Popular Books You Keep Meaning to Read (All Available as E-Books, Too)

By Lynn Ann Lobash, Associate Director, Readers Services and Engagement
March 25, 2020

The Library aims to provide our patrons with a well-rounded, comprehensive collection of books across subjects, genres, and audiences. We also strive to give our readers what they want. Here is a list of popular books you probably meant to read, but maybe didn’t get around to. Now is your chance. They're all currently available in e-book format.


Becoming by Michelle Obama (e-book)

A memoir by the former First Lady chronicles her life from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her time in the White House.

Engaging, inspiring, witty, and reflective.

Bad Blood

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou (e-book)

Recounts the story behind Theranos, the medical equipment company that misled investors to believe they developed a revolutionary blood testing machine. 

Accessible, compelling, well-researched, and suspenseful.

The Testaments

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (e-book)

A return to Gilead 15 years later and narrated from three different perspectives: Aunt Lydia, Agnes ,a young girl inside Gilead, and Daisy, a 16-year-old raised in Canada. 

Character-driven dystopian fiction.

There There

There There by Tommy Orange (e-book)

An ensemble cast of Native Americans converges on the Big Oakland Powwow.

Character-driven, own voices, with a strong sense of place.

A Place For Us

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (e-book)

California-set tale portrays a  splintered Muslim Indian family in which immigrant parents, Layla and Rafiq, try to maintain Islamic traditions. 

Non-linear, multiple perspectives, and thoughtful.

Small Fry

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs (e-book)

The daughter of Steve Jobs offers a firsthand account of the difficult relationship she had with her father and the story of a childhood spent between two complex homes.

Candid, engaging, and moving.


Lady in the Lake

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman (e-book)

Set in Baltimore, 1966, a divorced reporter investigates the murder of an African American party girl.

Richly-detailed, historical fiction, with well-crafted dialogue.


Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth by Rachel Maddow (e-book)

In her signature smart-with-a-touch-of-snark style, Rachel Maddow takes on Big Oil. 

Sardonic, well-researched, and compelling.

The Power

The Power by Naomi Alderman (e-book)

All over the  world, teenage girls develop the  ability to send an electric charge from the  tips of their fingers.

Thought-provoking, social science fiction.

Washington Black

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (e-book)

An 11-year-old Barbados sugar-plantation slave suffers a terrible accident that propels him on a larger-than-life adventure. 

Compelling, character-driven, historical fiction. 


Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!