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13 Fun and Entertaining Picture Books Your Preschooler Will Adore
Picture Book Month - A Celebration!

Did you know November is Picture Book Month?

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November. Join the celebration by reading a variety of picture books to the children in your life. Encourage a love of reading and support early literacy in the process.


November is Picture Book Month | What is a Picture Book? by Katie Davis – YouTube


If you’re looking for some great books to read to your child, check out the books below. Some of them (not all) are from our 101 Picture Book Challenge, which is designed to provide all children with a strong foundation of words, reading and stories to build literacy. We picked 101 of our favorite picture books and we want you to read them, too. Our list includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

Fun Picture Books to Read to Your Preschooler

These fun and entertaining picture books will definitely induce giggles in your preschooler. And don’t be surprised if they ask you to read them multiple times.

Frog on a log? / Kes Gray and Jim Field
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
If you're groovy and you know it, hug a friend! / story and performance by Eric Litwin ; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Rhyming dust bunnies / [text and illustrations by Jan Thomas]

1. Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray and Jim Field

In rhyming text, cat explains why frog has to sit on a log, even if he finds it uncomfortable.

2. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

In the rhythm of a familiar folk song, a child cannot resist adding one more dab of paint in surprising places.

3. If You’re Groovy and You Know It, Hug a Friend! by Eric Litwin

Set to the rhythm of the classic children’s song, Groovy Joe invites the reader to laugh, sing, explore, and best of all, hug a friend.

4. Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Me and Annie McPhee by Oliver Dunrea
Nothing rhymes with orange / Adam Rex
Billy Bloo is stuck in goo / by Jennifer Hamburg ; illustrated by Ross Burach

5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss

Kids will love this noise-filled classic from the one and only Dr. Seuss! Mr. Brown is a sound-making wonder! Encouraging imaginative play while learning to read, “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” will keep kids laughing. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.

6. Me and Annie McPhee by Olivier Dunrea

In this cumulative rhyme, a tiny island in the middle of the sea “just big enough for me and Annie McPhee,” rapidly becomes very crowded with increasingly larger groups of animals.

7. Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

All the fruits gather together and enjoy a rhyming party, but poor Orange feels left out because he does not rhyme with anything–until Apple invents a new word.

8. Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg

Told in rhyme, a parade of characters tries to help Billy Bloo free himself from the goo, but only manages to get trapped in the goo instead.

Pigs by Robert Munsch
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams ; illustrations by Ken Min
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Rhyme crime / John Burgerman

9. Pigs by Robert Munsch

Megan is told to feed the pigs, but not to open the gate. She does of course, and the results are hilarious as the pigs help themselves to coffee and the newspaper at the breakfast table, follow Megan to school, and ride home by way of the school bus. The Overdrive Read version is especially entertaining.

10. Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Rupert the mouse wants to star in an artistic, wordless picture book, but his animal friends cause problems by talking too much.

11. Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams

When a young boy decides to get a pet, he discovers it’s not as simple as ABC. Every animal he brings home makes his poor sister sneeze! Follow along on a funny, furry adventure that features animals of every size and stripe, from Antelopes and Bobolinks to Yaffles and Zebras!

12. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his performances in The Office presents a silly read-aloud book that combines a deliberately image-free format with wacky nonsense text, goofy song lyrics and more. The Overdrive Read version is fun for all ages.

13. Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

A thief wreaks havoc by switching things out for rhyming counterparts, until he’s stumped by an unrhymable word.

Resources for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers of Young Children

Ready to Read – TLCPL

Why Picture Books Are Important by Mo Willems

Picture Book Month – National Education Association (NEA)

14 Laugh-Out-Loud Picture Books for Little Kids by Iva-Marie Palmer – Brightly

The 50 Best Books For Preschoolers – Early Childhood Education Zone

Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers by Reading Rockets

 

Originally posted by April S. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/13-fun-and-entertaining-picture-books-your-preschooler-will-adore

 

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Reading is My Business, And Business is Good!

There are so many great business and leadership books out recently that appeal to even the most un-business-y readers! Take a look…

Business, Entrepreneurship and Industry

Valley of genius : the uncensored history of Silicon Valley, as told by the hackers, founders, and freaks who made it boom / Adam Fisher
Wisdom @ work : the making of a modern elder / Chip Conley
Fins : Harley Earl, the rise of General Motors, and the glory days of Detroit / William Knoedelseder

Valley of Genius: the Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, as Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made it Boom by Adam Fisher

Lively, fascinating, and educational, sometimes a book sneaks up on readers, prompting us to realize that its topic is a lot more interesting than we might have thought. This is an oral history of Silicon Valley and the rock-star legends in the industry, told by the people who were there from the beginning.

Wisdom at Work: the Making of a Modern Elder by Chip Conley

Experience is making a comeback. At age 52, newly retired hotelier CEO Chip Conley received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. Roughly twice the age of the average Airbnb employee and reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son, Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”

Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit by William Knoedelseder

Chronicles the birth and rise to greatness of the American auto industry through the remarkable life of Harley Earl, an eccentric six-foot-five, stuttering visionary who dropped out of college and went on to invent the profession of automobile styling, thereby revolutionized the way cars were made, marketed, and even imagined. His impact was profound. When he retired as GM’s VP of Styling in 1958, Detroit reigned as the manufacturing capitol of the world and General Motors ranked as the most successful company in the history of business.

