Socorro Public Library
John Larson | El Defensor Chieftain photo


The most popular books of August have a common theme. These novels all center on survival and the indomitable human spirit. They will take you back in time, into the future, and on voyages of enlightenment. Every one of these stories peels back a layer of the mortal soul exposing the truth of what it means to be a survivor.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a naturalist lover’s dream. Check out this book if you are a fan of scientists like Jane Goodall and Sylvia Earle. This haunting murder mystery takes place in a quiet fishing town of Barkley, where the “Marsh Girl” aka Kya, roams the North Carolina coastal marsh in isolation. Kya is abandoned as a young girl and depends on the land. She is a naturalist at heart who learns from observing the wonders around her. Inevitably her wild beauty attracts two young men from town. Having very few interactions with the towns people Kya is inherently feared by the locals. Fear turns into suspicion when she becomes the main suspect in the murder case of Chase Andrews. Chase is the local golden boy and one of Kya’s only contacts. Although Kya has the skills to live in nature forever, she is drawn to another basic need of survival. Kya yearns for affection and love. This story will take you on a beautiful trip through the marsh and leave you resonating with the secrets nature will keep.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir will take you on an interstellar journey. Ryland Grace is tasked with saving earth. He is asleep for a very long time voyaging millions of miles away from his home planet. He awakens to find he is the only crew member to survive the journey deep into space. Ryland knows he has an important task to fulfill, but his loss of memory may impact the only hope to save earth. An unforeseen ally might just give him the chance he needs to prevent the threat of extinction. This scientifically detailed story will absorb you into a plausible world. This story is not only a journey into space, but also a journey of overcoming the challenges of survival.

Four Winds by Kristin Hannah is an untold story of the women of the Greatest Generation. Hannah weaves an unforgettable story of the the Great Depression. It is 1934, a time when millions of Americans are out of work and the Dustbowl displaces thousands. The story follows the Martinelli’s experience in the drought devastated Great Plains. Farming is their way of life and they fight to keep their land as crops fail. Dust storms roll through the farm relentlessly forcing Elsa Martinelli to make a difficult decision. Her husband leaves the family and she must make the choice to fight for her land or leave to California. My favorite quote from the story, “It wasn’t the fear that mattered in life. It was the choices made when you were afraid. You were brave because of your fear, not in spite of it.” I highly recommend this story of the inexorable human spirit.

Billy Summers by Stephen King is a killer for hire story about Billy Summers. Billy is the best in the business, but he’ll only do the job if the target is truly a bad guy. He is one of the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war veteran, and the best at disappearing after a job. However, Billy wants out of the business. A long time business partner tempts him with one last job. Billy agrees to take out “a really bad guy” for two million dollars. What could go wrong?

SPL Book Club will be discussing Billy Summers, up to chapter twelve. We meet every other Thursday. Our next meeting is August 26th at 3p.m. Join us!

Whether you are a traditional print style reader, or an e-book aficionado, the Socorro Public Library has a copy for you. Stop in today and find out how you can gain access to OverDrive E- book platform, or roam the beautiful stacks in our historic building.

Library hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Chelsea Jones