Staff Picks

Recent Picks

The Seine : the river that made Paris book cover
The Seine : the river that made Paris book cover

The Seine : the river that made Paris

Elaine Sciolino

944.36 /Sciolino
Nonfiction, Travel, History

"In the spring of 1978, as a young journalist in Paris, Elaine Sciolino was seduced by a river. In The Seine, she tells the story of that river through its rich history and lively characters-a bargewoman, a riverbank bookseller, a houseboat- dweller, a famous cinematographer known for capturing the river's light. She patrols with river police, rows with a restorer of antique boats, discovers a champagne vineyard, and even dares to swim in the Seine. Sciolino's keen eye and vivid prose bring the river to life as she discovers its origins on a remote plateau in Burgundy, where a pagan goddess healed pilgrims at an ancient temple. She follows the Seine to Le Havre, where it meets the sea. Braiding memoir, travelogue, and history through the Seine's winding route, Sciolino offers a love letter to Paris and the river at its heart and invites readers to explore its magic."--

Candice's picture

Elaine Sciolino also wrote the wonderful book "The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs" and I feel like she has perfected the blend of awe and love for place, history, anecdote, and commentary. She brings the Seine to life here, it is a character in the past, present, and future of Paris. Full of interesting tales about, and lovely descriptions of, everything and anything related to the great river--architecture, city-scapes, food, people, art, history...it's all here. -Candice

The Sixth Man : a memoir book cover
The Sixth Man : a memoir book cover

The Sixth Man : a memoir

Andre Iguodala

796.323092 /Iguodala
Nonfiction, Sports, Memoir

"A standout sports memoir from NBA powerhouse, a swingman and NBA All-Star of the Golden State Warriors"--

Melody's picture

Librarians love it when prominent people publicize their "best of" book lists. Former President Barack Obama is an avid sports fan, and the basketball biography from Andre Igoudala made the President's Best of 2019 list. Igoudala's life story is thoughtful and inspiring. The whole list is impressive, too. Find it on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6oYKxAgCn7/ -Melody

Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in book cover
Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in book cover

Getting to yes : negotiating agreement without giving in

Roger Fisher

158.5 /Fisher
Nonfiction, Business

"Since it was first published in 1981, Getting to Yes has become a central book in the Business Canon: the key text on the psychology of negotiation. Its message of "principled negotiations"--finding acceptable compromise by determining which needs are fixed and which are flexible for negotiating parties--has influenced generations of businesspeople, lawyers, educators and anyone who has sought to achieve a win-win situation in arriving at an agreement. It has sold over 8 million copies worldwide in 30 languages, and since it was first published by Penguin in 1991 (a reissue of the original addition with Bruce Patton as additional coauthor) has sold over 2.5 million copies--which places it as the #10 bestselling title overall in Penguin Books, and #3 bestselling nonfiction title overall. We have recently relicensed the rights to Getting to Yes, and will be doing a new revised edition--a 30th anniversary of the original publication and 20th of the Penguin edition. The authors will be bringing the book up to date with new material and a assessment of the legacy and achievement of Getting to Yes after three decades"--

Melody's picture

This book is a contemporary classic! Written by members of the Harvard Negotiation Project, you will find this book in political science classrooms around the U.S. Or at least, that was my exposure to it--in a class on international politics and peacekeeping. It's great to re-read any time you need to negotiate an agreement with someone. Buying a car? Taking the iPad away from your child? This book contains secrets to let both sides save face and find the next best option. -Melody

The tiger's wife book cover
The tiger's wife book cover

The tiger's wife

Téa Obreht

FICTION Obreht, Tea
Fiction

Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, young physician Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for "the deathless man," a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife.

Becky's picture

“The Tiger’s Wife” is a tale where the real and the fantastical are intertwined, a great example of magical realism. While the story follows Natalia, the main storyline builds upon the death of her grandfather. Natalia reexamines memories and stories shared by her grandfather to come to a better understanding surrounding the mysteriousness of his disappearance and death. Through those memories, we are introduced to the Deathless Man and the Tiger’s Wife, both are characters rooted in fantasy and superstition. It is through the Deathless Man and the Tiger’s Wife that Natalia deals with her grief and learns more about her grandfather. -Becky

The emerald horizon : the history of nature in Iowa book cover
The emerald horizon : the history of nature in Iowa book cover

