Staff Picks of 2016

Dept. of Speculation
by Jenny Offill

The plot of this novel isn’t all that groundbreaking. It’s a book about domestic life and all of its ups and downs. What’s amazing about Dept. of Speculation is the language. It reads almost like a book of poetry. And at just about 200 pages, it’s a very quick read.
– Adam

Boston Girl
by Anita Diamant

– Amber

The Shoemaker’s Wife
by Adriana Trigiani

– Amber

When I Was Five I Killed Myself
by Howard Buten

A redeeming story for every child who has been wrongly accused, terribly misunderstood, and horribly betrayed by the adults in their lives.
– Lindsey

Diary of an Oxygen Thief
by Anonymous

An honest and darkly humorous portrayal of the pain that accompanies heartbreak, and how that affects not only ourselves but all those we encounter thereafter.
– Lindsey

What Light
by Jay Asher

A deeply moving, heartwarming love story that is guaranteed to leave you feeling hopeful and inspired. Asher tackles the important themes of redemption and forgiveness, showing us that we can let go of past mistakes and overcome our failures. This is the perfect holiday romance for the YA reader in your life!
– Lindsey

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

A Good suspense thriller.
– Maryann B.

The Nest
by Cynthia Sweeney

Intriguing, domestic and dysfunctional family plot that is faced with an inheritance from the father’s trust. Does it bring out the best or worst in people… Must Read
– Maryann B.

by Yaa Gyasi

– Maryann R.

The Summer Before the War
by Helen Simonson

– Maryann R.

Lilac Girls
by Martha Hall Kelly

– Maryann R.

The Life of God (as Told by Himself)
by Franco Ferrucci

Picked up this book when we
decommissioned it from our collection due to low
circulation. May have to add it back. I’m a secularist sort
but it shouldn’t offend members of organized religions who
realize this is a delightful, witty and absolute
philosophical romp. Loved it!
– Regan

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

– Regan

The Hike
by Drew Magary

Drew Magary, once again, creates a unique new world that entices all readers — including ones
who have no real interest in fantasy or science fiction. The Hike is a scary, original, interesting, surprising, funny, and engrossing story of, very simply, one ordinary man’s journey. The story twists and turns and never gets boring. There’s a twist at the end that keeps readers thinking and the psychological drama is understated and powerful at the same time.
– Shelly


something to food about:
Exploring Creativity with Innovative Chefs
by Ahmir Questlove Thompson

It may surprise you that Questlove has written a book about food, but it’s not all that alien a concept for him. Questlove has always been very analytical about his career and interests. This is just an extension of that.

The book is devided into a number of interviews with chefs, and the focus of the discussions tends more toward the creative process itself. It’s fantastic to see him tease out philosophy from food, and his footnotes are often great annecdotes.
– Adam

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi


The Organized Mind:
thinking straight in the age of information overload

by Daniel Levitin

Externalize as much as you can from your working memory
engines. Index cards rule!
– Regan

The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown

– Regan

Weapons Of Math Destruction
by Cathy O’Neil

Don’t let the fact that this is a math book scare you off; the writing is clear and non-technical. Covering thing topics from colleges to credit, Cathy O’Neil lays a solid foundation for her opinions on how algorithms can sometimes leave real human lives behind when calculating things for the greater good. This book provides a clear insight into the data that industry will only become more influential in the future of our lives. Be warned, this was the scariest book I read this year.
– Adam & Sew Yeng


by Angela Duckworth

– Sew Yeng

Raising Ryland:
Our Story of Parenting a Transgender Child with No Strings Attached

by Hillary Whittington

This quick read is a fascinating take on an issue few people know anything about. It tells the
story of Ryland, a very young transgender boy many were introduced to the world by way of YouTube video. While Ryland himself is a remarkable and brave person, what really stands out is the fierce and unconditional love of his parents. It’s an engrossing and well-written book that succeeds in telling the story of one special person and the people he touches.
– Shelly

Paper Girls
by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson

If you liked Stranger Things and the 80s material its based on then this is the comic for you. It follows a group of girls (who deliver newspapers) as they accidentally get caught up in an alien/monster/time traveler invasion, and try to deal with imperfect home lives.
– Adam