Need to find something new to read? Look no further than this reader services page that collects some of the best resources the web can provide.
Find New and Upcoming Books
- Library Aware - Get E-newsletters about new and recommended titles in your chosen genres or subject areas. Title links lead to our catalog, where you can place requests. You can opt out at any time using a link at the bottom of each email newsletter.
- All About Romance
AAR was created in 1997 and since then has offered unbiased book reviews, author interviews, industry commentary and much more to romance readers.
One of the largest sellers of both books in print and ebooks.
- Library Extension
Add this extension to your browser and see if the books you're looking at online is at your local library.
- Library Extension
- Barnes & Noble
Brick-and-mortar bookstores are few and far between, but Barnes & Noble still offers physical stores and online shopping.
- Book Marks
A book review aggregation site by Literary Hub.
- Book Reporter
This site in the Book Report Network includes reviews and author interviews.
- Book Series
A list of every book in a series in both publication order and chronological order.
- Book Series in Order
A comprehensive list of almost every title in every series by the most popular authors and lesser known ones.
- Books & Authors
Expert book reviews, recommendations, and author biographies.
- CBC Books
Book reviews and news featured on CBC/Radio Canada.
- Early Word
Primarily for library staff, this site features news for collection development and readers advisory.
- Fantastic Fiction
Featuring one of the easiest ways to find books by author and genre.
- Good Reads
A social media website to share what you've read, what your friends have read, and what you should read next.
- Huffington Post Book Recommendations
A collection of book recommendations from the Huffington Post staff.
A community of independent local bookstores that features the best indie titles out and coming out.
- Kirkus Review
Professional book reviews with resources for book lovers, authors, and publishers.
- Library Reads
Monthly top ten lists made by librarians from various public libraries.
Enter what you’re reading or your whole library. It’s an easy, library-quality catalog. LibraryThing also connects you to people who read what you do.
The tourist map of literature. Find new authors based on the ones you've already read.
- The Millions
Welcome to The Millions, an online magazine offering coverage on books, arts, and culture since 2003.
- MostlyFiction Book Reviews
An online book review site. The reviewers love to read and to share our opinions and discoveries of literary gems and top-notch genre novels. Since 1998, they have posted over 2,900 reviews.
News, information and guides to independent bookstores, independent publishers, literary magazines, alternative periodicals, independent record labels, alternative newsweeklies and more.
You can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles, and also retrieve author read-alikes, book lists, book discussion guides, and more.
- The Rumpus
Essays, reviews, interviews, music, film, short fiction, and poetry—along with some comics.
The best in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.
- SJP Book Club Central
Book Club Central is a new online resource for book clubs and readers featuring book reviews, author interviews, discussion questions and more. Award-winning actor, producer, and avid reader Sarah Jessica Parker is the Honorary Chair of Book Club Central and a passionate advocate for libraries and literacy. Ms. Parker will offer her own book selections as part of SJP Picks.
- Smart B*****es, Trashy Books
All of the romance, none of the bull****. (Contains mature language.)
- Stop, You're Killing Me!
A website to die for...if you love mysteries.
Best of the Best Lists
- ALSC Children's Notable Lists
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books, recordings, and videos. Click the link to see their current and past lists.
- Heywood Hill Reading List
See what the staff at one of London's most renowned book store suggest for you to read.
- Modern Library
The 100 best novels ever written.
- New York Times Best Sellers
Ranked lists of the best-selling books in the United States.
- NPR's Book Concierge
More than 300 titles that National Public Radio has selected that the staff and critics loved from 2016.
- One Book, One New York
New York City and BuzzFeed combined forces to fine the best book with a relationship with NYC with New Yorkers voting for the best.
- USA Today Best-Selling Books
The 150 top-selling books across various outlets.
- Gay YA
A website designed entirely around LGBTQIA+ titles for young adults.
- LGBTQ Reads
Reviews and blogs on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) titles available for various ages.
- Rainbow Books List
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, and queer (GLBTQ) books for children and teens.
Book Club in a Bag
Book clubs are hard to organize. You have to wrangle many copies of the same book, most likely from different libraries. And then there's the task of coming up with discussion questions. Well, we've made it a bit easier. Each bag contains 12 copies of the same title and laminated discussion guides.
