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Our summer hours start this weekend: All KDL branches will be closed Sundays from May 27 through Sept. 2. We will also be closed Monday, May 28, in observance of Memorial Day.


Staff Picks

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Refugee by Alan Gratz
"Three stories of families making their ultimate journeys for survival will keep readers turning pages! Though each story takes place in a different time period, their stories echo and intertwine. Fantastic middle grade fiction!" Elizabeth at KDL's Plainfield Branch
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things: A Novel by Bryn Greenwood
"I loved this book throughout the raw core, right up to the last few haunting words. The main character, Wavy Quinn, is a tiny, feral girl, neglected by her addict parents and surviving in world where the stars are her only true comforts. Enter the knight, Jesse Joe Kellen, a brutish biker with a criminal record and a desire to protect. As the tale progresses, heroes become villains and villains, heroes. It is light and dark, good and evil, ugly and well...wonderful. Adeptly told from the perspectives of many characters over the course of a decade, it is a story that serves to remind us that love can take many forms. If read with an open mind it will settle into you in unexpected ways." -Nanette from KDL's Sub Pool
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
"We all die at the end. Nobody escapes this fact. We are all equal on this. Most of us don’t even think about it just because we don’t know when exactly the end would be. But few people know it’s coming and try to live the days you have to the fullest. In this story two boys tried to live their End Day as positive as they can be together. That makes all the difference even though the end comes for sure." -Yuko at KDL's Service Center
Shetland Season One & Two
"Based on the books by Ann Cleves, these adaptations, featuring DI Jimmy Perez and DS McIntosh are brimming with atmosphere and intrigue. Take a tour of the beautiful and remote Shetland Islands and meet some colourful characters along the way." -Cathy at KDL's Gaines Township Branch
True Detective Season 1
I’m not one to reread books or watch a television series more than once, but I’ve blown through the dark, gritty eight-hour tale that is True Detective: Season 1 so many times I could write a book on it (admittedly, probably not a very good book). The characters portrayed by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey have a great dynamic, and McConaughey’s character, Rust Cohle, is easily my favorite role that he’s ever played." -David at KDL's Service Center
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
"Michelle Alexander, who is a legal scholar and a professor, documents racial disparities in rates of arrests and incarcerations and explains the depth and breadth of the ways in which the legal system creates these disparities." -Mark at KDL's Rockford Branch
Joy in the Morning: A Novel by Betty Smith
"In this charming and realistic overlooked classic from the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Annie and Carl, a struggling law student, marry after several years of courtship. Poverty and inexperience test the young couple’s relationship, but readers will appreciate the heartwarming ways that they find of making things work." -Mark at KDL's Rockford Branch
Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero by Cate Lineberry
"Robert Smalls was an American who escaped slavery, who served the Union Army during the Civil War, and had the unique experience of acquiring the home he was once a servant in and ultimately, graciously hosting his former slave master family during a short period of the reconstruction period. Smalls later served as a US Congressman and this book provides an excellent account of his life." -Brian at KDL's Service Center
There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
"Stephanie Perkins is my favorite teen author of quirky romances, but she threw me for a loop with this suspenseful slasher novel. Makani, a Hawaiian teen forced to move to Nebraska to run away from her past, encounters a serial killer that begins to pick off her high school peers one by one. Makani and her group of friends are desperate to find a motive to figure out the killer’s next move – Makani’s afraid her secret will make her the next victim. Hold on to your cornstalks and get ready for a wild and scary ride." -Abby at KDL's Wyoming Branch
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
"This should not be a surprise choice from me! Ava is a high school student and struggles with a form of OCD. It really gives the reader a peek into the thought process of this mental health issue." -Beth at KDL's Gaines Township Branch
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
"It is a fascinating and sobering look at life in North Korea from the point of view of 6 North Korean defectors." -Megan at KDL's Service Center
