Rachel Recommends: What to Read and Watch This Summer

Posted on June 27, 2023

by Rachel S

Do you remember when summer was kind of boring? Our childhood memories are rosy and fond, but when you get down to it, there was a lot of staring at the grass, trying to keep monopoly money from blowing away (because you weren’t allowed inside unless there was lightning), and listening in vain for the ice cream truck.

As adults, we have plenty to keep us busy in the summer, but we may find ourselves bored with mowing the lawn we used to stare at, making actual money and hoping it doesn’t blow away (in the figurative sense), and listening for the ever more elusive ice cream truck.

Here are a few Library materials to spark summer excitement. Find a hammock, relax, and enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Foster by Claire Keegan

eBook | eAudiobook

A sweet story about an adolescent girl finding comfort in the arms of a peaceful family one summer in rural Ireland, while her own deals with yet another new mouth to feed. Turned into the Oscar-nominated film The Quiet Girl in 2022.

For fans of short fiction and kind people.

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman

eBook | eAudiobook

Fascinating look at the history of the Academy and it is as juicy as can be.

This book reads like a history of Hollywood using the awards as a template. It is hefty and digs up loads of dirt about noteworthy films and the people involved. Regardless of your feelings about the awards, it is a must-read for any cinephile. They are as arbitrary and transparent as you already think.

Note: If you have watched and recorded (read: taped) the Academy Awards since the 6th grade and you dress up and walk an imaginary red carpet on the big night, I encourage you to read this. And then give me a call (on my landline) so we can chat about the book and how we are best friends.

For fans of champagne and backstabbing.

The Workweek Lunch Cookbook: Easy, Delicious Meals to Meal Prep, Pack and Take on the Go by Talia Koren

Do you remember those episodes of Oprah where people would share their groundbreaking ideas about saving money? There was always some genius who (with zero self-awareness) claimed that all they had to do was stop buying their $8 coffee every day and 6 months later, boom, they’re a millionaire.

What I did find logical were the suggestions about taking a lunch to work instead of buying it. That did seem realistic not to mention healthier.

Long story short, this book inspired me to get out of my lunch packing rut. I bookmarked so many pages that I think I’m set for a year.

For fans of The Container Store and avocados.

Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet by April Pulley Sayre

April Pulley Sayre excels at the photographic picture book. Useful in classrooms as well as living rooms, readers can see real photos of the majesty of our planet, taken from Earth’s “good side”. Thank You, Earth! See also: Happy Sloth Day!

For fans of polar bears and living above sea level.



I will never stop plugging Kanopy. This free streaming service is one of the Library’s best assets.

The following are some fun popcorn flicks you might enjoy that are available now on Kanopy. If you don’t quite care for these titles, please feel free to browse the site. It is crammed with movies for all tastes and if you prefer something a little highbrow, you won’t be disappointed.

One Crazy Summer: Lil’ Demi Moore and John Cusack spend a summer together on Nantucket in a plot that could double as a Hallmark Christmas movie. She’s a pop singer whose family property is due to be taken over by developers. A gang of teens comes to the rescue.

Clerks: crucial to the Gen X oeuvre of films. Perfect for the overeducated and underemployed and those that once were. If you had a weird crush on Randall, or Silent Bob (never Dante) or have ever been called in on your day off, grab a flannel off the floor, open a Snapple, and enjoy this indie favorite.

Priscilla Queen of the Desert: road trips, Aussie accents, fabulousness

Riders of Justice: I absolutely adore this film. It is quite violent but funny in a Nordic sort of way. This is a must-watch if you have always wished to see Mads Mikkelsen in a Christmas sweater!

Mr. Nice Guy: Nothing beats a bowl of popcorn and a Jackie Chan movie on the screen. Nothing/no one beats Jackie Chan either.


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