Library Staff Picks List - Newly Updated for April 2021
The library staff has some great recommendations. Stop by the library to check some out!
Emily Crane’s recommendations
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
This one sneaks up on you with its gorgeous, contemplative story which grabs hold of your mind and your heart. James and Charles meet in 1963 when they are both interviewing to become the minister of an historic church in Greenwich Village. They couldn’t be more opposite from one another—Charles views his call as one to guide his congregation, to support them and help them understand events of the world, while James views his as a call to action, that God is served by changing the world. The two are hired as co-ministers, which seems to suit them fine, and they become immensely close. The same cannot be said of their wives. James’ wife, Nan, a minister’s daughter, understands the role of the church in their lives, while Lily, Charles’ wife, has a definitive lack of faith shaped by a childhood tragedy that causes her to withdraw, even resent at times, the life her husband has been called to. Nan immerses herself in the church, Lily wants as far away from it as possible.
The Dearly Beloved follows the four through decades of friendship, love, loyalty, resentment, jealousy, and of course, faith. The challenges of the world, the tragedies and triumphs of their own lives will test and reaffirm their faith through the years.
This book was simply amazing. It is an exploration of how faith means different things to different people, and how it appears and disappears at different times in our lives.
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb
This is a short read filled with advice from the author’s glamorous and unintentionally hilarious grandmother. She pulled no punches as she bluntly (but always with love) dispensed her unsolicited advice on beauty, Bess’s boyfriends, fashion, and life in general. In turn poignant and hysterical, I found myself often laughing out loud, then choking up on the next page. Unique in that the memoir is written from the point of view of her now deceased grandmother, this an oral history of the love and affection they had for each other. They simply adored each other. This is a lovely love letter to her grandmother and a tribute to the history of four generations of women in the family. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend.
Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax
Seriously a MUST read for anyone with sons. This book was very thought provoking. I felt the author was a reliable source based on both his research and personal experience. Boys Adrift isn't "how-to" parenting book but it brings up many issues that parents need to think about,
The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult
If you are looking for comic relief, this book is not for you. “The Book of Two Ways” presents two possible timelines and settings: Land/Egypt and Water/Boston. If there’s one thing I appreciate, it’s a storyline with the power to make me think, to ponder the intricacies of life. The Book of Two Ways provides a contemplative look at the multitude of possible paths set before us, the regret that can linger in the shadows of our choices, and the reality that each one of us will one day reach the end of the road.The Book Of Two Ways provides a solid reminder that life is fleeting and tomorrow is never guaranteed. What thoughts, missed opportunities, or lost loves will linger in the forefront of your mind as you approach the end?
James Britsch's recommendations
Lonesome Dove by Larry McCurtry
Lonesome Dove is one of the great novels of the American West. It is beautifully written, dramatic, exciting, heartbreaking, funny, and a real page turner. Don’t let the length of the book intimidate you. It’s worth the effort. Gus McCrae is one of the most memorable characters in literature. By the end of the book you will feel like you are old friends, and when it’s over you will miss him.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Greek mythology for those who have outgrown Percy Jackson. I recommend this book to everyone I can. It was my favorite book of 2018. The story is a retelling of The Odyssey from the perspective of the Goddess Circe. It is beautiful, haunting, romantic, and powerful. It is one of those books, like Les Misérables or Crime and Punishment, that leaves you feeling like a new person when you are finished with it. Take the journey. You will be grateful you did.
Guardians of the Galaxy (Movie)
I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The vast majority of the movies in the MCU are fantastic, but Guardians of the Galaxy takes the humor and action to the next level. This goofball cast of misfits will keep you in stitches as they set events in motion that will affect the entire MCU. This is the first movie for characters that also turn out to be the driving force in the plots of Avengers Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, the bestselling movies of all time. This is a great popcorn movie!
Makenzie Rowley’s recommendations
I love the Goose Girl so much! I’ve read it many times over. It’s the story of a princess who is sent off to marry the prince of a neighboring kingdom. The story is full of magic, love, adventure and lots of twists! A very engaging book you’ll find hard to put down!
The Rise of Kyoshi is a book following a character from the show Avatar the Last Airbender. It follows Kyoshi’s hardships in life as someone from the bottom rises up and seeks revenge on the people who wronged her. Very captivating and each character is so unique. Definitely a great book I recommend!
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is one of my all-time favorite movies! It takes place right after WWII and follows an American and Russian spy working together as a team. It's your classic spy movie full of funny moments, action, and lots of fun.
Ethan Hatch’s recommendations
You are Special - by Max Lucado
This is one of my favorite picture books. It tells a simple yet touching story of how you shouldn’t compare yourself to anyone else or care about how others may be critical of you. It’s great for kids and adults alike.
Doctor Zhivago - by Boris Pasternak
This famous Russian novel takes place against the tumultuous backdrop of the Russian revolution. The main character, Yuri Zhivago, is a medical doctor and poet who is constantly attempting to find meaning in the chaos descending around him. This is a very depressing but still fantastic book!
Drama - by Raina Telgemeier
This fun graphic novel plops the reader directly into a web of convoluted high-school drama (hence the title). I immensely enjoyed this book; it is very funny yet also includes many themes facing teenagers today. It is a perfect read for anyone looking for an easy yet entertaining and satisfying read.
