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Staff Picks

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Well Met by Jen DeLuca
“I recently enjoyed listening to the audio of Well Met by Jen DeLuca. Grab a turkey drumstick and don your flower crown, it’s time for a rom-com at the Ren Fest!” - Elizabeth at Plainfield
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
“Patchett tells an engrossing story of two siblings who grew up in the most beautiful house in town, a house that becomes almost a character in this novel about family, and how we often spend much of our lives trying to go back to figure out and make right our childhoods.” - Penni at Cascade
Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Johnson Roundtree
“Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights by Dovey Johnson Roundtree is the life story of a Black woman born in 1914 whose strength, drive, and ambition were truly awe-inspiring. She prevailed in spite of overt and covert racism to graduate from college, become one of the first female officers in the armed services, go to law school, and answer the call to become a minister.” - Susan at Plainfield
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
“This overlooked classic, winner of the National Book Award for 1961, is finding renewed interest these days. In this first novel, Binx Bolling, privileged scion of a prominent New Orleanian family and just shy of his thirtieth birthday, struggles to find life’s meaning and purpose as Mardi Gras explodes in the streets around him.” - Mark at Krause Memorial
Empire of Lies by Raymond Khoury
“A thriller that revolves around Kamal a policeman whose world is completely changed when he realizes the world he lives in and the government he works for is all built upon an epic lie. Because a time traveler manipulated history and changed the course of the world, spurred on by the love of his family he sets off to right this wrong.” - Craig at Walker
You Loves Ewe! by Cece Bell
“Oh my goodness! This book will win the hearts of elementary students and grammar police of any age. Hilarious twists on our weird English language make for a sweet and memorable story.” - Sara at Nelson Township/Sand Lake
The Dairy of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
“Ever wonder what it’s like to own a bookshop? Well Shaun does, and his bookshop diaries of daily interactions with his own staff and his patrons range from thought provoking to hysterical. A great read!” - Clyde at Spencer
Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure by Torben Kuhlmann
“This is a gorgeously illustrated and timeless children’s tale worthy of becoming a modern classic. One of three books Kuhlmann has written and illustrated where he reimagines famous inventions from the perspectives of inquisitive and endearing mice, it’s a great pick for the whole family!” - Melissa English at Krause Memorial Library
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
“'Look around,' Kiersten says as she stares me dead in the eyes. 'We are the only Gods here.'” Being a reader (podcast listener and movie watcher) of all things murder and mystery I expected to like this book… I didn’t, however, expect to finish it in one sitting. The Grace Year tells the story of the girls from Garner County spending their 16th year, their Grace Year, in a distant wilderness camp to rid themselves of magic. It is thought that without doing so their “magic” will run rampant and men will not be able to control themselves around these girls. Nobody talks about what happens during the Grace Year but every year girls come back disheveled, missing body parts, or not at all. This is a fast-paced book that combines horror, survival, and a healthier dose of feminism than its counterparts; a truly dark read that will linger on your mind.” - Emily at Tyrone
Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe
“’The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum.’ Accompanying the lovely earthy illustrations of this book is a delightful story of a frog, Pokko, whose parents have given her the loud and incessant gift of music! Her parents suggest she use her drum outside and this is where the story really takes off. A book filled with humor for adults and an adorable story line for kids, pair it with some rhythm sticks to make this book all the more interactive!” - Emily at Tyrone
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
“This lovely, heartfelt graphic novel by Alice Oseman is a coming of age tale of two teens Charlie Spring, who is openly gay and openly bullied, and rugby jock Nick Nelson who, after encountering Charlie in class, begins questioning his own sexuality. Together they find friendship, support, and maybe something more… - Emily at Tyrone
Wild Game : my mother, her lover, and me by Adrienne Brodeur
“On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me. Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms. " - Shaunna at Alpine
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
“Filled with madcap capers and pirate pursuits, this story was impossible to put down. The audio narration was also top drawer! - Elizabeth at Plainfield
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
