Staff Picks

The Secret Place

Summary: 
Excellent narration drives the latest Tana French audiobook. This is the fifth in the compelling Dublin Murder Squad series. When a new clue from an unsolved murder at an elite boarding school is dropped in Det. Stephen Moran's lap, he's sees it as his ticket out of cold cases and on to the murder squad. Of course, the murderer has other plans. One doesn't need to have knowledge of the previous titles to enjoy this book.

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March

Summary: 
From Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has developed the character of the absent father, March, and crafted an amazingly powerful story. Her writing is superb and follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A fantastic piece of historical fiction.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Summary: 
Three deeply flawed characters battle substance abuse, mental illness, and terrifying global conspiracies in this dystopian techno-thriller. As Joseph Heller said in Catch-22, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you"

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The King's Curse

Summary: 
This is the last book in Philippa Gregory's 'Cousins War' serises the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England. Margaret, regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, is cousin to Elizabeth of York and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors. After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors. A great easy read that provides an interesting insight into the turbulent and dangerous times of the Tudors.

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Counting by 7s

Summary: 
12 year old Willow just needs to belong. She is starting the year at a new school and hoping to find a friend. When tragedy strikes, things don’t look good for Willow. But Willow is amazing! Without trying, she becomes the agent to enable all the characters to change their lives as she begins to heal. I enjoyed the way the story was told, the strong characters and the just-right ending. This book will be a compelling contender for the Great Stone Face Award!

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Wonder

Summary: 
I am happy to work in the Children’s Room where I have the opportunity to recommend a favorite book: Wonder. This is a powerful story for middle-schoolers and, well...for all of us. August Pullman, who has severe facial abnormalities, is about to start school for the first time as a public school fifth grader. The story is told from Auggie’s perspective as well as several other points of view. This book is full of great characters, lots of emotion and the impact of kindness. I can’t wait until my grandchildren are older and I can share it with them!

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Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Summary: 
This chapter book will bring readers into what James Patterson calls “the coolest library in the world!” Kyle Keeley is not a reader, but he loves games. When he learns that twelve 7th graders will be chosen to spend a night in the library, for fun and games, he wants to win. He soon learns that getting into the library was the easy part! This book will remind you of another story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and will reference many other wonderful children’s books, including an old favorite of mine From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Enjoy this Great Stone Face nomination!

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The Adventures of a South Pole Pig-A Story of Snow and Courage

Summary: 
May I recommend a family read aloud? Author Chris Kurtz has written a delightful book that will appeal to the whole family. The Adventures of a South Pole Pig-A Story of Snow and Courage introduces Flora, a plucky pig with a lot of heart. You will want to add Flora to your list of favorite story book pigs-Wilbur, Mercy Watson, Babe, Piggie… Check out this Great Stone Face nomination!

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Under the Wide and Starry Sky

Summary: 
Nancy Horan, author of the New York Times bestseller "Loving Frank", has written a new novel, this time about the relationship between the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny.With carefully researched history, Horan is able to bring these two complex characters to life in a way that is both gripping and enthralling.

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Luther The Calling

Summary: 
: A brilliant crime novel and prequel to the acclaimed BBC series by the show’s creator and sole writer Meet Detective Chief Inspector John Luther. He’s a murder detective with an extraordinary case-clearance rate. He’s obsessive, instinctive, and intense. He seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink of madness, making him do things any other detective wouldn’t and shouldn’t do. Luther: The Calling, the first in a new series of novels featuring DCI John Luther, takes us into Luther’s past and into his mind. It is the story of the serial killer case that tore his personal and professional relationships apart and propelled him over the precipice—beyond fury, beyond vengeance, all the way to the other side of the law. Luther: The Calling is a compulsively readable and intense. So intense that I had to put it down to gather my feelings. If you enjoyed the BBC series, you must read this book!!

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