Atlas of the Heart: Mapping the Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown

“Well, Brené Brown has done it again: written the book I needed to hear at the exact right time and place. As someone who’s an emotional intelligence student, who sometimes has a difficult time naming and feeling emotions, taking her readers on a journey into a map of what each of the main emotions truly means from her research is a powerful tool for self exploration and deep wisdom. Even if this is your first book by her, you should give it a try.” – DGPL Staff

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.

Emotional Inheritance: A Therapist, Her Patients, and the Legacy of Trauma by Galit Atlas, PhD

“Almost everyone has experienced trauma or deep painful suffering. This book can illuminate some generational understandings as to why we suffer with the unique lens from our family of origin, and gives some hopeful stories to uplift the reader. Highly recommended.” – Joy, ATS

Galit Atlas is no distant participant in her patients’ stories of the unexplained trauma they carry; she carries her own from Israel and examines the lives of her own family and their relationship to Israel and the Holocaust. This is an in-depth look at the generational trauma told through individual stories of healing through immense difficulties.

But You Seemed So Happy: A Marriage in Pieces and Bits by Kimberly Harrington

“I took this book with me several times to restaurants to read the chapter “And You May Ask Yourself, Well, How Did I Get Here?” to friends. We laughed, as it is supposed to be humorous, but mostly we sat there stunned at the end of the chapter as Kimberly outlines the sixteen steps of the “experiment” that marriage REALLY consists of, in a way that I’ve never seen before, meaning, spot-on.” – Kelly, Kids Room

Digging into the history of her 20 years of marriage, Kimberly manages to explain what went right, what went wrong, and why women shouldn’t continue to feel bad for wanting more.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

“I think we all have been touched by mental illness in some way, whether it’s ourselves or someone we love. It was inspiring to read about someone who lived through it and learned to appreciate life despite their illness. This book is filled with hope.” – Gina, Circulation

In this inspiring and emotional memoir, Matt Haig, author of ‘The Midnight Library,’ depicts his own experience with depression and how he overcame his mental illness.

And We Rise by Erica Martin

“This book may be short in length, but its impact will be long lasting on any reader. 100% worth picking up and reading as soon as you can.” – Amanda, Adult & Teen Services

Erica Martin’s debut poetry collection walks readers through the Civil Rights Movement—from the well-documented events that shaped the nation’s treatment of Black people, beginning with the “Separate but Equal” ruling—and introduces lesser-known figures and moments that were just as crucial to the Movement and our nation’s centuries-long fight for justice and equality. Complete with historical photographs, author’s note, chronology of events, research, and sources.

Three Girls From Bronzeville by Dawn Turner

“Very well written. Gives glimpses into Bronzeville, its people, and its history. I’ve visited a few times, but didn’t know very much about its history or the people who live there.” – Amy, Adult & Teen Services/Kids Room 

I picked up this memoir because of its author, Dawn Turner Trice. I’ve read many of her pieces over the years in the Chicago Tribune. This book is a memoir of her life. It’s the story of a woman who grew up in Bronzeville, attended U of I, and went on to work for the Tribune. It’s the story of Dawn and her sister and her best friend who all took very different paths in life. It’s the story of the evolution of Bronzeville, a neighborhood in Chicago where many people of color, including Dawn’s grandmother, settled after the Great Migration. It’s very well written and moving. It’s tragic and beautiful and triumphant at the same time.

The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad by Mike Birbiglia and J. Hope Stein

“If you are a parent, read it (you will probably feel better about yourself afterward). If you never want to become a parent, read it (it will reaffirm your decision to not have children). If you were ever an infant, read it (you will realize how much you changed your parent’s life).” – Kelly, Kids Room

Funny yet emotionally raw confessions about being a new parent.

It’s You I Like by Fred Rogers

“The text in this book is simple: the song lyrics. The pictures woven around them are lovingly filled with 143s (Rogers’ quiet way of saying “I love you”), a diverse cast of different neighbors, even someone dressed like the modern-day Daniel Tiger! We really enjoy reading it as a quick, feel-good, snuggle together book- the toddler insists that it must be sung, and will always finish singing along with the final, sweet, “it’s you I like” ” – DG Library Staff 

A thoughtfully illustrated board book version of the classic Mister Rogers song.

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton

“Is there anything Dolly Parton can’t do? I listened to the audiobook and was just in awe of her positivity and her work ethic. My favorite part was hearing her talk about her favorite song (hint, it’s all of them).” – Erin, Kids Room 

Country music legend Dolly Parton shares a behind-the-scenes look at 175 of her songs. From hits everyone hums along to, to lesser-known ballads, Parton has a story about them all.

A Brief History in Time by Stephen Hawking

“Reading this book has helped me settle into accepting uncertainty about why things are the way they are. I also developed a greater curiosity for physics and astronomy. Learning about atmosphere and movement will continue to shape the way I look at life.” – Emily, Circulation

This book describes how theories about the shape and formation of the universe have evolved over time. Dr. Hawking uses historical discoveries and diagrams as a way to describe how the universe contains black holes that process matter in a way that is similar to a vacuum. Furthermore, he leaves the unanswered questions of “When?” and “How?” encouraging readers to think critically and to accept uncertainty.