Staff Picks

Recent Picks

How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories book cover
How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories book cover

How to read a rock : our planet's hidden stories

J. A. Zalasiewicz

552 /Zalasiewicz
Nonfiction, Science

"Rocks are time machines and the keepers of our history. This guide is a geological field trip through Earth's incredible rock formations and the stories they hold"--

Melody's picture

What a beautiful book! The cover lures you in and keeps its promise of providing detailed photos and illustrations. This is an example of excellent book design, IMHO. We had a rock-based advent calendar this last December and I enjoyed learning about the stones with my family. This book takes a deeper look into the science of rock formation. A top pick for geology lovers! -Melody

Beneath book cover
Beneath book cover

Beneath

Cori Doerrfeld

jE Doerrfel
Picture Books, Kids, Nature

Finn is in a bad mood, so his grandfather takes him on a walk in the forest, and tells him about all the things that are beneath the surface of plants and animals--and even people.

Casey's picture

Beneath this cover is a touching story about recognizing what we cannot see in our world and in one another. Cori Doerrfeld's illustrations and prose make for an emotional yet healing read. Readers will be rewarded by spending some time with the endsheets and exploring what lies beneath the dust jacket as well. -Casey

Book lovers book cover
Book lovers book cover

Book lovers

Emily Henry

FICTION Henry Emily
Romance, Humor

"A by-the-book literary agent must decide if happily ever after is worth changing her whole life for in this insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. Nora Stephens' life is books--she's read them all--and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters' trip away--with visions of a small town transformation for Nora who she's convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they've met many times and it's never been cute. If Nora knows she's not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he's nobody's hero, but as they are thrown together again and again--in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow--what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they've written about themselves"--

Melody's picture

Not sure how I snagged a copy of this when it was on the shelf. It's in demand right now! But the timing was perfect. I see Emily Henry's books pop up in bestseller lists, but I've tended to pass them by. I think I read something that compared her rom-coms to Mhairi McFarlane's--whom I can't read enough of now--and that sealed the deal. I also loved the idea of reading an enemies-to-lovers title about a literary agent and an publishing house editor. Reviews call this a hilarious book and I agree! I'm about halfway through and hope to finish it up this weekend. (I took a binge-reading break to work on a jigsaw puzzle and build lego sets with my son.) Looking forward to this weekend! -Melody

Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain book cover
Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain book cover

Sacred Britannia : the gods and rituals of Roman Britain

Miranda J. (Miranda Jane) Aldhouse-Green

200.9361 /Aldhouse-Green
Nonfiction, History, Religion, Political

Two thousand years ago, the Romans sought to absorb into their empire what they regarded as a remote, almost mythical island on the very edge of the known world - Britain. The expeditions of Julius Caesar and the invasion of AD 43 brought fundamental and lasting changes to the island. Not least among these was a pantheon of new Classical deities and religious systems, along with a clutch of exotic eastern cults including Christianity. But what of Britannia and her own home-grown deities? What cults and cosmologies did the Romans encounter and how did they in turn react to them? Under Roman rule, the old gods were challenged, adopted, adapted, absorbed and re-configured. In this fresh and innovative new account, Miranda Aldhouse-Green balances literary, archaeological and iconographic evidence (and scrutinizes their shortcomings and how we interpret them) to illuminate the complexity of religion and belief in Roman Britain, and the two-way traffic of cultural exchange and interplay between imported and indigenous cults. Despite the remoteness of this period, on the threshold between prehistory and history, many of the forces, tensions, ideologies and issues of identity at work are still relevant today.

Candice's picture

This book is literally as the blurb says--it describes the religious atmosphere of Britain when the Romans blasted onto the scene, and uses various historical accounts and archaeological finds to give evidence. If that's your thing, then you'll love it! It can lean a little to the technical side, and assumes the reader might have a slight comfort level reading socio-archaeological articles, but the information is presented in nice, small bites so you don't get lost in the details. If deep British history is your cup of tea, and you don't need a lot of color photos to spice up the info, then you won't be disappointed. -Candice

A hard day for a hangover : a novel book cover
A hard day for a hangover : a novel book cover

A hard day for a hangover : a novel

Darynda Jones

MYSTERY Jones Darynda
Mystery, Romance

"Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there's just too much going on right now. There's a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There's her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who's out to singlehandedly become Del Sol's youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there's drama with Levi Ravinder-the guy she's loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him-and Sunshine-for good. Like we said, the new day can take a hike. The blockbuster conclusion to the bestselling Sunshine Vicram trilogy, A Hard Day for a Hangover will have readers laughing and cheering to the very last page"--

