Staff Picks

Recent Picks

Uncanny valley : a memoir book cover
Uncanny valley : a memoir book cover

Uncanny valley : a memoir

Anna Wiener

eAUDIO

"The story of Anna Wiener's time spent working in Silicon Valley as the tech industry went through monumental changes"--

Frannie's picture

The author and myself are about the same age so there was more than a few similarities in our path. However, her rundown of life in the San Francisco Bay area made me glad to not have gone that direction with my life. What interested me was the rise of the role of technology in culture which we all seemed to cosign long ago, but then turned away from. Come for the memoir, stay to figure out what all of the code words for different companies actually mean! -Frannie

The seventh seal book cover
The seventh seal book cover

The seventh seal

DVD MOVIE FOREIGN SWEDISH Seventh

A knight returning home from the Crusades encounters Death, who agrees to a chess game. In the balance hang the lives of the knight and a group of traveling players.

Frannie's picture

A game of chess with death! This Scandinavian drama is perfect for when you've been running on the existential treadmill trying to make sense of it all. Expert director Ingmar Bergman shoots the blackest blacks in this cinema classic that went on to inspire one of my favorite Scott Walker songs of the same name. -Frannie

Breathless = À bout de souffle book cover
Breathless = À bout de souffle book cover

Breathless = À bout de souffle

DVD MOVIE FOREIGN FRENCH Breathless

Jean-Luc Godard's 1960 anything-goes crime narrative about a young thief on the run and his American girlfriend.

Frannie's picture

Starring Iowa's own Jean Seberg this crime drama set the style for French New Wave. Cinematically gorgeous with great contemporary costuming this fast paced film is a great entry point for anyone hesitant of watching a subtitled movie. -Frannie

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg book cover
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg book cover

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

DVD MOVIE FOREIGN FRENCH Umbrellas

A tender, bittersweet love story, sung throughout in French.

Frannie's picture

With a name like the Umbrellas of Cherbourg and knowing it is a musical you can't help but expect some sort of Disney-esque farce, but that would be a mistake. The only thing this movie might have in common with those musical comedies is Jacques Demy's keen eye and ability to draw out color. A heart wrenching plot and depictions of classism are what sets this apart from its American cousins like Funny Face too. -Frannie

World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war book cover
World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war book cover

World War Z : an oral history of the zombie war

Max Brooks

eAUDIO

This is the fictional, searing, gruesome account of the decade-long period when civilization stood on the brink of extinction due to a viral plague that transformed anyone it infected into a ghoulish creature with an appetite for living flesh, as told by the civilians, soldiers, and politicians who survived it.

Frannie's picture

A Sci-Fi book for our moment! I was reminded of this gem of an audiobook after listening to an interview with the author Max Brooks on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Brooks knows what he writes about, this book is well researched, and it shows. Personally, I got a bit burned out on zombies in pop culture, but this one is a standout. The real draw is the all-star vocal talent. I think my favorite was trying to figure out what voice Star Wars' Mark Hamill, finally figuring it out, and being just blown away by his performance. -Frannie

Midnight riot book cover
Midnight riot book cover

Midnight riot

Ben Aaronovitch

eAUDIO
Fiction, Fantasy

Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Melody's picture

The first time I heard about Ben Aaronovitch was from seeing his name on what we call our "high holds" list. That's the list librarians use to buy extra copies of our most popular books. I would never have picked this book based on its cover. It's a solid detective series with an urban fantasy backdrop. And we have the audiobook! Good strong narration that keeps your attention. -Melody

City of thieves book cover
City of thieves book cover

City of thieves

David Benioff

eAUDIO

Frannie's picture

This book written by David Benioff, one of the creators of HBO's "Game of Thrones", is a historical fiction delight, and when narrated by Ron Perlman it is beyond good. Winning the Alex Award (adult fiction with appeal to young adult readers) in 2009, this quickly paced buddy comedy set during the siege of Leningrad is unforgettable in Perlman's voice. There's a reason why this character actor featured on Sons of Anarchy, Beauty and the Beast, and Hellboy seamlessly transitions into voice work. You would never think a fraught quest for a dozen eggs would have so many twists and turns! -Frannie

