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Books & Authors

Library Staff Picks

If you're looking for a good read, check out this list of titles recently enjoyed by Springfield-Greene County Library staff. For an ongoing list of suggestions, follow the Library on Pinterest and check out the Staff Picks board.

 

Adult Fiction

 Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. This novel follows three mothers, each at a crossroads, and their potential involvement in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead. I highly recommend the audiobook because the narration is so good. I'd describe this as a mashup of chicklit and murder mystery with the best of both genres. It has great characters and a page-turning plot with just enough suspense to keep you guessing. Deliciously good. -Charity J., Brentwood Branch

 

 Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín. After moving to America from a sleepy Irish town, Eilis finds herself in Brooklyn, working as a shop girl, enrolled in business classes and falling in love. But when tragedy strikes, she must return to Ireland, where new professional and romantic opportunities arise. Will she stay, or will she go? “Brooklyn” is a sweet coming-of-age story you won’t soon forget. I recommend the audiobook, as the narrator stays true to the Irish accent. -Kasey G., The Library Station

 

 The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Young lawyer Paul Ravath is hired by George Westinghouse to battle Thomas Edison over the light bulb patent. This is a fast-paced novel based in reality with a different view of our heroes of invention. The action and surprises continue to the exciting conclusion. -Judy A., Substitute Librarian

 

 

 One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Emma is in her 20s and enjoying a life full of travel and adventure with her husband, Jesse. Jesse takes a trip and his helicopter goes missing over the Pacific Ocean. He is eventually declared dead and Emma has to put her life back together again. Four years later, Emma has a new home, job and a fiancée when Jesse is found alive. Emma has to decide between the love of her past and the love she has in the present. -Vanessa S., The Library Center

 

 Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang. Brian K. Vaughan does it again! “Paper Girls” is the story of four 12-year-old girls delivering newspapers post-Halloween night in 1988. When the community disappears and rival beings from the future/space show up, the girls must band together to survive. Dubbed "Stand by Me” meets “War of the Worlds," fans of the summer hit "Stranger Things" will find this to be a terrific follow-up. -Jennifer C., Strafford Branch

 

 Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It's 2044 and things are pretty bleak. Wade Watts escapes his grim life by logging into OASIS, a huge virtual utopia. When he has the chance to win a fortune by completing a quest within OASIS, his life is changed forever. What makes this story extra fun is that the creator of OASIS was obsessed with the 1980s, so the virtual world is full of 80s references. This makes it feel uniquely retro and futuristic at the same time. -Heather C.D., The Library Center

 

 The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. A high-ranking member of the Chequey, a *secret* secret organization that battles supernatural forces, wakes up in a London park with no memory, no idea who she is, and with a letter that provides instructions to help her uncover a far-reaching conspiracy. A fast-paced fantasy novel that isn't afraid of a little dry British humor, this book had me hooked! I'd recommend it to anyone ready for a grown-up take on "Harry Potter." -Aleah W., Midtown Carnegie Branch

 

 The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt. This neo-western story describes the misadventures of brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters, contract killers going out on what might be their last job. Termed "cowboy noir" by reviewers, this book has dark humor and deadpan dialogue, great for fans of Coen Brothers films or HBO's "Deadwood." -Miranda S., The Library Station

 

 

 

Adult Nonfiction

 Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. The popular blogger presents a humorous, candid account of her lifelong battle with depression and anxiety, showing how embracing both the flawed and beautiful parts of life has allowed her to find joy in the outrageous. This memoir is hilarious, even though the author is discussing mental illness. I highly recommend it to anyone who lives with depression or anxiety, or knows someone who does. -Meggan M., The Library Center

 

 H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Following the unexpected death of her father, author and falconer Helen Macdonald finds solace in a strange place--the company of a goshawk named Mabel. This gorgeously-written book tells the story of their relationship, which serves as a jumping-off point for explorations of grief, the natural world, the history of falconry and the life of an earlier author-turned-falconer with a troubled life, T.H. White. -Zachary F., The Library Center

