Recommended Reading: Staff Picks
Updated: Dec 29, 2020
It's another round of great books recommended by your favorite library staff! It's a great time of year to snuggle up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa, a blanket (or furry pet!), and a book. I love settling down in the living room with my 70-pound lap dog and reading for hours on end. It's the perfect day!
If you're unsure of what to read, try a book off this list! If you can't find the book on our shelves, you can order it from another local library, or through our interlibrary loan system. You can also call or email us for book recommendations at any time. So what are you waiting for?
Book: The Unhoneymooners by
Recommended by: Laure
The main characters Olive and Ethan basically hate each other until they are on a "fake" honeymoon together. Olives twin sister Amy is getting married and everyone gets really sick from the seafood buffet at the wedding reception. They don't want the honeymoon to go to waste so Olive and the groom's brother Ethan decide to go together. They have some crazy things that happen during the honeymoon, and they finally understand the reason behind why they do not like each other, it was all a big misunderstanding. Super cute romantic comedy book!
Recommended by: Marina
I just finished the YA series "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis. I had read the first book six years ago and always meant to finish the series, but didn't get around to it until this year. The first book, Across the Universe, takes place on a generation ship en route to a new planet. The ship's population is ruled by the Eldest system - one leader for each generation - and reproduction is highly controlled to stabilize the population and separate the generation groups.
Elder is in training to be the leader of the next generation, but things are complicated when one of the people frozen on the cryo-level (people who are supposed to stay frozen until they reach the new planet) is woken up from her cryo-sleep aboard the ship. To complicate matters, this person, Amy, is the only other person on the ship close to Elder's age - they are both teens, and, because of genetic controls, she looks nothing like anyone else aboard the ship. Labeled a freak by most, but beloved by Elder, Amy challenges what Elder thought he knew, and together they must face and overcome obstacles on their journey to their new home.
Recommended by: Sharon
I recently finished "At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much" by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It contains 300+ musings specifically designed for those of us who love yarn and all the things we can create with it. From the perils of long-tail cast-on to the joys of a never-ending yarn stash, Ms. Pearl-McPhee accurately portrays the delightful, obsessive, creative, productive soul of a knitter. More than once I found myself giggling out loud: "Yes! Yes! That's me!" If you can resonate with these words, then this book is for you: "The world is full of knitters who are driven to collect yarn by an inner voice that tells them there will never be enough. They have more yarn than they could ever use in a lifetime, even if they quit their jobs and knit full-time until they died. The world is full of non-knitters who think this is odd."
Recommended by: Monique
I re-read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and although some of the 80s references are always just a bit out of my reach, I really enjoyed it this second time around. I loved it the first time as well, but this time it just seemed to be more in tune with the way the world has been shifting. I am an avid video gamer and spend a lot of time with online communities and we do tend to dissolve in our own little universes that we create. I often find that this space that we share is very uniting. I have also the unique opportunity to connect with people around the world in real-time and problem-solve together, and it helps me to see outside of our own domestic problems and explore other areas and understand more the things that we all value. Getting back into this book reminded me of the ways that simple shared interests, such as a love of video games, movies, books, and music, can motivate us to accomplish larger goals in life as well. Especially if those goals align with our hopes, dreams, and values.
Book: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Recommended by: Haley
I was introduced to Ocean Vuong during my very first college poetry class in 2015 – I was an English major focusing on poetry and creative nonfiction - and I fell in love with his work. When I heard that he was publishing a piece of fiction the year I graduated, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I’ve now read it three times. “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” is a novel, but poetry shines through every sentence. A semi-autobiographical exploration of familial and romantic relationships, the novel is structured as a letter the speaker, Little Dog, writes to his mother, who cannot read. It is in many ways a classic coming of age story where Little Dog fights to find himself through place, class, sexuality, and language.
Little Dog tenderly recounts listening to his grandmother’s stories from when she was young, pregnant, and fleeing the Vietnam War. He remembers watching as a young child how hard his mother worked to provide for her mother and son and how it took a toll on her body and mind. He replays the memories from when he fell in love for the first time and the tense conversation he has with his mother years later when he tells her he is gay.
Just like in his poetry, Vuong writes with piercing imagery and unabashed honesty. If you are hesitant to jump into poetry, I highly recommend starting with this novel. It will help you familiarize yourself with the imagery and musicality often found in poems within the comfortable format of a novel.