The emerald horizon : the history of nature in Iowa

Cornelia Fleischer Mutel

508.777 /Mutel
Nonfiction, Nature, Science

Jason's picture

A terrific overview of the natural history of Iowa. Any state would be lucky to have such a primer for residents to better understand the world outside their doors. -Jason

Akin : a novel book cover
Akin : a novel book cover

Akin : a novel

Emma Donoghue

FICTION Donoghue Emma
Fiction

"Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he's discovered from his mother's wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he's never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, Noah agrees to take Michael along on his trip. Much has changed in this famously charming seaside mecca, still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. The unlikely duo, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, bicker about everything from steak fries to screen time. But Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy's truculent wit, and Michael's ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family's past. Both come to grasp the risks people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew. Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room an international bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy, born two generations apart, who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together."--Provided by publisher.

Mari's picture

I love how Emma Donoghue's books are all so different! This one takes you on a journey to Nice, France when a retired chemistry professor from New York decides to revisit his childhood home after a series of photographs he discovers upon his sister's death presents a mystery about his mother's involvement in World War II. The trip is suddenly much different than his expectations when he is given responsibility for the care of his eleven-year old great nephew while his mother is incarcerated. This story has elements of travel, historical fiction, child welfare,and the bridging of two very different generations. -Mari

This is how you lose the time war book cover
This is how you lose the time war book cover

This is how you lose the time war

Amal El-Mohtar

SCIENCE FICTION El-Mohtar Amal
Science Fiction

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them.

Brian's picture

Any description of this book will sell it short, but I will say this--don't let the Sci-Fi aspect scare you off if it's not your thing. This is a beautifully written romance wearing Sci-Fi clothing. -Brian

The shortest day book cover
The shortest day book cover

The shortest day

Susan Cooper

jE Cooper
Picture Books, Nature, Literary Fiction

A celebration of the winter solstice and the Yuletide season. As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper's poem "The Shortest Day" captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before-- and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illustrated by Carson Ellis with a universality that spans the centuries, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

Casey's picture

Lofty, elegant, and achingly beautiful, Carson Ellis's illustrations are the perfect pairing for Susan Cooper's poem. Don't miss this true winter solstice celebration from and for the ages! -Casey

She said : breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement book cover
She said : breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement book cover

She said : breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement

Jodi Kantor

364.153 /Kantor
History

From the Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment and abuse comes the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement.

Heidi L's picture

Once started, this book is hard to put down. The journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey are smart, dogged, and compassionate, AND know how to tell a story that keeps you riveted. The primary story is about their research that exposed Harvey Weinstein and the many years he harassed women; the secondary story is an accounting of the "Me Too" movement and of Christine Blasey Ford's input to the hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The New York Times won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for Kantor and Twohey's reporting on the Weinstein case (prize was shared with The New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow). -Heidi L

Iowa Confederates in the Civil War book cover
Iowa Confederates in the Civil War book cover

Iowa Confederates in the Civil War

David Connon

977.702 /Connon
Nonfiction, History

Melody's picture

Once in a while, we get an Iowa history book that disrupts what we always believed was true. Iowa Confederates in the Civil War does exactly this. Author David Connon chronicles 76 Iowans who headed south and signed up to fight against the Union. Listen to the River to River interview with the author here: https://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/new-research-shows-least-76-iowans-joined-confederacy-during-civil-war#stream/0 -Melody

Sulwe book cover
Sulwe book cover

Sulwe

Lupita Nyong'o

jE Nyongo
Picture Books

When five-year-old Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.

Mari's picture

Lupita's story of her own struggle with being unique is portrayed beautifully through Sulwe's desire to just fit in. A great story about loving yourself. -Mari

The song of Achilles book cover
The song of Achilles book cover

The song of Achilles

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Fiction

"Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. "The best of all the Greeks"-strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess-Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine-much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles' mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice. Built on the groundwork of the Iliad, Madeline Miller's page-turning, profoundly moving, and blisteringly paced retelling of the epic Trojan War marks the launch of a dazzling career." (Summary from Amazon)

Becky's picture

"The Song of Achilles" is such an interesting rendition of the tale of the Trojan War. It is told by the perspective of Patroclus, beginning with him as a young child being exiled to the court of King Peleus. There, he and Achilles develop a deep bond which carries them through Chiron's training and into the battlefield. Beautifully written! -Becky

The secrets we kept book cover
The secrets we kept book cover

The secrets we kept

Lara Prescott

FICTION Prescott Lara
Historical Fiction

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world--using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

