Our latest list features some of our staff's favorite books! Find out what your Reader Advisor likes to read, whether it's childhood classics, suspenseful mysteries, fascinating biographies, award-winning YA, or the latest bestsellers. There's something for everyone to enjoy with these recommendations!
Nancy- Reader Advisor
James A. Michener
“I really enjoyed this book when I realized much of it takes place in Colorado where my daughter lives. When we travel out to visit her I can really imagine the cattle drives and hardships the early settlers must have had.” 1974.
Western, Historical Fiction, Family Saga
You Belong to Me
Mary Higgins Clark
Once a prosecutor and then a psychologist, radio talk-show host Susan Chandler explores how lonely women are lured into relationships that turn deadly. On the air, witnesses offer evidence concerning one such victim. Unfortunately, Susan does not suspect that the killer has tuned in. 1998.
“I enjoy all her books. She writes a suspenseful story without a lot of descriptive violence.”
The Reluctant Midwife
“Patricia has been a midwife and an instructor for midwifery for many years. Her book about a midwife in Appalachia reminded me that I should be very grateful for the modern hospitals and doctors we have available to help get through a pregnancy. People who lived in the mountains during the depression were lucky to have a midwife.” 2015.
Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca, the glamorous mistress of a great English estate, died eight months before Maxim de Winter brought a young and frightened second wife to live there. Mystery, intrigue, and violence eventually reveal the circumstances surrounding Rebecca's death. 1938.
“One summer I decided to read all the books Du Maurier had written. Rebecca is still my favorite.”
Classic Literature, Gothic Fiction, Romance
Death of a Gossip
“I just love the character, Hamish MacBeth, in this series. Hamish is a constable in a little Scottish village, a place he loves and hopes never to leave. He is really quite brilliant in solving crimes but he seldom takes any credit because he does not want to be promoted. Light mystery reading with some light humor.” 1985.
Karen- Clerical Assistant
The Night Gardener
“Just creepy enough to keep you reading but not too scary to keep you up at night, this story is beautifully written. Molly and Kip are orphans. Molly is a talented storyteller and is protective of her younger disabled brother. Together, they go to work as servants at a mysterious house where things are not quite what they seem. The estate is haunted by the Night Gardener. Something about the tree in the yard is not right. While Molly spins tales that illustrate life lessons, the characters are pulled by the spell of the wish-granting tree. If you like Mary Downing Hahn and Peg Kehret, you will enjoy The Night Gardener. This tale of mystery, suspense and a lesson in greed is a page turner you won’t forget.” ALA Notable Children’s Book Award-Older Readers Winner 2015. 2014.
Grades 4-8, Ghost Story, Disability Interest, Award Winner
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie
“Steven, the main character, is an 8th grader and tells this story with his witty sense of humor. He becomes the support for his younger brother who is seriously ill. Steven deals with the situation in the usual teenage way – by turning to his music. While this story will have you crying, you will also be laughing. I would also recommend reading other books by this author.” 2008 Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Award Winner. 2004.
Grades 5-8, Family and Friends, Award Winner
The Boy Who Dared
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
“Based on a real person, Bartoletti tells the story of Helmuth Hubener, a teen growing up Nazi Germany. In flashbacks, we learn how Helmuth grows up playing with toy soldiers to experiencing the violence against Jews and the propaganda presented by the Germans. He quietly mounts a campaign to against the Nazi regime but is captured. His fate is not a happy one but the courage and heroism is touching.” 2009 YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. 2008.
Young Adult, Award Winner, Historical Fiction, WWII
Laurie Halse Anderson
“This is the story of Isabel’s life as a slave in New York City. Even though Isabel and her sister were to be freed upon the death of their owner, they are sold into slavery once again. Life is cruel to her and yet she hopes and strives to become free. The author did extensive research in writing this story which makes the struggles of Isabel and the others so heart wrenching to read. This story is an insight into the people and our country in 1776. Be sure to read the author notes at the end.” 2009 ALA Notable Children's Books. 2009.
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure, War, Commercial Audiobook
Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 1
“Boy meets girl. This is obviously a Cinderella story but with the twist of a futuristic take on the tale. If you can’t resist the classic love story, you will enjoy this one.” 2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. 2012.
Young Adult, Science Fiction, Award Winner
Mike- Reader Advisor
“A memoir following the struggles and joys of living for surfing waves. The author travels to and describes many out of the way locations. His writing places you inside the mechanics and shifting conditions of the waves he finds.” Pulitzer Prize. 2015.
Biography, Sports, Award Winner, Commercial Audiobook
“A novel set in the present day about a woman searching for clues about her parents that bring her into contact with an organization that leaks secrets about those in power.” 2015.
Modern Fiction, Humor
Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right
“Mayer reveals the reality of the current political system in America. An in depth study on the effects of money and how it shapes policies in government.” 2016.
Politics, Commercial Audiobook
Sick in the Head: Conversations about Life and Comedy
“Interviews with comedians and the varying approaches to comedy. The interviews cover how comedians started, refined their craft, and the successes they had.” 2015.
