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Arts & Culture

The 'First Coast Connect' Book Club Has 5 Books For Your Summer Reading List

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Looking for new additions to your summer reading list? The "First Coast Connect" Book Club and the Jacksonville Public Library have you covered.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” the show’s book club blogger Stacey Goldring gave her reading recommendations.

1. “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel

For someone who wants to expand their imagination

“This is a beautiful book, again using one of my favorite literary ingredients, magical realism, and this makes it a fabulous read,” Goldring said.

2. “The Book of Three” by Lloyd Alexander

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

For people who remember coming in from the playground for reading time

This novel is the first in a series of five. Even though it’s considered young adult fiction, Goldring says she recommends it for the whole family.

“This is a book that takes modern fantasy and it mixes it up with Welsh myths and Arthurian legends,” Goldring said.

She says this series follows in the traditions of C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia”, J.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

3. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

Walden, or, Life In The Woods by Henry David Thoreau

For people with FOMO (fear of missing out)

Goldring says this book is about living life simply

“So this means, get rid of the iPhone, forget the Twitter, the Facebook. Just focus on simplicity, labor, a life tuning in with nature,” Goldring said.

4. “American Dervish” by Ayad Akhtar

American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar

For people who don’t love their lives because they’re boring or normal

After reading this book, you will appreciate your boring life. This book brilliantly exposes raw emotion, family, religion, obligation, physical violence, first love, alienation,” Goldring said.

5. “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

For someone who’s a complainer

“This is a war story of survival, resilience, and redemption,” Goldring said.

The Jacksonville Public Library keeps extra copies of all these recommendations.

Email Stacey Goldring with your own reading suggestions, or let her know your thoughts on her picks at

Listen to the full conversation with Stacey Goldring on Tuesday’s episode of the “First Coast Connect” podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.