By Emma Kanagaki, Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.

I consider myself lucky that I’ve been an avid reader all my life. When I was younger, my grandma, a former school teacher, used to take me to the community library’s monthly book sale. It was a treasure trove of classics and cool finds all for less than a dollar. It was the beginning of my very own collection of books and I’ll forever be grateful to my grandma for introducing me to the world of literature.

Books have seen me through during difficult times and times of great joy. And now, I’m using my love of reading every single day as my job!  How cool is that? I cannot stress enough the importance that reading has played in my life. It is so important! Not only has reading helped me through my years of schooling but it’s played an integral role in my career path, it has inspired life decisions and it’s helped me find clarity in confusing times. I can relate specific books to people, places and times in my life.

I read the critically acclaimed book, A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, during my second semester of graduate school. It was my first year of living in Ohio and I remember how unequipped I was to handle the weather and all the snow.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart reminds me of last summer and lazy days with the patio door open and a cool breeze passing through the room while I sipped coffee. I devoured this book in one sitting because the characters are well written and the story is gripping until the very end.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple was the first book I read after I’d started working for OverDrive nearly a year ago. The novel is told from bits and pieces of emails, newsletters, documents and storytelling. It’s a compelling read with the right amount of eccentricity and heart.

I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins over the New Year holiday this year and was immediately persuaded to track down the rest of Stephanie Perkins’s books because of the charming love story, the realistic portrayal of teen issues and the gorgeous descriptions of Paris.

These are just a few suggestions of great reading choices in honor of Teen Read Week. Whatever the preference, there is a great book out there for every kind of reader.  For more choices of New Places at Home & Abroad (Realistic and Thriller), click here.


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