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and loved it! It’s perfect for October if you’re looking for something to read that’s full of mysterious pasts and little spookiness. When I read it I was reminded of Jonathan Franzen’s much loved read, Freedom. Given that feel, I couldn’t put it down." -Ashten at KDL's Wyoming Branch
Warped Ambition (A Jo Riskin Mystery) (Volume 1) by Debbie S. TenBrink
"This is a murder mystery set in our very own Grand Rapids, Michigan and is chock full of local landmarks and references. The lead character is a woman detective with the Grand Rapids Police Department, investigating two cases; that of a 15 year old girl found murdered and left in a dumpster, as well as the unsolved murder of the detective’s own husband, who was also a GRPD officer. The clues kept me eagerly following along and I have to say when the author dropped the fact that the detective’s partner was a proud Grand Valley alumni, I was hooked." -Kathleen from KDL's Walker Branch
Beast Epic by Iron and Wine
"I'm a big fan of Iron and Wine (Sam Beam). Equal parts emotional and cool, his seventh album is a beautiful addition to the alternative/indie/folk scene." -Peggy from KDL's Alto Branch
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
"Set in England in 1939, this story is about a young physically challenged girl, Ada, and her brother, Jamie. Maliciously hidden from the world by her mother, Ada, finds courage and the physical strength she needs to escape to the country. There, the children are housed with Susan Smith, a grieving woman, who must face her own demons in order to help the two billeted children. This dramatic tale, with the rising peril of World War II as the background, can be enjoyed by the whole family. It is about courage in the face of fear, loyalty in the face of loss, and ultimately, the triumph of the human spirit. It is a redemptive story where the worst circumstances, lead to life." -Nanette from KDL's Sub Pool
I Saw the Devil
A revenge tale to end all revenge tales, this South Korean genre flick is absolutely punishing. Jee-woon Kim's precise command of the filmmaking paired with a heart-wrenchingly brutal performance by Byung-hun Lee makes for a cinematic experience that grabs you and wont let go. This film is not for the faint of heart, there are no heroes or Hollywood endings. But for those who can stomach it, 'I Saw The Devil' is a stunning calling card from a brilliant South Korean auteur. -Jacob from KDL's Service Center
A Bride's Story, Vol. 1
"At 9 volumes so far, it is a wonderful historical slice of life story taking place in 19th century central Asia. It is about Amir, a bride from a nomadic tribe sent to be married to a groom who is eight years younger than her. The story focuses on the daily life of the new couple and the people around them. The books are beautifully drawn and so full of incredible details. The artwork is amazing." -Megan at KDL's Service Center
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
"Death is about the only thing happens to all humans, rich or poor, equally. The way people around the world view or dealt with death, after life, etc. so differently (cultural and ritual) is interesting." -Yuko at KDL's Service Center
An Irish Country Practice: An Irish Country Novel (Irish Country Books) by Patrick Taylor
"Brand new, book no. 14 of my favorite series. As always, it’s a real feel-good read that makes me want to live in Ballybucklebo with those wonderful characters." -Yuko at KDL's Service Center
A Proper Pursuit by Lynn Austin
"This is a coming-of-age story about a young woman who travels to Chicago in search of her mother. With the backdrop of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Violet meets people from all walks of life, and in the process, learns much about faith, her calling, and true love. Sifting through the various opportunities set before her, Violet determines to discover the truth about her mother and decide for herself what path her life will take. An interesting, colorful story that will inspire and warm your heart." -Jill at KDL's Service Center
Louisiana Longshot: A Miss Fortune Mystery (Volume 1) by Jana DeLeon
"CIA assassin, Fortune Reading, is a little out of her element hiding out in Sinful, Louisiana. Her cover as a former beauty queen/librarian doesn't quite wash with a couple of the towns elderly residents who have secrets of their own. Fun and fast paced, Fortune and her cohorts soon find themselves up to their "arms" with murder and mayhem." -Janice Donahue in KDL's Info Sub Pool
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S. C. Gwynne
"A stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West." -Mark at KDL's Rockford Branch
The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood
“Has your loved one been replaced by something else? Delve into a town full of superstition and distrust to discover why a woman was killed by her husband." -Hannah at KDL's Spencer Township Branch
