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Leisure Reading

Looking for a good book or magazine to read? Check this guide out!

Reading is good for you!

Leisure reading, or recreational reading, refers to reading for pleasure.

The benefits of engaging in leisure reading include:

  • Promotes literacy and vocabulary development
  • Improves writing skills
  • Increases knowledge
  • Provides mental stimulation
  • Improves memory
  • Boosts imagination and creativity
  • Relieves stress

Cozy up with a good book and READ - it's good for you!

Leisure Reading at the MCC Library

Looking for a good book? You've come to the right place!

The purpose of the MCC Library leisure reading collection is to promote the joy of reading while supporting literacy and vocabulary development. Leisure reading collections are located at both of the MCC Libraries and include new release fiction and nonfiction titles covering a broad range of authors and topics from diet and health to business and biography as well as novels or works of fiction by bestselling authors. Consider checking out our collections today!

To view a complete list of leisure reading titles available at the MCC Southern & Dobson Library, click HERE.

To view a complete list of leisure reading titles available at the MCC Red Mountain Library, click HERE.

Highlighted Leisure Reading Titles

The Exchange

What became of Mitch and Abby McDeere after they exposed the crimes of Memphis law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke and fled the country? The answer is in The Exchange, the riveting sequel to The Firm, the blockbuster thriller that launched the career of America’s favorite storyteller. It is now fifteen years later, and Mitch and Abby are living in Manhattan, where Mitch is a partner at the largest law firm in the world. When a mentor in Rome asks him for a favor that will take him far from home, Mitch finds himself at the center of a sinister plot that has worldwide implications—and once again endangers his colleagues, friends, and family. Mitch has become a master at staying one step ahead of his adversaries, but this time there’s nowhere to hide.

Let us Descend

Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
 Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Ward leads readers through the descent, this, her fourth novel, is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.
From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward’s most magnificent novel yet, a masterwork for the ages.

The Dead Take the A Train

Julie is a coked-up, burnt-out thirty-year-old whose only retirement plan is dying early. She’s been trying to establish herself in the NYC magic scene, and she’ll work the most gruesome gigs, exorcize the nastiest demons, and make deals with the cruelest gods to claw her way to the top. But nothing can prepare her for the toughest job yet: when her best friend, Sarah, shows up at her door in need of help. Keeping Sarah safe becomes top priority.
Julie is desperate for a quick fix to break the dead-end grind and save her friend. But her power grab sets off a deadly chain of events that puts Sarah – and the entire world - directly in the path of annihilation.

Witches at the End of World

Deep in the birchwoods of Norway, magic courses through the veins of two sisters. For years they've been alone, but sweet-tempered Kaija is tired of living in shadows and longs for a life filled with community, even if it means stifling her magic. But Minna is a witch through and through, with wrath always simmering just below the surface. Different as they may be, both will never forget the day they were driven from their village. The day their mother burned.When Kaija leaves to pursue a new life, Minna is left alone in the darkness of the forest. Devastated and outraged at the betrayal, Minna casts a curse to punish those who took everything from her. What she doesn't realize is that this act will incite a deadly chain of events. Soon it will destroy everything, including the life Kaija has lovingly built. But once a witch's rage boils, regret means nothing—she can't take back what's already done. 

The Woman in Me

In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others. The Woman in Me reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history.
Written with remarkable candor and humor, Spears’s groundbreaking book illuminates the enduring power of music and love—and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last.

The Sun Sets in Singapore

For Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, Singapore is opportunity. Every day, brokering deals for her firm’s wealthy clientele, she gets closer to her ultimate goal: making partner. For Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria, Singapore is extravagance. Gucci, Prada, Hermès—she loves nothing more than to luxuriate in the major department stores that call her name on Orchard Road. And for Lillian, a former pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the U.S., Singapore is reinvention. In a stunning apartment with 360° views, the island seems to glitter as far as the eye can see.
But complications are looming in the form of an enigmatic stranger, whose presence exposes cracks in Singapore’s beguiling façade. Dara’s ambitions mean she has no life outside the firm, and her insecurities are threatening to derail the promotion she’s spent the last six years striving for. Amaka is desperate to escape the chaos she left behind at home and hiding a spiraling shopping addiction that’s endangering her very sense of self. And while Lillian’s life may be the envy of outsiders, a new obsession is imperiling everything—and everyone—around her.

A Grandmother Begins the Story

Written like a crooked Métis jig, A Grandmother Begins the Story follows five generations of women and bison as they reach for the stories that could remake their worlds and rebuild their futures.
Carter is a young mother, recently separated. She is curious, angry, and on a quest to find out what the heritage she only learned of in her teens truly means.
Allie, Carter's mother, is trying to make up for the lost years with her first born, and to protect Carter from the hurt she herself suffered from her own mother. Lucie wants the granddaughter she's never met to help her join her ancestors in the Afterlife. And Geneviève is determined to conquer her demons before the fire inside burns her up, with the help of the sister she lost but has never been without. Meanwhile, Mamé, in the Afterlife, knows that all their stories began with her; she must find a way to cut herself from the last threads that keep her tethered to the living, just as they must find their own paths forward.
This extraordinary novel, told by a chorus of vividly realized, funny, wise, confused, struggling characters—including descendants of the bison that once freely roamed the land—heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in literary fiction.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

So begins the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, taking us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell―and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it―Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

The Genius of Israel

Why do Israelis have among the world’s highest life expectancies and lowest rates of “deaths of despair” from suicide and substance abuse? Why is Israel’s population young and growing while all other wealthy democracies are aging and shrinking? How can it be that Israel, according to a United Nations ranking, is the fourth happiest nation in the world? Why do Israelis tend to look to the future with hope, optimism, and purpose while the rest of the West struggles with an epidemic of loneliness, teen depression, and social decline?
Dan Senor and Saul Singer, the writers behind the international bestseller Start-Up Nation, have long been students of the global innovation race. But as they spent time with Israel’s entrepreneurs and political leaders, soldiers and students, scientists and activists, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Tel Aviv techies, and Israeli Arabs, they realized that they had missed what really sets Israel apart.
Moving from military commanders integrating at-risk youth and people who are neurodiverse into national service, to high performing companies making space for working parents, from dreamers and innovators launching a duct-taped spacecraft to the moon, to bringing better health solutions to people around the world, The Genius of Israel tells the story of a diverse people and society built around the values of service, solidarity, and belonging.

