Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

In the steamy South, Leia, 38 and secretly pregnant, hopes for advice from her beloved grandmother, Birchie, but Leia's "problems" takes a back stage to Birchie's escalating dementia. Wattie, Birchie's lifelong companion and caretaker, has kept the illness under cover...until now. Disturbing the contents of an attic trunk, Leia and her stepsister, Rachel, discover something that could put Birchie behind bars. With wonderful characters full of heart and good intentions, this mix grows more complicated with the appearance of the fatehr of the baby-to-be. Humor blended with strong emotions give the reader quite a ride into this befuddled family!

Picked by Jane

None of the connections Mata Hari made with men of wealth and importance saved her from the French firing squad on October 15, 1917. Until her last hour, she believed that her charm and personal favors would dispel the espionage charges, that her innocence would prevail. Although the prosecutor hand no evidence, no case, this exotic dancer and world famous beauty had discredited herself with the public. Coelho's brilliant account of a fiercely independent woman of history, Mata Hari, illuminates and adventurous life during dark times.

Picked by Jane

While disparate at first glance, American Fire turned out to be the book I wanted Hillbilly Elegy to be. Without sacrificing objectivity or sympathy, Hesse has created a gripping, polished account of working class America's resentments and struggles without flirting with condescension or neglecting its strengths. It is a timely, intriguing and poignant book deserving of a wide audience.

Picked by Wesley

For fans of Roxane Gay and Lindy West, look no further! Irby has an ability to confront tough issues head on with dark humor, genuine pathos and real pain. Her way of making everything she writes seem both deeply personal and urgently relevant to understanding each other is a talent most of us would never dare get to. You'll laugh, you'll snort, you'll tear up, and you'll enjoy it.

Picked by Courtney

Sally Rooney reminds me of a millennial Neil Labute; she packs her novel with characters who are all driven by instinct and seem utterly powerless to their base emotional compulsions, often relishing the surrender with nominal regard for consequences. Objects of affection become objects of derision in a story told with a lacerating wit and jarringly raw honesty that make it breathlessly compelling.

Picked by Wesley

A born-loser protagonist and dry southern wit. Comparisons to Charles "True Grit" Portis are inevitable. Like Portis, Whorton has a surprisingly honest, strong feeling for his comic characters. But Whorton has his own strengths and transcends the comparison. And his hero here, Don, feels so very, very familiar. With each chapter you hope against hope that he'll finally make the Better Decision. (I almost feel like I knew this poor guy, growing up. More accurately, though, I think I grew up with people who knew him - if that makes any sense.)

Picked by Adam

Like Harry Potter, if Harry Potter was a teenage Nigerian girl with albinism who discovers that she has latent magical abilities and ends up not only saving Nigeria, but the entire world! Imagine if instead of picking out a wand, you got to pick out a juju knife...

Picked by Anje

Easily my favorite book of 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin is full of jaunty wit that never feels twee and packs its fair share of emotional punches that startle the reader but never leave a bruise. 

Picked by Wesley

"My theory is that loneliness creates the feeling of haunting."

This passage from Clemmon's' debut novel perfectly conveys the book's ghostly effect. Written with a sparseness that disguies its depth, What We Lose tackles the heady themes of belonging and familial legacies with a power and style that engages, provokes and moves the reader.

Picked by Wesley