Romance Novels by or About People of Color: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Friday, February 23, 2018 by Kat

book pages folded to make a heartThe romance genre sometimes gets a bad rap. Is it because of the book covers with people missing various pieces of clothing? Or maybe it’s the genre’s “predictibility”? (Which, I might point out, is common in many genres. Mystery book? I’ll bet the mystery is solved by the end.) These reasons may be valid, but regardless, I’m here to convince you that dipping your toes into romance is well worth your time. Especially if you want to complete your Read Harder Challenge!

One of the 24 tasks of Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge is to read a romance by or about a person of color. The romance genre has many subgenres, and so there’s sure to be something out there for everyone. All of these books will fulfill task 10 of the challenge. Continue reading “Romance Novels by or About People of Color: Read Harder 2018”

A Year in Reading: Rereads and More Favorites

Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 by Kat

Editor’s note: Several of our regular blog writers have looked back at the books they read in 2017, and they’ve each written their own “Year in Review.” This is the last installment. Enjoy! 

2017 Year in Reading
Jeremiah

A Little Life book cover2016 was tough; 2017 could have been better than 2016, but wasn’t. So, this year I re-read books for the comfort of knowing I’d spend hours reading well. I returned to Hanya Yanahihara’s “A Little Life” for the third time, and re-read, slowly, Maggie Nelson’s “The Argonauts,” “The Red Parts,” “Jane: A Murder,” “Bluets” and “The Art of Cruelty.” For their elegant sentences, challenging ideas, and strobe-like illumination, these books are treasures to me. The character of Jude, in “A Little Life,” reminded me that healing isn’t for all—that some people don’t change, that fate, in all its dogmatic baggage, binds, stills, abides, sustains. This novel again taught me also, among many other things, that happiness is plush, a privilege, not for everyone. I coupled this thought with Nelson’s insistence on queer world-making and queer family-makingThe Red Parts book cover in “The Argonauts.” Even if happiness dissembles and eludes, there is pleasure. Continue reading “A Year in Reading: Rereads and More Favorites”

A Year in Review: Travels and “Best of”

Posted on Monday, January 1, 2018 by Kat

Editor’s note: Several of our regular blog writers have looked back at the books they read in 2017, and they’ve each written their own “Year in Review.” This is the first installment. Enjoy! 

My Year in Books: Literary Travels
Anne

One of my favorite things to do in December is reflect on the books I’ve read over the past year. Reading is a bit like traveling, and it’s really nice remembering all the places I’ve been able to visit over the past year. In my “real life” I was blessed with trips to Hawaii and Colorado this year, but thanks to the books I’ve picked up this year, I’ve been able to travel to many other places and times. Here are some of the highlights:

Big Little Lies book coverI journeyed to Australia in the twisty domestic thriller “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. This book recently inspired an award-winning miniseries on HBO, but the book is even better, offering a darkly humorous and suspenseful tale of how friendships and lies can lead to murder. Continue reading “A Year in Review: Travels and “Best of””

Best Books Read in 2017, Part 2

Posted on Monday, December 25, 2017 by Kat

The year is almost over, and the staff here at the library want to share their favorite book of 2017 with you! I hope you enjoyed the first installment. Here are the rest of the best books read in 2017 by your DBRL staff:

 

Dark Matter book cover

Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch

“Fast-paced and suspenseful, this novel is page-turner from the get-go. While categorized in the sci-fi genre, it invokes universal questions regarding the choices you make, the paths-not-traveled and what you would endure for those you love.”
~Dana S.

Small Great Things” by Jodi Picoult

“I laughed, cried, and was forced to bear with some very ugly personal truths. ‘Small Great Things’ reads as a fantastic work of fiction, but also as a primer for fundamental conversations about race, privilege, inequality and basic human experiences. This book will grab you by the shoulders and shake you to the core.”
~Mitch C. Continue reading “Best Books Read in 2017, Part 2”

Best Books Read in 2017, Part 1

Posted on Friday, December 22, 2017 by Kat

The year is almost over, and the staff here at the library want to share their favorite book of 2017 with you! These books might not have been published this year, but they all were enjoyed during it. Without further ado, here’s the first batch of the best books read in 2017 by your DBRL staff:

A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

Man Called Ove book cover“Ove is a grumpy neighbor who still has a warm heart. ‘A Man called Ove’ will make you laugh and cry. It reminds us how caught up we can get in our daily routines, and how unwilling we are to change; but sometimes, someone comes along and change is okay.”
~Sheryl Bucklew

“At first I thought it was going to be depressing, but it quickly took a comedic and touching turn as Ove learns to keep on living without his wife.”
~Mitzi Continue reading “Best Books Read in 2017, Part 1”

Read Harder in 2018!

Posted on Monday, December 11, 2017 by Kat

Open book with orange background

‘Tis the time of the year to consider personal resolutions. Eating better, exercising more and perhaps reading more diversely? I’ve made my fair share of reading resolutions in the past — mostly “read ‘X number’ of books this year.” But these resolutions have little to do with the content of what I’m reading. While I occasionally try a new author or genre, I tend to stick with my tried-and-true books. Book Riot, a bookish website, publishes a challenge each year designed to encourage readers to “explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try.”

Here’s a small sampling from the 2017 challenge: read an all-ages comic; read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country; and read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love. The 2018 list hasn’t been published yet, so in case you’d like to see more examples, you can check out the 2016 and 2015 lists, too!

Update: The 2018 list is here! You can check it out over at Book Riot’s website.

Continue reading “Read Harder in 2018!”

LibraryReads: Favorite of Favorites 2017

Posted on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoThroughout the year, I’ve shared the LibraryReads Top 10 favorite books that librarians love each month. From those lists, a vote is held to determine the top 10 of the entire year. Without further ado, here is the Favorite of Favorites 2017:

Little Fires Everywhere book coverLittle Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

“’Little Fires Everywhere’ delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb … until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence!”
~Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO

And here are the rest:

Continue reading “LibraryReads: Favorite of Favorites 2017”

October 2017 LibraryReads List: Top 10 Books Librarians Love

Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoI’m so excited to share with you October’s LibraryReads list — one of my favorite authors (Alice Hoffman) is releasing a new book! We also have a perfectly-timed book about the traditions surrounding death that looks incredibly interesting, and, interestingly enough, a book by Tom Hanks (yes, that Tom Hanks) about typewriters. Enjoy!

Seven Days of Us book coverSeven Days of Us” by Francesca Hornak

“The Birch family will be spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine, thanks to eldest daughter Olivia’s recent relief work in a disease-infested Liberia. She has returned to England but must be in quarantine for seven days. This family has never spent that much time in each other’s company. Each person has secrets that are slowly revealed over the course of the seven days. It is particularly interesting to watch them become the family that they should have been all along: supportive and loving. An enjoyable read.”
~Cheryl Braud, Iberia Public Library, New Iberia, LA Continue reading “October 2017 LibraryReads List: Top 10 Books Librarians Love”

September 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love

Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoI’m excited about September’s LibraryReads list! We have the follow-up of the popular author Celeste Ng (of “Everything I Never Told You” fame), an apocalyptic novel that starts with a tick infestation and, ever the librarian’s favorite, a book of love letters to books. Oh, and a Little House reimagining! Take a look, and get ready to place holds on these librarian favorites for September:

Little Fires Everywhere book coverLittle Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

“’Little Fires Everywhere’ delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb … until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence!”
~Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO Continue reading “September 2017 LibraryReads: Books Librarians Love”

August 2017 LibraryReads: Top 10 Books Librarians Love

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017 by Kat

LibraryReads logoThe heat as of late gives us the perfect excuse to sit inside and read, and with these new titles, I can think of nothing else I’d rather be doing. August brings us thrillers, robots, reincarnation and love, among other things. Check out this month’s LibraryReads: the top 10 books librarians across the country recommend.

Young Jane Young book coverYoung Jane Young” by Gabrielle Zevin

“Aviva Grossman was involved in a relationship with her boss, who just happened to be a member of Congress. She becomes ostracized as her name is associated with scandal and  reinvents herself as Jane Young.  She has a daughter, Ruby, who decides to run away to look for her father. Ruby learns things are not always what they seem. I loved Zevin’s engaging style. The characters are flawed and real. You are rooting for them until the end.”
~Audra Bartholomew, Bossier Parish Library, Bossier City, LA Continue reading “August 2017 LibraryReads: Top 10 Books Librarians Love”