- All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
“The Underverse ruled by Bizarros. The time-eating Chronovore. Jimmy Olsen, superhero? Nothing is impossible in All Star Superman. Except for the fact that Superman... is dying. Now, with time running against him, the Man of Steel must tie up loose ends and make sure that he leaves the Earth better than he found it. The unstoppable creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely join forces once more to take Superman back to basics. In an emotionally and visually stunning graphic novel harkening back to a Golden Age of comics, All Star Superman creates a new, and at the same time familiar, take on the world’s first superhero. This now-classic graphic novel features Superman's renowned supporting cast, including Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Bizarro, Perry White and of course, his greatest foe, Lex Luthor. This volume collects issues #1-12.”
- Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
“Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents’ remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America’s western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he’s willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family.”
- The Battle for New York by Barnet Schecter
“The Battle for New York tells the story of how the city became the pivot on which the American Revolution turned: from the political and religious struggles of the 1760s and early '70s that made the city a hotbed of political action to the campaign of 1776 that turned today's five boroughs and Westchester County into a series of battlefields to the seven years of British occupation and martial law. The struggle for control of New York was by far the largest military venture of the Revolutionary War, involving almost every significant participant on both sides from General William Howe to Nathan Hale, Benedict Arnold to George Washington. Barnet Schecter brilliantly links eighteenth-century events with the city's modern landscape, illuminating the forgotten battlefield that remains in our midst.”
- Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
“When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.”
- The Best Poems of the English Language selected by Harold Bloom
“This comprehensive anthology attempts to give the common reader possession of six centuries of great British and American poetry. The book features a large introductory essay by Harold Bloom called ‘The Art of Reading Poetry,’ which presents his critical reflections of more than half a century devoted to the reading, teaching, and writing about the literary achievement he loves most. In the case of all major poets in the language, this volume offers either the entire range of what is most valuable in their work, or vital selections that illuminate each figure′s contribution. There are also headnotes by Harold Bloom to every poet in the volume as well as to the most important individual poems. Much more than any other anthology ever gathered, this book provides readers who desire the pleasures of a sublime art with very nearly everything they need in a single volume. It also is regarded as his final meditation upon all those who have formed his mind.”
- Bettyville by George Hodgman
“A witty, tender memoir of a son's journey home to care for his irascible mother -- a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love. When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself -- an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook -- in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will...”
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
“Follows three mothers, each at a crossroads, and their potential involvement in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but which evidence shows might have been premeditated.”
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Includes writing exercises.
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”
- Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
“In Black and Blue, Fran Benedetto tells a spellbinding story: how at nineteen she fell in love with Bobby Benedetto, how their passionate marriage became a nightmare, why she stayed, and what happened on the night she finally decided to run away with her ten-year-old son and start a new life under a new name. Living in fear in Florida -- yet with increasing confidence, freedom, and hope -- Fran unravels the complex threads of family, identity, and desire that shape a woman's life, even as she begins to create a new one.”
- Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
“Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.”
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
"Cussy Mary Carter is the last of her kind, her skin the color of a blue damselfly in these dusty hills. But that doesn't mean she's got nothing to offer. As a member of the Pack Horse Library Project, Cussy delivers books to the hill folk of Troublesome, hoping to spread learning in these desperate times. But not everyone is so keen on Cussy's family or the Library Project, and the hardscrabble Kentuckians are quick to blame a Blue for any trouble in their small town. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's determination to bring a little bit of hope to the darkly hollers."
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
“Berlin, 1936. The Olympic finals of the eight-oared rowing race. Germany, Italy, USA. The American boat touches the finish line first, beating all odds and sending Hitler away in a silent rage. In the midst of the Great Depression, the nine rowers showed the world what true grit really meant. They were western, working-class boys who never expected to beat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did. At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, whose personal struggle -- and ultimate triumph -- captures the spirit of his generation, the one that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism.”
- Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
“Fourteen years ago, famous Pakistani activist Samina Akram disappeared. Two years earlier, her lover, Pakistan's greatest poet, was beaten to death by government thugs. In present-day Karachi, her daughter Aasmaani has just discovered a letter in the couple's private code--a letter that could only have been written recently.
Aasmaani is thirty, single, drifting from job to job. Always left behind whenever Samina followed the Poet into exile, she had assumed that her mother's disappearance was simply another abandonment. Then, while working at Pakistan's first independent TV station, Aasmaani runs into an old friend of Samina's who gives her the first letter, then many more. Where could the letters have come from? And will they lead her to her mother?”
- Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
“Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution. Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremony that defeats the most virulent of afflictions -- despair.”
- Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown
“In 1819, kidnapped chef Owen Wedgwood transforms meager shipboard supplies into sumptuous meals at the behest of his kidnapper, pirate queen Mad Hannah Mabbot, while she pushes her exhausted crew to track down a deadly privateer.”
- A Community of Butterflies: Chrysalis by Barbara Shoff
“On-again-off-again psychic Vay Armstrong has a plan to change the world. Following ten years of domestic violence and abuse, she struggles with post-traumatic stress, paranoia, and an inability to trust others. Determined to escape her reclusive life, she enlists the help of other abuse survivors to create a utopian community within Jakesville, Oklahoma. Will Vay be able to overcome family opposition, a romantic entanglement, and a homicidal stalker to make her vision a reality, or will her only reality be a cold hole in the ground?”
- Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
“Daytripper follows the life of one man, Bras de Olivias Dominguez. Every chapter features an important period in Bras' life in exotic Brazil, and each story ends the same way: with his death. And then, the following story starts up at a different point in his life, oblivious to his death in the previous issue -- and then also ends with him dying again. In every chapter, Bras dies at different moments in his life, as the story follows him through his entire existence -- one filled with possibilities of happiness and sorrow, good and bad, love and loneliness. Each issue rediscovers the many varieties of daily life, in a story about living life to its fullest -- because any of us can die at any moment.”
- Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
“Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens' anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can't imagine leaving behind.”
- Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey by Margaret Peterson Haddix
“Like the other girls in her class, Tish Bonner at first resents having to keep a journal for English class -- even though Mrs. Dunphrey has told them she will not read any entry marked, ‘Do not read this.’ But Tish finds solace in writing about those problems she can't discuss -- such as the fact that her mother has abandoned Tish and her little brother, and she doesn't know how to support them with the wages from her part-time Burger Boy job.”
- Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi
“‘I was born in a harem in 1940 in Fez, Morocco...’ So begins Fatima Mernissi in this illuminating narrative of a childhood behind the iron gates of a domestic harem. In Dreams of Trespass, Mernissi weaves her own memories with the dreams and memories of the women who surrounded her in the courtyard of her youth -- women who, without access to the world outside, recreated it from sheer imagination.
“A beautifully written account of a girl confronting the mysteries of time and place, gender and sex, Dreams of Trespass illuminates what it was like to be a modern Muslim woman in a place steeped in tradition.”
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
“Two misfits. One extraordinary love. Eleanor -- Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough -- Eleanor. Park -- He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises -- Park. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds -- smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”
- The End of Poverty by Jeffery D. Sachs
“Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laser-like analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back.”
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
“Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games at the Battle School; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the most talented result of Earth's desperate quest to create the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy.
“Is Ender the general Earth needs? The only way to find out is to throw the child into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.
“But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Formics has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways.
“Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.”
- Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
“Otto finds [a] note left by his wife in the kitchen of their farmhouse in windswept Saskatchewan. Eighty-three-year-old Etta will be walking 3,200 kilometers to see the ocean, but somehow, Otto understands. He took his own journey once before, to fight in a faraway land. With Etta gone, Otto struggles with his demons of war, while their friend Russell initially pursues the woman he has loved from afar...”
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
“Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers ... [In this book], Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality -- and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.”
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
“Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning...along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames...never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think...and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!”
- Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott
“Stella Grant likes to be in control - even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
“The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn't care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he'll turn eighteen and then he'll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
“Will's exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn't feel like safety. It feels like punishment.
“What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?”
