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Welcome to your reading community! On this page, you’ll find book recommendations and opportunities to join reading discussions. It’s more than just books we love … it’s the place for people who love books!

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Crime at the Library booklist

Crime at the Library

There’s a body in the stacks! But never fear, in these thrilling cozy mystery reads there’s always a librarian or an avid library user standing ready to play sleuth.

Cover Trends Portrait Art booklist

Cover Trends: Portrait Art

Faces are a smart design choice for biographies and character-driven novels. The covers of these books draw us in to read more about the intriguing characters behind the faces.

Cover Trends Fruits and Flowers booklist

Cover Trends: Fruits and Flowers

Floral book covers are a perennial trend. Our favorites this year incorporated still life, bouquets, and bold colors.

Cover Trends Sunset Colors booklist

Cover Trends: Sunset Colors

The colors that dominated book cover design in 2022 were bright bright bright: pink, orange, and all the sunset shades in between.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2022 Booklist

Goodreads Choice Awards 2022

Each year, Goodreads users cast their votes for best book of the year. In 2022 over 5 million votes were cast! Check out this year’s winners in various categories to see if your favorites made the list.

Whatcom Reads 2023: The Cold Millions Booklist

Whatcom Reads 2023: The Cold Millions

The 2023 Whatcom READS selection is The Cold Millions by Jess Walter Borrow the book, eBook or eAudiobook, then join us in early 2023 for community events including visits from author Jess Walter. Check out this list to further explore the people, places and themes in this extraordinary novel, as well as the rest of Jess Walter’s work.

WCLS Staff Favorites booklist

WCLS Staff Favorites 2022

What did WCLS staff enjoy reading in 2022? All kinds of interesting things, from fiction to nonfiction to children’s books and more! Take a look at this wide-ranging list to find a new favorite of your own.

Witty Romantic Comedies Booklist

Witty Romantic Comedies

Romance novels that feel like your favorite 90s rom coms.

For Nora Ephron Fans

For Nora Ephron Fans

Books from novelist/essayist/screenwriter Nora Ephron’s bibliography, plus other books inspired by her work.

Christy Awards Booklist

Christy Awards 2022

The 2022 winners of and finalists for the Christy Awards, “honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction.”

Personal Finance Booklist

Personal Finance

These personal finance titles were purchased with a grant awarded to Whatcom County Library System by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation after the disastrous flooding event experienced in Whatcom County in November 2021. In addition to building the library’s personal finance collection, these titles were selected with the hope that this information would help impacted patrons who are confronting important financial decisions in the flood’s aftermath. Most titles are available in multiple formats. Click on the title entry to see all formats available.

New History Fall 2022 Booklist

New History Fall 2022

Explore the past with this selection of recently published history titles for fall.

Nancy Pearl's 2022 book recommendations

Nancy Pearl Recommends: Whatcom Literacy Council Breakfast 2022

Super reader and librarian Nancy Pearl presented her annual must-read list once again for Whatcom Literacy Council’s 2022 breakfast. Check out this selection of what Nancy’s been reading lately and place your holds!

New Memoir Fall 2022

New Memoir Fall 2022

Fall is a great time to pick up the memoir of a fascinating person. Check out one of these new releases to learn more about someone’s life.

In Love with a Royal Booklist

In Love with a Royal

Fairy tales may just come true after all in these romances about royals falling in love.

National Book Awards 2022

National Book Awards 2022

The winners of the 2022 National Book Awards were announced on 11/16/22. Check out this list of honorees in fiction, nonfiction and translated literature.

Native American Heritage Month booklist

Must-Read Fiction by Native Authors

From thrillers to fantasy to literary fiction and more, these novels by Native American and First Nations authors explore a range of topics and provide plenty of page-turning reading.

True Crime award winners booklist

True Crime Award Winners

Every year the Edgar Awards recognize the best books published in the mystery genre. Most nominees are fiction, but nominees in the Fact Crime category are all works of nonfiction reportage.

Prizeworthy first novels booklist

Prizeworthy First Novels

These newly published novels are the first of their kind! Presented by The Center for Fiction, the First Novel Prize is an annual award that honors great fiction by first-time novelists.

Horror Novels for a spooky season booklist

Horror Novels for Spooky Season

Get into the spirit of Halloween with these fresh and frightening horror novels, just right for a spooky night.

foraging without dying booklist

Foraging Without Dying

These guidebooks will teach you how to forage for wild, edible plants and mushrooms safely.

Mysteries of the deep booklist

Mysteries of the Deep

It’s hard to know just what we *don’t* know about life in the depths of the ocean. Try one of these eye-opening titles to learn more about the creatures and other lifeforms of the sea.

Hiking In and Around Washington Booklist

Hiking In and Around Washington

Pick up one of these hiking guidebooks to help you plan your next outdoor adventure!