“Mrs. Everything is a story of two sisters who were raised in Detroit in the 1950s. The two sisters are so different from each other but I found myself relating to each of them in my own way. This story shares how each sister overcome hardships in their lives but manage to keep a strong relationship with each other through it all. This is a great and heartfelt story!” - Hollie at Wyoming
The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
“If you enjoy Romantic Comedies then this is the book for you! Tiffy is outgoing and quirky, while Leon is shy and awkward. Their love story forms through the post-it notes they share from living in the same flat. This is such a feel-good book, I just could not put it down.” - Hollie at Wyoming
The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings
“Baggage Handler by David Rawlings is a contemporary novel written about three strangers who get the wrong luggage. It is a parable about the things or baggage that we carry around with us, such as comparison or not forgiving others. It is a very short, but thought provoking read.” - Barb, Substitute Information Staff
This is Going to Hurt : secret diaries of a medical resident by Adam Kay
“Very interesting. I don’t know how anybody can go through college, medical school, intern, etc. all those brutal hours for so many years, and massive student loan (usually) and low pay considering the hours you have to work (except some doctors…). You just have to really love to be (or become) a doctor (and of course, got to be smart too).” - Yuko at the KDL Service Center
Firewall by Henning Mankell
“The books in Mankell’s internationally best-selling Kurt Wallander series, the basis for the PBS series starring Kenneth Branagh, are police procedurals with a soul. Whether you’re a fan of Scandinavian mysteries or are new to the genre, Mankell’s Firewall, the eighth book in the Wallander series, is a good place to start.” - Mark at Krause Memorial
Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
“Somewhere on the line between epic fantasy and cyberpunk (Magepunk? Cyber Fantasy?) lies Foundryside: where a scrappy team of unlikely allies take on the one of the major companies that run their world. With a magic system that sings and a world rich in history and politics, Foundryside is a sure hit for fans of good worldbuilding.” - Bastian at Wyoming
Little women by Louisa May Alcott
“Greta Gerwig’s masterpiece inspired me to do what other film adaptations of Little Women perhaps could not: Actually pick up the source material and read. Alcott writes as a woman clearly ahead of her time, crafting sympathetic characters who will continue to speak to many generations to come. Not only that, but I’ve quickly fallen in love with many of the intricate details and motifs that a film simply cannot cover and, after reading this, feel motivated to not give up hope on my own castle in the air (chapter 13), regardless of what age or society may try and tell me.” - Katie at the KDL Service Center
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
“I am not a usual graphic reader, but this graphic memoir was smart, touching, engaging and well written. Jacob writes of hard conversations she has had to have with her young son in a tough political environment.” - Penni at Cascade
Lucky by Alice Sebold
“I recently read the book, "Lucky" by Alice Sebold. It is a memoir telling the story of her brutal assault when she was 18. The book grabs you from the first pages and holds on through the story of her recovery and the prosecution of her assailant. The addition of a recent afterword brings her story into the conversation of the "Me Too" movement.” - Linda at Nelson Township
Nickle Boys by Colson Whitehead
“Wrongfully accused of a crime, Elwood Curtis is sent to Nickel, a juvenile detention home where torture and corruption run deep. With the righteous voice of Dr. Martin Luther King playing in a loop through his head, Elwood tries to do right for himself and his fellow inmates. He is met with resistance right through to the twisted ending. While the evil of The Nickel Boys will stick with you, so will the purity and goodness of its main character. “ - Nanette at Cascade
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
“This was a very inspiring Historical Fiction novel based on the 14 year old girl Dita Kraus who risked her life to protect a selection of 8 books smuggled in by prisoners of Auschwitz. It is a story about bravery and strength of a young female main character as she navigates herself through the Nazi concentration camp bringing hope and the love of learning to the children of Auschwitz.” - Jules at Wyoming
The Poetry Remedy : prescriptions for the heart, mind, and soul edited by William Sieghart
"The Poetry Remedy," written by William Sieghart, is an amazing book of literature and poetry! Everyone will find a passage that appeals to them! My favorite poem is "Thinking," which says in part, " if you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don't ." This compilation will warm your soul!” - Robin, Information Substitute
Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg
“I recently finished Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg! The book is amazing because it discusses the cognitive and linguistic abilities of African Grey Parrots which are equal to if not more impressive than a chimpanzee's. She talks about Alex, her companion and experiment, who proved to the world that "bird brains" are an honor to have. It was an awesome true story.” - Aubrey at East Grand Rapids
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
