Staff Picks

November 2019

Christmas shopaholic : a novel

by Sophie Kinsella

A lighthearted book that will make you laugh based upon the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella, where Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood), a lovable character,  finds herself in a variety of hilarious but difficult situations.  Becky adores shopping, and what better time for it than Christmas.  When her parents decide to move, her vegetarian sister and husband come to town, and Becky finds herself hosting Christmas, what could possibly go wrong?  Becky’s husband Luke started Brandon Communications, the largest financial PR firm in London, and Becky has recently started working with her lifelong friend Suze, in a gift shop in Suze’s stately home.

You will find Christmas Shopaholic full of holiday cheer and unexpected gifts.

Recommended by:  Deborah Keuper, Reference Librarian

Posted in: Adult Fiction

They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old is a fascinating look at World War One through the eyes of ordinary British soldiers.  Composed almost entirely of footage made at the time, and with narration supplied by the veterans themselves, it provides an on-the-ground look at what it was like to fight in, and live through, the First World War. From the outbreak of war to training, shipping out, and daily life at the front, through battles and finally peace, They Shall Not Grow Old takes you through the Western Front, with the ordinary British soldiers as your guide.

Recommended by: Peter Tew, Reference Librarian      

Posted in: Movies/TV

Something wonderful : Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway revolution

by Todd S. Purdum

Musical theater fans familiar with the Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook get a surprising part-history and readable bio from Clinton era journalist Todd Purdum.  The legendary composer and lyricist provided popular entertainments for a bygone age which continue to resonate with current audiences as Broadway revivals.

Recommended by: Diane Srebro, Assistant Adult Services Manager      

Posted in: Adult Fiction

More Than Words

by Jill Santopolo

Nina, an all American girl next door charts her future course with Tim, the son of her Dad’s college roommate.  Together since high school, their plans for a comfortable life go awry after she meets Rafael, a lawyer who competes for her affection.  The wealthy Gregory family secrets start to come out when Nina’s father dies, allowing Nina to make uninfluenced choices about her life.  Good read for fans of contemporary romance, chick lit, or new adult fiction.

Recommended by: Diane Srebro, Assistant Adult Services Manager      

Posted in: Adult Fiction

This Tender Land

by William Kent Krueger

Set during this nation’s Great Depression, this charming story features two brothers, Odie and Albert, as they escape their abusive existence at Minnesota’s Lincoln Indian Training School for orphans. The boys take off with Mose, a Sioux friend, and tomboy, Emmy, for a downriver canoe journey after Odie defends himself against a punitive schoolmaster. These adult-free children prove to be self-reliant survivors amidst despairing times, encountering threats and graceful exchanges with strangers. This imperfect novel recalls a quieter era in America, prior to the multi-media immersive childhood experiences provided to contemporary kids.

Recommended by: Diane Srebro, Assistant Adult Services Manager      

Posted in: Adult Fiction

October 2019

A Dash of Trouble

by Anna Meriano

Leonora loves her big family and their family bakery. Every year, her family takes pride in crafting beautiful pastries for the town’s annual Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration and certainly this year Leonora will be invited to help out in the kitchen. After a frustrating day at school and being told by her mother that she’s still too little to help, Leonora decides to borrow the old family cookbook from the bakery. She’s determined to show everyone how great she is in the kitchen, but it turns out the cookbook is not just a cookbook. It’s a book of magic spells! This story of families, holidays, and magic is a real treat. If you want a story with magic, but find the world of Harry Potter a bit too much, this book is a great choice.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison  

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Tumble and Blue

by Cassie Beasley

For generations, members of the Montgomery family have received supernatural gifts, some lucky others not so lucky. There’s only one day in a century when a Montgomery can change their luck, under the blood moon deep in the Okefenokee swamp. Only one member of the family knows how to get to the island where luck can be changed. The one person is Granny Eve, who is grandmother and sole caretaker of our hero, Blue. Blue knows that his gift is pure bad luck, and he’s determined to be the one who gets the location out of Granny. But he has to contend with countless other cousins, Aunts, and Uncles who have arrived with the same goal in mind. One afternoon, he slinks out of the house, looking for some peace and meets his new neighbor, Tumble Wilson. Always ready for adventure, Tumble promises to help Blue explore the swamp and reverse his luck. This book is great for fans of adventure, spooky stories, and weird tales.

Recommended by: Kara DeCarlo, School Liaison      

Posted in: Youth Fiction

Wild and Crazy Guys: how the comedy mavericks from the ’80s changed Hollywood forever

by Nick De Semlyen

I stumbled on this book randomly on our new nonfiction shelf.  It was so interesting.  The author walks the reader through the careers of so many great comedians of the 1980s including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Billy Murray, Eddie Murphy, and more.  Wild and Crazy Guys gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the actors’ personal and professional lives, from TV to the big screen.  If you’re a movie fan like me, you’ll wait with anticipation for Ghostbusters or The Blues Brothers to get mentioned.  One side effect from reading this book is an increased DVD watch list.

Recommended by: Brandi Smits, Youth Services Manager    

Posted in: Adult Nonfiction

The Biggest Little Farm

This uplifting documentary warmed my heart to its core. The narrator’s soothing voice paired with shots at an equal caliber to “Planet Earth” made the entire viewing experience a wholesome one. Sure, it is mindless idealism at its finest, but I didn’t care and neither should you! This lovely couple followed their dream, built a farm and created an entire community dedicated to getting in touch with Mother Earth, and what’s to dislike about that?

Recommended by: Lisa Stemmons, Patron Services Clerk   

Posted in: Documentary


Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut has all the makings of an outstanding coming of age film: whip-smart dialogue, captivating teenage performances and a killer soundtrack. The unrealistic elements and some downright absurd dramatics may make some roll their eyes at first, but when you view it as a metaphor for the craziness of growing up it is fitting. Plus, it makes the more authentic scenes that hone in on the nitty gritty realities of high school senior woes that much more enjoyable.
Recommended by: Lisa Stemmons, Patron Services Clerk

Posted in: Movies/TV

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