A rage in Harlem book cover
A rage in Harlem book cover

A rage in Harlem

Chester B. Himes

eBOOK

Doug's picture

Chester Himes – A Rage in Harlem: A gritty look at the underbelly of NYC in the 1950s. Full of grifters, pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and crooked cops, this story introduces reoccurring characters in subsequent novels, Coffin Ed and Gravedigger Jones. If those names aren’t enough to spur your interest, I don’t know what will! -Doug

Some of us are very hungry now book cover
Some of us are very hungry now book cover

Some of us are very hungry now

Andre Perry

eBOOK

Doug's picture

Andre Perry – Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now: Iowa City idea man, leader, artist, and kind soul. Andre Perry blew everyone away with his short stories, many of which revolve around Iowa City and the art scene here. These stories dive deep into issues related to race, sex, drugs, and bad decisions. It is poetic, honest, and serves as a guide to one man’s growth toward becoming a better human. -Doug

Room to dream book cover
Room to dream book cover

Room to dream

David Lynch

eAUDIO

"The extraordinary, highly anticipated memoir from visionary filmmaker David Lynch In this memoir, David Lynch, co-creator of Twin Peaks and writer and director of groundbreaking films like Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, opens up about a lifetime of extraordinary creativity, the friendships he has made along the way and the struggles he has faced--sometimes successful, sometimes not--to bring his projects to fruition. Part-memoir, part-biography, Room to Dream interweaves Lynch's own reflections on his life with the story of those times, as told by Kristine McKenna, drawing from extensive and explosive interviews with ninety of Lynch's friends, family members, actors, agents, musicians, and collaborators. Lynch responds to each recollection and reveals the inner story of the life behind the art"--

Doug's picture

David Lynch – Room to Dream: It’s almost always best for the author to read their own books for recordings. It could not be truer in this case. Lynch reads from his memoir and also meanders through his memories and adlibs as he goes. This is an extra special glimpse of one of the best artists alive today in their own words. Treat yourself and bask in the often-quirky stories from one of our living legends. -Doug

Midsommar book cover
Midsommar book cover

Midsommar

COMPACT DISC MU Midsommar M89

Doug's picture

Midsommar: Quite possibly the most disturbing film of 2019, Midsommar was full of surprising twists. Without revealing too much, I would like to say that this film is original, unflinching, and beautiful to look at. It builds on old stories and folklore in exciting ways while simultaneously delivering multiple gut punches throughout. -Doug

Neverwhere book cover
Neverwhere book cover

Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman

eAUDIO
Fantasy

"Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: Neverwhere."

Becky's picture

Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors of ALL time. He is descriptive and funny, and has a talent to cleverly weave fantastical elements into a realistic setting. Neverwhere was the first book of his that I listened to in audio form. The added bonus of the audio book is that it is read by Neil Gaiman! His voice and pacing make this great book even better. Neverwhere is a tale that follows Richard Mayhew, an ordinary man who once helped a girl he had found bleeding on the sidewalk. That one kind act lands him in Neverwhere, a place that exists in the cracks and shadows of London. -Becky

The Squid and the Whale. book cover
The Squid and the Whale. book cover

The Squid and the Whale.

STREAMING VIDEO KANOPY

In his third feature, director Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) scores a triumph with an autobiographical coming-of-age story about a teenager (Jesse Eisenberg) whose parents are divorcing. The father (Jeff Daniels) and mother (Laura Linney) duke it out in half-civilized, half-savage fashion, while their two sons adapt in different ways, shifting allegiances between parents. Nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the **Academy Awards.** Nominated for three awards including Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical at the **Golden Globes**. Nominated for six awards including Best Feature at the **Film Independent Spirit Awards.** Winner of a Directing Award at the **Sundance Film Festival**. "*Acutely observed, faultlessly acted, graced with piercing emotion and unsparing honesty, it will make you laugh because you can't bear to cry.*" - Kenneth Turan, ***The Los Angeles Times***

Doug's picture

The Squid and The Whale: Noah Baumbach’s first movie about divorce shines a light on the children affected by these separations. Sometimes humorous and sometimes tragic, this story reveals in honest ways, what happens when families are taken apart at the seams. -Doug

Zodiac. book cover
Zodiac. book cover

Zodiac.

