Milwaukee Public Library's Central Branch Librarian Summer Reading Recommendation: 'Afterparties'
If you’re still working your way through your summer reading list or if you’ve finished it already and need a new recommendation, Jacki Potratz has you covered. She’s a librarian at the Milwaukee Public Library Central Branch. She recommends a book of short stories called Afterparties by Cambodian American author Anthony Veasna So.
All of the stories in Afterparties take place in Stockton, California. The book highlights the thriving community of Cambodian Americans there. "It's much different than Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I appreciate that," Potratz says. "Anytime I read, I like to do the armchair travel and taking a little ride to Stockton, California was a lot of fun."
There are nine stories that make up Afterparties, but Potratz does have a favorite — Super King Son Scores Again. The story follows a badminton group that idolizes their coach. The coach struggles between being a leader to his team but not feeling that way in his normal life. "I personally have days where I feel irritated and envious of other people, even though I don't have anything to complain about. So, I just could relate to him as a character," Potratz says.
The Milwaukee Public Library has more books like Afterparties to wind down the summer. If you aren't sure what to read, the library has kid, teen and adult summer book clubs. You can also request book bundles based off your interests.
Potratz also suggests doing your summer reading outside. "Lake Park is probably my favorite of any of the parks along the lake from the north shore all the way down to the south shore. I love to just find a good tree, bring a blanket to sit me up against a tree, watch the water, listen to the birds and all the people going by walking and running, kids playing and immerse myself in a book," she says.