Billion dollar whale : the man who fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the world / Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Dear founder : letters of advice for anyone who leads, manages, or wants to start a business / Maynard Webb
Crashed : how a decade of financial crises changed the world / Adam Tooze

Billion Dollar Whale: the Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright

True-story thriller about a man who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters. In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the housing bubble financial crisis, a seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history–right under the nose of the global financial industry.

Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business by Maynard Webb

Wise, practical, and profitable letters to entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and business owners in every field—from a leading executive, investor, and business founder. More than 600,000 new businesses are launched each year. How does an entrepreneur build and manage a workplace—and create a lasting legacy? Maynard Webb has helped found, fund, and grow dozens of successful companies, and has driven strategic change at Salesforce, eBay, Everwise, and Visa, among other worldwide corporations. Known for offering savvy insight, encouragement, and a dose of reality in the form of engaging personal letters to a select group of business leaders, Webb now shares his lessons with the rest of America’s aspiring entrepreneurs—at any age and stage in their careers.

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crisis Changed the World by Adam Tooze

From a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today. In September 2008, a dramatic economic cascade of global significance spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the US and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a stable, sustainable and coherent world order?

Cousins Maine Lobster : how one food truck became a multimillion-dollar business / Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac ; with Blake D. Dvorak ; foreword by Barbara Corcoran
The gambler : how penniless dropout Kirk Kerkorian became the greatest deal maker in capitalist history / William C. Rempel
The bonanza king : John Mackay and the battle over the greatest riches in the American West / Gregory Crouch

Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multimillion-Dollar Business by Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac

In early 2012, Jim Tselikis visited L.A. and met up with his cousin Sabin Lomac. Over a few drinks they waxed nostalgic about their childhood in Maine, surrounded by family, often elbow deep in delicious lobster while gathered around the picnic table. From this strong memory was born the very first Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. Smart, authentic marketing, and sustainable, delicious ingredients helped turn that one food truck into an overnight sensation. Then, in just three years, they went from a single food truck to a nationally-franchised legion of trucks, an online delivery service, and a brick-and-mortar restaurant, grossing over $15 million dollars in sales a year.

Start-up fever has taken hold of America, and there are hundreds of books to teach readers how to become an entrepreneur; this is the first book to answer the question: What’s next? At each step, Jim and Sabin were faced with hard decisions—opening each new food truck carefully instead of rushing to meet the demand; turning down a six-figure franchise offer because it came from someone who didn’t support their vision; turning down “Shark Tank” (twice) until they could insist on participating only if Barbara Corcoran was one of the Sharks. Now Jim and Sabin teach readers how they, too, can reach the next level of success in their own businesses, without having to compromise themselves.

The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History by William C. Rempel

The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian—the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business. Kerkorian never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry —the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.

In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions—a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.

The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West by Gregory Crouch

Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who went to California during the Gold Rush and mined without much luck for eight years. When he heard of riches found on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1859, Mackay abandoned his claim and walked a hundred miles to the Comstock Lode in Nevada.

Over the course of the next dozen years, Mackay worked his way up from nothing, seizing control of the most concentrated cache of precious metals ever found on earth, the legendary “Big Bonanza,” a stupendously rich body of gold and silver ore discovered 1,500 feet beneath the streets of Virginia City, the ultimate Old West boomtown. But for the ore to be worth anything it had to be found, claimed, and successfully extracted, each step requiring enormous risk and the creation of an entirely new industry.

When Mackay died in 1902, front-page obituaries in Europe and the United States hailed him as one of the most admired Americans of the age. Featuring great period photographs and maps, The Bonanza King is a dazzling tour de force, a riveting history of Virginia City, Nevada, the Comstock Lode, and America itself.


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No Capes Required: Comics Embrace All Literary Genres!

When I was young, I loved comics. Whether it was the X-Men, Batman or Deadpool, I couldn’t get enough of the emersion and escapism that comics offered. As I’ve grown older I’ve begun branching out from the superhero comics of my youth, and my love and respect for the art form has only intensified.

It may come as a surprise that the world of comics has so much more to offer than spandex-clad muscle men and swooning damsels in distress. Luckily for us there are comics out there to suit just about every taste in literature: there are westerns, science fiction, fantasy and noir detective-style comics. And let’s not forget comics with romance, horror, or comics that have good endings and bad. Comics that are weird. Comics that are queer. Comics that are funny. Comics that are cute. And pretty much everything in between.

Here are 20 of my favorite “no cape” comics – some are stand-alone, many are part of a series – for those of you looking for some alternatives to Marvel and DC. If you haven’t picked up a comic in a while, one of these titles may be the perfect place to get reacquainted. If you think you “aren’t into comics” – I guarantee that at least one of these will change your mind.

 

Graphic novels for people looking for an alternative to superhero comics

Blacksad written by Juan Diaz Canales ; ilustrated by Juanjo Guarnido
Daytripper / by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá ; with coloring by Dave Stewart ; lettering by Sean Konot
Duncan the wonder dog by Adam Hines
East of West. Volume 1 / Jonathan Hickman, writer ; Nick Dragotta, artist ; Frank Martin, colors ; Rus Wooton, letters
Fables: Legends in Exile written by Bill Willingham ; illustrated by Lan Medina

 

Blacksad written by Juan Diaz Canales ; ilustrated by Juanjo Guarnido

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.34 stars

Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery and intrigue, digging up the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets during the 1950s Red Scare in the United States. Also available as an eComic.

