Winter is coming (or wait, is it here already?). Beat the weather and grab a book, a cup of coffee, a blanket, a pet or two and cozy up on the couch. Here are some of my favorites to get you started.
I present to you my 9th Annual "Great Books I Read This Year" list.
"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. I truly never thought I would enjoy reading a book about gaming but this one pulled me in from the very beginning. Full of pop culture references from the '80s, be sure to read this one before the movie comes out. (Adult Fiction)
"Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities" by Claudia Kalb. I picked this one up to read about Frank Lloyd Wright's narcissism (who knew?), but ended really enjoying learning about George Gershwin's hyperactivity, Marilyn Monroe's borderline personality disorder and Howard Hughes' OCD, to name a few. (Adult Non-Fiction)
"Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City" by Matthew Desmond. A poignant look at life in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, this book could have been written about a number of cities across the country. (Adult Non-Fiction)
"The Wild Robot" by Peter Brown. A robot is shipwrecked on an island full of wild life and ends up adopting a gosling. It takes some time for the animals to accept the robot, but once they do, they fight with her to the bitter end to keep her from the humans who have come to look for her. (Children's Fiction)
"Sam Sorts: One Hundred Favorite Things" by Marthe Jocelyn. It's hard to clean your room when you have so many things that need to be sorted! This is a great book for teaching kids about how different things can fit into a number of different categories. (Children's Picture Book)
"The Turner House" by Angela Flournoy. The story about a large family growing up in Detroit dealing with loss also captured the economic fall of a great American city. An excellent book to read along with Matthew Desmond's Evicted. (Adult Fiction)
"Slider" by Pete Hautman. If you love grossly vivid descriptions of what people's bodies go through when they enter food-eating contests, then this is the book for you. The depiction of the younger brother, who is autistic, is what kept me reading. (Children's Fiction)
"The Shape of the World: A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright" written by K.L. Going and illustrated by Lauren Stringer. The beautiful pencil drawings capture the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and the story is a wonderful introduction to this famous (infamous?) Wisconsin native. (Children's Picture Book)
"Laura Ingalls Is Ruining My Life" by Shelley Tougas. Even though, like most of us, I grew up reading the Little House stories, there was a lot in this book that I didn't know about Laura Ingalls. Tougas adeptly presents a very well-written counterpoint regarding the recent discussion of racism in these stories. (Children's Fiction)
"Ahimsa" by Supriya Keklar. Anjali's mother has joined the independence movement (Ahimsa) in India in the midst of World War II, and it pulls Anjali out of her comfort zone. She learns a lot about herself through the struggle and comes to realize the importance of true friendship. (Children's Fiction)
- Jeni Schomber is the Youth Services Director at Beloit Public Library.