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

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The School of Night
Louis Bayard

“Part historical romance, part contemporary suspense surrounding a discovered Elizabethan letter connecting the great minds of the era with the secretive and dangerous School of Night.  Bayard is known for his historical mysteries and here he adds a different element to the mix by combining a plot set in the Elizabethan era with a modern-day story.”—Cheryl at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy Book 1)
Sarah Rees Brennan

SF TEEN BRENNAN

“A sassy and smart paranormal mystery that takes place in the rural hills of a London suburb, Unspoken quickly had me hooked and it was difficult to put down.  Kami has been able to speak with a boy inside her head since she was a child.  Only when a prestigious family moves back to Sorry-in-the-Vale, and she meet the boy that’s been talking to her mind for years, do the problems escalate.  Crazy funny,  and a great, magical mystery with a touch of romance.

I read this for Teen SF CORE. Such a good pick! And the second book in the series comes out the end of this month.”—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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The Childhood of Jesus
J. M. Coetzee

“Nobel Prize of Literature 2003. An amazing and beautiful story about identity, friendship and the power of family ties.”—Ruben at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch


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Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
Joan Druett

TRANSPOR BOATS DRU

“This book chronicles the true story of two separate shipwrecks (Circa 1850’s) and their respective survivors who live unknowingly at different locations on the Aukland island group near Indonesia.  The author used documented logs/diaries to recreate these extraordinary events.  The reader will recognize the profound differences in the two groups’ experiences, largely attributed to the simple choices they made (in some cases leading to the difference between life and death).  I loved this rich story!”—Brian at KDL’s Service Center


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Indiscretion
Charles Dubow

“The writing itself is wonderful.  The characters come alive and are likeable.  I didn’t expect to like this as well as I did but it got me hook, line and sinker.”—Michelle at KDL’s Service Center


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When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man
Nick Dybek

“It’s a bit of a mystery how a Michigan boy who now lives in NYC chose to write a novel set in a fishing village of the Pacific Northwest, but he did – and it’s a fascinating read about the moral dilemma of a teenager who finds that his father has kidnapped the new owner of the town’s fishing industry.”—Helen Kay at KDL’s Spencer Township branch


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A Guide for the Perplexed
Dara Horn

“This is a fascinating novel with alternating storylines about a historic genizah (a storage area in a synagogue for discarded religious documents) and a modern software program called Genizah that uses technology to record and catalog every moment of our lives. More than just an interesting story, A Guide for the Perplexed is an exploration of forgiveness and memory that will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.”—Melissa at KDL’s Service Center


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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Rachel Joyce

“Harold goes out to mail a letter…and just keeps going.  What starts as an ordinary day becomes, quite literally, a spiritual pilgrimage.  This is a debut novel, and one of the best books of the year.”—Mark at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch


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Orphan Train
Christina Baker Kline

Orphan Train is a book set in both the present day and the late 1920’s during the depression era and revolves around the story of two women, Vivian and Molly. The past story focuses on Vivian, an elderly woman who as a child traveled from NYC to Minnesota on one of the infamous “orphan trains” that was used to get orphans out of the cities into the country where they might have a better opportunity at survival. The present day story focuses on Molly, a teenager who has been bounced around in the foster care system and is doing community service in Vivian’s home. During Molly’s visits, the women form an unexpected bond and begin sharing the battles, the fears and sadness that have plagued them from early childhood.”—Tina at KDL’s Grandville branch


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March Book 1
John Lewis,Andrew Aydin,Nate Powell

BIOGRAPHY GRAPHIC LEWIS

“Congressman John Lewis tells his story in this first book of the March Trilogy. He tells of growing up the son of a sharecropper, going to school, fighting ‘Separate but Equal’ and participating in lunch counter sit-ins.   A very moving and inspirational Graphic Biography. I am very much looking forward to the follow-ups.”—Meredith at KDL’s Byron Township branch


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The Girl You Left Behind
Jojo Moyes

“I would like to suggest  a book that I just read. I really enjoyed the book, The Girl You left Behind, by JoJo Moyes. This is an book about two strong women characters that go to great lengths to do what they feel is the right thing. The consequences that they are forced to endure because of their decisions would make anyone else second guess their decision. The story weaves back and forth from the WWI era to present day.”—Shari at KDL’s Gaines Township branch


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Me Before You
Jojo Moyes

“Unconventional and unconditional  love combine to create the touching love story of wheelchair bound Will and his caregiver Louisa.”—Theresa at KDL’s Byron Township branch


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Damned
Chuck Palahniuk

“It is the story of a 13 year old who dies from a marijuana overdose and ends up in hell. It was a combination of Dante’s Inferno and  Are you there God, it’s me Margaret. Funny and well written, particularly the list of sins and the number of times you are allowed to commit them without paying the ultimate price.”—Jim at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


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Secret Pizza Party
Adam Rubin

E RUBIN

“If a fresh, hot pizza has ever given you the happy screams, this is the book for you!  I also particularly enjoyed reading, ‘Run, raccoon!  Run like the wind!’ out loud.”—Liz at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


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The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe
Mary Simses

“On the cover of book, James Patterson compares it to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I liked both titles, but I don’t see any comparison of the two stories.  There were times in the book that I wasn’t a fan of the main character, but I still enjoyed it.  It is her first novel and it was mentioned in the Book Page.”—Barb at KDL’s Bryon Township branch


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The Light Between Oceans
M.L. Stedman

“This book had me thinking hard about the morality of their situation and empathizing with the characters.”—Stacy at KDL’s Service Center


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Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City
Gordon Young

SOSCI YOU

“Former Flintoid Gordon Young tries to do the impossible in 2009, buy and renovate a house in Flint! Young finds that he may have underestimated how much has changed in Flint since the 1980’s, when he abandoned his hometown for San Francisco. Teardown provides an insider’s perspective into the past and present state of Michigan’s vehicle city.”—Barb at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


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Ask Me About My New God! (CD + DVD)
COMEDY BAM

“If you’ve never listened to the comedic styling’s of Maria Bamford you’re missing out on many a good hearty laugh! Bamford has been featured everywhere from Louie with Louis C.K. to Jimmy Kimmel Live! to The Sarah Silverman Program.  Her newest Standup CD is hilariously insightful and broaches uncomfortable topics and makes them  funnier than you thought possible. People who like their comedy with an experimental twist, and whose minds are open and agile enough to follow the twists and leaps of her stories intermixed with a wide array of voice acting genius will find themselves want more! Also includes a bonus DVD with two of her Standup shows.”—Emmy at KDL’s Tyrone Township branch


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Perception: The Complete First Season
TV DVD PER / TV-14

Perception is fantastic..with Eric Mcormack…from Will and Grace…he portrays a college professor that has Schizophrenia…its about… how he handles his life and his teaching…laughing..crying… will be had by all…”—Tami at KDL’s Sand Lake branch


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The Sapphires
COM DVD SAP / PG-13

“I loved the DVD The Sapphires starring Jessica Mauboy and  Chris O’Dowd.  The film is inspired by a true story.  The time is 1968, and four young, talented Australian Aboriginal girls learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertain the US troops in Vietnam.”—Dana at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


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