Community Interest

What Should I Read Next?

By Tiffani Stewart
St. Charles City-County Library

With so many of us spending so much time at home, we’re all looking for inexpensive and easy ways to entertain ourselves. What could be better than a book? But maybe you’ve already read all of your favorite authors, all of the classics on your bookshelf, and all of the books your friends have suggested. What’s next? 

Even though library buildings have just reopened, our staff have been helping readers find new titles all spring! Every month on the Library’s social media accounts, we have offered live personalized reading recommendations. If you missed them, here are some of the requests and the types of books that staff have been suggesting.

“I’m searching for a TRUE CRIME book, preferably not too gruesome.”

  • Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is an account of the investigation into the murders of twenty-four Osage Indians during the oil boom of 1920s Oklahoma.
  • Catch Me If You Can, written by daring con man Frank Abagnale, tells the story of his brief but notorious criminal career as a forger, imposter, and escape artist.
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote reconstructs the murder of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas and the subsequent arrest and execution of the killers.


“I want a good read with a HAPPY ENDING.”

  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abi Waxman shares the inner struggles of witty, quirky Nina as unexpected events turn her orderly life upside-down.
  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes is set during the Depression and follows the adventures of five extraordinary packhorse librarians in Kentucky.
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy takes the reader straight to Texas to meet self-proclaimed fat girl and beauty pageant interloper Willowdean.


“What do you suggest for someone who enjoys SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY?”

  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is an imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. (Another original fairy tale by Novik, Uprooted is a staff favorite.)
  • Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young is described as “part Wonder Woman, part Vikings”.
  • The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin is set in contemporary New York City, where six avatars come together to fight a common enemy.


“My kids love HARRY POTTER. What should they read next?”

  • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Choshi introduces Aru, a twelve-year-old who accidentally freezes time and releases a demon on the world.
  • The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell, author of How To Train Your Dragon, introduces Wizards and Warriors, in conflict until they meet on the trail of a deadly witch.
  • The Iron Trial is the test that allows kids to be admitted to the Magisterium. Why doesn’t Callum Hunt want to pass? Authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black know the answers and they explain in heart-stopping detail.

“My husband needs some new HISTORICAL reads. Fiction is ok.”

  • Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian is the “maiden voyage” of the acclaimed series set aboard a British naval ship.
  • The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss is a fascinating biography.
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett starts his classic epic tale with Philip, a twelfth-century monk who is determined to build the greatest Gothic cathedral in the world.

If this short list doesn’t include your preferred genre, or you want movie suggestions instead, you can ask staff in person at a Library location near you. Still taking precautions or short on time? Use our “Ask Us” chat feature to receive ideas from staff online. Tell us a little bit about your interests and get a list of personalized recommendations – usually within a few hours.

Whether you have a bored teenager, a “Do-It-Yourself” project to tackle, or the need for a little escape, the Library can help. Find your next favorite today!

All Library locations are now open for limited hours except the Kathryn Linnemann Branch. Curbside or drive-up services are still available. Room reservations and in-person classes & events have been cancelled temporarily, but virtual programming is happening now. Get the details at