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IndyPL Staff What We're Reading


12/01/2022 | What We're Reading

Are you looking for your next read? We can help!

  • Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email ask-a- librarian!
  • Follow our staff's most recently published book lists on the library catalog home page.
  • Join one of our book discussions, available both in-person and online.
  • Join us Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. on Facebook for Currently Reading where book enthusiasts offer their suggestions.
  • Tune in every other Wednesday at 10 a.m. to the Indy Now Book Club with Ryan and Jillian on Fox59 for reading recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your own local librarians.
  • Get reading recommendations online from NovelList or Book Connections.

Recommendations from Our Staff - February 2023

Make a selection from one of the book lists below created by our staff of avid readers whose reading experiences and tastes cover about any interest you can think of! Don't miss our If You Like... suggestions that cover all the favorite genres like science fiction, graphic novels, romance, and more. Also don't miss What We're Reading for Kids & Teens and If You Like... for Kids.

Featured Black authors, Black history, Black poetry, historical romance & more!

Indy Now Book Club Features Local Black Authors
We are thrilled to help host a 'book club' on the Indy Now Morning Show with Ryan and Jillian. Tune in at 10 a.m. every other Wednesday to catch book recommendations and IndyPL program highlights from your own local librarians. In this episode, IndyPL's public relations specialist (and local author!) Keshia McEntire shared five of her favorite books written by local Black authors. Watch the episode.

Black Biopics
Biopics are films about historical figures and events. While directors and producers often take dramatic license in these films, at their core these films help audiences learn, become inspired, and share in the emotional journey of the characters. Below are biopics depicting Black stories and people. There are films about advocates and civil rights pioneers, singers, sportspeople, educators, mathematicians, and historical events that celebrate Black history.

Black Poets You Need to Read
This list features African American authors. Classic, contemporary, and modern authors are all included to provide a balanced start to a reader's journey through the realm of poetry. Expect to feel a flurry of emotion when reading any of these titles and learning the lessons wherein. Poetry is an art form and has the ability to move even the most stoic of readers.

Celebrate Black Love With These Romance Novels
Each of these 16 books is written by a Black author and features two Black main characters. Watch Black bakers, musicians, athletes, and cowboys find love and joy with one another.

Audiobooks: Black Nonfiction Authors
This list includes nonfiction downloadable audiobooks (and one book book) that I have listened to in 2022. I have included links to the lists I did in 2020 and 2021 celebrating Black Nonfiction Authors.

Black Mystery Writers
Looking for mysteries by Black writers? This list includes recent releases by current authors as well as classics from historically influential names.

Celebrating Black Women
Whether facing hardships because of the color of their skin or their sex, Black women have shaped politics, culture, art, and business over the course of American history. Here is a list of biographies and documentaries that celebrate civil rights leaders, businesswomen, politicians, artists, entertainers, and everyday women. While there are some common themes throughout their lives, each woman has her own perspective and impact.

Historical Romance Featuring Characters of Color
As a genre, historical romance has faced increased criticism in recent years for it's lack of diversity. Less than 10% of romances published in 2020 were written by authors of color and the vast majority of historical romance novels focus on rich white characters finding love in England. However, historical romance has the capacity to spotlight a rich history of people of color finding love and joy, no matter the time period.

Black Chefs and Cooking Classics
James Beard award-winning Toni Tipton-Martin's Jubilee is a sensational history of American food focusing on Black chefs and cooks. This list takes a look at some of the classic Black cookbooks that inspired Tipton-Martin and a few more titles and resources that celebrate and explore Black cooking and food history.

Black Comedy and Humor This is just a sampling of some Black comedy and humor books in The Library's collection. Some of the titles are from stand-up comedians, some from comedic actors and some are funny collections by Black authors.

Bakers of Color
Try out these delightful selections from bakers of color - sweet and savory, traditional and modern, western and international.

Horror Books by Black Authors
Check out these Horror books written by Black Authors.

Guide to Finding Books by Black Authors

See our Guide to Finding Books by Black Authors that includes a convenient clickable list of authors linked directly to our catalog for placing requests or checking out e-books or audiobooks. Find compelling fiction and nonfiction by both contemporary and classic authors, including books in every genre from literary fiction to romance, to science fiction to personal memoirs, whether you are looking for a thrilling page turner are recognized prize-winner!

More February reading recommendations for romance, football & more!

Are You Ready For Some Football?
As football fans gear up for the Super Bowl here are some titles that are about the NFL, players, coaches or owners; past and present. Or get your game day grub on with this Football Food list of game day recipes.

Overthinking Love
Love. It may confound us. It may confuse us. It has been described as temporary madness by poets or a flood of chemicals that cause feelings of euphoria by scientists. Philosophers pontificate about it. Psychologists try to understand it. Mathematicians try to solve it. Check out these books celebrating love in all of its complexity.

President's Day
Happy President's Day! Celebrate this snowy day with an eBook or eAudiobook about one of our American Presidents. Some written by prominent American historians such as David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and H.W. Brands! All titles are also available in print edition!

Saint Skeletor's Day
February 15th is Saint Skeletors day. the day for grumpy people who did not get, or give any valentines. The following list of media on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Listen with Liz - Presidential
Here is a list in honor of President's Day. All these titles have a presidential connection. These are only titles I have listened to and reviewed on previous published lists. There are LOTS of other presidential books out there, this list is by no means exhaustive. Most of the titles are available as physical books and eBooks too.

Mardi Gras
Just because we can't travel to Mardi Gras this year doesn't mean we can't celebrate the sights, sounds, people, and tastes of New Orleans. Here we have music, shows, cookbooks, fiction, and art of the Big Easy and Mardi Gras gathered in one place for you to create your own celebration, or just read and imagine.

White Lotus Reading List
The books that appears in HBO's "The White Lotus."

Listen with Liz - February 2023
A totally random list of nonfiction e-audiobooks I listened to in December 2022.

Enemies-to-Lovers Historical Romance to Read in Honor of Bridgerton's Second Season
Are you counting down the days until the season premiere in March? Instead of agonizing over the remaining days, fill your time with these 12 historical romance novels that have the same sparkling enemies-to-lovers dynamic that is highlighted in Bridgerton's next season. These books are filled with all the brilliant banter, witty characters, and unrepentant rakes your heart could desire.

Bi Historical Romances
A few more I like that The Library doesn't currently own: Behind These Doors by Jude Lucens, Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian, and Bound with Honor and Bound with Passion by Megan Mulry.

Tropes We Love: Home Renovation and Romance
Do you love flipping between HGTV and the Hallmark channels? Do you find yourself scrutinizing rental prices in every New York based rom-com you've ever encountered? Then this list is for you. Each of these books manages to capture the kitschy charm of Netflix's Falling *Inn* Love in it's own unique way. Join couples as they fix up mountain cottages, beach front property, brewery hotels, and their own crumbling love lives.

Real Life Love Stories
We at the Library love romance novels, but did you know our non-fiction book shelves are also brimming with stories of TRUE romances? Here is a small sample of books that feature real life couples and their love stories (you may want to have tissues at the ready).

Snowed-In Romances
Looking for a cozy wintry romance to distract you from the piles of snow outside your house? Check out one of these 9 romances, each of which feature a couple stuck together in an RV, cabin, inn or pick-up truck due to a winter storm. Plus, all of these books are available digitally, so you can check them out from the warmth of your own bed.

Women in Horror Month
February is Women in Horror Month! Enjoy these new horror books written by women.