Are you a book worm?

Then you've come to the right place!

Welcome to "Webster Reads"! This page invites all of Webster's avid readers to submit their book recommendations.

It's easy! Your submission just needs to include:

  • Title of the Book

  • Author

  • Your full name

  • A brief summary of the book (Doesn’t have to be wordy - it can be as simple as “a science fiction novel about life in the future.”)

  • A small paragraph about why you enjoyed this book and recommend it

Submit your recommendation to editor@websteronlinenews.com.

Your fellow readers thank you!

Recommendations from YOU

Malice

Author: 

Keigo Higashino

Recommended by 

Jenny Paxson

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Paxson: "Bestselling author Kunihiko Hidaka is murdered. Found by his wife and his best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi, the police have few leads on who the killer is. In charge of the case, Detective Kaga is led on a wild goose chase of events and has to figure out what is fact and what is fiction. Were Nonoguchi and Hidaka truly friends? Or was something more sinister going on?

One of the best books I've ever read.  Mystery and intrigue.  I learned a lot about Japanese culture too."

Venomverse

Authors: 

Cullen Bunn, Iban Coello (art), Matt Yackey (colors)

Recommended by 

Jason M. Poole

(Children's Librarian, Webster Public Library)

Poole: "In this graphic novel, superheroes with the Venom symbiote across the multiverse band together to fight the Poisons, aliens who are able to possess the heroes' bodies and use their superpowers to take over the universe.

 

I enjoy alternate universe/reality stories in general, and this one is particularly fun because it features superheroes from alternate timelines who combined with the Venom symbiote besides Spider-Man.

 

Also recommended is the prequel, Edge of Venomverse (various authors & artists), in which Venom Captain America gathers the superheroes from their various timelines/dimensions, and Venomized (also written by Cullen Bunn with various artists), in which the Poisons come to earth and try to take over after the events of Venomverse."

The Vanishing Half

Author: 

Brit Bennet

Recommended by 

Mary Alice Moore

(Webster Public Library Board of Trustees)

Moore: "The Vanishing Half tells the story of identical twins who are born very light  black and are raised in a small southern state. The twins leave home together at an early age but eventually go their separate ways. One of the twins lives her upscale life as a white suburban wife, whereas the other twin lives as a black individual who eventually returns back to her roots where she and her daughter live with her mother. Each of the women has daughters, and the tale unfolds as to what happens when the lives of the daughters intersect.

The story touches on female identity, relationships, growing up in a small town, and independence.
"

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World

Author: 

Fredrik Backman

Recommended by 

Mary Ann Kwiatkowski

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Kwiatkowski: "Backman shares a collection of essays he’s written to his infant son to provide him with tools to make his way in the world. Along the way, Backman reveals his own flaws and uncertainties in coping with new fatherhood. He shares what it is like to have unconditional love. And most importantly he shares how important it is for his son to start a rock band, an amazing essay on friendship, and what it means to belong!

This book had me alternately laughing out loud and with tears running down my face. I would recommend it to dads as well as to moms because it will help you understand them…

 

And whether your children are young or old, you will enjoy this look at why a parent feels like they do. And you’ll also get a dose of encouragement for your own way of parenting."

A Distant Neighborhood

Author: 

Jiro Taniguchi

Recommended by 

Jason M. Poole

(Children's Librarian, Webster Public Library)

Poole: "In this manga aimed at adults (but appropriate for teenagers), a middle-aged man returns to his hometown and finds himself transported back in time to when he was 14, but with full knowledge of his adult life.

I was drawn in by the premise but held captive by the gentle, subtle observations about life, relationships, priorities, and the passage of time. Highly recommended!"

The Book of Lost Friends

Author: 

Lisa Wingate

Recommended by 

Laureen Anthony-Palmer

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Anthony-Palmer: "The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate is a historical fiction book that alternates between slavery and injustice in 1875 to poverty and small-town life in Louisiana in 1987.

I like that the chapters alternate between 1875 and  1987 and that there are unexpected connections and close relationships that are formed during both of those times. The connections between family members in the past who journeyed through the south after the Civil War to the families living in a small town in Louisiana in 1987 were surprising.  The author does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life throughout the book and creating anticipation of what will happen to them next.
The book is based on advertisements that appeared in the Southwesten Christian Advocate newspaper after the Civil War as newly freed slaves desperately search for loved ones who have been sold away and thus families were scattered with no idea what happened to their family members. Those ads can be found currently in a database maintained by The Historic New Orleans Collection."

The Virgin Blue

Author: 

Tracy Chevalier

Recommended by 

Laureen Anthony-Palmer

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Anthony-Palmer: "This is one of my all-time favorite books. I especially like it because it connects two women from very different time periods (400 years apart). Both of their lives are greatly impacted by the time and place that they are living in. Subjects that are touched on include:  family genealogy, religion, relationships, women's health and their occupations, male/female relationships, and red hair!
 

