Reading is not only an excellent form of entertainment but a great exercise for the mind. It introduces new ideas, inspires creativity, and expands vocabulary. To help our residents (and anyone else who is reading this!) grow intellectually and challenge themselves, we are encouraging them to read one book a month this year. We’ve compiled a list of 12 literary works based on recommendations from The New York Times, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and the Kent District Library. Whether you are a lifelong reader or just getting started, this collection of historical fiction, personal memoirs, and thought-provoking essays will have something for you!
1.  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Between life and death, there is a library. When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change. The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?

2. Modern Warriors by Pete Hegseth
A collection of inspiring stories from fifteen of America’s greatest heroes—highly decorated Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, Marines, Purple Heart recipients, combat pilots, a Medal of Honor recipient, and more. In addition to the oral history, Modern Warriors presents dozens of personal, rarely shared photos from the battlefield and the home front. Together, these stories and images provide an unvarnished representation of battlefield leadership, military morale, and the strain of war. 
3. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect? 
4.  The Answer Is…A Reflection of Life by Alex Trebek
This book combines illuminating personal anecdotes with Trebek’s thoughts on a range of topics, including marriage, parenthood, education, success, spirituality, and philanthropy. Trebek also addresses the questions he gets asked most often by Jeopardy! fans, such as what prompted him to shave his signature mustache, his insights on legendary players like Ken Jennings, and his opinion of Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live impersonation.
5. The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre
If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. As the son of two KGB agents, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968, but from 1973 on, he was secretly working for MI6. Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985.
6. A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
In this novel, a lonely and sad old man hides behind a grumpy exterior, leading his neighbors to call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but it all changes when chatty young neighbors with young children move next door to him. At times funny and at other times breathtakingly heartbreaking, A Man Called Ove explores the power of intergenerational friendship and makes us want to love our neighbors a little bit better.
7. The Splendid & The Vile by Erik Larson
On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end.
8. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
In 1580’s England, during the Black Plague, a young Latin tutor falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a tender and unforgettable re-imagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, and whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive and impossible to put down.
9. The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
From the author who brought us The Pillars of the Earth, The Evening and the Morning is set at the tail end of the Dark Ages when England was being pinched by the Vikings and the Welsh. Filled with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate, it mines the growing pains of a budding legal system, one that wouldn’t only benefit the ruling class and corrupt clergymen. It’s also a star-crossed love story involving a humble boatbuilder and Norman noblewoman, two heroes whose journey provides the emotional center of an otherwise brutal, and yet beautiful, tale that will end where Pillars of the Earth begins.
10. World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
A mesmerizing work of essays, tender illustrations, and meditations on nature. Each chapter captures a moment centered around a different natural phenomenon and charts the reverberations of the lived experience it evokes, be it family, identity, or the notion of belonging. She urges us to start small to "start with what we loved as kids and see where that leads us."
11. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
A World War II page-turner featuring two sisters living in France when the Nazis invade. The sisters respond in very different ways to the occupation with one ultimately joining the Resistance and putting her life on the line for freedom. A popular book for all generations, The Nightingale is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction and cheers for the underdog.
12. The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements has seen enough of the world to know that it’s unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan, where men risk their lives for meager salaries—and have barely enough to put food on the table for their families. So, when Annie decides to stand up for the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle.
Stories Worth Sharing
Reading doesn’t always have to be a solitary activity! Make it social by starting a virtual book club or visit the resident connection board on the resident portals to share reactions, insights or recommendations on these books with one another. You can also get involved in Kent District Library’s Winter Reading Club. Click here to learn more: