It’s National Library Week and this occasion is a wonderful time to realize how privileged we are to have access to our libraries and the plethora of books they contain. It is also the perfect time to get to know our local librarians a little more, and one way you can do that is by asking them about the book(s) they’re currently reading. PBS asked a few librarians at New York Public Library this very question, and here were a few of their selections:
1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing follows the lives of two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Even though one gains fortune and luxury, and the other a more humble life, the truth of the matter is that, no matter what, family is always connected.
2. Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus is not for the faint of heart. I’d suggest only picking this one up if you’re really wanting to learn more about the extremely diverse history of humanity, as well as the prominent place science has in our development and growth as a species.
3. The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson
The Dream-Quest is inspired by H.P. Lovecrafts “Dreamlands,” although adds its own feminist twist. Read along as a professor and her cat follow one of her students across a fantasy land full of monsters, gods, and everything in between.
4. Facing Unpleasant Facts by George Orwell
Orwell is perhaps best known for writing the classic 1984, though Facing Unpleasant Facts, a collection of his essays and thoughts, is just as, if not more, brilliant. The author covers everything from tea, to elephants (yes, elephants) to observations of everyday life.
5. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny Nwazue has never really felt at home anywhere. As an African albino born in America though living in Nigeria, Sunny feels like even more of an outsider after she discovers she can perform juju magic. Suggested as a great read for fans of Harry Potter, Akata Witch is a thrilling story full of spells, family, and the power of self.
6. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I know everyone throws around the sentence “You NEED to read _______” complete with reasons why they believe the novel is an essential read for humanity, and frankly, it’s getting old. Yes, I think that there are many books that would help this world become a lot less ignorant and hateful if people would actually read them, though books effect people in different ways. This rant brings me to Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give. This authentic YA novel explores the history and present day horror of gun violence and racial prejudice in America.
7. Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres
Stef isn’t all that crazy about Tia Perla, the taco truck that has been in her family for years. Although, when obstacles arise and Tia Perla may be taken away for good, Stef jumps into gear and realizes how she should be very proud and celebratory of her heritage.
8. Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay A. Haring
Keith Haring is a renowned artist primarily based in NYC. This exuberant and colorful book features pictures of Haring’s work, and additionally offers a simple biography on him.
What do you think of the librarians book choices? Which novels do you wish more people knew about?
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Featured image via UNH Law Library