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Black History Month Reading Recommendations

We recommend these authors every day, but it is especially important to recognize the contributions of African American authors as we celebrate Black History month.  This list is not comprehensive, but contains a sampling of talented writers whose works chronicle the Black experience in America.

Follow the links to search our catalog for works by each author.  We hope you discover fascinating stories to share with your family and friends.

Maya Angelou
Recommended work: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

James Baldwin
Recommended work: Go Tell It on the Mountain

Octavia Butler
Recommended work:  Kindred

Ta-Nehisi Coates
Recommended work:  The Water Dancer

Ralph Ellison
Recommended work:  Invisible Man

Alex Haley
Recommended work:  Roots: The Saga of an American Family

Langston Hughes
Recommended work:  Short stories

Zora Neale Hurston
Recommended work:  Their Eyes Were Watching God

Toni Morrison
Recommended work:  Beloved

Alice Walker
Recommended work:  The Color Purple 

Colson Whitehead
Recommended work:  The Nickel Boys

These authors specialize in childrens' and young adult fiction

Christopher Paul Curtis

Nikki Grimes

Jason Reynolds

Jacqueline Woodson

ToniMorrison
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Virtual Book Club
Mondays, 9 AM via Zoom

Book Club meets via Zoom every Monday from 9 am - 10 am.  If you've wondered if a book club is for you, everyone is welcome to attend and you can sit in on a session to observe.  

We've picked our next two selections for book club.  Beginning February 8th we will be reading Zora Neale Hurston's classic "Their Eyes Were Watching God".  The reading schedule is based on the 75th anniversary edition of the book pictured to the left.  Page numbers may vary by edition.  Please register via Zoom to attend. Please note that as of 2/8/21 a session was added for March 1st to make up for the President's Day holiday.  If you have already registered for a session prior to 2/8, please re-register for the remaining sessions.  Thanks!

February 8  through chapter 7, page 80
February 15 Presidents' Day holiday--no meeting
February 22 through chapter 16, page 146
March 1 to the end, including the afterward if your edition has that section, page 205

Beginning March 8th, 2021 we will be reading the non-fiction book "Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family" by Robert Kolker.  This book explores the life of the Galvin family who had six schizophrenic children.  Reading segments will be announced when the edition is selected.

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Where to Find Free Ebooks and Audio Books Online

  • Audible is offering a collection of books in audio format for free.  These are primarily children’s books. This is a great resource and may only be offered for a limited time.
  • The Internet Archive is a large repository of books, audio, video, websites and software.  Access is free once you create an account.  There is much to discover here and multiple ways to access the information.  
  • Lit2Go is part of an educational resource clearinghouse based in Florida.  This limited collection of ebooks and audio books includes many classics.
  • Overdrive can be accessed via the Libby app or directly through their web site.  You will need your library card and PIN to check out books.  
  • Project Gutenberg offers access to over 60,000 titles with a focus on books that are now out of copyright. 
  • RBDigital is a content provider that offers magazines, ebooks and audiobooks.  To access the service, you need to create an account which will ask for your library card number.  After that, you will login with the username and password you create.  
  • The Screen Actors Guild has a small number of videos of celebrities reading children’s books for the project Storyline Online. Listen to Betty White, Oprah, Rami Malek and others as they read a variety of children’s books.
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Not Sure What to Read Next?

  • Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association.  ALA has made this journal freely available.  Booklist has long been a trusted source for librarians purchasing books.  Read reviews, peruse lists of recommended titles and see what the hottest trends in publishing are.  
  • Goodreads is a popular social site where people comment on books they have read and rate them.  If you’re on the fence about reading a title, check out what people have to say on the Goodreads forums.  You will need a free account to participate.
  • Novelist is a product from Ebsco that will help you find your next favorite book.  You will need your library card number to login. From there, you can browse titles by author, genre, target age and more.