Staff Picks

A Little Life

Books So Thick You Could Build a House with Them

But really you should read them instead

What better to prepare for those longer, colder nights than with an epically long read. These books will keep you going if you happen to be snowed in; you might find you even them so much, you’ll find yourself forgetting how long they are.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Keep Calm and Read a Zombie Story

Zombie reads for Halloween

It's the perfect time of year for a good zombie story! These are some of the best, or most fun!Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Cover of This Place Has No Atmosphere shows a girl wearing '80s fashion looking at the Earth from the moon.

Books for '80s Kids to Share With the Kids in Their Lives

Ah, the 1980s--era of Rainbow Brite, the Electric Company, and the after-school special. Ronald Reagan was our president, the Cold War was still on, and computers were just beginning to be more than a curiosity to the average person.  In children's literature, the '80s sometimes get a bad rap for being the era of the "problem novel"; basically, an after-school special in book form.  Still, some pretty great books were published during that decade.

Assata: An Autobiography

Black & Young

Transformative Titles that Expose the Ills of the World

With much of the world currently paying close attention to the injustice that has directly affected black youth and indirectly affected us all, I find this current climate of inequality to be a reoccurring theme in the United States of America.  Being black and young denotes a sense of inferiority in much of the world.  These preexisting notions of what it means to be a man or a woman who is black and young have contributed to theories that have too often framed blacks as the antagonist.  These theories have caused centuries of abuse.

Cryptonomicon book cover

Information Antics

A Reading List

Banned Books Week is drawing to a close, but the Information Antics exhibit will be on display at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library through October 22. Here's a reading list to accompany the show, featuring fiction and nonfiction dealing with the ways in which information and data can shape the world. Fiction:

The Unwritten Volume 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

Not Your Average Character

Graphic Novels for People Who Don’t Like Superheroes

I hear a lot of complaints about graphic novels from adults who don’t understand the genre. They say, “Oh, I don’t like graphic novels, they’re all about superheroes and they always have the same type of villain. It’s all about the comic book artwork and not about the plot. They’re too predictable.” These graphic novels are anything but predictable.

Oryx and Crake Book Cover

Science Fiction for Beginners

Books for People (Like Me) Who Are Inexperienced Sci-Fi Readers

I've never had a particularly strong interest in science fiction, but over the last few years I've become more intrigued. These are a few of the titles that grabbed my attention through strong reviews, word-of-mouth, or talking with other DC library employees. I hope that these titles open up new avenues for you, or remind you of a time when you were just getting into science fiction as well.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

All Boarded Up

Boarding school stories for young adult readers

Novels set in boarding school are perfect for the reader who may care for realistic stories over science fiction and fantasy but still want a good dose of escapism.  Although most of the books here fall under contemporary or realistic fiction, the boarding schools almost feel like separate worlds.  Each of these institutions has a history and characters whose stories long to be told.  These novels are written for a young adult audience but can be enjoyed by adult readers as well.

Church of Mercy cover image

Read Up for the Pope's Visit to DC

DC is gearing up for Pope Francis' historic visit, and the library is no exception--the MLK Library will be closing early at 7 p.m. on September 23 and reopening at 3 p.m. on September 24 in anticipation of his visit to a neighboring church.

Cover of Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch shows a map of London with parts outlined in red

Fantasy for Adults: Beyond the Bestsellers

Fantasy is big in pop culture these days.