STREAMING VIDEO KANOPY

A chilling crime thriller based on the Robert Graysmith books about the real life notorious Zodiac, a serial killer who terrorized San Francisco with a string of seemingly random murders during the 1960's and 1970's. Featuring an all-star cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. Nominated for a Palme d'Or at the **Cannes Film Festival.** "*David Fincher's magnificently obsessive new film Zodiac is part police procedural, part monster movie, a funereal entertainment that is a testament to this cinematic savant's gifts.*" - Manohla Dargis, ***The New York Times***

Doug's picture

Zodiac: All-star cast led by the inimitable David Fincher weaves a spooky narrative revolving around one of America’s yet to be caught serial killers. Robert Downey Jr. shines in his portrayal of a burnt-out newspaper journalist hot on the trails of a killer. Fincher captures the essence of the 1970s without making it a caricature of itself. -Doug

Dead Man Walking. book cover
Dead Man Walking. book cover

Dead Man Walking.

STREAMING VIDEO KANOPY

Susan Sarandon portrays Sister Helen Prejean, a spiritual woman who embarks on a dangerous quest with a convicted killer (Sean Penn) and the profound changes it makes in her life. Confronted with the anger of the community and the private pain of his victims' parents, Sister Helen overcomes her own fears to fight for the life and soul of a death row inmate. Winner of Best Actress (Susan Sarandon) at the **Academy Awards.** Nominated for Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Screenplay at the **Golden Globes.** Winner of four prizes at the **Berlin International Film Festival**. "*Absorbing, surprising, technically superb and worth talking about for a long time afterward.*" - Roger Ebert, ***The Chicago Sun-Times***

Doug's picture

Dead Man Walking: Classic prison drama. Did he do it? Does it matter? This mystery unfolds in excruciating ways as you see a longtime prisoner advocate grapple with the realization that the person she is trying to help may have indeed committed a horrendous crime. Susan Sarandon shines in one of her most powerful performances. -Doug

Wendy and Lucy. book cover
Wendy and Lucy. book cover

Wendy and Lucy.

STREAMING VIDEO KANOPY

Wendy Carroll (Michelle Williams) is driving to Alaska in hopes of a summer of lucrative work at the Northwestern Fish cannery, and the start of a new life with her dog, Lucy. When her car breaks down in Oregon, however, the thin fabric of her financial situation comes apart, and she confronts a series of increasingly dire economic decisions, with far-ranging repercussions for herself and Lucy. Winner of the Palm Dog and nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award at the **Cannes Film Festival**. Nominated for Best Feature and Best Female Lead (Michelle Williams) at the **Film Independent Spirit Awards**. Voted among the Top Independent Films of 2008 by the **National Board of Review** (USA). *"In happy sum, Reichardt is one more of the current American directors, most of them still young, who are endowing our film world with pleasure and hope." - Stanley Kauffmann, **The New Republic*** *"Evanescent and intangible, it dissolves into the air, leaving something tragic and mysterious behind." - Sam Adams, **The Los Angeles Times***

Doug's picture

Wendy And Lucy: A masterpiece in independent cinema by extraordinary filmmaker, Kelly Reichardt. Wendy and Lucy follows a down on her luck traveler and her beloved companion. When they become stranded in Oregon, Wendy must make some difficult decisions in order to go on. Heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Do you need a good cry? If so, this is the one for you. -Doug

The Count of Monte Cristo book cover
The Count of Monte Cristo book cover

The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

eAUDIO

For Edmond Dantes, life couldn't be better. At 19, he is soon to be captain of his own ship and about to be married to his true love, Mercedes. But his life is suddenly turned upside down when on his wedding day he is arrested. Without a fair trial, he is condemned to solitary confinement in the miserable Chateau d'If. Soon, it is clear that Edmond has been framed by a handful of powerful enemies, jealous of his success.

