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Our Staff Reading Suggestions for Adults This Winter

Our staff has compiled a list of recommended reading titles for adults this winter for our Winter Reading Program.

Each of our 30 branches has copies of these books, and if they are checked out you can request a copy be sent from another location. There are also copies available in ebook and audiobook through Overdrive.

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo

"Though we have instructions and a map buried in our hearts when we enter this world, nothing quite prepares us for the abrupt shift to the breathing realm." Crazy Brave is a raw and honest memoir recounting U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo's journey to become a poet. Her words are alive and lyrical, weaving the harsh reality of abuse and betrayal with the life affirming journey of finding her own voice.

Genre — Memoir, Autobiography, Life Story

Themes — Reflective, Lyrical, Raw, Honest

Awards/Nominations — American Book Award (2013)

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

"A woman's lot is to suffer." Set in Korea and Japan during Japan's occupation of Korea, Pachinko is a generational story about family, discrimination and suffering. This tale is not for the faint of heart.

Genre — Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Asian Literature, Women Authors

Themes — Japan, Korea, Book Club Favorite, Family Saga, Compelling, Character Driven, Own Voices, Sweeping, Contemporary

Awards/Nominations — Winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, Nominee for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction, National Book Award Finalist for Fiction, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction

The Overstory by Richard Powers

If you need a giant reminder to slow down, read this year's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Overstory. Through rich language, Powers maps the profound influence of trees on the lives of various characters through different points in history. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, this novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late 20th-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Genre — Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction

Themes — Environment, Nature, Complex, Issue-Oriented, Transformative, Haunting

Awards/Nominations — Booker Prize Nominee, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction Nominee

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient weaves a complicated tale of Alicia, a beautiful and renowned painter, convicted of violently murdering her husband and refusing to speak in the years since. Before the murder, Alicia painted a provocative self portrait, Alcestis, based on a Greek myth that seems to echo to her life. Does the painting hold a clue to why she did it? Find out in this edgy, psychological thriller akin to novels by Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware.

Genre — Psychological Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Crime

Themes — Unreliable Narrator, Intricately Plotted, Fast Paced, Compelling, Tragedy

Awards — 2019 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Mystery/Thriller

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

An unforgettable true story of a young lawyer's historic battle for justice. Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. Just Mercy is an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Genre — Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Themes — Social Justice, Social Movements, Politics, Law, Race, History, Searing, Moving, Society, Culture

Awards/Nominations — Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Nonfiction, NAIBA Book of the Year for Nonfiction, Andrew Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem, the daughter of an ineffectual but loveable moneylender, boasts that she is able to "spin silver into gold." Unfortunately, this attracts the unwanted and dangerous attention of the icy Staryk king, endangering not only herself but her family, her village, and even her country. This wonderfully complex retelling of Rumplestiltskin will draw you in and surprise you. The heroes are good and the villains are wicked ... or are they? 

Genre — Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fairy Tales

Themes — Strong Female Characters, Character Driven, First Person Narrative, Multiple Perspectives, Retelling, Complex, Magical

Awards/Nominations — Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel, Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel, Locus Award for Fantasy Novel, ALA Alex Award

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