 

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.3 stars

Presents key moments in the life of Brás de Oliva Domingos, a Brazilian writer and sometime journalist, and the son of a prominent author, as if each episode would turn out to be the day in which he was about to die. Also available as an eComic.

 

Duncan the Wonder Dog written and illustrated by Adam Hines

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4 stars

What if animals could talk? Would some of them form a militant group in reaction to how humans treat them? Would humans treat them different?

 

East of West written by Jonathan Hickman ; illustrated by Nick Dragotta

AMAZON RATING: 4.1 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.92 stars

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH! Also available as an eComic.

 

Fables: Legends in Exile written by Bill Willingham ; illustrated by Lan Medina

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.98 stars

Who killed Rose Red? In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case – and, along with Rose’s sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams. Also available as an eComic.

 

Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Joe the Barbarian" by Grant Morrison (Author), Sean Murphy (Illustrator)
King City by Brandon Graham
Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
Monstress: Volume One - Awakening

 

Hellboy by Mike Mignola  (Author/ Illustrator), Various (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.6 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.12 stars

When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar. Also available as an eComic.

 

Joe the Barbarian by Grant Morrison  (Author), Sean Murphy (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.2 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.77 stars

Joe is an imaginative young kid of 11 who happens to suffer from type 1 diabetes. Without supervision and insulin, he can easily slip into a delirious, dissociative state that presages coma and death. One fateful day, his condition causes him to believe he has entered a vivid fantasy world in which he is the lost savior — a fantastic land based on the layout and contents of his home.

 

King City by Brandon Graham (Author/ Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.6 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.99 stars

Joe is a catmaster, trained to use his cat as any tool or weapon. His best friend, Pete, falls in love with an alien he’s forced to sell into green slavery, while his ex, Anna, watches her Xombie War veteran boyfriend turn into the drug he’s addicted to. King City, an underbelly of a town run by spy gangs and dark dark magic with mystery down every alleyway.

 

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill  (Author),‎ Gabriel Rodriguez (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.16 stars

“Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all! Also available as an eComic.

 

Monstress by Marjorie Liu (Author), Sana Takeda (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.97 stars

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art
deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both.

 

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Pretty Deadly: Volume one - The shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Tales from outer suburbia by Shaun Tan

 

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.19 stars

Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, and his sidekick, Nimona, an impulsive young shapeshifter, must prove to the kingdom that Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law
Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. Also available in Audio and eAudio.

 

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Author), Emma Rios (Artist), Jordie Bellair (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.1 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.82

As Sissy, a girl with a crow head-dress and two different colored eyes, and Fox, a blind old man, travel a fanciful Old West world, they are pursued by Death who seeks Sissy for reasons unknown. Also available as an eComic.

 

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Fiona Staples (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.23

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. Also available as an eComic.

 

Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Author), Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.28 stars

After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman. Also available as an eComic.

 

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.33 stars

An exchange student who’s really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says… These are the odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an incredible life of their own in tales and illustrations that Shaun Tan’s many fans will love.

 

Through the woods : stories by Emily Carroll
The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way
WE3 : the deluxe edition by Grant Morrison
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.91 stars

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to. Also available in eBook.

 

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way  (Author), Gabriel Ba (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.96 stars

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” Also available as an eComic.

 

We3 by Grant Morrison  (Author), Frank Quitely  (Illustrator)

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely deliver the emotional journey of WE3 – three house pets weaponized for lethal combat by the government – as they search for “home” and ward off the shadowy agency that created them. Also available as an eComic.

 

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 3.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.28 stars

In a demented future where humanity is oppressed by the evil Shadowsmen, only a gang of ruthless and powerful children called the Wrenchies can hope to stand against them.

 

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Pia Guerra (Illustrator), Jose Marzan Jr. (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.2 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.11 stars

Yorick Brown and his pet male monkey learn just how valuable they are when they set out across the planet in search of one specific girl in the wake of a strange plague that has killed every man, boy, and mammal with a Y chromosome–except for them. Also available as an eComic.


Looking for your next great read?

Let us help you!

Tell us what you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations.

No algorithms, cookies or data mining – just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you. We call it Give 3 Get 3.

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Great Summer Reads at the Toledo Library!

Top Librarian Secret:

Best-sellers are SOOO overrated! There are tons of wonderful “mid-list” titles out there that are just waiting to be discovered.

Check these out for some great summer reading options:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Lost Empress : A Novel by Sergio De La Pava
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
The Lido by Libby Page
The Elizas : A Novel by Sara Shepard

The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

This is the perfect summer romance novel, with a sunny California setting and an awkward, tender, and utterly sweet romance between its protagonists. Autistic econometrician Stella and vivacious escort Michael are a very unlikely pair, but when she hires him to teach her how to have a relationship, they’re both astonished to develop a powerful personal connection. Michael’s gentle kindness with anxious, wary Stella will melt any reader’s heart.

Lost Empress” by Sergio De La Pava

A madcap, football-obsessed tale of crossed destinies and criminal plots gone awry, this novel cleverly weaves together a sports drama and a crime story, starring a manipulative mastermind, all told in a style that might best be described as a series of trick plays, fictional feints, and philosophical asides.

Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist— a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”

The Lido” by Libby Page

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman’s “A Man Called Ove,” “The Lido” is a charming, feel-good novel that follows two women at the opposite ends of life bonding over the closure of a beloved local pool —an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.

The Elizas” by Sara Shepard

Unable to convince anyone that she was pushed before she was rescued from the bottom of a hotel pool, a rising author struggling with depression and memory loss begins to question her sanity as elements from her debut novel mix up with events in her real life. By the best-selling author of “Pretty Little Liars.”


Don’t see what appeals to you here?

Try out our Give 3 Give 3 service for personalized suggestions.

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Building Great Learners Starts With Reading

“Too early” has no place in the formula when it comes to gauging the right time to begin nurturing children’s interest in reading. While introducing her daughter Aria to the wonder of words, Renee O’Brien found out how quickly that awareness and appreciation of books and language can be ignited.

O’Brien had heard about the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s Ready to Read program and decided not long after the birth of her first child to get some advice on preparing Aria to be a lifelong reader.

“I wanted to make sure she has the tools she needs in life to be a good reader, and a good learner,” O’Brien said. “So I went to the library, talked to the people there and got the information on what to do. I found out that even at a very young age, it is important to read to her and let her hear a variety of words.”

Ready to Read stresses how critical the years before kindergarten are for the development of children’s reading ability, and how the language and word skills a child is exposed to during that time period will play a significant role in how successful that child will be in school, and in life. The program promotes five activities that parents can do with their children to greatly improve their success: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.

Talk Sing Read Write Play

Ready to Read encourages parents and childcare providers to frequently talk with children in order to help them learn new words and to stimulate brain development. Singing improves a child’s capability to understand sounds within words, while reading together helps children become skilled readers. Parents are also urged to write out words to give children an understanding of letters and how they form sounds. Time for play is likewise important, as this is one of the main ways that children learn about the world.

O’Brien and her husband Kevin started introducing Aria to books when she was just four months old, and followed a plan that included frequently talking, singing and reading to her while she was in her high chair.

“At first, she paid no attention to us,” O’Brien said, “but they encouraged us to keep doing it.”

Then, somewhat magically and whimsically, Aria’s eyes lit up and the pathway for the 17-month-old to become a lifelong reader was wide open.

“Now, over the past three months she has been so interested in books,” O’Brien said. “Her doctor is very impressed with her development. She brings us the books and says: ‘read, read.’ She loves the books with pictures and words like ball and banana and gets excited when we read to her.”

Since its inception in April 2014, the Ready to Read program has provided more than 4,000 parents and childcare providers with free kits and training. In 2017, the program reached more than 6,000 parents and children. 600 families received in-depth training and a free preschool or kindergarten resource kit while another 800 received tools and tips such as the Busy Book and Kindergarten Skill Rings.

Ready to Read helped 4000 parents and 10000 children

Planting the Seed to Read

Statistics show that when they enter kindergarten, nearly two-thirds of area students do not have the fundamental skills needed to learn how to read and write. With $2 million in support from donors, the Library’s “Planting a Seed to Read” campaign was developed to address this deficiency. It is part of the Library’s overall Early Literacy Campaign which has the ambitious goal of improving the essential literacy skills of every child in the community.

“We know that in Lucas County, a lot of children are not arriving at school ready to learn and read, and that’s a big concern,” said Nancy Eames, youth services coordinator at the Library.

“One of the ways we address that is to show parents how to teach their children so those children are ready to read when they start school. Most kids won’t start reading until they are five or six, but they need a good foundation in place well before that age.”

She added that with locations in every corner of the community, the Library is able to offer support to families and get children started on building a foundation in reading.

“Parents are children’s first teachers, so their role is very important,” Eames said. “We want them talking to their children, which helps build vocabulary. Engaging in conversations that expand their world knowledge is also very valuable. Children can gain a lot when parents sing to them, since singing slows down the words and lets the child hear the syllables.”

Eames said that parents should continually expand on what they are saying so children hear a wide variety of words. When they start to read, children will more easily recognize words they have heard before.

“What we all need to do is put down our devices, and help kids build vocabulary,” Eames said. “Vocabulary is a skill we build throughout our entire lives, and the earlier we start, the more successful we will be.”

Intensive Storytimes Make Learning Fun

The Library’s “Intensive Storytimes” program is on the same mission – to increase children’s interest in books and reading, while strengthening their pre-literacy skills. Intensive Storytimes were first introduced in the fall of 2013 to eight Toledo Public Schools (TPS) Kindergarten classes and today, now serves about 40 TPS Kindergarten classes and 600 to 700 students annually.

The program also introduces students to their neighborhood Library, through the work of children’s librarians who visit the schools to present traditional storytime elements, such as reading books aloud, teaching rhyming words and singing with the children. These are facets of the dialogic reading technique which has been shown to hasten the development of early literacy aptitude, including oral language skills.

A librarian reading during Storytime

A Teacher Approved Approach

Fadia Olrich has been teaching Kindergarten for eight years, and she said her Riverside Elementary students are very excited when Children’s Librarian Maria Royuela-Tomas makes her regular visits to the classroom. Olrich said the librarians in the program work with teachers and develop themes for each week, often linking them to topics covered during the rest of the school day.

