Suggested One Read: Orange Is the new Black

Book cover for Orange Is the New BlackWell-reviewed and popular when first published in 2010, Piper Kerman’s best-selling memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in A Women’s Prison” gained even more attention after Netflix launched a series based on the book. The narrative follows the author’s incarceration for drug trafficking, during which she gained a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and met a varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances.

The reader who nominated “Orange Is the new Black” for One Read writes, “This book is a very accurate and eye-opening description of life in a women’s prison. Discussion topics include: the war on drugs, the overpopulation of American prisons, women’s issues, prisoners’ rights, mental illness, incarceration and opportunities to volunteer in prisons. As a women’s prison volunteer myself, I highly recommend this book.”

Thank you to everyone who suggested books to be considered for the 2015 One Read program. As the reading panel begins its work, we will continue to highlight nominated titles so you can learn what others in the community are reading and discussing.

Suggested One Read: The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

Book cover for The Sleepwalker's Guide to DancingWe continue our review of just some of the more than 100 books local readers nominated for next year’s One Read program. Next up is “The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing” by Jacob Mira. In this emotional and atmospheric debut, decades after an interrupted visit to his mother’s home in India triggers a haunting series of events, brain surgeon Thomas Eapen begins having conversations with his dead relatives, prompting his career-beleaguered wife to investigate a painful family history.

The nominator of  this book describes it as “a book about about the uneasy generational divide among Indians in America and about family in all its permutations … Similar issues haunt immigrant families from everywhere.”

Want to know what others in the community are reading and enjoying? See other books nominated for One Read 2015.

Suggested One Read: City of Thieves

Book cover for City of Thieves by David BenioffEach year we receive many nominations for One Read that fall into the category of historical fiction. Being set during different time periods, these books inspire rich discussion and offer up plenty of possibilities for educational programs. This year a local reader nominated David Benioff’s “City of Thieves,” a novel set in Russia during World War II. Documenting his grandparents’ experiences during the siege of Leningrad, a young writer learns his grandfather’s story about how a military deserter and he tried to secure pardons by gathering hard-to-find ingredients for a powerful colonel’s daughter’s wedding cake.

Our nominator describes this book as a “really fantastic coming of age story. I could not put it down when I was reading it and was sad to see this moving story come to a close. It’s great historical fiction, but the writing will appeal to readers who don’t normally pick up that genre because it is full of compelling characters and moves at a thrilling pace. I think this is a book that will appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds.”

Read about other books nominated for One Read 2015.

Suggested One Read: Empathy Exams

Book cover for The Empathy Exams by Leslie JamisonNominations for our 2015 One Read book are now closed, but we will be highlighting some of the more than 100 suggested titles throughout the month so  you can check out what your fellow mid-Missourians are reading and recommending.

Next up is “Empathy Exams” by Leslie Jamison. Recently named one of the best books of 2014 by Publisher’s Weekly, this collection of essays explores empathy, using topics ranging from street violence and incarceration to reality television and literary sentimentality to ask questions about people’s understanding of and relationships with others.

Our nominator writes, “It tackles a lot of interesting questions: what do we care about and how much control do we have over that? It’s got some pop science and some deeply reflective writing. It’s witty and fun and full of ideas that challenge in a good way.”

See what other titles have been nominated for One Read 2015.

Suggested One Read: The Warmth of Other Suns

Book cover for The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel WilkersonThis is the last week that the Daniel Boone Regional Library will be accepting nominations for the 2015 One Read book. Make your suggestion at any of our branches, on the bookmobile or online.

In January, a reading panel will consider all of the books nominated. In the meantime, we are highlighting some of your suggestions here at

One recent nomination is “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson. This book chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Our nominator writes, “[This book is] gripping, beautifully written and very readable. It’s carefully researched and tells a story few of us know and everyone should know that is of crucial impact to our country’s past and current social landscape.”

What one book tells a story you think the whole community should know and discuss? Make a nomination today!