book recommendations

Fiction for African American History Month

February is African American History Month, a time dedicated to “paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society” ( For the next two weeks I’m going to offer up recommendations on both the fiction and non-fiction side of things.  These recommendations are separated by age range, and are a mix of historical and modern settings. Today, we're talking fiction.





The Greatest Love Story of All

Let's be honest: a lot of supposedly grand love stories tend to, well, let us down in the end. But there is one special relationship that never truly let's us down. What's that you ask? As any good bibliophile knows, the answer, of course, is books. Their stories can sweep you away, provide a laugh, a cry, an escape-- and you don't even have to take it out to dinner. Valentine's Day is upon us once again, so here are a few titles, for kids, teens and adults, to enjoy.



Graphic Novels for All Ages

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that graphic novels “don’t count” or that they aren’t “real books”. Many people look down on the genre, assuming that it’s somehow less than in comparison to the more traditional novel. But. There are so many good reasons to pick up this style of book and encourage others to do so as well! For one, they’re great for visual learners. They help to develop the ability to read between the lines, also known as inference, as well as contain high level vocabulary. Let’s face it, in this modern world there are many different kinds of literacy, and graphic novels are a great way to learn and hone these skills. 



The Best Books I Read Last Year (Non-Fiction Edition)

I told you guys that these next two blogs were going to be purely self-indulgent. I'm turning “books I like” into a workable (worthwhile is still under debate) theme, and we're rolling forward into non-fiction. These are the books I read and loved this year. I’m not saying they’re the best of the best, but they’re the stories that stuck with me and now I’m sharing them with you. I've got some for all ages, and maybe even interests, here, from picture books all the way up to adult. 




The Best Books I Read Last Year (Fiction Edition)

I think we can all agree that 2018 gave us some good, and not so good, things. It did, however, produce some pretty amazing reads. So these next two blogs are purely selfish, I must admit. I mean, can “books I like” actually be a worthwhile theme, and if so, is it worthwhile enough to dedicate two weeks to? You never know until you try is my motto, so let’s do it. This week it’s about fiction, and the books I read and loved this year. I’m not saying they’re the best of the best, but they’re the stories that stuck with me and now I’m sharing them with you. I've got some for all ages, and maybe even interests, here, from picture books all the way up to adult. 




New Year, New You (Again)

Look, everyone does it. They make promises to themselves, and out loud to others, about what’s going to change in the new year. From dieting to dating, spending habits to cleaning-nothing is safe from the new year purge. But. They break. A month or so later and all of those well intentioned plans are out the window because let’s face it--most New Year’s resolutions? Not really long-term material. Or, you make the goal to lose five pounds, you do it, and then what? With that in mind, I’m not going to give you a bunch of fad, trite self-help books (at least, in my opinion). These are books that attempt to do a little more than just tell you to clean out your closets—or, if they do, there’s a little extra something behind it all. 



Baking the Stress Away

We all know that this time of year can be, shall we say…stressful. There are many ways to combat said stress, for some it’s meditation, self-care, sleeping in, putting their phone on do-not-disturb for a little while and for me? Baking. I know! To some that’s part of what makes things so stressful, and I get where they’re coming from but there’s something about how methodical the steps are that helps me reach that zen place. It’s like science, but with delicious, sweet results. So, if you’re looking for a way to chill out (with the added bonus of yummy food to share or keep for yourself), or maybe just learn something new, here are some of my favorite books on the subject. Perfect for beginners all the way up to those who definitely know their way around a kitchen.

Biographies for all ages

Have you ever heard the phrase about how life is an empty book and we’re the authors? Well, I couldn’t remember exactly how it went so I went on a little Google search and found…a lot of very similar quotes that all boil down to the same thing. My life, well, probably wouldn’t make the most interesting of reading materials to the general public, but there are some works out there, some people out there, that have filled their books with some amazing things. With that in mind, here are a handful of biographies for each age group, perfect to learn from and be inspired by. 



Treating People with Kindness

Let’s talk about kindness. There’s a lot of negativity being thrown around these days, and sometimes it’s hard to be empathetic and keep your head up. But, as the old adage says, it cost nothing to be kind. It’s not easy, I’m well aware--it takes courage to be kind in the face of everything the world may throw at you and, sometimes, we need a little help remembering how. So, here are a few titles, for the youngest all the way up to the oldest, to help us remember that, even when things seem insurmountable, a little bit of kindness can go a very long way. 




Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month- a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. This month is also a great oppurtunity to "educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges" (National Congress of American Indians). That being said, I've gathered a mix of titles for children, teens, and adults that explore these ideas and are perfect reads for not just this month, but year round. 



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