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East Lansing librarian shares some of her top books of the year

book covers of "The Secret of Snow," "Firekeeper's Daughter" and "The Comfort Book."
Several Michigan authors topped Amber Laude's list of her favorite books of the year.

Self-help and romantic comedy books were some of the most popular genres borrowed from the East Lansing Public Library this year.

The East Lansing Public Library is taking time this month to look back at what books and genres made a big splash in 2021.

Amber Laude is one of its librarians. She says one of her favorite books of the year comes from a Michigan author.

It’s a Young Adult thriller called Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley.

"If you do decide to read this book, which I highly recommend it, definitely blackout a weekend to do it because you won't be able to stop once you reach that twist," Laude said.

She also recommends Under The Whispering Door by TJ Clune, The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris, Raft of Stars by Andrew J. Raff, Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead and The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman, another Michigan author.

For younger readers, Laude says to check out a collection of short stories from Brian Selznick called Kaleidoscope, Ryan T. Higgin's Norman Didn't Do It! (Yes, He Did) or Change Sings by inaugural poet Amanda Gorman.

She says self-help and romantic comedy books were some of the most popular genres borrowed this year.

For those genres, Laude recommends One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston and The Comfort Book by Matt Haig, respectively.

She also says a surprising trend the library saw was that more people borrowed books they might have missed in years past.

"We've found that there were titles that were like four or five years old, that sort of found new life in 2021."

Laude has one final recommendation for music lovers: The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present by Paul McCartney. The two-volume work spans 154 songs written by the former Beatles musician.

Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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