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Westerly Sun Column

July 15th:

By Caroline Badowski, Reference Librarian


A real highlight of summer for me is sitting on my front porch watching the world go by. It truly is one of my favorite past-times, and believe me, I consider sitting with a cup of coffee my main hobby! Usually I’ll put on some music or listen to a podcast but every now and then I get motivated and actually do a little bit of reading while sitting out there.


One of my favorite reads so far this summer was recommended to me by a friend. “The Flight Portfolio” by Julie Orringer is a historical novel that focuses on Varian Fry. Fry was an American journalist who ran a rescue network in Vichy France for anti-Nazi refugees and Jewish artists, intellectuals, and political dissidents. Among his more famous “clients” were Hannah Arendt, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and Marc Chagall. It is a compelling, beautifully written story.


For something a bit more on the lighter side, try “The First Mistake” by Sandie Jones. It is an entertaining novel full of twists. Alice believes she has the perfect life with her husband, children and a best friend who has been through every one of life’s ups and downs with her. However, when her husband starts acting strangely and spending more and more time away, Alice starts suspecting there may be something more going on between her best friend and husband.


Some titles that are on my to-read list include “Chances Are” by Richard Russo who wrote “Empire Falls”, which I loved. I would like to give “The Water Cure” by Sophie Mackintosh a try. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, it is described as "A dystopic feminist revenge fantasy” about three sisters on an isolated island, raised to fear men. Sounds a bit heavy and dark, but library books are free, so why not give it a chance!


Hopefully you have your own favorite spot to read. Whether it’s on the beach, in your backyard, or in bed right before you fall asleep, it’s always a good thing to take time to immerse yourself in a good book. If my recommendations don’t appeal to you, there are plenty of new books to choose from at the library!