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LSC-HOUSTON NORTH Library Guides: Community

Recommended Reads

Welcome to our guide for Adult Reader's Advisory! This is where to go if you are looking for new books to read, to remember old favorites, and to find some of our library staff and librarian's favorite books. This guide is organized by genre in the tabs above, so you can select the category that you prefer to read. We also include our Goodreads so that you can check out what we are currently reading, and our Pinterest lists of books to read. Please send us an email if you would like to suggest books to add to our list! Thanks for reading along with us, we hope that you enjoy our favorite books. 


Check out our next book Clubs for this SPRING:


Hillbilly Elegy Summary | GradeSaver     

Hillbilly Elegy: Vance describes his upbringing and family background while growing up in the city of Middletown, Ohio, the third largest city in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. He writes about a family history of poverty and low-paying, physical jobs that have since disappeared or worsened in their guarantees and compares this life with his perspective after leaving it. 

Though Vance was raised in Middletown, his mother and her family were from Breathitt County, Kentucky. Their Appalachian values include traits like loyalty and love of country, despite social issues including violence and verbal abuse. He recounts his grandparents' alcoholism and abuse, and his unstable mother's history of drug addictions and failed relationships. Vance's grandparents eventually reconciled and became his de facto guardians. He was pushed by his tough but loving grandmother, and eventually Vance was able to leave Middletown to attend Ohio State University and Yale Law School.   

Alongside his personal history, Vance raises questions such as the responsibility of his family and people for their own misfortune. Vance blames hillbilly culture and its supposed encouragement of social rot. Comparatively, he feels that economic insecurity plays a much lesser role. To lend credence to his argument, Vance regularly relies on personal experience. As a grocery store checkout cashier, he watched welfare recipients talk on cell phones although the working Vance could not afford one. His resentment of those who seemed to profit from poor behavior while he struggled, especially combined with his values of personal responsibility and tough love, is presented as a microcosm of the reason for Appalachia's overall political swing from strong Democratic Party to strong Republican affiliations. Likewise, he recounts stories intended to showcase a lack of work ethic including the story of a man who quit after expressing dislike over his job's hours and posted to social media about the "Obama economy", as well as a co-worker, with a pregnant girlfriend, who would skip work. 

The Alchemist: 

An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago consults a Gypsy, fortune-teller about the meaning of a reoccurring dream. The woman interprets it as a prophesy, telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids. 

After Santiago sets out, he meets an old king Melchizedek, or the king of Salem, who tells him to sell his sheep so as to travel to Egypt and accomplish his 'Personal Legend'. Early on his arrival in Africa, a man who claims to be able to take Santiago to the pyramids instead robs him of the money he had made from his flock. Santiago then has to work for a crystal merchant so to earn enough to get to the pyramids. 

Along the way, the boy meets an Englishman who has come in search of an alchemist and continues his travels with his new companion. When they reach an oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with an Arabian girl named Fatima, to whom he proposes marriage. She promises to marry him only after he completes his journey. Frustrated at first, he later learns that true love will not stop nor must one sacrifice one's destiny to it, since to do so robs it of truth. 

The boy then encounters a wise alchemist, who teaches him to realize his true self. Together, they risk a journey through the territory of warring tribes, where Santiago is forced to demonstrate his oneness with "the soul of the world" by turning himself into a dust storm before he is allowed to proceed. When he begins digging within sight of the pyramids, he is robbed yet again, but accidentally learns from the leader of the thieves that the treasure he sought was all along in the ruined church where he had his original dream.


These are tales of love, romance, suspense, challenges, and everyday ups and downs through the eyes of an African American.


These are tales of love, romance, suspense, challenges, and everyday ups and downs through the eyes of an Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.


What's a banned book? It's a book that's been censored, removed, burned or made unavailable to the public by an organization or an "authority". Books have been banned for: "indelicate content", talking animals, strong women, religious disagreement, politics, governmental control, diverse characters & more, We celebrate our freedom to read books that represent many diverse people & themes with these reads, and invite you to read some of our favorite ones!


Throughout the year, our group reads and discusses books, both fiction and nonfiction, that highlight the literature, culture, environment, and politics of various parts of the world. Here are several that were past book club favorites!


Want to escape this world and go to a new one? Locate a new universe where magic, sword fights, and action and adventures await? Then fantasy is the genre for you! Here are a few of our favorite sub-genres of fantasy and our preferred reads!


Want to escape the present and learn about life in another time? Since time machines aren't around just yet, historical fiction books are the next best bet! We've selected books from around the world, from a vast array of eras for you to enjoy.


This genre bases itself in creating a realistic feeling, and oftentimes includes settings, stock characters, or tropes that we will recognize. These are often dramatic, and can be found on many bestseller and award winners list.


Wanting to try something completely out of the box? Then this page is for you! It includes graphic novels, short stories, and horror novels. Check here for all kinds of different reads!

Short Stories



Love Sherlock Holmes and Ms. Marple? Craving a good who- done-it? Mystery builds on elements of the unknown and your puzzle solving skills, often along with a cast of character including a stupendous sleuth and their assistant. Join us for reads ranging from cozy cat mysteries, to murders, mayhem, and thrillers!


Rich in character development, crossing all sub-genres, and having every type of couple- Romances feature stories of love- for  a partner, a family, and sometime's oneself. Enjoy these romances, which are some of our favorites. Some people classify romances by their adult content- from clean  to spicy! Each of these promises the experience of falling in love- with a new writer. 

Contemporary Fiction

Scottish Historical Romances

Western Romances


Wanting an out of this world read? Love aliens, futuristic storylines, monsters, mad science, space, and even some realistic science? You can find all of them here in our science fiction section. Science Fiction is broad and has many sub-genres, including alternative history, space operas, post-apocalypse, and monster fiction. Enjoy some of our favorite reads!


Looking to read something outside of your comfort zone? Check out one of our many urban fiction titles!



Young adult (YA) books are not only for teens!  Here are some of our past book club favorites!


Would you prefer a more real life read? Check out our non-fiction settings for biographies and memoirs, sociology and psychology, history and true crime reads for events, people, and place that have all existed!

Life Recommends

Love our LIFE Program? Want to learn more about one of our topics? Check out our recommended reads!