Alyson’s Recommendations

Angela's Ashes

The 1997 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for biography, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes is an engaging, entertaining memoir by a skilled storyteller. The eldest son born in Brooklyn to immigrant Irish parents who returned to their native country to live in on public assistance in the slums of Limerick, McCourt recounts the dismal circumstances of his desperately poor youth.

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the New York Times Best Seller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail but, in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, she is simply Sugar. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar is an exquisite completion of the advice columns that Strayed anonymously authored online at the literary website The Rumpus.  

United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from East to West and North to South

United States of Pie: Regional Favorites from East to West and North to South is a nostalgic cookbook and a snapshot of American culture through the pie-making tradition.

Love's Winning Plays

Raymond Love, former star quarterback at a small college and the son of a high school football coach, dreams of coaching college football. He gets his chance to prove his worth at an unnamed SEC school serving in the very lowest position: a non-coaching graduate assistant.

Jerusalem: a Cookbook

Authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi explore the unique culinary culture of a diverse and complicated city in Jerusalem: a Cookbook.

Jerusalem: a Cookbook features 120 recipes from the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures. Dishes range from vegetables to soups to meat and sweets and each feature introduction with a brief history of the dish's origin or a personal memory from the authors. The recipes are written with a straightforward clarity that makes the instructions easy to follow.

Martha Stewart's Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share

Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share features 175 recipes ranging from the traditional chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, to unique treats such as coconut cookies with passion fruit curd, citrus cornmeal shortbread and Italian polenta cookies.

Cookies are organized by texture, from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy, utilizing a clever pictorial table of contents. Beautiful photography and clean layout make this cookbook very easy to browse.

The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today's Families

Journalist Mark Hyman critically examines the profitable market that has grown out of youth sports in The Most Expensive Game in Town: The Rising Cost of Youth Sports and the Toll on Today’s Families.

Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France

Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France is a charming memoir chronicling the author's French honeymoon.

In Le Road Trip, Vivian Swift has written a celebration of love, adventure and France as well as a lighthearted guide about how to be a tourist – from travel tips, to anecdotes, to relevant quotes, to humorous observations and advice on how to handle the highs and the lows of travel.

Charlotte au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood

Charlotte au Chocolat is a memoir of the author’s unusual childhood of party dresses and crab vicar, set against the backdrop of the ever evolving restaurant business.

The Night Circus

The Cirque des Rêves is a special circus. The circus appears without warning – one day, the black and white striped tents appear seemingly out of nowhere – and it opens only between dusk and dawn.  The circus features contortionists, psychics, illusionists, and an array of sights and sounds that seduce its guests.

The Postmistress

It is 1940. War is raging in Europe. 

Frankie Bard is an American living in London, a radio journalist reporting from the front lines of the war. Frustrated by the lack of American involvement in the quickly escalating conflict, Frankie dedicates herself to her reporting. She reports with the hope that her stories will inspire Americans to care about the horrors occurring in Europe.

The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour Around The World

On the cusp of their 28th birthdays, New Yorkers Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett and Amanda Pressner give in to their wanderlust. The trio of friends quit their jobs, pack their bags, dub themselves the Lost Girls and spend a year exploring the world beyond desks and deadlines.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

A delinquent in his youth, Louis Zamperini seems destined for a life of crime. As a teen, he discovers his extraordinary athletic talents and harnesses his energy towards earning a track scholarship at the University of Southern California and qualifying for the 1936 Summer Olympics. Many predict that Zamperini will be the first man to run a four-minute mile; World War II changes his fate. Zamperini is drafted into the Army Air Corps and stationed in Hawaii as a bombardier.  

One Day

Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley meet the day before their college graduation. They spend one memorable day together – July 15 – before going their separate ways, chasing post-collegiate dreams that do not intersect.

One Day spans two decades, always checking in on Emma and Dexter on the same day: July 15. Dexter becomes a D-list celebrity television host who falls into a life filled with drugs, women and alcohol. Emma flounders in dead end jobs for years before finding her niche writing children’s books.

The Train of Small Mercies

At the conclusion of Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral, held in New York City on the morning of June 8, 1968, Kennedy's coffin was placed aboard a train and transported to Washington, D.C. for burial. Estimates suggest that nearly one million people stood alongside the funeral train’s route, mourning, honoring and paying tribute to Kennedy.

Vaclav and Lena

Vaclav and Lena are children. They are Russian immigrants living in Brooklyn and they are best friends.

Together, they carefully plan their future. One day, they will be Vaclav the Magnificent and his assistant, the Lovely Lena. For now, they spend hours practicing magic in Vaclav's bedroom.

Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love

On March 24, 2008, Matt Logelin’s daughter, Madeline, was born. Just 27 hours later, Logelin’s wife, Liz, died instantly from a pulmonary embolism.

Living thousands of miles from his and Liz’s families, thrust into the role of primary caregiver for Madeline and grieving for Liz, Logelin chronicled his family’s story on his blog. Amongst the thousands of readers who clicked to his blog every day, Logelin found a supportive community that offered him advice, celebrated his triumphs and inspired him to create a non-profit in Liz’s memory.

Award Winners & Bestsellers

Nobel Prize
2014 Prize in Literature
Patrick Modiano

National Book Award

2014 Prize for Fiction
by Phil Klay

2014 Prize for Nonfiction
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
by Evan Osnos

Newbery Medal
2015 award
The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander

Caldecott Medal
2015 award
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

y Dan Santat

Printz Award

2015 award
I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson

New York Times Fiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
, by Sandra Brown
The Girl on the Train
, by Paula Hawkins
The Martian
, by Andy Weir
Go Set a Watchman
, by Harper Lee
Small Wars, by Lee Child


New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers (top 5 combined print & e-book sales)
It Is About Islam, by Glenn Beck
Plunder and Deceit
, by Mark R. Levin
Between the World and Me
,  by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Boys in the Boat
, by Daniel James Brown
The Devil in the White City
, by Erik Larson


More Award Winners & Bestsellers

Following is a list of award-winning and bestselling materials from a variety of sources. Links will take you to an external page that will open in a new window. If YDL does not have an item you are interested in, please submit a Materials Suggestion to us.

Academy Awards

American Booksellers Association National Indie Bestsellers

Billboard Top 100 songs

Caldecott Medal

Coretta Scott King Award

New York Times Bestsellers

Newbery Medal

Printz Award