Becky's picture

While "The Secrets We Kept" is set around the creation and publication of Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago," it is not necessary to have read "Doctor Zhivago" to appreciate Prescott's work (though I now have added it to my list of books to read in the future!). Your attention shifts between two U.S. undercover typists working to distribute Pasternak's novel, to Olga (Pasternak's mistress), who's own livelihood and well being is very closely linked to the novel's publication. I really enjoy historical fiction and loved how this account examines the consequences and impact of creative, intellectual works during the time of the Cold War. -Becky

Three mages and a margarita : The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series, Book 1 book cover
Three mages and a margarita : The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series, Book 1 book cover

Three mages and a margarita : The Guild Codex: Spellbound Series, Book 1

Annette Marie

eAUDIO
Fiction, Fantasy

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig. It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right? I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they… offered me the job? It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I'm exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there's a good reason no one else wants to work here. So what's a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise. --Amazon.com

Melody's picture

I discovered the Guild Codex: Spellbound Series only about two weeks ago, and since them I'm already on the third audiobook. This series has so much action! I imagine it'd be like a Harry Potter but for adults. Mages who can control different elemental magic, mythical creatures, and epic battles. The heroine is a human who is trying to scrape by in fit in. Expect a side of romance with this book, too. -Melody

The things we keep book cover
The things we keep book cover

The things we keep

Sally Hepworth

FICTION Hepworth Sally
Fiction

"Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke. When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them"--

Meredith's picture

Sally Hepworth does it again! She crafts a story that intertwines several characters and makes you care about each one. My new favorite author!!! -Meredith

The secret life of Walter Mitty book cover
The secret life of Walter Mitty book cover

The secret life of Walter Mitty

DVD MOVIE ACTION Secret
Drama, Fantasy

Watch the classic story by James Thurber, about a daydreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance, and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Jacy's picture

Whenever I need a pick-me-up this movie is on the top of my list. I relate to the main character and how he zones out all the time, since I tend to do that too. It also helps that there are some great songs like Space Oddity they play; be sure to check out the sound track! -Jacy

Burn the ice : the American culinary revolution and its end book cover
Burn the ice : the American culinary revolution and its end book cover

Burn the ice : the American culinary revolution and its end

Kevin (Food writer) Alexander

641.509 /Alexander
Nonfiction

James Beard Award-winning food journalist Kevin Alexander traces an exhilarating golden age in American dining. Over the past decade, Kevin Alexander saw American dining turned on its head. Starting in 2006, the food world underwent a transformation as the established gatekeepers of American culinary creativity in New York City and the Bay Area were forced to contend with Portland, Oregon. Its new, no-holds-barred, casual fine-dining style became a template for other cities, and a culinary revolution swept across America. Traditional ramen shops opened in Oklahoma City. Craft cocktail speakeasies appeared in Boise. Poke bowls sprung up in Omaha. Entire neighborhoods, like Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and cities like Austin, were suddenly unrecognizable to long-term residents, their names becoming shorthand for the so-called hipster movement. At the same time, new media companies such as Eater and Serious Eats launched to chronicle and cater to this developing scene, transforming nascent star chefs into proper celebrities. Emerging culinary television hosts like Anthony Bourdain inspired a generation to use food as the lens for different cultures. It seemed, for a moment, like a glorious belle epoque of eating and drinking in America. And then it was over. To tell this story, Alexander journeys through the travails and triumphs of a number of key chefs, bartenders, and activists, as well as restaurants and neighborhoods whose fortunes were made during this veritable gold rush--including Gabriel Rucker, an originator of the 2006 Portland restaurant scene; Tom Colicchio of Gramercy Tavern and Top Chef fame; as well as hugely influential figures, such as André Prince Jeffries of Prince's Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville; and Carolina barbecue pitmaster Rodney Scott. He writes with rare energy, telling a distinctly American story, at once timeless and cutting-edge, about unbridled creativity and ravenous ambition. To "burn the ice" means to melt down whatever remains in a kitchen's ice machine at the end of the night. Or, at the bar, to melt the ice if someone has broken a glass in the well. It is both an end and a beginning. It is the firsthand story of a revolution in how Americans eat and drink.

