Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

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The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke, by Barbara Riddle

girl pretending to read rilke riddleThe year is 1963, and Bronwen is a promising summer intern under the care of Felix, the ultimate absent-minded chemistry professor. Bronwen is excited to spend her summer days in the lab and her summer nights with her dreamy grad student boyfriend, Eric. However, the more Bronwen thinks about it, the less dreamy she finds Eric. In fact, she hates how he belittles her, and her work. After all, her experiments are yielding very promising results—right?

Her strained and distant relationship with both of her parents offers little comfort, and she has no friends in the city to speak of, so Bronwen chooses to throw herself into her work as her one form of solace. The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke is a slow paced, slice-of-life novel about a young woman trying to decide what exactly she wants out of life and the people around her in the middle of a changing world.

This novel is very much like a summer afternoon: it consists primarily of Bronwen’s own thoughts and philosophies as she is working in the lab, out on a date, or alone in a room full of people. She is a very relatable protagonist, doubting herself one moment but then rallying self-confidence to get through the day. The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke would be ideal read for a quiet introspective evening.

Connect with the author on this book’s Facebook Page.

Check the PPLC Catalog for The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke.

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Chasing Death by K.E. Lamont

chasing death lamontJust in time for Halloween and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I recommend this spooky and inspiring debut novel by K.E. Lamont.

Maree Russo has problems. Not only is she dealing with the mountains of homework, exams, and college applications that come with being a high school senior, she must also somehow convince her mother that the voices Maree hears aren’t symptoms of schizophrenia; she can actually hear the dead. And as if that weren’t enough to deal with, one day Maree’s best friend, Andie, mysteriously disappears. Finding Andie quickly becomes Maree’s only concern, even as Maree’s mother ramps up her determination to have her daughter committed. As the voices of the dead begin to drown out the living, Maree must face her own demons and find Andie before she ends up in a straitjacket.

I was really impressed with the novel, especially after learning that the author was around eighteen years old at the time of publication. The plot progression was interesting with each chapter alternating between the present and the past. It allowed for great character development, and by the end I was fully invested in Maree’s story. I look forward to reading more from this author.

According to the author’s note, the first draft of this book was written in 30 days for NaNoWriMo. I’m totally inspired by the author’s determination.

Check the PPLC Catalog for Chasing Death.