Ireland Yokom’s recommendations
My staff pick is the Throne of Glass book series. It is a young adult novel series. It has themes of dystopia, fantasy, romance, and much more! The whole series is 7 books long with some novellas as well. After you get hooked in the first book, you will have no idea where the story goes by the seventh! The author does an amazing job of creating a world full of different types of people and creatures that you fall in love with!
Kim Chadwick’s recommendations
A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green
Takes place: 1792, Three years into the French Revolution.
Vivienne Rivard, a Lacemaker in Paris France, could possibly be facing the death sentence. At this time in history the nobility and any one associated with them are being sent to the guillotine.
Vivienne, with the help of a childhood friend, narrowly escapes Paris and boards a ship to Philadelphia.
Can she make a life for herself with very little to sustain her and the small boy she is left to care for? Will she be safe and find refuge from the danger that follows her?
A Refuge Assured has a touch of suspense and colorful history. It’s a wonderful story with a strong heroine and beloved friends that help her to adjust to her new life on this continent.
Moonraker's Bride by Madeleine Brent, pseudonym Peter O'Donnell
This is one of my very favorite books ever written. Oldie But goodie, Moonraker's Bride is full of suspense, rich culture, mystery, betrayal and a slight love triangle. Whodunnit is always in question and the author keeps everything under wraps until close to the end of the book.
Lucy Waring is raised in a Chinese orphanage run by Christian Missionaries. Her parents died when she was an infant leaving one woman to raise her and several orphaned Chinese girls. As the elderly woman is forced to her bed due to health issues, Lucy becomes the main caretaker of the girls and the older woman. She turns to thievery, to feed her charges, which can end in death or losing one's hands or fingers.
She is forced from China to England and then back to China with a story of twists and turns and intrigue.
The story will keep you enthralled and guessing, What Next??? It's very well written and very clean. Any age can read it. Boys would also be interested.
Celina Johnson’s recommendations
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
A novel that earned 24 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list is definitely one worth reading. For the past couple of years, I heard people raving about Where the Crawdads Sing, and I wondered if the book was really worth the hype. Now I wish somebody would have told me that it was and insisted that I read it a long time ago! I’m here to be that person for all of you reading this review--you will not regret reading this book! Delia Owens crafts an atmospheric tale about a lonely girl’s coming-of-age deep in the marshes of North Carolina. Thanks to her background in biology and nature writing, Owens describes the North Carolina wilderness with accurate and beautiful detail that is easy to follow and manages to capture readers. I was so absorbed in the writing and compelling story that I finished the entire book in just over one day! Where the Crawdads Sing involves fictional, non-fictional, and suspenseful aspects that allow it to appeal to a variety of readers. I highly recommend you pick up this book as summer approaches, as it’s the perfect story to help us recognize the dreamiest of details in our own natural world. Get ready to feel every emotion! (Movie to be released this year)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This classic novel tells the elaborate story of the wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, and of lavish parties on Long Island during the Roaring Twenties. The Great Gatsby is an exquisitely crafted tale of America and its fragility in the face of chaos, corruption, and love. As a classic novel that I insist everyone must read before they die, The Great Gatsby invokes a sense of nostalgia in its readers that only F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unique, eloquent writing style can create. The intricate symbolism throughout this timeless novel turns an implicitly shallow love story into an undeniable tale of desire for the American Dream, regardless of the tragedies that accompany such luxury. The lavish depiction of parties is brilliant as it emphasizes the surreal facade that everyone clung to during the 1920s in order to become blind to the harsh reality. The visceral characters drew me in and refused to release me until the very last page. But, even then, Fitzgerald left me in awe and I will never stop questioning the twisted but necessary ending. Every element of this work prompts me to question, “What is my American Dream?” and I attest that every reader who receptively approaches The Great Gatsby will close the book with the same question in mind.
Judi Poorte’s recommendations
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
A fun coming of age story about a child with the odds stacked against her. Extremely entertaining and a great adventure that I did not want to end.
Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce
Margery Benson, fictional character, represents a ground-breaking woman who sets on a journey across the world to find an elusive golden beetle of New Caledonia. With her assistant, polar opposite, they also break grounds in getting to know each other and creating an endearing friendship. There is much humor in their relationship and exploits but also sadness and a wonderful ending.
This Beautiful Fantastic DVD
I LOVE this movie. Facing eviction in a month if she can't resurrect the dying garden in her backyard, reclusive librarian Bella Brown meets her grumpy next door neighbor who happens to be a talented horticulturist and the two form an unlikely friendship. It's a magical witty movie about life and love.
*Favorite Picture Books:
I am the Storm by Jane Yolan
A tornado, a blizzard, a forest fire, and a hurricane are met in turn, with resilience and awe in this depiction of nature's power and our own.
Outside, Inside by Leuyen Pham
While the world changed outside, we became stronger on the inside and believed that soon spring would come again.
Where is the Dragon by Leo Timmers
In this delightful story, three knights go looking for a dragon in the dark. Great Illustrations and a humorous contrast between illustrations and the words.
Flash and Gleam by Sue Fliess
The soft glow of a candle, the blink of a firefly, a burst of fireworks -- light is everywhere in our world! Rhyming text and beautiful illustrations follow four children as they experience many forms of light.
Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler
This picture book from Eliza Wheeler is based on her Grandmother's childhood and pays homage to a family's fortitude as they discover the meaning of home.
* Juv Graphic Novels
Real Friends by Shannon Hale and Best Friends by Shannon Hale
A graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends and why it's worth the journey.
Morgan Capitan's Recommendations