Bicentennial Staff Picks

Bicentennial Staff Picks

In celebration of the Monroe County Public Library's 2020 bicentennial, the staff has put together a list of their favorite books in their own words.


Compiled by:
Bill W.
 The Chronicles of Amber

Roger Zelazny
SF Zelazny
Series: The Chronicles of Amber

The Chronicles of Amber is Zelazny's finest fantasy, a grand imaginative vision of alternate worlds, magic, swordplay, and murderous rivalries.—goodreads

"The first set of five stories are generally considered the better, written about twenty years before the second set of five and in a different style. But that first set is well worth reading by anyone interested in SF and Fantasy."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Anne of Green Gables

L. M. Montgomery
J Montgom
Series: Anne of Green Gables

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.—Baker & Taylor

"Anne of Green Gables was the first chapter book I read between the ages 8–10 years-old. It was also the first book I had read where I could see myself in a character. Anne was an orphan who was very imaginative and a free-spirit. I was adopted, and an imaginative girl myself. Anne became my kindred spirit, and she taught me that being different, thinking abstractly, being creative and imaginative, and being adopted were not bad things, but marvelous things."—Submitted by Meg A., ACS


Autobiography of an Execution

David Dow
345.764 Dow

In this spellbinding true crime narrative, Dow takes us inside of prisons, inside the complicated minds of judges, inside execution-administration chambers, into the lives of death row inmates (some shown to be innocent, others not) and even into his own home—where the toll of working on these gnarled and difficult cases is perhaps inevitably paid. He sheds insight onto unexpected phenomena—how even religious lawyer and justices can evince deep rooted support for putting criminals to death—and makes palpable the suspense that clings to every word and action when human lives hang in the balance.—Hachette Book Group

"David Dow provides a compelling first hand account of what is means to be a death penalty lawyer and our criminal justice system. This is a book that will stay with you."—Submitted by Bobby O., Nonprofit Central Specialist/Community Engagement Librarian


Big Sur

Jack Kerouac
Kerouac

The intensely focused and harrowing Big Sur (1962) finds fictional alter ego Jack Duluoz returning to California to escape fame and celebrity, a fateful decision that leads to a dangerous affair with Pomeray’s mistress, a nightmarish alcohol-fueled breakdown, and a desperate struggle for sobriety.—Penguin Putnam

"On the Road is the big, swashbuckling romantic novel of post-WWII America and Big Sur is the end of that road."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Birdie and Me

J. M. M. Nuanez
J Nuanez

Ever since their free-spirited mama died ten months ago, twelve-year-old Jack and her gender creative nine-year-old brother, Birdie, have been living with their fun-loving Uncle Carl, but now their conservative Uncle Patrick insists on being their guardian which forces all four of them to confront grief, prejudice, and loss, all while exploring what "home" really means.—Baker & Taylor

"Birdie and Jack are siblings who have to move in with their uncle after their mother's sudden death. The new scenery and people in their life throw them through a loop, but also pulls them out of their comfort zones.

"This was SUCH a good book! The overarching themes of discovering yourself and your place in the world as well as family and support aren't exactly new, but Nuanez handles them with a gentle and empathetic hand, making Jack and Birdie come to life. It also features an absolutely fantastic representation of a gender fluid child that you won't soon forget! Fans of Kate Dicamillo, Ann M. Martin and Dan Gemeinhart will find something of great value in this novel."—Submitted by Ginny H., Community Engagement Children's Unit


The Blue Sword

Robin McKinley
J Mckinle

Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnaped by a native king with mysterious powers.—Baker & Taylor

"I first read this as a young teen, and it started my love of fantasy books with strong female characters. I re-read it almost once a year."—Submitted by Bara S., Staff Development Strategist


Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

Pénélope Bagieu
GN 920 Bag

Through characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, a celebrated graphic novelist profiles the lives of formidable female role models—some world famous, some little known—including Nellie Bly, Mae Jemison, Josephine Baker, Naziq al-Abid and many others, in an entertaining, comic-style biography that is sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.—Baker & Taylor

"All of these different stories about amazing women from around the world are so inspiring and empowering. I also loved the format of this book: the story of their lives told through a short graphic novel format, followed by a full spread illustration. I would recommend it to everyone!"—Submitted by Lizzy S., Senior Information Assistant


The Brothers Karamazov

Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Dostoye

The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky's crowning achievement, is a tale of patricide & family rivalry that embodies the moral & spiritual dissolution of an entire society (Russia in the 1870s). It created a national furor comparable only to the excitement stirred by the publication, in 1866, of Crime & Punishment. To Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov captured the quintessence of Russian character in all its exaltation, compassion, & profligacy. Significantly, the book was on Tolstoy's bedside table when he died. Readers in every language have since accepted Dostoevsky's own evaluation of this work & have gone further by proclaiming it one of the few great novels of all ages & countries.—Random House, Inc.