Melody's picture

This is the final book in the Sunshine Vicram series by Darynda Jones. I added the first book, A Bad Day for Sunshine, some time ago. After speeding through the second in the series, it felt like I had to wait forEVER for the third. It finally came out on December and I was able to read it over my holiday staycation. Once again, Jones had me turning pages one after another. I was invested in the series, the mystery, and the characters--once I put it down I couldn't wait to pick it back up again. Some of the tying up of loose ends felt a bit cliche and melodramatic for me, but hey, I can tolerate that if it keeps me laughing and has that happy ending. -Melody

We all want impossible things : a novel book cover
We all want impossible things : a novel book cover

We all want impossible things : a novel

Catherine Newman

FICTION Newman, Catherine

As Edith, her best friend of forty-two years who is dying of ovarian cancer, spends her last days at a hospice near her, Ashley, stumbling around into heartbreak, helps Edith celebrate her life as they reminisce, hold on, and try to let go.

Becky's picture

Who knew that heartbreak and comedy could coexist so well in one book?! -Becky

Dirt Creek book cover
Dirt Creek book cover

Dirt Creek

Hayley Scrivenor

MYSTERY Scriveno Hayley
Fiction, Mystery

"In Hayley Scrivenor's Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together. When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther's tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home. When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther? Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town"--

Candice's picture

This was a detailed and engrossing read. I especially liked the child characters, and felt that their thoughts and actions rang very true. This book was more about the procedure and the lives of the people than the crime itself, really, and has a full resolution that both smacks of the cruel unfairness of life, and the profound consequences of peoples' actions. -Candice

The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World book cover
The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World book cover

The ruin of all witches : life and death in the New World

Malcolm Gaskill

974.402 /Gaskill
History

"A gripping story of a family tragedy brought about by witch-hunting in Puritan New England that combines history, anthropology, sociology, politics, theology and psychology. In Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651, peculiar things begin to happen. Precious food spoils, livestock ails, property vanishes, and people suffer convulsions as if possessed by demons. A woman is seen wading through the swamp like a lost soul. Disturbing dreams and visions proliferate. Children sicken and die. As tensions rise, rumours spread of witches and heretics and the community becomes tangled in a web of distrust, resentment and denunciation. The finger of suspicion soon falls on a young couple with two small children: the prickly brickmaker, Hugh Parsons, and his troubled wife, Mary. Drawing on rich, previously unexplored source material, Malcolm Gaskill vividly evokes a strange past, one where lives were steeped in the divine and the diabolic, in omens, curses and enchantments. The Ruin of All Witches captures an entire society caught in agonized transition between superstition and enlightenment, tradition and innovation"--

Anne M's picture

What makes a community turn on a neighbor, especially a tight-knit community? Hugh Parsons wasn't pleasant to be around. He was irascible, mean-spirited, and always seemed to show up when you didn't want him. Malcolm Gaskill takes us to Puritan Springfield, Massachusetts in 1651 where Hugh Parson's angry and bearish behavior leads to accusations of witchcraft. Unlike Salem with its long list of victims, Springfield, which happened 40 years before, ruined just one family. Was it just Hugh Parson's behavior? Did they just want to be rid of him? Or was the accusations about deeper fear? A brand new colonial settlement, Springfield was going through some drastic socio-economic-political-cultural changes. Gaskill paints an interesting portrait of a town on the brink. -Anne M

True biz : a novel book cover
True biz : a novel book cover

True biz : a novel

Sara Nović

FICTION Novic Sara
Fiction

"True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they'll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who's never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school's golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both at the same time. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another-and changed forever. This is a story of sign language and lip-reading, cochlear implants and civil rights, isolation and injustice, first love and loss, and, above all, great persistence, daring, and joy. Absorbing and assured, idiosyncratic and relatable, this is an unforgettable journey into the Deaf community and a universal celebration of human connection"--

Mari's picture

My last read of 2022, and possibly my favorite! An interesting character-driven story that illuminates the importance of sign language education. I loved the added history of deaf people and their civil right battles between chapters, and the current issues within the community, such as cochlear implants, the difference between ASL and BASL, and how some parents and schools don’t allow kids to learn ASL in an effort to mainstream them. I love a story about education, and this was great one for the underrepresented deaf community. -Mari

Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world book cover
Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world book cover

