Exploring ‘Our Hometowns’
7 mins read

Exploring ‘Our Hometowns’

As summer comes to a close and we are all returning home, remember that there are still adventures and stories to be had! Our collection has a great selection of books, audiobooks and movies to make you nostalgic or glad to be home.

Nonfiction: Very Real Destinations

The Art of Being a Tourist at Home: Expand Your World Without Leaving Your Home Town by Jenny Herbert – Just like there are tips and tricks to traveling, there are tips and tricks to having a “Staycation.” How to go somewhere new without leaving home? Herbert has some advice for you! |Print |

Hidden History of Plano by Mary Jacobs, Jeff Campbell and Cheryl Smith – Hidden stories found in journals, minutes, word of mouth, and more are found in this book.  From the town’s contributions to World War II to the secrets lurking beneath Collin Creek Mall, unlock the astonishingly large storehouse of Plano’s hidden history. Co-author Cheryl Smith is a genealogy librarian at Plano Public Library. |Print|

Haunted Plano, Texas by Mary Jacobs – Plano’s old homes and businesses are rife with haunted history. Mary Jacobs examines the ghostly fallout of Plano’s darkest moments, from the smallpox epidemic to the gruesome Muncey family murders. |Print|

The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-town America by Bill Bryson – Bryson journeys to his home town of Des Moines, Iowa. On his way he passes through other small towns that make up the US and reveals the quirky, colorful and kitsch.  |Print|

Small Town America by David Plowden – Plowden captures the disappearing small towns of America. These hauntingly beautiful photographs are nostalgic. Be prepared to feel a very real sense of deja vu.  |Print|

The Song and the Silence by Yvette Johnson – Johnson explores the life of her grandfather, Booker Wright, before and after he became an icon of the Civil Rights movement. The journey begins in a small town in the Mississippi Delta.  |Print|

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom – A highly-praised memoir of Sarah Broom’s childhood in New Orleans East, and the yellow shotgun house where her big family lived, until The Water, Hurricane Katrina, changed everything. Winner of the 2019  National Book Award for Nonfiction. Print|eBook|

Fiction – Imaginary Settings

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout – Two sisters reunite after 17 years of absence. This is a tale of stories colliding and weaving together through hope, family and acceptance. Strout again breathes life into these characters, making them familiar and loved.  Print|eBook|Audiobook|CD/Play |

Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat – Award-winning writer Danticat presents a series of interlocking stories unfolding around the disappearance of a young girl in a coastal Haitian town. Print|eBook|

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock – This novel follows various characters in rural Ohio, including a married couple who work together as serial killers, a traumatized WWII veteran, and an orphaned boy. It’s a harsh setting, as these men and women struggle against the inescapability of their small, suffocating hometown. Print|eBook|

The Dry by Jane Harper – Australian Federal Agent Aaron Falk returns to his drought-ridden hometown for the first time in decades to attend a funeral, and becomes involved in a murder investigation with ties to his own long-buried past. Print |eBook|Playaway|

Empire Falls by Richard Russo – Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town–and seems to believe that “everything” includes Miles himself. Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace. |eBook|DVD 

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers – First published in 1940, this story captures the feelings of isolation a person can feel even in a crowd. It tackles the tensions that can be found in a 1930’s Georgia mill town. Follow John Singer, our mute protagonist, as he gives us a story without saying a word.  Print|CD/Play

The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia – Set in a small Mexican town during the Mexican Revolution. A strange young boy with the supernatural ability to see into the future is found and raised by a wealthy family. |Print|

Plainsong by Kent Haruf – On the High Plains east of Denver, in small Holt, Colorado, the lives of a single father, a lonely teenage girl, and two elderly brothers are linked in unexpected ways. The first in a series of novels set in Holt, which readers will come to know very well. |Print|

‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – A man returns to the hometown of his childhood (Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine) only to find that its residents are being changed into vampires.|Print|eBook |

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler – Can you ever come home? Four friends are reunited in Little Wing, Wisconsin, after almost a lifetime apart. Memory clashes with reality, and hope and bravery are front and center in this story. Butler shows it is not easy confronting your past, and it takes bravery and healing to build towards your future.  |Print

Still Life by Louise Penny – The first book in Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series introduces the quirky residents of Three Pines, a serene small town in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, where Gamache’s team must solve a surprising crime. |Print |eBook |eAudiobook |CD/Play |DVD 

Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell – Your father is missing and you are about to lose the house–what do you do? 16-year old Ree Dolly has to figure out how to keep the roof over her and her brother’s heads as well as survive in a little town in the Ozarks. Woodrell’s story has the blackest of humor, in the bleakest of family dramas, in the coldest of settings.  Print|DVD/Blu 

And on Film

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children – directed by Alberto Vasquez – An animated film set on a small island in a post-apocalyptic world. The island is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, but its population was decimated after a factory explosion, leaving the remaining residents to deal with the fallout. |DVD |Kanopy|

And see links above for film versions of Empire Falls, Still Life, and Winter’s Bone, available on DVD or Blu-Ray at PPL.

There is always more to find by browsing through our library catalog!


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