The Purest Bond: Understanding the Human–Canine Connection

Dogs have been considered people’s best friend for thousands of years, but never has the relationship between humans and their canine companions been as vitally important as it is today.
With all of the seismic shifts in today’s world, rates of anxiety and depression have been skyrocketing, and people have been turning to their dogs for solace and stability. Amidst these dire realities, something wonderful has taken shape. In the United States alone, dog adoptions doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As people have brought furry friends into their lives for the first time or seized this opportunity to deepen the connections they already have, they are looking to understand how owning a dog can change their lives. Now, The Purest Bond explores the benefits our dogs can have on our physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being, often without our realizing it.
Weaving together groundbreaking research and touching real-life stories, The Purest Bond explores not just the social benefits of owning a dog but the science of how dogs improve our emotional and physical health, mental acuity, and our ability to focus and absorb information. Most importantly, they remind us of what’s right in the world—love, trust, affection, playtime, fresh air, and sunshine—even when so much feels wrong.

Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education

When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019, it was called “an eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor” (People). Later it was adapted into the hit Netflix series Maid, which was viewed by 67 million households and was Netflix’s fourth most-watched show in 2021, garnering three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Stephanie’s escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions.

Network of Lies: The Epic Saga of Fox News, Donald Trump, and the Battle for American Democracy

The ongoing criminal trials of Donald Trump are also a trial for the nation he once led. We are undergoing a stress test of American democracy, the rule of law, and the very notion of a shared political reality. Can we achieve accountability for premeditated assaults on democracy and what forms should accountability take?
In Network of Lies, New York Times bestselling author Brian Stelter answers these questions by weaving together private texts, unpublished emails, depositions, and other primary sources to tell the chilling story of Trump’s alleged conspiracy to steal the 2020 election, and the right-wing media’s mission to put him back in office in 2024.

Shanghai Immortal

Pawned by her mother to the King of Hell as a child, Lady Jing is half-vampire, half-hulijing fox-spirit and all sasshole. As the King's ward, she has spent the past ninety years running errands, dodging the taunts of the spiteful hulijing courtiers, and trying to control her explosive temper - with varying levels of success.
So when Jing overhears the courtiers plotting to steal a priceless dragon pearl from the King, she seizes her chance to expose them, once and for all.
With the help of a gentle mortal tasked with setting up the Central Bank of Hell, Jing embarks on a wild chase for intel, first through Hell and then mortal Shanghai. But when her hijinks put the mortal in danger, she must decide which is more important: avenging her loss of face, or letting go of her half-empty approach to life for a chance to experience tenderness - and maybe even love.

A Light Most Hateful

Three years after running away from home, Olivia is stuck with a dead-end job in nowhere town Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania. At least she has her best friend, Sunflower.
Olivia figures she’ll die in Chapel Hill, if not from boredom, then the summer night storm which crashes into town with a mind-bending monster in tow.
If Olivia’s going to escape Chapel Hill and someday reconcile with her parents, she’ll need to dodge residents enslaved by the storm’s otherworldly powers and find Sunflower.
But as the night strains friendships and reality itself, Olivia suspects the storm, and its monster, may have its eyes on Sunflower and everything she loves.
Including Olivia.

Sleeping with the Ancestors: How I Followed the Footprints of Slavery

Joseph McGill Jr., a historic preservationist and Civil War reenactor, founded the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010 based on an idea that was sparked and first developed in 1999. Since founding the project, McGill has been touring the country, spending the night in former slave dwellings—throughout the South, but also the North and the West, where people are often surprised to learn that such structures exist. Events and gatherings are arranged around these overnight stays, and it provides a unique way to understand the often otherwise obscured and distorted history of slavery. The project has inspired difficult conversations about race in communities from South Carolina to Alabama to Texas to Minnesota to New York, and all over the United States.
Sleeping with the Ancestors focuses on all of the key sites McGill has visited in his ongoing project and digs deeper into the actual history of each location, using McGill’s own experience and conversations with the community to enhance those original stories. Altogether, McGill and coauthor Herb Frazier give readers an important unexpected emersion into the history of slavery, and especially the obscured and ignored aspects of that history.

Absolution

American women―American wives―have been mostly minor characters in the literature of the Vietnam War, but in Absolution they take center stage. Tricia is a shy newlywed, married to a rising attorney on loan to navy intelligence. Charlene is a practiced corporate spouse and mother of three, a beauty and a bully. In Saigon in 1963, the two women form a wary alliance as they balance the era’s mandate to be “helpmeets” to their ambitious husbands with their own inchoate impulse to “do good” for the people of Vietnam.
Sixty years later, Charlene’s daughter, spurred by an encounter with an aging Vietnam vet, reaches out to Tricia. Together, they look back at their time in Saigon, taking wry account of that pivotal year and of Charlene’s altruistic machinations, and discovering how their own lives as women on the periphery―of politics, of history, of war, of their husbands’ convictions―have been shaped and burdened by the same sort of unintended consequences that followed America’s tragic interference in Southeast Asia.