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

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Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Allie Brosh

HUMOR BRO

“This book is based on Brosh’s popular blog of the same name. It’s filled with comics and stories about childhood, dealing with insane dogs, battling depression and a murderous goose. This book make me laugh until I cried and then I had to re-read it again and again. This book is a rainbow!!”
—Emmy at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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A Dog's Purpose
W. Bruce Cameron

CAMERON

“This is a heartwarming tale of man’s best friend. This insightfully crafted novel teaches us that love never dies and that every creature on our beautiful planet has a purpose. Using simple prose and told from the dog’s point of view, it will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. This one’s definitely a keeper.”
—Kathy at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)
Orson Scott Card

SF CD TEEN CARD

“My staff pick is ‘Ender’s Game’ (audiobook) by Orson Scott Card; Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and others. I love that this is a 20 year anniversary book with a great interview by the author, Orson Scott Card, on the last disk. He provides ‘sage’ advice for wanna-be authors, saying ‘there are only 2 reasons why anyone would want be a writer: if while reading a book, you think it’s an awful book (and you could do a better job) OR it’s such an amazingly wonderful book that the author has left him or herself so totally out of the story, that you want to learn writing from this author!’”
—Laura at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
John Milton Cooper Jr.

BIOGRAPHY WILSON

“This book tells the story of his role in promoting world peace on the before and after World War I. The author provides careful research into the early life of a past President and how those influences helped shape the world leader he became. Upon leaving the White House, Wilson made a list of five different cities in which he and his wife might live. Ultimately, he selected Washington DC because of the access to libraries that the city afforded him (an interesting fact for our library staff to be aware of).”
—Brian at KDL’s Service Center


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Monstrous Beauty
Elizabeth Fama

SF TEEN FAMA

“An unconventional retelling of the original ‘Little Mermaid’ set in modern times. With its combination of the mermaid myth, nineteenth century ghosts and forbidden love, ‘Monstrous Beauty’ weaves a wildly exciting and utterly gorgeous adventure.”
—Tina at KDL’s Grandville branch


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Still Alice
Lisa Genova

GENOVA

“This title has been around awhile, so we’ve probably had it on the list before, for good reason. Genova does a wonderful job writing from the point of view of a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The emotions feel genuine. The narrative is painful at times, but never overly sentimental. The book raises millions of issues and questions, a great book discussion book.”
—Penni at KDL’s Service Center


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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell

SOCSCI PSYCH GLA

“My husband and I just listened to Malcolm Gladwell read his newest work, ‘David and Goliath.’ We both found this non-fiction work very interesting and thought provoking. As often said, one cannot judge a book by its cover. And in this case, this engaging exploration into misfits and underdogs clearly reveals that commonly held beliefs of what guarantees success or victory is not always true. Hearing the author read his own words made this even more enjoyable!”
—Susan at KDL’s Grandville branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Starvation Lake: A Mystery
Bryan Gruley

MYS GRULEY

“This gritty debut novel set in northern rural Michigan is replete with hockey, snowmobiles, and murder. The first of a series.”
—Mark at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch


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Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols, and Other Typographical Marks
Keith Houston

ART HOU

“Did you ever wonder why the hashtag/pound key/number sign has so many names? Where did it come from? & (WHY DOES THIS MEAN AND????)AREYOUCURIOUSWHYWEDECIDEDTOINVENTPUNCTUATIONANDSPACING Then this book is for you!”
—Barb at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch


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Reality Boy
A.S. King

TEEN KING

“Gerald is famous (infamous, really) because his family starred in a reality TV show when he was younger. ‘Reality Boy’ is his journey of self-acceptance, understanding his unbelievably dysfunctional family, and navigating first love. It’s totally engaging, and you’ll find yourself rooting for Gerald. I loved it!”
—Kris at KDL’s Comstock Park branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
Lucy Knisley

BIOGRAPHY GRAPHIC KNISLEY

“I absolutely love this book! Lucy Knisley shares so much about her experiences growing up with ‘foodie’ parents, traveling and eating in other countries, and meals with friends to create an inspiring and heartfelt graphic memoir about the thing we all undoubtedly love: FOOD.
The illustrations are so much of what I love about this book- the settings change from urban, to rural, to workplace, to school and the author just nails it every page. She brings cheery, colorful, classic Sunday comic-strip life to her stories, and includes fully illustrated recipes every now and again so you basically never stop drooling.”
—Rosie at KDL’s Wyoming branch


