Reading Recommendations

Don’t know what to read next? Personalized Picks is a service designed to connect you with suggested books (ebooks, audiobooks, and print), television shows, and movies based on your preferences. Just fill out a quick form and we will send you a customized list by mail, email, or you can pick it up in person at your local library.

Book lists

Librarians create curated lists on a theme and put them in our newsletter – you can click through to put items on hold directly in our catalog. You can get these sent directly to your email by subscribing to our email newsletter.

TitleDescriptionLast updated
420 DayBooks and DVDs about cannabis, for the day people celebrate and promote legalization of marijuana.April 2022
AAPI Heritage MonthEnjoy these fiction titles written by Asian American and Pacific Islander authors.April 2022
Amateur SleuthsAmateur sleuths a.k.a. a librarian, coffee shop owner, or retiree who, with humor and their love of mysteries, solve crimes in their hometown.May 2023
Arab American Heritage MonthEvery April, we celebrate the culture and contributions of Arab Americans.March 2022
Best of BarbequeA list covering everything you need to know about barbecue!April 2021
Beyond WakandaA Celebration of Black ComicsFebruary 2022
BirdwatchingIdentify the birds, and keep track of the ones you’ve seen! Take a walk outside, or just observe the birds in your yard.January 2022
Black Poetry DayWe celebrate Black poets, past and present. Black Poetry Day was established in honor of Jupiter Hammon, the first published Black poet in the nation, who was born October 17th, 1711.September 2021
Books About BooksA book list created for National Book Lovers Day. Includes both fiction and nonfiction. August 2021
Books about CBDCBD has attracted interest from researchers since the early 2000s due to its potential pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant properties. Learn more about CBD and how to use it in this list!July 2021
Books in TranslationA collection of books in translation spanning multiple genres, languages, and formats August 2023
Books with Less than 100 PagesFor a quick read, try a book with less than 100 pages! Created for the #MassBookReadingChallenge.January 2023
Bounce Back Better for TeensFrom the teen juvenile system, to 2023 being an undocumented immigrant when everyone in microchipped, to a dad on Death Row. Follow these teens as they overcome overwhelming adversity to discover who they really are. These books are both uplifting and devastating, they leave the reader feeling that there is hope in the darkness.April 2021
Children’s Novels Celebrating Hispanic Heritage MonthCelebrate Hispanic culture and heritage with these children’s novelsJuly 2021
Chili MonthAll things chili – cozy chili-themed mysteries, a history of chili peppers, and even a few cookbooks!January 2022
Cocktails and MocktailsMaking spirits bright!December 2023
Confronting White SupremacyWhite supremacy is a racist and ethnocentric belief that White people of certain European backgrounds are superior to all other races and ethnic groups, particularly Black people and Jews. White supremacy is not just a belief, however: it is also a system of legal, governmental, and social dominance by which White people enjoy unearned privileges and power. Many White people in the United States do not consciously recognize the perks they receive from having white skin; those who deliberately choose to believe in their own superiority are known as White supremacists. To learn more about White supremacy, check out these books.April 2021
Delicious Teen ReadsTeen fiction featuring foodAugust 2021
Disaster PreparednessHere’s a list of books to help you prepare for all kinds of disasters – being ready is so important for those events we can’t control.April 2023
Don’t Panic! Humorous Science Fiction for Towel Day“A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”April 2022
Get Business SavvyPractical and inspirational titles for entrepreneurs, including classics and hot new releases!April 2022
Get Organized!Use the library’s free resources to up your organizational game.October 2021
Get Wild in Your GardenA good way to care for the environment is to grow native plants that support local wildlife – especially pollinators like bees, birds, bats, and butterflies. Check out one of these books to help you get started!April 2022
Gratitude MonthNovember is gratitude – learn about this wellness practice and improve your life.October 2021
Grief and LossPeople can feel grief over the loss of a person, a pet, a way of life, or a part of their identity. Learn more about grief and how to cope with it from these books.July 2021
HerbalismHerbalism is the art or practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to maintain health and to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease. Check out these books to learn more about herbalist history and practice! April 2021
Hoppy Beer DayApril 7 is National Beer Day! It marks the day of the Cullen–Harrison Act, which allowed the sale of 4% ABV beer and led to the end of Prohibition. Celebrate responsibly with a pint and/or a book.March 2022
Horror Reads for TeensCreepy books that’ll get your heart pumping!August 2021
Ice Cream – So Good You’ll Scream!Learn all about how to make and appreciate this glorious summer treat!June 2022
Instant Pots and Air FryersDon’t want to heat up the kitchen with the oven this summer? Check out all these amazing recipe books to make dinner for everyone using these popular appliances!June 2022
Interesting Non-FictionLooking for a book about an interesting topic? Browse this list!May 2023
Life is Tough, But So Are YOUBooks about tough subjects, and teens who persist.July 2022
Local PoetsCheck out these volumes by poets from the Springfield area!April 2021
MTV 40th AnniversaryOn Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 a.m. ET, MTV was officially launched with the words “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” July 2021
Mass Book Award HonoreesThe Mass Book Award recognizes significant books written, illustrated, and/or translated by current Massachusetts residents.March 2023
Money Smart WeekMoney Smart Week is a national public education program coordinated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This year it’s all online – register for free webinars at And grab some of these personal finance basics books from your library!April 2021