Submitted by Karen S., Materials Handler


Carry On: The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow

Rainbow Rowell
Y Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who's ever been chosen. That's what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he's probably right. Half the time, Simon can't even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor's avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there's a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon's face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here. It's their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon's infuriating nemesis didn't even bother to show up.—Baker & Taylor

"An amazing fantasy story with a wonderful and diverse cast, a gripping romance, and a really cool system of magic. If you miss the world of Harry Potter, this fills that hole and so much more!"—Submitted by Em B., Materials Handler


Catch 22

Joseph Heller
Heller

No novel before or since has matched Catch-22's intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war. Heller satirizes military bureaucracy with bitter, stinging humor, all the while telling the darkly comic story of Yossarian, a bombardier who refuses to die.—Simon & Schuster

"When I first read this book I enjoyed its implausible insanity. As I've grown older I've come to realize that what's insane is that Heller is describing society's Standard Operating Procedure."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


The Charterhouse of Parma

Stendhal
St

The Charterhouse of Parma chronicles the exploits of Fabrizio del Dongo, an ardent young aristocrat who joins Napoleon's army just before the Battle of Waterloo. Yet perhaps the novel's most unforgettable characters are the hero's beautiful aunt, the alluring Duchess of Sanseverina, and her lover, Count Mosca, who plot to further Fabrizio's political career at the treacherous court of Parma in a sweeping story that illuminates an entire epoch of European history.Random House, Inc.

"A fun read by a guy who knew from experience."Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Chloe's Vegan Desserts

Chloe Coscarelli
641.56365 Cos

The chef who became the first vegan winner of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars presents an all-dessert vegan cookbook that includes crème brulee, tiramisu, beignets and cookies that don't rely on the usual tofu, applesauce and egg replacers as ingredients.—Baker & Taylor

"This is my go-to dessert book anytime I need to make a vegan or gluten-free dessert. Chloe's desserts are delicious and don't use a lot of hard-to-find ingredients. I always get compliments, from vegans and non-vegans alike."—Submitted by Paula GO, Web Administrator


Cinder

Marissa Meyer
Y Meyer
Series: Lunar chronicles

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.—Baker & Taylor

"The whole series has amazing world building, 3-dimensional characters, and amazing character development."—Submitted by Natasha S., Materials Handler


The Clan of the Cave Bear

Jean Auel
Auel
Series: The Earth's Children Series

A natural disaster leaves a young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly—she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza’s way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become the Clan’s next leader sees Ayla’s differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.—Random House, Inc.

"This is an epic series taking place in the Ice Age and addresses the first interactions of the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. It is full of rich, detailed descriptions of the historical landscape and cultures. The main character Ayla is a strong, adventurous heroine who I find extremely likable and inspirational. Every time I read this series I want to be transported back in time to experience the story in person!"—Submitted by Maggie H., Information Assistant


Clear and Present Danger

Tom Clancy
Clancy

The assassinations of U.S. ambassador and the visiting head of the F.B.I. by Colombian drug lords trigger a mysterious covert response and an investigation of U.S. and Colombian actions by Jack Ryan.—Baker & Taylor

"I love Clancy's series of books with main character Jack Ryan. This character is always in trouble but finds a way to escape and fix the wrongs."—Submitted by Elsie G., Financial Assistant


A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess
Burgess

A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where the criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. When the state undertakes to reform Alex to "redeem" him, the novel asks, "At what cost?" This edition includes the controversial last chapter not published in the first edition and Burgess's introduction "A Clockwork Orange Resucked."—W.W. Norton

"I read this novel while riding the subways of New York City to work. A friend of mine there and I learned Burgess's language, Nadsat, so we could share quips without being understood—a malenky bit of the old chepooka, as it were."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


