  6. 6.“The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown, JF Brown
  7. 7.“Esperanza Rising” by Pam Munoz Ryan, JF Ryan
  8. 8.“A Boy Called Bat” by Elana Arnold, JF Arnold
  9. 9.“The BFG” by Roald Dahl, JF Dahl
  10. 10.“Pie” by Sarah Weeks, JF Weeks
  11. 11.“Wonderstruck” by Brian Selznick, JF Selznick
  12. 12.“Three Times Lucky” by Sheila Turnage, JF Turnage 
  13. 13.“Rules” by Cynthia Lord, JF Lord
  14. 14.“A Year Down Yonder” by Richard Peck, JF Peck
  15. 15.“Ghosts” by Raina Telgemeier, JGN Telgemeier 

Hanby, the adult librarian, facilitates book clubs throughout the year and has found favorites in her groups. 

Hanby’s Columbus Library feminist book club recommendations:

“Her Body and Other Parties” by Carmen Maria Machado

“In ‘Her Body and Other Parties,’ author Machado mixes urban legend and erotica throughout an original and wild collection of short stories. It was a favorite with the Columbus Library’s feminist book club, the bizarre myths somehow speak to familiar, unspoken truths about being a woman in today’s world, even more so than realist writing would,” Hanby said. 

“Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” by Rebecca Traister

New York Magazine columnist Rebecca Traister is the author of this book, which Hanby said many women in the book club said, “without a hint of irony, changed their lives.” Famous feminists such as Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks and others appear in the book. “What they all have in common is that they eventually found they could no longer tolerate the conditions under which they lived, and they got mad,” Hanby said. 

“Song of a Captive Bird” by Jasmin Darznik

Hanby said many book club members enjoyed this historical fiction read. “The book explores Forugh Farrokhzad, Iran’s most celebrated and controversial poet. Darznik, an Iranian-born author, recreates the poet’s sexual and creative liberation while exploring the threat she posed to social order in prerevolutionary Iran,” Hanby said. 

Another book club Hanby facilitates is an art book club.  

Hanby’s Columbus Library art/book club recommendation:

 “Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art" by Mary Gabriel.

Hanby’s favorite book this year has been “Ninth Street Women,” and a favorite with the Columbus Library art/book club, Hanby noted. 

“This sprawling work is incredibly well-researched with astute analyses and lively story-telling. It's filled with memorable characters, many of them true mavericks of the art world, who are/were often overlooked in the canon of art history,” Hanby said. 

“Another Columbus Librarian Jamie Ward facilitates a more general reading book club. They just finished their discussion of ‘The Golem and the Jinni’ by Helene Wecker and are now reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama,” Hanby said. 

Hanby also has recommendations specifically for the summer reading program. 

Hanby’s books she highly recommends for summer reading: 

"Bunny" by Mona Awad (coming out in June)

Hanby called the novel extremely original, strange, wild, and audacious and said, “It's a story of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and frightening power of the imagination.”

"The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides

Hanby called the novel extremely original, strange, wild, and audacious and said, “It's a story of loneliness and belonging, friendship and desire, and the fantastic and frightening power of the imagination.”"The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides

Hanby shared the first sentence of this book, “Alicia Berenson was 33 years old when she killed her husband.” “The book’s first sentence gets right to it,” she said. Hanby said the thriller/mystery has “twisty plots but uncomplicated writing.” 

"Normal People" by Sally Rooney

Hanby called this book “a psychologically astute novel which delves into an intense love across social classes.”  Hanby said, “The protagonists are extremely sympathetic characters readers will surely enjoy exploring” and though the author is “hailed as a voice of millennials,” Hanby said, “she appeals to readers across generations.” 

"The Body in Question" by Jill Clement

Hanby said this novel is smart, funny, and unnerving, “set in the courtroom and the juror's lounge. The book avoids the frequent melodrama of similarly located stories through Clement's incisive language, which turns ‘The Body in Question’ into a profound work about mortality and the mysteries of human behavior,” Hanby said. 

"The Great Successor" by Anna Fifield

Hanby said the author of this behind-the-scenes novel, Washington Post writer Anna Fifield, is uniquely qualified to write this story regarding “the rise and reign of the worlds strangest and most elusive tyrant Kim Jong Un.” The author, said Hanby, “has spent considerable time in North Korea both before and after the princeling Kim's ascent.”  

"On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" by Ocean Vuong

"Vuong is a former refugee and prize-winning poet. The book is written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read,” Hanby said. Little Dog, the protagonist, is in his late 20s. Hanby said, “The letter unearths a revelatory family history that began before Little Dog was born. It's a brilliant portrait of a family, a first love and the redemptive power of storytelling.” 

"Underland" by Robert MacFarland 

Hanby called this book “an extraordinary work of nonfiction.” She said the author “explores the earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory and the land itself.” 

"Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup" by John Carreyrou

Hanby recalled Ward, who runs other books clubs at Columbus, telling her “this one is riveting, she couldn't put it down.” This nonfiction book covers the rise and fall of Theronas, “the multibillion-dollar biotech startup headed by Elizabeth Holmes; it's a story of corporate fraud, a tale of ambition and arrogance set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley,” Hanby said. 

This summer a universe of stories awaits readers at Columbus Library, and other branches around the valley, with helpful librarians like Hoecherl and Hanby to help readers find a good choice.