Ready to broaden your reading horizons? Every year we offer up fresh reading prompts as part of our #BroaderBookshelf reading challenge. Use these staff recommendations and reviews to get started, and don't forget to check out our special events and author visits related to the challenge. 

 

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American Biographer

Author David G. McCullough, who died on 7 August, has left a rich legacy of biographies and histories that met with both critical and public acclaim.  The recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes and two National Book Awards, among many other literary prizes, McCullough published a series of best-selling books from 1968 to 2019, all still fresh and relevant for their insight and erudition.  Check out these landmark works from our collection.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Graphic Novel Memoirs by Non-Celebrities

Check out one of these graphic novels and fulfill the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 Reading Challenge prompt "read a memoir by someone who is not a celebrity".  This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 Reading Challenge. Find more lists here.
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Center for Fiction 2022 First Novel Prize Longlist

The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize was created in 2006 to honor the best debut fiction of the year.  The longlist for this year's prize has just been announced.  Check out these exciting new first novels from our collection.
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Richland Library Main

#OwnVoices: Sorrowland - A Review

"Going against tended to end more rightly, more justly, than going with. People were wrong. Rules, most of the time, favored not what was right, but what was convenient or preferable to those in charge."

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The Cold War

The Cold War was famously never a declared “war” but an ideological struggle that unfolded in a decades-long series of proxy conflicts.  Researchers are still uncovering new information from archives and other sources to better explain this strange period, which one historian has referred to as the “Fifty-Year Wound.”  Check out these recent titles from our collection if you’re curious to learn more.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Non-Celebrity Self-Discovery

The #BroaderBookshelf challenge helps expand your reading habits to discover authors, genres and books you might not otherwise pick up. More #BroaderBookshelf booklists can be found here. Get personalized recommendations 
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Non-Celebrity Memoirs about Professions

The #BroaderBookshelf challenge helps expand your reading habits to discover authors, genres and books you might not otherwise pick up. Check out one of these memoirs by somebody who isn't a celebrity that focus on the working life. More #BroaderBookshelf booklists can be found here. Get personalized recommendations 
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Science & Nature Memoirs

Check out one of these captivating science & nature memoirs and fulfill the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 Reading Challenge prompt "read a memoir by someone who is not a celebrity".  This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 Reading Challenge. Find more lists here.  
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Historic True Crime

Many true crime books are roughly contemporary in setting.  But there’s a whole subgenre of nonfiction crime narrative drawn from historical cases, many of them scandalous in their day and some of them still unsolved.  A recent standout in this subgenre is Who Killed Jane Stanford? by respected historian Richard White, which explores the poisoning murder of the widow of Stanford University founder Leland Stanford.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Non-Celebrity Memoirs with Animals

The #BroaderBookshelf challenge helps expand your reading habits to discover authors, genres and books you might not otherwise pick up. Check out one of these memoirs by somebody who isn't a celebrity - but who does have something to do with animals!  Hawks, sheep, pigs, dogs (so many dogs) - even the occasional royal raven.
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Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism

Early late at night I wander off into a land You can go, but you mustn't tell a soul There's a world inside Where dreamers meet each other Once you go it's hard to come back Let me paint your canvas as you dance  
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New in Science

Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong is a rising star in the science-writing world.  He received a Pulitzer in 2021 for his reporting on the pandemic, and his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, was a best seller.  Now his second book,
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New Business Books

Noteworthy new titles include Level Up: Rise Above the Hidden Forces Holding Your Business Back, by Georgia politician (and serial entrepreneur) Stacey Abrams and her business partner, Lara Hodgson; Dade Hayes and Dawn Chmielewski’s Binge Times: Inside Hollywood's Furious Billion-Dol
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New in Biography and Memoir

Liz Scheier’s Never Simple, about her difficult upbringing as the child of a mother with Borderline Personality Disorder, has been getting a lot of notice, as has Mary Laura Philpott’s Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives, a set of
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Food Memoirs

