Residents suggest books to honor National Book Month


Jackie Kennedy photographed in Palm Beach in 1961. Photo from Flickr

By Mallory Hackett

Every October since 2003, The National Book Foundation has celebrated its National Book Month.  The month is dedicated to promoting reading, writing and literature.

To honor the holiday, the Oxford Observer asked members of the community through email and Facebook if they’d read any good books lately. Here are some of the books they recommended and what they had to say about them. 

  1. Recommended by Regina Schroer: “Mrs. Kennedy and Me” by Clint Hill

 “Jackie Kennedy’s Secret Service agent, Clint Hill, authored a candid look into the life of most likely, the most gossiped about First Lady and family. From before the White House, through a year following the President’s assassination, we get a peek inside the Oval Office, Camp David and places like the Kennedy Compound (in Massachusetts) and Dallas, Texas,” Schroer said.

What’d you like about it?

“It’s packed with historical info you won’t find anywhere else,” she said.

Who do you think should read this book?

“Anyone who likes history, or wonders what the First Family and their Secret Service agents’ lives are like.”

  1. Recommended by Seth Wasburn-Moses: “Blood Meridian,” by Cormac McCarthy

 “A fourteen-year-old boy joins a posse of headhunters in 1850,” Wasburn-Moses said.

What’d you like about it?

“It tells a fascinating and compelling story with plenty of comments on modern America,” Washburn-Moses said.

Who should read this book?

“Anyone looking for something interesting who also has a strong stomach,” he said.

  1. Recommended by Jessica Greene: “Bear Town,”  by Fredrik Backman

 “A wonderful examination and heartfelt story of youth sports culture and small hardworking towns. It does deal with rape culture and how we view and raise our young men and women,” Greene said.

What’d you like about it?

“There are a lot of hard questions and no easy answers in this book. I’m not an athlete or even a big fan of sports, but this book was extremely powerful and thought-provoking for me.  It was also an interesting read, fast-paced, and I stayed up WAY too late reading ‘just one more chapter’,” Greene said.

Who should read this book?

“Adults willing to reflect on culture and how we raise our youth. It will be hard for parents of daughters,” she said.

  1. Recommended by Jean Howell: “News of the World,” by Paulette Jiles

“[It takes place in] post-civil-war Texas. An old soldier and newsreader finds himself returning an unwilling little girl who was a Kiowa captive to her relatives.”

What’d you like about it?

“[It was] Historical, thoughtful, humane,” Howell said.

Blood Meridien was written by Cormac McCarthy. Photo from Flickr

Who should read this book?

“Anyone wanting a view of lost and vulnerable children and of a lost Texas,” she said.

  1. Recommended by Jessica James: “If She Wakes,” by Michael Koryta

 “Tara Beckley is awake trapped in her body while in a coma. She is hearing everything going on around her. While some are after her and want her dead, others are trying to keep her alive in hopes that she will wake up and then they can get vital information from her. Abby, an insurance investigator is on her case and is trying everything in her power to learn why and how Tara is in her coma. While tracking down evidence, Abby starts asking questions that gets a young hitman named Dax to start following her. Abby gets tangled in the mystery of if Tara’s accident was really an accident or if it was done on purpose with the intent to kill,” James said.

What’d you like about it?

“The suspense and plot turn throughout the book. When I started to think that I had things figured out, the book would throw another curve ball my way. At the end of the book, I enjoyed how everything that happened throughout the book was answered and it finished up nicely,” she said.

Who should read this book?

“Anyone who enjoys a good mystery. I would think that students, mothers, men, etc. would enjoy this book.”