Celebrate with me! : recipes, crafts, and holiday fun from around the world

j394.2 Gladwin
Nonfiction

"This joyful collection of recipes, crafts, and activities celebrates holidays around the world."--Back cover

Mari's picture

This book has a beautifully illustrate two-page spread for each popular from around the world, including a craft or activity and an easy recipe for a family to create together. I love the contributor for each holiday is a chef, artist or designer who share their favorite traditions, and that the book provides so many opportunities for kids to do hands-on activities to learn about that holiday! -Mari

Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul book cover
Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul book cover

Ammu : Indian home-cooking to nourish your soul

Asma Khan

641.5954 /Khan

"A new cookbook from the star of Netflix's Chef's Table and one of the world's most prominent female chefs. Ammu is a heart-warming cookbook of comforting aromatic Indian flavors: Indian food from home, cooked with heart. Ammu is a collection of recipes from Asma Khan's childhood, from her Indian family kitchen. It is a celebration of where she comes from, of home cooking, and the inextricable link between food and love. It is also a chance for Asma to honor her ammu - mother - and to share with us the recipes that made her and rooted her to home. This book is a joyful celebration of memories of food, and its power to heal, restore, and comfort."--

Victoria's picture

I love pretty cookbooks, but I especially love cookbook authors who connect us to their rich family heritage, provide gorgeous recipes that are easy to make and share their passion for gathering around the table on every page. -Victoria

The marriage portrait book cover
The marriage portrait book cover

The marriage portrait

Maggie O'Farrell

FICTION O'Farrell, Maggie
Historical Fiction

"A novel set in Renaissance Italy, and centering on the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de' Medici"--

Becky's picture

Maggie O’Farrell expertly builds a narrative surrounding the life and suspicious death of Lucrezia de’Medici. Tension is created by splitting the time frame, shifting between Lucrezia’s upbringing and her marriage to the Duke of Ferrara, the man suspected of her death. -Becky

Blurp's book of manners book cover
Blurp's book of manners book cover

Blurp's book of manners

Cindy Derby

jE Derby

"When etiquette coach Ms. Picklepop teeters off her stool and spills a bucket of paint, a creature emerges. Not a scary one, or an evil one, or anything of the sort. Instead, what comes alive is... BLURP! She'll have to carry on with her lesson, despite Blurp's many, messy distractions. But paint splotches and burps aren't all that disrupt Ms. Picklepop's decorous class. Perhaps through an unlikely friendship, Ms. Picklepop will learn a thing or two about manners herself" --

Victoria's picture

This is a gorgeous and thoroughly entertaining read! Derby creates sumptuously beautiful and unbridled illustations that children are sure to delight in. An absolute feast for the eyes, with a few life lessons on manners tossed in! -Victoria

Red Mars book cover
Red Mars book cover

Red Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson


Science Fiction

For eons, sandstorms have swept the desolate landscape. For centuries, Mars has beckoned humans to conquer its hostile climate. Now, in 2026, a group of 100 colonists is about to fulfill that destiny. John Boone, Maya Toitavna, Frank Chalmers & Arkady Bogdanov lead a terraforming mission. For some, Mars will become a passion driving them to daring acts of courage & madness. For others it offers an opportunity to strip the planet of its riches. For the genetic alchemists, it presents a chance to create a biomedical miracle, a breakthrough that could change all we know about life & death. The colonists orbit giant satellite mirrors to reflect light to the surface. Black dust sprinkled on the polar caps will capture warmth. Massive tunnels, kilometers deep, will be drilled into the mantle to create stupendous vents of hot gases. Against this backdrop of epic upheaval, rivalries, loves & friendships will form & fall to pieces--for there are those who will fight to the death to prevent Mars from ever being changed.

Zach's picture

Red Mars was perhaps the best book I read in 2022. I was enthralled by the complex scientific ideas presented through it, as well as the interesting characters and their beliefs. This story focuses heavily on the politics of terraforming Mars for human use, and the intricacies of that change. If you like hard science fiction and political maneuvering, you will love this book just as I did. -Zach

The Raven Boys book cover
The Raven Boys book cover

The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater


Fantasy

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Zach's picture

I think this series is the epitome of autumnal vibes. If you're interested in magic and folklore you'd love this series. -Zach

The book of goose book cover
The book of goose book cover

The book of goose

Yiyun Li

FICTION Li Yiyun
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

A magnificent, beguiling tale winding from the postwar rural provinces to Paris, from an English boarding school to the quiet Pennsylvania home where a woman can live without her past, The Book of Goose is a story of disturbing intimacy and obsession, of exploitation and strength of will, by the celebrated author Yiyun Li. Fabienne is dead. Her childhood best friend, Agnès, receives the news in America, far from the French countryside where the two girls were raised―the place that Fabienne helped Agnès escape ten years ago. Now Agnès is free to tell her story. As children in a war-ravaged backwater town, they’d built a private world, invisible to everyone but themselves―until Fabienne hatched the plan that would change everything, launching Agnès on an epic trajectory through fame, fortune, and terrible loss.

Anne M's picture

If there was ever a book that reveals the fundamentals of human nature, this is it. Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose reminds me of a modern folk tale (without the magic or talking animals) but with the elements of a cautionary lesson. -Anne M

The banshees of Inisherin book cover
The banshees of Inisherin book cover

The banshees of Inisherin

DVD MOVIE COMEDY Banshees
Comedy

Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.

Brian's picture

Beautifully shot with amazing performances throughout, "The Banshees of Inisherin" is a pitch black comedy that is going to depress the hell out of you. I loved it, but know that it's going to create a raincloud for the rest of your day. -Brian

Under the whispering door book cover
Under the whispering door book cover

Under the whispering door

TJ Klune

SCIENCE FICTION Klune Tj
Fantasy

"A Man Called Ove meets The Good Place in Under the Whispering Door, a delightful queer love story from TJ Klune, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestseller The House in the Cerulean Sea. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he's definitely dead. But even in death he's not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home"--

Brian's picture

Wallace Price, a Scrooge like character, dies and gets a chance to reevaluate his life. This touching fantasy really won me over. It has been a while since a book made me cry, and this one made me cry A LOT. -Brian

Ducks : two years in the oil sands book cover
Ducks : two years in the oil sands book cover

Ducks : two years in the oil sands

Kate Beaton

BIOGRAPHY Beaton, Kate

Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush-part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed. Beaton's natural cartooning prowess is on full display as she draws colossal machinery and mammoth vehicles set against a sublime Albertan backdrop of wildlife, northern lights, and boreal forest. Her first full length graphic narrative, Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands is an untold story of Canada: a country that prides itself on its egalitarian ethos and natural beauty while simultaneously exploiting both the riches of its land and the humanity of its people.

Victoria's picture

Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant and the hilarious The Princess and the Pony,) brings a completely different topic to light in this graphic narrative. I really enjoyed this part of her life being told graphically. She captures the interpersonal relationships of the workers in a very authentic way and what people must sacrifice in their lives to gain employment. She also is adept at sharing the duality of the Canadian wilderness and its preservation and how the oil sands are inextricably tied to the degradation of the environment and the implications of short-term profit at the expense of the landscape. -Victoria

The tray of togetherness book cover
The tray of togetherness book cover

The tray of togetherness

Flo Leung

j394.26951 Leung

"THE TRAY OF TOGETHERNESS is a celebration of a culturally specific experience that also speaks to the universality of having family traditions and the specialness of that connection. In Flo Leung's heartwarming, food-focused story, a young girl helps her multi-racial family prepare their Tray of Togetherness as part of that evening's Lunar New Year celebration. And her exuberance for the task at hand will have readers - whether familiar with the tradition or not - happily joining her. The story opens with the girl helping prepare her family's apartment - a space warmly decorated with a wall of portraits that signal to the reader the diversity of this girl's family and what "togetherness" might mean to her. Then it's time to get their coats and go on a shopping adventure - their tray needs to be filled with all sorts of good wish treats: candied coconut for strong family ties, peanuts for a long life, candied winter melon for good health and much more... After collecting their special treats from the bustling market, the family returns home, passing out delicious good wishes to the friends and neighbors they meet along the way. Once home, the tray is filled and finishing touches hung - just in time for their party. Friends and family arrive, all ready "to celebrate this HAPPY NEW YEAR together!" A short note from Flo at the end of the book explains the word play behind the edible New Year's wishes and fondly describes her own experiences as a child whose family celebrated Lunar New Year."--

Angie's picture

Celebrate the Lunar New Year on January 22 with this sweet story appropriate for the whole family! -Angie

The last thing he told me : a novel book cover
The last thing he told me : a novel book cover

The last thing he told me : a novel

Laura Dave

FICTION Dave Laura

"Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to who the note refers-Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah's increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen's boss, as a U.S. marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn't who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen's true identity-and why he really disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen's past, they soon realize they are also building a new future-one neither of them could have anticipated" -- Front jacket flap.