“Maria always has props or puppet shows or something that ties into the story and keeps the kids engaged the whole time,” Olrich said. “She focuses on vocabulary and character identification and my kids are always eager to participate – their hands are in the air to ask or answer questions.”

Olrich said the Intensive StoryTimes program is critically important for her students, many of whom have not been introduced to books before attending Kindergarten.

“A lot of my students aren’t even exposed to reading before they arrive here. Some had no idea what a library is, and they can’t believe it’s a place where you can go and get books,” she said. “So this program is very beneficial.”

Jim Funk, manager of institutional and community initiatives at the Library, said the goal of the Intensive StoryTimes program and the overall early literacy efforts is to have children properly prepared to learn.

“At first, we only worked with adults on improving literacy, but we realized working with children is the key to a better life for them, and for society,” he said. “The task is daunting, since so many of the children come to school not sufficiently prepared to read, but we aspire to do anything we can to help.”

The response to those efforts has been overwhelmingly positive.

All of the TPS teachers surveyed concluded that Intensive StoryTimes exposed their students to experiences that increased their pre-literacy skills. The teachers were also unanimous in their opinion that Intensive StoryTimes amplified the interest in reading in their classrooms, and helped the students build reading skills. The teachers all wanted Intensive StoryTimes to return to their classrooms.

“That’s very gratifying, because there are many different types of intervention underway, but the fact that teachers want our program back every year is a real testimony to its effectiveness,” Funk said.

A father reading to his son

Get In on the Early Literacy Action

Parents and childcare providers who have more questions or would like to request a free training may call 419.259.5253 or email readytoread@toledolibrary.org.

To support the Library’s Early Literacy Campaign, contact the Library Legacy Foundation at 419.259.5123 or email kathy.selking@toledolibrary.org.

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Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is here! We’ve chosen 101 Picture Books and we want you to read them, too! The Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians chose the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

How Do You Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

Favorite Book on the 101 Picture Book Challenge List

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

My favorite book on the list is “Bark, George,” written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The book is hilarious and has been a favorite for years! I absolutely love sharing this book with kids – probably because I get to ‘moo,’ ‘meow’ and ‘bark’ with glee. Published in the late ’90s, this beloved new classic is a perfect title for the challenge.

Also available in Read-Along Audio [Book on CD]DVDeAudio and eVideo.

Reading Beyond The 101 Picture Book List

If you like the humor in “Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer , you may also like …

Petra by Marianna Coppo - picture book

Petra” by Marianna Coppo

A little rock who believes she is a mountain has her perspective changed by a series of movements, including a dog playing fetch, a bird’s nest, a pond, and a little girl.

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker - picture book

A Visitor for Bear” by Bonny Becker

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse — small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse — who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places — just won’t go away!

It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle - picture book

It’s a Tiger” by David LaRochelle

Kids and parents alike will rejoice in this lively read-aloud picture book, as the main character runs into (and away from) a tiger over and over again as the plot gets sillier and sillier.

Also available in Audio [Book on CD] and eBook.

Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough - picture book

Marigold Bakes a Cake” by Mike Malbrough

Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons and three loons.


This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

Looking for reading, listening and viewing suggestions beyond the 101 Picture Book Challenge? We can help! Just visit us online and fill out a short form. That’s all it takes to receive personalized recommendations from our knowledgeable staff.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Cindy V. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/take-the-101-picture-book-challenge-today.

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Weird But True: This Lesser Known Fiction Genre is Making A Comeback

When it comes to your leisure reading, are you looking for something a little different? Perhaps you enjoy elements of the supernatural and fantastical but are tired of the same old clichés of most genre fiction? Why not give Weird Fiction a try!

Weird fiction is characterized primarily by its blending of science fiction, fantasy, horror and just about every other fiction genre to create something entirely new. The name “weird fiction” was coined by H.P. Lovecraft in a 1927 essay titled “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” which sought a division between traditional horror at the time and Lovecraft’s own work. The genre has since grown further apart from its close connection with horror and has become an umbrella term for books that can’t easily be placed in any other category.

If you’re new to weird fiction, below you’ll find some great reads to get you started. Keep in mind that nearly all weird fiction still contains some elements of horror, so if you tend to be squeamish these may not be the books for you.

Weird Fiction Books

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman (book)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington / Leonora Carrington ; introduction by Kathyrn Davis ; translations from the French by Kathrine Talbot ; translations from the Spanish by Anthony Kerrigan

 

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

“In these 11 stories, the occasion may be a walking tour of Northern England, a birthday present of a Victorian dollhouse or a stay at a Swedish sanatorium for insomniacs, but it simultaneously traps the characters with dread and opens them up to a new awareness of a greater, deeper and more dangerous world. A remarkable collection by an author who deserves to be better known.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.02

“Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including “Blackwood’s Baby,” “The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven,” and the World Fantasy Award–nominated “Hand of Glory,” The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.” ~ Amazon

 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads| 4.13

“Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.” ~ Goodreads

 

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.9

“Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s new novel after a seven year break, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted – and still wants – to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Complete Stories of Lenora Carrington with an introduction by Kathyrn Davis

Amazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 4.25

“Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Windeye by Brian Evenson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Fisherman by John Langan

