I recently finished reading the book Little Fires Everywhere and now I find myself asking "what should I read now?" I'm someone who enjoys reading but I don't do it enough and now that its summertime I want to take full advantage of finding a good book to read at the park or poolside. If you're finding yourself in the same situation the Grand Rapids Public Library has done the work for you.

GRPL announced their summer reading challenge, GR Reads, and it's specifically for adults.

Our expert staff have selected six engaging titles that can be picked up at any GRPL location, through GRPL To Go, or downloaded directly to your digital device.

So what are the six books?

  1. Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall - sets place in Detroit in the 1960s and "...it honors 52 weekly “Saints” of Black Bottom." This includes names like Nat King Cole and Joe Louis.
  2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune - A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

    This whimsical tale blends fantasy and romance to create a story of found family.

  3. The Library Book by Susan Orlean - This book investigates the mysterious fire that burned the Los Angeles Public Library for seven hours in 1986, and destroyed hundreds of thousands of books.
  4. A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliot - A collection of essays from the author's life covering different serious issues that people struggle with.
  5. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton - A "Groundhog Day" type of story where a woman is stuck in a time-loop and dies everyday at 11 p.m.
  6. Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, And the Fight to Fit In by Phuc Tran - The author tells his story of his family moving to America as refugees from Vietnam in the '80s and their struggles navigating small-town America.

The six books will be accompanied with 19 different events throughout the summer that readers can attend. For example, a Black History Tour of Downtown Grand Rapids, a family celebration at Riverside Park, GR Crime Tours, movie nights at Wealthy Theatre, and even a virtual cooking class. A list of the events can be found here along with more information about each book.

Even better? All the events are free to attend and open to the public!

The summer reading challenge is going on now until August 31st.

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Happy reading! If you have a book recommendation, drop it in the comments!

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