The College of Beer : The Story of Nick's English Hut

Bill Weaver

When it comes to non-formal education, everybody has heard of "The School of Hard Knocks." But, there is also a lot to be learned from a different kind of hallowed institution: The College of Beer. This book chronicles the evolution of Nick's English Hut (Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University) from a sandwich joint during Prohibition to its lofty status as a mecca of merriment, and haven for the thirsty, haggard and hungry. Dick Barnes is Nick's owner. While interviewing bar patrons, the author's investigation involved two classic American stories: an immigrant from a land torn by war and poverty comes to America to operate a small restaurant and to provide for his family; and, the second, a young man, through a combination of hard work, ambition and circumstances, takes a small-town college bar and turns it into a nationally known institution. Nick's is a bar that's much more than a watering hole. Pull up a stool, order a beer, and read on, friend, you'll enjoy the story, and the company.—Amazon

"This is a fascinating book for anyone not only interested in the history of this restaurant but of our city itself!"—Submitted by Jared C., Senior Information Assistant


The Color Monster

Anna Llenas
Ej Lle

One day, Color Monster wakes up feeling very confused. His emotions are all over the place; he feels angry, happy, calm, sad and scared all at once! To help him, a little girl shows him what each feeling means through color. As this adorable monster learns to sort and define his mixed up emotions, he gains self-awareness and peace as a result. Caregivers will enjoy sharing this concept book that taps into both socio-emotional growth and color concepts in a simple, friendly way.—Grand Central Publishing

"This book associates monsters' colors with emotions. It is a fantastic way for preschoolers (and adults) to explore their feelings in a fun, easily understood way. Black: 'This is fear. It hides and runs away like a mouse in the night. When you're afraid, you feel tiny. You think you don't have the courage to face the shadows. But I can help you find your way.'"—Submitted by Mandy H., Communications & Marketing Manager


Communing With The Divine: A Clairvoyant's Guide To Angels, Archangels and the Spiritual Hierarchy

Barbara Y. Martin, Dimitri Moraitis
202.15 Mar

In their newest book, award-winning authors Barbara Y. Martin and Dimitri Moraitis explore the sacred art of communing with celestial beings. Reading of Martin’s extensive direct clairvoyant experiences, this book will teach you to work closely with angels, archangels, and other divine beings who guide you in day-to-day living and help you achieve your destiny. You will learn how to strengthen your intuitive powers and hear what the divine is telling you, and thrill to accounts of Martin’s compelling personal encounters with celestial beings and her eye-opening encounters with dark spirits.—Random House, Inc.

"This nonfiction book has expanded my consciousness and improved my life. I have been attending classes with these authors for since 2012 and their credibility is impeccable and their knowledge is true and deep."—Submitted by Ruth G., Cataloger


The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy

James Purdy
Purdy

The publication of The Complete Short Stories of James Purdy is a literary event that marks the first time all of James Purdy's short stories—fifty-six in number, including seven drawn from his unpublished archives—have been collected in a single volume. As prolific as he was unclassifiable, James Purdy was considered one of the greatest--and most underappreciated--writers in America in the latter half of the twentieth century.—W.W. Norton

"A collection of sparse, gritty stories that celebrate the outsider in mid-century America, by an overlooked and underrated author whose admirers run from Edward Albee to Gore Vidal to Susan Sontag."—Submitted by Ryan S., Selector


Copper Beach

Jayne Ann Krentz
Krentz
Series: Dark legacy

Within the pages of very rare books some centuries old lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell's unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes-and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber—"hot rocks." Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities, and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.—Penguin Putnam

"Jayne Ann Krentz also writes under the names Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. Her novels are fun to read and entertaining. I have read 35 of her novels and enjoyed all of them. The novels range from historical romance to suspense and some have a psychic and paranormal twist."—Submitted by Brenda S., Admin. Office Assist.