A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles
"Filled with interesting monologues , insightful historical references , humor that will make you laugh out loud and characters that you will love. I wanted to try living under house arrest in a luxury hotel and see if I would have adapted as well as Count Alexander." -Christina at KDL's Englehardt Branch
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky
"My book club is reading "Behave" by Robert Sapolsky. It has received great reviews, and is about the biology of human behavior--why we do good or bad, and the basis for our actions in our genes, evolution, environment, and more. A great book for book groups--since starting this book our book group has doubled and people stay even after the time is up to keep talking. A great read for those curious about evolution, psychology and biology as they relate to human behavior." -Donna at KDL's Wyoming Branch
Lockwood & Co., Book 3: The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud
"I recently finished the last book in Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & co. series. The whole series is a great read with the right mix of creepy & character development. So if you are in the mood for some London ghosts, these gems can be found in the youth area!" -Beth at KDL's Gaines Township Branch
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
"With her so-so Spanish, ripped jeans, and dislike of cilantro, Malú’s not the perfect Mexican girl her mom dreamed of--but how can she explain that punk is in her blood? When the principal denies her band entrance into the school’s cultural talent show she knows it’s time to stand up and speak out… because the first rule of punk is being yourself!" -Emily at KDL's East Grand Rapids Branch
Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White (Ala Notable Children's Books. All Ages) by Melissa Sweet
“This biography is a visual delight. The author weaves iconic symbols from White’s life into her presentation of the facts in a mixed-media, collage-like way. The reader comes to understand the inspiration for White’s children’s literature and his Thoreau-like love of all things nature. This book is for people of all ages and will enhance your appreciation of his beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web.” -Nanette – Info Sub
Myth Education: A Guide to Gods, Goddesses, and Other Supernatural Beings by David Fletcher
“This is totally cheating and self-serving, but I HIGHLY recommend Myth Education: A Guide to Gods, Goddesses, and Other Supernatural Beings by David Fletcher (me). From Egypt and Mesopotamia, to China, Japan, Northern Europe, Africa, and the Americas, Myth Education offers a look at nearly 100 mythic figures and each is accompanied by an original piece of artwork by over 40 artists. Both silly and scholarly, Myth Education is the adult mythology guide you didn’t know you needed.” -David at Plainfield Township
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
“This was a very quick read but it has a lot of hard truths for the character and the reader. Read anything by Jason Reynolds!” -Beth at Gaines Township
Undisclosed by Steve Alten
“For anyone interested in a good conspiracy theory read or anyone who is interested in aliens visiting earth, and if you like both of those things you will love this book. The US government has been hiding the truth about alien contact the whole time since the Roswell crash, they have also been reverse engineering alien technology and have the ability to generate energy without creating any waste. However the secret powers at be do not want this information to be public knowledge because they will lose their stranglehold on the economy. Also they have the technology to regrow lost limbs! A pretty thrilling read as one man tries to bring the truth to light and change the future of the planet.” –Craig at Walker
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
“I recommend The Vanderbeekers of 141st St. by Karina Yan Glaser. When their crabby landlord refuses to renew their brownstone’s lease, five siblings work together to convince him they should stay. Heartwarming and full of holiday spirit, the Vanderbeekers are sure to win you over, too!” -Liz at Plainfield Township
A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery by Victoria Gilbert
“A Murder for the Books is a delightful cozy mystery by a new mystery author set in a public library. If you like cozy mystery author Jenn McKinlay's books then this is a book you will enjoy reading.” -Barb at Byron Township
Jade Dragon Mountain: A Mystery (Li Du Novels) by Elsa Hart
“This is the first in a series of two books (so far) set in China during the early 1700’s. The only Westerners allowed in at the time were Jesuit priests, because the Emperor appreciates- and makes use of- their skill with astronomy. Librarian, Li Du, has been exiled for angering the Emperor, but his knowledge and skills are called upon to solve a murder in a city the Emperor is visiting, because of a scheduled total eclipse of the sun.” -Sandy at Alto
