Your April Reading List

Emily Calkins of the King County Library System offers binge-able titles that will keep you enthralled throughout April. Check out a digital copy of these titles and more at With modified in-building services now being offered at some KCLS locations, physical copies can be picked up inside, at a contactless Curbside to Go spot, or through 24/7 lockers. See what’s available near you here.

The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo

Washington author Kate Lebo combines memoir, food writing, botany, and history in this wonderful and prickly collection of essays. The book opens with aronia and closes with zucchini, working through Lebo’s alphabet of “tart, tender, and unruly” fruits. In each chapter, Lebo celebrates a plant that’s often maligned, weaving in themes and events from her own life. In Chapter B, for example, she unpacks the history of the Himalayan blackberry and recounts exploring untamed brambles as a child. Each chapter concludes with recipes that make the most of the fruit’s unique qualities.

Children Under Fire by John Woodrow Cox

Based on an investigative series that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, this devastating book chronicles the impact of gun violence on America’s children — not only those who are killed or wounded, but the thousands more who are traumatized. It also includes concrete policy solutions for reducing gun violence. A persuasive clarion call.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Smart but underachieving Darren impresses a customer at the Starbucks where he works and ends up in a sales job at a tech startup where he’s the only Black man. This sharp satire from debut author Mateo Askaripour takes on race, capitalism, and the absurdities of the tech world.

EMILY CALKINS is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.

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