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.02

“From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.” ~ Amazon

 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

House of Leaves is a multilayered intersection of wild ideas, ten years in the making, from Mark Danielewski. It is also the story of a seemingly normal house gone wild. The novel intertwines the narratives of two haunted individuals: Zampano, a blind man whose strange manuscript is found in his apartment when he dies, and Johnny Truant, the tome’s discoverer and narrator of House of Leaves.” ~ Fantastic Fiction

 

Windeye by Brian Evenson

Amazon: 4.3 | Goodreads: 4.03

“A woman falling out of sync with the world; a king’s servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own. The characters in these stories live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. Brian Evenson, master of literary horror, presents his most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans can persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.89

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Fisherman by John Langan

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.01

“When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.91

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. . But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?” ~ Amazon

 

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.97

“A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader’s imagination.” ~ Amazon

 

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.55

“Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.” ~ Goodreads

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 3.94

“From the author of the Southern Reach Trilogy (aka: Area X) comes a story about two humans, and two creatures. The humans are Rachel and Wick – a scavenger and a drug dealer – both with too many secrets and fears, ready with traps to be set and sprung. The creatures are Mord and Borne – animal, perhaps plant, maybe company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or source of spare parts.” ~ Provided by the publisher

 

Still not sure where to start?

Weird fiction anthologies will give you the opportunity to sample the work of various weird fiction authors and see what most interests you.

If you’re feeling brave, try the work of authors like Thomas Ligotti, Kathe Koja, Jon Padgett, Michael Cisco and so many others in the following collections.

 

The Year's Best Weird Fiction - Volume One edited by Laird Barron

The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One edited by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.92

“Welcome to the weird! Acclaimed author and editor Laird Barron, one of weird fiction’s brightest exponents, brings his expert eye and editorial sense to the inaugural volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.” ~ Goodreads

Also available in eBook (hoopla).

 

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.25 | Goodreads: 4.13

The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon. “ ~ Goodreads

Jeff Vandermeer, author of the bestselling Area X Trilogy (which is being adapted to film in 2018) and editor of numerous Weird Fiction anthologies, describes what makes Weird Fiction a genre that is greater than the sum of its parts:

Here, in what is actually our infancy of understanding the world—this era in which we think we are older than we are—it is cathartic to seek out and tell stories that do not seek to reconcile the illogical, the contradictory, and often instinctual way in which human beings perceive the world, but instead accentuate these elements as a way of showing us as we truly are. Unruly. Unruled. Superstitious. Absurd. Subject to a thousand destabilizing fears and hopes.


Want to learn more about Weird Fiction?

The Weird: An Introduction – Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction – Goodreads

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Weird Genre – Book Riot

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Juliette H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/weird-but-true-this-lesser-known-fiction-genre-is-making-a-comeback.

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Best Fiction & Nonfiction Books of 2017

So many books, so little time. What were some of the best books of the year and what makes them the best anyway? Books may end up on best seller lists when the subject is extremely topical like current events. However, after reviewing so many booklists, the selections may seem random at first glance. How do you find gems among the thousands of books published each year? You might rely on a highly trusted source like the “100 Notable Books of the Year” by The New York Times. Or maybe you just browse Amazon’s best seller lists and hope for the best. Well, my approach was a little more involved and it took a lot of time … time most people don’t have to spend on picking a few good books to read. The books featured below were selected after reviewing major book award websites, book reviews, and a wide variety of trusted booklists to narrow down the selections to only include the “best of the best” fiction and nonfiction books from the past year. Yet, it’s really still a matter of what interests the individual reader.

Now, the challenge is to find the time to read them!

Best General Fiction Books of 2017

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng“Spectacular sophomore work…a magnificent, multilayered epic that’s perfect for eager readers and destined for major award lists.” ~ Library Journal (starred review)Amazon rating: 4.4

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction Book with over 39,000 votes.

#1 book of the year – BookPage and LibraryReads.

Named one of the best or notable books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Esquire, The Guardian, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: Fighting an ugly custody battle with an artistic tenant who has little regard for the strict rules of their progressive Cleveland suburb, a straitlaced family woman who is seeking to adopt a baby becomes obsessed with exposing the tenant’s past, only to trigger devastating consequences for both of their families.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Looking for more noteworthy fiction books from the past year?

The 17 Best Fiction Books of 2017 – Bustle

The Best Fiction Books of 2017 – Chicago Review of Books

Best of 2017: Best Fiction Books – Entropy

Best Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The Best Fiction of 2017 – The Guardian

Best Fiction of 2017 by Category – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: The Best Fiction – Los Angeles Times

Top 10 Novels of 2017 – Time


Best Historical Fiction Books of 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders“Profound, funny and vital . . . the work of a great writer.” ~ Chicago TribuneAmazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 3.89

Winner of the Man Booker Prize.

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), BookPage, Esquire, Goodreads, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal (top 10), Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, O Magazine, Time (top 10), and The Washington Post (top 10).

Book summary: A long-awaited first novel by the National Book Award-nominated, New York Times best-selling author of Tenth of December traces a night of solitary mourning and reflection as experienced by the 16th President after the death of his 11-year-old son at the dawn of the Civil War.

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Looking for more noteworthy historical fiction from the past year?

22 of the Biggest Historical Fiction Books of 2017 – BookBub

Best Historical Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Historical Fiction of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: Historical Fiction – NPR

The Best Historic Fiction of 2017 – Overdrive


Best Literary Fiction Books of 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward“A tour de force … Ward is an attentive and precise writer who dazzles with natural and supernatural observations and lyrical details … she continues telling stories we need to hear with rare clarity and power.” ~ O, the Oprah Magazine

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction.