“I recently finished "The Deep" by Rivers Solomon, and it was one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read! This book is based on the song "The Deep" by musical group Clipping, whose main singer Daveed Diggs, played Lafayette/Jefferson in the original 'Hamilton' play created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The story introduces the reader to Yetu, the leader of a water-dwelling people who are descended from pregnant African slave women thrown overboard on the journey to the Americas, and the burden she carries: the memories of all her people. This fantastical story celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion in so many ways, it is a must read for everyone!” - Katie, Information Substitute
The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
“This is pretty hard-core science fiction, except that it’s not completely apparent until the last hundred pages. The Cultural Revolution in China is woven throughout the book, with groups rising up in dissent over theories of astrophysics. Say what? Right. The way that the story unfolds plays with concepts of time, with a bread crumb trail that converges at the end. All we know for sure is that someone is coming to Earth. Even though the story resolves, it sets the stage for two more books in the series, which I’m anxious to check out.” - Randy at the KDL Service Center
A Bride’s Story by Kauru Mori
“At 11 volumes so far the manga is a wonderful historical slice of life story that takes 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 full of incredible details. The artwork is amazing.” - Megan at the KDL Service Center
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
“This book swept me away to the Greek island of Corfu where the Durrell family spent a few years while the author was a little boy. Gerald and his dog Roger had many adventures while exploring the island and collecting animals and insects to bring home (much to the family’s dismay).” - Amber at Krause Memorial
Yellow House by Sarah Broom
“The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.” - Shaunna at Alpine
Notorious by Gordon Korman
“My third grader and I recommend Notorious by Gordon Korman. The setting is interesting, a small town with the Canadian/Michigan border running through it, and the mystery is fast-paced. Four paws up!” - Elizabeth at Plainfield
When We Were Vikings by Andrew MacDonald
“This book takes place in the mind of Zelda, a high functioning young adult diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. This novel is funny, and very relatable. Zelda is obsessed with Vikings, and this make the novel super quirky and fun. If you want a feel good read, this is for you” - Hollie at Wyoming
The Body : a guide for occupants by Bill Bryson
“The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson was a very interesting read. Bryson makes learning about the body enjoyable and humorous. It was intriguing learning about all the things we don’t know about the body, and why humans are so magnificent.” - Hollie at Wyoming
The Things You Find in Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett
“I just finished reading "The Things You Find in Rockpools.” I really enjoyed it. It has several surprises and twists at the end. It is highly suspenseful and I liked that the main character is an intelligent, curious young boy.” - Linda at Nelson Township/Sand Lake Library
Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver
“I just read “Soulful Simplicity” by Courtney Carver. It tells of her excessive lifestyle of too much work and debt. She is diagnosed with MS and has to re-think everything. She goes into a create more-with-less lifestyle of minimalism and conquers her debt and health problems. She even writes a best-selling book! I really enjoyed this read!“ - Anne at Krause Memorial
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
Street children survive in India; a raw look at poverty, kindness and cruelty and unusual formations of family. - Margo at Caledonia
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
“A terrific mystery set in a bookshop: Lydia’s favorite patron commits suicide, leaving her with a clever puzzle to solve. You’ll love this new heroine and the head scratching plot!” - Margo at Caledonia
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff
“If you are wondering what happened to civil discourse or how social media is affecting our lives, you should read this New York Tines Bestseller. Two college professors tackle these and other problems and offer solutions for resolving the problems. This is a very thoughtful book and challenges current parenting and educational styles.” - Kathy, Information Substitute
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
“A young family has to move in with Dad’s parents when he loses his job. Ansay unfolds the characters slowly and finds dark secrets at the heart of this religious Midwestern family, a literary page turner.” - Penni at Cascade
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
“Told in the voice of a woman who has completed her journey, Janie’s lifelong search for a place to call home is beautiful, heartbreaking, and timeless. Nearly a century after its original publication, this foundational work of the Harlem Renaissance continues to draw readers in with its gorgeous imagery and lyrical prose. “ - Melissa at Krause Memorial
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
