The 40 Must-Read Books for Baby Boomers

An earnest attempt at an essential library.

books for baby boomers

The assignment was daunting: could I curate a list of 40 books for Baby Boomers? The problem was not coming up with 40 books that I thought might speak to the generation born between 1946 and 1964—the dilemma was cutting a list down to 40. In the weeks I’ve been working on this list, I’ve added and subtracted over 90 books.

See the list at

Best Sellers Update: October

Autumn is here. Cooler temperatures and rainy afternoons are soon to follow, but don’t fret! It’s just the beginning of reading season!

Here’s some ideas for what to read from the best sellers list.

New York Times: Combined Print & E-Book Best Sellers

  1. THE WATER DANCER by Ta-Nehisi Coates (NEW)

43982054Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

  2. THE INSTITUTE by Stephen
  3. THE DUTCH HOUSE by Ann Patchett (NEW)
  5. THE TESTAMENTS by Margaret Atwood
  6. IMMORTAL BORN by Lynsay Sands (NEW)
  7. ARCHANGEL’S WAR by Nalini Singh (NEW)
  8. THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt
  9. THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood
  10. THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah
  11. THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ by Heather Morris
  12. SINS OF THE FATHERS by J.A. Jance (NEW)
  13. THE GIRL WHO LIVED TWICE by David Lagercrantz
  14. IT by Stephen King

Books to Film: October Edition

In the Tall Grass by Stephen King & Joe Hill

In The Tall Grass cover.jpgIn The Tall Grass movie posterMovie: In the Tall Grass
When it comes out: October 4
What the book is about: In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they’ve lost one another. The boy’s cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen King and Joe Hill can deliver.


The Addams Family by Charles Addams

The Addams Family : An EvilutionThe Addams Family (2019 film).pngMovie: The Addams Family
When it comes out: October 11
What the book is about: The Addams Family: An Evilution is the first book to trace The Addams Family history, presenting more than 200 cartoons created by Charles Addams (American, 1912-1988) throughout his prolific career; many have never been published before. Text by H. Kevin Miserocchi, director of the Tee and Charles Addams Foundation, offers a revealing chronology of each character’s evolution, while Addams’s own incisive character descriptions, originally penned for the benefit of the television show producers, introduce each chapter.


The “Henriad” (Richard IIHenry IV; Part 1, Henry IV; Part 2, and Henry V ) by William Shakespeare

Henry VThe King poster.jpegMovie: The King
When it comes out: October 11
What the book is about: Shakespeare’s epic, in which Prince Harry, who later becomes Henry V, is the epic hero.



Caging Skies by Christine Leunens

Caging SkiesJojo Rabbit (2019) poster.jpgMovie: Jojo Rabbit
When it comes out: October 18
What the book is about: An avid member of the Hitler Youth in 1940s Vienna, Johannes Betzler discovers his parents are hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa behind a false wall in their home. His initial horror turns to interest—then love and obsession. After his parents disappear, Johannes is the only one aware of Elsa’s existence in the house and the only one responsible for her survival.


Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite by Jake Bernstein

34004892The Laundromat poster.jpegMovie: The Laundromat
When it comes out:
October 18
What the book is about:
A hidden circulatory system flows beneath the surface of global finance, carrying trillions of dollars from drug trafficking, tax evasion, bribery, and other illegal enterprises. This network masks the identities of the individuals who benefit from these activities, aided by bankers, lawyers, and auditors who get paid to look the other way.


The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud

24791985Wounds (film) Theatrical release poster.jpgMovie: Wounds
When it comes out:
October 18
What the book is about:
When Will discovers a cell phone after a violent brawl his life descends into a nightmare. Affable, charismatic and a little shallow, he’s been skating across the surface of life in a state of carefully maintained contentment. He decides to keep the cell phone just until the owner returns and everything changes. Then the messages begin. Will’s discovered something unspeakable and it’s crawling slowly into the light.

Genre Friday – Bumbling Detective Mysteries

They can’t all be Sherlock Holmes.

Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Photo: Shout! Factory & MGM)

Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, The Pink Panther (Photo: MGM)

Looking for a little slapstick with your sleuthing? Enjoy mysteries where the gumshoe is as clueless (if not more so) as the reader? Do you love when everything works out despite the bizarre twists and turns that life throws at your favorite hapless protagonist?

Bumbling Detective Mysteries might be your thing then.

Incompetent, oblivious or just inexperienced, the would-be crime solvers in this mystery sub-genre are normally in way over their heads, whether they know it or not. Many of the most famous examples come from film or TV, ranging from Inspector Clouseau (above) to Inspector Gadget (whose drop brim trilby and trench coat were not a coincidence), but there are plenty of examples in print as well.

With a frequently light and almost always humorous feel, many of these stories could be said to overlap with the Cozy Mystery sub-genre, but they don’t have to as a rule. All that is required is a sleuth that muddles through the danger and confusion and somehow arrives at the end with a solution without ever really knowing how they arrived there, even if they pretend to have had it all under control from the beginning.

Here is a quick list of books for those looking for a bit more Clouseau than Holmes in their next read.

1504625 4135863. sy475 40605285. sy475 Dangerous Davies
6853 905755 365 7569378

You liked __________, you’ll love __________!

Did you like Lilac Girls, an incredible story of love, redemption, and terrible secrets that were hidden since WWII?

If so, we’ve got some recommendations for you to try.

Lilac Girls Shelf End Ditto NU


Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort sit together on a sofa in the movie “The Goldfinch.”

Photo: Nicole Kidman and Ansel Elgort in The Goldfinch (Warner Bros.). 

If you’ve been asleep for the past few months, which I completely understand, you may have missed that the Donna Tartt Cinematic Universe is kicking off with The Goldfinch.  The film opened September 13 in the U.S. If you’re not busy rereading the Dickensian modern masterpiece, check out these other books like The Goldfinch.

Click to see the list on Book Riot. 


“You’re a librarian? You must love to read!”

“You’re a librarian? You must know a lot about books!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard declarations like these when people find out I’m a public librarian…

With this widespread librarians-love-to-read assumption, I was surprised by how few library patrons asked me or my co-workers for recommendations when I first started working in a public library. Upon reflection, however, I realize that asking a librarian for a book recommendation might be uncomfortable or intimidating. I’m a stranger, I’m behind a big imposing desk…why would anyone want to talk to me about what they should read next?

If you’re going to take the plunge and ask a librarian for title suggestions, click here for some tips to get the best out of the interaction from Book Riot.


Or you could try out Moline Public Library’s very own personalized book recommendation service, Library Concierge!