Happy April, happy spring, and happy National Library Week! This year’s theme, “Connect with Your Library,” highlights the ways libraries connect their public to resources and materials in addition to books.
We’ve got a bunch of ways to join the National Library Week fun this week, from participating in our guessing games (come in or check our Facebook page!), to visiting our display, where you can learn about e-materials, read about our staff and their favorite books, and write the answer to one important question on our big board: Why did you come to the library today? We can’t wait to see the wide range of ways you use our services!
Don’t forget to check out our calendar for all the different programs coming up this month for all ages. We’ve also got two more big displays in the building: Donate Life, where you can learn about organ, eye, and tissue donation, and National Poetry Month, where you can read about poetry and take home materials to learn to write your own!
In addition to being available to check out in the library, we’re excited to share our staff’s favorite books with you here. As with our usual Staff Picks, you can click the link of each title to place the item on hold. If you want to try to find them in e-book or e-audiobook form, check out our recent blog post on Libby and Hoopla!
I am hesitant to claim anything as a favorite. Whether a color, food, season, or book, I find joy in diversity. The Alchemist, however, is special. It is a book that continues to inspire me long after I first read it several years ago. I appreciate themes of adventure and discovery, resilience and self-reliance. [Paulo] Coelho told the New York Times that the main theme is about finding one's destiny. He perceives his work as more self-help than literature. I find The Alchemist to be both.
Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks
A small group of families living deep in the forest of the northwest set off from society for the most part with only one road in and out. Volcano erupts completely cutting them off from the outside world. Then include some sasquatch aggressively attacking. I absolutely loved it.
A serial killer that only kills serial killers. If you liked the TV show, the books are a fantastic addition.
Check, Please! series by Ngozi Ukazu
I'm a sports person in general, but I'm not much of a hockey person. This series let me pretend I was, though — follow figure skater-turned-hockey player Bitty as he navigates college, hockey, love, and baking only the very best pies for his teammates, family, and eventual boyfriend.
Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman
My go-to feel-good books! The story follows Nick and Charlie, two English high schoolers who fall in love, and all the challenges they face both personally and as a couple. It's very sweet, pretty low-stakes, and the characters are diverse and well-written. Volumes 1-4 are out now, with Volume 5 (the last one) coming soon — but the TV series comes to Netflix on April 22!
I first read this book in my early teens, and it's inspired me ever since to be completely true to myself as a unique individual, care deeply, and celebrate constantly. When I feel myself starting to dull myself for others or feel too different, I give this book a quick re-read for instant comfort and confidence.
Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore
I love this book, and have referred to it often because it is rich in history and art and religious references to help guide yourself through the tricky times in life. I recommend this book because it takes lessons from multiple religions, ancient philosophers and applies the lessons to modern day issues. It's just beautifully written.
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
I like this series because society always tells us constant learning is the key to success and growth. However, no matter what year we are writing on our calendar, somehow we as people just do not seem to learn anything.
It is a bittersweet read for me. There is so much can relate to in Eilis' character and adventure — being far from the people you love, fighting for a better life, not just for yourself but for the people around you. Through all those obstacles, finding friendship and love is a ray of sunshine. We all need that.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I love historical fiction and this story of two sisters and the different choices they make during World War II really moved me. There is also a bit of mystery (another favorite genre) as the story flashes back and forth between the 1940s and the present day. The mystery is who is telling the present day story and what happened to the other sister.
The concept and story are so original and so well done. I fell in love with the characters instantly and couldn't help but be baffled by Mr. Shusterman's imagination.
Joe Pickett series by C.J. Box
Such great characters and interesting mysteries. The description of the landscape and mountains are beautiful.
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
A book that makes you crave wonderful friends, good food, art, faith, and love! Elizabeth is like any one of us, with problems and disappointments, but decides to leave her country and everything behind for a new life. It is a fun, inspiring, and easy book to read. Many aspects of the author's life remind me of my own experiences, which is why this book is so special to me.
Miss Julia series by Ann B. Ross
Miss Julia is a proper Southern woman 'of a certain age' who has to re-evaluate the way she has always done things when she is faced with challenges she never could have imagined. She rises to the occasions with spunk and determination, and has many amusing adventures along the way.
Even though Jane was unloved and had a terrible childhood, she persevered and became a strong woman who was true to herself. It's a great story. I also like Bronte's complex sentence structure and vocabulary. It's so different from how we talk and write today. Here's a sentence from Jane Eyre: "The housekeeper and her husband were both of that decent phlegmatic order of people to whom one may at any time safely communicate a remarkable piece of news without incurring the danger of having one's ears pierced by some shrill ejaculation, and subsequently stunned by a torrent of wordy wonderment."
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
I love its epistolary format and I love the connections between Juliet, Dawsey, and the rest of the characters. It's a story of hope and of finding joy and friendship in the midst of horror.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I liked this book because of the deep description of where this took place and the twists and turns of guessing who committed the murder. I would recommend this book because you can't put it down.
This book was my introduction into whimsical fantasy, and the timeless themes and lessons of Tolkien's writing have served as a template for so many of the fantasy worlds I still enjoy today as an adult. Ever a Hobbit at heart myself, I'm equally comfortable in my home with a good book and tea, as I am on an epic adventure!
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
A dear literary friend in that it echoes the lessons of one of my favorite movies, It's A Wonderful Life. What if you had infinite opportunities to see your life through a different lens? The main character Nora's exploration of herself is captivating as she attempts to discern what is really important in life. In the end, it is a simple reminder of appreciating what we have and how we spend our time, and the butterfly effect of the small decisions in our everyday life.