Staff Picks - November 2018

    • Blood Harvest
      S. J. Bolton

      The Fletchers are new to the Lancashire village of Heptonclough but they don’t feel very welcome. Something isn’t quite right, including the mysterious deaths of three young girls over the last ten years. Expertly balances gothic supernatural elements with a crackling psychological plot in a very scary tale of village secrets, leaving readers breathless until the last page.

    • The Body in the Ice
      A. J. Mackenzie

      I liked the 2nd book in this historical mystery series even better than the first one. The author takes a drunken rector on the coast of England during the time before the Napoleonic Wars and has him solving murders with the assistance of a recent widow. The first book is The Body on the Doorstep.

    • Coming Home
      Maureen Clarke

      I love anything related to my favorite state of Iowa, and this did not disappoint! A guided tour of our state parks through the eyes of a woman traveling the perimeter of Iowa, camping alone in a tent for the very first time. In her adventure, she finds solace from a disastrous career and healing in her homecoming to Iowa. I enjoy "armchair travel" and this was a thoughtful, marvelous read. - Luann

    • A Discovery of Witches
      Deborah Harkness

      Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch, unknowingly summons an enchanted alchemical manuscript that causes the supernatural underworld to take notice, setting off this epic saga. This series is perfect for those who enjoy reading paranormal books as well as historical fiction. - Sarah L.

    • Florida
      Lauren Groff

      Florida is an American state and a state of mind in Groff's stunning story collection, where her human characters face elemental dangers from all sides – hurricanes, panthers, gators, swamps and starvation – as they navigate their own fears and anxieties of the world and their place in it. The writing is wrapped in metaphor, and at times approaches magical realism – but each story is so lyrical and suffocating you can almost feel the humidity and smell the rot.

    • Girl in the Blue Coat
      Monica Hesse

      This historical teen novel is beautifully written. (The audiobook also has a fantastic narrator.) It is engaging with fast-paced action and emotions that transport the reader right into the streets of Amsterdam as a ‘finder’ of needed goods becomes involved with the resistance as she looks for a missing girl. The story is very moving and does a great job of helping the reader to better understand what it might have felt like to live in a Nazi controlled Amsterdam in 1943. - Katy

    • The Great Alone
      Kristin Hannah

      This story of a troubled family in the wilds of Alaska was so well written that when I accidentally listened to the last CD in the audio book instead of the first, it made me want to listen to the entire book. Knowing the ending was not a spoiler for me. – Laura

    • The Guilty Dead
      P. J. Tracy

      When a philanthropist is found dead under suspicious circumstances on the anniversary of his son's fatal overdose, Monkeewrench computer genius Grace MacBride assists the Minneapolis police to connect the case to a plot threatening hundreds of lives. Combines the best qualities of a fast-paced thriller with an intricately plotted police procedural.

    • Hey, Kiddo
      Jarrett Krosoczka

      I heard this author interviewed on NPR just as I was starting to read it. It’s such a good book, and not just for teens or graphic novel fans. Anyone who’s lived in or witnessed a dysfunctional family will appreciate what a great job the author does at capturing the tragic, comic, and emotional life he lived as a young person.

    • Less
      Andrew Sean Greer

      Receiving an invitation to his ex-boyfriend's wedding, Arthur, a failed novelist on the eve of his 50th birthday, embarks on an international journey that finds him falling in love, risking his life, reinventing himself and making connections with the past. A satire of the American abroad; a rumination on time, the human heart, and of chances lost; and, above all, a love story.

    • The Library Book
      Susan Orlean

      As usual, Orlean’s narrative nonfiction is captivating. It focuses first on a fire that happened in 1986, destroying the main Los Angeles Public Library, but it spreads out to include the story of the suspected arsonist, the previous history of the Los Angeles Public Library system (and its many quirky leaders), and libraries across the country. - Sandy

    • A Map of Days
      Ransom Riggs

      The fourth book in a teen fantasy series about children with "peculiar" gifts, like being invisible, super strong, or, in the title hero's case, being able to sense & see monsters called "Hollowgasts" that nobody else can see. The novel is interspersed with old pictures of peculiars that (supposedly) come from real life. Check it out!

    • Talking Across the Divide
      Justin Lee

      This is an excellent guide to having healthy conversations with people who have different views than you, and maybe even changing their minds. Lee provides keys to understanding barriers to meaningful and civil communication, tips on how to empathize with opposing views, and how to change their minds. - Carrie

    • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
      Yuval Noah Harari

      A probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, this is essential reading.