- The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
“In this book the author traces the story of the unsung World War II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. This is the story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history. The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project's secret cities, it did not appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships, and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men. Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there, work they did not fully understand at the time, are still being felt today.”
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
“At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated -- and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.”
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
“The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America's greatest achievements in space--a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The basis for the smash Academy Award-nominated film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.
“Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as ‘human computers’ used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
“Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
“Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black "West Computing" group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.
“Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA's greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country's future.”
- Hidden Figures [Young Readers' Edition] by Margot Lee Shetterly
“This edition of Margot Lee Shetterly's acclaimed book is perfect for young readers. It's the powerful story of four African-American female mathematicians at NASA who helped achieve some of the greatest moments in our space program.
“Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as ‘human computers’ used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
“This book brings to life the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, who lived through the Civil Rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the movement for gender equality, and whose work forever changed the face of NASA and the country.”
- House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
“In the summer of 2006, racing through Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion, Anthony Shadid found himself in his family's ancestral hometown of Marjayoun. There, he discovered his great-grandfather's once magnificent estate in near ruins, devastated by war. One year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun, not to chronicle the violence, but to rebuild in its wake.
“So begins the story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist's wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house's renewal alongside the history of his family's flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century. In the process, he memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into a shifting Middle East. This paperback edition includes an afterword by the journalist Nada Bakri, Anthony Shadid's wife, reflecting on his legacy.”
- The House of Wisdom by Jim Al-Khalili
“Many of the innovations that we think of as hallmarks of Western science were actually the result of Arab ingenuity: Astronomers laid the foundations for the heliocentric model of the solar system long before Copernicus; physicians accurately described blood circulation and the inner workings of the eye ages before Europeans solved those mysteries; physicists made discoveries that laid the foundation for Newton's theories of optics. But the most significant legacy of Middle Eastern science was its evidence-based approach -- the lack of which kept Europeans in the dark throughout the Dark Ages. The father of this experimental approach to science -- what we call the scientific method -- was an Iraqi physicist who applied it centuries before Europeans first dabbled in it. Al-Khalili details not only how discoveries like these were made, but also how they changed European minds and how they were ultimately obscured by later Western versions of the same principles.
"Al-Khalili tackles two tantalizing questions: Why did the Arab world enter its own Dark Age after such a dazzling enlightenment? And how much did Arabic learning contribute to making the Western world as we know it? Given his singular combination of expertise in both the Western and Middle Eastern scientific traditions, Al-Khalili is uniquely qualified to solve those riddles.”
- I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
“Welcome to the Paradise, a quirky motel in Creek View, off California's dusty Highway 99. Skylar Evans, seventeen, had planned on art school after graduation... until her mother lost her job. Josh's way out of town was the Marines, but after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he's back. Now both are working at the Paradise...and soon, despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship.”
- In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
“In the Country of Men captures life in Libya in the wake of Muammar al-Qaddafi's revolution. Through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy named Suleiman, we watch a family struggle for survival in a climate of deadly political suspicion. Against a backdrop of innocent childhood rituals - playing games with his best friends, learning his country's history on visits to the ruins surrounding Tripoli - Suleiman is also awakened to dangers he cannot comprehend. When his father is brutally interrogated and his best friend's father disappears, Suleiman arrives at a crossroads that will shatter his understanding of home and homeland.”
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
“In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter...”
- It's All Relative by A.J. Jacobs
“A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: 'You don’t know me, but I’m your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database.' That’s enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs’s three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history.”
- The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
“In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family's Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family-like thousands of other Japanese Americans-are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government.”
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
“Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn't commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship - and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.”
- Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
“Raised with a sophisticated palate by her single father, Eva learns the culturally rich stories behind a series of Midwestern dishes while becoming the star chef at a legendary restaurant.”
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
“Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. She tells about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and the disappointments, triumphs and exhilarating discoveries of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.”