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, BookPage, Esquire, Kirkus Reviews, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review (top 10), NPR, Publisher’s Weekly (top 10), Time (top 10), The Washington Post.

Book summary: Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his tormented mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Autumn by Ali Smith
Looking for more noteworthy literary fiction from the past year?

Anticipated or Best Literary Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads

Best Literary Fiction of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Fall 2017 Announcements: Literary Fiction – Publisher’s Weekly


Best Mystery / Thriller Books of 2017

Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Glass Houses by Louise Penny“The tension has never been greater… A meticulously built mystery that follows a careful ascent toward a breaking point that will leave you breathless.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.46

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Goodreads, Library Journal, LibraryReads, LibraryReads, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Starred review – Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: A suspicious figure that appears on the village green on a cold November day leaves a dead body in its wake, compelling Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec to pursue an investigation that has difficult consequences.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Ill Will by Dan Chaon
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
The Force by Don Winslow
Looking for more noteworthy mysteries & thrillers from the past year?

The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2017 – The Booklist Reader

Best Mystery & Thrillers of 2017 – Bookriot

The Best Crime and Thriller Books of 2017 – Panmacmillan

Best Books of 2017: Mystery/Thriller – Publisher’s Weekly

The 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Books of 2017

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power by Naomi Alderman“I was riveted by every page. Alderman’s prose is immersive and, well, electric, and I felt a closed circuit humming between the book and me as I read.” ~ Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times Book Review

Amazon: 4 | Goodreads: 3.91

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Starred review – Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: In a novel of speculative fiction, an award-winning author contemplates a world where teenage girls now have immense physical power—they can cause agonizing pain and even death, drastically resetting the balance of the world.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
Looking for more noteworthy science fiction and fantasy novels from the past year?

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2017 – Barnes & Noble

The 9 Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books Written by Women in 2017 – Bustle

Best Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 – The Guardian

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: SF/Fantasy/Horror – Publisher’s Weekly


Best Short Story Collections of 2017

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen“The Refugees will haunt its readers, especially in these times, when refugee stories need to be told, shared, and told again, ad infinitum.” ~ A.V. Club

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.95

One of the best books of 2017 – BookPage, Esquire, Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times Book Review, and NPR.

Starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Book summary: A collection of stories, written over a twenty-year period, examines the Vietnamese experience in America as well as questions of home, family, and identity. By the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sympathizer.

Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
Five Carat Soul by James McBride
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Looking for more noteworthy short story collections?

7 Short Story Collections to Read in 2017 – Barnes & Noble

13 Short Story Collections Out This Fall to Help You Escape Reality for a Few Pages – Bustle

Best New Short Story Collections of Fall 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Teen / Young Adult Novels of 2017

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway“Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Amazon: 4.8 | Goodreads: 4.38

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Named one of the best or notable books of the year by Kirkus Reviews, NPR, The New York Times Book Review, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

Book summary: Feeling incomplete as an adopted child after placing her own baby up for adoption, teen Grace tracks down her biological siblings and finds herself struggling with the dynamics of being a middle child between an embittered older brother and an outspoken younger sister.

The book of Dust : La Belle Sauvage / Philip Pullman
The hate u give / Angie Thomas
Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson
Turtles all the way down by John Green
Looking for more noteworthy teen / young adult novels from the past year?

Best Young Adult Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The 30 Best Young Adult Books of 2017 – Paste

The 17 Best Young Adult Novels of 2017 – POPSUGAR

25 of the Best Young Adult Books of 2017 – Seventeen


Best General Nonfiction Books of 2017

The lost city of the monkey god : a true story / Douglas Preston
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston“Breezy, colloquial and sometimes very funny…A very entertaining book.” ~ The Wall Street Journal

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.92

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Goodreads, New York Times Book Review, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Book summary: Recounts how the author and a team of scientists discovered a legendary sacred city, the Lost City of the Monkey God, hidden deep in the Honduran jungle.

The apparitionists : a tale of phantoms, fraud, photography, and the man who captured Lincoln's ghost / Peter Manseau
Irresistible : the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked / Adam Alter
Nomadland : surviving America in the twenty-first century / Jessica Bruder
Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries / Kory Stamper
Looking for more noteworthy nonfiction from the past year?

Best Nonfiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Nonfiction of 2017 by Category – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: The Best Nonfiction – Los Angeles Times

The 20 Best Nonfiction Books of 2017 – Paste

Best Nonfiction Books of 2017 – Publisher’s Weekly

50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Biography / Memoir Books of 2017

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie“Evident throughout are humor and rage, respect and loving irreverence.” ~ Oprah Magazine

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

Amazon: 4.5 | Goodreads: 4.36

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), BookPage, Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Los Angeles Times, NPR, O Magazine, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: The National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian presents a literary memoir of poems, essays and intimate family photos that reflect his complicated feelings about his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation with his siblings and alcoholic parents.

The bright hour : a memoir of living and dying / Nina Riggs
Hunger : a memoir of (my) body / Roxane Gay
Leonardo da Vinci / Walter Isaacson
Priestdaddy / Patricia Lockwood
Looking for more noteworthy biographies and memoirs from the past year?

