Student Volunteer Amrutha Obbineni

This post is part of our Guest Picks series, featuring members of our library community sharing their favorite books and movies.

As my parents can most definitely testify, one of my greatest passions is reading. My mom fondly tells everyone, that the reason for my glasses is not video games or excessive TV watching as it may be for other kids, but rather excessive reading. Little six-year-old me who wasn’t willing to put down a book, sneakily reading in the middle of the night with a flashlight is, according to my mom, the culprit behind my less than amazing vision. Let’s face it: she’s probably right (although, when is she not?). Fast forward 10 years, and, as a now 16-year-old, that same anticipation for a good book still exists, and, if anything has been amplified over time. In order to keep up with my admittedly vociferous appetite for books, I can often be found at the library scanning the thousands of books - and trying very hard to not take home every single one.

For the past few years, I’ve been a proud volunteer at Howell Branch. Whether it be my regular hours every week, the MakerLab, or the multitude of special events the library hosts, each and every time I volunteer, I leave smiling. Even as a rather busy high schooler who’s involved in numerous clubs, band, etc., I wouldn’t give up Wednesdays at the library for anything. It is often one of my favorite parts of the week - walking into the library and spending time surrounded by amazing people and doing my part to make the library a better place is truly a wonderful experience. When I’m not at the library or reading, I can be found either doing something school-related, spending time with my family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, or binge-watching Netflix.

Narrowing down the hundreds of books I’ve read and enjoyed to just twelve was a challenge in and of itself. I hope you enjoy them!

"The book behind Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit, Hamilton, is an even more insightful look into the life of one of the Founding Fathers." Also available as an eBook and on audio.

"As a self-confessed lover of historical fiction novels, this one (set during World War II), pulled me in from the very first chapter." Also available as a book club kit, on audio, and as an eBook.

"Seeing as it’s THE book about angst-ridden teenagers, it makes sense that it resonates with so many teenagers around the world. It’s just great, cringe-worthy fun." Also available as a book club kit.

"From the same author of The Three Musketeers, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (as it was originally known in French), is an amazing blend of mind-blowing plot, as well as amazing writing." Also available as an eBook and on audio.

"This psychological thriller is similar to another favorite mine, Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. The completely unanticipated twists and turns made this book almost impossible to put down." Also available as an eBook, on audio, as a book club kit, and in large print.

"The magic of this series never fades, no matter how times I reread it, and I’m always finding new details within, be it the second or tenth read. I’m the first to admit that I’m a true Potterhead, and forgetting a piece of Harry Potter trivia is considered a failure in my book." Also available on audio.

"This was such an emotional, raw, unfiltered, and inspiring read. Malala’s journey truly shows how one person can make a world of difference." Also available as an eBook and on audio.

"Having read it for the first time in sixth grade, this book is one that has stuck with me for years. The struggles of people in the developing nations of Africa go from being an idea to being something in this beautiful book."Also available as an eBook, on audio CD, and as a book club kit.

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