The most satisfying part of being a librarian is connecting with someone over books that you're both passionate about and also connecting someone with a book that they love, that changes them and opens them up to new ways of thinking. It’s knowing that words matter and that the connection that we make to a great book or story is one that can also connect us to others in very fundamental ways.
These days, I read a mix of fiction - mostly contemporary, historical, fantasy, mystery, and the occasional sci-fi or YA) and non-fiction (memoir, biography, expose/social issues/social justice). I definitely prefer a book that has a hopeful ending, even if parts of it are bleak, and, lately, I've also been reading a lot of books that deal with social justice and inequality.
Fill out this quick form, and I’ll pick out some books for you! I can place items on hold for you, or simply send you a list of recommendations.
Fill out this quick form, and I’ll pick out some books for you! I can place items on hold for you, or simply send you a list of recommendations.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Paranormal
His past marked by his father’s embarrassing taunts and untimely death, Fat Charlie meets the brother he never knew and is introduced to new and exciting ways to spend his time.
A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast
Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage. When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”
A Darker Shade of Magic
Serving as an ambassador of his own world while carrying messages to parallel-universe Londons with respective magical abilities and conflicts, Kell hides his secret smuggling activities only to be set up with a forbidden object from a dark dimension.
A Deadly Education
Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered: There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die. The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students. So El is trying her hardest not to use her power… at least not until she has no other option.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist.
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse
Princess Rory Thorne must use the fairy blessings gifted to her at birth to change the multiverse—or possibly destroy it. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.
The Invisible Library
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author. One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction… Irene is a professional spy for the Mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself. Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself.
The Lord of the Rings
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in THE HOBBIT. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.
Deciding to collect on the outstanding debts owed her family of moneylenders, a young woman is overheard boasting about being able to turn silver into gold by the creatures who haunt the wood, in a reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story.
The story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. He has fallen in love with beautiful Victoria Forester and in order to win her hand, he must retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to her.
A novel inspired by Russian fairy tales follows the experiences of a wild young girl who taps the mysterious powers of a precious necklace given to her father years earlier to save her village from dark and dangerous forces.
Arsenic and Adobo
Mia P. Manansala
The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes-one that might just be killer…. When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block.
Working as a private investigator after losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike takes the case of a legendary supermodel’s suspicious suicide and finds himself in a world of multi-millionaire beauties, rock star boyfriends, desperate designers, and hedonist pursuits.
Flavia De Luce
Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is propelled into a mystery when a man is murdered on the grounds of her family’s decaying English mansion and Flavia’s father becomes the main suspect.
When London is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name.
All That’s Bright and Gone
There’s plenty about the grownup world that six-year-old Aoife doesn’t understand. Like what happened to her big brother Theo and why her mama is in the hospital instead of home where she belongs. Uncle Donny says she just needs to be patient, but Aoife’s sure her mama won’t be able to come home until Aoife learns what really happened to her brother. The trouble is no one wants to talk about Theo because he was murdered. But by whom? With her imaginary friend Teddy by her side and the detecting skills of her nosy next door neighbor, Aoife sets out to uncover the truth about her family. But as her search takes her from the banks of Theo’s secret hideout by the river to the rooftops overlooking Detroit, Aoife will learn that some secrets can’t stay hidden forever and sometimes the pain we bury is the biggest secret of them all.
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers—including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian—discover their unexpected common traits.
The Authenticity Project
A story about a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love. “Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth?” This is the question that Julian Jessop, an eccentric, seventy-nine-year-old artist, poses within a pale green exercise book that he labels The Authenticity Project, before leaving it behind in Monica’s Café. When Monica discovers Julian’s abandoned notebook, not only does she add her own story to the book, she is determined to find a way to help Julian feel less lonely. And so it goes with the others who find the green notebook that will soon contain their deepest selves. It will also knit the group together In Real Life at Monica’s Cafe, where they’ll discover the thrill and sometime-risk of being completely honest—and, for some, find unexpected love. With a cast of characters who are by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life, The Authenticity Project is a novel readers will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.
In the forest community of Beartown, the possibility that the amateur hockey team might win a junior championship, bringing the hope of revitalization to the fading town, is shattered by the aftermath of a violent act that leaves a girl traumatized.
