2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge Update: June Winner and What You Read This Month!

Paws holding a book with the word READ

Congratulations to Michal Biletzki, winner of the June Reading Challenge! Michal has won a fabulous Northeastern University Library READ poster, starring Northeastern’s own Paws the Husky enjoying some of his favorite books.

Want a chance to win a poster or any of the great monthly prizes we’re giving away all year? Make sure to tell us what you read each month! For more chances to win, submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, too.

Summer is traditionally the season of blockbuster films, which perfectly fit June’s theme of “a book that inspired a movie or television series.” Here are some of the book-to-screen adaptations you enjoyed in June:

What You Read This Month

Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
“After watching a handful of period dramas, I decided to read a couple of Jane Austen books and tackled understanding old English. I really enjoyed reading Sense and Sensibility. I’ve watched the 1995 version before reading the book and imagined the characters as the actors in my head. Overall, it was interesting learning about England in the 1790s and how life was just simple (but somehow filled with drama!).” — Sumaya

“I was raised on the 1995 movie adaptation but I had never read the original book. I was surprised by how different it was!” — Emma

It Ends With Us, Colleen Hoover
Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
“This book had me hooked in every part and made me imagine all of the characters so vividly. The book also took me through a variety of emotions and I did truly feel the happiness and sadness the characters were experiencing. I’ve always loved Colleen Hoover’s writing style and how easy it is to read and follow and I’m super excited to see the upcoming film based on this book.” — Riya

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
“The best sci-fi rabbit hole I’ve ever been taken down.” — Henry

Annihilation, Jeff Vandermeer
Find it at Snell
“If you like science fiction, climate horror, and text as a monster, read this one!” — Galen

Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
“I watched the show first and read the book since I wanted more character lore. I always like comparing the book vs. the show/movie. I really enjoyed both and loved seeing the documentary style in action. It’s a fun exercise to compare what limitations and special functions both mediums have and utilize.” — Violet

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“This novel was at once heartbreaking and inspiring. It shows the power of curiosity and learning to transport us even in the darkest times.” — Bianca

And What to Read Next Month

July’s theme challenges readers to look beyond America’s borders for their next read: “a book written by an author born outside of the United States.” Whether it’s a memoir, romance, or fantasy, there’s a wealth of literature to explore! Here are some librarian-approved recommendations:

Cover of Beyond the Wand

Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, Tom Felton
Listen to the audiobook
English actor Tom Felton is best known for his film portrayal of bleach-blond Harry Potter villain Draco Malfoy. In his new memoir, Felton shares stories from a childhood spent on the set of Hogwarts, including the bonds he created with his co-stars, the benefits and pitfalls of fame, and the difficulties of trying to live a normal life while riding the wave of a pop culture juggernaut.

Cover of Knife

Knife: Meditations on an Attempted Murder, Salman Rushdie
Listen to the audiobook
In 1988, Indian-born author Salman Rushdie published his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (find it at Snell and F. W. Olin). Based on the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the book drew ire from conservative Muslims who viewed it as sacrilegious. In 1989, Ayatollah Khomeini, then the Supreme Leader of Iran, ordered the deaths of Rushdie and his publishers. In 2022, Rushdie was preparing a lecture when he was rushed by an attacker, who stabbed him numerous times before being restrained. Rushdie survived the brutal attack, but lost sight in his right eye and the use of his left hand. Knife is his memoir of the assassination attempt and its aftermath.

Cover of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold, Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Read the e-book
Originally written as a play, then adapted into a novel, Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s charming narrative about a time-traveling café in Tokyo has won international acclaim. Before the Coffee Gets Cold is an exploration of time, memory, and possibility, and is the first in a series that current spans four books.