Tracy Chevalier writes excellent historical fiction! I have read and thoroughly enjoyed all of her books (well, except for a couple)."

The Wrath and The Dawn

Author: 

Renee Ahdieh

Recommended by 

Liaba A.

(Webster Schroeder HS Student)

Liaba: "This book takes place in Khorasan, a place where the murderous caliph Khalid rules. After finding out about her best friend's murder, Shahrzad Al-Khayzuran is set on getting revenge. She has made it a personal goal to ask for the caliph's hand in marriage and then destroy him. But, the real question is how can Shahrzad Al-Khayzuran get revenge when the caliph of Khorasan marries a new bride every day, and then kills her by dawn?

This is a book I highly recommend because it's not too hard to read, and the twists and turns and emotional rollercoasters this book takes will leave you in shock. It's the first in a two-book series, so if you love this book, you'll definitely love the next! This book is great to get you out of a reading slump as well, as it is fast-paced, and with every turn of a page, you'll want to continue reading. "

Wool

Author: 

Hugh Howey

Recommended by 

Sarah Brown

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Brown: "The story of Wool takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. Humanity clings to survival in the Silo, a subterranean city extending one hundred forty-four stories beneath the surface. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

I like this book because it's full of unexpected twists, compelling characters, and a captivating shift of our world into something completely different. It's the first in a three-book series, which means there's more where this came from too! If you like post-apocalyptic novels, I highly recommend giving this one a try!"

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Author: 

Sonia Purnell

Recommended by 

Meg Veerkamp

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Veerkamp: "It is a non-fiction story about a woman named Virginia Hall who was supposed to follow the conventional path of being born into a well-to-do family. She, however, had different plans.

While reading, I had to remind myself it was a non-fiction book because I couldn’t believe the incredible situations in which Virginia Hall found herself. I really admired her courage.  She was a force to be reckoned with and her determination was endless."

Night Circus

Author: 

Erin Morgenstern

Recommended by Jenny Paxson

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Paxson: "Marco and Celia are forced into a magical competition by their mentors. They don't know the rules but all will unfold in a mesmerizing place, the Night Circus, where true magic happens. If you are looking for an adult version of Harry Potter with a steampunk inspiration, this is the book for you. It will transport you to another world as it did for me."

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: 

Stuart Turton

Recommended by Jenny Paxson

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Paxson: "The narrator wakes up in the middle of a forest and has amnesia. He is in the middle of a party and has to solve the murder of a young woman. He has only seven days to do so in the most extraordinary way. This book is Agatha Christie meets Science Fiction. If you like puzzles, shocking twists and turns, historical fiction, and science fiction, you'll love this. I found every page keeping me shocked and surprised. I wanted to know what was happening and you will too."

Out of My Mind

Author: 

Sharon Draper

Recommended by Shannon Tani

Tani: "Eleven-year-old Melody is a genius, but no one knows it because her cerebral palsy prevents her from walking, talking, and writing. Her life is changed when she gets an electronic communication board, but will the kids in her school and the adults in her life finally accept her for who she really is?

I'm an adult and I was in a graduate program for teaching students with disabilities when I read Out of My Mind. This fictional account of a child with a disability completely illuminated my perspective because it shows how the struggles that you see on the outside aren't always indicative of what's inside.


A particularly meaningful moment in the book for me was when Melody was being given an IQ test by a doctor. The doctor showed her a picture of an apple, a cherry, a banana, and a red balloon, then asks her to select the image that doesn't belong. Since the book is told from Melody's perspective, we can 'hear' her deliberating over whether she's supposed to pick the red balloon because it's not a fruit or the banana because it's not red and round. Ultimately, she chooses the banana, and this is the 'wrong"'answer. But because Melody cannot explain her reasoning to the doctor due to her cerebral palsy, he assumes that it's because of low intelligence. Her disability prevents her from showing some really creative thinking skills.


As a special education teacher, it really makes me think about how quick we can be to sort children into categories, focusing on all of the things that they CAN'T do while completely overlooking the wide number of strengths they have. 
 

Since this is a middle-grade book, it should be a quick read for most adults. I believe that it's an excellent peek into the mind of a child with one type of disability, but you can easily see how the underlying principles are applicable to all."

The Yellow House

Author: 

Sarah M. Broom

Recommended by Jenny Paxson

(Webster Public Library Staff)

Paxson: "Sarah's book is part autobiography, part survivor story of Hurricane Katrina. She talks about growing up in New Orleans East and what happens to her family and their beloved house after the hurricane.  In honor of Black Lives Matter, we read this for a book discussion at the library. I really saw life through Sarah's eyes. I think it's important to see other people's stories and learn from each other."