- Leo Africanus by Amin Maalouf
“‘I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages.’ Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer, and scholar Hasan al-Wazzan, who was born in Granada in 1488. His family fled the Inquisition and took him to the city of Fez, in North Africa. Hasan became an itinerant merchant, and made many journeys to the East, journeys rich in adventure and observation. He was captured by a Sicilian pirate and taken back to Rome as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Johannes Leo. While in Rome, he wrote the first trilingual dictionary (Latin, Arabic and Hebrew), as well as his celebrated Description of Africa, for which he is still remembered as Leo Africanus.”
- Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
“Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it's the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn't believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake's owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake's magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake, can she bring the cottages -- and her heart -- back to life? Because, sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost...until they are found.”
- The Martian by Andy Weir
“Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive -- and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old 'human error' are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet.”
- A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
“A semi-fictional account of drug and alcohol abuse and the rehabilitation experience. Examines addiction and recovery through the eyes of a man who had taken his addictions to deadly extremes, describing the battle to confront the consequences of his life.”
- Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
“It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm -- a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.”
- My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
“Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father. Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her.”
- New York Burning by Jill Lepore
“A gripping tale and groundbreaking investigation of a mysterious, and largely forgotten, eighteenth-century slave plot to destroy New York City. Over a few weeks in 1741, ten fires blazed across Manhattan. With each new fire, panicked whites saw more evidence of a slave uprising. Tried and convicted before the colony's Supreme Court, thirteen black men were burned at the stake and seventeen were hanged. Four whites, the alleged ringleaders of the plot, were also hanged, and seven more were pardoned on condition that they never set foot in New York again. More than one hundred black men and women were thrown into a dungeon beneath City Hall, where many were forced to confess and name names, sending still more men to the gallows and to the stake. In a narrative rich with period detail and vivid description, Jill Lepore pieces together the events and the thinking that led white New Yorkers to make bonfires of the Negroes. She reconstructs the harsh past of a city that slavery built--and almost destroyed. She explores the social and political climate of the 1730s and '40s and examines the nature and tenor of the interactions between slaves and their masters. She shows too that the 1741 conspiracy can be understood only alongside a more famous episode from the city's past: the 1735 trial of the printer John Peter Zenger. And, weighing both new and old evidence, she makes clear how the threat of black rebellion made white political pluralism palatable. Lucid, probing, captivatingly written, New York Burning is a revelatory study of the ways in which slavery both destabilized and created American politics.”
- Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
“Millions of Americans work full-time, year-round, for poverty-level wages. Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them, inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on six to seven dollars an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the ‘lowliest’ occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.”
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
“Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.”
- 1984 by George Orwell
“Orwell's classic novel of one man's nightmare odyssey through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but individual thought and memory.”
- Noggin by John Corey Whaley
“After dying at age sixteen, Travis Coates' head was removed and frozen for five years before being attached to another body, and now the old Travis and the new must find a way to coexist while figuring out changes in his relationships.”
- Not Exactly Love by Betty Hafner
“It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school, a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her -- but when they married, his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they've married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions -- to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave. Part memoir, part warm-hearted look at the '70s, and part therapeutic journey, Not Exactly Love: A Memoir is an intense and inspirational story of a woman who grew from her experience.”
- Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
“At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive's own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
“As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life - sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition - its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.”
- On Writing by Steven King
Includes writing exercises.
“Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.”
- The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal
“Widely hailed as a revelation of a ‘lost’ golden age, this history brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain where, for more than seven centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and literature, science, and the arts flourished.”
- Parable of a Sower by Octavia E. Butler
“In 2025 California, an eighteen-year-old African American woman, suffering from a hereditary trait that causes her to feel others’ pain as well as her own, flees northward from her small community and its desperate savages.”
- Paradise Park by Allegra Goodman
“Abandoned by her folk-dancing partner, Gary, in a Honolulu hotel room, Sharon realizes she could return to Boston -- and her estranged family -- or listen to that little voice inside herself. The voice that asks: 'How come Gary got to pursue his causes, while all I got to pursue was him?' Thus, with an open heart, a soul on fire, and her meager possessions (a guitar, two Indian gauze skirts, a macramé bikini, and her grandfather's silver watch) Sharon begins her own spiritual quest. Ever the optimist, she is sure at each stage that she has struck it rich 'spiritually speaking' -- until she comes up empty. Then, in a karmic convergence of events, Sharon starts on the path home to Judaism. Still, even as she embraces her tradition, Sharon's irrepressible self tugs at her sleeve. Especially when she meets Mikhail, falls truly in love at last, and discovers what even she could not imagine -- her destiny.”
