Drama, History and Hillbillies: Palisadians’ Top Books of Summer

By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter 

An overview of the summer’s most sought after books at Palisades Branch Library revealed that Palisadians are fascinated by stories that transport them out of the community.

The most borrowed novel was “Camino Island” by John Grisham.

A heist thriller set in the marshy swamplands of Florida, it is a pulpy departure from the legal thrillers that have made Grisham famous.

A close second was “The Late Show” by former LA Times journalist Michael Connelly. In a departure from his Netflix-filmed Harry Bosch chronicles, he features a young, female detective working to understand the brutal murder of a Hollywood prostitute.

Amor Towles’ Soviet-sophistiqué “A Gentleman in Moscow” presents life at the fall of Imperial Russia through the story of a count who has been sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grandiose hotel across the street from the Kremlin.

Picturesque and enthralling, the book has even been compared to Tolstoy.

Far away from such gilded hotels is J.D. Vance’s sociological analysis of Appalachia.

In “Hillbilly Elegy,” Vance tells his own story of growing up in the Kentucky hills while giving an insider’s look into the struggles of forgotten working class communities.

Rounding out this list was Ann Patchett’s “Commonwealth,” which follows six siblings through five decades of family turmoil.

Mary Hopf, senior librarian, said Palisadian readers were most interested in dramatic page-turners, a key reason why each mentioned book has spent months on the library’s waitlist.

“Although it was released last year, we have people still waiting to read ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’” Hopf told the Palisadian-Post. “It’s great to see that our readers remain adamant about digesting these books—even after the trend dies down.”