encourages everyone to discover the world of books. Here you'll find a variety of free reading resources to explore and enjoy.

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Stephen King and Falily

Stephen King and Family

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare at the 2011 National Book Festival

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore at the 2011 National Book Festival


National Bookfestival on the mall in Washington DC

The National Book Festival is the Library's annual celebration of books and reading. Authors from across the country entertain participants with insights into their work.

Other book festivals and literary events are held nationwide. There is probably one near you.  Find a festival near you

Focus on Fiction

Ralph ellison

The Library has significant collections of the works of Ralph Ellison, Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth — all of whom have won the National Book Award.
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Booklists presents a sampling of suggested books that will spark the imagination and transport readers to new and exciting places. Look for these books in your local library. This reading list was compiled based on the authors appearing at the 2009 National Book Festival.

Poetry & Prose

  • Eubanks, W. Ralph. “The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South”
  • Glass, Julia. “I See You Everywhere”
  • Hirsch, Edward. “How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry”
  • Nafisi,Azar - "Things I Have Been Silent About"
  • O'Brien, Tim. “The Things They Carried”
  • Ryan, Kay. “The Jam Jar Lifeboat”

Mysteries & Thrillers

  • Baldacci, David. “First Family”
  • Child, Lee. “Gone Tomorrow”
  • Clark, Mary Jane. “Dying for Mercy”

Fiction & Fantasy

  • Al Khemir, Sabiha. “The Blue Manuscript”
  • Alvarez, Julia. “Return to Sender”
  • Díaz, Junot. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao”

History & Biography

  • Balz, Dan, and Haynes Johnson. “The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election.”
  • Duncan, Dayton, and Ken Burns. “The National Parks: America's Best Idea.”
  • Gordon-Reed, Annette. “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family.”
  • Ifill, Gwen. “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama”