Libraries are about fun. Libraries are about learning. Libraries are about discovery. At the Radium Library, we add a few hundred new titles to our shelves each year. And I’ve noticed over my few years of serving as a volunteer at our little library that many of our visitors will come in the door and make a beeline for our “New Releases” section. Without a doubt, these recently published works are the most popular choices amongst our adult readers. And I must admit that I, too, enjoy checking to see what new arrivals have made their way onto our shelves. But I think that when we opt to select a new release, we overlook the other 99% of the books that our library carries. And by doing that, we overlook a significant number of great reads.

So, here’s the deal: Our well-read and diverse group of volunteers, staff and regular library visitors would like to offer the following list of eclectic Summer Reading choices taken, not from the latest arrivals, but from the deep, dark back aisles, the inner sanctum, if you will, of the Radium library. These books fall into the category of “Readers Choice” selections; books that we’ve read and loved, books that are currently available on our library shelves and books that we think deserve your consideration. Have a look at our selection. You may find something you’ve overlooked, and, if so, you now know your Radium Library is sure to have it. So, without further hesitation, I offer you our staff selection of favorite reads:

From Jane Jones, our Librarian: The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah; Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden; The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins; The Martian by Andy Weir. Jane also suggests a favourite for “the guys”: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein.

From Barry: Dead Wake by Erik Larson, a great read on the sinking of the Lusitania and Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand.


From Marg: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay.

From Lynda: Bird’s Eye View by Elinor Florence and All The Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, two great reads.

From Phyllis: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom; Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks; A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

From Trudy: Bird’s Eye View by Elinor Florence, a second vote for this one.

From Jane T: Lost Horizons by James Hilton.

From Jan: Remembrance by Alistair Maclean.

From me: I like all of the above but I’ll give my nod to All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill.

Jane Jones also wishes to remind everyone that we have a great selection of books for our younger and beginning readers. In fact, the Radium Library has become a popular destination for children who love bringing in both parents and grandparents to relax while reading works from our Young Reader and Children’s sections.

So there you have it: a short selection of recommended Summer Reads from people in the know. And don’t forget, they’re all available at the “one and only” Radium Public Library. So come on in and get started on a Summer of fun, learning and discovery!

submitted by Tom Graves, unabashed reader and Radium Library volunteer