Even though we are staying at home, sometimes all it takes is a good book to take us to another place, and there are so many books to choose from! To help you find a book that’s right for you, we’ve collected 14Y staff’s must-read book recommendations. Bon voyage!
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
David Stallings, Director of Arts + Culture
I’m currently reading Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. His ability to weave artistic expression, Japanese culture, and the human condition in this novel solidifies his place as one of the world’s great living novelists.
Time & Again by Jack Finney
Katie Walker, Director of Operations – Youth Programs
This is my favorite book! It is about turn of the century New York City, and includes some time travel, but in a really unique way that’s not futuristic. It’s a great book, even my son Caden (13 years old) is reading it now and really liking it!
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
Recommended by Meredith Fein Lichtenberg, Interim Family Programs Director
I just finished The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, and highly recommend it, though it’s scary and dystopian. I especially recommend listening in audiobook form so you can hear it read aloud in the Newark, New Jersey accent!
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Recommended by Jaci Fletcher, Director of Marketing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a truly magical novel that teleports you to another time, another world – one in which magic is real and love conquers all. It’s a thriller/mystery that is sure to take your mind off everything happening in the world.
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Recommended by Rachel Dick, Marketing Associate
Magic, political intrigue, royal gossip, and LGBTQ representation in the main love story! It’s absolutely stunning in both world building and character development. I must have read it about ten times by now.
Do Less by Kate Northrup
Recommended by Laurie Markiewicz, PreK Teacher
I started reading Do Less by Kate Northrup while break last summer. Although it states it’s for “busy moms,” Northrup believes it can be applied to anyone’s lives. Since being home, I have revisited the book and am happy to have it in my collection.
The Overstory by Richard Powers
Recommended by Ronit Muszkatblit, Senior Director of Arts + Culture + LABA
Beautifully-weaved personal stories that connect to a bigger story and reveal a whole hidden world of communication and interconnectedness in nature, between trees. Feeling the ancient knowledge and communication all around us as a constant, something that will continue for as long as we will respect it, gives hope and meaning. Usually and even more during this time.
The Animorphs Series by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant
Recommended by Rachel Dick, Marketing Associate
This is, admittedly, a series marketed at middle-grade readers. However, this is so emotional and complex and asks incredible philosophical questions on the nature of war and humanity. I’d definitely recommend for sci-fi lovers!
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Recommended by Ophir Tal, Israeli Shaliach (Emissary) of The Jewish Agency and UJA Federation of New York
My favorite book of all time is the haunting The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It serves as an important message on a society that loses its freedom and is degrading to women and marginalized communities. This book is a warning sign.
Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Biography of Robert Irwin by Lawrence Weschler
Recommended by Kryssy Wright, Production Manager
Robert Irwin, the artist tasked with taking an old Nabisco factory and turning it into the contemporary art museum Dia:Beacon, can best be described as a Perceptual Artist. He turned art on its head with a few pieces of tape, a story which is retold in this book. More than just a retelling of his life, Seeing is Forgetting is a book about how to be an artist.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Recommended by Catherine Kenny, After School Program Manager
It’s one of my favorite books of all time! It’s a graphic novel, so it’s a pretty quick read. It’s a memoir about the author’s struggle to come to terms with her sexuality and come to terms with her difficult relationship with her father after he has passed away. It was also turned into an incredible musical that won the Tony in 2015!
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jeminsin
Recommended by Alan Scher, Associate Executive Director, Program
Think our current moment is bleak? Please. That the characters in this sci-fi masterpiece find solace and joy in their post-apocalyptic neo-Pangea can be an inspiration to us all.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Recommended by Luis Lopez, Membership Analyst
Beyond being a classic, it is engrossing, poetic, scary, and serves as a timeless allegory about toeing the line between technological growth and a respect for nature and humanity. One of the first noted feminists, Shelley wrote it when she was only 18!
We hope you enjoy these books! Looking for other ways to pass the time? Check out the Virtual 14Y for member-exclusive live streaming fitness sessions, online classes for all ages, tips and support for busy parents, and so much more!