Cover of Identitti

Identitti, Mithu Sanyal, translated by Alta L. Price
Read the e-book
Student Nivedita idolizes her professor Saraswati, a genius and celebrity in the field of postcolonial studies. Then, just hours after Nivedita gives a gushing radio interview about Saraswati, it’s revealed that her professor’s name is actually Sarah, and she’s not Indian, as she had previously claimed—she’s white. (Shades of Rachel Dolezal!) Suddenly, Nivedita is questioning everything, including her work, her activism, and the meaning of identity.

Need more reading recommendations? Check out our suggested e-books and audiobooks for July! If you’re in Boston, you can stop by the Snell Library lobby in person on July 16 and 17 from1 – 3 p.m. for Reading Challenge stickers, bookmarks, and books to check out, and friendly librarians who love talking about books!

And when you finish your next book, make sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the July prize drawing! (For more chances to win, make sure you submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as the Northeastern University Library.)

2024 Reading Challenge Update: May Winner and What You Read This Month!

Happy summer! As May turns into June, it’s time to announce the winner of the May Reading Challenge prize drawing. Congratulations to Sreeja Vepa, whose name was drawn this month! Sreeja has won a $25 digital gift card to More Than Words, a Boston-based nonprofit bookstore run by youth ages 16-24 who are involved in the court and foster care systems.

And congratulations to everyone who read a book and told us about it this month. Remember, there are still many more chances to win, so if you haven’t won yet, keep reading!

What You Read This Month

The theme for May was “a comic book or graphic novel.” Here are some of the words-with-pictures that the Northeastern community enjoyed in May:

College of book covers

Rat Queens, Volume One: Sass and Sorcery, Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“It’s a fantasy graphic novel with female lead characters, which I like, and it is funny and adventurous, too.” — Charishma

The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“I’d been wanting to check this out ever since I read Fun Home a few years ago. Really enjoyed it!” — Jodi

Heartstopper, Volume 1, Alice Oseman
Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
“A super sweet romance between two British schoolboys. I loved the romantic artwork. I haven’t watched the show yet, but I can definitely recommend the books!” — Brooke

“This was really cute and I would have really enjoyed it when I was younger.” — Emma

Chivalry, Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran
Read the e-book
“The lady is very British, holding on to someone else’s cultural treasure because it looks nice on the mantle.” — Anaya

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
“It’s clear why this is an award-winning book! The quote ‘or maybe I’m trying to render my senseless personal [experience] meaningful by linking it…to a more coherent narrative’ seems to speak to the genres of autobiography and memoir in general and to the relationship between the form and content in graphic novels in particular.” — Melissa

Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“Super deep and thoughtful look into very difficult feelings.” — Michal

And What to Read Next Month

June’s theme is “a book that inspired a film or television series,” so check out your Netflix queue or your local box office for inspiration! Here are some recommendations from the library:

Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
A great read for Pride Month as well as the Reading Challenge! Red, White & Royal Blue was a bestseller on its release in 2019, and the 2023 screen adaptation only bolstered that popularity. Casey McQuiston presents a classic rivals-to-lovers story between the son of the President of the United States and a British prince who, after accidentally causing a scandal, realize that they might not hate each other as much as they thought.

The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
The first in Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past series, The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel and the 2018 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. Now a Netflix series, the sci-fi epic has captured a new audience with its twisting, nonlinear storyline and complex characters.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann
Find it at the School of Law Library (Boston) | Find it at F. W. Olin | Listen to the audiobook
Before it was a three-hour Martin Scorsese epic, Killers of the Flower Moon was a book by David Grann. Grann worked with living members of the Osage tribe as well as historical records. The book presents a startling account of the brutal murders and subjugation of the Osage people, even as the tribe became one of the wealthiest communities in North America.

Dune, Frank Herbert
Find it at F. W. Olin | Read the e-book
Frank Herbert’s landmark 1965 science fiction epic has been given new life by Denis Villeneuve’s two-part (so far) film adaptation, but the story of a flawed hero attempting to reclaim power over a hostile planet has resonated with generations of sci-fi readers. While the size of the book may be intimidating, it’s rich with detail that didn’t make it into the film.

Need more reading recommendations? Check out our suggested e-books and audiobooks for June! If you’re in Boston, you can stop by the Snell Library lobby in person on June 17 and 18 for Reading Challenge stickers, bookmarks, comics and graphic novels to check out, and friendly librarians who love talking about books!

And when you finish your next book, make sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the May prize drawing! (For more chances to win, make sure you submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as the Northeastern University Library.)

2024 Reading Challenge Update: April Winner and What You Read This Month!

The end of April means the end of the semester! Congratulations to all of Northeastern’s 2024 grads, and to everyone who made it through final exams and final projects.

Aliah Mahadeo is the April Reading Challenge winner! Aliah will receive a digital gift card to bookshop.org—perfect for picking up some new summer reads. Congratulations to everyone who read a book this month and told us about it. April’s theme was “a book about nature, the environment, or climate change.” Here are some of the eco-focused titles you enjoyed:

What You Read This Month

Cover of Fire Weather

Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World, John Vaillant
Listen to the audiobook
“A stressful and well-written read, edge-of-your-seat action and the science behind modern fire.” — Kim

Cover of Into Thin Air

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster, Jon Krakauer
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“I listened to the audiobook, which had me on the edge of my bus seat during my morning and evening commutes. Jon Krakauer’s firsthand account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster is gripping and visceral, and you can really feel his own heartbreak, helplessness and guilt. Really, though, maybe people should stop climbing Mt. Everest?” — Brooke

Cover of Birnam Wood

Birnam Wood, Eleanor Catton
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell
“There’s no such thing as an ethical billionaire.” — Priscila

Cover of The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“It explores the current mass extinction event and the impact of human activity on the planet’s biodiversity. Kolbert provides a compelling narrative that weaves together scientific research, history, and personal anecdotes to illustrate the severity of the ecological crisis we face. It’s a thought-provoking and sobering read that sheds light on the urgent need for action to protect our planet. — Sudhanva

Cover of The Overstory

The Overstory: A Novel, Richard Powers
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“This book was greatly out of my comfort zone…I really enjoyed how all the characters’ stories were so interconnected with each other and the natural world. I really enjoy books that really focus on the characters, so I really liked that about this book, but I did find it to be very slow and sometimes the wording seemed a bit muddled or dense. I overall liked this book even though it was not the type of book I normally read.” — Aura

Cover of The Age of Miracles

The Age of Miracles: A Novel, Karen Thompson Walker
Find it at Snell
The Age of Miracles is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores the consequences of the Earth’s rotation shown through the eyes of a young Julia. Karen Thompson Walker’s storytelling is both captivating and hauntingly beautiful, offering a unique perspective on resilience, adaptation, and the fragility of human existence. The novel’s exploration of the interconnected way of all living things and the importance of cherishing the present moment makes it a standout work of speculative fiction that stays with the readers, including me, long after they have finished reading. Highly recommended for those interested in thought-provoking narratives about the human condition in the face of existential crisis.” — Shivangi

And What to Read in May

The Reading Challenge theme for May is “a comic book or graphic novel.” Whether you’re a longtime comics fan or brand new to the genre, here are some recommendations for your May read!

They Called Us Enemy, George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven R. Scott, and Harmony Becker
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
Long before he played Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, George Takei was born to Japanese immigrants living in Los Angeles. In 1942, when Takei was five years old, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which ordered the incarceration of all Japanese and Japanese American people living in the United States. For the next three years, until World War II ended, Takei and his family were shuttled between internment camps. They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s graphic memoir of life behind the barbed wire of the camps, and of the resilience of his family and community in the face of a hostile and suspicious nation.

Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
Even if you’re not a Marvel superfan, it’s hard not to be thrilled by Ta-Nehisi Coates’ rendering of T’Challa, aka Black Panther, the Wakandan king who doubles as a superhero. Coates’ story and Stelfreeze’s illustrations bring Wakanda to life in all its Afro-futuristic sci-fi super-tech glory.

Paper Girls, Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, and Jared K. Fletcher
Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
It’s easy to imagine Stranger Things vibes in this series from Saga creator Brian K. Vaughn, but Paper Girls defies all comparisons. In 1988, four young paper girls discover a mystery that will shake their small suburban world to its foundations.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, Tom Hanks
Read the e-book
If anyone knows the movie business, it’s Tom Hanks. This unique novel, interspersed with Tom Hanks-created comic books, offers a tongue-in-cheek glimpse behind the behind-the-scenes of Hollywood. A World War II soldier returns home, then disappears; a comic book artist creates a superhero based on that soldier; a director decides to turn that comic book into a superhero epic; and then we meet the eccentric cast and crew.

Need more reading recommendations? Check out our suggested e-books and audiobooks for May! If you’re in Boston, you can stop by the Snell Library lobby in person on May 15 and 16 for Reading Challenge stickers, bookmarks, comics and graphic novels to check out, and friendly librarians who love talking about books!

And when you finish your next book, make sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the May prize drawing! (For more chances to win, make sure you submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as the Northeastern University Library.)

As always, happy reading!

2024 Reading Challenge Update: March Winner and What You Read This Month!

March is over, and with the end of the month comes a new Reading Challenge winner!.Congratulations to Amanda Myron, whose name was drawn this month. Amanda is based at the Roux Institute in Portland, Maine, and will be receiving a Northeastern University Library finals week/end-of-semester care package.

And big congratulations to everyone else who read a book this month and told us about it. There are still nine more months of the Reading Challenge, so if you haven’t won yet, you still have time. For more chances to win, make sure to submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as the Northeastern University Library.

What You Read This Month

The theme for March was “a book whose protagonist has a different culture or lifestyle than you,” which opened up a lot of possibilities. Here are some of the stories you enjoyed this month:

Cover of Wandering Stars

Wandering Stars, Tommy Orange
Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
“Beautifully written and raw prose from multiple POVs dealing with important historical realities as well as contemporary issues faced by the Native American community. It is important to acknowledge the historical events in this book and the experience of people who lived through them. It was difficult reading because it was real and life is often difficult and messy but there is hope in the end of the book which is a testament to resilience.” — Carla

Cover of The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water, Abraham Verghese
Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook | Find it at Snell
“I absolutely adore Abraham Verghese and was so excited when I learned he had another book coming out. It’s a long book but never felt like it was dragging. I loved it!” — Kerri

“This book makes you wonder about how big and small our lives are at the same time. It encapsulates the life of three generations of the same family set in a small town in Kerala and how the world changing around them is affecting them but also not at the same time…One of the best. Read it many times. Let it sink in.” — Anoushka

Cover of Shark Heart

Shark Heart: A Love Story, Emily Habeck
Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
“What a masterpiece of lyrical writing. The author presents us with layered characters with different issues and traumas that manage to find wholeness and joy throughout the painful process of life. — Priscila

Cover of Land of Milk and Honey

Land of Milk and Honey, C Pam Zhang
Listen to the audiobook | Find it at Snell | Find it at F. W. Olin
“Engaging storyline, complex characters, thoughtful setting, and poetic writing. Poses a question to the reader of who they are, of where they’re from, and of what constitutes them.” — Harrison

Cover of The Island of Missing Trees

The Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak
Find it at Snell
“I thought I was choosing a different culture by picking a book with a protagonist who is an immigrant from Cyprus living in London. Little did I know that the main protagonist of the book would be a fig tree. A truly insightful, deep, and intriguing read!” — Michal

Cover of The Country of the Blind

The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight, Andrew Leland
Listen to the audiobook | Find it at Snell
“This memoir opened up an entire world for me, one that I was only vaguely aware of before delving into it. Leland’s account of losing his vision to retinitis pigmentosa and the incredible people he’s met on his journey towards becoming blind were at once moving and educational. Before reading this book, the thought of becoming blind myself would have terrified me. Now, I see that blindness is not something to mourn or fear, but rather a different way of being in the world that comes with its own joys and challenges. It’s a beginning, rather than an ending.” — Bianca

And What to Read in April

The theme for April is “a book about nature, the environment, or climate change.” which is perfectly on theme to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. Here are some eco-friendly reads to help you get in touch with nature—even if you’re stuck studying for finals.

