Language Learning Materials

In an effort to maintain our fading Latin knowledge, a friend and I began reading Hobbitus Ille – J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, translated by Mark Walker – over video chat, as it was the only book in Latin we both had. It may sound nerdy, but hear (or read?) me out – this can be a helpful and fun method of language study! Even with very basic proficiency, reading a semi-familiar book can provide enough context to help guess unfamiliar phrases and compare grammar structures.

If you’re interested in language study, or in non-English-language materials, we have electronic resources available now on Overdrive!

After English-language materials, Spanish-language ones are the largest category (although most of the children’s books were originally written in English). 

Some children’s Spanish-language audiobook highlights, listed roughly by reading level:

Some children’s Spanish-language ebooks (also listed roughly by reading level): 

Adult Language Materials

There are also one or two books each in several other languages. Within any genre, you can narrow it down by selecting the “Language” tab on the left. 

— Morgan Clayton

Avatar the Last Airbender

Cover of Avatar the last airbender with Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph and Zuko

Avatar the Last Airbender was a staple in my late childhood and is still my favorite show. The four nations have been torn apart by 100 years of war. Some people are able to manipulate the elements of water, earth, fire or air called “bending”. Only the Avatar can bend all four elements and is the only hope to bring an end to the war, the only problem is that he is 12. This show has amazing story telling and character development. I recommended this show for children and adults. There is something everyone will enjoy and it is currently all on Netflix right now! -Caroline Margolis


Booksmart, starring Beanie Feldstein as Molly and Kaitlyn Dever as Amy, is a fast-paced comedy. Molly and Amy spent their high school years steering clear of parties and slacking off in order to get into top tier colleges. When they discover, the day before graduation, that students who partied and had fun for the past 4 years also got into top tier colleges, they decide to make up for lost time. The movie follows them on the eve of graduation from one chaotic adventure to the next. While some situations are a little over-the-top, and there is mild raunchiness, mostly the movie has a sweetness behind it and tells the story of true friendship. I was rooting for Molly and Amy through the whole movie. — Denise Runyan

My Fair Latte by Vickie Fee

My Fair Latte by Vickie Fee is a fun, quick mystery read. Barista Halley Greer inherits a run-down movie theater from her great uncle which she turns into a movie house/coffee and wine bar. Unfortunately, on opening night, a patron ends up murdered in the theater. Amid many twists and turns, with help from her new friends, Halley does her best to solve the mystery and clear her name. The climax of the mystery happens pretty quickly, but the lead up is enjoyable to read. Some slightly unresolved story points indicate there may be a Cafe Cinema sequel. — Denise Runyan

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner

I needed a quick reading break after some heavier choices, so I picked up The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner, and it was the perfect Cape Cod escape. The story is about one woman, Marin Bishop, who is a prestigious lawyer on the brink of marriage, when she loses both her job and her fiance and finds out some surprising news about her family. This news takes her to Provincetown, Massachusetts with her new half-sister and her mother to meet family there. Along the way, Brenner expands on the secrets of many of the female characters in this book that led them to all end up at the B&B that summer. If you’re in need of a happy ending, check out this book. – Julie Travers

Normal People by Sally Rooney

I finished Normal People by Sally Rooney about a week ago, and the two main characters are still on my mind. Sally Rooney’s second novel is about an intense love affair between two people that starts when they are as teenagers and touches on issues of social class throughout the book. Marianne and Connell grow up in the same small Irish town. He is popular, she is not, although she is wealthy, and his mother is her family’s maid. They both end up at Trinity College, where their roles are reversed; Marianne is now well-liked, while Connell is having a difficult time fitting in. Throughout the book, they come together and move apart, each dealing with their own problems throughout their college years. – Julie Travers

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

One thing that I’m enjoying about quarantine is that it has given me time to catch up on books that I know were popular throughout the year, but I didn’t get a chance to read. I just finished The Guest Book by Sarah Blake. I’m a big fan of historical fiction that jumps between time periods, and this story did exactly that. Moving from the late 1930s to the late 1950s to the present day, it tells the story of three generations of the Milton family, one of the premier families from New York that also owns a small island off the coast of Maine. The island is the center of the story and through the summers that the Miltons spend there, we see the rise and fall of the family as a unit. Throughout the book, we follow several family members and consider the way their private struggles inform the difficulties of the following generation. I highly recommend this book, even just for the escape to the islands off the coast of Maine in the summer. – Julie Travers