Staff Picks Print E-mail

Yes, we work with books.  But we also love reading them!  Here are the books we've been reading recently, and what we have to say about them (last updated: March, 2013 ). The book summaries are taken from our catalog. Also, check out the archives for even more staff picks.

  • Family of Secrets by Russ Baker

    Hope says: I was amazed and oohed and aahed through much of this book!  Like a CIA operative, I was finding out all sorts of things buried under levels and levels of family, history, politics and relationships.  read more >>

  • American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom

    Ken says: This book covers food waste from every possible angle. You'll be astonished and inspired to think about food differently than you do now. read more >>

  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

    Joseph says: I would recommend this book to anyone. It's nonfiction, but it reads almost like fiction. The narrative is extremely engaging and powerful, and provides ample food-for-thought. I could hardly put it down. read more >>

  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

    Merle says: Eleven year old Flavia de Luce is part Miss Marple, part Sherlock Holmes and completely original. When her father is suspected of murder Flavia is on the case much to the annoyance of the police. This is the first book in a series of five. read more >>

  • The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick

    Jimmy says: Information is everywhere, but only with written language did we first figure out how to capture it like a fly in amber. But in the last hundred years, these advances have been exponentially dizzying. Gleick talks about the wild world of abstraction, calculating machines (steam-punk style),  read more >>

  • The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

    Dan says: Carnal love vs. divine love in London World War II, Sarah must choose between her lover, Maurice Bendrix, and her newly found Catholic faith and coincidental miracles. The book has many twists and crescendos that leave you breathless and perhaps a little more spiritual. read more >>

  • Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

    Jesse says: In Great North Road, Hamilton once again serves up an epic mix of detective fiction and sci-fi that is sure to please old fans and win him some new ones. Compelling characters, fascinating xenobiology, and a page-turning murder mystery make this my favorite read of the year thus far. read more >>

  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson

    Jennifer says: I am a big fan of Joshilyn's distinct blend of mystery and humor which is perfectly seasoned with a giant passel of southern charm.  This novel didn't disappoint!  I listened to this book  read more >>

  • Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

    Alice says: A short read for the spiritually inclined full of affirmation that it's ok to be a seeker your whole life. Parts made me laugh out loud. Parts were echoes of my own voice. A book to share. read more >>

  • Every Day by David Levithan

    Nancy says: I picked this book up because the premise reminded me of the early 90s TV show Quantum Leap. David Levithan, a young adult author, has an excellent ability to tell really great stories that also appeal to adults and this love story read more >>

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

    Elisabeth says: This is probably one of the most engrossing historical fiction novels I've come across. I am less familiar with English history but once I was able to keep all the Thomases and Williamses straight, I found it a wonderful insight  read more >>

  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

    Kimberly says: Yes, it's a movie now, but this is a great book about the existential crisis faced by a zombie in a post-apocalyptic world. Not only is it a zombie book, it's a musing on what makes us who we are, and a love story—it's got it all! read more >>

  • Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie

    Jencey says: This book is totally unforgettable. The pages turned themselves. I was completely interested in what the main character Emma was going through. The book asks a very interesting question. What would happen if you were suddenly absent from your life for six months?

  • Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto

    Sarah says: This novel tells the loosely-connected stories of eight female photographers throughout the 20th century. I especially loved how well this book explored the tensions that women are often faced with, such as choosing between a career and family, and the choices that each woman ultimately made. read more >>

  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio

    Mia says: Fall in love with a most unusual character, August Pullman, both courageous and spirited. He is also a fifth grader suffering from facial abnormalities. This book tugs at your heart strings, in a good way, and reminds you of the power of kindness. read more >>

  • Deep Blues by Robert Palmer

    Scot says: This is an exceptional, exceptionally readable account of the birth and evolution of the blues. Author Robert Palmer served as the chief pop music critic at the New York Times for much of the 1980s, and his writing here is academic, yet lucid; read more >>

  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

    Rebekah says: A lyrical autobiographical novel set in Cambodia during the socialist revolution, the background of the book recounts how the Khmer Rouge broke apart families, destroyed culture, and instigated constant chaos and fear.  A young child at the time, Raani recounts her memories of her struggle read more >>


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