Fulfill the "read a memoir by someone who is not a celebrity" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Eccentric Family Memoirs

Fulfill the "read a memoir by someone who is not a celebrity" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Fiction Set in CA or NY

The #BroaderBookshelf challenge helps expand your reading habits to discover authors, genres and books you might not otherwise pick up. Read one of these fiction titles to fulfill the "Read a fiction or non-fiction book set in California or New York" prompt. Click on the title to see all available formats.
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2022 Pulitzer Prizewinners

The 2022 Pulitzer Prizes have just been announced.  Check out the following prizewinners and finalists in the categories of fiction, biography, general nonfiction, history, and poetry.
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Arbor Day Reads

National Arbor Day is observed annually on the last Friday in April (4/29 this year), although South Carolina marks its own Arbor Day on the first Friday in December, since saplings planted at that time of year will have a better chance of becoming established before the brutal heat of summer arrives.
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2022 International Booker Prize

The long list and short list titles were announced this month for the 2022 International Booker Prize.  This prize was created in 2004 to recognize works of fiction that weren't eligible for the regular Booker Prize (awarded to books by authors hailing from anywhere in the British Commonwealth).  The winner will be announced on 26 May, but in the meantime, check out these nominees from our collection.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page African Authors

Double-down on your BroaderBookshelf challenge and fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt AND the "read a book by an author from an African nation" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #9 - Starting with 'Eva Luna')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Romance

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these Romance novels. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #8 - Starting with 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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Richland Library Cooper

In Defense of Short Stories

Short stories sometimes get a bad rap - but these collections just might change your mind about the writing form.

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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Fantasy

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these Fantasy novels. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #7 - Starting with 'Deenie')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Science Fiction

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these Science Fiction novels. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #6 - Starting with 'The Crimson Petal & The White')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Religious Fiction

Fulfill the "read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)" prompt with these excellent titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find the reading prompts here and more lists here.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ pages x 2 = 800+

Double-down on the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these 800+ page doorstoppers. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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What to Read If You Like: 'DUNE'

So, you've finally seen the movie and/or read the book. Great! Check out the rest of the Dune series or other series of similar themes!  Be careful with how much spice you consume...
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Historical Religious Fiction

Fulfill the "read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)" prompt with these historical fiction titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find the reading prompts here and more lists here.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Classics

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these classics. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #5 - Starting with 'The Code of the Woosters')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - True Travel Tales

Fulfill the "Read a book about a journey" prompt for this year's Broader Bookshelf challenge with one of these nonfiction travel books.  Travel writing can take you all the way around the world from the comfort of your living room! Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Folk Horror

Did you really love Midsommar?  Want more of The Wicker Man?  Then you want more folk horror in your life!  Folk horror takes some element from folklore - nature spirits, Fair Folk, Japanese oni  - and incorporates it into a horror narrative.  Whether it's a creepy cult, the darkest part of the forest, or an animal that doesn't look quite right in the broad daylight, folk horror delivers the scares.  
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2021 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2021 National Book Critics Circle Awards were recently announced.  Given annually since 1976, they are the only major book awards selected by critics.  The winners will be announced in March.  Check out the following finalists from our collection, in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry, and criticism.  (The list also includes the finalists for the NBCC's John Leonard Prize for Best First Book.)
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Classic Religious Fiction

Fulfill the "read a book about religion (fiction or nonfiction)" prompt with these classic titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find the reading prompts here and more lists here.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Horror Novels

Double-down on your BroaderBookshelf challenge and fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt AND the "read a horror novel" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Fantastic Voyages

Fulfill the "Read a book about a journey" prompt for this year's Broader Bookshelf challenge with one of these fantasy, sci-fi, or horror books!   Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Sci-Fi Horror

Do you like your horror to come with a sci-fi frame?  Here are some books that cross genres to give you a little bit of both! Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Historical Fiction

Double-down on your BroaderBookshelf challenge and fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt AND the "read a historical fiction novel" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Road Trip!