We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories: Library Edition by Gabrielle Union
“I am usually wary of authors reading their own audiobooks, but Gabrielle Union is perfection. Her stories are funny, crazy, and eye-opening.” -Samantha at KDL’s Service Center
The Nix: A novel by Nathan Hill
"This book reminded me a lot of John Irving’s writing. So while I didn’t particularly like the characters, this story was engrossing."-Michelle at KDL's Service Center
Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan's Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry
“Richard Parry, a journalist for The Times based in Tokyo takes an inside look on lives affected by the Tsunami in March 11, 2011. This is a somber and intense read for those who want to see how humanity copes with catastrophe and loss.” –Hannah at Wyoming
The Boat Runner: A Novel by Devin Murphy
“The Boat Runner is the haunting coming of age story of Jacob Koopman, a 14 year old Dutch boy at the onset of WWII. Epic in scope, reflective in tone, layered with adventures, and masterfully written, it was difficult to put down. When the circumstances of his loss lead him to question his allegiance to his country, his family and to himself, what will he choose?” –Nanette at Cascade
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel by Matthew Sullivan
“Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan is a debut novel that begins with a suicide in a bookstore in Denver. Lydia Smith is the bookseller who is married to her job at the store. When one of her favorite customers, Joey Molina hangs himself in the history section and she finds a photograph of herself at her 10th birthday party in the pocket of his jeans the mystery begins, since she they never knew each other as children. In her quest to find answers, a horrible memory resurfaces. A well-written novel. I look forward to additional works by this author.” – Gene, Information Substitute
Letters from Skye: A Novel by Jessica Brockmole
“If you liked The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society, you’ll also like Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. Elspeth Dunn is a reclusive poet in turn of the century Scotland. One day she receives a ‘fan letter’ from a cocky and fun-loving American college student, David Graham, who has read her poetry. They begin a correspondence that develops into a love that lasts into the time of World War I, when both Elspeth’s husband and David go missing. Alternating with Elspeth’s story is the story of her daughter, also corresponding with the man she loves during World War II. Only when Elspeth goes missing after a London blitz strikes her apartment, does her daughter discover her mother’s secret.” – Debora at Cascade
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
“This book was such a cleaver combination of a fantasy world and the real world. Elsa is seven when her grandmother dies but she is left with a quest that brings her into contact with all the different people living in her building and thus to a better understanding of her Grandmother.” – Beth at Gaines Township
Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.) by Anthony Bourdain
“This is the type of book you read in one sitting; you simply can’t put it down! Bourdain, known best for his multitude of raw, adventurous, foodie television series, takes you on a colorful journey from his first memory of truly tasting good food, through his struggles as a young chef – and provides plenty of advice to both aspiring cooks and those who love to dine out along the way (e.g., never eat out for brunch and never order fish on a Monday).” – David at KDL’s Service Center
Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood
“I can’t recommend Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood highly enough. Lockwood is a poet with a knack for whimsical, wickedly apt metaphor, and in Priestdaddy, she turns her unblinking, poetic eye onto her unconventional upbringing. The resulting memoir is a worthwhile read for anyone who had a strange childhood, which is to say anyone who had a childhood.” – Jackie at KDL’s Service Center
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken
“I really enjoyed The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken, both book and audio. Mischievous monsters, grumpy malefactors, and family curses, oh my! With funny characters and a cliff-hanger ending, this book is sure to please middle-grade fantasy fans.” – Liz at Plainfield
Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary
“The historical narrative of the west largely omits a whole civilization whose citizens shared an entirely different narrative for a thousand years. Ansary’s lucid and entertaining writing style makes what could have been an academic study easily accessible, explaining why the two cultures grew up oblivious to each other, what happened when they intersected, and how the Islamic world was affected by its slow recognition that Europe, a place it long perceived as primitive and disorganized, had somehow hijacked destiny.” – Mark at Rockford
Wounded Tiger by T. Martin Bennett
“Wounded Tiger is about three people and how their lives overlap and impact each other. Mitsuo Fuchida, the first Japanese bomber of Pearl Harbor, Jake DeShazer, a Japanese POW, and Peggy Covell, the eighteen year old daughter of missionaries.” – Kelly at Nelson Township
Dot Journaling―A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together by Rachel Wilkerson Miller
“Just in time for the new year, this book teaches you the basics of dot journaling – the Instagram-worthy trend more commonly known as bullet journaling. Bullet journaling is an analog planner system that serves both as a creative outlet and productivity tool. This book contains beautiful eye-candy examples and concise and useful information to help you become more organized this year.” –Crystal at Caledonia
Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan
“I love Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan (she won the National Book Award for it).” –Barb at Byron Township
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency : Season One
“The first season is thrilling, quirky and comical that kept me at the edge of my seat. It’s a compulsively watchable show, that I devoured it in a 2 days.” –Megan @ KDL’s Service Center
Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman
“As a fan of the television show Parks and Recreation and cast member Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), I couldn’t pass up the chance to check out this book. This book kept me in stitches and also provides some much needed manly advice that is delivered perfectly. Simply hilarious!” – Clyde at Spencer Township
“I loved the book and I was thrilled it was going to be made into a movie. Sometimes a movie isn’t nearly as good as the book, but I totally loved the movie too. Julia Roberts has always been a favorite of mine and I enjoyed her in this movie. Wonder is a heartfelt and uplifting story and Auggie, the main character, will melt your heart.” -- Barb at Byron Township
Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer
“A great memoir about growing up in Seattle before Seattle was popular and being a woman.” – Shaunna at Alpine Township
A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers
“I loved these characters. They were real, flawed and great together. And who isn’t touched and changed by seeing a whale in real life.” – Michelle at KDL’s Service Center
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) by Shirley Jackson
“All that remains of the once illustrious Blackwood family is Merricat, her elderly and eccentric Uncle Julian, and her beloved sister Connie – who six years prior poisoned the rest. They are happy, in their own creepy way, until a long-lost cousin with dubious motives comes back into their lives. Soon to be a movie!” – Crystal at Caledonia Township
A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
“It weaves together two stories into one. It is a great historical/contemporary read. It begins in September 1911 with Nurse Clara Wood who could not return to Manhattan after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. She cares for an immigrant on Ellis Island whom has a beautiful scarf he carries with a name embroidered on it. She is soon engrossed in a story surrounding that name.” – Jaime at Plainfield Township
The Music Shop: A Novel by Rachel Joyce
“You get a small glimpse of a rundown suburban street in the middle of England in 1983 where one music shop (vinyl only!) can affect so many lives whether it be big or small. The Music Shop will bring you tears of compassion, sadness, and hope all in just a few pages.” – Rachel at East Grand Rapids
Unstoppable: True Stories of Amazing Bionic Animals by Nancy Furstinger
“My children and I really enjoyed reading Unstoppable: True Stories of Amazing Bionic Animals by Nancy Furstinger. We would recommend it to animal lovers and those interested in tech. You will cheer for all of these incredible animals!” – Liz at Plainfield Township
A People's History of the United States (Modern Classics) by Howard Zinn
“Historian Howard Zinn presents the history of the United States from the point of view of – and often in the words of – America’s women, factory workers, African Americans, Native Americans, the working poor, and immigrant laborers, and he does it in an accessible, lively, clear, and scholarly manner.” – Mark at Rockford
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O'Farrell
