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Connections in Action

Connections in Action

Books to help the community move from inspiration to action!

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Great Community Books for Adults

Books listed below are available from the Public Library. Some are available in multiple formats -- in print, electronically, audiobook or digital audiobook, and some have related videos or other media content.

Adult books gallery

Visiting Tom

Tuesdays with Morrie meets Bill Bryson in Visiting Tom, another witty, poignant, and stylish paean to living in New Auburn, Wisconsin, from Michael Perry. The author of Population: 485, Coop, and Truck: A Love Story, Perry takes us along on his uplifting visits with his octogenarian neighbor one valley over--and celebrates the wisdom, heart, and sass of a vanishing generation that embodies the indomitable spirit of small-town America.

The Bridge Ladies

A fifty-year-old Bridge game provides an unexpected way to cross the generational divide between a daughter and her mother. Betsy Lerner takes us on a powerfully personal literary journey, where we learn a little about Bridge and a lot about life. After a lifetime defining herself in contrast to her mother's "don't ask, don't tell" generation, Lerner finds herself back in her childhood home, not five miles from the mother she spent decades avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed by their loyalty, she saw something her generation lacked. Facebook was great, but it wouldn't deliver a pot roast. Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular at her mother's Monday Bridge club. Through her friendships with the ladies, she is finally able to face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy, the Bridge table becoming the common ground she and Roz never had.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Staff pick by: Rachel, South Valley Library
Thirty-year-old narrator Eleanor Oliphant’s life in Glasgow is one of structure and safety, but it doesn’t offer many opportunities for human connection. At her job of 10 years as a finance clerk, she endures snickers and sidelong glances from her coworkers because she is socially awkward and generally aloof, and her weekends are spent with copious amounts of vodka. Office IT guy Raymond Gibbons becomes a fixture in her life after they help an elderly man, Sammy Thom, when he collapses in the street. Raymond and Sammy slowly bring Eleanor out of her shell, requiring her to confront some terrible secrets from her past. Her burgeoning friendship with Raymond is realistically drawn, and, refreshingly, it doesn’t lead to romance, though the lonely Eleanor yearns for love. Debut author Honeyman expertly captures a woman whose inner pain is excruciating and whose face and heart are scarred, but who still holds the capacity to love and be loved. Eleanor’s story will move readers. -- Publishers Weekly

The Vanishing Neighbor

In The Vanishing Neighbor, Marc J. Dunkelman identifies an epochal shift in the structure of American life--a shift unnoticed by many. Routines that once put doctors and lawyers in touch with grocers and plumbers--interactions that encouraged debate and cultivated compromise--have changed dramatically since the postwar era. Both technology and the new routines of everyday life connect tight-knit circles and expand the breadth of our social landscapes, but they've sapped the commonplace, incidental interactions that for centuries have built local communities and fostered healthy debate. It's time we moved beyond the debate over whether the changes being made to American life are good or bad and focus instead on understanding the tradeoffs. Our cities are less racially segregated than in decades past, but we've become less cognizant of what's happening in the lives of people from different economic backgrounds, education levels, or age groups. To win the future we need to adapt yesterday's institutions to the realities of the twenty-first-century American community.

A Man Called Ove

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Ove is a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library

From journalist and author Sue Halpern comes a wry, observant look at contemporary life and its refugees. People are drawn to libraries for all kinds of reasons. For head librarian Kit, the public library in Riverton, New Hampshire, offers what she craves most: peace. Here, no one expects Kit to talk about the calamitous events that catapulted her out of what she thought was a settled, suburban life. She can simply submerge herself in her beloved books and try to forget her problems. But that changes when fifteen-year-old, home-schooled Sunny gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary. The judge throws the book at Sunny and she ends up performing community service at the library. Bright, curious, and eager to connect with someone other than her off-the-grid hippie parents, Sunny coaxes Kit out of her self-imposed isolation. Kit and Sunny discover how they might knit their stories together again, and finally reclaim them proudly.

The One-in-a-Million Boy

The incandescent story of a 104-year-old woman and the sweet, strange young boy assigned to help her around the house -- a friendship that touches each member of the boy's unmoored family For years, guitarist Quinn Porter has been on the road, chasing gig after gig, largely absent to his twice-ex-wife Belle and their odd, Guinness records-obsessed son. When the boy dies suddenly, Quinn seeks forgiveness for his paternal shortcomings by completing the requirements for his son's unfinished Boy Scout badge.   For seven Saturdays, Quinn does yard work for Ona Vitkus, the wily 104-year-old Lithuanian immigrant the boy had visited weekly. Quinn soon discovers that the boy had talked Ona into gunning for the world record for Oldest Licensed Driver -- and that's the least of her secrets. Despite himself, Quinn picks up where the boy left off, forging a friendship with Ona that allows him to know the son he never understood, a boy who was always listening, always learning.   The One-in-a-Million Boy is a richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

Eleanor Oliphant Está Perfectamente

Cuenta el cambio de una mujer, Eleanor, que tiene sistemas regulares y hábitos diarios que le permite andar en un mundo a veces contrario. Ella encontró un cambio que abre su corazón por la apertura de un amigo, Raymond y el anciano que rescataron un día.

Books for young adults

Books for young adults

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