Staff Picks
Stay in touch with the personal favorites of the KDL Staff. Each title is handpicked.

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Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend: A Novel
Matthew Dicks

“I think all autistic kids should have an imaginary friend to help them navigate the world that is often unkind to people who are different.  Book groups will love this book!”—Michelle at KDL’s Service Center


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Sharp Objects: A Novel
Gillian Flynn

“Camille is a reporter for a small-time Chicago newspaper when she is sent to her hometown of Wind Gap to cover the murder of two girls. There, she resides with her neurotic mother and half-sister, whom she barely knows, and has to confront a childhood trauma, and the eerie, yet strangely familiar, deaths of the young girls. I love Gillian Flynn as an author because her characters are deep, and flawed, especially her female main characters. She isn’t afraid to make her novels dark, gritty, and psychologically compelling, and there may not always be the ending the reader expects, or desires, but it always leaves an impression. Sharp Objects in particular has some material that some readers may find objectionable, and it is not for the faint of heart. Readers will be unnerved by her story and the dysfunctional family, but it questions the nature of the mind, and the culture in America consumed by the media, sexual imagery, and crime. This book, as well as her other two novels, are in production to be made into films, so read it before it has a long wait period.”—Emily at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar: A Novel
Suzanne Joinson

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar consists of two parallel stories, each told from the point of view of a single independent woman, one at a shimmering, multi-ethnic Silk Road trading post in 1923, the other in contemporary London. into one other. The novel interweaves the stories of Frieda and Eva, gradually revealing the links between them.”—Cheryl at KDL’s Richard L. Root Kentwood branch


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Joyland
Stephen King

HORROR KING

“In this thriller, Stephen King writes a coming of age story of a college student, Devin Jones who works at an amusement park. Besides Devin, there lots of characters in the book which made my head reel. There’s a murder mystery, supernatural element, heart break in this introspective writing.”—Seema at KDL’s Richard L. Root Kentwood branch


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Rules
Cynthia Lord

J LORD

“Twelve year old Catherine just wants a normal life – however when you have a brother who is autistic, life is anything BUT normal.  Watch her as she deals with the everyday stuff that happens, and as she meets two new people in her life,  Jason and Kristi,  Catherine is forced to ask herself, “What is Normal?”  This is Cynthia Lords’ debut book, and it is so wonderful!  I love the Rules Catherine sets up for her brother, David, and how SHE relates to those rules!”—Robin at KDL’s Spencer Township branch


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The Widows of Braxton County: A Novel (P.S.)
Jess McConkey

“The Krause family are no strangers to town gossip and for the women who marry them a life a struggle, disappointment and judgment usually follows. This is where we find our main characters Kate and Hannah- both women married to a Krause man, one in the 1890’s and one in present day. The tale flows through both characters voice and alternates chapter by chapter weaving a story of murder, gossip and secrets. A tremendous page turner that brings both stories crashing together and boiling down to one hauntingly fun read.”—Tina at KDL’s Service Center


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Pearl of China: A Novel
Anchee Min

“The lovely story of a young Pearl S. Buck, her childhood friend Willow Yee, and the lifelong friendship they develop that helps to sustain them through the tumultuous decades of the twentieth century.”—Mark at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch


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The Returned
Jason Mott

“An emotional, literary what if of a story that explores how we might react if our loved ones mysteriously returned to life as if they’d never been gone—decades after dying. Do parents in their seventies accept or reject the 8-year-old boy on their doorstep who looks and sounds like their son who drowned 50 years ago? Does a town welcome or harass the growing number of inexplicably “returned” people? Mott’s debut novel tackles this fascinating premise and the questions it raises in a compelling way.”—Melissa at KDL’s Service Center


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Attachments
Rainbow Rowell

“Lincoln is an IT guy, instructed to read through his company’s flagged e-mails.  Living at home with his mom, this is the most interesting happening in his life right now.  When he gets swept up in the e-mails between Beth and Jennifer in the copy room, he becomes fascinated by the ups and downs in their lives.   It’s a story of bad timing, missed connections, and romance from afar.  I couldn’t put it down!”—Liz at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


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Steelheart
Brandon Sanderson

SF TEEN SANDERSON

“The book is about a young boy who sees his father murdered by one of the Epics, a human with superpowers.  He is determined to find the Epics weakness and fight with the Reckoners to bring down all Epics.  The book was a great read, full of action and suspense!”—Beth at KDL’s Gaines Township branch


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Ghana Must Go
Taiye Selasi

“This family drama that brings together estranged family members after the death of the patriarch is familiar in the healings that are possible at such times; yet the story is also unique in highlighting the experiences of American immigrants becoming reacquainted with their West African roots.”—Helen Kay at KDL’s Spencer Township branch


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Out of The Easy
Ruta Sepetys

HIST TEEN SEPETYS

“I loved Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepetys.  It’s a coming-of-age story set in 1950’s New Orleans. In a nutshell,  Josie is the daughter of a prostitute who aspires to attend Smith College.  It’s a great story, superbly told.  New Orleans is practically a character in this book-it’s so vividly colorful.  I couldn’t put it down!”—Kris at KDL’s Comstock Park branch


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After Ever After
Jordan Sonnenblick

TEEN SONNENBLICK

“Jeremy and his best friend Tad have both beaten cancer, but they still suffer from the side effects of treatment. Jeremy can’t concentrate and Tad can’t walk well. They strike a deal to get through the year: Tad will tutor Jeremy to help him pass the standardized tests, and Jeremy will work out with Tad to get his legs strong enough to walk at graduation. And one big surprise is a new girl at school, who is actually interested in Jeremy. This book was super funny, cute, and also heartbreaking. I was laughing through my tears, and vise versa.”—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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Power Moves: Livin' the American Dream, USA Style
Karl Welzein

HUMOR WEL

“Karl the main character of this farce would describe this book as being just packed full of bold flavors, and I have to agree.  I could not put down this book as I was so aghast with how Karl lived his life and infatuated to see what he would do next.  Karl is a middle aged man from Michigan who is determined to live his version of the American dream to the fullest, which usually means being super cool at all times and eating tasty treats that are full of bold flavors.  He is so cool he had to write this instruction manual for the rest of us lame wads.”—Craig at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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The Loving Story
SOCSCI CIVRTS DVD LOV / NR

On June 2, 1958, Richard Loving and his fiancée Mildred Jeter traveled from Caroline County, VA, to Washington, D.C. to be married. Later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried and convicted of the felony crime of miscegenation. Two young ACLU lawyers took on the Lovings case, fully aware of the challenges posed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor on June 12, 1967 and resulted in sixteen states being ordered to overturn their bans on interracial marriage.

Recommended by Shaunna at KDL’s Grandville branch


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Hot Coffee
LAW DVD HOT / NR

“We’ve all heard the story about the lawsuit where the lady sued for millions after spilling coffee in her lap because the coffee was hot. That was ridiculous, right? Or was it? This documentary exposes how corporations spent millions on a propaganda campaign to distort Americans’ view of lawsuits, forever changing the civil justice system.”—Meredith at KDL’s Byron Twp branch


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Sir! No Sir! - The Suppressed Story of the GI Movement to End the War in Vietnam
HISTORY MILITARY VIETNAM DVD SIR / NR

“Since 100% of my knowledge of Vietnam vets’ feelings about the war comes from that one scene in Rambo where Sylvester Stallone is staggering around wailing about being called a baby killer, I found this documentary to be both super informative and absolutely fascinating.”—Monica at KDL’s Wyoming branch


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