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Expand your reading horizons

Another year of reading has come and gone, leaving some feeling triumphant and others disappointed with their 2017 selections.

Websites, magazines and other media outlets have already made lists of various genres containing, according to them, the best of 2017. A Google search for “best books of 2017” provides hundreds of relevant results, from best fantasy books to top books for leaders to best debut novels. Each of these lists provides a great place to start as you begin your 2018 reading adventure, especially if you are looking to catch up on popular books from the previous year.

There are also ways to find new and future releases in nonfiction without relying on online lists. Many fiction lovers struggle to make it through nonfiction books, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Mystery lovers may find new shelves to investigate in the true crime section, while those looking for a thrilling page-turner can quicken their heartbeat by getting lost in a true story of survival in the wilderness. Readers who love feeling like they have been transported to a faraway and unique location can find the same in armchair travel books or historical accounts set abroad. Those looking for flowing passages filled with meaning can find solace in short collections of poetry.

Book suggestions from Hollywood have now expanded past the famous Oprah’s Book Club. Reese Witherspoon, who recently portrayed Cheryl Strayed in the cinematic adaptation of “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” offers many book suggestions via her Hello Sunshine Instagram and Facebook accounts. Emma Watson, still referred to as Hermione Granger by avid Harry Potter fans, runs a Goodreads online book club called Our Shared Shelf. Watson selects a book every month for Goodreads followers to read and then discuss at the end of the month, with questions and quotes created by Watson. The American Library Association’s Book Club Central recently selected Sarah Jessica Parker as the honorary chair to select books throughout the year as a way to share her joy of reading with others across the country. Her selections include “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid, “No One Is Coming to Save Us” by Stephanie Powell Watts and “Stay with Me” by Ayobami Adebayo.

Library staff may not be considered celebrities by some, but we consider ourselves to be one of the Library’s greatest resources. In addition to the thematic displays on the main floor, staff fill endcaps with popular books of varying genres. You will also find a display of nonfiction staff picks on the second floor. These displays are constantly changing to reflect current events, seasons and some of our favorite books. Whether you’re looking to stay within a niche or try something new, staff are always happy to provide you with a few—or many—suggestions.

As you begin making lists for 2018 to achieve your goals, look to the Library to suggest ways to expand your reading horizons.

Conrrado Saldivar is an Adult Services Specialist at the Library.

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