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Crete Reads! 2023

Video of virtual talk with author now available

Crete Public Library
1515 Forest Ave.

Crete, NE 68333
Phone: 402.826.3809


Crete Public Library is pleased to announce the selection of "No Two Persons" by Erica Bauermeister as the 2024 Crete Reads! book.

Crete Reads! is a community-wide, year-long series of events, activities, and learning opportunities related to the content and themes of one book chosen by the public. Community members are encouraged to read the book and participate in programming centered around themes of the book throughout the year.

A committee of nine community members met and determined the which book would be the next Crete Reads!

There are two main goals for Crete Reads!: 1) encourage reading among people of all ages; and 2) bring the community together through a shared, common experience. Multiple copies of each year's selected book will be available at the library in a variety of formats: regular print, large print, Spanish, AudioBook, eBook, and eAudioBook. If a book club would like multiple copies, contact the library and staff can reserve them.

Crete Reads! 2024 Book Finalists:

"The Most Fun We Ever Had" by Claire Lombardo (532 pages) – Contemporary

A multigenerational novel in which the four adult daughters of a Chicago couple--still madly in love after forty years--recklessly ignite old rivalries until a long-buried secret threatens to shatter the lives they've built.

When Marilyn Connolly and David Sorenson fall in love in the 1970s, they are blithely ignorant of all that's to come. By 2016, their four radically different daughters are each in a state of unrest: Wendy, widowed young, soothes herself with booze and younger men; Violet, a litigator-turned-stay-at-home-mom, battles anxiety and self-doubt when the darkest part of her past resurfaces; Liza, a neurotic and newly tenured professor, finds herself pregnant with a baby she's not sure she wants by a man she's not sure she loves; and Grace, the dawdling youngest daughter, begins living a lie that no one in her family even suspects. Above it all, the daughters share the lingering fear that they will never find a love quite like their parents'.

As the novel moves through the tumultuous year following the arrival of Jonah Bendt--given up by one of the daughters in a closed adoption fifteen years before--we are shown the rich and varied tapestry of the Sorensons' past: years marred by adolescence, infidelity, and resentment, but also the transcendent moments of joy that make everything else worthwhile.

"No Two Persons" by Erica Bauermeister (314 pages) – Contemporary

That was the beauty of books, wasn’t it? They took you places you didn’t know you needed to go…

Alice has always wanted to be a writer. Her talent is innate, but her stories remain safe and detached, until a devastating event breaks her heart open, and she creates a stunning debut novel. Her words, in turn, find their way to readers, from a teenager hiding her homelessness, to a free diver pushing himself beyond endurance, an artist furious at the world around her, a bookseller in search of love, a widower rent by grief. Each one is drawn into Alice’s novel; each one discovers something different that alters their perspective, and presents new pathways forward for their lives.

Together, their stories reveal how books can affect us in the most beautiful and unexpected of ways—and how we are all more closely connected to one another than we might think.

"Brave In Season" by Jon Volkmer (270 pages) – Historical Fiction

Set in 1950 in the rural Midwest, and inspired by real events, this gripping novel explores what happens when an African American railroad repair crew is dropped into a tiny, tight-knit farm community. Will frictions build to an all-too familiar American tragedy, or can tensions be overcome in that uniquely American way, with balls and bats and a field of green? Seventeen-year-old Carlin Littman has big dreams, much bigger than will fit into sleepy Julian, Nebraska, population 172. She has set her sights on college, Chicago, and beyond. The arrival of the rail workers, known as gandy dancers, is an interesting distraction in the bored summer days where her only job is looking after her little brother, Timmy. When she befriends Sam Washington, the awkward, bookish gandy a year younger than she, neither of them have any idea what they have set in motion. Many decades later, Tim returns to Nebraska, attempting to recover the lost history through interviews with the few surviving seniors who might remember. These encounters provide the basis for a story that lies somewhere between myth and memory. A story where the mutual respect between the oldest gandy, Jerome, and the store owner, Dave, offers townsfolk an alternative to stereotype and prejudice. A story where the new rail line is being built over the route of the underground railroad, challenging a new generation of farm families to live up to that heritage. A story where an unlikely pick-up game propels players on both sides to epic performances. Race, railroads, and baseball are iconic themes that come together in this moving story of the American heartland.

Previous Crete Reads! Selections:

2023: The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman

2022: This Tender Land by WIlliam Kent Krueger

2021: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

Zoom talk with author Ellen Marie Wiseman to Crete Public Library on Oct. 22; part 1 of 2.
Zoom talk with author Ellen Marie Wiseman to Crete Public Library on Oct. 22; part 2 of 2.