At Your Dauphin Co. Library

Holiday reading for gifts and your pleasure


Don’t stop reading just because summer is over. Here’s a list that covers the gamut from true crime, memoir, fun-loving romance, coming-of-age stories in far-away places, and even a good ‘ole mystery.  There’s sure to be something to enjoy as the days cool down. Remember, the Dauphin County Library System has even more titles to enjoy. Find out more by either visiting us in person or online at

As the holidays are nearing, here are some titles you might want to check out form your library, ask for as a gift, or maybe give as a gift.  Our list includes fiction, memoir, travelogue and history and includes a title for young adult readers.  There’s sure to be something to be of interest and warm the heart as we move toward winter. Remember, the Dauphin County Library System has even more titles to enjoy. Find out by either visiting us in person or online at 

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis. "From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find each other as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family. In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet, despite such societal realities, Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find each other and discover an isolated cape, Cabo Polonio, inhabited by just a lonely lighthouse keeper and a few rugged seal hunters. They claim this place as their secret sanctuary. A genre-defining novel and De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit." (From the publisher)

Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock’s Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout, by Laura Jane Grace with Dan Ozzi. “In 2012, Grace, the founder, guitarist, singer, and songwriter of the Gainesville punk band Against Me!, came out as transgender, a secret she'd kept for some 30 years in the spotlight. In this riveting and at times harrowing biography, Grace recounts in unflinching detail her path to self-realization. In many ways, Grace's story follows the arc of many rock bios--plenty of drugs, sex, broken marriages, lots of time spent in dingy vans on exhausting tours that left the band penniless and at each others' throats, and, eventually, a major label record contract that left the band disillusioned and in tatters. That story would be enough for a compelling book, but Grace's gender dysphoria adds a remarkable twist to the tale. Bolstering the narrative with years' worth of journal entries, Grace intimately shares her difficult journey--a story not for the faint of heart--as the she deals with her own personal transition, along with the scorn of a reactionary punk scene that resents the band's success and a music industry that wants only to cash in. She survives, and today Against Me! has entered a new chapter.” (From Publishers Weekly)

Witchmark, by C. L. Polk. “Polk's stellar debut, set in an alternate early 20th century in an England-like land recovering from a WWI-like war, blends taut mystery, exciting political intrigue, and inventive fantasy. Miles Singer's influential family of mages wants to turn him into a living battery of magic for his sister to draw on. Fearing this fate, he runs away to join the army and make use of his magical healing abilities, although--like all magic-users--he must hide his powers or risk being labeled insane and sent to an asylum. When Tristan Hunter, a handsome, suave gentleman who's actually an angel in disguise, brings a dying stranger to Miles's clinic, the two pair up to uncover the reason for the man's mysterious death. Polk unfolds her mythology naturally, sufficiently explaining the class-based magical system and political machinations without getting bogged down. The final revelations are impossible to see coming and prove that Polk is a writer to watch for fans of clever, surprising period fantasy.“ (From Publishers Weekly)

The Grief Keeper, by Alexandra Villasante. “What happens when an undocumented immigrant gets caught? With nowhere else to go, Marisol, who is denied asylum, gets pulled into being a psychological test subject for the U.S. government. Marisol becomes the vessel in which the CTS (corticotropin transfer system) takes place, otherwise known as the grief keeper, an experimental study on how one can take on another's shame, regret, anxiety, and grief--a useful tool for the military soldiers coming back with post-traumatic stress disorder. This hauntingly beautiful story is written in first person and dives into the themes of love and heartbreak. It deals with social issues revolving around female/female love and flawed immigration policies. Although the novel is written with simple language, every topic is tastefully handled and woven into the story. The straightforward style gives younger readers a foot in the door into the themes discussed. In the end it's truly about a girl coming to terms with her life and the pain she has gone through, learning not to be ashamed, and discovering how to love." (From School Library Journal)

Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States, by Samantha Allen. “In this clever combination of easy travelogue and thoughtful exploration of queerness in America, journalist Allen retraces her transformation from a Mormon missionary in Utah to a transgender woman living happily in rural Florida. With Billy, her wife's ex (also trans), in the passenger seat, she tours the country looking for what she calls the "real" stories of LGBTQ experience . . . Allen makes the case, bolstered by statistics, that these red-state oases produce tight-knit, supportive queer communities, which can result in measurable happiness. Queer readers will nod knowingly at the descriptions of finding gay-friendly hangouts and questioning whether public hand-holding is safe in a new area, and readers without that experience will still enjoy Allen's charming, humorous recounting of the ultimate road trip through rainbow-colored America.” (From Publishers Weekly)


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