Booklists Recommendations

Latinx Heritage Month

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Did you know that tomorrow, September 15th kicks of National Hispanic Heritage Month?

“The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

To celebrate, check out these titles written by Latinx authors!

  • Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher | print
  • It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham | print
  • Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin |print / digital
  • Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat |print / digital
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | print / digital
  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende | print / digital
  • Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo |print / digital
  • In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero | print / digital 
  • A Cup of Water Under My Bed by Daisy Hernandez | print / digital
  • Music to My Years by Cristela Alonzo | print
  • In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado | print / digital
  • Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Díaz | print / digital

Online Resources

One of my favorite digital library resources is Hoopla. Through Hoopla, BPL cardholders have access to ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, tv shows, and music – their selection is endless! My absolute favorite thing about Hoopla is that there is no wait for any of their material – if you see it, you can check it out (how amazing is that?). 

Another thing I love about Hoopla are their collections! In the mood for a movie from the 90s? Hoopla has a list for you ( Want to listen to the latest new music releases? Hoopla has you covered (! Do the kids want to take a trip with Miss Frizzle on the Magic School Bus? Look no further, Hoopla is here to help (

During this crazy and scary time that is Covid-19, Hoopla has been there not only to keep me sane but also happy! Here’s what I’ve been borrowing on Hoopla over the last few months:

You can access Hoopla by following this link or by downloading the Hoopla app to your device!


LGBTQ+ Reads

Today is the last day of Pride Month – the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities. But just because this month of celebration is ending doesn’t mean you should stop reading lgbtq+ books! Here are some of the latest and greatest lgbtq+ books to add to your Pride reading list. Happy Reading!

Staff Book Reviews

History of Franklin County by William T. Martin, 1858

by BPL Team Member David

Written in 1858, William T. Martin’s History of Franklin County shares stories of the early settlement of Franklinton, by Lucas Sullivant, and how Columbus was formed as the site of Ohio’s capital. Written before the Civil War it is a rare account of the early history of places, such as the State Penitentiary and Columbus Canal, long since demolished and events, including the execution of Leatherlips, long forgotten. Illustrated with several early views Martin’s history is both educational and enjoyable.

Though original editions are rare and a 1969 reprint somewhat difficult to find this book is an easy find online. It as well as countless other volumes that have entered the public domain can be accessed via HathiTrust, a digital library founded in 2008. A collaborative effort of academic and research libraries, HathiTrust provides digital access to over 17 million digitized items. Go to and search for “History of Franklin County Ohio William Martin,” or any topic you desire.

Staff Book Reviews

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

by BPL Team Member Sue

Educated is the award-winning autobiographical story of Tara Westover and her journey away from her survivalist Mormon family living on a secluded Idaho mountain called Buck’s Peak.

Tara grew up with a father suffering from a bipolar disorder who distrusted the government and the medical establishment. He made his living by doing odd construction jobs and scavenging metal in his family junkyard. Tara’s mother worked as a midwife and an herbalist, with Tara sometimes assisting her. The children helped in the junkyard on a daily basis and sustained serious injuries that were treated with only their mother’s herbal remedies. Tara and her siblings were home schooled, but the only real focus was on reading so they could study the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon. One older brother terrorized his younger siblings with physical abuse, particularly Tara and her older sister, but their parents did not intervene or appear to believe what was really happening.

Tara finally began her process of acquiring a formal education at the age of 17. With much self-study, she was able to pass the ACT test with a high enough score to get into Brigham Young University, and then continued her studies at Cambridge and Harvard, eventually obtaining a PhD. During these years, conflict with her family and their ways continued, while Tara searched for an identity separate from her past.

While listening to this coming-of-age story as an audiobook, I was disturbed by the many graphic details of the physical abuse and accidents suffered by Tara and her family. I also felt frustration when her father and his ideals were blindly followed. When Tara or a sibling tried to stand up and push for a change, their family loyalty was called into question. I reveled in Tara’s and a couple of her brothers’ strength as they pursued their educational dreams and new lives despite the familial power trying to trap them on Buck’s Peak forever.

I would recommend this memoir for fans of such bestsellers as Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Other read-alikes can be found on BPL’s database NoveList Plus:

Book Club Discussion Questions are located at the LitLovers site: