Staff Book Lists:

Lists of recommended books for various occasions and audiences —
You can also request a personalized list of Childrens or Young Adult and Adult selections prepared by JMRL staff.


  1. unbroken an olympian s journey from airman to castaway to captive by Hillenbrand, Laura.
    Oceans of Possibilities
    Read something oceanic and check off a Summer Challenge 2022 activity
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  2. just harriet by Arnold, Elana K.
    Mysteries Grades 2-3
    Chapter mysteries for younger readers.
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  3. american marriage by Jones, Tayari.
  4. soul of an octopus a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness by Montgomery, Sy.
    On the Same Page Podcast Summer Reading
    These books mentioned in JMRL's On the Same Page podcase will help you complete this summer's reading challenge!
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  5. gender queer a memoir by Kobabe, Maia.
  6. great believers by Makkai, Rebecca.
    Read With Pride
    LGBTQ+ fiction for adults
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  7. clara and clem under the sea by Long, Ethan.
  8. rice a savor the south cookbook by Twitty, Michael, 1977-
  9. grandmother ptarmigan by Mikkigak, Qaunak, 1932-
  10. love letters to the dead a novel by Dellaira, Ava.
    YA books to make you cry
    Have a box of tissues ready! TW: Many of the books on this list deal with tough topics including abuse, death, mental illness, and more.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  11. counting by 7s by Sloan, Holly Goldberg, 1958-
    Disability Visibility: MG & YA books
    Middle grade and young adult novels (and one nonfiction title) featuring characters with visible and invisible disabilities and chronic conditions
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  12. almost flying by Arlow, Jake Maia.
    Girl Crush! MG & YA novels
    Middle grade and young adult novels with f/f romance and identity discovery
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  13. flowers by Gibbons, Gail.
  14. wildflowers of the shenandoah valley and blue ridge mountains by Gupton, Oscar W.
  15. Beyond the How-To Festival
    Want more how-to? Check out these great titles from JMRL!
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  16. life inside my mind 31 authors share their personal struggles by
  17. don t throw it grow it 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps by Peterson, Deborah.
  18. complete houseplant survival manual essential know how for keeping not killing more than 160 indoor plants by Pleasant, Barbara.
    Gardening and Houseplants
    Nurture the plants in your life with help from these selections.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  19. story of more how we got to climate change and where to go from here adapted for young adults by Jahren, Hope.
    Climate Change
    Books for young adults focused on climate change
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  20. new jim crow mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Alexander, Michelle.
    Civil War, Reconstruction, and Black History
    A selection of fiction and nonfiction books for adults.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  21. american bastard a memoir by Beatty, Jan, 1952-
    Virginia Festival of the Book 2022
    Virginia Festival of the Book will be held March 16-20 this year as a hybrid event, both in person and virtual. There is a full schedule of engaging discussions for all ages and interests. Check https://www.vabook.org/ for full details. Here is a list of books and authors you will find featured during the festival. Most of these books are available in multiple formats. If you're interested in large print, an ebook, audiobook, or a book on CD, search for the desired title in the catalogue search bar, and your results will include all formats.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  22. medical apartheid the dark history of medical experimentation on black americans from colonial times to the present by Washington, Harriet A.
    Black History Month 2022: Black Health and Wellness
    Check out https://asalh.org/ for more amazing resources, virtual events, and ways to get involved and connected.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  23. we are not from here by Torres Sanchez, Jenny.
    SamePage 2022
    A list of suggested titles related to the book We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  24. her fearless run kathrine switzer s historic boston marathon by Chaffee, Kim.
  25. they called us enemy by Takei, George, 1937-
  26. happily ever afters by Bryant, Elise.
    Celebrate Black Authors
    Celebrating Black authors during Black History Month 2022
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  27. misinformation age how false beliefs spread by O
  28. you are my happy by Kotb, Hoda, 1964-
    Mindfulness For Kids
    Practicing Mindfulness helps children to notice the positives and get a perspective on the negatives. This assists in developing a sense of appreciation, gratitude and contentment.
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  29. please don t sit on my bed in your outside clothes essays by Robinson, Phoebe.
  30. they went left by Hesse, Monica.
  31. gentleman in moscow a novel by Towles, Amor.
  32. running with lions by Winters, Julian.
  33. mrs piggle wiggle by MacDonald, Betty Bard.
    Kids book club recommendations
    JMRL Bookaroos and Book Bites book group members love and recommend these books!
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  34. federico and the wolf by Gomez, Rebecca J.
  35. hold me closer necromancer by McBride, Lish.
    Romance Free Books for Teens
    Books for teens with little to no romance
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  36. copper sun by Draper, Sharon M.
    #1000BlackGirlBooks - Teens
    https://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/1000-black-girl-books-resource-guide/
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  37. assignment by Wiemer, Liza.
    Jewish American Heritage Month for teens
    Young Adult novels featuring Jewish American characters.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  38. 1 000 butterflies an illustrated guide to the world s most beautiful butterflies featuring all the families subfamilies tribes and major genera by Hoskins, Adrian.
    Environmental Titles for Earth Day
    Celebrate Earth Day Every Day on April 22 and beyond! This list of fiction and nonfiction titles tackles environmental issues and plant-based eating, as well as climate and eco fiction. If you like this list, you may also want to check out our list titled "Climate Change Nonfiction": https://hestia.jmrl.org/findit/MyResearch/MyList/576
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  39. appropriate an octoroon plays by Jacobs-Jenkins, Branden.
    The Golden Collection
    15 plays by prominent Black playwrights, donated in honor of Jeremy O. Harris. Learn more about the Golden Collection here: https://slaveplaybroadway.com/resources/
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  40. almost american girl an illustrated memoir by Ha, Robin.
    Many Cultures, Many Gifts, One Home: Diversity in Books for Teens
    A list of books for teens representing diverse cultural heritage and backgrounds. Compiled for the 2021 Festival of Cultures.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  41. 7 tools to beat addiction by Peele, Stanton.
    Mental Health Resources
    Books (and a few movies) on depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction, and other mental health concerns. This list includes fiction, poetry, memoirs, and nonfiction.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  42. what s new cupcake ingeniously simple designs for every occasion by Tack, Karen.
    Great Library Bake Off - Baking Books and DVDs
    For those participating in the Great Library Bake Off, or anyone who feel the urge to create something delicious! We have much more than this, so we hope you'll make an appointment to browse the shelves at one of our libraries.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  43. against the loveless world a novel by Abulhawa, Susan,
    Virginia Festival of the Book 2021
    Virtual event March 13-26, 2021. Most of these books are available in multiple formats. If you're interested in large print, an ebook, audiobook, or book on CD, search for the desired title in the catalogue search bar, and your results will include all formats.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  44. 10 best anxiety busters simple strategies to take control of your worry by Wehrenberg, Margaret.
    Self Care
    Information and methods related to self care, including: yoga, meditation, anti-anxiety practices, stress management, easy recipes, soothing hobbies, and more!
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  45. everything sad is untrue a true story by Nayeri, Daniel.
  46. ali a life by Eig, Jonathan.
    The Undefeated
    More information about the people featured in The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  47. scarlett epstein hates it here by Breslaw, Anna.
    Fandom and Geek Culture
    Titles featuring fanfic, hacking, video games, fan art, comics, TV fandom and more.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  48. turtles all the way down by Green, John, 1977-
    Mental Health in Young Adult Literature
    Books with characters who experience anxiety, depression, self-harm, OCD, ADHD, eating disorders, and more.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  49. solo by Alexander, Kwame.
    African American Authors
    A sample of YA books by African American authors
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  50. red white royal blue by McQuiston, Casey.
    Humorous Fiction
    Get your happy on with a chuckle or an outright belly laugh with some humorous fiction. This list includes humor in tough situations, romantic comedy, satire, and more. Look for the tags!
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  51. i never had it made an autobiography by Robinson, Jackie, 1919-1972.