- Party Girl by Rachel Hollis
“Landon Brinkley's dreams are all coming true. She's landed an internship with the fabulous Selah Smith, event planner for the Hollywood elite, taking her from small-town Texas to the bright lights of L.A. Landon soon finds herself in a world in which spending a million dollars on an event - even a child's birthday party - is de rigueur and the whims of celebrity clients are life-and-death matters. At first, the thrill of working on A-list parties and celebrity weddings is enough to get Landon through the seventy-five-hour workweeks and endless abuse at the hands of her mercurial boss. But when the reality of the business reveals itself, she's forced to make a choice: do whatever it takes to get ahead, or stay true to herself.”
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
“In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.”
- The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
“Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.”
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
“It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.”
- The Unredeemed Captive by John Demos
“The setting for this haunting and encyclopedically researched work of history is colonial Massachusetts, where English Puritans first endeavored to "civilize" a "savage" native populace. There, in February 1704, a French and Indian war party descended on the village of Deerfield, abducting a Puritan minister and his children. Although John Williams was eventually released, his daughter horrified the family by staying with her captors and marrying a Mohawk husband.
“Out of this incident, The Bancroft Prize-winning historian John Demos has constructed a gripping narrative that opens a window into North America where English, French, and Native Americans faced one another across gulfs of culture and belief, and sometimes crossed over.”
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
“For years, rumors of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world - until the unthinkable happens. In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation.”
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
“At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England's irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn't quite match her name (Jamaican for ‘no problem’). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.”
- William Cooper's Town by Alan Taylor
“William Cooper rose from humble origins to become a wealthy land speculator and U.S. congressman in what had until lately been the wilderness of upstate New York, but his high-handed style of governing resulted in his fall from power and political disgrace. His son James Fenimore Cooper became one of this country's first popular novelists with a book, The Pioneers, that tried to come to terms with his father's failure and imaginatively reclaim the estate he had lost.
“In William Cooper's Town, Alan Taylor dramatizes the class between gentility and democracy that was one of the principal consequences of the American Revolution, a struggle that was waged both at the polls and on the pages of our national literature. Taylor shows how Americans resolved their revolution through the creation of new social reforms and new stories that evolved with the expansion of our frontier.”
- All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
Area Book Clubs
- Between the Wines (Plattsburgh) Reading Between the Wines
- Dannemora Free Library Book Club
- Dodge Memorial Library (Rouses Point) Book Club
- Goff-Nelson Memorial Library (Tupper Lake) Book Club
- Paine Memorial Library (Willsboro) Book Club
- Peru Free Library Book Club
- Plattsburgh Public Library Teen Book Club
- Schroon Lake Public Library Book Club
- Wead Library (Malone) Book Club
For Book Clubs
- Amazon Book Club Picks
Find the perfect fit based on genres and user reviews from one of the biggest book retailers in the world.
Online book clubs and reader advisory based on social networking.
- Lit Lovers
Tons of information and resources for book clubs and solo readers.
- London's Best Book Clubs
Get some inspiration from our friends from across the pond and find out what Londoners are reading.
- Pinterest Book Club Ideas
With 118 pins and 2.23k followers, there are plenty of book club ideas to roll through.
- Read Harder Challenge
Take a step outside of your comfort zone with these titles suggested by The New York Public Library. Are you up for the challenge?
- Reading Group Guides
Another site in the Book Report Network. This one focuses on providing an online community for reading groups.
Starting and Maintaining a Book Club
This site has tools to help you start a book club and coordinate membership, schedule meetings, track RSVPs, send messages, rate books, create a library, and get inspiration for your next book club read.
- ilovelibraries: Starting a Book Club
This site has good, practical information about creating a book club and choosing books.
- Penguin Random House: Getting Started
Get some practical guidance from a company that really knows books - since the two publishers that merged date back to 1935 and 1927.
Online Book Clubs