Broken for You
Exuberant, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, this novel explores the saving graces of surrogate families and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world’s wrongs.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
Seven-year-old Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending the girl on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.
Small Great Things
When her reluctance to treat the newborn of a white supremacist couple results in the child’s death, a black nurse is placed on trial and is aided by a white public defender who urges her not to bring up race in the courtroom.
A Woman is No Man
Three generations of Palestinian-American women in contemporary Brooklyn are torn by individual desire, educational ambitions, a devastating tragedy, and the strict mores of traditional Arab culture.
Anne of Green Gables Series
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis
The love story of C.S. Lewis and his wife, Helen Joy Davidman Gresham, was improbable—and seemingly impossible. Their Eros-story led to some of Lewis’s greatest works, yet Joy is most commonly known for how she died. Becoming Mrs. Lewis allows us to see how this brilliant and passionate woman lived—and why she stole Jack’s heart
Code Name Hélène
A novel based on the real life story of socialite spy Nancy Wake, about the astonishing woman who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII.
The Enigma Game
A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland. Louisa Adair, a teen girl hired to look after the pub owner’s elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn’t report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can’t figure it out. Ellen McEwen, volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger, after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie’s command seem charmed, and the four are loathe to give up the machine. Even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town.
England, 1580. A young Latin tutor—penniless, bullied by a violent father—falls in love with an eccentric young woman who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford. She becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when their young son succumbs to bubonic plague.
Two half sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations.
The Lions of Little Rock
In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.
The Long Flight Home
In September 1940, the events of World War II bring together British pigeon-keeper Susan Shepard, American pilot Ollie Evans and a pigeon on a very special mission named Duchess.
My Name is Mary Sutter
Traveling to Civil War-era Washington, D.C., to tend wounded soldiers and pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon, headstrong midwife Mary receives guidance from two smitten doctors and resists her mother’s pleas for her to return home.
Reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II, French sisters Vianne and Isabelle find their bond as well as their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.
In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returnsto England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth-believing Ross to be dead-is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.
The Rose Code
1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Osla puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Mab works the legendary codebreaking machines and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Beth’s shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and she becomes one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, the three women are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter—the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum.
Biographies and Memoirs
Born a Crime
Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.
The Good Neighbor
The Life and Work of Fred Rogers
Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, the author traces the iconic children’s program host’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work.
A Memoir of My Early Years
A personal account of the iconic actress’s pre-fame life traces the time between her birth in 1935 and her discovery by Walt Disney during her 1962 Broadway performance in Camelot, a period marked by her relationships with a vaudevillian mother and teacher father, the World War II London Blitz, and her work as a Royal Command Performance child soloist
House of Dreams
The Life of L.M. Montgomery
An affecting portrait of the author of Anne of Green Gables is a first biography for young readers that shares revelations about Montgomery’s final days as well as the complexities of her brilliant but often troubled life.
I Will Always Write Back
How One Letter Changed Two Lives
Traces the friendship between an American girl and her pen pal from an impoverished region of Zimbabwe, describing how 12-year-old Caitlin wrote to an unknown student for a class assignment and shared a life-changing six-year correspondence.
The Sun Does Shine
How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
Anthony Ray Hinton
A man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he did not commit describes how he became a victim of a flawed legal system, recounting the years he shared with fellow inmates who were eventually executed before his exoneration.
Wesley the Owl
The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl
Chronicles the author’s rescue of an abandoned barn owlet, from her efforts to resuscitate and raise the young owl after an injury that prevented it from returning to the wild through their nineteen years together, during which the author made key discoveries about owl behavior.
A Woman of No Importance
The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
Traces the story of mid-twentieth-century spy Virginia Hall, detailing her pivotal role in coordinating Resistance activities in Europe that helped change the course of World War II.
The Woman Who Smashed Codes
Traces the life of Elizebeth Smith, who met and married groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman and worked with him to discover and expose Nazi spy rings in South America by cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine.
The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution
A Times Magazine investigative journalist exposes the unchecked power of the prosecutor as a driving force in America’s mass incarceration crisis, offering strategic recommendations for reversing discriminatory practices without changing the law.
Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen
The Essential Conversations You Need to Have With Your Kids Before They Start High School—And How (Best) to Have Them
Keeping kids safe—and prepared for all the times when you can’t be the angel on their shoulder—is about having the right conversations at the right time. There is no better time for this than their tween years, right up to when they enter high school. Icard focuses on big, thorny topics such as friendship, sexuality, impulsivity, and technology, as well as unexpected conversations about creativity, hygiene, money, privilege, and contributing to the family. She outlines a simple, memorable, and family-tested formula for the best approach to these essential talks, and shares tips to help you get over the most common hurdles in talking to tweens.
A Brief History of How We F*Cked It All Up
The former BuzzFeed UK editorial director demonstrates how human civilization has been built upon thousands of years of trial and mostly error, citing examples ranging from the sinking of the Titanic to reality-star election wins.
I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening)
A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations
Sarah Stewart Holland, Beth Silvers
Two friends on opposite sides of the aisle provide a practical guide to grace-filled political conversation while challenging readers to put relationship before policy and understanding before argument. More than ever, politics seems driven by conflict and anger. People sitting together in pews every Sunday have started to feel like strangers, loved ones at the dinner table like enemies. Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers say there is a better way. As working moms on opposite ends of the political spectrum and hosts of a fast-growing politics podcast, Holland and Silvers have learned how to practice engaging conversation while disagreeing. In I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening), they share principles on how to give grace and be vulnerable when discussing issues that affect families, churches, the country, and the world. They provide practical tools to move past frustration and into productive dialogue, emphasizing that faith should inform the way people engage more than it does the outcome of that engagement. This urgently needed new book reveals how to talk about politics in a way that inspires rather than angers and that pays spiritual dividends far past election day.
A Story of Justice and Redemption
The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.
Rape and the Justice System in a College Town
Chronicles the experiences of several women in Missoula, Montana, who claimed to be raped by University of Montana football players, highlighting the inequities of the law in regard to rape allegations and the treatment of rape victims and perpetrators.
Race Against Time
A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era
An award-winning investigative reporter shares the real-life detective story of how Klansmen came to justice in notorious unsolved civil rights cold cases—decades after they had gotten away with murder.
The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
A full-length account of the struggles of hundreds of women who were exposed to dangerous levels of radium while working factory jobs during World War I describes how they were mislead by their employers and became embroiled in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights.
Things My Son Needs to Know About the World
Whimsical essays by the best-selling author of A Man Called Ove celebrate the first steps, milestones and foibles of modern parenthood, sharing father-to-son advice on everything from finding a place to belong to beating Monkey Island 3.
Adulthood is a Myth
Adulthood is a myth confronts head-on the horrors, anxiety, and awkwardness of modern adult life. From the agony of holding hands with a gorgeous guy to the yawning pit of hell that is the wifi gone down to the eye-watering pain of eating too-hot pizza because one cannot stand to wait for it to cool down, Sarah fearlessly documents it all.
Barely Functional Adult
It’ll All Make Sense Eventually
A hilarious and poignant [autobiographical] collection of beautifully illustrated short stories that perfectly captures the best and worst of adult life and the joy, terror, fun, and pain that comes with learning to navigate its complexities and conundrums.
Big Mushy Happy Lump
Containing illustrated personal essays on the author’s real-life experiences with anxiety, career, relationships and other adulthood challenges, this collection of the hugely popular, world-famous Sarah’s Scribbles comics are perfect for those of us who boast bookstore-ready bodies and Netflix-ready hair.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
From the revered British illustrator, a modern fable for all ages that explores life’s universal lessons, featuring 100 color and black-and-white drawings.
With characteristic wit and charm, Sarah Andersen’s third collection of comics and illustrated personal essays offers a survival guide for frantic modern life: from the importance of avoiding morning people, to Internet troll defense 101, to the not-so-life-changing futility of tidying up.
Hyperbole and a Half
Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a Half the internet rejoices. This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features more than fifty percent new content, with ten never-before-seen essays and one wholly revised and expanded piece as well as classics from the website like, ‘the God of Cake,” ‘Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving,” and her astonishing, ‘Adventures in Depression,” and ‘Depression Part Two,” which have been hailed as some of the most insightful meditations on the disease ever written.