Angie's picture

Fast paced and engaging, with a satisfying ending! -Angie

Nobody likes a goblin book cover
Nobody likes a goblin book cover

Nobody likes a goblin

Ben Hatke

jE Hatke
Picture Books

When adventurers take everything in his dungeon, including his only friend, Goblin sets out to get his friend Skeleton back.

Heidi K's picture

This book was a lot of fun to read to my 3 year old. -Heidi K

The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense book cover
The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense book cover

The real Dada Mother Goose : a treasury of complete nonsense

Jon Scieszka

jE Scieszka
Classics, Humor, Picture Books, Kids

"The classic nursery rhymes we know and love--upside-down, backward, in gibberish, and fresh out of bounds--as only Jon Scieszka could stage them. Mother knows best, but sometimes a little nonsense wins the day. Inspired by Dadaism's rejection of reason and rational thinking, and in cahoots with Blanche Fisher Wright's The Real Mother Goose, this anthology of absurdity unravels the fabric of classic nursery rhymes and stitches them back together (or not quite together) in every clever way possible."

Casey's picture

The Real Dada Mother Goose is a delight! Anyone well versed in Mother Goose owes this one a perusal. -Casey

The revolutionary : Samuel Adams book cover
The revolutionary : Samuel Adams book cover

The revolutionary : Samuel Adams

Stacy Schiff

BIOGRAPHY Adams, Samuel
History, Biographies

"Thomas Jefferson asserted that if there was any leader of the Revolution, "Samuel Adams was the man." With high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, Adams led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. Stacy Schiff returns Adams to his seat of glory, introducing us to the shrewd and eloquent man who supplied the moral backbone of the American Revolution. He employed every tool available to rally a town, a colony, and eventually a band of colonies behind him, creating the cause that created a country. For his efforts he became the most wanted man in America: When Paul Revere rode to Lexington in 1775, it was to warn Samuel Adams that he was about to be arrested for treason. In The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Schiff brings her masterful skills to Adams's improbable life, illuminating his transformation from aimless son of a well-off family to tireless, beguiling radical who mobilized the colonies"--

Anne M's picture

I really enjoy Schiff’s biographies and histories. She wrote one on Cleopatra and another called "The Witches," which chronicles the New England witchcraft hysteria of the 17th century. Both I recommend highly. Schiff is a great storyteller. She knows how to set the scene, provides interesting context, and then introduces her subject. This time it is founding father and known trouble-maker Samuel Adams. Now sort of a footnote in Revolutionary history, Adams played a huge role in providing unrelenting criticism of the king and parliament, leading to our country’s independence from Britain. Why was his legacy buried? Schiff's take is pretty interesting, especially through our 21st century lens. -Anne M

The golden enclaves : a novel book cover
The golden enclaves : a novel book cover

The golden enclaves : a novel

Naomi Novik

SCIENCE FICTION Novik Naomi
Fantasy

"The one thing you never talk about while you're in the Scholomance is what you'll do when you get out. Not even the richest enclaver would tempt fate that way. But it's all we dream about: the hideously slim chance we'll survive to make it out the gates and improbably find ourselves with a life ahead of us, a life outside the Scholomance halls. And now the impossible dream has come true. I'm out, we're all out--and I didn't even have to turn into a monstrous dark witch to make it happen. So much for my great-grandmother's prophecy of doom and destruction. I didn't kill enclavers, I saved them. Me and Orion and our allies. Our graduation plan worked to perfection: We saved everyone and made the world safe for all wizards and brought peace and harmony to all the enclaves everywhere. Ha, only joking! Actually, it's gone all wrong. Someone else has picked up the project of destroying enclaves in my stead, and probably everyone we saved is about to get killed in the brewing enclave war. And the first thing I've got to do now, having miraculously gotten out of the Scholomance, is turn straight around and find a way back in"--

Brian's picture

"The Golden Enclaves" ties everything together in a way that makes sense without feeling cheap. It's rare that a trilogy of books really satisfies, but Novik pulled it off. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Fantasy. -Brian

The mountain in the sea book cover
The mountain in the sea book cover

The mountain in the sea

Ray Nayler

SCIENCE FICTION Nayler Ray
Science Fiction

"Following a mysterious murder on an island off the coast of Vietnam, a research team convenes to study an octopus community that seems to be developing its own language and culture. Humans, AIs, and animals are swept up in the machinations of governments and corporations in this near-future thriller about the nature of intelligence"--

