KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > June 2014

KDL Recommends

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

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Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe

CLASSIC ACHEBE

“A timeless tale of the conflict between the individual and society, as well as the clash of cultures and the destruction of traditional life with the arrival of the European missionaries. First published in 1958, Things Fall Apart is a classic of modern African writing.”
—Mark at KDL’s Krause Memorial Branch


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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The Dressmaker
Kate Alcott

“This novel follows the life of a young woman who survives the sinking of the Titanic. It’s historical fiction based on actual people and events that draws the reader into life in the New York City fashion world.”
—Laura at KDL’s Service Center


More info: Item Details | Catalog Link | Purchase from Amazon
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Red Rising
Pierce Brown

SF BROWN

“A great medieval-themed story set in the future. Darrow is a miner on mars, collecting resources to terraform the planet for future colonists. However when his young wife is hung for doing a sacred dance his whole world comes crashing down. He quickly discovers the world he thought he understood is not what it seems and he is determined to set his people free. With the help of the resistance group Aries, he manages to infiltrate high society and begin to crash the system from within.”
—Craig KDL’s Cascade Township Branch


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The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas
Jerry Dennis

SCIENCE NATURE DEN

“Dennis weaves the history and nature of the Great Lakes with stories about his life growing up on Lake Michigan and sailing on the Lakes. His stories are very compelling and the history and nature of the Lakes will capture anyone who has lived around these beautiful bodies of water.”
—Katie at KDL’s Grandville Branch


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The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman

NEWBERY TEEN GAIMAN

“Neil Gaiman brings the paranormal to life in this haunting tale about Nobody Owens, a normal boy raised by ghosts. Join him along a fantastical journey to find his true identity amidst danger, mystery, and unlikely friendships.”
—Cynthia at KDL’s Cascade Township Branch

“Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. Though there are dangers in the graveyard, it could be much worse outside, and Bod could encounter Jack, the man who killed his family when he was a toddler. This book is great for fans of Rudyard Kipling!”
—Veronica at KDL’s Krause Memorial Branch


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Vintage: A Novel
Susan Gloss

“This debut by Susan Gloss is an engaging story of women’s friendships and love.”
—Barb at KDL’s Byron Township Branch


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The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
Naoki Higashida

MEDICAL AUTISM HIG

“This quick-read format is in question and answer form. Questions are explored, such as: Why do you like spinning? Or Why do you flap your fingers and hands in front of your face? Or Why do you repeat certain actions again and again? Japanese autistic author, Naoki is very clear in his answers and he explains what feels most people with Asperger’s would want expressed.

“The author ends the book with a short story—excellent read for anyone who might find this information helpful!”
—Laura at KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch


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March Story, Vol. 1
Kyung-il Yang

GRAPHIC MARCH

“March is a member of the Ciste Vihad, an organization that tracks down and hunts the Ill. Ill inhabit treasured every-day objects, in turn possessing the humans who come in contact with them, often leading to bloodshed and tragedy. However, in this dark world of demons, March’s story with the Ill may be the darkest of all. This 5-volume series contains fantastic art and deeply impactful stories. Each chapter is powerful in its own way, and March is joined by a wonderful cast of characters. I wish it were longer than 5 volumes! Highly recommended.”
—Kelly at KDL’s Cascade Township Branch


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Bird Box: A Novel
Josh Malerman

HORROR MALERMAN

“In this post-apocalyptic society something is making people go crazy and soon nobody can even go outside, after days of trying to survive people realize only the blind have the advantage. Bird Box is scary and while the book deals with the supernatural, it never focuses on that aspect, its purely about the act of survival and the fear that controls people to do things we otherwise would not under normal circumstances. The whole tone of the book is a direct play on your own psyche and some of the scenes that build within your own mind are downright terrifying.

“If you’re looking for a great creepy read, Bird Box is it.”
—Tina at KDL’s Grandville Branch


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Labor Day: A Novel
Joyce Maynard

“As clichéd as it sounds, ‘coming-of-age’ is still a good way to describe this story.

“13-year-old Henry lives full time with his emotionally fragile single mother, Adele, and has a strained relationship with his dad. Summer is ending and the long Labor Day weekend is just beginning.

“On a shopping trip, Henry and his mom meet a mysterious man named Frank who needs their help. From that chance encounter, life for Henry and Adele changes dramatically. Henry starts to see the relationships around him with crystal-clear definition which enables him to reach some important realizations. The next five days and the events that take place are such powerful influences on Henry that he is never the same.

“Readers will be drawn into this story by Joyce Maynard’s rich characterizations, the nostalgic 1987 ambiance she creates and the tension that mounts as events unfold.”
—Joyanne at KDL’s Service Center


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Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles
Marissa Meyer

SF TEEN MEYER

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

Recommended by Shaunna at KDL’s Alpine Township Branch


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The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel
Denise Mina

“I listened to the audio version of the book and the characters came to life! If you enjoy stories with mystery and intrigue and complex characters, you will love this story. Set in Scotland, this suspenseful tale features boarding school students, mistaken identity, financial ruin, and a female detective with a difficult past that keeps coming to the forefront. I kept wanting to take longer drives just to see another piece of the intricate puzzle unveiled.”
—Heather at KDL’s Spencer Township Branch


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The Divorce Papers: A Novel
Susan Rieger

“Written all in the form of letters/memos/e-mails (and some are copied pages of legal document). Even though it’s a fiction, it was interesting to know how the legal work goes for the divorce (especially high profile one). How the emotions and human relations moving thru the story were serious yet comical.”
—Yuko at KDL’s Service Center


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Attachments
Rainbow Rowell

“This was a quick, fun book to read with some really great characters. If you haven’t read anything by this author, give this one a try!”
—Beth at KDL’s Gaines Township Branch


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Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith

SF TEEN SMITH

“What happens when you take a 16-year-old-boy struggling with his sexuality, add some B-movie-type horror, and mix in a pinch of social commentary regarding genetically modified food? You get Grasshopper Jungle, written by Andrew Smith of Winger fame. This title is hilarious, gross, sensitive, and smart, often all at once.”
—Greg at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch


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Maniac Magee (Newbery Medal Book)
Jerry Spinelli

NEWBERY J SPINELLI

“A fast read about a fast kid who amazes those around him by running on the rails of the train tracks. Maniac becomes a legend in both ends of his racially divided town, never staying in one place for long and touching the lives of many, including the reader. I couldn’t put it down!”
—Liz at KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch


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The Hiding Place (Hendrickson Classic Biographies)
Corrie Ten Boom

BIOGRAPHY 921 TENBOOM

“A first-hand account of the Ten Boom family and their experience hiding and aiding Jewish people during the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland. Corrie writes humbly about her experiences, despite how truly brave she was. She, along with her kind and loving father and sister, were hiding several Jewish people in their own home, and networking with the Dutch Underground. Their efforts led them to concentration camps, where Corrie and her sister continued to find and share hope despite their desperate, and seemingly hopeless surroundings.”
—Rosie at KDL’s Wyoming Branch


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The Martian: A Novel
Andy Weir

SF WEIR

The Martian is a great novel, which remains true to the hard science fiction genre while being easy to digest for the layman reader. It is an intense, bleak, and sometimes comedic story of an astronaut stranded on Mars, Cast Away style; despite the title there are no aliens involved in this story.”
—Rachel at KDL’s Service Center


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