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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Library Lovers' Reading List

February may be the month of a certain romantic holiday, but it's also Library Lovers' Month! It's easy to get in the spirit of the celebration when you have a library like the Camden Public Library sitting atop the hill. The love of libraries is infectious, and it's not surprising that librarians as protagonists and libraries as settings are top choices for many authors. Jump into Library Lovers' Month with some of these novels featuring libraries, as well as an assortment of nonfiction books of essays, photographs, humor, history, and social commentary on libraries. All of these books can be requested through Minerva by following the hyperlinks or giving us a call/email at the library. If none of the books below strike your fancy, fear not: libraries and librarians tend to pop up in all sorts of tales and tomes.


The Liar in the Library, Simon Brett

When a talk by successful author Burton St Clair at Fethering Library ends in sudden, violent death, Jude finds herself the prime suspect in the ensuing murder investigation. She must enlist the help of her neighbor Carole not just to solve the crime, but to prove she didn't commit it. - From NoveList

What You Wish For, Katherine Center

When the new principal turns out to be the former, unrequited crush of her teen years, elementary school librarian Samantha Casey discovers that he is a changed man, determined to destroy everything she loves about the school, which forces her to take action. - From NoveList

The Body in the Library, Agatha Christie

When Colonel and Mrs. Bantry find the corpse of a beautiful girl in their library, they rely upon their good friend Miss Marple to solve the crime. - From NoveList

The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman

Directed by powerful librarians, agents roam alternate realities searching out special volumes for their mysterious library's collections. Irene is a spy for the library but something is a little off about her current mission; there's something strange about her new assistant that she can't quite put her finger on and worse, the requested volume has already been stolen. - From LibraryReads

The Lions of Fifth Avenue, Fiona Davis

A New York Public LIbrary superintendent's wife reevaluates her priorities upon joining a woman's suffrage group in 1913, decades before her granddaughter's efforts to save an exhibit expose tragic family secrets. - From NoveList

The Library of Unrequited Love, Sophie Divry

A librarian shares her insights, opinions, observations, quiet outrage, and unrequited love for a researcher named Martin in an extended soliloquy directed at the reader. - From NoveList

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? That’s the question at the heart of Haig’s latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. - From Kirkus

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library, Sue Halpern

A head librarian who would leave behind the painful realities of her suburbia past unexpectedly bonds with a teenager performing community service, a disgruntled former Wall Street high flyer and other offbeat regulars who encourage her out of her self-imposed isolation. - From NoveList

The Book of Lost Names, Kristin Harmel

Octogenarian, Floridian, and part-time librarian Eva Traube Abrams is also a former member of the French Resistance during World War II. She specializes in forging official documents. Born in Paris to Polish immigrants, Eva is a free citizen until 1942, when the Nazis begin rounding up Jews and Eva’s father is arrested and sent to Auschwitz... - From Booklist

The Book Charmer, Karen Hawkins

With a dash of magical realism and a massive fondness for books, Hawkins introduces Sarah Dove, a librarian in small-town North Carolina, also known as a book charmer. Sarah matches books to the readers of Dove Pond when the books talk to her, telling her who needs them. Sarah’s gift isn’t enough to save the town from the financial troubles it’s fallen upon, but Sarah suspects that Dove Pond newcomer Grace Wheeler can... - From Booklist

The Library at Mount Char, Scott Hawkins

Carolyn and a dozen other children being raised by "Father," a cruel man with mysterious powers, begin to think he might be God, so when he dies, they square off against each other to determine who will inherit his library, which they believe holds the power to all Creation. - From NoveList

Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, Sofie Kelly (first in a cozy mystery series)

Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson discovers that the two stray cats she has taken in—Owen and Hercules—are truly special when she, the prime suspect in a murder, gets some unexpected feline help in solving the crime and clearing her name. - From NoveList

The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai

Lucy Hull is an accidental children's librarian who routinely gives her favorite patron, 10-year-old Ian, books that do not conform to the rigid rules his overbearing, fundamentalist mother has set for him. When Ian's parents force him to attend behavior-modification classes that will "cure" his burgeoning homosexuality, Ian determines to run away—and Lucy decides to go with him.

The Library at the Edge of the World, Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Traces the experiences of a librarian on the scenic west coast of Ireland who searches for a way to rebuild her community and her own life in the wake of local estrangements.