I'll pay for gas if you'll pay for snacks - it's road trip time! Fulfill the "Read a book about a journey" Broader Bookshelf prompt with one of these fiction and nonfiction road trip books!  (Okay, so one of them is on a riverboat - Huckleberry Finn is still definitely a road trip book.)     Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Horror for the Easily Frightened

So you saw that we're asking you to read a horror book for this year's reading challenge, and your immediate response was "nope, not this fraidy cat!"  If you don't read horror because you don't want to be too scared, here are a few options for you.  Some are older classics, which tend to be a little less scary to modern eyes, and some are modern books with a lower chill factor.  Keep in mind that horror is subjective - what's terrifying to one person doesn't even move the needle for another, so your mileage may vary!
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Journeys

Double-down on your BroaderBookshelf challenge and fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt AND the "read a fiction or nonfiction book about a journey" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Horror with Zombies

Do you like your books to have brrrrains?  Perhaps a little bite?  This list has all kinds of zombies - fast zombies, slow zombies, disease zombies, magic zombies, any kind of zombie you want. Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Memoirs

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these memoirs. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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RM's Reading List

Kim Namjoon, also known by his stage name RM, is the leader of the worldwide famous K-pop group BTS. Beyond being a talented rapper, creative songwriter/producer, team mentor, and impressive dancer, he is also an avid reader. Below is a list of reading recommendations he has shared spanning across genres and countries of origin.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - The Horror of Final Girls

What's a final girl?  In a horror movie, usually in slasher films, the final girl is the last survivor who confronts the killer and usually lives to tell the tale.  Think Laurie Strode from Halloween, Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street, and even Ellen Ripley from Alien.  They exist in books too - and there's a bit of a trend lately of books with characters meta-aware of the trope.  Check out this list of horror books with tough ladies who fight back.  
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: 400+ Page Westerns

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these westerns. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022 - Classic Horror

If you want to understand where any genre is going, you have to understand where it's been.  This list of classic horror novels (arbitrary cutoff: pre-Stephen King) includes a little bit of everything: psychological thrillers, sexy vampires, cosmic horror, haunted houses, and of course g-g-g-ghosts! Learn more about the Broader Bookshelf challenge and see more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Levar Burton's Book Club

Check out this list of picks from Levar Burton's Book Club. The latest pick is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy O'Toole Fulfill the "read a book from a celebrity book club" prompt with these titles. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: African Authors

Fulfill the prompt, "Read a book by an author from an African nation" with one of these engaging books. Find out more information about the #BroaderBookshelf challenge here. Need more suggestions? Fill out a Personalized Reading Recommendation form. It's a quick and easy way to find your next favorite read. 
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Richland Library Edgewood

#OwnVoices: Children's Books Reflection of 2021

Missed out on 2021 book releases? Don't worry, you can find #OwnVoices books published in 2021 for both younger and older children here. I don't forget to look out for what's to come in 2022!

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BroaderBookshelf 2022 400+ Page Family Sagas

Fulfill the "read a book over 400 pages long" prompt with these family sagas. This list is part of the #BroaderBookshelf 2022 reading challenge. Find more lists here.
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New in Biography and Memoir

Notable new releases include Chinese artist/activist Ai Weiwei’s 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows and Indian economist (and prolific author) Amartya Sen’s Home in the World.  Carole Angier’s
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Naturalist: E. O. Wilson, 1929-2021

In his long and distinguished career, scientist and author Edward O. Wilson, who died on 26 December, wrote as much for a popular audience as he did for his academic peers.  In addition to several books on ants (on which he was a world authority), he published widely on evolutionary biology and conservation.  One of his collaborations with fellow ant expert Bert Hölldobler, The Ants, won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
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Remembering Joan Didion

