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It’s May! ‘Expand Your Shelf 2024’

It’s May! ‘Expand Your Shelf 2024’

May 17, 2024

Welcome back, readers! This month, we’re digging deep with our two prompts and looking at the inspiration behind the story. Whether it’s book-related novels or characters with unique experiences, there are a ton of great titles out there. So make sure to check out my lists of extra selections linked below.

“Read a book that is about books, libraries, or bookstores.” 

Books, books, and more books! Bookish stories are on the rise. Novels about books, libraries, and bookstores have a meta-appeal that can’t be denied. I had great fun searching for these titles and landed on Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles. (I also had the pleasure of interviewing the author for The Story Center!) 

Set during the height of the Great War, Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade is based on the real-life story of Jessie ‘Kit’ Carson, a Children’s Librarian from the New York Public Library. Recruited by Heiress Ann Morgan, Jessie joins The American Committee for Devastated France, also known by the acronym CARDS. (Comité Américain pour les Régions Dévastées de France.) A mere 40 miles from the front line, Jessie established the first children’s libraries, something previously unknown in France, and went on to turn ambulances into bookmobiles while also training the first French female librarians.  

Check out more of my book/library/bookstore picks here. 

More staff-selected titles can be found here: “Read a Book That Is About Books, Libraries, or Bookstores.” 

“Read a book that features a person or character with a different experience than yours.” 

Books can be mirrors and doors. Not only can we see ourselves and our experiences in literature, but we also get a glimpse into lives completely unlike our own. It’s a good reminder that the world is a big place, and no two stories and experiences are ever the same.  

For this prompt, I chose Valiant Women by Lena S. Andrews. Easily a five-star read, in my opinion, I found myself drawn into this nonfiction work and into the heartbeat of the heroic women of WWII. These women served in every branch of the military, both non-combat and combat alike (despite the latter being formally prohibited.) Andrews utilizes her journalistic skills to bring forth firsthand accounts of women during wartime. Reading their stories is inspiring, humbling, and long overdue. One woman told Andrews, “Thank you for even thinking of me...” 

More staff-selected titles can be found here: “Read a Book That Features a Person or Character With a Different Experience Than Yours.” 

Until next month, happy reading.  

Lisa P 
Reader Engagement Department 

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