Staff Picks

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

Ice Bridge, Mackinac Island's Hidden Season

This DVD features spectacular photography of Mackinac Island in all seasons. Do you know what a "fudgie" is? Mackinac Island has over 700 horses in the summer and only 20 in the winter. Where do they go? Watch how the "Ice Bridge" transforms the Island in winter.
Review by: Chris Hurt, Library Aide, Technical Services

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.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Check our catalog for: Pillars of the Earthpillars of the earth cover
If you like historical fiction and you haven't already read all the books in Oprah's book club (this was one), you'll love Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.  It's the story of the building of a great cathedral during medieval times, and the life stories of all the interesting people involved in that endeavor.  A smart and ambitious monk, a skilled stone mason, a clever young lady, an evil bishop, and so much more.  Really absorbing (and really long!).

First Degree by David Rosenfelt

Check our catalog for: First Degreefirst degree cover
This is the second book in the mystery series featuring wise-cracking defense attorney Andy Carpenter (follows Open and Shut).  They are humorous and exciting, not too deep.   I thought this one was even funnier than the first one.  And you get to know the characters a little better in this one.  Andy's girlfriend, Laurie, is accused of a crime, and he's trying to defend her.