February is Black History Month. In order to acknowledge the contribution black writers have made to American literature, we'll be posting brief, daily profiles of various authors. Some names you'll know, but some will probably be new to you. Some writers have written over a dozen books, while some have written only one. Some have written an autobiography, some have written classic novels, and some have written young adult romance. We hope you'll come on by the library to check out a few of the books we'll be highlighting. Maybe you'll discover a new favorite.
But before we get started tomorrow, read some poetry! Poets.org "asked twelve contemporary black poets from across the country to choose one poem that should be read this month and to tell [them] a bit about why." The results are a wonderful mix of poems and poets. Enjoy, and make sure to follow along this month.
You know you're a true book lover when you like to read books about books. These kinds of books can be fictional stories set in bookstores, stories about the power of reading, or nonfiction books full of diverse reading suggestions. Check out the list below for some great books about books, and swing by the library to check one out.
BY THE BOOK: WRITERS ON LITERATURE AND THE LITERARY LIFE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITED BY PAMELA PAUL: "Sixty-five of the world's leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the The New York Times Book Review, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. These questions and answers admit [the reader] into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations. By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, reflecting a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers' understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process."
THE UNBEARABLE BOOK CLUB FOR UNSINKABLE GIRLS BY JULIE SCHUMACHER: "When four very different small-town Delaware high school girls are forced to join a mother-daughter book club over summer vacation, they end up learning about more than just the books they read."
MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE BY ROBIN SLOAN: "Clay Jannon, the new night clerk at Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore, notices the strange behavior of the customers and is determined to find out what is really going on."
THE BOOK THIEF BY MARKUS ZUSAK: "Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors."
ALL THINGS SHINING: READING THE WESTERN CLASSICS TO FIND MEANING IN A SECULAR AGE BY HUBERT DREYFUS AND SEAN DORRANCE KELLY: "Discusses the relevance of classic Western literature and philosophy for everyday life in the early twenty-first century, examining works by Homer, Dante, Kant, Melville, David Foster Wallace, and other authors."
MY IDEAL BOOKSHELF EDITED BY THESSALY LA FORCE: "The books that we choose to keep-let alone read-can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In The Ideal Bookshelf, dozens of leading cultural figures share the books that matter to them most-books that define their dreams and ambitions and in many cases helped them find their way in the world. With colorful and endearingly hand-rendered images of book spines by Jane Mount, and first-person commentary from all the contributors, this is a perfect gift for avid readers, writers, and all who have known the influence of a great book."
READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN: A MEMOIR IN BOOKS BY AZAR NAFISI: "Azar Nafisi chronicles her life in post-revolutionary Iran, focusing on her organization of a group of young women in 1997 who met secretly once a week to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature."
If you're one of those people who loves snowy days, congratulations to you on having had so many of them lately. But if you find yourself longing for a little bit more warmth, check out these books that are all set during summer.
THIS ONE SUMMER BY MARIKO TAMAKI AND JILLIAN TAMAKI: "Rose and her parents go on vacation to Awago Beach like they do every year, but this year Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting and she turns to her friend Windy for help dealing with her troubled family life."
FOREVER SUMMER: LAGUNA COVE AND CRUEL SUMMER BY ALYSON NOEL: "Contains two novels, including Laguna Cove, in which Anne, a newcomer to Laguna Beach, California, decides to learn to surf to fit in, but her competition, Ellie, still will not give her a break; and Cruel Summer, in which Colby Cavendish, having shed her dorky image, is looking forward to an exciting summer with the 'in crowd,' including handsome Levi Bonham, but she gains a new perspective on her life and priorities when she is shipped off to Greece instead to spend the season with her eccentric Aunt Tally."
THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY BY JENNY HAN: "Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different as she finds herself falling for a boy she has known since childhood."
BITTERSWEET BY MIRANDA BEVERLY-WHITTEMORE: "Winning a scholarship to a prestigious college where she befriends a beautiful girl of privilege, unassuming Mabel joins her friend during a lakeside summer surrounded by wealthy vacationers only to discover morally ambiguous truths about her friend's family fortune."
SHOW AND PROVE BY SOFIA QUINTERO: "Friends Smiles and Nike spend the summer of 1983 in the South Bronx working a job at a summer camp, chasing girls, and breakdancing."
WE WERE LIARS BY E. LOCKHART: "Spending the summers on her family's private island off the coast of Massachusetts with her cousins and a special boy named Gat, teenaged Cadence struggles to remember what happened during her fifteenth summer."
ONE CRAZY SUMMER BY RITA WILLIAMS-GARCIA: "In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp."