Staff Picks of 2017 2017-12-21T10:16:49+00:00

Staff Picks of 2017

In a dark dark wood
by Ruth Ware– Maryann B
Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware– Maryann B
Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro– Lindsey
Flowers for Algernon
by Daniel Keyes– Lindsey
Loner
by Teddy Wayne– Lindsey
The Leavers
by Lisa Ko– Maryann R.
Saints for all Occasions
by J. Courtney Sullivan– Maryann R.
The Last One
by Alexandra Oliva
– Laura
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
by Seanan McGuireThe second in a new series from McGuire, The Wayward Children series. The first, Every Heart a Doorway, which came out in April of 2017 and has since won a Nebula Award for best novella. The overarching plot behind the series is that there’s a group home for children dealing with the psychological fallout of being returned from various magical realms back to the mundane life on Earth they had left behind. The third book, Beneath the Sugar Sky, will be released in early 2018.



– Adam

All the Birds in the Sky
by Charlie Jane AndersA strange mix of science fiction and fantasy, this novel follows two childhood friends who’s lives take them in very different direction. And then tie them both together with the end of the world.– Adam
My Absolute Darling
by Gabriel TallentThis book was really hard to read but, most of the time, impossible to put down. It tells the story of a teenager named Turtle and her striking life with her father, grandfather, and the people she comes to know. It’s very graphic and disturbing at times, but all together tells an urgent story of survival. I thought about certain scenes for weeks after finishing reading. It’s definitely not a quick nor easy read, but absolutely worthwhile and important.– Shelly
The History of Love
by Nicole KraussThis novel is a little confusing at first, because you have to learn about several characters that span different, intersecting generations and try to figure out who knows what and who is whom throughout those relationships. However, the end result is a fabulous story that keeps you interested all the way to the final pages. I cried and read the last few chapters over before giving up the book completely. It’s a great, creative story told in a confusing but ultimately satisfying way. – Shelly
Good Bones and Simple Murders
by Margaret AtwoodThis is one of Atwood’s books of short stories and poems. Some were very interesting and easy, while others were confusing or just too strange for me. It’s a good next step for those of us who’ve read all her novels and want to try something different and quick. – Shelly
Amp’d
Ken PisaniWon 2nd prize for the comedy Thurber Award. (Born a Crime won first this year.) This is an original romp of a story. Odd, funny on every page and touching. – Regan

Awkward
by Ty Tashiro– Sew Yeng
Dear Leader : poet, spy, escapee – a look inside North Korea
by Jang, Jin-sungAn absorbing and terrifying look at the horrific conditions that still exist in North Korea, and a chronicle of the megalomaniacal personalities that created them.– Donna
Radium Girls
by Kate Moore– Maryann R.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
by Marina Keegan– Lindsey
The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter – And How to Make the Most of Them Now
by Meg Jay– Lindsey
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life
by Samantha IrbyThis book of essays is funny, sarcastic, and shows (not tells!) the real-life musings of a very interesting woman. Irby is a comedian who has something to say about everything from online dating to maintaining friendships to finding (and losing) love to just simply existing as a black woman in America. Her stories were generally light, funny, easy to get through, and taught me something new about the human experience. – Shelly
How Not to Die:
Discover the Foods Scientifically Prove to Prevent and Reverse Disease

by Michael GregerThis book was definitely skimmed in parts, but overall had a wealth of knowledge to go back to. I’m generally skeptical of listening to advice about things that are good for you (acupuncture, essential oils, salt lamps, avocados…) but the key to this book is that all his offerings are research-based medical findings. Even if you’re not going to follow all the advice in the book, the general principles and best foods/spices to add to your diet will stick with you in a way that can truly extend your lifespan. – Shelly
Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah
There’s a reason why this made so many Best Of Lists this year, it’s great. I’d never even seen him on the Daily Show but that does not matter. I read the book, apparently this is a good pick for audio since he narrates it himself. – Regan & Neera
Thinking, Fast and Slow
by KahnemanTook me a long time to get through this on audio but this is a dense, important book.  After this, one must read “the Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis. – Regan
Book of Joy
Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama
What an inspiring book about the meeting late in life of two dear friends, the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. Joy to read.– Regan

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart– Lindsey
Holding Up the Universe
by Jennifer Niven
Lindsey
We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour– Lindsey
Resurrection
by Derek LandyThe 10th in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, this picks up years after the previous story. Things are different, and things are darker. I highly recommend working your way through the whole series. Landy is a great author, and has created a whole world to explore.– Adam
It’s Not Like It’s a Secret
by Misa SugiuraThis is a really, really sweet coming-of-age story about sixteen-year-old Sana. She moves to California, leaving many of her Midwestern problems and irritating “friends” behind, but opening up a whole new world of complicated relationships and uncovered secrets. You really end up rooting for her, even as she makes some questionable choices and struggles to find herself, her place in her family, and the ways of her new life at school. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened as the book progressed and different aspects of her story reached their climaxes. It was overall a fabulous debut for the author. – Shelly