Cry, Heart, But Never Break

Glenn Ringtved
Ej Rin

A poetic picture book about being able to say goodbye to those we love, while holding them in memory.—Perseus Publishing

"Another children’s book I recommend for talking about death of a loved one."—Submitted by Kathy S., Senior Information Assistant


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon
Haddon

After stumbling up his neighbor's dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork and being blamed for the killing, fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone, an autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, decides to track down the real killer and turns to his detective hero to help him with the investigation, which brings him face to face with a family crisis.—Baker & Taylor

"I read this book for the first time during the summer right before high school started. It was required reading for an English class and I've read the book 5 more times since then. Haddon's descriptive sentences and the perspective he writes in makes this a binge-worthy book. It's a mystery and suitable for a wide variety of ages. I don't want to spoil any of it. You need to read it!"—Submitted by Elias M-S., Materials Handler


Daisy Jones & The Six

Taylor Jenkins Reid
Reid

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she's pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend. The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.—Baker & Taylor

"This book was a very fast and fun read. It is about a fictional rock band in the 1970’s—their rise through the ranks of the LA music scene—eventually becoming one of the most legendary bands in the world."—Submitted by Leanne Z., Administrative Coordinator


Dark of the Moon

John Sandford
Sandfor
Series: Virgil Flowers, Lucas Davenport

Virgil Flowers, a protege of Lucas Davenport, is sent to Bluestem, a small town where everyone knows everyone else, to investigate the murders of a man burned to death in his home and a doctor and his wife—with the doctor found with both eyes shot out--unaware that he is tracking a murderer who may be targeting Virgil as his next victim.—Baker & Taylor

"The Virgil Flowers, Lucas Davenport series of detective stories is set in Minnesota and I enjoy reading novels that have settings I have visited and know the landscape and recognize location references."—Submitted by Susan F., Acquisitions Technician


Dawn

Octavia Butler
SF Butler
Series: Xenogenesis

One woman is called upon to rebuild the future of humankind after a nuclear war, in this revelatory post-apocalyptic tale from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower. When Lilith lyapo wakes from a centuries-long sleep, she finds herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. She discovers that the Oankali—a seemingly benevolent alien race—intervened in the fate of the humanity hundreds of years ago, saving everyone who survived a nuclear war from a dying, ruined Earth and then putting them into a deep sleep. After learning all they could about Earth and its beings, the Oankali want Lilith to lead her people back to Earth—but salvation comes at a price. Hopeful and thought-provoking, this post-apocalyptic narrative deftly explores gender and race through the eyes of characters struggling to adapt during a pivotal time of crisis and change.—Grand Central Publishing

"Octavia Butler is one of those authors I always meant to read 'some day,' so finally, when I did, it was more a chore than an enjoyment. I was about to set the book down and move on when an insight formed, a metaphor so profound that it changed the way I look at the world. I hope I was close to that insight anyway, but seriously, how many writers can do that? Now, when I get aggravated while finishing her trilogy, I just keep reading because I know it will pay off."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Dealing with Dragons

Patricia C. Wrede
J Wr
Series: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom.—Baker & Taylor

"This is the book that made me fall in love with dragons and fantasy. Its great characters and witty charm delight me every time, no matter how many times I've read the series (3 times so far)."—Submitted by Lily J., Information Assistant


The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank
921 Frank Fra

Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Restored in this Definitive Edition are diary entries that were omitted from the original edition. These passages, which constitute 30 percent more material, reinforce the fact that Anne was first and foremost a teenage girl, not a remote and flawless symbol. She fretted about and tried to cope with her own sexuality. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever.—Blackwell North America

"I read this book as a young tween and it left a mark on me. I admired Anne's tenacity, and was astounded at what she endured—someone not much older than I was."—Submitted by Marilyn W., Director


Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Dr. Seuss
Ej Se

A little boy who feels sad and blue learns that he is lucky after listening to an old man talk of other people's misfortunes—Baker & Taylor

"I received this book for Christmas when I was about 5 and the message is simple—be thankful for your life as there are always others that are less fortunate. It was an important message throughout my life and seems especially relevant today."—Submitted by Paula GO., Web Administrator


Dietland

Sarai Walker
Walker

A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called "Jennifer"--equal parts Bridget Jones's Diary and Fight Club.—Baker & Taylor

"I loved this powerful critique of diet culture, misogyny, and the patriarchy, all wrapped up in a fast-paced read that keeps you guessing to the end."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


Do Fish Sleep?

