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  • Writer's pictureMarina Rose

Recommended Reading: Staff Picks

With the shutdowns and restrictions in place over the last six months, many people have chosen to use their newfound-time to read. It's been a rough year, and when we can't get together like we're used to, we find ourselves turning to other comforts. I know not everyone has had time to read more; many of our staff have been listening to audiobooks just so they can squeeze in a few must-reads (myself included!). But if you find yourself with extra time, or you are just looking for a good book to read, check out this list of books recommended by some of the Caldwell Library staff. We hope you find something you enjoy. Don't forget to leave a comment with your review of the book you chose!

Cover photo of Nothing to See Here

Recommended by: Laure

I really enjoyed this book and thought it was hilarious most of the time. I listened to it on audio and the narrator really made the book pop. The main plot is about children who can spontaneously combust and catch on fire and a girl who is trying to find herself while becoming their "governess" The book can be a bit dark at times and there is a lot of very strong language throughout the whole book, so someone who does not like that may not want to listen to it. All in all, I would highly recommend it. It is a newer book that came out in January.

Cover photo of A Galaxy of Sea Stars

Recommended by: Fiona

This is a chapter book good for kids in grades 4-8 about friendship, home, family, and identity. One of the characters moved to the US from Afghanistan after her father's work as a translator for the US led to threats from the Taliban. She wears a hijab to school, which other students see as weird. Another character is struggling with keeping long-held friendships as she transitions to middle school. It's sweet, honest, and all about courage and what to do when you're afraid. Trivia question: what do you call a group of sea stars ("starfish")? Read this book and find out.

Cover photo of The Big Burn

Recommended by: Marina

This book was not exactly what I thought it would be, but I still found it very interesting. The book is a history of the beginnings of the U.S. Forest Service and the first major wildfire in the West. Dubbed The Big Burn, this major wildfire took place in 1910 and spanned across western Montana, North Idaho, and Eastern Washington. The U.S. Forest Service was woefully underfunded and over a hundred firefighters died trying to put out the raging fires. The book also examines the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt (who established the Forest Service) and William Taft, how they dealt with the Forest Service, and how private interests threatened the forests of the Northwest. Although it is a history book, Egan has presented the information in a narrative format that makes it very readable.

Cover photo of Parasite

Recommended by: Morgan

I just finished the Parasitology series by Mira Grant for the third time. I love these books but I will admit they aren't for everyone. The first book is called Parasite. It's set in the near future where most of the general public takes genetically engineered tapeworms. Yes, you read that right. Tapeworms. These little parasites are made to secrete medications such as insulin or anti-depressants. It's a near-genius technology that is deemed safe for everyone. But something goes wrong, as it usually does in these types of books. I don't want to give away to much but let's just say the tapeworms start to develop a mind of their own and they don't like taking orders.

Cover of Running with Sherman - Sherman the donkey is pictured on the left side of the book cover

Recommended by: Sharon

I just finished reading this book, and, I admit, the title is a bit goofy, but I really enjoyed the book. (I was originally drawn to it because my brother's name is Sherman.) It is the true story of journalist Chris McDougall who moved his family to Amish country in Pennsylvania. While there he adopted a rescue donkey from an animal hoarder. Poor Sherman was in such bad shape no one expected him to live through the first night. With help from friends, neighbors, and even strangers, Chris helps Sherman not only survive but thrive. The story culminates in a grand adventure: a 15-mile cross-country race in Colorado with 50 human/donkey teams. Full of fascinating people, feisty burros, and a goat named Lawrence. this is a fun read of redemption, courage, obstacles, and lots of joy.

Tune in at the end of October for another installment of recommended reading from the library staff!

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