Frannie's picture

This page turning classic gives people a point of entry when they say something is too long to read. One of my favorite books of all time, many people scoff when they see the doorstop size. However, as an audiobook, it can be far more palatable to read with your ears any classic work of literature. -Frannie

The nickel boys : a novel book cover
The nickel boys : a novel book cover

The nickel boys : a novel

Colson Whitehead

eAUDIO

Frannie's picture

Colson Whitehead is probably my favorite contemporary author, and the Nickel Boys is another entry in a stellar oeuvre. At times this book can become difficult to read, whether it is depictions of violence and detailing real examples of racism, sometimes I had to put the book down because it was a little too real. Narrator JD Jackson softens the difficult content and forces listeners/readers to confront the issues raised in the book. -Frannie

Bossypants book cover
Bossypants book cover

Bossypants

Tina Fey

eAUDIO

From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, comedian Tina Fey reveals all, and proves that you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

Frannie's picture

I am a sucker for a funny lady memoir, and have yet to meet one that I didn't like. Tina Fey's "Bossypants" kicked off the publishing of some of this sub-genres greats by carving a niche in the market. What's even better? Listening to Tina Fey read "Bossypants", it is her story and she knows how to read it. Always hilarious and often inspiring, I can't recommend enough. -Frannie

All the light we cannot see : a novel book cover
All the light we cannot see : a novel book cover

All the light we cannot see : a novel

Anthony Doerr

eAUDIO

"From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work"--

Frannie's picture

I can not sing the praises of this book enough. The plot moves quick, the characters are fully realized, and the prose is beautifully written. The audiobook narrated expertly by Zach Appelman imbues every sentence with emotional gravitas. I was left searching for ways to continue to listen to this making it the audio equivalent of reading with a flashlight under the covers. -Frannie

The testaments : a novel book cover
The testaments : a novel book cover

The testaments : a novel

Margaret Atwood

eAUDIO

Set fifteen years after Offred stepped into an unknown fate, this sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale" relates the experiences of three female narrators from Gilead.

Frannie's picture

Did you love reading "the Handmaid's Tale" and then watching the show? This book is a great followup, but my favorite part of the audio is that a good amount is read by Ann Dowd who plays Aunt Lydia on the Hulu show. Having her reading the back story of "Aunt Lydia" is really fantastic on so many levels -Frannie

A pilgrimage to eternity : from Canterbury to Rome in search of a faith book cover
A pilgrimage to eternity : from Canterbury to Rome in search of a faith book cover

A pilgrimage to eternity : from Canterbury to Rome in search of a faith

Timothy Egan

263.042 /Egan
Literary Nonfiction, Travel, Religion

At a time when Britain, America, and much of Europe have never been so secular--and when his mother's death and his Irish Catholic family's complicated history with the church prompted a reckoning with his own beliefs -- Timothy Egan decided to follow in the footsteps of centuries of seekers. He embarked on a thousand-mile pilgrimage through the theological cradle of Christianity, to explore one of the biggest stories of our time: the collapse of religion in the world that it created. Egan sets out along the Via Francigena, once the major medieval trail leading the devout to Rome, and makes his way overland via the alpine peaks and small mountain towns of France, Switzerland and Italy. The goal: walking to St. Peter's Square, in hopes of meeting the galvanizing pope who is struggling to hold together the church through the worst crisis in half a millennium. Making his way through a landscape laced with some of the most important shrines to the faith, Egan finds a modern Canterbury Tale in the chapel where Queen Bertha introduced Christianity to pagan Britain; parses the supernatural in a French town built on miracles; and journeys to the oldest abbey in the Western world, founded in 515 and home to continuous prayer over the 1,500 years that have followed. He is accompanied by a quirky cast of fellow pilgrims and by some of the towering figures of the faith--Joan of Arc, Henry VIII, Martin Luther.

Heidi L's picture

Highly readable and relatable account of the author's walking journey to Rome and reconciliation with his church. The arguments he has with himself about his faith, and the descriptions of the French and Italian countryside are equally compelling. A wonderful story. -Heidi L

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz book cover
The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz book cover

The splendid and the vile : a saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during the blitz

Erik Larson

940.5421 /Larson
Nonfiction, History, Biographies

"The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers a fresh and compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold the country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally-and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it's also an intimate domestic drama set against the backdrop of Churchill's prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports-some released only recently-Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the cadre of close advisers who comprised Churchill's "Secret Circle," including his lovestruck private secretary, John Colville; newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook; and the Rasputin-like Frederick Lindemann. The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when-in the face of unrelenting horror-Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together."--

