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American Nations

What it Means to be American

This eclectic mix of books features different genres, perspectives, and approaches to answer the question: "What does it mean to be an American?" Some are memoirs, some are histories, some social science and poetry thrown in for good measure. While none of these books by themselves or even as a collection completely answer the complex question, they do begin to describe the multiple facets of what it means to call oneself an American.

American Eclipse cover

Chasing the Eclipse

On August 21, there will be a total solar eclipse covering the continental United States for the first time since 1979. Here are two new titles about the eclipse for your reading pleasure and making the most of your viewing experience. Copies of the books are available to check out and download from the library system.

taking flight

International Girls with Grit

Grit is defined as "firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck."  The true stories below portray unimaginable hardships for girls so young. Some lost their families and homes to heinous acts of violence during civil wars. Others were sold by their families to ease financial burdens or because the girls were deemed "worthless." Yet deep loss, fear, and shame didn't define them. Instead, their strength blossomed in adversity.

DC locals Cigarette play on the Woodridge rooftop on July 12, 2017

Summer of Punk Reads!

History in the Making with the DC Punk Archive

After the closure of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library for renovation earlier this year, we wondered how to continue the joy and community built around the DC Punk Archive Basement shows hosted there since October 2014 to promote the DC Punk Archive collection. Why not start with our newest DC Public Library building?

Cover of the book Stitch 'n Bitch

Crafty Man

One of the hobbies I do that raises eyebrows quite often is knitting. There are so many people I encounter on a regular basis who are just downright surprised that not only can I knit, I'm pretty good at it and I actually enjoy it. Maybe it is because I'm male. Maybe it is because I might not look like someone who is particularly crafty. I don't know the reason, but I do know knitting. Here are a few books that I have used in not only learning how to knit, (being self-taught), but which also serve as good resources once people get started.

AIA Guide to Architecture DC

District of Construction

You've seen them in photos, books, and movies. Have you wondered about how they came to be built? Washington, D.C. features a variety of architectural designs in homes, public buildings, and monuments. With building as the theme for this year's summer reading, below are a selection of books about building and architecture in the District. 

great grisby.png

Let us Now Praise Famous Dogs

Good Dogs in History

Pupper love is having a moment, with blogs and social media capitalizing on the abiding affection between humans and their noble companions.

The Stranger cover

The Struggle is Real

Let's tackle a difficult question. One that's hounded us since humans first had the unique audacity to ask: Why are we here and what's the point of all of this? The books below offer clues and opinions - at best. If it is existential themes you seek, some of my favorites are below.

Faster, Higher, Smarter

Sports History for Teens and Tweens

Batter up!

Did you know that women and girls couldn’t always play sports like men and boys could? That African-Americans weren’t allowed to play major league baseball? That sports equipment used to be a lot less safe than it is now? Check out the following books about sports history for teens and tweens - and while you’re having fun, you might learn a thing or two!

Mo meta

"Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself..."

Memoirs from the Hip Hop Community

Hip-hop has firmly rooted itself worldwide as an important part of modern day culture. Clothing, vernacular, art and literature have all been influenced by hip-hop culture. As of late, some notable rappers and hip-hop producers have thrown their hat in the literary ring, giving us the stories behind some of their greatest hits. Here are some popular memoirs written by hip-hop notables.

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