May the Spirit Never Die

Fall in Love with Reading

By Amanda Roberge, Vice President of Membership

Even though everyone is ramping up for fall and everything pumpkin, did you know it’s still technically summer for two more weeks?! When it comes to summer, is there anything better than reading a book outside on a beautiful day while taking in the scenery? It doesn’t matter if you’re engrossed in a book on the beach or lying in your backyard hammock. There is something incredibly relaxing about getting lost in a book especially when the sun is shining.

Have you just finished a book and are looking for your next great story? I asked my fellow board members to share some of their favorite reads with you:

Liz Hartford, Executive Director

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
I really enjoy historical fiction and most of what I’m typically drawn to is Ancient or Medieval era books.  But this one is pulled right from our own history in the US and it was fascinating to read about a period of time and a common practice of sending orphans by train out west to new families.  I could barely put the book down and managed to finish it in two days!  Though the characters weren’t real, the experiences they had were and I really felt drawn into the characters and their stories as the plot travelled between the past and the present of two characters.

Danielle Young, Vice President of Administration

Lost at Sea ­by Jon Ronson
Each chapter is a new story which represents an article written by Ronson about his adventures in interviewing eccentric personalities and meeting extraordinary people. The stories are those of madness, strange behavior and mysterious events on the fringe of normality in western society. It gives you a glimpse into the lives and struggles oh those considered to be odd or outcasted. It gives you a new perspective.

Wild ­by Cheryl Strayed
I just started reading this, only halfway through, but I would definitely recommend it. It’s a story of the author struggling after the loss of her mother. It leads her to journey the Pacific Coast Trail all alone. You follow her through her trials, tribulations and successes.

Casey Swenson, Associate Board Member

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This story is imaginative, colorful, and adventurous. It takes place in Germany during WWII where a girl uses reading to escape from the terror around her. It shows that reading is an escape from reality and can bring calm to even the worst of situations.

 The Ghost Bridge by Yangze Choo
I’m not much into fantasy, but this book I could not put down. In this Chinese tale, a young girl is destined to marry a prince, who has already passed, making her a Ghost Bride. This fantasy gives her story about a prince who takes over her soul, her traveling between the dead, undead, and everything else in between, and her struggle to maintain her own reality.

Tamara Litt, Associate Board Member

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
The Lemony Snicket Series by Lemony Snicket
Both series encompass so much of my childhood. I have a really big imagination and I live by creativity, so both series allow me to challenge both of those aspects of my life. I would really recommend readers of any age to indulge in these series!

Kate Montelione, Associate Board Member

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
It’s the story of a boy coping with his father’s death in the 9/11 attacks. He finds a key in a small envelope labeled “Black” and he believes his father left it for him to solve, just like the games and puzzles they used to play together. He then attempts to meet with everyone in the phone book with the last name “Black.” This book will make you feel all the feels! It’s happy, sad, funny, witty, deep, and just so beautifully written.

Alex Nestro, Associate Board Member

We Were Liars by E Lockhart
We Were Liars focuses on the theme of self-acceptance, family morals, and the possibly deadly consequences of one’s mistakes. This book is about a rich family that owns their own island and goes to it during every summer, But when something happens to Cadence during summer 15 the 4 Liars go on a twisting journey to help Cadence remember. “We Were Liars.” Wikipedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2015. <>.

The Flamethowers by Rachel Kushner
The year is 1975 and Reno—so-called because of the place of her birth—has come to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity in the art world—artists have colonized a deserted and industrial SoHo, are staging actions in the East Village, and are blurring the line between life and art. “The Flamethrowers.” Goodreads. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2015. <>.

 Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Sydney has always felt invisible. She’s grown accustomed to her brother, Peyton, being the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world. Dessen, Sarah. Saint Anything: A Novel. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Last, but not least, here are my selections:

The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K Hamilton is my favorite author. Her Anita Blake series broke barriers by completely redefining the paranormal fantasy genre. The early books lay a great foundation of Anita’s world and solving crimes with vampires and werewolves. Later in the series relationships deepen and become more complex; with some very saucy sex scenes.

The Merry Gentry Series by Laurell K. Hamilton
The Merry Genrty series takes place in a different world than the Anita Blake series and is about faerie Princess Meredith NicEssus, the first faerie princess born on American soil. Merry and her lover who double as her body guards must fend off assignation attempts from her crazy cousin, the heir to the faerie throne unless she can produce a baby before him.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we have!

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