How to Read Like a Librarian

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How to Read Like a Librarian

Peek at our staff's reading list

There are a lot of librarian stereotypes out there: we’re all women (false), we’re all either uptight and impersonal or coding nerds with tattoos (false), we like to shush people (false), and we have either read everything in the library or we only read books you’d find on lists of importance (definitely false and false). If you’ve ever wanted to read like a librarian, here’s a peek at what we’re currently reading -- you might be surprised at what you see, but we hope you’ll then go forth with confidence in reading what you enjoy and proclaiming with pride that you, too, read like a librarian.

In the interest of full disclosure, some staff were reading sequels to the books listed below, but we thought you should probably start with the first in the series.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Nikki is only trying to share her sister’s ad of marriage eligibility in Southall when she stumbles upon a flyer stating the local community center is seeking a writing teacher. Before long, Nikki realizes she’s not teaching creative writing to the handful of widows who show up to class, but the very basics, starting with the ABCs. But the widows have something else in mind, too, and their imaginations are a little bit shocking to the young and modern Nikki. Meanwhile, the director of Nikki’s program has a history of her own, and it’s haunting the whole community.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
Sent to her husband’s neglected estate to see the final months of her pregnancy through, Elsie is feeling the lack of hospitality from her new town and her husband’s cousin. But when she discovers a secret portrait that looks alarmingly like herself, she quickly discovers there might be something to the townsfolk’s anxiety. The eyes of the portrait appear to be following her -- but why? Follow this Victorian ghost story through its spooky narrative, fans of traditional gothic horror.

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Born in the United States, Sunny now lives in Aba, Nigeria, where her albinism makes connecting with her peers a challenge. In the midst of adolescence and along with two new friends, however, Sunny discovers the Leopard People. This group wields magical powers that develop around an individual’s “worst defect,” making it the person’s best attribute. As Sunny and her new crowd work to end the horrors committed by the child-abusing Black Hat Otokoto, she’s not confident her new powers will be enough but she knows she has to try.

The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs
Many readers are now familiar with the real-life and historical characters of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler. Cobbs now dives into the pair’s love story with greater depth with The Hamilton Affair, exploring the couple’s across-the-tracks romance. With the American Revolution raging in the background, Alexander and Elizabeth’s relationship heats up. Despite different family circumstances, long months of separation, and other obstacles, history proved to be a life of love for the orphan and the senator’s daughter.

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose
Pairing up for a second time, Bourdain and Rose bring a tale of telling tales, inspired by the Japanese game of Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. In this graphic novel, international chefs face off not for the most delicious dish, but for the best ghost story and survival. While food plays a role in each of the stories, readers are introduced to some traditional Japanese folklore and treated to stunning illustrations by Alberto Ponticelli, Vanessa Del Rey, Mateus Santolouco, and Leonardo Manco with color by Jose Villarrubia.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
A haunting mystery with strong historical elements, The Clockmaker’s Daughter takes archivist Elodie Winslow into the long-past life of Edward Radcliffe, who led a group of artists on a retreat at Birchwood Manor in 1862. The retreat, which ended in tragedy and mystery, left one woman dead and an heirloom missing. When Elodie discovers an old photograph and a journal, she’s thrown into a world of questions -- especially the reason behind Birchwood Manor feeling so strangely familiar.

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
With many books about the Trump administration already on the shelves, it can be difficult to know where to start. Russian Roulette starts more or less at the beginning, with Isikoff and Corn guiding readers through the 2016 presidential election and stating a case for Russian interference. A story of technology, espionage, and a democracy under attack, Russian Roulette lays out the method behind what many pundits describe as unprecedented.

Princess Jellyfish Vol 1 by Akiko Higashimura
A graphic novel described by some readers as if the genders were reversed on The Big Bang Theory, Princess Jellyfish introduces readers to Tsukimi Kurashita. An illustrator and lover of jellyfish, Tsukimi heads off to Tokyo to join Amamizu, a women-only residence where the otaku reign. On a trip to the aquarium to visit her beloved jellyfish, Tsukimi meets an unexpected and unforgettable character who might just be unreal.