Candice's picture

I never thought I would laugh out loud reading a Churchill biography, but leave it to Erik Larson to make that happen. A consummate researcher, he has the inscrutable knack for bringing people and past events to life, and with Churchill being, in some ways, a very unique and peculiar person, laugh I did. Not to make light of the topic of interest, which is the very specific time during World War II where Churchill has just been elected PM, France is just getting ready to capitulate to the Germans, and Germany is just about to bomb England. It's intense and overwhelming and imminent. Larson's book is the Churchill/WWII book for those who might have said they'd never read such a book, who might think it's not interesting or too remote. -Candice

The yellow wallpaper and other writings book cover
The yellow wallpaper and other writings book cover

The yellow wallpaper and other writings

Charlotte Perkins Gilman

FICTION Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Short Story, Literary Fiction

Frannie's picture

The classic story "the Yellow Wallpaper" will not only affect your home decorating decisions but provide unique insight into mental illness that can feel a bit too real. -Frannie

Difficult women book cover
Difficult women book cover

Difficult women

Roxane Gay

FICTION Gay Roxane
Short Story, Literary Fiction

"Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister's marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls' fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July"--

Frannie's picture

Far from "Chick Lit" (no shade!), this short story collection of various female characters captures the spirit and struggle of every woman. -Frannie

Dear life : stories book cover
Dear life : stories book cover

Dear life : stories

Alice Munro

FICTION Munro Alice
Literary Fiction, Short Story

Frannie's picture

Varied and beautiful, a collection of Alice Munro's stories is an essential to every bookshelf, but this entry in particular is from an artist at her peak. -Frannie

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

A manual for cleaning women : selected stories

Lucia Berlin

FICTION Berlin Lucia
Literary Fiction, Short Story

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

Frannie's picture

Taking you all over, Berlin's stories give reader's the perspective of characters often unseen on the page. -Frannie

Her body and other parties : stories book cover
Her body and other parties : stories book cover

Her body and other parties : stories

Carmen Maria Machado

FICTION Machado Carmen
LGBTQ+, Short Story

Contains short stories about the realities of women's lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

Frannie's picture

Machado has a unique ability to get inside your head with her writing and just creep you out. Genre blend of body horror and LGBTQIA+ literary fiction with lasting results -Frannie

Jojo Rabbit book cover
Jojo Rabbit book cover

Jojo Rabbit

DVD MOVIE COMEDY Jojo
Comedy, Drama

A World War II satire that follows a lonely German boy named Jojo whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler, Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.

Brian's picture

I've been working my way through the Best Picture Nominees. So far I've watched: Parasite, Ford v. Ferrari, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. They have all been great, but I think I like Jojo Rabbit the best so far. There's so much humor and heart and oh-my-god did it make me cry! It felt like Taika Waititi was channeling Wes Anderson a bit too (in a good way). -Brian

Leadership strategy and tactics : field manual book cover
Leadership strategy and tactics : field manual book cover

Leadership strategy and tactics : field manual

Jocko Willink

658.4092 /Willink
Nonfiction, Business

"In the military, a field manual provides instructions in simple, clear, step-by-step language to help soldiers complete their mission. In the civilian sector, books offer information on everything from fixing a leaky faucet to developing an effective workout program to cooking a good steak. But what if you are promoted into a new position leading your former peers? What if you don't get selected for the leadership position you wanted? How do you overcome imposter syndrome, when you aren't sure you should be leading? As a leader, how do you judiciously dole out punishment? What about reward? How do you build trust with your both your superiors and your subordinates? How do you deliver truthful criticism up and down the chain of command in a tactful and positive way? These are all questions about leadership-the most complex of all human endeavors. And while there are books out there that provide solid leadership principles, books like Extreme Ownership and The Dichotomy of Leadership, there is no leadership field manual that provides a direct, situational, pragmatic how-to guide that anyone can instantly put to use. Until now. Leadership Strategy and Tactics explains how to take leadership theory, quickly translate that theory into applicable strategy, and then put leadership into action at a tactical level. This book is the solution that leaders at every level need-not just to understand the leadership game, but also how to play the leadership game, and win it"--

Melody's picture

I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up this book. I just thought, "I like leadership. I like strategies and tactics. This book is for me!" Jocko Willink is a former Navy Seal and allllll the metaphors he waxes are military ones. And you know what? It works. It is surprisingly applicable to most organizational scenarios I've been in. If offers practical advice (the tactics) and helps you think about looking up and out at bigger strategic possibilities. You might read the phrase "up and down the chain of command" a lot, but you don't have to be in the military to get something out of this book. You just have to be a member of a team and want to do great things. -Melody

