All New Materials

Staff Picks

The Belles

Dhonielle Clayton

Young Adult

"In a world where Beauty is a commodity only a few control, one Belle will learn the dark secrets behind her powers, and rise up to change the world"--

Beauty is skin deep. It's what's below the surface that's frightening. -Meredith

The duchess deal : girl meets duke

Tessa Dare

FICTION Dare Tessa
Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

The Duke of Ashbury needs a wife. Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress, will do. They both have terms for the marriage, but will they be able to stop from falling in love?

I cannot overstate my love for this book. It's sweet, funny, whacky, and so much more. Fabulous characters, wonderful writing. It's got a marriage of convenience, well-developed characters, awesome female friendship, ridiculous pet names, superheroes, feminism, politics, body acceptance, a heroine who stubbornly insists on making clothing out of drapes, etc. etc. and many more delightful things.

I read it in a matter of hours and stayed up late to finish it. Totally worth it. -Amanda


Helen Harper


Mack might be, to all intents and purposes, a normal looking human, but she lives with a pack of shapeshifters in Cornwall in rural England after being dumped there by her mother when she was just a young child. She desperately wants to be accepted by her surrogate family, not least because a lot of them hate her for merely being human, but for some reason her blood just won't allow the transformation to occur. With a terrible temper to match her fiery red hair, Mack is extraordinarily useful in a fight, and when her pack alpha is brutally and abruptly murdered, she swears vengeance. Unfortunately, his murder also draws in the Brethren - the leaders of the shapeshifter world - who will slaughter everyone in Mack's small rural pack if they discover her true identity. Unfortunately Corrigan, the green-eyed muscle-bound Lord Alpha of the Brethren, doesn't let much slip by him.

I admit I was a bit turned off by the cover of this book and put off checking it out. When I took a chance on it, I found it to have inventive twists on traditional urban fantasy mythos. I like how Helen Harper experiments with a variety of characteristics in her heroines. Other heroines in her books might avoid conflict. Bloodfire's "Mack Attack" explores how her blood gets all firey when she gets angry. How refreshing it was to read a character whose anger can turn into action! -Melody

Churchill and Orwell : the fight for freedom

Thomas E. Ricks

941.084 /Ricks
History, Biographies

A "dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell, with a focus on the pivotal years from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, when their farsighted vision and inspired action in the face of the threat of fascism and communism helped preserve democracy for the world"--

A compelling read about two very different men who shared a horror of fascism. I learned a lot about the Spanish civil war from Orwell's book Homage to Catalonia, but did not know much about his life otherwise; this book filled that gap. -Heidi L

Carnegie's Maid

Marie Benedict

FICTION Benedict Marie
Historical Fiction

"Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. She's not the experienced Irish maid who was hired to work in one of Pittsburgh's grandest households. She's a poor farmer's daughter with nowhere to go and nothing in her pockets. But the other woman with the same name has vanished, and pretending to be her just might get Clara some money to send back home. If she can keep up the ruse, that is. Serving as a lady's maid in the household of Andrew Carnegie requires skills she doesn't have, answering to an icy mistress who rules her sons and her domain with an iron fist. What Clara does have is a resolve as strong as the steel Pittsburgh is becoming famous for, coupled with an uncanny understanding of business, and Andrew begins to rely on her. But Clara can't let her guard down, not even when Andrew becomes something more than an employer. Revealing her past might ruin her future -- and her family's."--

In 1901 Andrew Carnegie was the world's richest man. He retired that year and set out to give all of his money away. On March 14, 1902 he gave $25,000 to Iowa City to build a public library. In 1903 he gave an additional $10,000 to Iowa City Public Library. He invested money in many causes he believed in including libraries, scientific research, world peace and others. Why did he become a philanthropist? In Carnegie's Maid, author Marie Benedict brings Andrew Carnegie alive and speculates about a person who may have influenced Carnegie and encouraged him to invest in others. -Kara

The immortalists

Chloe Benjamin

FICTION Benjamin Chloe
Literary Fiction

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children -- four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness -- sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco. Dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy. Eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate. Bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

I found myself immersed in this book. I couldn't put it down. It is a serious read--it begins when four siblings visiting a fortune teller learn the dates of their deaths. Each person reacts differently as they approach their day, often looking like self-fulfilling prophecies, except one--who works to fight her time. This was a great read--wonderfully written--engaging characters. -Anne M

More Staff Picks


View Full Calendar