Books

Worldly Reads

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us
by Diane Ackerman
With her trademark lyricism and innate sense of wonder, Ackerman takes readers on a journey through the Anthropocene, or Human Age, challenging us to be both amazed and chastened by the impact humans have had on the natural world.
—Recommended by Heather Meyer
 
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert

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Women’s History Month

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
This is the story of the brilliant African American women who worked for NASA, at times segregated from their white counterparts.

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Local Author Pens Book to Help Kids with the Tough Topic of Loss

As a parent, some topics are just easier to avoid—until they can’t be ignored. When Kristine Rauenhorst’s mom, Karen Wiswell, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, both women were concerned about how to discuss it with Rauenhorst’s 2-year-old twin boys, Henry and George. Rauenhorst, who lives in Eden Prairie, and Wiswell decided to broach the subject of death by writing When Grammy Comes to Play, a children’s book that discusses loss and grief in a very gentle way.

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Picture This: Graphic Novels Aren’t Just for Teens

Lighter than My Shadow by Katie Green

A beautiful, frightening and hopeful graphic novel memoir spans the author’s youth, the development of her disease and her struggle to overcome it and find happiness. The black and white illustrations lend depth and understanding to the author’s feelings. —recommended by Lee Burkhalter

Saga. Volume One by Brian K. Vaughan

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Books with Family Drama

Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
Recommended by Mary Severson

June loses her entire family in a fire the evening before her daughter’s wedding. Readers learn about the tragedy through the viewpoints and perspectives of other characters living in the same small town.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Recommended by Marni Blomquist

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You're in for a Thrilling Read with These Page Turners

Dark Tides by Chris Ewan
recommended by Charlotte Johnson

This page-turning thriller had my heart thumping at times. The plot was great and had me thinking of the characters long after I finished the book.

Masterminds by Gordon Korman
recommended by Mary Severson

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Devour These Reads

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
- Recommended by Lee Burkhalter

A humorous and whimsical memoir about growing up in a foodie family with recipes to try out at home. This graphic novel is aimed at teens, but it’s good for adults, too.

Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicolleti
- Recommended by Marni Blomquist

A fun collection of essays devoted to food scenes from some of the author’s favorite books. Each essay ends with a recipe.

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Take a Virtual Trip with These Stories from Sweden

A Man Called Ove: a Novel by Fredrik Backman

Recommended by Laura Carlson

We meet Ove, possibly the crankiest man alive, after he has been forced to retire and has decided he’s got nothing to offer anymore, so he’ll commit suicide. While that premise is depressing, the story isn’t. The author does a great job of keeping you laughing while Ove learns the value of opening up to new experiences.

The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Recommended by Beth Goodrich

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Waconia Author Kim Kimball—aka Tori Madison—Writes a Book Series on a Dare

It all started with a dare. Kim Kimball had a story to tell and an author friend who encouraged her to write it down through the eyes of a fictional character. The encouraging push turned into a book series. “On September 21, 2014, she dared me to write 2,500 words to send to her,” Kimball says of her friend, Sawyer Bennett. “A year later, I’m self-published.”

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Story of Their Lives

Margarita Wednesdays
- by Deborah Rodriguez

Recommended by Mary Severson

We first met Debbie Rodriguez in Kabul Beauty School, where she trained Afghan women as owners of their own independent beauty salons. Now, forced to flee from the life she had made in Afghanistan, Rodriguez meets a whole new cast of colorful characters as she seeks refuge and a new life in a small Mexican seaside town.

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