Jens Raschke, Jens Rassmus
J Raschke

Struggling with overwhelming emotions when her brother dies after a long illness, 10-year-old Jette shares darkly humorous observations about the universal absurdities of death, in an adaptation of the award-winning play from Germany with illustrations.—Baker & Taylor

"This is an honest, yet comforting look at grief, memory, and questions of eternity."—Submitted by Kathy S., Senior Information Assistant


Dragon Bound

Thea Harrison
ebook
Series: Elder Races

Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful—and passionate—of the Elder races.—Penguin Putnam

"My current guilty pleasure 'crush' is the Elder Races series and the first book is the best. Snappy dialogue, fast paced fantasy set in modern day New York and Charleston, likeable ensemble of characters. Shifters, spells, and elves using telepathy and cell phones interchangeably. Favorite quote, 'You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the ole Lone Ranger, and you don't steal from Cuelebre' (dragon)."—Submitted by Bara S., Staff Development Strategist


Dune

Frank Herbert
SF Herbert

The new hardcover release of a sci-fi classic follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.—Baker & Taylor

"I wanted to read this for years because it’s one of the classics of sci-fi."—Submitted by Bill K., Access & Content Services


Dune Messiah

Frank Herbert
SF Herbert

The scheming sisterhood of the Bene Gesserit plots to seize control of the galaxy-wide empire of their supernatural leader, while on Arrakis, Paul Atrreides, the Maud'Dib and the heir to an unimaginable power, confronts new challenges, in a new edition of the second volume in the classic Dune Chronicles.—Baker & Taylor

"I enjoyed Dune so much that I started the second book in the series right away."—Submitted by Bill K., Materials Handler


Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

Janisse Ray
921 Ray Ray

From the memories of a childhood marked by extreme poverty, mental illness, and restrictive fundamentalist Christian rules, Janisse Ray crafted a memoir that has inspired thousands to embrace their beginnings, no matter how humble, and fight for the places they love. This edition, published on the fifteenth anniversary of the original publication, updates and contextualizes the story for a new generation and a wider audience desperately searching for stories of empowerment and hope.—Perseus Publishing

"This memoir is one of my all-time favorites and is a book I've recommended many times over. I really love the way Ray writes. She shares the sense of place in rural Georgia like poetry. The dichotomy of her story of growing up in a junkyard in a poor and fundamentalist Christian family and her love and wonder for plants and animals, is so beautifully woven together. Lamenting the loss of native landscape, her experience leads her in a call to save the long-leaf pine. Highly recommended!"—Submitted by Loraine M., Administrative Coordinator


The Essential Tales of Chekhov

Anton Chekhov
Chekhov

Of the two hundred stories that Anton Chekhov wrote, the twenty stories that appear in this extraordinary collection were personally chosen by Richard Ford—an accomplished storyteller in his own right. Included are the familiar masterpieces—"The Kiss," "The Darling," and "The Lady with the Dog"—as well as several brilliant lesser-known tales such as "A Blunder," "Hush!," and "Champagne." These stories, ordered from 1886 to 1899, are drawn from Chekhov's most fruitful years as a short-story writer. A truly balanced selection, they exhibit the qualities that make Chekhov one of the greatest fiction writers of all time: his gift for detail, dialogue, and humor; his emotional perception and compassion; and his understanding that life's most important moments are often the most overlooked.—HarperCollins

"Through the characters, Chekhov often creates a life moral in the short stories. The moral is strong, but not spoon fed—making it rewarding to read."—Submitted by Dean M., Materials Handler


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Matthew Desmond
339.4609 Des

A Harvard sociologist examines the challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.—Baker & Taylor

"A meticulously researched look at housing insecurity and the cycles that perpetuate it. The stories of individual families make his critiques of the system hit home in a way that is hard to do with numbers alone. Desmond does his research in Milwaukee, but the conclusions can be applied to the country as a whole."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


The Far Field

Madhuri Vijay
Vijay

The Far Field is remarkable, a novel at once politically timely and morally timeless. Madhuri Vijay traces the fault lines of history, love, and obligation running through a fractured family and country. Few novels generate enough power to transform their characters, fewer still their readers.—Anthony Marra

"The protagonist grew up in Bangalore, but travels to Kashmir to find an old family friend. In a striking setting, Madhuri crafts a beautiful story that highlights how when privileged people travel they often end up causing harm, even when their intent is to do good."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


Feeling Sorry for Celia

Jaclyn Moriarty
Y Moriart
Series: Ashbury/Brookfield books

Feeling Sorry for Celia captures, with rare acuity, female friendship and the bonding and parting that occurs as we grow. Jaclyn Moriarty's hilariously candid novel shows that the roller coaster ride of being a teenager is every bit as fun as we remember—and every bit as harrowing. McMillan Palgrave

"This book has everything I want out of a YA title. A relatable protagonist, rocky friendships, and a secret admirer, all written in epistolary format!"—Submitted by Aubrey D., Visual Marketing Specialist


Figuring

Maria Popova
305.435 Pop

Figuring explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement.

