Staff Picks of 2018

Woman in the Window
by A.J. Finn Maryann B.
In an Absent Dream
by Seanan McGuireThis is the 4th book in the Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire and I am still completely in love with the characters and the world she’s writing.If you want to start at the beginning, the other books are:

  1. Every heart a doorway
  2. Down among the sticks and bones
  3. Beneath the sugar sky

– Adam

The Power
by Naomi Alderman– Adam
Freedom
by Jonathan FranzenThis really long and somewhat meandering books was still one of my favorite pieces of fiction I read this year. I am just in awe of authors like Franzen, who just have so much to say about certain characters or events. The characters he creates and the stories he tells stick with you and seem very believable even when extreme things are happening. I really liked his main character, despite her many flaws, and was kept interested by the story line that spanned decades. It was also a surprisingly quick read for such a long novel.– Shelly
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
by Ayelet WaldmanThis book really made you think about different kinds of love: love between partners, love between parents/stepparents and their children, and love related to loss. It was interesting also in that the reader often feels annoyed, enamored, and sorry for with the main character, depending on the page. At the end, you find yourself rooting for everyone all together and really feeling like you’re hoping for a good outcome for your friend. As with all of Waldman’s books, her writing is great and easy to read — a rare combination.– Shelly
Beautiful Ruins
by Jess Walter– Regan
Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan– Maryann R.
The Italian Teacher
by Tom Rachman– Maryann R.
An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones– Maryann R.
Circe
by Madeline Miller– Maryann R.
The Maze at Windermere
by Gregory Blake Smith– Maryann R.
The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai– Maryann R.

Bad Blood
by John Carreyrou Sew Yeng
Lost Connection
by Johann Hari–Sew Yeng
Hillbilly Elegy
by J.D. Vance Sew Yeng
Selling Sickness:
How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients
by Ray Moynihan and Alan CasselsThe title almost says it all, but basically, the authors’ view is that drug companies first cultivate the market by creating a grassroots campaign about a new sickness or disorder; and then create the marketing campaign to sell the drug which will “fix” that sickness. We know that many people greatly benefit by medications; but a greater amount of people begin to see a “risk factor” they may have as a disorder which requires medication, thus creating an enormous market and enormous profits for the pharma companies. And there’s more… Donna
It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes:
How to Minimize Conflict and Maximize Happiness in Your Relationship
(originally published as Spousenomics)
by Paula Szuchman & Jenny AndersonI am actually in the middle of reading this book a second time — I read it once and now I am going back and literally taking notes! It somehow makes two seemingly boring topics — marital woes and economics — seem interesting and understandable. The authors go through real economic theories and tie them to creating better relationships. Even as I type this, it seems like the book should be boring or not really applicable to the average couple…but it’s super interesting, helpful, and applicable to anyone!– Shelly