Suggested One Read: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

Book cover for Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny WingfieldAn area reader nominated Jenny Wingfield’s “The Homecoming of Samuel Lake,” a work of character-driven domestic fiction set in the 1950s and centered around a small-town preacher. Lake’s rigid moral codes are called into question when his twelve-year-old daughter and his neighbors hide a young boy from his abusive father, a man who lashes out at the community when he learns about the deception.

Our nominator writes that this book “presents many issues for discussion. There are some gritty plot points, yet [the book is] safe for a wide range of readers. The characters linger.” Small-town life, abuse, family relationships and coming-of-age are just a few of the topics this work explores.

Throughout the month of December we will continue to highlight some of this year’s One Read nominations at oneread.dbrl.org. See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2012.

Book synopsis courtesy of Novelist Plus.

Suggested One Read: Little Bee

Book cover for Little Bee by Chris CleaveDuring the month of December we are highlighting books nominated to be next year’s One Read selection. “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave was the 2011 choice for Seattle Reads, and a local reader thinks this would be a good choice for our community-wide reading program as well.

The story begins in the voice of refugee Little Bee: “Most days I wish I was a British pound coin instead of an African girl. Everyone would be pleased to see me coming.” Sarah and Andrew, a British couple on vacation in Nigeria, fatefully encounter Little Bee and her sister—the only people to survive a massacre in their village—and are confronted with an excruciating decision in an attempt to save them. A few years later, Little Bee seeks refugee status in London and reconnects with Sarah, the two forging an unlikely friendship.

Our nominator writes, “This is a beautifully written and powerful novel about a Nigerian refugee in the UK. While it is fiction, it highlights true-life issues faced by refugees within the context of a gripping story. Since Columbia is home to many refugees, it seems like a fitting book for our community.”

See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2012.

Suggested One Read: Cemetery Bird

Book cover for Cemetery Bird by Bridget BuffordDuring the nomination process for One Read 2012, many of you voiced your support for “Cemetery Bird” by local author Bridget Bufford. Here are just a few of the comments from area readers about this novel.

  • “This is a compelling story with several direct Missouri connections that I think would get people interested in reading it. The story also has compelling female and ethnic minority characters that I think would speak to a broad base of Columbia’s diverse community. The main character is a part-Apache firefighter whose story is both exotic enough to be interesting and familiar enough to form a connection with local readers. The storyline touches on issues such as substance abuse and autism, and I believe this could help bring awareness to those issues in our community.”
  • “This book puts you inside the minds of persons with autism and persons with brain injuries. I think that getting some understanding of what it is like to face these issues from inside them is fascinating and brings understanding. It is hard to put down–the characters are strong and unusual.”
  • “It is an enlightening story of maturity, consciousness and insight into the human condition. Bridget has an uncanny grasp on human behavior, what we observe and what we discard as we journey through this bumpy life.”

Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2012 One Read book! Nominations are now closed, but we will continue highlighting some of the suggested titles here at oneread.dbrl.org throughout the month of December.

See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2012.

Suggested One Read: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Book cover for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullersThe Daniel Boone Regional Library is accepting nominations for the 2012 One Read book through November 30. Many local readers are suggesting what they describe as overlooked gems from the past, including “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers. In this work of literary fiction set in the 1930s, a mute man in a small southern town becomes the confidant of misfits and outcasts of all sorts, including a budding musician whose dreams are stifled by her family’s poverty. Our nominator writes, “This brilliant, touching, sad and still timely coming-of-age story is a classic  that continues to resonate with the reader long after he or she reads the last page.”

Have a suggestion of your own? Let us know what you think our community should read in 2012 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile, or online at oneread.org.

See other readers’ nominations for One Read 2012.

Suggested One Read: The Tiger’s Wife

The Tigers Wife by Tea ObrehtThe Daniel Boone Regional Library is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 One Read  book. We’ll be highlighting some of the titles area readers suggest.

Tea Obreht’s novel “The Tiger’s Wife” tells the story of a young doctor in a war-torn Balkan country as she struggles to understand her grandfather’s mysterious death and takes over his search for a mythical ageless vagabond. This book’s nominator thinks it would make a great One Read because “it is an immensely enjoyable story in and of itself.  It also could allow for several wide-ranging discussions such as the importance of storytelling (the Balkans vs. the Ozarks?) the impact of civil wars on cultures (especially given the current coverage of the anniversary of our Civil War) and so on.”

Have a suggestion of your own? Let us know what you think our community should read in 2012 by filling out a suggestion form at any of our branches, the bookmobile, or online at oneread.org.