The Coronado Public Library and the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission are proud to announce the five finalists for the 2019 Coronado Community Read. A subcommittee of the Literary Arts Working Team read through the sixty-five titles nominated by the community and narrowed the field down to five finalists. Now it’s time for the community to vote for their favorite. The winner will be announced in September at 92118 Day. Voting will take place throughout the month of August and conclude on September 14.
Nominated titles are in alphabetical order by author:
Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan
Set in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career with the Ziegfeld Follies, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a nightclub, she chances to meet Dexter Styles again, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, and the reasons he might have vanished. (Fiction)
News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. Army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land. Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember–strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. (Fiction)
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
On May 1, 1915, with World War I entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Larson traces the event of one of the worlds most infamous maritime attacks that draws the United States into World War I. (Nonfiction)
The Practice House: A Novel by Laura McNeal
Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine’s sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she’s meant to lead and the person she’s meant to love. While in New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can’t possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price—the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad—and his family responds to her with kind curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she’s settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives. (Fiction)
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore. Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen? Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies. (Nonfiction)
Cast your vote in person at the Library or online at: https://goo.gl/a1qY9y. Voting will be open during the month of August and conclude on September 14. The winner will be announced in September at 92118 Day, and activities and programs will take place in February 2019. The Coronado Community Read is made possible by the Friends of the Coronado Public Library and the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission. The voting link is also available at the Library’s website: www.coronado.lib.ca.us and the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission website: www.coronadoarts.com.