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Latest Staff Picks

This book was laugh out loud fun with action and high jinx at every turn. I read it with my 8 year old and we both just loved it! Once we were done he wanted me to start it again. While following bright blue Isaiah on his escape from a lab we learned lots about mice, being brave, and never giving up. I can't recommend this enough!

Picked by Patti H.

This is the story of bravery, of standing up for what you know to be right and true. In the rural community where twelve year old Annabelle lives life is turned upside down when a cruel girl arrives and torments her and threatens her younger brothers. Toby, a homeless World War 1 vet, has shown her kindness and even intervened to protect her from the bully. So when he is accused of a crime he didn't commit, Annabelle must stand up for what she believes in. This was especially powerful and moving in these current troubling times. Annabelle was inspiring and gave me strength. This is not just for kids and would be an amazing read aloud

Picked by Patti H.

What a stunning debut novel. One of the Boys tells the story of two young brothers, taken by their father from their home in Kansas to what he promises will be a life of adventure in Albuquerque. What they discover is that their father is a drug addict and totally unable to take care of himself let alone his sons. Told by the older brother the reader follows their odyssey, compulsively turning the pages but dreading what might come on that next page. This is a great new voice. I can't wait for his next.

Picked by Michael

Nazis on meth. Sounds like a bad b-movie, but in this case it is historical fact. The Germans developed methamphetamine and packaged them in a tablet they called Pervitin. The drug proved particularly useful during the blitzkrieg, when the tank and infantry soldiers were required to stay awake for days in a row, to complete the offensive push. Ohler includes quite a bit of documentation to prove his case. Figuring out what kind of drug cocktail that Hitler himself was on at the end proves a more difficult task, but Blitzed is a quick and compulsive read that will have you shaking your head in horrified amazement.

Picked by Mark B.

I have never read Ovid; I am not an older single woman; and I have never lived in a Condo on Miami Beach, and yet I was totally able to relate to J, our narrator, who is trying assess in her later years, whether it's time to give up on love. There is a wonderful humanity in this slim semi-autobiographical novel and quite a few laughs, too. Who doesn't need a few laughs right now?

Picked by Mark B.

From 'somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond' by e.e. cummings: 

"nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility:whose texture compels me with the colour of its countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing...

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands"

In spite of it all, there is always poetry. Happy National Poetry Month! (let's hope that doesn't get taken away, too)

Picked by James

Part poetry, part essay, part art book- Citizen is a synthesis of so many things that it is hard to adequately describe. You don't need my persuasion to read this book- the awards and conversation around it are probably enough to convince you. But if there were one small thing I would add to that discussion, it is that this book is as purely needed as it was when it was published a few years ago. Racism persists and has been embraced by swaths of the country in increasingly visible ways. Citizen is a great entry point for understanding the social and sociological conditioning involved in racist behavior. That, and it's a hell of a read.

Picked by James

This book stuck with me for a long while. It's one of the most compelling portraits of an adolescent girl I've read in a long while, full of the usual confusions, but oddly deformed by an isolated upbringing and a skewed vision of love: romantic, paternal and maternal. Add a healthy dose of unhealthy religious belief and you've got a wonderfully complex and fascinating read.

Picked by J.P.

The best conversation I ever had with a stranger on the bus was about this book. It's based on the life of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the thousands of Lost Boys who escaped the Sudanese civil war. Upon arriving in the United States, Valentino faces a whole new set of problems as he tries his best to acclimate to a not always friendly new home. Originally released in 2006, it feels like a novel especially apt for our current times.

Picked by J.P.