ICPL Recommends

A manual for cleaning women : selected stories book cover
A manual for cleaning women : selected stories book cover

A manual for cleaning women : selected stories

Lucia Berlin

FICTION Berlin Lucia
Short Story

"Stories from a lost American classic "in the same arena as Alice Munro" (Lydia Davis) "In the field of short fiction, Lucia Berlin is one of America's best kept secrets. That's it. Flat out. No mitigating conditions." --Paul Metcalf A Manual for Cleaning Women compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With her trademark blend of humor and melancholy, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday--uncovering moments of grace in the cafeterias and Laundromats of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Northern California upper classes, and from the perspective of a cleaning woman alone in a hotel dining room in Mexico City. The women of Berlin's stories are lost, but they are also strong, clever, and extraordinarily real. They are hitchhikers, hard workers, bad Christians. With the wit of Lorrie Moore and the grit of Raymond Carver, they navigate a world of jockeys, doctors, and switchboard operators. They laugh, they mourn, they drink. Berlin, a highly influential writer despite having published little in her lifetime, conjures these women from California, Mexico, and beyond. Lovers of the short story will not want to miss this remarkable collection from a master of the form"--

Lately I've been enjoying collections of short stories. Lucia Berlin's stories are about many characters, but all are semi-autobiographical. And though most stories seem to be about ordinary events in ordinary towns with ordinary people, all contain extraordinary insights into the human condition. -Mari

Guts book cover
Guts book cover


Raina Telgemeier


Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

I'm always into whatever Raina Telgemeier puts out, and this is not exception. Closer in tone to her more autobiographical works like Sisters or Smile this one deals with how sometimes kids can struggle with putting words on their emotions and inner life. A great title for all ages, and because it took me so little time to read I had the privilege of passing my copy on to my nephew. Win-win! -Frannie

The power of sprinkles : a cake book by the founder of the Flour Shop book cover
The power of sprinkles : a cake book by the founder of the Flour Shop book cover

The power of sprinkles : a cake book by the founder of the Flour Shop

Amirah Kassem

641.8653 /Kassem
Nonfiction, Cookbooks

Amirah Kassem preaches the power of sprinkles in her wildly creative first book. A modern-day Willy Wonka, Kassem reminds readers that joy can be found in creating something delightful and delicious, that baking a cake for someone is the best thing in the world, and that, when it comes to cake decorating, any mistake can be covered in sprinkles (and everyone will love it anyway!). With twenty-nine different cakes--from unicorn cakes and donut cakes to cakes that look like reindeer, popcorn, spaghetti, and avocado toast--and packed with photographs, illustrations, and infinite ideas, The Power of Sprinkles is a book for bakers and cake decorators at every age and level.

This has one of my favorite recipes for buttercream ever! I've made the cake featured on the cover and it went surprisingly well. This is a good option for home bakers, although the cake that you make in the first recipe is a little tall and harder to cut into typical cake sized slices. If you're looking for a show stopper for a birthday (or any kind of) party, this book is going to be your best friend. -Jacy

The long call book cover
The long call book cover

The long call

Ann Cleeves

MYSTERY Cleeves Ann

From Ann Cleeves--bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows--comes the first in a gripping new series. "Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers."--Louise Penny In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father's funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too. Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death. The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide. An astonishing new novel told with compassion and searing insight, The Long Call will captivate fans of Vera and Shetland, as well as new readers.

I took it hard when Ann Cleeves recently announced she would not be writing any more Shetland mysteries. But I am very happy to find that I like the main character in her new series "Two Rivers" just as much. Detective Matthew Venn is a sympathetic character--earnest, introverted, working outside of his comfort zone because he cares about making things right. This first novel is suspenseful and the setting on the Devon coast is interesting and inviting. I look forward to more in this new series. -Heidi L

The regulators book cover
The regulators book cover

The regulators

Richard Bachman

FICTION Bachman, Richard
Fiction, Horror

"There's a place in Wentworth, Ohio, where summer is in full swing. It's called Poplar Street. Up until now it's been a nice place to live. The idling red van around the corner is about to change all that. Let the battle against evil begin. Here come...The Regulators." (Goodreads summary)

This book is best read in partnership with Desperation by Stephen King. They aren't in a series together; they are separate stories that use the same pool of characters and the same evil entity. Recently I started to re-read this one; my favorite part that separates it from the other version is how King slows down time to really describe the gory details of the more intense scenes. -Jacy

Desperation book cover
Desperation book cover


Stephen King

FICTION King, Stephen
Fiction, Horror

"There's a place along Interstate 50 that some call the loneliest place on Earth. It's known as Desperation, Nevada. It's not a very nice place to live. It's an even worse place to die. Let the battle against evil begin. Welcome to ... Desperation." (Goodreads summary)

This book is best read in partnership with The Regulators by Richard Bachman (Stephen King). They aren't in a series together; they are separate stories that use the same pool of characters and the same evil entity. I haven't read this one in a few years, but I remember the setting vividly. It's in a remote town along the highway, where the evil Tak has essentially taken over, and some truly chilling things happen. -Jacy


More new materials
Markus Zusak, author of "The Book Thief" and "The Messenger," will read from his recent novel, "Bridge of Clay."
Join us for a new book club just for Tweens (grades 3-6 only)!


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