Jason's picture

A look at modern american cooking and restaurant/foodie entrepreneurs. Chapters follow the individual cooking journeys of influential chefs and the food scenes in various parts of America. Documents the boom/bust of some of these areas and the excesses that can come with celebrity chef status. -Jason

New kid book cover
New kid book cover

New kid

Jerry Craft

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Craft
Fiction, Kids, Graphic Novels

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds--and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Anne W's picture

Funny graphic novel with something important to say about systemic racism, microaggressions, and school segregation. -Anne W

Other words for home book cover
Other words for home book cover

Other words for home

Jasmine Warga

jFICTION Warga Jasmine
Fiction, Kids

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

Anne W's picture

A beautiful, timely book in verse that will help you understand the Syrian refugee crisis. -Anne W

My Jasper June book cover
My Jasper June book cover

My Jasper June

Laurel Snyder

jFICTION Snyder Laurel
Fiction, Kids

The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah's been adrift and alone. Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There's something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost. Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find. But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.--

Anne W's picture

A touching story of friendship and loss -Anne W

A place to belong book cover
A place to belong book cover

A place to belong

Cynthia Kadohata

jFICTION Kadohata Cynthia
Fiction, Kids, Historical Fiction

Twelve-year-old Hanako and her family, reeling from their confinement in an internment camp, renounce their American citizenship to move to Hiroshima, a city devastated by the atomic bomb dropped by Americans.

Anne W's picture

One Japanese-American family dealing with the aftermath of WWII and their time in an internment camp -Anne W

Genesis begins again book cover
Genesis begins again book cover

Genesis begins again

Alicia Williams

jFICTION Williams Alicia
Fiction, Kids

Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin, thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.

Anne W's picture

Heartbreaking, gritty story of a girl who struggles to feel at home in skin society and her own family tells her is too black (in ways both subtle and not) and find a place to belong when her family is frequently forced to move. -Anne W

The magic of Christmas book cover
The magic of Christmas book cover

The magic of Christmas

Celtic Woman

COMPACT DISC CR Celtic Magic M78
Popular, Celtic, Covers

As with their previous Christmas CD releases, this 14th album by Celtic Woman once again offers up an enjoyable collection of their "best of" traditional songs of the season.

Paul's picture

Celtic Woman once again provide a very enjoyable listening experience with their special treatment of traditional songs of the season. Just a heads up, this group will be appearing at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center on the UNI campus on December 22nd. -Paul

A legendary Christmas book cover
A legendary Christmas book cover

A legendary Christmas

John Legend

COMPACT DISC CR Legend Legendary C92
Popular, Rhythm and Blues, Covers

Grammy-winning superstar John Legend releases his first ever holiday album. There are both classic songs and new tracks, including Bring me love.

Paul's picture

You knew it was only a matter of time before John Legend would release a Holiday album and here it is. Featuring both classic songs and new, original tracks guest artist include Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding (one of my favorite bassists of all time!) -Paul

Christmas : a season of love book cover
Christmas : a season of love book cover

Christmas : a season of love

Idina Menze

COMPACT DISC CR Menzel Christmas D59
Popular, Vocal, Covers, World

This is the second Christmas album from Menzel, again featuring a strong selection of duets with a featured guest vocalists covering a number of traditonal seasonal songs.

Paul's picture

Menzel's amazing voice is once again worth the price of admission, as with her previous Christmas release she teams up for a number of duets with an A-list of currently popular vocalists. Very centered on recognizable favorites this release does include one not so traditional Hanukkah song, Ocho Kandelikas, which is sung in Ladino. -Paul

Christmas is here! book cover
Christmas is here! book cover

Christmas is here!

Pentatonix

COMPACT DISC CR Pentatonix Christmas R43
Popular, Vocal, Covers

Three-time Grammy Award winners Pentatonix release their fourth holiday album, which features brand new arrangements of modern and classical seasonal favorites. The first song featured is their cover of Making Christmas from the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Paul's picture

Pentatonix have once again released an enjoyable a capella collection of Christmas music, featuring brand new arrangements of familiar favorites. I'm always amazed at what this group comes up with. -Paul

Sugar & booze book cover
Sugar & booze book cover

Sugar & booze

Ana Gasteyer

COMPACT DISC CR Gasteyer Sugar H02
Popular, Jazz, Covers

"The new album from the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member features a modern take on the swing and jazz sounds of the '50s and '60s. Gasteyer's performance is a pleasurable treat as she smoothly navigates a delightful assortment of original tracks with a number of holiday classics sprinkled in for good measure."--Herald-Standard.