Paul's picture

An engaging, well crafted tale set in a future where the geopolitical landscape is completely different in wholly unexpected ways, AI driven machines are ubiquitous and sometimes beautifully crafted and at others coldly indifferent, human life is cheap and expendable when no longer useful, and talented hackers are in high demand for very specific clandestine activities. Throw into this mix an unusual set of conditions and circumstances on a protected chain of islands off the Vietnamese coast, and the nature of perception, observation, intelligence and communication and you get a book I personally found hard to put down. -Paul

More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well book cover
More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well book cover

More Mediterranean : 225+ new plant-forward recipes endless inspiration for eating well

America's Test Kitchen

641.59 /America's
Cookbooks

In this follow-up to the bestselling The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, America's Test Kitchen opens the Mediterranean pantry wide open. ... The book is organized to emphasize the joy of the Mediterranean diet as a nourishing, sustainable lifestyle. Build your plate around both small- and entrée-size recipes in chapters covering Mostly Plants; Mainly Grains and Beans; and Meat, Fish, Eggs, and More. An impressive Whole Romanesco with Berbere and Tahini Sauce is a brilliant vegetable dinner. A Spiced Chickpea Gyro (with heat from Asian chili-garlic sauce and pepperoncini) wows fans of the Greek meat-filled sandwich. Carrot Salad with Rose Harissa is a beautiful accompaniment to a number of meals, from Lentils with Roasted Broccoli and Lemony Bread Crumbs to Tofu Kebabs. Fish and meat mingle with lively accompaniments in restaurant-quality dishes like Pan Seared Swordfish with Persimmon-Ginger Chutney and Grilled Short Ribs with Preserved Lemon-Almond Sauce.

Melody's picture

America's Test Kitchen publishes some of the best cookbooks, in my humble opinion. The recipes are literally tested by chefs before earning a space on these pages. This is a great cookbook for those who want plant-heavy meals with meat on the side. -Melody

How not to drown in a glass of water book cover
How not to drown in a glass of water book cover

How not to drown in a glass of water

Angie Cruz

FICTION Cruz Angie

"From the beloved author of Dominicana, a GMA Book Club Pick and Women's Prize Finalist, an electrifying and indelible new novel about a woman who has lost everything but the chance to finally tell her story. Write this down: Cara Romero wants to work. Cara Romero thought she would work at the factory of little lamps for the rest of her life. But when, in her mid-50s, she loses her job in the Great Recession, she is forced back into the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with a job counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life. Over the course of twelve sessions, Cara recounts her tempestuous love affairs, her alternately biting and loving relationships with her neighbor Lulu and her sister Angela, her struggles with debt, gentrification and loss, and, eventually, what really happened between her and her estranged son, Fernando. As Cara confronts her darkest secrets and regrets, we see a woman buffeted by life but still full of fight. Structurally inventive and emotionally kaleidoscopic, How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water is Angie Cruz's most ambitious and moving novel yet, and Cara is a heroine for the ages"--

Raquel's picture

I fell in love with this book. One of the most creative structures for a story I have ever encountered. This story takes you on a ride through the life of the main character, Cara, after she loses her job during a recession and is attending meetings with her job counselor. I would read this again and again. -Raquel

One winter up north book cover
One winter up north book cover

One winter up north

John Owens

jE Owens
Picture Books, Kids

"In winter the Boundary Waters, way up north in Minnesota, is not the same place you canoed last summer--but still it beckons and welcomes you. Grab a pack, strap on snowshoes, make a path (Oh! they take some getting used to!), and venture out across the frozen lakes and through the snowy woods. The vast wintery world here is so still and quiet, you might think you're all alone--but no! Who made these tracks? A deer? A hare? A fox? And far off there's a musher, making tracks with his sled dogs. It's a magical place. The bright sun brilliant on the snow, the sparkling silence--wait, is that a wolf calling? Try to answer! And when the dark descends, the stars and pine trees holding up the night, your nose gets cold and it's back to camp, to your warm winter tent, where Father feeds the stove with wood you gathered, Mother snuggles into her big sleeping bag, and you curl up in the fire's glow and know that in your dreams and memories you will return again and again to this one winter up north."--Provided by publisher.

