Chevy Chase
Neighborhood Library

Ella Minnow Pea

FUNomenal Wordplay

Novels for Wordplay Lovers

For most of my life I've been fond of zany wordplay, such as palindromes, anagrams, puns, lipograms, pangrams, oxymorons, and alliteration. I have discovered some novelists who share a similar fascination and whimsically employ wordplay in their fiction, even as they also explore deeper themes. If you too are a wordplay enthusiast, check out the children's and adult novels below.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

Comfort Reads for Troubled Times

So lately the term “self-care” has been very popular.  (I can’t imagine why that could be.)  The library is here for you in many ways.  We have yoga and meditation classes.  We have quiet and comfy chairs.  My colleague Reza S. has some non-fiction recommendations for you.    

Orphan Master's Son cover

Fiction about North Korea

And Fiction by North Koreans

So, um, North Korea has been in the news a lot lately.  Now might be a good time to read some of their fiction.  However, there really isn’t a lot of it that is available to the world outside North Korea. Until recently, there hasn’t been any unauthorized work making its way out of the country, which is exceptionally chilling, given that unauthorized fiction tends to find its way out of all authoritarian regimes. (People need to tell their stories.)  However, this March saw the U.S.

Back to College

The campus novel

I went to a state university. It was really big, and a lot of my fellow students were adults with jobs and kids and, you know, actual lives. So there really wasn't much campus life going on. I don't regret my decision (I saved a ton of money) but I do envy people who had "real" college experiences.

Flashlight

Who Said Books Need Words?

Indulge in these fantastic wordless picture books!

Wordless picture books are a fantastic format to boost children’s literacy skills and to foster a rich imagination. These books allow children to interpret the illustrations and create their own stories as they “read” the book – one book can have countless stories within it! They also reinforce the fact that pictures tell as much of a story as words do, they help children develop storytelling skills, and when you “read” the book with them, you can introduce them to a plethora of new vocabulary.

Rock Hard cover

Rockers, Bikers, and Mobsters – Oh My!

Bad Boy Heroes With Hearts of Gold

Three hot trends in contemporary romance and romantic suspense are rock stars, motorcycle clubs, and mobsters. Not sure these trends are for you? Try the short novella Rock Courtship by Nalini Singh to dip your toe in the water. Looking for bikers with a protective streak?

Go-Between cover

What I Did Last Summer

Eight Books About "That One Summer"

There is a reason why “The Summer that Changed My Life” is a college admission essay staple.  For a young person, it's three whole months of relatively unstructured time.  Something interesting has to happen, right?  Novelists feel the same way.  There are so many novels that take place over a single summer.  Here is just a sample:  

A Place of Greater Safety cover

Vive La Révolution!

Fiction about the French Revolution

The French Revolution. It's a lot like the American Revolution, except it was bloodier, more complicated and fueled by righteous class fury. (This video will take you through it.) Then there is the petty backstabbing among the revolutionaries. It's like a middle school lunchroom with a guillotine. All this makes for some pretty great fiction.

Lean Logic

Confronting Limits to Growth

Economics and Culture in a Post-Growth World

Goals of economic growth often go unquestioned in mainstream economic theory and in platforms across the political spectrum. But the books below argue compellingly that unlimited growth on a finite planet is impossible long-term. Many contemporary ecological, economic, and political crises indicate that the industrial growth economy is hitting hard limits.

Hystopia cover

Twisted History

Alternative History Novels

Alternative history fiction posits the question "what if?" about historical details large and small and how one change might have impacted the world. These five alternative history novels feature different time periods and different changes that will have history fans rethinking how they look at the world.   The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen

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