Mushrooms are MagicalSeptember is National Mushroom Month! Did you know? Mushrooms are so unique they’re their own kingdom! They’re not classified as a fruit or vegetable, but as fungi, which are so distinct in nature they are classified separate from plants or animals.August 2021
National POW/MIA Recognition DayOn September 17, America honors those who were either taken prisoner or went missing during wartime.
September 2021
Native American Heritage MonthNonfiction about American Indians, by American Indians
November 2021
Nuclear DangersThe world has been living under the threat of nuclear annihilation since August of 1945, when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, even the peacetime uses of radioactive elements can pose serious risks to humans, animals, and plants. Read more about the destructiveness of nuclear weapons and the dangers of nuclear power in these books.July 2021
Octavia Butler and Her SuccessorsOctavia Butler (1947-2006) was a visionary speculative fiction author whose work is still relevant today. A multiple recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, she has influenced many current authors.June 2021
PTSD AwarenessPost Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (a related disorder) affect millions of people. Here are some resources to learn about this disorder, read stories from those who have lived with it, and how to seek help for yourself or a loved one.May 2021
Pickle DayPickle, ferment, and enjoy with these how-to books!October 2021
Plant-Based Nutrition and CookingCheck out this list for learning all about plant-based cooking and health!April 2023
Pluto Was Demoted?!?15 years ago, Pluto was summarily demoted from planet to dwarf planet, with a great deal of controversy. Learn more about Pluto with these videos and books!August 2021
Poetry CollectionsApril is National Poetry Month.April 2023
Queer Joy for TeensJoyful books for teens that celebrate the lives of queer youths. Happy endings guaranteed! May 2021
Set in MassachusettsA list of both non-fiction and fiction books set in Massachusetts. Created for the #MassBookReadingChallenge.February 2023
Set in Springfield, MassA list of both non-fiction and fiction books set in Springfield, Mass. Created for the #MassBookReadingChallenge.February 2023
Small Topic, Big HistoryRead a microhistory, where authors take a small or narrow topic (like lipstick, rain, or honey) and explore history through that lens. You’ll find super interesting stories and fun facts that you’ll remember for a long time.August 2023
Summer Reads for TeensA lot can happen over one summer.July 2021
Summer Reads: Graphic NovelsA list of graphic novels when you’re looking for something fresh to read over the summer.April 2021
Talking About RaceTalking about race and racism can be difficult. These books offer some guidance for thinking clearly and talking empathically and productively about race.February 2022
Teen Fiction by Puerto Rican AuthorsCelebrate Puerto Rican authors with these great reads! July 2021
Teen Novels Celebrating Hispanic Heritage MonthCelebrate Hispanic culture and heritage with these teen novels.July 2021
Teen Reads Featuring Fake DatingFake relationships, real romance.August 2021
The 50th Anniversary of the Attica Prison UprisingOn September 9, 1971, around 1,300 incarcerated men led an uprising at the overcrowded Attica Correctional Facility, demanding humane living conditions and taking 42 staff members hostage. On September 13th, heavily armed state police officers opened fire on the protestors, killing 10 hostages and 29 prisoners. Following the Attica uprising, the number of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons began to soar.August 2021
The Human BodyRead about the human body in all its glory and weirdness!April 2023
The Kennedys of MassachusettsWealthy, politically powerful, yet assailed by an outsize number of tragedies and human problems, the Kennedy family has long fascinated the world. Learn more about this influential Massachusetts clan by exploring these books.July 2021
Time Loop StoriesIf you like stories about second chances, you’ll really like these time loop tales!January 2022
Time ManagementFebruary is Time Management Month – maybe because it’s the shortest month of the year? 🙂January 2022
Transgender Day of Remembrance – Children’s BooksTransgender Day of Remembrance honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. This list of children’s novels celebrates transgender children and their stories.October 2021
Travel the World through a Book!Explore a new place through reading. This list includes fiction, non-fiction, and some other-worldly recommendations!June 2023
Wild Foraging and Plant MedicineIt’s almost spring – time to learn about gathering all of nature’s bounty for health and wellness!March 2023
Women Becoming VisibleWhen a group of people has been made invisible, their achievements, dreams, and needs tend to be undervalued or ignored. Since the dawn of time, women–especially women of color, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, and women who are old, disabled, or poor–have frequently been rendered invisible and have been denied equal access to financial, political, and social power. Now women are breaking through these barriers to be seen, heard, and accorded respect. Learn more about women becoming fully visible by reading these books.March 2021
World Bee DayBees are an integral part of our ecosystem, which greatly enhance our food security and nutrition. Without bees, many of our most cherished fruits may be impossible to get such as apples, carrots, tomatoes, coffee, and tomatoes. We can help by purchasing bee products, supporting their habitat in our own yards, and be conscious of bee-harming pesticides. Let’s Bee mindful!
May 2021
World Emoji DayJuly 17 it is the date depicted on the “calendar” emoji. Starting in 2014, that was chosen as a day to celebrate all emojis in all their glory. To celebrate, make sure to use emojis in your texts and emails that day! And to learn more about internet communication and typography, check out one of the books in this list.June 2022
World UFO DayWorld UFO Day is an awareness day for people to gather together and watch the skies for unidentified flying objects. July 2 commemorates the supposed UFO crash in the 1947 Roswell incident. Check out these items and learn more about UFOs! June 2021
World Vegetarian MonthAre you curious about becoming a vegetarian? What is a vegetarian or vegan anyway? Want to expand your cooking skills or become more familiar with different foods? Are you looking for healthy food choices? Check out these titles, and more, to help yourself and the planet!
Oct 2021