Birnam Wood, Eleanor Catton
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell
A guerrilla farming group in New Zealand takes on an American billionaire in this thriller (yes, a thriller about guerrilla farming!) that Stephen King calls “as good as it gets” and “a treat.”

Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World, Christian Cooper
Read the e-book | Listen to the audiobook
Christian Cooper unwittingly came to the public’s attention in May 2020, when a video went viral of a white dog owner calling the police on Cooper, a Black man, after he asked her to leash her dog. But beyond the Central Park incident, Christian Cooper is an avid bird watcher, a science writer and editor, and the first openly gay writer and editor at Marvel Comics. Cooper’s memoir explores the pleasures of nature, travel, and birds.

Yours for the Taking, Gabrielle Korn
Listen to the audiobook
In the climate apocalypse of 2050, cities are in ruins, and the air is toxic. The privileged take refuge in climate-proof settlements, but Ava knows she won’t be among them—until she meets billionaire visionary Jacqueline Millender, who is building the newest climate-proof settlement in New York City. But as Ava and those around her bask in the newfound security of “Inside,” they begin to realize that something is very wrong, and Jacqueline might not be what she seems.

A City on Mars: Can We Settle Space, Should We Settle Space, and Have We Really Thought This Through?, Kelly Weinersmith
Read the e-book | Find it at Snell
“Wherever you are on this planet,” this book begins, “you’ve recently given some thought to leaving it.” Human colonization of Mars seems like an alluring option in the face of climate change, but as Kelly Weinersmith points out, we might not have really thought this through. A City on Mars looks at the facts of Martian colonization through a funny and approachable lens, with clever illustrations by the author’s husband.

2024 Reading Challenge Update: February Winner and What You Read This Month!

Congratulations to Jessica Gudin, whose name was drawn this month in the Northeastern prize drawing! Jessica won a gift card to More Than Words, a non-profit, youth-run bookstore based in Boston’s South End.

And thank you to everyone who read a book and told us about it this month! You still have ten more chances to win, so keep reading. (For more chances to win, make sure to submit your reading to the Massachusetts Center for the Book, as well as Northeastern!)

What You Read This Month

February’s theme was “a book with a color in the title,” which offered a full rainbow of reading possibilities (date we say, a reading rainbow?). Here’s a kaleidoscope of hues that engaged readers this month.

Cover of Red Rising

Red Rising, Pierce Brown
“I was so glad I chose this book for February. Having just read Dune in January, I was excited to explore more interstellar science fiction! Brown’s writing style and world view was starkly different than Herbert’s. While I found the story quite predictable, it was fun to reimagine an interstellar world from a different perspective. I especially like how one’s perception of themselves and others can shape their actions and relationships. The characters frequently questioned their loyalties and identities, and challenged traditional notions of allegiance and duty.” — Sudhanva

Cover of the Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon
“This one was a re-read for me. I’ll always remember Priory of the Orange Tree because it was the first book I ever bought at full price. I’d always go to second-hand bookshops to get my books, but this time I had to go for it. And it did not fail to deliver!” — Mit

Cover of Yellowface

Yellowface, R. F. Kuang
“This fell into the category of books where I could not get up and leave it for more than 10 minutes. I was riveted, fascinated, and continually went ‘No…No…NOOOOOO’ out loud. A perfect book club read, and one where you just want to run around and find someone else who has read it and force them to talk about it.” — Dina

