Make Your To-Read Lists Explode

I am fully aware that I will not be able to read every book that I’d like to in my lifetime.  Yet I’m also one of those people who can’t stop adding books to reading lists.  My to-read list on Goodreads is currently over 1,000 books (no judging!), and even though I periodically purge books from the list from time-to-time, it’s always at least 600-700 books long, and with the amazing new books being published every year (heck, every month!), I’ll have to admit at some point that I’m fighting a losing battle.  My to-be-read list (or TBR for short) is never going to be tamed.

So with a reading list as long as the Sear’s Tower is tall, I’ve managed to discover some really awesome resources for discovering new (or new-to-me) titles that I’d like to share with you.*  Get ready, because your reading list is about to explode!

Library Reads

Library Reads began in September of 2013 as a way for librarians to share their favorite books being published that month. We share the Library Reads lists on this blog every month, and the Waukegan Public Library makes sure to order copies of every book featured on the list.  And if you visit the Library Reads website, you’ll have access to all of the previous lists, complete with annotations!

Indie Next List

The Indie Next list, courtesy of, functions in a similar way to Library Reads – it’s an annotated collection of favorite titles released each month, as voted on by independent booksellers.  There’s a fair amount of overlap with the Library Reads lists, but there’s also a greater variety of titles, and the archive is MASSIVE.  You can spend hours clicking through each month’s selected books.  We also feature the Indie Next List on the blog every month, so make sure to keep an eye out for those posts!

Ultimate Reading List –

“Our goal each month is to inspire you to read – and keep reading! With that in mind, we created the Ultimate Reading List – a list of more than 450 titles that we think make perfect pleasure reading for teens.” Yeah, you read that right. More than 450 titles. Some are YA titles, others are written for adults, making this one of the most well-rounded lists for YA readers I’ve ever seen. The website even offers handy downloadable PDFs: one for the list, one for the list with ISBNs & book descriptions, and a Banned Books version!

Award Archives and Nominated Titles

This is one of my favorite ways to discover new books.  Not only do award websites give you lists of past winners, but you can also often find lists of shortlisted/nominated titles for each year and each category.  Talk about a literary treasure trove!  There are dozens of literary awards to peruse, so to make it easier for you, we’ve pulled together online lists of award-winning books for adults and teens!  Titles listed in blue are owned by the library, and you can place a hold in the catalog by clicking on the title.  Most of the lists feature just the award-winning titles, but we’ve included links to all of the award websites so that you can search for nomination lists as well.

Waukegan Public Library’s Themed Book Lists

And finally, while we’re on the subject of the Library’s online book lists, make sure to check out our themed book lists for adults and teens as well!  We’ve worked hard to pull together dozens of book lists for all kinds of reading interests.  All of the books are owned by the library, and you can place a hold in the catalog by clicking on the title.


Did your TBR list survive all that?  (Probably not…)  As always, Library staff can help you locate and/or request books, so if you’re having trouble finding a particular title, or just want some new suggestions, be sure to let us know!


Happy reading!

—Katie, Adult Reference


*This list was adapted from the article, Resources to Make Your TBR Explode, from Book