    African-American Athletes: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about African-American athletes.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  52. Civil Rights Movement: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Civil Rights Movement.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  53. stokely a life by Joseph, Peniel E.
    Black Power Movement: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Black Power Movement.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  54. black inventors in the age of segregation granville t woods lewis h latimer shelby j davidson by Fouché, Rayvon, 1969-
    African American Inventors and Scientists: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about African-American inventors and scientists.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  55. black lives matter by Edwards, Sue Bradford.
    Black Lives Matter: A List for Adults
    Inspired by Kwame Alexander's picture book The Undefeated, this list offers further reading about the Black Lives Matter movement.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  56. breakbeat poets new american poetry in the age of hip hop by
    African American Poetry for Adults
    A sample of poems by African Americans in the JMRL catalog.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  57. worst journey in the world by Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, 1886-1959.
    In the Kingdom of Ice Read Alikes
    Real-life adventures in cold climates and the ice that sustains them. Books on Tap January 2021
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  58. four tendencies the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better and other people s lives better too by Rubin, Gretchen.
    Goals, Motivation, and Habits
    Books that will help you build new habits and break down old ones in pursuit of your goals.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  59. 100 plays for the first hundred days by Parks, Suzan-Lori.
    Plays Written by Women
    From classic to contemporary, browse a sampling of JMRL's collection of plays written by women.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  60. Read Local: Virginia Authors For Teens
    This list is a compilation of authors who live in the state of Virginia and write for teens.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  61. aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe by Sáenz, Benjamin Alire.
  62. hungry hearts 13 tales of food love by
    Cozy Reads for Teens
    A mug of cocoa for your heart!
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  63. american panda by Chao, Gloria, 1986-
    Asian/Pacific American Heritage in Young Adult Literature
    Books featuring Asian/Pacific American characters or themes.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  64. all the real indians died off and 20 other myths about native americans by Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, 1939-
    Contemporary Native American & Indigenous Voices
    Recent books for adults by Native American own voices.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  65. better late than never by Roby, Kimberla Lawson.
    Christian Fiction by Black Authors
    Black authors writing novels with contemporary Christian themes. These books range from sweet to sizzling.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  66. why we dream the transformative power of our nightly journey by Robb, Alice.
  67. in the kingdom of ice the grand and terrible polar voyage of the u s s jeannette by Sides, Hampton.
    Books on Tap
    Upcoming titles for Books on Tap book club, which meets on the first Thursday of the month.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  68. give me some truth a novel with paintings by Gansworth, Eric L.
  69. their eyes were watching god by Hurston, Zora Neale.
    Historical Fiction - African Americans
    This list contains older classic historical fiction titles and some newer titles. In all of them the main characters and the themes of the book focus on African Americans and their history and culture.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  70. angus thongs and full frontal snogging confessions of georgia nicolson by Rennison, Louise.
    Humorous Teen Fiction
    It feels great to sink into a good book—and even better when that book can elicit some laughs. These books feature different kinds of humor including dark humor, hyperbole/exaggeration, sarcasm, satire, surprise, irony and pun.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  71. one of us is lying by McManus, Karen M.
  72. man s search for meaning by Frankl, Viktor E. 1905-1997.
    Philosophy Book Club List
    Books covering works written by philosophers, as well as books about philosophy, or philosophical concerns such as happiness, meaning and freedom.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  73. all around us by Gonzalez, Xelena.
    Indigenous Own Voices Stories
    A list of stories written by indigenous people
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  74. index to virginia estates 1800 1865 by Pippenger, Wesley E., 1956-
    Virginia Genealogical Resources
