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For National Book Lover's Day, we're telling you about our all-time favorites — books for book lovers from book lovers!

Book River
Book River Items

Piranesi (2020)

by Susanna Clarke

Piranesi lives in a mysterious alternate reality, where he is completely alone, except for a man called The Other who visits twice a week. As Piranesi explores and speaks with The Other, he - along with readers - starts piecing together the truth. I wish I could go back to not having read this and read it again. Much of the enjoyment comes from having absolutely no idea what is going on and it's fascinating. — Erin, Youth Services


Josephine : the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (2014)

by Patricia Hruby Powell

The only thing that could have made this better was more end notes. There were several parts that left me wondering, "Is that really true?" because they were so interesting. I want to know more about her pet leopard, Chiquita! I guess that's what a good biography will do - increase your interest in a person. It was the illustrations that initially drew me to this book, but I equally loved the lyrical writing style and the use of quotations from Josephine Baker. This is children's nonfiction at its best. — Erin, Youth Services


Pay Attention, Carter Jones (2019)

by Gary D Schmidt

I picked up this book for no other reason than it was written by Gary D. Schmidt, and Okay for Now is one of my favorites of all time. I was instantly surprised and delighted. I was getting some serious Mary Poppins vibes right off the bat and a couple of the lines had me practically laughing out loud. Carter’s grandfather bequeaths the family a butler in his will. A British man shows up on their doorstep with a huge umbrella and proceeds to get the family in order in a way that seems just shy of magical. Sometimes what you love about a book isn’t the plot or the writing or the characters. And though I found all of those to be pretty fantastic, what I loved about this book was how it made me feel. I was equal parts moved and amused throughout. — Erin, Youth Services


A Prayer for Owen Meany (2015)

by John Irving

Johnny and Owen Meany are two friends who forge an eternal bond despite their obvious mismatches - physical, social, cultural and religious differences. — Julie, Administration


The Mothers (2016)

by Brit Bennett

This poignant book addresses how our choices affect us and past secrets can define us. The story follows three main characters - Nadia, Luke and Aubrey - from adolescence through adulthood. The thoughtful writing style and complex characters make this one of my favorite fiction books. — Allison, Fiction, Movies & Music


Now is Not the Time to Panic (2022)

by Kevin Wilson

This coming-of-age story depicts a formative and memorable summer in the lives of Frankie and Zeke. The characterization is well done, the observations of human nature are astute, and the themes of identity and creativity are skillfully explored. I found myself completely drawn in from the start. — Allison, Fiction, Movies & Music


The Tattooist of Auschwitz (2018)

by Heather Morris

A story of survival and finding love amidst horrible conditions. This couple survives and stays married for the rest of their lives. — Cheryl, Circulation


Becoming a Good Creature (2020)

by Sy Montgomery

It's about learning to appreciate the world and all living creatures. This is the only Earth we have. Animals as well as human suffer from climate change and violence. — Cheryl, Circulation

Remarkably Bright Creatures (2022)

by Shelby Van Pelt

Book is written from the point of view of an octopus. It's a well written story about the importance of family and love. — Cheryl, Circulation


The Hunger (2018)

by Alma Katsu

A work of historical horror featuring the ill-fated Donner Party. A sweeping story of the perils of Manifest Destiny and the volatility of human nature, with a supernatural twist. Luscious prose, impeccable research, and just a touch of poetic license makes this work about one of my real-world fascinations something I reread often. — Emily, Fiction, Movies & Music


The Secret History (1992)

by Donna Tartt

I yearn to be part of a pretentious, elitist friend group studying Latin and Greek, having a bacchanal once a month and reciting poetry under my breath, so I read and love The Secret History. — Emily, Fiction, Movies & Music


Ghost World (2008)

by Daniel Clowes

I have great affection for both the graphic novel and the movie. It tells the story of two teenage girls who are mean and sad and funny and honest, jaded and sardonic and unenthused with what life has to offer. It introduced me to a new world when I picked it up the first time as a teen myself, and it has stayed with me. — Emily, Fiction, Movies & Music


Iron Widow (2021)

by Xiran Jay Zhao

After her sister is killed in battle, Zetian swears to avenge her death and become the most-feared female pilot in their war against aliens. This book is a feminist Pacific Rim meets Power Rangers sci-fi revenge story, and I loved it. This is a new favorite of mine. — Allison, Youth Services


Fourth Wing (2023)

by Rebecca Yarros

This book is EVERYWHERE on social media right now, and while I don't think it will be for everyone, it lived up to the hype for me. This is a fun romantasy (fantasy romance) dark academia novel with fierce competitions, dragon riders preparing for battle, and an enemies-to-lovers romance. I was entertained from start to finish. — Allison, Youth Services


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017)

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was my second foray into the work of Taylor Jenkins Reid and hands-down my favorite. Full of complex characters and storylines, it's a fast-paced jump into Hollywood glamour and drama. — Sarah, Digital Services


Between Shades of Gray (2011)

by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys crafts an emotional, rawfully honest and historically accurate story that gives readers a glimpse into the hidden history of the Lithuanian genocide that happened in World War II at the hands of Joseph Stalin. Along with enjoying the story, I also enjoyed reading the author's notes and acknowledgments at the end of the book. This section really shows the purpose and power of this book. I commend Sepetys for the research and dedication she puts in each of her hidden history stories and the fact that she takes the time to recognize that the stories are not hers alone but that she is here to share them for those who have not been able to do so themselves. Sepetys takes time to talk with those who have the stories to tell and learns as much as she can about the event while writing. That is what historical fiction is all about. – Abbey, Youth Services


Ander & Santi Were Here (2023)

by Jonny Garza Villa

The moving, beautiful story of Ander and Santi quickly became an all-time favorite book of mine this year. Their story is both powerful and painful, and Jonny Garza Villa's writing had me feeling like I was a part of their journey, learning to love themselves and each other. – Abbey, Youth Services


Rain Rising (2022)

by Courtne Comrie

This book absolutely tore my heart out and started to stitch it back up again all in one. The sibling relationship. The therapy representation. The personal growth. Applause to everything that Courtne Comrie put into this novel. I wish I had this book growing up, but now I have the power to put this book in the hands of young people and will absolutely be recommending it to everyone. – Abbey, Youth Services


The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea (2022)

by Axie Oh

A young teen selflessly sacrifices herself to save her brother, but at what cost? A feminist retelling of The Tale of Shim Cheong, The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is a fantastical story of love, dedication and generational change. I was instantly raptured by this story and want to tell everyone about it. – Abbey, Youth Services


The Lost Apothecary (2021)

by Sarah Penner

Mystery and history. Two of my favorite things mixed up in one wild journey of a novel. Eighteenth century London meets present-day London with secrets, twists and poison. – Abbey, Youth Services