Reading Lists

Looking for lists of books we recommend? Check out these suggestions in our catalog:

Other Lists

Vote for Reading: Books for the 2016 Election Cycle

The Republican and Democratic parties have held their quadrennial proms and crowned a king and queen. Between now and the November election, polish your own political rhetoric with any of these books about presidents, first ladies, elections, voters, scandals, and treason.

A Winter's Tale Spin - Suggested Readings

"My library was dukedom large enough." — William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Perhaps no author is more quoted (and sometimes misquoted) than William Shakespeare. This year, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard, the 2016 Adult Winter Reading Program features books and plays that remind us that Shakespeare is still inspiring novelists, playwrights, and poets.

Our 2015 Favorites: Juvenile Fiction & Picture Books

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2015.

All of these titles are available for checkout from the Kansas City Public Library collection, so why not start off 2016 with an awesome new read from this list?

Our 2015 Favorites: Young Adult

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2015.

All of these titles are available for checkout from the Kansas City Public Library collection, so why not start off 2016 with an awesome new read from this list?

Our 2015 Favorites: Fiction & Nonfiction

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2015.

All of these titles are available for checkout from the Kansas City Public Library collection, so why not start off 2016 with an awesome new read from this list?

Love on the Rocks: 2015 Adult Winter Reading

"For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack." — D.H. Lawrence

Broken hearts. Bad romance. Star-crossed lovers. Rancid relationships.

The 2015 Adult Winter Reading Program features books that remind us that not every fairy tale ends happily ever after.

Many of the stories in this year’s book selections not only tug at heartstrings, they bend and break them.

Community Bookshelf

The Community Bookshelf is a striking feature of Kansas City's downtown. It runs along the south wall of the Central Library's parking garage on 10th Street between Wyandotte Street and Baltimore Avenue. The book spines, which measure approximately 25 feet by 9 feet, are made of signboard mylar. The shelf showcases 22 spines which list 42 titles, reflecting a wide variety of reading interests as suggested by Kansas City readers and then selected by The Kansas City Public Library Board of Trustees. Their final selection was made on March 16, 2004. The bookshelf was completed between March and the fall of 2004.

New Lives in New Worlds: The Global Immigrant Experience

October & November 2012 and January & February 2013

New Lives in New Worlds: The Global Immigrant Experience is a special book group event focused on the immigrant experience outside of the United States. Interested readers will discuss four diverse novels.

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War

March - May 2012

Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War is a scholar-led discussion series that commemorates the sesquicentennial of this conflict with a series of community conversations, informed by great works of fiction and non-fiction as well as words written by civilians and combatants during the Civil War.

A Taste of Victorian Literature

A Taste of Victorian Literature is a unique book group experience focused on four enduring authors of the Victorian era from February – May 2011 at the Plaza Branch.

Building Bridges: A Selection of Classic Black Literature

"Education, after all, is a matter of building bridges."
– Ralph Ellison

Building Bridges: A Selection of Classic Black Literature is a unique book group experience offering readers the opportunity for immersion in great books by black authors over the course of four monthly discussions from February - May 2011 at the L.H. Bluford Branch.

The Great War | Great Read

August - October 2014

The Kansas City Public Library and the National World War I Museum present Great War | Great Read — a commemoration of the centennial of World War I, including a community-wide reading and discussion of two classic books.

Stop Me if You've Read This One: Suggested Readings

The following is a brief guide to the many exemplary books (and authors) that are official Stop Me if You’ve Read This One selections. All official selections are available for checkout from the Library. Paperbacks, eBook, and audio formats may also be available.

The 2014 Adult Winter Reading Program also offers many Book Discussion Groups and Read It/Watch It film screenings where readers may join in smart conversations about these suggested readings.