Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

December 12, 2014 - 8:11am -- angela

The Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners lists are created every five years by a Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) committee of public and secondary school librarians in collaboration with academic librarians. YALSA suggests these books be used to "illuminate and explore the worlds and lives around us and those far away, where we have come from and where we may be going. Use these books to broaden your horizons and deepen your understandings, whether you are preparing for college or looking to expand your learning in other ways." Learn more.

Arts and Humanities:

Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies by Nell Beram and Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky

Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal

World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained by John Bowker

Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

Gods Like Us: On Movie Stardom and Modern Fame by Ty Burr

Art that Changed the World by Ian Chilvers, Iain Zaczek, Jude Welton, Caroline Bugler and Lorrie Mack

Philosophy: A Discovery in Comics by Margreet de Heer

The Oxford Project by Peter Feldstein and Stephen Bloom

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Rookie Yearbook One by Tavi Gevinson

Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Ready for a Brand New Beat: How "Dancing in the Street" Became the Anthem for a Changing America by Mark Kurlansky

Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8 Lee

The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan Light

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football's Forgotten Town by Bryan Mealer

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Theater Geek: The Real-Life Drama of a Summer at Stagedoor Manor, the Famous Performing Arts Camp by Mickey Rapkin

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr


History & Cultures:

Gay America: Struggle for Equality by Linas Alsenas

Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson

The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II by Iris Chang

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan

A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and the Hope of Africa by Howard French

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kouno and Naoko Amemiya

Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

March: Book 1 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Treachery by Steve Sheinkin

Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle

Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers: Poems by Frank X. Walker

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic by Allan Wolf

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn


Literature & Language Arts:

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Spell It Out: The Curious, Enthralling, and Extraordinary History of English Spelling by David Crystal

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

100 Best African American Poems (*But I Cheated) edited by Nikki Giovanni

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

Good Poems edited by Garrison Keillor

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan

Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice by Catherine Lewis

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version by Philip Pullman

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Graton, and Brenna Yovanoff

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Nothing by Janne Teller

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang


Science & Technology:

The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His First Robotics Team and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts by Neal Bascomb

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

E=MC2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions, and the Battle for the Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death at a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

The Big Necessity: the Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George

Bad Science: Hacks, Quacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre

This Machine Kills Secrets: How Wikileakers, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information by Andy Greenberg

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Table of Periodic Elements by Sam Kean

Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein - Colossal Mistakes from Great Scientists that Changed Our Understanding of Life and the Universe by Mario Livio

The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't by Nate Silver

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

My Beloved Brontosaurus: On the Road with Old Bones, New Science, and Our Favorite Dinosaurs by Brian Switek

Lost Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science - From the Babylonians to the Maya by Dick Teresi

The Toaster Project: Or a Heroic Attempt to Build a Simple Electric Appliance from Scratch by Thomas Thwaites

Pluto Vol. 1-8 by Naoki Urasawa

The Ghost with Trembling Wings: Science, Wishful Thinking, and the Search for Lost Species by Scott Weidensaul

Biopunk: Solving Biotech's Biggest Problems in Kitchens and Garages by Marcus Wohlsen


Social Sciences:

Scoreboard Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity by Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry

Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy by Emily Bazelon

Notes from No Man's Land: American Essays by Eula Biss

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang

The Big House: Image and Reality of the American Prison by Stephen Cox

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Good Braider by Terry Farish

Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow by Faïza Guène

The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser

The Economics Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained by Niall Kishtainy, George Abbot and others

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

Sold by Patricia McCormick

War Brothers: The Graphic Novel by Sharon E. McKay and Daniel Lafrance

The Other Wes Moore: One Name and Two Fates by Wes Moore

Private: Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History by Denver Nicks

The Smarted Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley

17 and Gone by Nova Ren Suma

Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thompson

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