COMING SOON: Summer Reading Challenge

The 2024 Summer Reading Challenge starts Monday, June 3! Find more information on the program HERE, and learn all about our special Summer Reading Kickoff Party on June 2 HERE!

Staff Favorite Reads of 2023

The year is coming to a close and here are some of the books DMPL librarians and staff read and loved in 2023. Find a new favorite book from expert recommendations.

For even more recommendations from our team take a listen to the latest episode of Beyond The Shelves, where Sarah and Jes shared their Best Books of 2023.

Wellness by Nathan Hill

Wellness by Nathan Hill

"Wellness by Nathan Hill is a funny, provocative, sweeping marriage epic that acts as both a universal exploration of how modern relationships and parenthood change you, and also a satirical exploration of the wellness industry and the role capitalist algorithms play in defining one’s self-identity. This book is pure zeitgeist on the page." —Tim P.

Two Wrongs Make A Right

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese

"An autistic main character and an anxiety filled love interest- say no more. This hit in so many different ways for me that my heart was bursting with joy. Their attraction, their personalities, their backgrounds all made this book one I will buy and put on my shelves at home. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a sweet romance that makes you believe in love."— Haley F.

The Vaster Wilds

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff

"The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff drew me in and transported me to the 17th century-colonial America. The nature writing was vivid and rhythmic. Groff wrote an unputdownable compelling story of survival that examines our relationship to the natural world. The ending left me stunned, and I can't wait to reread this book again and again."— Kelly M.

Humankind: A Hopeful History

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

"If watching the news makes you wonder if there's any hope for the human race, here's your pick-me-up! Bregman examines commonly-held beliefs about the selfish nature of humans and dispels them, one by one. Prepare to have your faith in humanity restored!"- Samantha R.

The Many Lives of Mama Love

The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin

"The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin had me hooked from the get-go. Hardin's experiences with addiction, imprisonment, and how she used her passion (and obvious talent) for writing to change her life made this one of my top 2023 reads."—Minsu S.

Except for Palestine

Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics by Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick

"Except for Palestine: The Limits of Progressive Politics by Marc Lamont Hill and Mitchell Plitnick was an eye-opening book about how the cause of Palestinian freedom is marginalized in current political discourse. The authors detail the recent history of US involvement in Israeli apartheid and call on all of us to live up to our stated values by recognizing the fundamental injustice occurring in Palestine."—Casey E.

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei- Brenyah

"Chain Gang All-Stars is a powerful and necessary indictment of America's for-profit prison system. I listened to the brilliantly narrated audiobook and was enthralled from the opening sentence. This is not just an action-packed, dystopian thriller, it's also a story about humanity and justice and the power of love. I appreciate Adjei-Brenyah's use of footnotes that address actual laws, court rulings, and prison-related studies. It gives the narrative a more sobering and urgent feel. I cannot recommend this book enough."—Jes M.

Not Your Ex's Hexes

Not Your Ex’s Hexes by April Asher

"April Asher has done it again! First with Linc and Vi, now Rose and Damian. I can't explain the sweetness and steam this series has. I loved the banter between the two - her outgoing, him grouchy. The final chapter may have made me shed a tear or two (because grand gestures make me cry). It was a well-rounded witchy novel and I can't wait for the next one!"—Haley F.

Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

"Gawande maintains that for all of our medical advancements, the one thing Western medicine has yet to come to terms with is death. This exploration of what quality of life truly is will be especially meaningful for anyone who has witnessed the end-of-life suffering of a loved one."—Samantha R.

How to Write One Song

How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy

"How to Write One Song by Jeff Tweedy is a super digestible quick-read for laypeople looking to put words to a melody. He makes it clear that the stakes don't need to be high and that people who love music and are interested in writing it shouldn't feel pressure to be the next big thing. It is also a wonderful listen on audiobook. He works on a song throughout the process of writing the book and sings the finished product at the end!"—Minsu S.

Death Valley

Death Valley by Melissa Broder

"Death Valley is not for everyone, but it was definitely for me. If you listen to our podcast, Beyond the Shelves (a shameless plug), you know I like weird books and Broder is known for her subversive and compelling fiction. Have you ever asked yourself if you want to run away from all your big feelings by taking a hike in the desert and entering a large saguaro cactus? Do you love books that process grief in unique and deeply felt ways? If so, then this book is for you. Broder's astute observations on love and existence always cut me to the core and Death Valley is her best novel yet."—Jes M.

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia

"I missed this book when it came out in 2014, but it's been the book I've been recommending constantly since I read it earlier this year. It's part mystery and part coming-of-age novel, a blend that I wouldn't have explored without a recommendation from a friend. The mystery aspect was well-done, surprising, and not a let-down (I am an avid mystery reader, but the solution so often leaves me disappointed). Each character was well-drawn and complex. The protagonist twins were difficult and charming, and I loved them. The suspense built brilliantly to the surprising but fitting ending."—Carrie A.

The History of Sketch Comedy by Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key

The History of Sketch Comedy by Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key

"The History of Sketch Comedy by Keegan-Michael Key and Elle Key gives a wonderful overview of, well, the History of Sketch Comedy! Between Key's humorous anecdotes, extensive knowledge on the subject, and the blurbs included from other famous comedians, this is a great, quick read for fans of sketch comedy who are interested in learning more about the origins of the craft."—Minsu S.

Good Fortune

Good Fortune by C.K. Chau

"Good Fortune by C.K. Chau is a fully delightful Pride and Prejudice retelling. Come for the retelling of a beloved classic, stay for the wonderful characters that feel new and familiar at the same time."—Carrie A.

Partners in Crime

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

"What an adventure!! Partners in Crime was such a fun read. I really enjoyed the story and the characters were *chefs kiss* so sweet. The drama, suspense, and intrigue had me from the beginning."—Haley F.

Bandit Queens

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

"The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff is a refreshing story of female friendship, murder, revenge, class, and survival and is all at once heartbreaking and wildly funny. Shroff's excellent debut novel is full of spirit and wit and women fighting to be the heroines in their own stories. Readers will find the characters are just as unforgettable as the ending which had me cheering and laughing out loud."—Keri J.

Blurb Your Enthusiasm

Blurb Your Enthusiasm by Louise Willder

"Blurb your Enthusiasm by Louise Willder is a delightful history of the blurb that made me laugh out loud and learn quite a bit! Willder playfully skewers cliched terms and over-used phrases, and lets you peek inside the inside story of blurbs."—Carrie A.

Knockout by Sarah MacLean

Knockout by Sarah MacLean

"MacLean is back in fine form with the final installment in the Hell's Belles series. I am unabashedly a romance reader, and witty historical romances are what drew me to the genre. MacLean is no different. She creates characters who are fun to be around. That you want to be friends with. Who you want to root for as they fall in love. We have been following the protagonists of Knockout, Imogen and Thomas, throughout the Hell's Belles series, and it is so satisfying to have them finally get their own story."—Sarah L.

Published on December 15, 2023
Last Modified May 19, 2024