Stretching between these figures is a cast of artists, writers, and scientists—mostly women, mostly queer—whose public contribution have risen out of their unclassifiable and often heartbreaking private relationships to change the way we understand, experience, and appreciate the universe.—Random House, Inc

"Connecting the narrative dots between several fascinating historical figures, and composed in much the same way as her excellent website, from Johannes Kepler to Rachel Carson."—Submitted by Ned B., Information Technology


Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said

Philip K. Dick
Ebook

Grappling with many of the themes Philip K. Dick is best known for—identity, altered reality, drug use, and dystopias—Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said is both a rollicking chase story and a meditation on reality. Jason Taverner—talk show host and man-about-town—wakes one day to find that no one knows who he is. In a society where lack of identification is a crime, Taverner must evade the secret police while trying to unravel the mystery of why no one remembers him.—Baker & Taylor

"It's impossible to choose any one Philip K. Dick book, rather. it would be easier to pick 20 of his books for this list. If you want a true flight of imagination, this is the best guy to start with.—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Fog Island

Tomi Ungerer
Ej Ung

In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever returned from the island's murky shores, but when the children begin to explore, they discover things are not quite as they expected.—Grand Central Publishing

"The story of Fog Island is so rich and mysterious. While it offers a complete story, it leaves a lot to the imagination which makes it fun to talk about with others. The illustrations are also very interesting."—Submitted by Kim B., Children and Teen Librarian


Foucault's Pendulum

Umberto Eco
Eco

Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.—Harcourt Publishing

"As I visited my high-school library countless times, to just look up so many of the references within, this book ironically exemplified the obsessively endless, circular logic that we all use to construct our personal and collective realities from pure imagination."—Submitted by Brandon R., Senior Information Assistant


Foundryside

Robert Jackson Bennett
SF Bennett
Series: Founders trilogy

A thief in a city controlled by industrialized magic joins forces with a rare honest police officer to stop an ancient evil ritual that endangers thousands of lives.—Baker & Taylor

A phenomenal story with a truly unique, in-depth, and engaging magic system that is unlike anything I have read before. I couldn't put this book down and cannot wait for the final installment.—Submitted by Sam O., Teen Librarian


The Friend

Sigrid Nunez
Nunez

When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them. Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.—Penguin Putnam

"A poignant novel about a woman who adopts her longtime friend's Great Dane following his sudden death. Nunez deftly explores friendship, love, and loss in this National Book Award winning book."—Submitted by Jen H., Community Engagement Librarian


The Ghost Clause

Howard Norman
Norman

Haunting his former home, now occupied by a rookie detective and his wife, ghost Simon Inescort witnesses the impact of a child's disappearance on the couple's relationship.—Baker & Taylor

"This is a well written, thought provoking and a little bit sad, novel. I found it moving."—Submitted by Chantal C., Information Assistant


The Girl From Rawblood

Catriona Ward
Ward

Iris Villarca, the last in her family line, inherits a curse of heartbreak and death, but dares to defy this curse, with terrifying consequences.—Baker & Taylor

"This is a good spooky read for people who like gothic fiction and ghosts. Several plot lines are intertwined to tell a tale of a family curse and their haunted home."—Submitted by Katelynn D., Senior Information Assistant


The Go-Between

L.P. Hartley
Hartley

Summering with a fellow schoolboy on a great English estate, Leo, the hero of L. P. Hartley's finest novel, encounters a world of unimagined luxury. But when his friend's beautiful older sister enlists him as the unwitting messenger in her illicit love affair, the aftershocks will be felt for years.—Blackwell North America

"Exceptionally well-written coming-of-age story woven with moving ruminations on time, fate, and how we remember our pasts."—Submitted by Paul D., SIA