Paul's picture

Features catchy rhythms evocative of the jazz and pop music of the 50's and early 60's with clever and often humorous lyrics that do push some boundaries, being just naughty enough to add spice to seasonal cocktail listening cocktail mix with out being too strong. -Paul

Christmas in the city book cover
Christmas in the city book cover

Christmas in the city

Lea Michele

COMPACT DISC CR Michele Christmas M42
Popular, Vocal, Covers

The "city" in this case is of course New York City, the setting of ever so many holiday song snapshots. Lea Michele of Glee fame, through familiar mid-20th century holiday song traditions, attempts to capture some of that spirit on her first Christmas album, delivering each song and their arrangement with sincere gusto --Based on article from allmusic.com.

Paul's picture

Residing very comfortably in the tried and true traditional seasonal "tropesphere", this release certainly adds well to the Christmas music canon populated by crooners of the 50's and 60's. What sets it apart is Lea Michelle's way of infusing each song with an inner wonder and infectious, sincere joyousness. -Paul

Celestial book cover
Celestial book cover

Celestial

Rob Halford

COMPACT DISC CR Halford Celestial L52
Metal, Rock, Covers

"Forty-some years into his life as a verified metal god, it probably seemed like as good a time as any for Rob Halford to make a Christmas album... There's an hefty dose of self-awareness and irony in Celestial, a collection of metalized Christmas carols and traditional holiday tunes, and a few Halford originals in the holiday vein."--allmusic.com.

Paul's picture

Features some pretty interesting metal interpretations of classic Christmas songs and, as one one expect, certainly with some ear catching guitar hooks and power chords. Sure to make the tinsel on your tannenbaum gleam a little brighter and louder. -Paul

Moonlight, mistletoe & you book cover
Moonlight, mistletoe & you book cover

Moonlight, mistletoe & you

Keb' Mo'

COMPACT DISC CR Keb' Moonlight C77
Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, Covers

"The inherent friendliness of Moonlight, Mistletoe and You buoys the first holiday album from veteran blues singer Keb' Mo' through its periodic shifts in tone and style. Keb' Mo' has long been known for dabbling in a variety of different American roots music, so the intermingling of blues, jazz, and Tin Pan Alley pop comes as no surprise."--allmusic.com.

Paul's picture

Keb' Mo's distinctive voice really shines through with a proper amount of Christmas warmth and cheer on an album filled with very smooth, but not horribly over-produced, tracks while staying true to the various musical genre types he explores. -Paul

The secrets we kept book cover
The secrets we kept book cover

The secrets we kept

Lara Prescott

FICTION Prescott Lara
Historical Fiction, Fiction

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak's magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world--using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally's tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

Anne M's picture

Oh, you need to read this book. Follow members of the CIA's "typing pool" picked to assist in the mission to get the novel Doctor Zhivago published and distributed in the Soviet Union. Their story is intertwined with Olga's, the mistress of Boris Pasternak, as she deals with the consequences of the novel's existence--it was not a favorite of the Kremlin, by any means. It is a page-turner. Also, you DO NOT need to read Doctor Zhivago to enjoy this book. However, it is a great read as well! -Anne M

Ask again yes : a novel book cover
Ask again yes : a novel book cover

Ask again yes : a novel

Mary Beth Keane

FICTION Keane Mary
Fiction

"A family saga about two Irish American families in a New York suburb, the love between two of their children, and the tragedies that threaten to tear them apart and destroy their futures"--

Mari's picture

A story of two families that journeys through generations. Two NYC police officers, one Irish, the other married to an Irish woman, end up living next door to each other in the suburbs. A truly terrible incident occurs which changes the lives of everyone in both families. Despite this tragedy, the families are tied together forever through an undeniable bond since childhood. I really found the realistic portrayal of characters that must deal with the effects of mental illness, alcoholism, parental abandonment and PTSD to be memorable. -Mari

Unfollow : a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist Church book cover
Unfollow : a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist Church book cover

Unfollow : a memoir of loving and leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

Megan Phelps-Roper

286.5 /Phelps-Roper

The activist and TED speaker Phelps-Roper reveals her life growing up in the most hated family in America. Rich with suspense and thoughtful reflection, her life story exposes the dangers of black-and-white thinking and the need for true humility in a time of angry polarization.