Books Can Be Deceiving, Jenn McKinlay (first in a cozy mystery series)

Newly single Lindsey Norris, the director of the Briar Creek Public Library, tries to help her best friend Beth, a children's book author, prove her innocence when she is accused of murdering her boyfriend Rick, a local celebrity. - From NoveList

The Strange Library, Haruki Murakami

A boy's routine day at the public library becomes a trip down the rabbit hole in Murakami's short novel. - From Publishers Weekly

The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

This debut novel tells the compelling love story of artist Clare and her husband, Henry, a librarian at the Newberry Library who has an ailment called Chrono-Displaced Person (CDP), which without his control removes him to the past or the future under stressful circumstances. The clever story is told from the perspectives of Henry and Clare at various times in their lives. - From Library Journal

The Library of Lost and Found, Phaedra Patrick

A shy librarian whose kind heart is often exploited receives a mysterious book of fairy tales from the beloved grandmother she believed dead and embarks on a perspective-changing journey of astonishing family secrets. - From NoveList

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, Kim Michele Richardson

A last-of-her-kind outcast and member of the Pack Horse Library Project braves the hardships of Kentucky's Great Depression and hostile community discrimination to bring the near-magical perspectives of books to her neighbors. - From NoveList

American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld

An elementary-school librarian marries the least promising son of an old-moneyed, intensely competitive Republican family and sticks by him as he rises from hard-drinking fool to unpopular U.S. President in this roman à clef from Sittenfeld. - From Kirkus

The Paris Library, Janet Skeslien Charles

Based on a true story, describes how a lonely, 1980s teenager befriends an elderly neighbor and uncovers her past as a librarian at the American Library in Paris who joined the Resistance when the Nazis arrived. - From NoveList

Public Library and Other Stories, Ali Smith

An engaging collection of stories that explore how people are connected by words, ideas, events, and memories and, not coincidentally, how those connections may be lost when public libraries are closed. - From Kirkus

The Book of Speculation, Erika Swyler

Simon Watson, a young librarian on the verge of losing his job, finds a mysterious book that holds the key to a curse that has haunted a family of traveling circus performers for generations. - From NoveList


Library: an unquiet history, Matthew Battles

Battles, a contributor to Harper's and a Harvard librarian, offers a distinguished portrait of the library, its endurance and destruction throughout history, and traces how the library's meaning was questioned or altered according to the climate of the time. - From Publishers Weekly

This is What a Librarian Looks Like: a celebration of libraries, communities, and access to information, Kyle Cassidy

Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like. The nearly 220 librarians photographed also share their personal thoughts on what it means to be a librarian. - From GoodReads

The Public Library: a photographic essay, Robert Dawson

A gorgeous visual celebration of America's public libraries including 150 photos, plus essays by Bill Moyers, Ann Patchett, Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, and many more. - From GoodReads

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: and their race to save the world's most precious manuscripts, Joshua Hammer

Journalist Hammer reports on librarian Abdel Kader Haidara and his associates’ harrowing ordeal as they rescued 370,000 historical manuscripts from destruction by al-Qaeda-occupied Timbuktu. - From Publishers Weekly

The World’s Strongest Librarian: a memoir of Tourette’s, faith, strength, and the power of family, Josh Hanagarne

This wildly quirky memoir of facing down his ferocious Tourette’s tics follows Hanagarne, the son of a gold miner, from a bookish Mormon upbringing in Moab, Utah, to becoming a six-foot-four kettlebell-lifting librarian in Salt Lake City. - From Publishers Weekly

This Book Is Overdue!: how librarians and cybrarians can save us all, Marilyn Johnson

In This Book Is Overdue! — a romp through the ranks of information professionals who organize our messy world and offer old-fashioned human help through the maze — author Marilyn Johnson celebrates libraries and librarians and discovers offbeat and eloquent characters in the quietest corners. - From NoveList

The Library: a catalogue of wonders, Stuart Kells

A bright, idiosyncratic tour of a book historian's collected knowledge about libraries and bibliophilia. More miscellany than catalog, the book assembles snippets from a wide variety of disciplines into an eclectic history of libraries as cultural, political, aesthetic, literary, mnemonic, and, above all, personal phenomena dedicated to collecting and preserving the written word. - From Kirkus

Palaces for the People: how social infrastructure can help fight inequality, polarization, and the decline of civil life, Eric Klinenberg

Sociologist Klinenberg presents an illuminating examination of “social infrastructure,” the physical spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. Touring libraries, playgrounds, churches, barbershops, cafés, athletic fields, and community gardens, Klinenberg identifies the ways such spaces help prevent crime, reduce addiction rates, contribute to economic growth, and even ameliorate problems caused by climate change. - From Publishers Weekly

Dewey: the small-town library cat who touched the world, Vicki Myron

One freezing night in 1988, an eight-week-old kitten was left in the book drop of the Spencer Public Library in Iowa. Head librarian Myron immediately fell in love with him, as did the rest of the library staff, and this is how Dewey Readmore Books became the Spencer library cat... - From Library Journal

The Library Book, Susan Orlean

An investigation of the fire that devastated the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986 evolves into a page-turning history of the immense impact libraries and books have had throughout time. Profoundly moving and enlightening, and a clear call to readers to appreciate and support their libraries. - From LibraryReads

Reading Matters: what the research reveals about reading, libraries, and community, Catherine Sheldrick Ross

Drawing upon data published in a variety of scholarly journals, monographs in education, cultural studies, media studies, and libraries and information studies, as well as their own research findings, these authors shatter some of the popular myths about reading and offer a cogent case for the library's vital role in the life of a reader. - From GoodReads

I Work at a Public Library: a collection of crazy stories from the stacks, Gina Sheridan

From a patron's missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan's circulation desk. - From GoodReads

Happy reading!

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