Check It Out Category: Nonfiction

Winter Reading Ideas: Staff Favorites of 2020

FAVT Staff Favorites 2020 header


We would not dream of celebrating the start of a new year without first cheering the reads that proved exciting company during the last. Choose one of these 2020 staff favorites to kick off your own Winter Reading season, and let us know if you agree! Most are available in both physical and digital collections. Contact us for help with access or to request a title hand-picked just for you.

 Top Favorite!

House in the Cerulean Sea book cover

Liz, Al, Denise, and Kelda recommend
The House in the Cerulean Sea
TJ Klune

Vanished Birds book cover

Al recommends
Vanished Birds 
Simon Jimenez

Witch Hat Atelier book cover

Abby recommends
Witch Hat Atelier series
Kamome Shirahama

Dont Go Without Me book cover

John recommends
Don’t Go Without Me
Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

From Scratch book cover

Jenny recommends
From Scratch
Tembi Locke

Frankly in Love book cover

Andrea recommends
Frankly in Love
David Yoon

When All Is Said book cover

Laura recommends
When All Is Said
Anne Griffin

Foul Is Fair book cover

Cathleen recommends
Foul Is Fair
Hannah Capin

Anxious People book cover

Denise recommends
Anxious People
Fredrik Backman
narrated by Marin Ireland

Sellout book cover

Chelsea recommends
The Sellout
Paul Beatty

Nothing to See Here book cover

Nancy recommends
Nothing to See Here
Kevin Wilson
narrated by Marin Ireland

House in the Cerulean Sea book cover

Andrea recommends
Stamped
Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
narrated by Jason Reynolds

Ninth House book cover

Liz recommends
Ninth House
Leigh Bardugo

Leave the World Behind book cover

Kelda recommends
Leave the World Behind
Rumaan Alam
narrated by Marin Ireland

Slaughter House-Five book cover

John recommends
Slaughterhouse-Five
Ryan North
illustrated by Albert Monteys
story by Kurt Vonnegut

Charming as a Verb book cover

Jenny recommends
Charming as a Verb
Ben Philippe

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 through October 15

“Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture” – United States Census Bureau

Whether you are in the mood for quiet and thoughtful, tense and unnerving, heartfelt and sweet, or sincere and compelling, exciting reads by Hispanic American authors are yours for the taking. The contributions from writers of Hispanic descent are monumental, and one of the ways we are honoring Hispanic Heritage Month is to share suggestions that celebrate the authentic experience in great storytelling.

Check out a fresh list of rich reads for Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 or browse a sample below. For information on national events and much more, visit the Library of Congress website.

Mexican Gothic book cover

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia  

A reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel follows the experiences of a courageous socialite in 1950s Mexico who is drawn into the treacherous secrets of an isolated mansion.

Gothic Fiction; Horror

You Had Me at Hola book cover

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

Rendered the subject of tabloid gossip by a messy public breakup, soap star Jasmine takes a part in a new bilingual comedy at the side of a telenovela costar who would revitalize his career.

Romantic Comedy

A Long Petal of the Sea book cover

A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende  

Sponsored by the poet Pablo Neruda to flee the violence of the Spanish Civil War, a pregnant widow and an army doctor unite in an arranged marriage, only to be swept up by the early days of World War II.

Historical Fiction

Once I Was You book cover

Once I Was You by Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning journalist who has collaborated with the most respected networks and is known for bringing humanity to her reporting. In this beautifully-rendered memoir, she relates the history of US immigration policy that has brought us to where we are today, as she shares her deeply personal story. Once I Was You is an urgent call to fellow Americans to open their eyes to the immigration crisis and understand that it affects us all. 

Memoir; Global Affairs

Afterlife book cover

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

Reeling from her beloved husband’s sudden death in the wake of her retirement, an immigrant writer is further derailed by the reappearance of her unstable sister and an entreaty for help by a pregnant undocumented teen.

Domestic Fiction

Everything Inside: Stories book cover

Everything Inside: Stories by Edwidge Danticat

A single-volume collection of short stories by the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author is set in such locales as Miami, Port-au-Prince and the Caribbean and poignantly explores the forces that unite and divide.

Authentic Short Stories

Cantoras book cover

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

Enduring the rampant violence against women and the LGBTQ community in the decades of the Uruguayan dictatorship, five women heartbreakingly unite as lovers, friends and family.

Historical Fiction

What Mount Prospect Is Reading

What You've Been Reading image

Mount Prospect, you’ve been reading, and we’ve been talking! Every week we have been extending an open invitation for readers to gather and share the books keeping them company in these odd times. We’ve chatted romance, dark fantasy, nonfiction, mysteries, feel-good, horror, and elegant prose. Check out the titles brought by our attendees, and please consider joining us for this week’s conversation: Let’s Talk Books!

Stay Sweet book cover

Stay Sweet
Siobhan Vivian

Age of Witches book cover

The Age of Witches
Louisa Morgan

Mockingbirds book cover

The Mockingbirds
Daisy Whitney

Dutch House book cover

The Dutch House
Ann Patchett

Tenant book cover

The Tenant
Katrine Engberg

Headliners book cover

Headliners
Lucy Parker

Wow, No Thank You book cover

Wow, No Thank You
Samantha Irby

Beautiful Ones book cover

The Beautiful Ones
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Writers and Lovers book cover

Writers & Lovers
Lily King

Monster of Elendhaven book cover

The Monster of Elendhaven
Jennifer Giesbrecht

Foul Is Fair book cover

Foul Is Fair
Hannah Capin

Honey-Don't List book cover

The Honey-Don’t List
Christina Lauren

Year of the Witching book cover

The Year of the Witching
Alexis Henderson

Mornings with Rosemary book cover

Mornings with Rosemary
(also published as The Lido)
Libby Page

Vanishing Half book cover

The Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett

All Adults Here book cover

All Adults Here
Emma Straub