Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind. While the entire list is too long to duplicate here, I'll highlight a few of my favorite titles from each category. Click on each category title for the complete list.

Arts and Humanities:

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8 Lee

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

History and Cultures:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Alif the Unseen by Willow G. Wilson

Literature and Language Arts:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Science and Technology:

How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming by Mike Brown

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

Spillover by David Quammen

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Social Sciences:

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Of course, the library is rich in all kinds of opportunities for lifelong learning. Some folks bring in lists of classics or prize winners to check off as they read them all. You could check out our online book lists or request a Personalized Reading List. Our test books and Learning Express Library database will help prepare you for various tests, including those for college and careers. Our Community Technology Center has a wide variety of technology classes. From a database that will help you learn a new language to the wide variety of classes on our events calendar, there's always something new at the library for those who don't want to stop learning.


Written by Becker on February 12, 2014

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