Anne W's picture

Create some cozy winter feelings with this wordless picture book depicting a family's adventures snowshoeing and camping in the Superior National Forest in winter. Beautiful winter landscapes are depicted in sweeping, gentle watercolors. -Anne W

My hygge home : how to make home your happy place book cover
My hygge home : how to make home your happy place book cover

My hygge home : how to make home your happy place

Meik Wiking

640 /Wiking

Inspired by Danish design and traditions, this inspiring book, featuring tips based on research from The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, shows how to turn a home into a cozy sanctuary regardless of available space or budget.

Becky's picture

The perfect cozy read as we head into winter. Meik Wiking uses a good mix of design, values and traditions to inspire a hygge lifestyle. -Becky

The retreat book cover
The retreat book cover

The retreat

Sarah Pearse

FICTION Pearse Sarah
Fiction, Mystery

"An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation--but the island itself, once the playground of a serial killer, is rumored to be cursed. Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman's body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn't a guest--she wasn't meant to be on the island at all. When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there's nothing accidental about these deaths. Elin must find the killer--before the island's history starts to repeat itself"--

Candice's picture

This is the second book focusing on detective Elin Warner, and doesn't disappoint. A fine addition to the "people getting murdered in a unique, sequestered location" genre, and a creepy backstory to boot. Elin continues to get fleshed out more, and her motivations and actions add depth to the story. Check out the author's previous title, The Sanatorium, to fill in some gaps if you like! -Candice

Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal book cover
Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal book cover

Vegan Africa : plant-based recipes from Ethiopia to Senegal

Marie Kacouchia

641.56362 /Kacouchia
Cookbooks

Drawing from the cultures and traditions of more than 15 countries, years of cooking expertise, and cherished memories from her own childhood on the Ivory Coast, Marie Kacouchia takes us on a tour of flavorful, healthy, naturally plant-based African dishes. Explore over 70 irresistible recipes for main courses, rice dishes, sauces, snacks, desserts, and drinks. Vegan Africa guides you through diverse vegan cuisine from Ghana to Ethiopia, from Nigeria to South Africa. Kacouchia also shines a spotlight on the superfoods—like cacao, garlic, ginger, and sweet potato—that make these recipes both mouthwatering and packed with vital nutrients. Whether you’re a newcomer to African cuisine or looking to make familiar favorites, Vegan Africa will help you bring healthful, delicious dishes to your kitchen.

Melody's picture

Desperately seeking Ethiopian food! Iowa City is an Ethiopian restaurant desert, and I've been craving Kik Alicha Wot (stewed split peas), Gomen (tangy collards), and Tikil Gomen (carrots and cabbage) something fierce now for months. I haven't been cooking a lot due to time constraints and a cluttered kitchen and have been daydreaming about going to an Ethiopian restaurant. When googling it, the closest place I can find is in Davenport. Guess I have to make time to cook it myself! This is the cookbook I'll be starting with. -Melody

My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends book cover
My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends book cover

My Pokémon cookbook : delicious recipes inspired by Pikachu and friends

Victoria Rosenthal

j641.5 Pokemon
Cookbooks, Kids

Explore culinary delights from across the Pokémon universe in this official cookbook. Featuring favorite flavors from every region, dive into dishes that celebrate the world of Pokémon and fuel up for your next battle! Perfect for fans of all ages, My Pokémon Cookbook is the perfect addition to any Pokémon Trainer's kitchen. --

Mari's picture

Do I play the Pokémon trading card game? Nope! Have I played the videogames? Nope! Do I watch the show? Not in 25 years or so! Do I love this cookbook? YUP! The first recipe is a Pokémon Poke Bowl, which is both clever and delicious. I found the recipes in this book both irresistibly adorable and delicious, and I think some of the Pokémon are so cute! Look out for an entire week of Pokémon programming the first week of 2023!! -Mari

Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals book cover
Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals book cover

Downshiftology healthy meal prep : 100+ make-ahead recipes and quick-assembly meals