Bestseller, Comedy, Biography
“A novel about an unhappily married couple and the lie that spins out of control into murder. A slow-paced and suspenseful book that takes place in the suburbs.” 1957.
Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Commercial Audiobook
Christine- Reader Advisor
The Wright Brothers
“This was a recommendation from a patron. There was so much I never knew about them! The brothers had so many trial and error aircrafts before they finally were able to build one that worked.” 2015.
Bestseller, Biography, History, Engineering
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Newell and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dedman detail the life of Newell's cousin, socialite Huguette Clark (1906-2011), the eccentric daughter of a Gilded Age copper tycoon and politician. They chronicle Clark's latter years--when she lived in a hospital room while her mansions sat empty--and battles over her estate. 2013.
“A fascinating real life tale of a ‘poor little rich girl’.“
A Moveable Feast
Sketches of the author's life in Paris in the 1920s provide reminiscences of his first marriage and the development of his literary style. Includes portraits of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ford Maddox Ford, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, among many other artists. 1964.
“Hemingway’s classic novel about writers in Paris in the 1920s.”
Elizabeth the Queen
Sally Bedell Smith
“An interesting book about the life of Queen Elizabeth of England. It gives lots of behind the scenes details of her life as she was growing up through the present day.” 2012.
Bestseller, Biography, History
A Paris Apartment
Paris. Seventy years after courtesan Marthe de Florian's apartment was closed up, it is reopened for the first time by Sotheby's. Furniture appraiser April Vogt is brought over from New York. As April sorts out Marthe's life, she must resolve her own issues. 2014.
“A furniture appraiser is sent to Paris to sift through an apartment that has been sealed for seventy years.”
Jan- Reader Advisor
“I like family stories, biographies, light mysteries, medical mysteries, Christian fiction, and sometimes supernatural stories.”
The Girl with all the Gifts
“A pandemic has turned countless people into zombies (called hungries). A group needs to escape a military camp and they bring along a 10 year old hungry girl with incredible strength and intellect.” 2014.
Supernatural, Commercial Audiobook
The Light Between Oceans
“The story of a lightkeeper and his wife who discover a baby on a boat alive with a man dead. The decision they make that day will haunt them several years later.” 2012.
Bestseller, Historical Fiction, Family Saga, Australia
The Romanov Sisters: Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandria
“Russian historian examines the turmoil/innocent lives of 4 daughters of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia.” 2014.
Bestseller, Biography, History
Priscilla- Reader Advisor
“My favorite book is usually the one that I’m currently reading, but here are some of my favorites from childhood.”
When Amelia Bedelia shows up for her first day of work as a housekeeper, her new employer, Mrs. Rogers, gives her a list of things to do and drives away. Amelia is puzzled by the instructions but follows them anyway. She dresses the chicken in a little outfit, dusts the furniture with dusting powder, and cuts up the towels to change them. 1963.
Grades K-3, Humor
DB071967, BR007770, DB014480 (Spanish Language)
Escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey--but without any parents--at the edge of a Swedish village. Tiina Nunnally's 2007 translation. 1945.
Grades 3-6, Adventure
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Claudia, feeling misunderstood at home, takes her younger brother and runs away to New York City where she sets up housekeeping in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Newbery Award. 1967.
Grades 4-6, Mystery, Adventure, Award Winner
Fay- Reader Advisor
“I have read Little Women several times in my life. This book tells about the father of the March family, where he was, what he was doing while his wife and daughters struggled with his absence. Brooks brings this character and time of our country to life.” Pulitzer Prize Winner. 2005.
Historical Fiction, War, Award Winner
The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Denny Swift, a race car driver, has a faithful friend in Enzo. Enzo is a mixed breed dog who believes he will be reincarnated as a human. Enzo tells Denny’s story with humor and compassion. A short book with humor, wit, and lots of reading interest.” 2008.
Bestseller, Sports, Animals, Modern Fiction
“I started reading Dick Francis’ books in the 1960s. When I became a Reader Advisor in 1997, my Circulation Manager joked with me that no matter what kind of book a patron asked for I had a Dick Francis book for them. No joke! There is one for everyone! This book centers on the wine and whiskey business and the complex racing world in England. HAVE I GOT A DICK FRANCIS FOR YOU? Yes, I do!” 1985.
Tapestry of Fortunes
“Elizabeth Berg is an Illinois author who tells compelling stories of every day people just like us. Life crises: coping with them and the changes that are made due to them. The writing brings you into their lives with you hanging on to find out how it all turns out.” 2013.
Modern Fiction, Friendship, Romance
Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure
“A retracing of the 1953 trip Harry and Bess Truman made cross-country from MO to Washington, DC. Amazing how the circumstances of past presidents has changed; Harry drove the car himself, no Secret Service agents accompanied him; the Trumans paid for the trip out of Harry’s army pension. Short book with many “ah ha” moments and an easy history lesson.” 2009.
Travel, Biography, History