Staff Picks

The Joy Luck Club Book Cover

Introspective Tearjerkers

These books will hit you 'right in the feels'

Summer can be all about fun, flirty or "light" reading, but sometimes you just long for something different. There are so many novels that have heart -- they make us laugh and cry -- but the joy that comes from these authors' writing is that by making us feel so deeply about them, it makes both the illustrative content of the writer as well as our own world that much brighter. If you are looking for a different flavor - maybe something a little heavier or a book that dares to be moody - why not try these suggestions?

Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra

Eighth-Grade Math Novels?

Books that make math fun for middle-schoolers

The library got a request this morning via Twitter: We've gotta admit this is a slightly unusual -- and incredibly specific request. But our amazing Library staff are up to the task! Here's what awesome Children's Librarian Annie Lyon came up with:

'Go Set a Watchman'- Opposing Viewpoints

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s long-awaited second (but technically first) novel is one of the most talked-about books of the summer. It’s also one of the most controversial. For some reason, if you are a reader, you are required to have an opinion on it (even if you haven’t read it.) Don’t worry. DC Public Library can help.

Choir Director

Church Folk

Slightly scandalous urban Christian Fiction

There is a genre of fiction that is categorized as Urban Christian. The story lines often reveal emotional and spiritual conflicts within urban church settings. The intensities between the spiritual and secular warfare can range from the horrific to the comedic. Of course, sex and violence heighten the novels’ appeal. My reaction to these non-stop scandals that are occurring in the church and outside the church is WOW. These authors offer intriguing plots and characters that demonstrate that nobody is exempt from being involved in church scandal.


Illustrated Stories of Illustrious Ladies

Graphic novel memoirs and biographies

I love graphic novels. The artwork and design can add so much to a reading experience. One of my favorite genres of graphic novels is autobiographies and memoirs. I find something so intriguing about seeing the way artists represent their own selves and lives in their art. This list includes some autobiographical stories and memoirs from amazingly talented female writers and artists.

The Joy of Vegan Baking

Vegan Cookbooks for Everyone

Recipes for vegans, carnivores and everyone in between!

Calling all fruit and veggie lovers! These are the cookbooks for you. Whether you’re vegan or not, the cookbooks listed below are full of delicious, healthful recipes that are waiting for you to try out. If you’re new to being vegan, the books below will be a great way to start.

All about the green

Personal Finance & Investing for Teens

Learning about the value of money today helps to build appreciation for its potential in the future. It is never to early to become financially savvy using tricks for saving money and building wealth toward a comfortable retirement. Listed below, you will find six book recommendations for gaining perspective on money management skills that would serve young people well into adulthood. 


Let's Take a Road Trip!

YA Books to Inspire You to Hit the Road

Summer time and road trips go hand in hand. There is something about the warm weather that draws us out and makes us want to look for adventure. The magic of the open road and the wide variety of sights, sounds, and smells has made for many great stories. The collection of characters, the big moments, and the quiet in between the miles set the stage for fun, reflection, and the unexpected. 

book cover

"If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go"

by Judy Chicurel

A nostalgic look back on the summer of 1972. Much like that tumultuous time, this summer is full of tragedy, missed opportunity, lost love and relinquished innocence -- all with a feeling of anticipation for what is next.Katie's story mimics that of her small town of Elephant Beach. Once a vibrant town, it has become forlorn and stuck in a time that no longer exists. Katie longs to keep her idealized notions about home and love, but the changing culture around her keeps her on the outside looking in. 

Oregon Trail cover

'The Oregon Trail' by Rinker Buck

Staff recommendation

Two brothers travel in a covered wagon for four months, following a 19th-century American highway to Oregon, the first time someone retraced the Oregon Trail in the same way the pioneers had traveled.