If you're looking for a readable memoir, browse this list of suggestions for your next read.

Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of?

This title can also be checked out in multiple copies for a book discussion.

When it came to her elderly mother and father, Roz practiced denial, avoidance, and distraction. But after her elderly mother's encounter with a ladder, the tools that had served Roz well through her parents' seventies, eighties, and into their early nineties could no longer be deployed. The themes here are universal: adult children accepting a parental role; aging and unstable parents leaving a family home for an institution; dealing with uncomfortable physical intimacies; managing logistics; and hiring strangers to provide the most personal care.

 

Find a story to incorporate some magic in your life. Some suggestions to get you started are included below: books intended for older audiences are toward the bottom of the list.

Room on the broom by Julia Donaldson
Also available in: video

A witch finds room on her broom for all the animals that ask for a ride, and they repay her kindness by rescuing her from a dragon.

Tell me a dragon by Jackie Morris

Kate Greenaway Medal nominee Jackie Morris presents in stunning pictures a range of dragons, describing many different varieties of the beast, and why their owners find them so entrancing.

Explore the lives of many artists. The books below are found in our children's collections, but may appeal to wider audiences. Find more artists and art in our collections: just ask any librarian.

Describes how Van Gogh's insomnia, possibly a symptom of mental or phyical illness, allowed him to view the night sky while everyone else was asleep and influenced how he saw the world around him.

A story inspired by the life of the influential French master artist considers how he transformed his dreary childhood community in northern France through his expressions of color and form.

 

Did you miss our Green Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions to inspire a colorful storytime you can do at home. 

 

From Storytime

The great big green by Peggy Elizabeth Gifford

A lyrical ode to the planet poses a riddle that invites children to identify an enormous object that is green everywhere it is not blue and is covered with green plants and creatures.

 

Did you miss our Dancing Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions to inspire a rhythmic storytime you can do at home. 

 

From Storytime

Edgar Degas walks through the streets of Paris observing life in the city and creating art based on some of the things he sees. He stops at the opera house to watch the ballerinas.

 

If you enjoyed reading about Grace Thomas, the American Girl character who visits Paris and wants to start her own bakery, you might be interested in these titles.

Fiction

The 12 dares of Christa by Marissa Burt

Thirteen-year-old Christa's plans for her favorite holiday are derailed when her parents announce their divorce and Christa spends Christmas in Europe with her mom, but even though her dad remains in Chicago, he sends Christa on a scavenger hunt made up of dares that send her all over Florence, Paris, and London.

 

Did you miss our Boats Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions to inspire a watery storytime you can do at home.

From Storytime

Yak and Gnu by Juliette MacIver

An adventure in the river with Yak in his kayak and Gnu in his canoe is marked by a safari of unusual nautical sightings, including a goat in a boat, a calf on a raft, and a whole flotilla of whales and gorillas.

 

Did you miss our Mail Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions to inspire a postal storytime you can do at home. Maybe you can send your own letter after you're done.

From Storytime

Spots in a box by Helen Ward

Ordering some spots by mail when he worries about his lack thereof, a young guinea fowl is surprised by his delivery, which contains spots of various sizes, colors, and patterns.

 

Did you miss our Alphabet Storytime this week? Don't worry, here's what you missed, plus a few more suggestions to inspire a "letter"-ary storytime you can do at home. Don't forget that the beginning of our J Picture Book section is dedicated to books about the alphabet.

 

From Storytime

Alphabet under construction by Denise Fleming

A busy mouse works his way through the alphabet as he folds the "F," measures the "M," and rolls the "R."

 

If you enjoyed reading about Felicity Merriman, the American Girl character who lives in Williamsburg, Virginia on the eve of the American Revolution in 1774, you might be interested in these titles.

Fiction

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Also available in: audiobook

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Pages