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Book Groups

413 Gourmet Club header

413 Gourmet Club

A cooking class meets book club series for those who love to cook at home. Cook together – hands-on and in-person! | East Forest Park | Adults

Header image for Afterthoughts Book Discussion

Afterthoughts Book Discussion Group – Online

A traditional book discussion group where everyone reads and discusses the same book. Join us! | Online | Adults

Any Book Club: read whatever you want. Header image.

Any Book Club (ABC)

Join our Any Book Club and share your recent reads. | East Forest Park | Adults

Books and brew

Books & Brew Book Club

Cure your mid-week blues with a lively book discussion. | Adults

Eager Readers Book Club

Eager Readers Book Club

The book group for reading enthusiasts reads mostly contemporary novels, although occasionally historical fiction, adventures, and some non-fiction. | Sixteen Acres | Adults

Queer Book Club, rainbows and sparkles

Queer Book Club

A monthly club for reading queer books of various genres | Adults

Raymond Jordan Senior Center Book Club. Header image.

Raymond Jordan Senior Center Book Club

Come join us for a fascinating book club at the Raymond Jordan Senior Center! | Adults

Romance Book Club header

Romance Book Club – Online

Get your Happily Ever After fix from the Romance Book Club! | Online | Adults

Silent Book Club

Silent Book Club

Wish you had more time to read? Looking for some book lovers to hang out with? Join us for Silent Book Club! | Central Library | Adults and Teens 16+

Header image for What's Cooking book club

What’s Cooking Cookbook Club – Online

Do you enjoy cooking, or would you like to improve your cooking skills? | Online | Adults

Book Recommendations from Our Instagram

We are so excited to announce that we will be partnering with the @masscenterforbook for the 2024 Reading Challenge! New year, new reading challenge!

There are a few differences this year:

-No sign-up form. Your January entry will sign you up!

-There will be a prize drawing each month! Two lucky readers who submit entries by the last day of the month will each win a book.

-Participants can now join the 2024 MA Reading Challenge Facebook group, where they can share their reading experiences and book recommendations with other readers.

-The 2024 Reading Challenge will operate on a NEW submission platform. Participants will be able to track their entries throughout the year by logging in. It will open for January submissions soon.

For more information, head to
And stay tuned to our social media posts for monthly recommendations!

#massbookreadingchallenge #readingchallenge #libraries #SCLrecs #springfieldma

December`s reading challenge is to read a book published in 2023! This month we would like some recommendations from you! What was the best book you read that was published this year?

We are wrapping up the 2023 @masscenterforbook Reading Challenge, but stay tuned for the 2024 Reading Challenge!

#SCLrecs #readingchallenge #massbookreadingchallenge #bookrecs #springfieldma

We see good books in your future! Get these and other librarian recommendations at your favorite library location! #SCLRecs ...