Lisa Bryan

641.555 /Bryan
Cookbooks

"When Lisa Bryan began meal prepping several years ago, she quickly became bored eating leftovers and was wasting food. At the same time, she realized she needed to 'downshift' the accelerated pace of her life. Seeking balance, she made dietary changes, eating more vegetables and simple proteins, while eliminating gluten (she has celiac disease), processed foods, and reducing refined sugar. Then she flipped the script on meal prep by focusing on individual ingredients. On a whim, she posted a video to YouTube which went viral and she realized how many people were out there, just like her, who wanted a fresh approach to meal planning. By prepping a handful of ingredients at the start of the week--such as flaked salmon, zucchini noodles, peas, prosciutto, soft-boiled eggs, and roasted veggies--and then mixing and matching them throughout the week, she found that she could enjoy a variety of meals and snacks (Creamy Salmon Zoodles, Peas and Prosciutto with Jammy Eggs, and Strawberries, Avocado, and Arugula Salad) without getting fatigued. Lisa's debut cookbook is packed with 100 simple and ingenious, big-batch recipes that can either be frozen or repurposed into delicious meals without resembling leftovers. A dinner of light coconut chickpea curry with rice can be enjoyed the next day atop a tortilla for a crispy tostada at lunch, or as a chickpea shakshuka for breakfast. All of the recipes are gluten-free, low in refined sugar; many are naturally anti-inflammatory, and dairy is minimal and optional. Lisa's approachable method for eating well and preparing meals with ease will inspire home cooks to downshift, too--at least when it comes to making healthy meals without a fuss"--

Melody's picture

ICPL has lots of meal prep books, but the visuals in this book helps it stand apart from the rest. Whether you want to meal prep to stick to a budget, eat healthy, or satisfy your personal dietary requirements, this book is a great place to start. And if this one is checked out, find other meal prep books on the 2nd floor at 641.555. -Melody

Tumble book cover
Tumble book cover

Tumble

Celia C. Pérez

jFICTION Perez Celia
Kids, Diverse Characters

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador--and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.

Anne W's picture

This is a super-fun read about an eccentric family of luchadors (Mexican-style pro wrestlers) set in New Mexico. The book is heartwarming without the ending being pat or too neat and tidy, which I appreciated. Also clear-eyed from a kid's perspective about the failures and shortcomings of adults in your life, though overall showing the centrality of family and how important it is for them to have your back (in and out of the wrestling ring!). -Anne W

The flamingo book cover
The flamingo book cover

The flamingo

1983- author Guojing

jGRAPHIC NOVEL Guojing
Graphic Novels, Animals, Nature

From a highly acclaimed illustrator comes a stunning graphic novel filled with adventure and wonder about an imaginative girl and her obsession with flamingoes. A little girl arrives, excited for a beachy vacation with her Lao Lao. The girl and her grandmother search for shells, chase crabs, and play in the sea, but when the girl finds an exquisite flamingo feather in her grandmother's living room, her vacation turns into something fantastical.

Casey's picture

This mostly wordless graphic novel is a stunner! Guojing's use of texture, color, pacing, and framing are all lovely in this touching intergenerational story. Guojing's art and storytelling just keep getting better! -Casey

Lists

Staff Profiles

Alexander A's picture

Alexander A

Interests: Fiction, LGBTQ+, Romance, Literary Fiction, Classics, Kids, Diverse Characters, Young Adult
Amanda's picture

Amanda

Interests: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance, Biographies, Dystopian, History, Memoir, Music, Religion, Self Help
Angie's picture

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, Literary Fiction, Nonfiction, History, Cookbooks, Crafts, Biographies
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, Classics, 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
Brian's picture

Brian

Interests: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, LGBTQ+, Graphic Novels, Humor, Young Adult, Science, Short Story
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, Read Woke, Fantasy, Nature, LGBTQ+, Music, Gardening, Memoir, Humor, Horror, Crafts, Cookbooks
Fang's picture

Fang

Interests: Diverse Characters, Travel, Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Memoir
Hanna's picture

Hanna

Interests: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian, Classics, Self Help, LGBTQ+, Literary Fiction, Crafts, Music, Memoir, Poetry, Short Story
Heidi K's picture

Heidi K

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

Jason

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

Mari

Interests: Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Crafts, Health, True Crime, Dystopian, Memoir, Historical Fiction, Suspense, Science, Literary Fiction
Melody's picture

Melody

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

Mykle

Interests: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Adventure, Cookbooks, History
Paul's picture

Paul

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

Raquel

Interests: Fiction, Humor, Suspense, Mystery, Short Story, Home, Memoir, Picture Books, Board Books, Early Readers
Sam's picture

Sam

Interests: Christian, Classics, Diverse Characters, Graphic Novels, LGBTQ+, Nonfiction, Poetry, Read Woke
Shawna's picture

Shawna

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

Victoria

Interests: Black Lives Matter, Black History, Humor, LGBTQ+, Picture Books, Cookbooks, Crafts, Gardening, Science, Travel, Young Adult
Zach's picture

Zach

Interests: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+, Black Lives Matter, Diverse Characters, Fantasy, Horror, Graphic Novels, Science