“I knew after the first chapter that this was going to be a life-altering book. Maggie O'Farrell writes beautifully about 17 near-death experiences that shifted her perspective on life and death. From a doctor who doesn't believe that her medical history will make giving birth difficult, to a magician who pulls her on stage for a knife-throwing trick, each chapter is inspiring and intertwines with the others to create a gorgeous, life-affirming memoir.” – Aimee at Kentwood
Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe) by Neal Shusterman
“Book 1 (Scythe) was my Staff Pick when it came out in 2016. And now, book 2 too! It is packed with unexpected development. And I was stunned at the ending. I need to read book 3 right now!” – Yuko at KDL’s Service Center
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
“This was my revisit to the 80’s since I read everything I could get my hands on by Scott O’Dell. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I still really loved this story! Re-read classics is recommended by Librarians everywhere.” – Beth at Gaines Township
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat
“I recommend After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat. I read this with several kindergarten classes and we talked about being afraid, facing our fears, and perseverance. This beautifully illustrated picture book was a great catalyst for conversation!” – Liz at Plainfield Township
“Mr. Robot is a psychological, cyber-conspiracy thriller that follows IT security engineer Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek) as he dives deeper and deeper into the world of computer hacking, and is eventually recruited by the mysterious Mr. Robot (Christian Slater) to join an underground hacktivism group whose primary goal is to wipe out the world’s debt. And while the series is centered on hacking, cybercrime and corruption, it is just as much about exploring Elliot’s psyche, understanding his mental health issues and seeing the world through his eyes – which can get pretty dark at times.” – David at KDL’s Service Center
Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day by Becky Rapinchuk
“Finally, a realistic method for keeping your home clean and organized – just in time for spring cleaning! The author of the blog Clean Mama, Rapinchuk details her 28-Day Simply Clean Routine that is fully customizable for your schedule and tailored to your home. I found the book so useful that I ended up buying my own copy to reference often.” – Crystal at Caledonia Township
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
“Visiting Cuba had long been on my bucket list, and this past year my dream came true when I traveled to Cuba with my daughters. I understood so much more about what I saw and experienced in Cuba after reading this novel because it humanized the period of Cuban history during and since the Revolution. But it’s a terrific book even if you haven’t traveled to Havana. A family saga with couple of love stories and a few surprises thrown in, Next Year in Havana switches between the Revolution and today, centering on a Cuban-American woman who travels to Cuba to spread her grandmother’s ashes after her death. I couldn’t put it down!” – Jan at Walker
The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan
“The author provides a wonderful history of the house and the life of George and Edith Vanderbilt and their daughter from the beginning, after George's death in 1914, Edith's managing the estate through the great depression and into the 1940's, and the Biltmore today.” – Gene, Information Substitute
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
“Now I know why my son and husband have been passing this book around to friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors. I adored these characters like I did the Harry Potter characters – cheering for them all the way.” – Michelle at KDL’s Service Center
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux
“Deep South resides in the travel section of the library, but is not a travel guidebook. Theroux traveled the back roads of southern states four times, once during each season. He revisited the same places each time and chronicles the struggles of residents of towns and locations long forgotten. The author provides emotional, in-depth stories of people daily confronted by racism and poverty. Some of the locations he visits are familiar places, but most are not. It's difficult to imagine that some of the conditions he describes are in the United States of America.” – Gene, Information Substitute
The Bean Trees: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
“First published in 1988, Barbara Kingsolver’s debut novel continues to delight and charm. In this modern classic, young Taylor Greer leaves her home and heads west, finding family and community, love and friendship, and a sense of belonging along the way.” – Mark at Rockford
Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
