All posts by GtownCommLib

Reader’s Advisory

Are you looking to read more, read “better”, or read something “different”? Do you ever feel clueless when you’re trying to find something to read? Does it seem like you keep seeing the same book, different title over and over? No surprises there, 80% of the US book market is published by just five companies! If a title does well, they will print many, many versions of it in the future. How many versions of stories about quirky, intrepid female spies evading the Gestapo while pining for an enigmatic co-worker “is he/isn’t he a covert enemy” love interest can they publish anyway?

This blog post is dedicated to introducing you to a variety of resources that can help you find something new and/or different to read.

Resources at the library

BookPage – This monthly magazine is available free at the library. It features articles on new books for all ages, book club suggestions, and usually has special features such as author interviews or in depth looks at different genres. January’s issue just arrived, and it’s a good one!

NoveList – If you’re a Wisconsin resident, you have free access to BadgerLink, Wisconsin’s Online Library, which provides licensed trustworthy resources from a variety of content providers. You can access BadgerLink from our website, or go directly to BadgerLink here: Scroll down to NoveList. If it’s your first time, there is a short video to help users learn how to make the most of what NoveList has to offer.

New York Times Bestseller List – The current NYT bestseller lists can be found at the library’s New Book display. Each side (fiction and nonfiction) has a stand with the current week’s bestsellers. Bestsellers tend to be popular, so you might not find the book on the shelf; however, the Information Desk staff will be happy to put a copy on hold for you.

Library Reads – This monthly list of books is created from suggestions by library staff across the nation. It’s not a bestseller list, but you’ll probably see some items on the list that will also be found on best seller lists. You’ll find the Library Reads list on top of the New Fiction book shelf.

Magazines and Newspapers – Many magazines available at the library regularly feature articles on books. Time and Atlantic are both known for their coverage, but don’t forget that other magazines have them too. For example, if you’re interested in the outdoors or nature, Outside magazine and Mother Earth News are possibilities. For an all in one source, try the Library Journal, which covers hundreds of titles every month. Newspapers that the library carries also regularly feature articles on books. The Wall Street Journal has articles on new releases, and the Journal Sentinel is a good source for articles on books by authors from Wisconsin.

Book Club Lists – The library’s website lists all the books ever read by all our book clubs. Go to, then search under the different groups to see what they’ve read.

Resources outside the library

Online book groups – Search for “online book clubs”. Even if you’re not interested in participating, these sites are a good source of ideas for books to read. A couple of the most popular groups are:

Additional online resources for book club suggestions, discussion questions upcoming books, book trends and more:

Need more tips? – Try googling “best books” or “reading suggestions” and then select the sites that look interesting to you. A recent search I did for “reading suggestions” came up with a wide variety of lists, including books recommended by TED Talk speakers. If you enjoy listening to TED Talks, you’re likely to find something of interest on this list. Some sites will require you to create an account, but if you don’t want to do that, you’ll still find plenty other sites to access.

And just like love, sometimes you find the right one when you’re not looking: the book I enjoyed most last year was Whale Hunt: The Narrative of a Voyage by Nelson Cole Haley, Harpooner in the Ship Charles W. Morgan 1849-1853. First published in 1948, this memoir was a fascinating look into a world long gone. I was looking over the shelves of the library’s ongoing book sale, and it caught my eye. Someone read it, donated it, and it found a new home on my own shelves.

Lynn R.
Adult Reference Librarian


Of all the months, December is probably the one with the most traditions. One you may not have heard of gets my vote for the best possible holiday tradition of all: in Iceland, people celebrate Christmas with a tradition called Jolabokaflod, which translates to “Christmas book flood” in English.

Jolabokaflod began in World War II, when almost everything was rationed. However, paper was not rationed.  Since there were no limits on books, that became the go-to gift. Giving each other books has become an essential part of the Christmas season for Icelanders. And, because gifts are traditionally opened on Christmas Eve night, people tend to spend that evening reading.

For over 70 years, every household in Iceland has gotten a book bulletin from the publishers of books in their country. This catalog helps people choose books for their friends and family.

If you’re looking for ideas for your own gift giving, I suggest you pick up a copy of this month’s edition of BookPage, available free at the library. While you’re here, ask the staff for their recommendations too! We are always happy to share our favorites with you.

Here’s a few we enjoyed this year:

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure: Buck, Rinker:  9781501106378: Books

Life on the Mississippi: An Epic American Adventure, by Rinker Buck. History.
Travelling the Mississippi in a wooden flatboat like those used in the 1800s, Rinker Buck encounters danger and adventure.