Best Biographies & Memoirs of 2017 – Amazon

Best Books of 2017: Memoir & Autobiography – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Biographies of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: Biography & Memoir – NPR

Best Memoirs of 2017 – O Magazine

5 Best Memoirs of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Business and Leadership Books of 2017

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein“Goldstein is a talented storyteller, and we root for her characters as, moment by moment, they try their hardest.” ~ The New Yorker

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.25

Winner of the 2017 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year.

Best Business Book of 2017 – Business Insider, CNBC, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human.

The power of moments : why certain experiences have extraordinary impact / Chip and Dan Heath
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker
Insight : why we're not as self-aware as we think, and how seeing ourselves clearly helps us succeed at work and in life / Tasha Eurich
The new rules of work : the modern playbook for navigating your career / Alexandra Cavoulacos, Kathryn Minshew
Looking for more notable business and leadership books?

The 7 Best Lessons from the 7 Best Business Books of 2017 (so far) – Success

13 of the Best Business Books of 2017 – CNBC

The 19 Best Business Books of 2017 – Business Insider

The Best Business and Leadership Books of 2017 – Omnivoracious

Best Business Books of 2017 – Financial Times


Best History Books of 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI / David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann“A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten.” ~ Wall St. Journal

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.14

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Paste, Publisher’s Weekly, The Smithsonian, Time, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II / Liza Mundy
The future is history : how totalitarianism reclaimed Russia / Masha Gessen
Greater Gotham : a history of New York City from 1898 to 1919 / Mike Wallace
The radium girls : the dark story of America's shining women / Kate Moore
Looking for more noteworthy history books from the past year?

Best History Books of 2017 – Amazon

Best History Books of 2017 – History Today

Best Books of 2017: History – Financial Times

Best American History Books of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

The Ten Best History Books of 2017 – The Smithsonian


Best Poetry Books of 2017

Half-light : collected poems 1965-2016 / Frank Bidart
Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart“Art of first order . . . Truly remarkable.” ~ Piotr Florczyk, New Orleans Review

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry.

Amazon: 5 | Goodreads: 4.5

Positive reviews from Booklist (starred review), The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and Publisher’s Weekly (starred review).

Book summary: Gathered together, the poems of Frank Bidart perform one of the most remarkable transmutations of the body into language in contemporary literature. Few writers have so willingly ventured to the dark places of the human psyche and allowed themselves to be stripped bare on the page with such candor and vulnerability. Over the past half century, Bidart has done nothing less than invent a poetics commensurate with the chaos and appetites of our experience.

Depression & other magic tricks / poems by Sabrina Benaim
The sun and her flowers / Rupi Kaur
When I grow up I want to be a list of further possibilities / Chen Chen ; foreword by Jericho Brown
Whereas : poems / Layli Long Soldier
Looking for more notable poetry collections from the past year?

The 18 Best Poetry Collections of 2017 – Bustle

The Best Poetry Books of 2017 – Chicago Review of Books

Best of 2017: Best Poetry Books & Poetry Collections – Entropy

The Best Poetry Collections of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Science Books of 2017

Astrophysics for people in a hurry / Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson“With wry humor, keen vision, and abundant humanity, Neil deGrasse Tyson distills the big questions of space, time, and reality into short, insightful chapters you can enjoy with your morning coffee.” ~ Discover

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Science & Technology Book with over 42,000 votes.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Business Insider, Goodreads, and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: Offers witty, digestible explanations of topics in cosmology, from the Big Bang and black holes to quantum mechanics and the search for life in the universe.

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson
Homo Deus - a brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Why time flies : a mostly scientific investigation / Alan Burdick
Why we sleep : unlocking the power of sleep and dreams / Matthew Walker
Looking for more great science books?

7 Favorite Science Books of 2017 – Brain Pickings

The Very Best Science Books of 2017 – Business Insider

The Best Science Books of 2017 – Science Friday

The Ten Best Science Books of 2017 – The Smithsonian


Notable Booklists from 2017

Best Books of 2017 – BookPage

50 Best Books of 2017 – Esquire

Best Books of 2017 – Part One and Part Two – The Guardian

19 Best Books of 2017 (so far) – Harper’s Bazaar

LJ’s Top 10 Books of 2017

LibraryRead’s Favorite Books of 2017

NYT’s 100 Notable Books of 2017

NPR’s Guide To 2017’s Great Reads

Best Books of 2017 – O Magazine

PW’s Best Books of 2017

Best Books of 2017 – The Washington Post


Note: Some websites may restrict access to their content after you access them multiple times (i.e., The Washington Post and similar publications).

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger and Adult Services Librarian April S. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/the-best-fiction-and-nonfiction-books-of-2017.

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Beyond the Best Sellers: Mysteries and Thrillers

Like mysteries and thrillers, but find yourself stuck in a never-ending loop of Patterson’s and Baldacci’s? Check out our list of the best mysteries and thrillers of 2017 that have flown under the “best seller” radar. Whether you like historical mysteries, psychological thrillers, or detective procedural- there is something for everyone!

Under the Radar: Mysteries and Thrillers

The Final Girls by Riley Sager
The Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Murder on Black Swan Lane by Andrea Penrose
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin
Say Nothing by Brad Parks
The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova
Everything You Want Me To Be by Mindy Mejia
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach
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