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Booklists Recommendations

New Books by Black Authors

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

As we continue celebrating Black History Month, check out these new titles by Black authors!

  • The Devil You Know by Charles M Blow | print
  • You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin & Lacey Lamar | print / digital
  • Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson | print / digital
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Booklists Recommendations

‘Tis the Season

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

While the holidays feel different this year, I’m incredibly grateful that the library has helped me keep up the cheer with books, movies and music!

When I’m not listening to Taylor Swift’s latest album Evermore (currently available on Hoopla!) these are the albums I have playing on repeat:

  • A Christmas Album by The Drifters | digital
  • Christmas with the Rat Pack | CD / digital
  • The Christmas Album by Leslie Odom Jr. | CD / digital

My holiday book picks are sure to make you miss the ones you love, but they’ll also make you appreciate any “me time” you get this season!

I don’t know about everyone else, but I always watch the same Christmas movies every year; Home Alone, The Santa Clause, Krampus (we all have our favorites!). But this year, with so much time spent at home, I’m finding new holiday favorites to throw into my yearly rotation. Even better, the following titles are available on Hoopla so you don’t even have to leave your couch to find some Christmas cheer!

From all of us as BPL, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!   

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Booklists Recommendations

BPL Staff Favorites of 2020

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

As 2020 comes to a close, I asked staff to reflect on their favorites books, movies, and albums from this year. Some staff found it easy to narrow it down, while others couldn’t choose just one! Here are the BPL staff favorite books of 2020:

  • Christian’s PickThe Lucky Star by William T. Vollmann | print
  • David’s PickCOVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One by Debora MacKenzie | print
  • Hannah’s Pick Wilderness Chef: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Outdoors by Ray Mears | print
  • Juliana’s Favorite Memoir This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire by Nick Flynn | print
  • Juliana’s Favorite Fiction Read Writers & Lovers by Lily King | print / digital
  • Leann’s Science Fiction Pick A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green | print / digital
  • Leann’s Favorite Thriller The Guest List by Lucy Foley | print / digital
  • Nichole’s PickBeing Lolita by Alisson Wood | print
  • Sue’s Pick Deacon King Kong by James McBride | print / digital

Our favorite films from 2020 include:

  • Christian’s Pick Feels Good Man *currently unavailable through the CLC
  • Juliana’s Pick The Devil All the Time *currently only available on Netflix
  • Nichole’s Pick The King of Staten Island | DVD / Blu-Ray

And finally, our BPL staff favorite albums from 2020 include:

  • Christian’s Pick Heaven to a Tortured Mind by Yves Tumor | CD
  • Hannah’s Pick Old Flowers by Courtney Marie Andrews | CD
  • Jeff’s Pick Lianne La Havas | CD / digital
  • Juliana’s Pick Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers | CD
  • Kim’s PickWomen in Music Pt. III by HAIM | CD
  • Nichole’s Pick Circles by Mac Miller | CD / Vinyl / Digital

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Booklists Recommendations

Native American Heritage Month

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

This November marks the 30th anniversary of Native American Heritage Month, as declared by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.

The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

National Congress of American Indians

To celebrate the writers of the Native American community, check out these titles which are available with your Bexley Public Library card:

  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot | print / digital
  • Abandon Me: Memoirs by Melissa Febos | print
  • Tending the Fire: Native Voices & Portraits | print
  • Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah Miranda | digital
  • Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo | print
  • The Pale-Faced Lie by David Crow | print / digital

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Booklists Recommendations

Banned Books Week 2020

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10

Every year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top 10 challenged books to bring to light censorship that still plagues libraries and schools.

Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the book:

  • George by Alex Gino | print / digital
    • Reasons: for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  • Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  • Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth | print / digital
    • Reasons:  LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  • Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis | print
    • Reasons: featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
  • I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas | print
    • Reasons:  LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | print / digital
    • Reasons: profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  • Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
  • Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling | print / digital
    • Reasons: referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole | print / digital
    • Reasons: LGBTQIA+ content

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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.”

https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/

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

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Booklists Recommendations

Rom-Coms With a Side of Horror

by Adult Services Library Associate Nichole

If you’re anything like me, Covid-19 has you in a serious reading and viewing slump. If it’s not light and enjoyable, I just can’t get into it. My go-to reading and viewing genre has been romantic comedies, with the occasional horror thrown in. Balance, right?

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to find a horror comedy and all is well in the world. Libby/Overdrive and Hoopla Digital have been lifesaving during this time, and I want to share with you the books and movies that have made life a little sweeter for me over the past few months. 

Happy reading AND viewing! 

*all titles are available digitally through Libby/Overdrive and Hoopla or physically through the BPL catalog*

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Booklists

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!