The most satisfying part of being a librarian is connecting with someone over books that you're both passionate about and also connecting someone with a book that they love, that changes them and opens them up to new ways of thinking. It’s knowing that words matter and that the connection that we make to a great book or story is one that can also connect us to others in very fundamental ways.
These days, I read a mix of fiction - mostly contemporary, historical, fantasy, mystery, and the occasional sci-fi or YA) and non-fiction (memoir, biography, expose/social issues/social justice). I definitely prefer a book that has a hopeful ending, even if parts of it are bleak, and, lately, I've also been reading a lot of books that deal with social justice and inequality.Ask Anne what to read →
Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal
Serving as an ambassador of his own world while carrying messages to parallel-universe Londons with respective magical abilities and conflicts, Kell hides his secret smuggling activities only to be set up with a forbidden object from a dark dimension.
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist.
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in THE HOBBIT. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.
The story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. He has fallen in love with beautiful Victoria Forester and in order to win her hand, he must retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to her.
His past marked by his father’s embarrassing taunts and untimely death, Fat Charlie meets the brother he never knew and is introduced to new and exciting ways to spend his time.
Princess Rory Thorne must use the fairy blessings gifted to her at birth to change the multiverse–or possibly destroy it. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination–how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Deciding to collect on the outstanding debts owed her family of moneylenders, a young woman is overheard boasting about being able to turn silver into gold by the creatures who haunt the wood, in a reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story.
A novel inspired by Russian fairy tales follows the experiences of a wild young girl who taps the mysterious powers of a precious necklace given to her father years earlier to save her village from dark and dangerous forces.
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage. When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is propelled into a mystery when a man is murdered on the grounds of her family’s decaying English mansion and Flavia’s father becomes the main suspect.
Working as a private investigator after losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike takes the case of a legendary supermodel’s suspicious suicide and finds himself in a world of multi-millionaire beauties, rock star boyfriends, desperate designers, and hedonist pursuits.
When London is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name.
A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.
Three generations of Palestinian-American women in contemporary Brooklyn are torn by individual desire, educational ambitions, a devastating tragedy, and the strict mores of traditional Arab culture.
In the forest community of Beartown, the possibility that the amateur hockey team might win a junior championship, bringing the hope of revitalization to the fading town, is shattered by the aftermath of a violent act that leaves a girl traumatized.
Seven-year-old Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending the girl on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.
When her reluctance to treat the newborn of a white supremacist couple results in the child’s death, a black nurse is placed on trial and is aided by a white public defender who urges her not to bring up race in the courtroom.
Collecting things dropped or left behind by others and writing stories about them as a tribute to the fiancée who died the day he lost one of her keepsakes, a man bequeaths his estate to his unsuspecting assistant, who bonds with new neighbors while attempting to reunite the objects with their owners.
In September 1940, the events of World War II bring together British pigeon-keeper Susan Shepard, American pilot Ollie Evans and a pigeon on a very special mission named Duchess.
Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C., to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother’s pleas for her to return home.
In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returnsto England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth-believing Ross to be dead-is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.
Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations.
In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.
The love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen Joy Davidman Gresham, was improbable–and seemingly impossible. Their Eros-story led to some of Lewis’s greatest works, yet Joy is most commonly known for how she died. Becoming Mrs. Lewis allows us to see how this brilliant and passionate woman lived–and why she stole Jack’s heart
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.
Biographies and Memoirs
Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.
An affecting portrait of the author of Anne of Green Gables is a first biography for young readers that shares revelations about Montgomery’s final days as well as the complexities of her brilliant but often troubled life.
Traces the life of Elizebeth Smith, who met and married groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman and worked with him to discover and expose Nazi spy rings in South America by cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine.
A man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he did not commit describes how he became a victim of a flawed legal system, recounting the years he shared with fellow inmates who were eventually executed before his exoneration.
Traces the story of mid-twentieth-century spy Virginia Hall, detailing her pivotal role in coordinating Resistance activities in Europe that helped change the course of World War II.
A personal account of the iconic actress’s pre-fame life traces the time between her birth in 1935 and her discovery by Walt Disney during her 1962 Broadway performance in Camelot, a period marked by her relationships with a vaudevillian mother and teacher father, the World War II London Blitz, and her work as a Royal Command Performance child soloist
Chronicles the author’s rescue of an abandoned barn owlet, from her efforts to resuscitate and raise the young owl after an injury that prevented it from returning to the wild through their nineteen years together, during which the author made key discoveries about owl behavior.
Traces the friendship between an American girl and her pen pal from an impoverished region of Zimbabwe, describing how 12-year-old Caitlin wrote to an unknown student for a class assignment and shared a life-changing six-year correspondence.
Chronicles the experiences of several women in Missoula, Montana, who claimed to be raped by University of Montana football players, highlighting the inequities of the law in regard to rape allegations and the treatment of rape victims and perpetrators.
The former BuzzFeed UK editorial director demonstrates how human civilization has been built upon thousands of years of trial and mostly error, citing examples ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to reality-star election wins.
A Times Magazine investigative journalist exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis, offering strategic recommendations for reversing discriminatory practices without changing the law.
An award-winning investigative reporter shares the real-life detective story of how Klansmen came to justice in notorious unsolved civil rights cold cases–decades after they had gotten away with murder.
Whimsical essays by the best-selling author of A Man Called Ove celebrate the first steps, milestones and foibles of modern parenthood, sharing father-to-son advice on everything from finding a place to belong to beating Monkey Island 3.
The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
A full-length account of the struggles of hundreds of women who were exposed to dangerous levels of radium while working factory jobs during World War I describes how they were mislead by their employers and became embroiled in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.
From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.
Adulthood is a myth confronts head-on the horrors, anxiety, and awkwardness of modern adult life. From the agony of holding hands with a gorgeous guy to the yawning pit of hell that is the wifi gone down to the eye-watering pain of eating too-hot pizza because one cannot stand to wait for it to cool down, Sarah fearlessly documents it all.
Containing illustrated personal essays on the author’s real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges, this collection of the hugely popular, world-famous Sarah’s Scribbles comics are perfect for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair.
With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen’s third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up.
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