    Resources for genealogical researchers available for viewing at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society Reading Room.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  75. water for elephants a novel by Gruen, Sara.
    NaNoWriMo-Born Books
    Books that were written during NaNoWriMo
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  76. artful edit on the practice of editing yourself by Bell, Susan 1958-
    NaNoWriMo Resources
    NaNoWriMo (national novel writing month) takes place every November, and challenges participants to write a novel in a month. This list should inspire and guide you all year long as you write. We've collected resources on craft, editing, and even marketing and selling your work.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  77. breath the new science of a lost art by Nestor, James.
    Breathing for Health
    These materials relate to breathing and meditation for health and wellbeing. Check out this list for books on how the smallest changes can make big impacts.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  78. star wars ahsoka by Johnston, E. K.
    Star Wars Picks for Teens
    Lovers of all things Star Wars Reads in the teen section of the library. We combined a selection of graphic novels and fiction for your enjoyment.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  79. absolutely true diary of a part time indian by Alexie, Sherman, 1966-
  80. justin by Alonge, L. J.
    Quick Reads for Teens
    Sometimes you just need a quick read - a short book that you can pick up and polish off fast.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  81. george by Gino, Alex.
    Challenged + Banned Books 2015-2019
    According to the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom, these were the most challenged books between 2015-2019.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  82. last train to key west by Cleeton, Chanel.
    LatinX Experience Adult Fiction
    During Latinx Heritage Month, JMRL is proud to highlight the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities around the world.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  83. american road trip by Flores-Scott, Patrick.
  84. invictus by Graudin, Ryan.
  85. ember in the ashes a novel by Tahir, Sabaa.
  86. unwanteds by McMann, Lisa.
  87. cinder by Meyer, Marissa.
  88. alanna the first adventure by Pierce, Tamora.
    Ready for YA? Staff Picks for Younger Readers
    Books for those transitioning from the Children's to the Young Adult collection.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  89. book scavenger by Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss.
    Mysteries Grades 4-6
    Chapter mysteries for older readers.
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  90. giver by Lowry, Lois.
  91. radius of us by Marquardt, Marie F., 1972-
    The Story of US Immigration in Young Adult Fiction and Non-fiction
    Check out these titles about the stories of immigration and immigrants to the U.S.
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  92. let s talk about love by Kann, Claire.
  93. city of dreams the 400 year epic history of immigrant new york by Anbinder, Tyler.
    The Story of US Immigration (Adult Non-Fiction )
    In honor of Welcome Week 2020, which aimed to: “affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.” Check out this selection of titles to learn more about the story of immigration in the United States.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  94. americanah a novel by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, 1977-
    The Story of US Immigration (Adult Fiction)
    In honor of Welcome Week 2020, which aimed to: “affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places in achieving collective prosperity.” Check out this selection of titles to learn more about the story of immigration in the United States.
    See all lists by Find it list adult

  95. when you look out the window how phyllis lyon and del martin built a community by Pitman, Gayle E.
    Celebrating Pride (Older Readers)
    LGBTQ+ themed books for older readers
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  96. superman smashes the klan the graphic novel by Yang, Gene Luen.
    Teen Services Staff Picks
    Favorites by JMRL Teen Services Staff
    See all lists by Find it list ya

  97. my princess boy a mom s story about a young boy who loves to dress up by Kilodavis, Cheryl.
    Celebrating Pride (Younger Readers)
    LGBTQ+ themed books for younger readers
    See all lists by Find it list childrens

  98. let it shine stories of black women freedom fighters by Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
    Black History Month - 2020 Theme: African Americans and the Vote
    Selected books to celebrate Black History Month, February 2020.
    See all lists by Katherine Perdue

  99. we have always lived in the castle by Jackson, Shirley, 1916-1965.
    Staff Picks
    JMRL staff reads widely and is happy to share many 'good reads' with you. Here are some recommendations for this month's reading.
    See all lists by Katherine Perdue

Search lists by title or description