“The book [was] about a white woman fictionally speaking about past hate crimes and experiences she never had to go through. She stole her friend’s fame and rose to the top, all for it to crumble in the end.” — Haiden

Cover of Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
“I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was so funny and witty. Anne’s observations make me laugh and it’s refreshing to read.” — Amelia

Cover of All Boys Aren't Blue

All Boys Aren’t Blue, George M. Johnson
“Really good memoir that maintains a delicate balance between personal and emotional stories, and objective messages about how his story is just one way the harmful attitudes of society affects the way someone grows up.” — Sam

Cover of the Color Purple

The Color Purple, Alice Walker
“Dude…you have to read this book. I won’t give any spoilers but it is so moving to see the perspective and experiences of a black woman in the southern United States.” — Gabriella

“The book is amazing, heart-wrenching, and immensely filled with emotion.” — Valeria

Cover of White Fang

White Fang, Jack London
“Oh man, White Fang is wild! It’s all about this wolf-dog’s crazy life from wild to be domesticated. The way London dives into nature vs. nurture and survival themes is pretty dope. Really makes you think about the wild side in all of us. Plus, the journey of White Fang from the wild to understanding humans is just epic. Totally worth the read!” — Sanketh

Cover of Black Panther, Book One

Black Panther, Book One: A Nation Under Our Feet, Ta-Nahisi Coates
“Always fun to read a comic!” — Anoushka

And What to Read Next Month

The theme for March is “a book whose protagonist has a different culture or lifestyle than you.” That’s a pretty big category, but your friendly neighborhood librarians are here to help you narrow it down! Here are a few suggestions:

  • How to Say Babylon is the memoir of Safiya Sinclair, a Jamaican poet who grew up in a strictly Rastafari household. Sinclair’s story takes readers far beyond the familiar Western touchstones of Rasta culture—reggae, dreadlocks, Bob Marley—and reckons with the complexities, traditions, and legacies of Rastafarianism and its place in Jamaican culture.
  • Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body is a collection of essays by disability advocate Rebekah Taussig. Taussig, who is partially paralyzed and uses a wheelchair, longed for disability representation as a child in the 1990s and early 2000s. As an adult, her memoir-in-essays captures the nuance and humanity of disability, and shines a spotlight on the everyday ableism baked into mainstream society.
  • Rental Person Who Does Nothing is Japanese author Shoji Morimoto’s firsthand account of being, well, a rental person who does nothing. “I’m starting a service…available for any situation in which all you want is a person to be there. Maybe there’s a restaurant you want to go to, but you feel awkward going on your own. Maybe a game you want to play, but you’re one person short,” Morimoto writes. Rental Person Who Does Nothing is a strange, funny, fascinating look at Japanese culture, and at the deeply human desire for companionship—even if that companion does nothing.
  • The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight. Andrew Leland has known for many years that he will one day go blind. While he was born sighted, as a teenager, Leland was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable condition that causes a prolonged loss of vision over many years. Now in his 40s, Leland’s vision has degraded inexorably but significantly since his diagnosis, and he still doesn’t know what comes next. In the fascinating, funny, and illuminating Country of the Blind, Leland explores the history, representation, and culture of blindness, while chronicling his own journey away from sight.
  • Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America follows five high school girls coming of age in Washington County, Maine—north of Bar Harbor, nestled against the New Brunswick border, and home to just 31,000 people spread across 3,260 square miles. Written over four years, Downeast explores all sides of life in rural New England, from the beauty of the craggy coastline to the devastation of opioid addiction. Recommendation: read while listening to Noah Kahan’s Stick Season on repeat.

Need more reading inspiration? Check out our suggested e-books and audiobooks for March, and the Mass Center for the Book has a list of recommended titles. For Boston folks, stop by the Snell Library lobby in person on March 12 and 13 for more recommendations, browsable books, Reading Challenge stickers, and friendly librarians who love talking about books!

And whenever you finish your next book, make sure to tell us about it for a chance to win the March prize drawing.

As always, happy reading!