Why we can't sleep : women's new midlife crisis book cover
Why we can't sleep : women's new midlife crisis book cover

Why we can't sleep : women's new midlife crisis

Ada Calhoun

305.42 /Calhoun
Nonfiction

"When Ada Calhoun found herself in the throes of a midlife crisis, she thought that she had no right to complain. She was married with children and a good career. So why did she feel miserable? And why did it seem that other Generation X women were miserable, too? Calhoun decided to find some answers. She looked into housing costs, HR trends, credit card debt averages, and divorce data. At every turn, she saw a pattern: sandwiched between the Boomers and the Millennials, Gen X women were facing new problems as they entered middle age, problems that were being largely overlooked. Speaking with women across America about their experiences as the generation raised to "have it all," Calhoun found that most were exhausted, terrified about money, underemployed, and overwhelmed. Instead of their issues being heard, they were told instead to lean in, take "me-time," or make a chore chart to get their lives and homes in order. In Why We Can't Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X's predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss-and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them"--

Melody's picture

I can't wait to read this book. It's not just about incessant worry that creeps up on women during the middle of the night. It explores all of the pressures that weigh on our consciousnesses as women who are solidly in adulthood and juggling all the demands that places on us. -Melody

The cabin at the end of the world : a novel book cover
The cabin at the end of the world : a novel book cover

The cabin at the end of the world : a novel

Paul Tremblay

FICTION Tremblay Paul
Suspense, Thriller

Eric and Andrew, with seven-year-old Wen, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. When Leonard appears in the driveway, he is the largest man Wen has ever seen, but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over. Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, "None of what’s going to happen is your fault". Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: "We need your help to save the world." Now the fate of a loving family-- and quite possibly all of humanity-- are entwined.--

Callie's picture

This book had me thinking about it for weeks after I finished it. It also has one of the best first chapters ever! -Callie

Henry VIII and the men who made him book cover
Henry VIII and the men who made him book cover

Henry VIII and the men who made him

Tracy Borman

BIOGRAPHY Henry VIII
History

Anne M's picture

Most of the books we have on Henry VIII are about his wives. There is something to that. His relationships with those "ever-changing" queens are fascinating. They involved death, romance, and political power resulting in the simple adage: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Henry VIII's favor shifted just as quickly with his courtiers, advisers, and minions, a word borrowed from the French court that started appearing in the English language around his reign. Tracy Borman explores the lives of these individuals in this book. From Cardinal Wolsey, his Lord Chancellor, to Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, Henry's court was full of intrigue and power struggles impacting England's religion, politics, and foreign relations. It is an interesting read and Borman is a gifted storyteller. If you liked "Wolf Hall," you'll love this biography. -Anne M

Dune book cover
Dune book cover

Dune

Frank Herbert

SCIENCE FICTION Herbert, Frank
Science Fiction

Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Muad'Dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family-and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream. A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what it undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.

Brian's picture

I decided to re-read my favorite book after 10 years to see if it was as good as I remembered. Thankfully, it definitely is! Dune is considered a Sci-Fi classic for a reason. -Brian

House of salt and sorrows book cover
House of salt and sorrows book cover

House of salt and sorrows

Erin A. Craig

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Craig Erin
Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Suspense

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed. Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor with her sisters and their father and stepmother. Once there were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last -- the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge -- and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods. Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sisters' deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who -- or what -- are they really dancing with? When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family -- before it claims her next.

Callie's picture

This retelling of the 12 dancing princesses was an intense read from start to finish. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I read this twisted, lovely book! -Callie

Stardust book cover
Stardust book cover

Stardust

Neil Gaiman

SCIENCE FICTION Gaiman, Neil
Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Romance

Casey's picture

Hard to believe that Stardust has been around for just over 20 years! One of, if not the, first book by modern magician, Neil Gaiman, that I read many years ago. Although written with simplistic prose reminiscent of Grimm, and Andersen fairytales, this is a work that is definitely NOT for children. I can hardly wait to cross the wall and seek a fallen star in Faerie again. -Casey

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Amanda

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Angie

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Anne W

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Brian

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