As the summer progresses and libraries expand services, RAILS wanted to share a top 10 list that we compiled from our staff. Thank you to everyone who contributed a title: over 30 titles were suggested! Our theme was Books You Always Wanted to Read, (But Never Got Around To). We narrowed them down to the top ten. In alphabetical order:
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (suggested by Anna Behm & Bill Stone) - Chicago history! Anna says "I have a second job as a tour guide in the city where I tell stories about Chicago history. Whenever people find out I am also a librarian, they say, 'Oh, well then you MUST have read Devil in the White City. But I just haven't (yet) :("
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (suggested by Sara Naslund) - Another book with an Illinois connection! Sara says "I have troubled reading those 'assigned' school readings after having been in school for so long."
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (suggested by Amy de la Fuente) - Amy says "I missed reading this book during high school because I took a different English class and I am supposed to have read it by now. I usually gravitate towards other reading material." This book is available for free via BiblioBoard.
Kindred by Octavia Butler (suggested by Brian Smith & Joe Filapek) - One of Butler's first books; it has sold more than 450,000 copies worldwide. Brian says "A science fiction classic that's gotten renewed attention. Currently in my TBR pile."
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (suggested by Diana Rusch) - Diana says "I know a lot of people who found the experience of reading this classic title difficult for a myriad of reasons so I've always shied away from reading it, or at least starting to read it. But I am adding this to my TBR list after coming across a line in a New York Times Book Review that this book '...is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race...'"
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (suggested by Nicole Zimmermann) - A contemporary novel, this was one of NPR's Best Books of 2019. Nicole says "It's about a modern woman, asking herself similar questions about her life that I may ask myself, but doing it from a different background, different culture, different country."
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (suggested by Grant Halter) - Grant says "The cover scared me in middle school, but was always curious. Maybe I'm brave enough now to try reading the book... new movie too?"
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (suggested by Dan Bostrom) - This book won the National Book Critics Circle Award when it came out in 1977. Dan says "It's spanned a long history of success. I believe all the hype, but I guess I just haven't picked it up yet."
The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin (suggested by Patty Kweram) - Patty says "It's been recommended to me by several family members with good reading taste. I haven't read much in the fantasy genre for a while, so I need to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate it."
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (suggested by Patty Kweram) – This book has been on the New York Times bestseller list for five years! In Illinois, it won both the Bluestem and Caudill Awards in 2014. Patty says "Why haven't I read this yet? I don't know!"