 

 A Million Years in a Day: A Curious History of Everyday Life from the Stone Age to the Phone Age by Greg Jenner. Have you ever wondered where our daily habits come from? This delightful book tells the history of how the toilet came to be, why we take showers, why we walk the dog and other everyday things. It's funny, engaging and strangely informative. -Stephanie W., The Library Center

 

 

 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson. This is a coming-of-age story about a girl growing up as a lesbian in a working-class Pentecostal family in northern England. The protagonist attempts to reconcile her sexuality, her own faith, her place in her church community and her strict mother's idiosyncratic beliefs. This book is semi-autobiographical, and it is both funny and moving. -Fern B., The Library Station

 

 

 Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. This book is definitely not for the squeamish. Mary Roach tackles the interesting and often gory history of the scientific use of human cadavers. From crash test dummies to forensic studies and head transplants, she covers it all with a good deal of wit, humor and grace. -Danielle F., Midtown Carnegie Branch

 

 

 

Young Adult

 Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. In 1943, two young British girls--a pilot and a secret agent--crash-land in Nazi-occupied France. One is captured by the enemy and must tell them everything she knows about the Allied war effort or face torture and execution. There are some huge twists that make it hard to put down, but what really stands out is the beautiful friendship between the two girls. This tear-jerker kept me guessing until the very end. -Heather C.D., The Library Center

 

 Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison. "Giant Days" is the story of three young women who become friends in college. Esther, Susan and Daisy bonded their first day when Susan and Daisy had to help get Esther out of trouble. Since then, they've stuck together, through formal dances and figuring out their sexualities and falling in love. The story is fun, the dialogue is phenomenal and the characters are relatable. Every young (or not!) person should give this a try! -Allison S., The Library Station

 

 The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. This novel, set in the late 1800s through 1950s, spans three generations of Roux-Lavender women. The bewinged Ava Lavender narrates her family history leading up to her birth and teen years. All the Roux-Lavenders are unlucky in love, including young Ava. Dark and whimsical, this is a very edgy young adult novel. -Dani F., Midtown Carnegie Branch

 

 

 The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B by Teresa Toten. Adam and Robyn both have OCD, which you'd think would be enough to deal with. But add step-siblings, divorced parents, and being 13 to the mix, and it's almost too much to take sometimes. When Adam's mother starts receiving threatening letters, he soon learns that being "normal" doesn't mean what he always thought it did. -Jennifer B., The Library Station

 

  

 

Children's

 Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis. Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and sometimes even fight with one another. When Omek crashes Yelfred's new spaceship, it sparks their biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on? This is one of the most original picture books I've seen in a while. The art is fun, and the made-up language will have you laughing. Great for K-3. -Charity J., Brentwood Branch

 

 Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko. The Gilded Age is a fantastic time to be alive for many people, but not 13-year-old Lizzie, who's stuck at a snobby school for girls where her passion for science is considered unsuitable. While on a house call with her physician father, Lizzie discovers a side of San Francisco that’s full of secrets. This is a wonderful historical fiction book that provides an accurate portrayal of the times. I couldn't put it down! -Stephanie W., The Library Center

 

 The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. When a circus ship crashes off the coast of Maine, chaos ensues! This sing-song book is a treat for the ears and eyes. Van Dusen's illustrations are sure to blow you away. This book is the perfect read-aloud for the entire family. -Kasey G., The Library Station

 

 

 Ooko by Esmé Shapiro. Ooko is a fox who sets out to make a friend. When he sees a girl playing with her dog, he decides the key to making friends is to be as much like dogs as possible, so he makes all sorts of changes. But after a woman with vision trouble mistakes Ooko for her dog and takes him home, he learns that being a pet might not be so wonderful. The low word count and expressive protagonist make this book great for reading aloud. -Lindsey B., The Library Center


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