“Topher, Brand, and Steve skip school and set off on an adventure to visit their amazing teacher Ms. Bixby who is in the hospital. Packed with crazy, unbelievable adventure and heartfelt character development; if you are looking for a book to make you both laugh and cry, this is it.” – Jill at Wyoming
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.: Essays by Samantha Irby
“Bloggess, Samantha Irby, takes to paper to write a collections of essays that will leaving you laughing and crying. With a completely unselfconscious look at dating, body image, chronic illness, homosexuality, poverty and so much in between, Irby, expresses herself in a hilarious voice with unique honesty that might just make you squirm.” – Nanette at Cascade
SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient--Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal
“I could not put this book down! The author leads you through many life-changing ideas, stemming from questions that she asks. However a person answers those many varied questions, leads the person to even more thought-provoking questions. There are many quests mentioned in the book, and these help you to find out more about your inner self. Chapters in this fascinating book include, ‘You are stronger than you know’, and ‘Challenge Yourself.’ Great Read!” – Robin at Krause Memorial
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
“Arfy the dog send letters to everyone on his block hoping to find a home. Find out how he finds the perfect fit. Cute story for preschoolers and early elementary children.” – Jill at KDL’s Service Center
Rotters by Daniel Kraus
“This is one big pot of heavy, deep, raw, muddy, nasty, gumbo. Joey drags you along as he tells his weird story. Just when you find it unbearable, you can't stop reading.” – Cathy at Gaines Township
Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate
“This tells a story of 2 families from 2 different generations starting in 1939 involving a scandal in a corrupt Tennessee orphanage. It still gives me chills when I think about it.” – Kelly at Nelson Township
The Recipe Box: A Novel by Viola Shipman
“This is the end of the trilogy written by Wade Rouse under his grandmother’s name, Violet Shipman. The Recipe Box is set in Northern Michigan and centers around the family’s orchard. This is a story of the lives of the various generations of women who loved the orchard and their struggles to keep the orchard going throughout the years. It is a heartwarming story of women, food and the importance of family. Readers who enjoyed the previous two books in the trilogy, The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest will not be disappointed in The Recipe Box.” – Barb at Byron Township
The Loon Feather by Iola Fuller
“Our book group here at Alto used this title earlier this year. For different reasons, this book appealed to everyone. It’s a very interesting look at the conflict between European and Native American cultures in the early 1800’s, and the fact that most of it takes place on Mackinac Island, referring to things many of us here are familiar with, makes it even more of a draw.” – Sandy at Alto
Sunny (Track) by Jason Reynolds
“I recommend Sunny by Jason Reynolds. It’s the third in his Track series, but certainly can stand (or run!) alone. The diary entry format makes it a fast, touching read, with Reynolds’ signature style and heart. I loved it!” – Liz at Plainfield
Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching, and the Art of Deception by Terry McDermott
“Nine chapters cover nine innings and nine pitches of Felix Hernandez’s 2012 perfect game. Terry McDermott’s clear insight and sparkling prose makes this little book a gem.” – Trevor at Grandville
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
“A quirky friendship, mental illness, the obstacles faced by women scientists and the pitfalls of academia, were all topics addressed in this unique memoir. What was absolutely clear, most especially in the audio version (read by the author) was her passion for scientific understanding. Her descriptions of the natural world, pure art. A highly enjoyable read that allowed me to look at our world with a new understanding and an intense respect.” – Nanette at Cascade
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
“Listen to this audiobook, read by the author, and let her positivity and optimism wash over you.” – Sam at KDL’s Service Center
Imitation of Life [videorecording]
“In this classic film, Lana Turner plays an ambitious actress whose neglected daughter is virtually raised by her African American housekeeper Annie, played by Juanita Moore. Issues of race, class, and gender are further complicated by the housekeeper’s light-complected daughter, who distances herself from her mother. Annie’s declaration to her daughter that ‘it’s a sin to be ashamed of what you are, and it’s even worse to pretend,’ has given countless movie goers the courage to go forth and live their true lives, to not settle for an imitation.” – Mark at Rockford