Blankets
by Craig Thompson– Lindsey
Can’t we Talk About Something More Pleasant
by Roz ChastThis was one of our Adult Book Discussion picks this year but I read it after that meeting. Perfect book for anyone coping with aging parents. No, it’s not as depressing as it sounds despite the topic, it’s actually quite funny! – Regan
Archie, Jughead, Josie and the Pussycats, Betty & Veronica
Published by Archie

If you had asked me a few years ago if I ever thought I’d care about Archie comics I would have laughed. But starting with the New Riverdale reboot by Mark Waid, these books are great. Each has its own style and each does that style justice. Archie is a teen drama, Jughead a comedy, Josie a self-aware adventure, almost like a lighter Deadpool.

– Adam

Motor Crush (digital)
Brenden Fletcher
Great style, intense color palette, and lots of action. This sci-fi title follows Domino Swift through her public racing career and her private struggles with an illegal racing fuel, crush. Toxic to humans, she needs it to survive…– Adam
The Woods (digital)
by James Tynion IV & Michael Dialynas
An entire high school is transported to a plant across the galaxy. But they aren’t the first in human history to end up there. And there were already things waiting for them.- Adam

The Losers Club
by Andrew ClementsThis is probably my favorite Clements book since Frindle. I’m not sure how much the average kid would enjoy it, but for a voracious reader — wow! It was so fun to follow the story of sixth-grader Alec through his obsession with reading. It’s a positive, fun story that adults would find nostalgic as well. – Shelly
Superstar
by Mandy DavisThis is the really fascinating story of fifth grader Lester, a boy attending school for the first time (reminiscent of Wonder). When he accidentally finds out he is on the autism spectrum, it changes a bit about how he sees himself and the rest of the world. His obsession with science fits in and we cheer as he makes friends. Of course, he also deals with unfriendly characters and other grade-school disappointments. It’s ultimately a fun, quick, and positive read that I think all ages — and all abilities — would enjoy and should read. – Shelly
Us and Uncle Fraud
by Lois LowryThis is an old, slightly strange story that redeems itself at the end. It’s a quick, intriguing read and Lois Lowry always has a great story to tell. I wasn’t sure how much I liked it until the final pages.– Shelly
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes
by Mary E. LambertThis is the story of seventh grader Annabelle and her eccentric family, lead by her hoarder mother. She is part of the dysfunction but her whole family is rooted in love and caring. Annabelle navigates this through an especially tumultuous time in her life, when different members of her family are intersecting with friends, a crush, and her desire to keep her secrets. It’s a great middle-school voice and a character I’d love to hear from again. – Shelly
The Little Book of Little Activists
Penguin Young ReadersThis is such an adorable, inspiring little book! – Shelly
She Persisted
by Chelsea ClintonThis is a very sweet story of amazing women, that all youngsters should at least flip through. – Shelly
This House, Once
by Deborah Freedman – Colleen
After The Fall
by Dan Santat – Colleen
A Boy and His Bunny
by Sean Bryon; illustrated by Tom MurphyA great read-aloud (the rhyming just rolls off your tongue) and a fresh and fun way to reinforce phonics. Read the series!– Donna

 

Melodrama (digital)
by Lorde– Lindsey
Masseduction (digital)
St. Vincent – Laura
Music from Before the Storm
by Daughter – Adam
Be More Chill
(Original Cast Recording)
The YA novel came out in 2004, and the musical came out in 2015, but I just saw a local production for the first time this year and I loved is. A lovable loser ingests a quantum computer that tells him how to be more chill. Hijinks ensue.– Adam
Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812 (digital)
Original Broadway Cast Recording
Adam
Sleep Well Beast
by The National – Regan

 

Phobia

– Sew Yeng

The Cider House Rules

– Lindsey

Anomalisa

– Lindsey

Like Sunday, Like Rain

– Lindsey

Atomic Blonde

– Adam

Get Out

– Adam

Baby Driver

– Adam

 You Laugh But It’s True

 – Neera

Sold

 – Neera

Grantchester

Sharon

Endeavour

Sharon

Home Fires

Sharon

The Collection

Sharon

Doctor Blake Mysteries

Sharon

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Sharon

Murdoch Mysteries

Sharon

Father Brown

Sharon

 Doc Martin

Sharon

Chef

Sharon