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An Unexpected Guest: A Novel
Anne Korkeakivi

KORKEAKIVI

“I loved the insight into a diplomat’s life from this story. The author also framed this story in such a way that the choices the main character made in a day were suspenseful and life changing. Fascinating read!”
—Michelle at KDL’s Service Center


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Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
Justin Lee

SOCSCI LGTBQ LEE

“I think everyone should read it! It is from the unique perspective of a gentleman who grew up in a very religious household and believed that being gay was a choice and the Bible was against it. Until, of course, he realized in his teens that he was not attracted to girls, but boys. He literally IS both sides of the debate.”
—Shannon at KDL’s Comstock Park branch


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Bobcat and Other Stories
Rebecca Lee

LEE

“This short story collection got a glowing recommendation from a coworker and so I gave it a try even though short stories aren’t usually my favorite. I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone because the stories were all marvelously written with interesting characters I feel I will remember for a long time.”
—Morgan at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch


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The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel
Stef Penney

PENNEY

“I recommend this because the story was engaging and complicated, the language so descriptive I felt I was there and I could visualize the entire setting, and it was the mid 1800s in Northern Canada which was an important part of the story.”
—Sara at KDL’s Caledonia Township branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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The Kneebone Boy
Ellen Potter

J POTTER

“Lucia, Otto and Max Hardscrabble go on an impromptu adventure to the English countryside, following a mysterious note from a Great Aunt they didn’t know they had, while their father is away on a business trip. They come upon Kneebone Castle and learn of the many mysteries hidden within, like a boy who’s half animal. Full of absolutely fantastic characters and told in an entrancing voice, I fell into this story completely. You get so much more than the summary promises (along with fluffer-nutter sandwiches). Five stars.”
—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick

TEEN SEDGWICK

“In the 2014 Printz Award winning book, Marcus Sedgwick has flawlessly executed a clever novel about the history (and mystery) of a strange island that is said to hold the secrets of youth. He uses several different narratives that keep going back in time until you get to the seventh one, which contains the answers you have been searching for throughout the entire book. Read it!”
—Veronica at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch


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My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
Ari Shavit

HISTORY MIDEAST SHA

“An amazing journey of the born of State of Israel. A book that will touch your soul and it will change you forever.”
—Rubén at KDL’s East Grand Rapids branch


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Orleans
Sherri L. Smith

SF TEEN SMITH

After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.

Recommended by Shaunna at KDL’s Alpine Township branch


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The Secret of Raven Point: A Novel
Jennifer Vanderbes

VANDERBES

“It’s 1943 and World War II is raging when 17-year-old Juliet Dufresne finds out her enlisted brother, Tuck, is missing in action. Desperate to find him, Juliet lies about her age and joins the Army as a nurse, requesting to be sent to the front in Italy where her brother was last seen. Amidst the daily horrors of trying to piece men back together mentally and physically, Juliet searches for information about Tuck. Her journey to find out what happened to Tuck and the bonds she forges with her fellow nurses and doctors are all compellingly portrayed by Vanderbes in this excellent novel.”
—Melissa at KDL’s Service Center


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Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal
Melanie Warner

HEALTH NUTRITION WAR

“This book will make you think twice about eating fast food, and buying frozen food. A great book about food science and the rise of processed food in America, that shines a light on what really goes into our food and explains why some of it does not good bad for months.”
—Craig at KDL’s Cascade Township branch


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Mr. Wuffles!
David Wiesner

E WIESNER

“This Newbery Honor book really packs a great surprise and is full of Wiesner’s trademark humor.”
—Beth at KDL’s Gaines Township branch


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Pixar Short Films Collection 2
KIDS DVD PIX / G

“I watched ‘Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 2’ with my children and we all enjoyed it. It’s a great mix of characters from movies we love, and also original shorts. ‘Partly Cloudy’ and ‘La Luna’ were our favorites! The shorts were fun to talk about with the kids, and we discussed what else would happen if the shorts were longer. What’s the rest of the story? Great entertainment for a snow day!”
—Liz at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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