Meredith's picture

Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in love by her family and a strict doctrine of “We’re right, everyone else is wrong” by her church. When she begins to questions her belief, she knows that to give up one (church), she loses the other — her beloved family. In many ways, reading Unfollow was like Tara Westover’s Educated. To an outsider, it’s all “They’re terrible! Why did you stay?” We don’t see them as family. The strength Megan shows to not only leave everything she’s ever known, but to not shy away from past actions or place blame, but apologize and try to learn more, to do and be better, is admirable and inspiring. No one needs to #savemegan. She’ll save herself. -Meredith

The blessed unrest book cover
The blessed unrest book cover

The blessed unrest

Sara Bareilles

COMPACT DISC PO Bareilles Blessed
Popular, Rock

Callie's picture

Every song on this album has a special place in my heart. -Callie

The passage book cover
The passage book cover

The passage

Justin Cronin

FICTION Cronin, Justin
Science Fiction, Horror

A security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment that only six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte can stop.

Callie's picture

The Passage kept me on the edge of my seat. -Callie

The prestige book cover
The prestige book cover

The prestige

DVD MOVIE DRAMA Prestige
Thriller, Drama, Mystery

Set against the backdrop of turn-of-the-century London. Two magicians share an intense rivalry with each other which leads them on a life-long battle for supremacy. From the time that Robert Angier and Alfred Bordon first met, the two have been competitors. However, their once friendly competition has evolved into a battle for each other's trade secrets.

Callie's picture

This movie is an all-time favorite. Every time I watch it, I notice some other piece of the puzzle that makes it even better. -Callie

Staff Profiles

Amanda's picture

Amanda

Interests: Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Memoir, Self Help, Poetry
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Angie

Interests: Kids, Fiction, Early Readers, Picture Books, Board Books, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Chick Lit, True Crime, Cookbooks
Anne M's picture

Anne M

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Mystery, Nonfiction, History, Cookbooks, Crafts, Biographies, Gardening
Anne W's picture

Anne W

Interests: Fiction, Kids, Adventure, Dystopian, Historical Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Picture Books, Memoir, Self Help
Becky's picture

Becky

Interests: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Classics, Science, Nature
Beth's picture

Beth

Interests: Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Crafts, Gardening, Young Adult
Bond's picture

Bond

Interests: Suspense, Thriller, Humor, True Crime, Picture Books
Brent's picture

Brent

Interests: Humor, Mystery, Science, Nature, Science Fiction
Brian's picture

Brian

Interests: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Religion, Humor, Young Adult, Science
Callie's picture

Callie

Interests: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Graphic Novels, True Crime, Literary Fiction
Candice's picture

Candice

Interests: History, Travel, Science, Nature, Cookbooks, Thriller, Suspense
Casey's picture

Casey

Interests: Picture Books, Board Books, Early Readers, Graphic Novels, Young Adult, Classics, Fantasy, Nature, LGBTQ+, Memoir, Humor, Horror, Crafts, Cookbooks, Gardening
Frannie's picture

Frannie

Interests: Graphic Novels, Memoir, Classics, Literary Fiction, Humor
Heidi K's picture

Heidi K

Interests: Fiction, Memoir, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Short Story, History, Biographies, Philosophy, Poetry, Gardening, Graphic Novels
Heidi L's picture

Heidi L

Interests: Classics, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Biographies, History, Travel
Jacy's picture

Jacy

Interests: Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Cookbooks, Crafts, Young Adult, Short Story
Jason's picture

Jason

Interests: Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Nonfiction, Science, Short Story
Kara's picture

Kara

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Memoir, Travel
Karen's picture

Karen

Interests: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Memoir, Health, Nature, Gardening, Cookbooks, Crafts, Picture Books, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, LGBTQ+
Maeve's picture

Maeve

Interests: Biographies, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Nature, Travel, Memoir, Science, Animals
Mari's picture

Mari

Interests: Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Crafts, Early Chapter Books, True Crime, Dystopian, Memoir, Historical Fiction, Suspense
Melody's picture

Melody

Interests: Fiction, Fantasy, Nonfiction, Cookbooks, Health, Poetry
Meredith's picture

Meredith

Interests: Fiction, Dystopian, Humor, Romance, Suspense, Graphic Novels, Biographies, Cookbooks, Memoir, Self Help, Young Adult
Paul's picture

Paul

Interests: Science Fiction, Classics, Picture Books, History, Technology, Gardening, Graphic Novels, Short Story
Shawna's picture

Shawna

Interests: Horror, Suspense, Thriller, True Crime, Crafts, Cookbooks, Gardening, History, Biographies
Stacey's picture

Stacey

Interests: Humor, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Crafts, Philosophy, Poetry, Nonfiction
Tom's picture

Tom

Interests: Humor, Health, History, Philosophy, Science, Sports