By Sheila Lence, Librarian
As the children prepare to “Dig Into Reading” with our Summer Library Program, the rest of us look forward to having time to relax, vacation, and read throughout the summer as well. Although they are not new releases, these books have all made an impact, whether literary, scientific, personal, or otherwise. All are available at the Ripley Public Library.
The River Wife by Jonis Agee. Chronicles the adventure-filled life of Jacques Ducharme, a French fur trapper and river pirate, and the women whose lives he touches – Annie Lark, whom he rescues in the wake of the 1811 New Madrid earthquake; his second wife Laura; Omah, a freed slave and fellow river raider; Maddie, his young daughter; and Hedie Rails, betrothed to his grandson,
Blind Descent by Nevada Barr. Forced to cope with her claustrophobia and to use all the skills she has developed above ground, park ranger Anna Pigeon enters the dangerous Lechuguilla Cavern in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Cavern National Park to attempt a rescue and learns whom she can trust and who can be saved.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set during the Prohibition era and Jazz age, this is the story of Jay Gatsby, who tries to recapture the past and win back his former love Daisy Buchanan, despite the fact that she has married.
Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines. A woman born into slavery on a Louisiana plantation, freed at the end of the Civil War, and who lives for 100 more years recalls her struggle against bigotry and racial injustice from her childhood during the Civil War to her participation in the twentieth-century civil rights demonstrations.
A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul. After a recent civil war, a country in the interior of Africa is under a new president, whose insane energy and crudity have made his power felt everywhere including an isolated village at a bend in the river, where one restless, reflective, and isolated villager and his friends uneasily submit to the tide of events.
Love Story by Erich Segal. A tragic love story that depicts the love and marriage of Oliver Barrett, IV, a wealthy Harvard ice hockey player from a stuffy aristocratic family, and Jenny Cavilleri, a poor Radcliffe music student from a working class background.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. The horrifying conditions of the Chicago stockyards are revealed through this narrative of a young immigrant’s struggles in America.
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. During the Great Depression in the United States, and after the loss of their farm in Oklahoma, the Joad family is faced with a journey of more than one thousand miles to California in search of a better life. Can hope defeat poverty, illness, hunger, and even death as they follow their dream?
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. Stingo, an inexperienced 22-year-old writer, takes us back to the summer of 1947 and a boarding house in a leafy Brooklyn suburb. There, he meets Nathan, a fiery Jewish intellectual; and Sophie, a beautiful and fragile Polish Catholic concentration camp survivor. Ultimately, he arrives at the dark core of Sophie’s past: her memories of pre-war Poland, and her choice.
Clutter’s Last Stand: It’s Time to De-Junk Your Life by Don Aslett. This is an updated guide to organization that offers good-natured, practical guidance in ridding homes, offices, and lives of clutter and, thereby, enhancing one’s relationships, emotional well-being, and personal growth.
Darwin’s Ghost : The Origin of Species Updated by Steve Jones. A modern geneticist revisits Darwin’s classic work, which examined evolution and the origin of species, to offer contemporary examples and modern research – from the AIDS virus and the physiology and psychology of pets to the genetic success of humankind – that confirm the classic book’s conclusions on evolution.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard. This is a collection of essays on the natural world during a year spent around Tinker Creek in a valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and reflects the author’s interactions with her wilderness surroundings.
Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Michael Okrent. In this fascinating history of America’s most puzzling era, the years 1920 to 1933, when the U.S. Constitution was amended to restrict alcoholic beverages, the author explains how Prohibition happened, what life under Prohibition was like and what it did to the country. Explores the factors that led to Prohibition, and discusses what life was like under Prohibition and how the country was changed by this unprecedented government interference in the private lives of its citizens.
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life one of the most intriguing women in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. She separates fact from fiction to reconstruct the life of the most influential woman of her era, revealing Cleopatra as a complex woman and shrewd monarch whose life and death reshaped the ancient world.