Where do we get great ideas for what to read next?
Lincoln City Libraries recently unveiled an update to some of our website information–take a look at “Books Movies & More!” You’ll be guided to a variety of lists and other information. I refer to this feature often for great ideas, and I love how the lists connect directly to our library catalog…keep in mind, too, that our libraries offer free holds, so place a hold if you need a copy sent from one library to another for you to check out.
I’ve also recently been perusing Library Journal’s “Dusty Books” feature, part of its “Shelf Renewal” feature. One of the strengths of the public library is our collection of older books. While it’s true that we depend on new and popular titles for much of our circulation, many of our customers love finding something a little older, a little less known, and yet very rewarding.
Due to a “Dusty Books” recommendation, I just read “Learning to Fly” by April Henry, a novel about a young woman who takes on another’s identity. It gets going when Free Meeker picks up a hitchhiker, Lydia, and then drives into a dust storm on the Interstate that results in a multi-car, multi-death pileup. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, Free tries to help a badly injured young man by finding a Nike athletic bag that he’s fixated on retrieving. He dies, and Free realized that this bag contains nearly $750,000.00. Lydia dies, and Free decides to become Lydia, using the found money to support a new life. This is her opportunity to ditch her upbringing by two hippie counterculturalists and become something she’s craved–becoming a conforming member of society. What she doesn’t know is that Lydia’s psychopath husband will come after her, and so will the drug kingpin seeking all of that money.
Henry sets up great suspense. I wanted to keep reading, although, to my mind, she’s a little obvious in leaving clues and tying up loose ends. This book read quickly, which matched my reading mood, but it lacked the depth I believe it needed to sustain the character development.
I’d recommend this to people who enjoy mysteries and suspense, who would enjoy the Oregon and Portland setting, and who would be interested in Free learning about her true identity by trying to shake off her upbringing.