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Courier Article by Sean Davis
Sunday, May 16, 2010

Library Carries Summer Reading for Many Tastes

With summer little more than a month away, it comes as no surprise that the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library is once again holding its annual Summer Reading Program. With each year's program comes a new batch of recommendations for summer reading, and this year is no exception. From the mysteries of science to those from other worlds, the list has many titles of interest.

Most participants in the summer reading program like to read novels, and many of this year's suggested readings are fictional works. However, a little nonfiction is often good for the soul. In "The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science" Natalie Angier presents the reader a quick overview of modern scientific issues. Through a creative writing style and a common-sense approach, Angier relays tough issues with much insight and wit. This is definitely a good read for anyone interested in why things are the way that they are.

Perhaps the seriousness of science is too dry for your summer reading tastes. A good fantasy is often enthralling enough to eat up lazy summer hours under the sun. One suggestion from the library's list is "Warbreaker" by Branden Sanderson. The author envisions a world where those who die a glorious death are reborn to a world of gods, science and magic. Add to this mix an army of zombies, and there may either be just the right mix, or too much flavor for your taste.

If you find mystery and murder are more palatable than science fiction, "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley may be the book to read. The story follows eleven-year-old Flavia as she seeks to solve the mystery of who murdered the man in the garden. Bradley brings to life an interesting character in Flavia who is an expert in poisons and far too interested in the case to be afraid. From the opening words Flavia's character is shown to be inventive and resourceful, a match for any of the great sleuths.

Another who-dunnit novel on the reading program list is "Finding Nouf" by Zoe Ferraris. A case that may be challenging to even the best detectives, the disappearance and later murder of a young girl in Saudi Arabia presents the reader not only an interesting mystery, but also a glimpse into a new world. Each twist in the plot gives the reader a further glimpse into the traditionally driven private lives of everyday Saudis. Add to this the lead character characterized by his attraction to the desert and the sea, and a fervent religious belief. When a bold woman enters his world, he is forced to examine not only his place in society, but also his faith.

Another book about a character coming to grips with a changed perception of the world "The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane" is completely different all the same. Katherine Howe invokes memories of the Salem Witch Trials to set the stage for a supernatural thriller that pushes all the buttons. Magic and mystery surround main character Connie Goodwin as she digs deep into her family's past, only to find what she once disdained is now true. Through her tireless research the character soon finds more than she bargained for.

Great things can be found at the public library. On Sunday May 23 the library will kick off the adult and children's summer reading program with an event open to the public. Learn about the great prizes and get your hands on these and other great titles available from the library.