Joan Didion, who died at age 87 on 23 December, astutely sized up American culture from the 1960s onward in a series of nonfiction and fiction works that met with both critical and popular acclaim.  The prolific Didion is perhaps still best known for her first two essay collections, Slouching Towards Bethlehem and Th
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New Business Books

This batch of new business books features some sharp corporate take-downs, including Peter Robison’s Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing and Bartow J.
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New in Science

Check out the latest in science writing from our collection.  Notable titles include Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law, by best-selling author Mary Roach (dubbed "America's funniest science writer" by the WaPo) and Scientist: E. O.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #4 - Starting with 'Carrie')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #3 - Starting with 'Bambi')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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Time Travel Adventures

Take a journey with these characters and travel through time for the ultimate adventure!
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New York Times Books of the Year: Biography and Memoir

The recently released list of the New York Times notable books of 2021 includes a number of compelling biographies and memoirs you won't want to miss.  Check these titles out from our collection.
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #2 - Starting with 'Angela's Ashes')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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Expand Your Knowledge of the World

🌎Take a look at some titles that will continue to grow and challenge what you think you know about the world. Keep seeking to grow and learn more about the world you live in. These books will hopefully change how you see the world, and may encourage you to help build a better world for all (if you haven't already done so). Take a look below, and enjoy!
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Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge (List #1 - Starting with '1984')

☕ Take a deep dive into all the books seen and referenced on the Gilmore Girls from Season 1 to A Year in the Life.  📚 Just in time for our winter weather. So, grab your books, a cup of coffee (or hot cocoa), and bundle up by the fire. ❄️Smells Like Snow❄️ (except for SC)   Since there are 408 titles, there will be multiple lists sent out over the next few months. Enjoy!
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If You Like...Braiding Sweetgrass

📚Below you'll find a variety of books that share a theme or more with Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Enjoy!🌱
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2021 Booker Prizewinner

South African novelist/playwright Damon Galgut has won the 2021 Booker Prize, England's most prestigious literary award, for his epic novel The Promise, the intergenerational story of an Afrikaner farming family torn apart by an unfulfilled bequest of the family matriarch.  (Galgut has twice before been shortlisted for the prize.)
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2021 National Book Award Finalists

The 2021 National Book Award finalists in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature have recently been announced.  While you're waiting to learn who the winners will be (to be announced on 17 November), check out these finalists from our collection. 2021 National Book Awards
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Sandhills Staff Picks

Curious to know what our staff read, watch, and listen to? Well you’re in luck, because we can’t wait to share some of our favorites with you!  Bonus: You can use one of these titles to fulfil the #BroaderBookshelf 2021 prompt to "Read a book suggested by a Library staff member".  
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Richland Library Sandhills

Sandhills Staff Picks of 2021

Curious to know what our staff read, watch, and listen to? Well you’re in luck, because we can’t wait to share some of our favorites with you!  Bonus: You can use one of these titles to fulfil the #BroaderBookshelf 2021 prompt to "Read a book suggested by a Library staff member".  

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If you can't make it to the Charleston Literary Festival . . .

This year's Charleston Literary Festival, running from 5-14 November, features a stellar lineup of speakers, with an admirable mix of fiction and nonfiction authors, ranging from icons such as Paul Auster and Walter Isaacson to recent stars such as Yaa Gyasi and Patricia Lockwood. But if you can't make it to the festival, don't worry - Richland Library features many titles by the participating authors.  Check out the list below; given the variety of the author list, you're sure to find something to intrigue you.
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#BroaderBookshelf 2022: Picks from Reese's Book Club 🌞

Check out these selections from Reese Witherspoon's popular book club.  The August 2022 pick is Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister Reese's Winter YA Pick is Anatomy: A Love Story  by Dana Schwartz Fulfill the "read a book from a celebrity book club" prompt with these titles.
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Richland Library Main

#BroaderBookshelf 2021- October Staff Suggestions

Find your next favorite book and fulfill the #BroaderBookshelf 2021 prompt to "Read a book suggested by a Library staff member" with these personal recommendations from our colleagues!