“The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands is a non-stop action story of treasure hunts, secret codes and explosions set in the late 1660s. Christopher Rowe is an apprentice apothecary. When his master is murdered and he is framed for the crime, he must use all his ingenuity and skill to uncover the mystery his master left for him to discover.” - Deb at Cascade
Here’s to You, Jesusa! by Elena Poniatowska
“In the 1960s, Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico’s most respected and celebrated writers, a woman of wealth and privilege, developed an unlikely friendship with an impoverished and illiterate campesina she called “Jesusa”. In telling Jesusa’s story, Poniatowska told the story of Mexico’s most impoverished and disenfranchised people, while at the same time drawing strength from Jesusa’s experiences and wisdom. Available as a Book Club in a Bag.” - Mark at Krause Memorial
The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck
"This is a book of five New Yorkers who receive an anonymous invitation to participate in the Fifth Avenue Story Society. It is a story of them returning each week to the group that consists of only the five of them. This book is an interesting and engaging read as you, along with these five members try to figure out their connections and why they have been selected to be a part of this story society. I loved this book and I think it would be a fun book discussion read” - Barb Information Substitute
Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir
“A story about a Librarian turned Archivist for her local Museum that overcomes some mental health issues, finds some great new friends, and helps deal with a ghost. Along with having an interesting art style, it’s a good read for the Graphic Novel Lovers!” - Tabby at Wyoming
One day at HorrorLand by R.L. Stine
“A favorite from my days in elementary school, this classic R.L. Stine title was not as terrifying as I had remembered. The plus side is that I didn’t have to sleep in my parents’ bed for an entire week after reading it this time around.” - David at the KDL Service Center
Food: A Cultural Culinary History by Ken Albala
“This is an excellent overview of the history of food from pre-history to modern times. A journey through history showing how food has created, shaped and re-shaped society.” - Megan at the KDL Service Center
The Stand by Stephen King
“This may be in bad taste, but I am re-reading an old favorite Stephen King book – The Stand. It is about a global pandemic with a much higher mortality rate than we are facing. The epidemic kills over 99% of the population and the survivors face an old testament-like spiritual warfare between good and evil.” - Penni at Cascade
Haben : the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
“Haben is a story of strength and determination. I knew this title would bring uplift when, in the introduction the author explains “my name is Haben, Ha – as in ha! Ha! And –ben as in benevolent”. A remarkable true story, at times terrifying, at times funny but consistently heartening.” - Nanette at Cascade
Betty Ford : First Lady, Women's Advocate, Survivor, Trailblazer by Lisa McCubbin
“This in an encouraging and interesting biography of a woman who was unexpectedly thrust onto the national stage. It openly shares of her struggles and what she went through to overcome them. “ - MaryBeth, Information Substitute
Hope in the Dark by Craig Groeschel
“This book offers some good ideas and practical action points to help when facing tough times and injustice in the world. “ - MaryBeth, Information Substitute
Tap Code by Col. Carlyle "Smitty" Harris
“In this book you see the sacrifices that these men made for our country and the women that stayed home and fought for THEM! You get to see both sides of this struggle.” - Kelly at Sand Lake/ Nelson Township Branch
How we Became Wicked by Alexander Yates
“If you’re into pandemic reading right now, I recommend How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates. A mosquito-like insect has turned most of the world insane, or Wicked, and those who aren’t are living in closed communities. The characters and setting immersed me in this alternate world and I absolutely love a twist ending!” - Elizabeth at Plainfield
Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker
“Man of the Year by Caroline Louise Walker is a twisty thriller with an undercurrent of constant menace full of unreliable narrators. When a doctor starts to suspect his wife is having an affair with their houseguest, he goes to all sorts of lengths to stop this affair he has no proof of. He ends up in a quagmire of lies after his machinations result in tragedy.” - Susan at Plainfield
Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings
“I am obsessed with the show Killing Eve, and lo and behold! It was based off of this book series by Luke Jennings. It is fast paced, suspenseful, and full of intrigue.” - Abby at Wyoming
Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery
“I'm reading Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery. It is the story of a 67-year old great-grandmother who walked 800 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 1955. The attention of reporters drew great interest back to the trail and hiking clubs across America. Her feats of survival were amazing to read!” - Anne at Krause Memorial
Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
"I just finished “Behind Every Lie” by Christina McDonald. Just like her first book, I couldn’t put it down and the character development is amazing. Loved it!" - Heather at Grandville
Girl In the White Gloves by Kerri Maher
“I just finished the book Girl In the White Gloves by Kerri Maher. It’s a fictionalized biography of the life of Grace Kelly from the time she started her film career, met Prince Rainier and their courtship and wedding, to her time in Monaco as a princess and her death.” - Tisha at Gaines
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
“I’ve been on a David Tennant as narrator kick recently, including the entire “How to Train Your Dragon” series. Searching by his name, “Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang” came up in cloudLibrary. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read the book. I downloaded it to listen to and loved it. Very different from the movie-surprise, surprise!, but a great kids adventure book. Unlike the movie, in the book you definitely see the mind of the James Bond creator.” - Sandy at Alto
Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis
“I just finished a book that I found myself loving and hating at the same time: Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis. This novel follows the paths of two women drawn together by a small plane crash in the mountains of Montana. One of the women, Cloris, is a 72 year old who survived the crash. The other, Debra, is the park ranger looking for the wreckage and any survivors. There is a very interesting cast of supporting characters with their own unique storylines. This book is written without quotation marks but each character is easy to follow because of their individual attributes. Fast-paced and suspenseful this was definitely worth reading.” - Laura at Plainfield
The Life She was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
“This is a historical fiction set during the Depression about the life of a young girl who becomes a circus performer. There isn’t much else I can say without ruining the plot in all of its twists and turns. I felt like it was almost a cross between Carrie by Stephen King and something by Kristin Hannah.” - Laura at Plainfield
The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic
“I liked reading each true story, told by a different person, as though we are sitting around a campfire.” - Sue at Walker
The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic
“I liked reading each true story, told by a different person, as though we are sitting around a campfire.” - Sue at Walker
A Bookshop in Berlin by Françoise Frenkel
“This story tells the heroic life of Francoise Frenkel, a Jewish woman from Poland who opened the first French Bookshop in Berlin Germany. She survives the Kirstallnacht in November 1938 as hundreds of Jewish shops are destroyed. The persecution continues and forces Francoise to flee to Paris and on to other safe houses. Her diary of survival was discovered 60 years later in an attic and was published to reveal her remarkable story of survival and ability to go on even during the most darkest time of human suffering and intolerance.” - Jules at Wyoming
The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
“The author set out to write a short essay every day for a year, about something that delighted him. They are thought-provoking, often humorous, and VERY short (1-2 pp each. Excellent bedtime reading!” - Maryls, Information Substitute
The Great Blue Hills of God by Kreis Beall
“This is a memoir by the co-founder of Blackberry Farm – a luxury hotel & resort in Tennessee – who is also a home designer & survivor of a traumatic brain injury. The story of her life, career, and faith journey is sometimes heartbreaking but fascinating.” - Marlys Information Substitute
Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side by Julia Shaw
“What is considered to be evil, and how do we determine if someone is evil or not? In this piece of nonfiction, the author examines the many definitions of what people consider to be Evil, and how our definitions are based on our presumptions. “ - Hollie at Wyoming
Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt
" I recommend "Driving Miss Norma, one family's journey saying 'yes'" by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle. At age 90, recently widowed and diagnosed with cancer, Miss Norma, instead of chemo and radiation treatments, opted to "hit the road" with her son and daughter-in-law in their 36-foot motor home. This wonderful biography is a story of adventure and proof that it's never too late. Norma is from Presque Isle Michigan, so this story also has a local angle.” - Gene, Information Substitute
No One is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
"Greta is a 16-year old who published her speeches before the UN council and Parliaments about global warming. She warns that we have to wake up to the danger that mankind may go extinct by the year 2030 if CO2 emissions are not cut in half. An eye-opening read!” - Anne at Krause Memorial
Jay-Z : made in America by Michael Eric Dyson
“Key points: planning out his wealth, never writes down his lyrics, quite a classic artist in terms of his poetry, references great artists of the Harlem Renaissance, etc. Dyson reading allows the listener to know the meaning of the worlds more succinctly.” - Rebecca at Wyoming