Staff Picks

Staff recommendations for the best of what to read, listen to and view in our collection.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Check our catalog for: In a Sunburned Country

Bill Bryson tells of his adventures traveling all over the vast, remote, and unfamiliar (to us) country of Australia.  The book is filled with absolutely fascinating information and it's so humorous, too.   I downloaded the digital audio version from our NetLibrary collection and listened to it. It's read by the author.  I didn't want the book to end --there's so much more of Australia to explore, as he keeps pointing out!  It really made me want to take a trip to the land down under.

Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage by Kaye Umansky

Check our catalog for the children's book: Clover Twig and the Magical Cottage

This is a great play on the "evil witch" story in fairy tales.  Clover is the oldest girl from a large, messy family with the soul of a neatnik.  When the local witch (just a witch, not evil) advertises for live-in help at the high rate of six pennies a week, Clover sees it as a chance to get a room of her own while supporting her family away from their chaos.  In the process she has to deal with the local grocery delivery-boy (who is painfully clumsy), the witch's cat (who chases foxes for fun), and the witch's evil sister (who REALLY wants the cottage).  Clover's down-to-earth sensibility comes in hand when Mrs. Eckles has to go away on a business trip, and how she deals with the problems that happen would leave your average prince or princess in her dust (if she let any build up around her).

Duchess of death by Richard Hack

Check out our catalog for:  Duchess of Death: the unauthorized biography of Agatha Christie

This a very informational, unauthorized biography which was created from over 5,000 unpublished letters, notes, and documents. It gives us a look at the hidden side of Agatha Christie and shows what a quiet, private person she was throughout her entire lifetime.  It tells what happened when her husband asked for a divorce and she simply disappeared.  Later on in her life it also showed how she preferred to live in a hovel in Egypt, to being recognized in England.  One will find many surprises in her life and understand why, when she was trying to enter the building for her big award's ceremony and the doorkeeper didn't recognize her.  After he told her that no one could get in early, she just walked away!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Check our catalog for: Shiver

This book is the perfect read for teens who are fans of the Twilight series. Grace and Sam are two teens in love, with a twist. Sam spends half his life as a wolf. When the weather turns cold, he changes into his animal form and will remain that way until the spring. This time, Sam senses it may be the last year he will be human and with Grace's help, tries to figure out a way to keep him from making the change permanantely.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Check our catalog for: The Help

helpbookcover

During the start of the civil rights movement in Mississippi, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan is just home from college, and wants to hone her journalism skills. She decides to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club set relies, enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 white children, and Aibileen's sassy best friend, Minny. The results are shocking, but bring hope to the black community and give Skeeter the courage to break down her boundaries and pursue her dreams.

Breaking Clean by Judy Blunt

Breaking Clean (Biography)
by Judy Blunt
This is an excellent memoir of a woman who grew up in an isolated farm community of Montana during the 50s and 60s. Exquisite poetic descriptions enhance the quiet storytelling of a young girl's struggles for emotional independence in a community that insists on conformity. The author shows with great sensitivity the difficulities farmers face living off the land as our society transitions to corporate farming. Her sense of local humor, rendition of language and place creates an unforgettable experience for the reader. This is her first book.

Check our Catalog for Breaking Clean

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

The Monsters of Templetonmonsters of templeton cover, by Lauren Groff, takes you on a wild genealogical ride. The main character, Willie Templeton, must discover the identity of her biological father who she has never met. In the process, she digs up monster after monster in a historical closet that contains the "memoirs" of her revered fictional American family.

Search for this book in our catalog: The Monsters of Templeton

Run by Ann Patchett

Run by Ann Patchett run cover

is a great work of fiction about a white couple, ex-mayor of Boston-Bernard Doyal and his wife-Bernadette, who adopt two black children, Tip and Teddy. Bernadette dies and leaves her husband to raise their family which includes their first born son Sullivan who seem unreliable and drug addicted. Race is an undercurrent in this beautifully told family drama about a father who has high expectations for his children.

 Search our library catalog for Run

Home Boy by H. M. Naqvi

Home Boy by H. M. NaqviCheck our Catalog for: Home Boy

They are three young Pakistani men in New York City at the turn of the millennium: AC, a gangsta-rap-spouting academic; Jimbo, a hulking Pushtun DJ from the streets of Jersey City; and Chuck, a wideeyed kid, fresh off the boat from the homeland, just trying to get by. When they embark on a road trip to the hinterland weeks after 9/11 in search of the Shaman, a Gatsbyesque compatriot who seemingly disappears into thin air, things go horribly wrong. Suddenly, they find themselves in a changed, charged America.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Check our catalog for:Little Brother Little Brother cover
Cory Doctorow's new Hugo Award Winning book Little Brother is a compelling YA novel that looks at the recent issues brought about by the Department of Homeland Security when a terrorist attack kills thousands in San Fransisco. 17 year old Marcus Yarrow, is captured by the DHS and tortured along with his high school friends. They are forced to give up their passwords and login IDs in exchange for freedom. The author, in language that stings and sores, delivers a great story and terrific characters.