The prestigious Hugo Awards honor the best in scifi and fantasy publishing. This year's awards were presented at the 80th annual WorldCon in Chicago. Check out the winners!

Hugo Award Winners 2022

The prestigious Hugo Awards honor the best in scifi and fantasy publishing. This year’s awards were presented at the 80th annual WorldCon in Chicago. Check out the winners!

2022 Washington State Book Awards - Adult Finalists

2022 Washington State Book Awards – Adult Finalists

Selected by the Washington Center for the Book and The Seattle Public Library, the WSBAs honor books published by Washington authors in 2021. A winner in each category will be announced on Sept. 13.

New Cookbooks, Fall 2022 booklist

New Cookbooks Fall 2022

Fall is a great time to get cozy in the kitchen. Check out these new and forthcoming cookbooks for plenty of culinary inspiration.

Academic Magic booklist

Academic Magic

Encounter magical libraries, secret societies, and dangerous hallways in these fantasy novels that have an academic setting.

Campus Novels Booklist

Campus Novels

These novels give you an insider’s perspective of the privilege, drama, and academic rigor in private schools and grad programs.

Dark Academia Booklist

Dark Academia

These moody, intense novels set at elite schools will make you want to pull an all-nighter.

Disability Pride Month booklist

Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month is celebrated each year in July. Disability Pride has been observed since 1990, the year that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. This month provides an opportunity for disabled people to share their stories and come together as a community, and for others to learn more about the experience of living with a disability. Check out these fiction and nonfiction works to learn more.

Austen Retold Booklist

Austen Retold

Netflix’s new adaptation of Persuasion is just one in a host of retellings of Jane Austen’s classic stories. Try one of these novels to get a fresh look at an old favorite or an homage to the author’s body of work.

Murder by the Book booklist

Murder by the Book

All of these mysteries have a literary connection.

Romances for Booklovers booklist

Romances for Book Lovers

All the couples in these contemporary romances share a love for literature

Books are Magic booklist

Books are Magic

You’ll discover otherworldly libraries and books with magic powers in these book-themed fantasy and sci fi novels.

It's Grilling Season: Booklist

It’s Grilling Season!

Firing up the grill for a holiday get-together or a night with the family? These delicious books provide plenty of inspiration for mouth-watering menus.

Quintessential Summer Reads: Booklist

Quintessential Beach Reads

What makes a great beach read? According to Jennifer Weiner, the ideal beach read has a summery setting, a likeable lead, and a little bit of romance. We think these books fit the bill.

Summer Page Turners: Booklist

Summer Page Turners

From locked-room mysteries to crimes of fashion, these action-packed thrillers will keep you glued to the page all summer long.

Feel Good Fiction for Summer: Booklist

Feel-Good Fiction for Summer

Dip into one of these fast-paced, heartwarming novels for some light summer reading.

The Joy of Stargazing

The Joy of Stargazing

Summer affords plenty of opportunities to explore the wonders of the night sky. Whether you’re new to stargazing or have some experience, these resources will add to your enjoyment.

Summer Page Turners booklist

Summer Page Turners

From locked-room mysteries to crimes of fashion, these action-packed thrillers will keep you glued to the page all summer long.

Quintessential beach reads booklist

Quintessential Beach Reads

What makes a great beach read? According to Jennifer Weiner, the ideal beach read has a summery setting, a likeable lead, and a little bit of romance. We think these books fit the bill.

Feel-Good Fiction for Summer booklist

Feel-Good Fiction for Summer

Dip into one of these fast-paced, heartwarming novels for some light summer reading.

Racism and Antiracism booklist

Racism and Antiracism: Learn More Now

Reading is a place to start. To help build a deeper understanding of racism and its effects across the country and in our communities, we are increasing the number of anti-racism books in our collection.

Making Peace with Technology booklist

Making Peace with Technology

Love it or hate it, technology is a part of our lives that is here to stay. With these resources you can learn how technology influences your daily reality, and find strategies to better manage your relationship with your devices.

Book Recommendations from TikTok

Book Recommendations from TikTok

These books are popular among creators on TikTok. Search #booktok for more recommendations from avid readers!

For Fans of Everything Everywhere All At Once

For Fans of Everything Everywhere All At Once

The new movie Everything Everywhere All At Once is a multiverse story that’s full of pop culture references. Expand your film knowledge with these homage-worthy classics!

Everything: Books That Have a Lot Going On

Everything: Books That Have a Lot Going On

These books have a lot going on: intricate plots, Big Ideas, multiple timelines, and characters whose paths cross with each other in surprising ways.

Everywhere: Into the Multiverse

Everywhere: Into the Multiverse!

The fabric of space and time gets warped in these literary sci fi novels. Parallel universes, divergent timelines, and alternate realities all circle around the concept we call “the multiverse.”

All At Once: Love Across Space and Time

All At Once: Love Across Space and Time

These genre-bending novels blend romance tropes with elements of sci fi, fantasy, and historical fiction for love stories that transcend space and time.

Adrenaline-Charged Audiobooks

Adrenaline-Charged Audiobooks

Listen to one of these fast-paced thrillers during your next workout!

Booklist for Juneteenth holiday

Juneteenth: Resources for Adults

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19th. Learn more about slavery, emancipation, and Juneteenth with these Black History resources.

Booklist: Jewish and Kosher Cookbooks

Jewish and Kosher Cookbooks

Looking to spice up your next seder? These cookbooks explore the vast world of Jewish cooking, with both traditional and innovative recipes from around the world.

Booklist image: May the Fourth Be With You

May the Fourth Be With You

Star Wars Day is May 4! Mark the day with these books, games and music that celebrate events in a galaxy far, far away.

Booklist: Feel-Good Fantasy & SciFi

Feel-Good Fantasy & SciFi

If you like your fantasy and scifi novels a little more on the cozy side, these are the books for you. Curl up in one of these imaginative worlds and stay as long as you’d like.

Booklist: Build your financial literacy

Build Your Financial Literacy

Personal finance doesn’t have to be a mystery. These resources offer advice, guidance and support as you navigate decisions around money and investing.

Booklist: New Poetry Spring 2022

New Poetry Spring 2022

April is Poetry Month. These recent collections offer a myriad of opportunities to reflect and consider the power of words to inspire and move us.

STAFF REVIEWS

Book Buzz: You Are Not Broken

You Are Not Broken: Stop “Should-ing” All Over your Sex Life by KJ Casperson Nestled between articles on China’s approach to COVID-19, Ukraine’s cyber-defense program and needle exchanges in New York City, the Dec. 3, 2022, edition of The Economist included a piece titled, “The wounds of silence.” The author compared modern discomfort about talking … Read more

Book Buzz: Better Than We Found It

Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World by Frederick and Porsche Joseph Intended as an introduction to topics of the day for a teen audience, adult readers of “Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World” by Frederick and Porsche Joseph will appreciate this inspired examination of society’s … Read more

Book Buzz: The Gift of Books

Season’s Readings: The Gift of Books Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa … December is a time of celebration, and in many traditions, that celebration takes the form of gift-giving. As a book-lover, I most admire the Icelandic Jolabokaflod tradition — roughly translated as “Christmas book flood” — where books are given as gifts on Dec. … Read more

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GET RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR BOOK CLUB

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JOIN ONE OF OUR BOOK CLUBS

Birch Bay
Friends of the Birch Bay Library Book Club
Future home of the Birch Bay Vogt Library
3rd Wednesday of the month
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Blaine
Books and Bites
(in person with online option)
3rd Friday of the month
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Deming
Foothills Book Club
(in person with online option)
3rd Tuesday of the month
7:00 PM – 8:00 pm
Lynden
Tearing Through the Topics
4th Thursday of the month
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Award-Winning Book Club
2nd Saturday of the month
10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Point Roberts
Point Roberts Book & Movie Discussion Group
(in person with online option)
3rd Monday of the month
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Point Roberts Book Club
Last Wednesday of the month
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Online
Barely Adulting Book Club
(Online only)
2nd Wednesday of the month
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Ferndale Book Group
3rd Wednesday of the month
2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

What We’re Reading Book Club
1st & 3rd Thursdays of the month
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

View Book Clubs on our Calendar…

POWER OF SHARING BOOKLISTS

No Matter What Life brings
the library can help.

We’ve put together lists of books, magazines, digital resources and more to help with life’s big (or little) questions. You’ll find answers and inspiration within our broad collection of free materials – online and on our shelves. That’s the power of sharing.

See more Power of Sharing lists >

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COMMUNITY READS

Think Black by Clyde Ford
The Cold Millions by Jess Walter

The library system presents two great community reading programs: Whatcom READS and Read & Share.

Northwest Washington’s premier annual literary event, Whatcom READS celebrates reading, readers and strong communities through the shared experience of one book. The 2022-2023 selection is The Cold Millions by Jess Walter. Whatcom READS is hosted by all the public and academic libraries in Whatcom County and community partner Village Books. Learn more at whatcomreads.org.

Each fall, WCLS presents Read & Share, an annual countywide book club that features a non-fiction title by a regional author. The programs inspire conversation and connection among Whatcom County neighbors. The 2022 selection is Think Black by Clyde Ford.

PODCAST

WCLS in Whatcom County presents Library Stories

This twice-monthly show features book recommendations, conversations and interviews with library insiders, authors and community members. Tune in to laugh a little and learn a lot about library communities, staff, events, backrooms, happenings and, of course, books!

Episode notes and more…

SURPRISE SELECTION

We've got a book subscription service. Surprise Selection. 1. Fill out a short form about your reading interests. 2. We'll choose one book per quarter for you and sent it to your hold shelf. Click to sign up.