The High Sierra: A Love Story by Kim Stanley Robinson

The High Sierra: A Love Story, by Kim Stanley Robinson. History, Americana, Nature.
Best known for his science fiction, in this book Robinson shares his love of the Sierra Nevada mountains and tells the history of its exploration and those who lived there.

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library (A Lakeside Library Mystery Book 2) -  Kindle edition by Danvers, Holly. Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle  eBooks @

Long Overdue at the Lakeside Library, by Holly Danvers. Mystery.
Second in the Lakeside Library series by Wisconsin author Danvers (aka Holly Quinn), this book is perfect for those who prefer cozy mysteries.

The Runaway (A Peter Ash Novel): 9780525535508: Petrie, Nick: Books -

The Runaway
, by Nick Petrie. Thriller/Suspense.
The latest in local author Petrie’s Peter Ash series, this title is sure to please the suspense lover on your list.

Happy Reading!

Lynn R.
Adult Services Librarian

6 things we can guarantee at our Yule Ball (and 6 things we cannot)

If you’ve read or seen Harry Potter then yule know what a Yule Ball entails. We’re throwing our own Yule Ball on December 10th from 5:30pm-8:00pm. There will be snacks, games, music, and other magical festivities!

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Register here! All ages 8+ welcome!

Here’s a list of things we CAN and CANNOT guarantee at our Yule Ball.

  1. We CAN guarantee fancy outfits! Come dressed to the nines!
The Yule Ball | Harry potter gif, Hermione granger, Harry ...

We CANNOT guarantee that all of them will be fashion forward.

lijahsgirl_ — Ron Weasley Imagine - The Yule Ball

2. We can guarantee winter décor! Lights, snow, action!

Harry Potter Yule Ball GIFs | Tenor

We cannot guarantee that it will actually be snowing.

Wisconsin weather is weird.

3. We CAN guarantee live music!

Latest Yule Ball GIFs | Gfycat

The wizard rock lead Tonks and the Auror’s will be attending!

We CANNOT, however, guarantee crowd surfing.

(In fact, we’re gonna outright say that’s not happening.)

Harry Potter + dance

4. We can guarantee dancing!

Neville Longbottom GIF - Neville Longbottom GIFs
TEARS OF A PHOENIX → FRED WEASLEY - the yule ball - Wattpad

We CANNOT guarantee that it won’t be awkward.

Weasley And Mcgonagall Dance GIF - Harry Potter Ron Weasley ...

5. We can guarantee snacks!

Wicked. — Honeydukes // “There were shelves upon shelves of...

We cannot guarantee that they won’t be stolen by a kid in an invisibility cloak.

10 Worst Things Harry Potter Has Ever Done – Page 8

6. We can guarantee a good time!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Book vs. Movie – My Tiny Obsessions
A better time than these guys, anyway.

We CANNOT guarantee that Draco Malfoy will be in attendance, sorry.

Or you’re welcome, depending.

Dramione - The Yule Ball Exerpt | Harry Potter Roleplay Amino! Amino

If you’re a fan of winter, magic, and music, come celebrate the yuletide at our Yule Ball! Registration is open!

Ingoing Freshman: Here are some Non-Fiction Books you might actually love!

The 2022-23 school is year just around the corner, which means time to fit in that summer homework. Non-Fiction gets a bad wrap for being boring, but NF isn’t just encyclopedias and textbooks! There’s hilarious memoirs, fascinating graphic novels, and eye-opening historical accounts that wait for you in YA Non-Fiction.

If you’re having trouble finding a non-fiction book for your project, here are some books you won’t have to endure, but might actually enjoy:

Video games changed the game, as it were, when it comes to storytelling. In this book, Dustin Hansen discusses the history of how video games got us to where we are now!

In this account of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Brandy Colbert talks about how it came to pass, why it happened, and how it affected the community, country, and beyond.

Yep, there’s Non-fiction Graphic Novels! This memoir from writer of Nimona and creator of Netflix’s reboot of She-ra and the Pricesses of Power delves into the writer’s story of becoming a writer, and the highs and lows of being a creator.

Queer There and Everywhere tells the stories of 23 members of the LGBTQIA community that had a major impact on innovation and culture. It’s a collection of stories, which makes for a fun, quick, and interesting read!

This historical account of the Salem Witch Trials reveals the story of why the witch-hunt came to be, and the stories of the women who went through it.

This graphic novel shows the complexity of the culture of the Middle Ages, including the Plague, The Hundred Year War, and the Crusades, in this romp through the 5th – 15th centuries.

There’s more books to find and enjoy in the non fiction department! Check out our display at the very beginning of YA Non-Fiction for more suggestions on true stories you might actually enjoy.