The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt
Tartt

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community.—Washington Post

"The Goldfinch is a modern-day Dickensian epic tale. Donna Tartt's novels are richly woven stories that span years, landscapes, and follow fully developed characters you will fall in love with. I recommend all of her novels, and The Goldfinch is a world you won't want to leave."—Submitted by Jane C., Associate Director


Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Douglas R. Hofstadter
510.1 Hof

Explores the mystery and complexity of human thought processes from an interdisciplinary point of view.—Baker & Taylor

"This is a book that I read for the first time when I was in college and it is one that continues to shape the way I think about a variety of subjects, from art to artificial intelligence, music to philosophy, and most of all humor."—Submitted by Craig C., Senior Materials Handler


Growth of the Soil

Knut Hamsun
Hamsun

When it was first published in 1917, Growth of the Soil was immediately recognized as a masterpiece. Ninety years later it remains a transporting literary experience. In the story of Isak, who leaves his village to clear a homestead and raise a family amid the untilled tracts of the Norwegian back country, Knut Hamsun evokes the elemental bond between humans and the land. Hamsun's novel is a work of preternatural calm, stern beauty, and biblical power—and the crowning achievement of one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.—Blackwell North America

"Who would have thought a book about grinding toil and self-reliance could be so entertaining?"—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction

Gary Rogowski
921 Rogowski Rog

Legendary furniture craftsman and teacher Gary Rogowski offers a profound meditation on finding focus, mental clarity, purpose and clarity in the modern age of distraction.—Ingram Publishing Services

"I'm not a woodworker or a rock climber, and don't plan to become either. But this slim memoir about Rogowski's passions for wood and climbing is so powerful in its quiet sincerity and subtle humor, it made me momentarily love them too."—Submitted by Ryan S., Selector


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

J. K. Rowling
Y Rowling

Burdened with the dark, dangerous, and seemingly impossible task of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes, Harry, feeling alone and uncertain about his future, struggles to find the inner strength he needs to follow the path set out before him.—Baker & Taylor

"No matter how many times I read this book, it still manages to take my breath away. It takes me to another world where I learn something new every time I reread this book."—Submitted by Michelle H., Materials Handler


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

J. K. Rowling
J Rowling
Series: Harry Potter

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry will find unforgettable.—Scholastic

"J. K. Rowling does a fabulous job creating such an engaging and fun world. I grew up with Harry, so they are still among my favorite books today. I have read the series countless times!"—Submitted by Maggie H., Information Assistant


Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks

Mick Foley

Have a Nice Day!: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks is an autobiography of former wrestler Mick Foley. It details his life all the way from his upbringing in New York to winning the WWF Championship from The Rock in December 1998. Foley had originally wanted the book to be called simply Blood and Sweatsocks, but this was eschewed in favor of his long-time catchphrase.—Wikipedia

"Foley is good. Bang Bang!"—Submitted by Bill K., Materials Handler


Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years

Sarah Louise Delany
920 De

"When you get real old, honey," says Bessie Delany, "you lay it all on the table. There's an old saying: Only little children and old folks tell the truth." In Having Our Say Bessie, age 101, and her sister Sadie, age 103, do just that-and then some. Filled with humorous and poignant anecdotes, this inspiring dual memoir offers a rare glimpse of the birth of black freedom- and the rise of the black middle class-in America. It is a chronicle of remarkable achievement.—Oxford University Press

"A marvelous journey with two individuals embracing life and letting nothing stand in their way."—Submitted by Kyle W-H., Human Resources Manager


Hawkeye omnibus

Matt Fraction & David Aja
GN Hawkeye Omnibus
Series: Hawkeye

It's Marvel's most critically acclaimed comic in recent memory! Clint Barton continues his fight for justice. and good rooftop BBQs! With Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he's out to get some downtime from being one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. but when the apartment building he's moved into and the neighbors he's befriended, are threatened by a tracksuit-wearing, dog-abusing gang of Eastern European mobsters who say 'bro' an awful lot, Clint must stand up and defend his new adopted family. any way he can.—Grand Central Publishing

"This is a beautiful book. If you love color theory, appreciate fun illustrations, and want honest characters with a sense of humor this is a great comic book series. This is the first Marvel comic with Hawkeye as the title character and now Hawkeye is my favorite! Also, if you don't keep up with comics that's fine. This story works pretty well as a stand alone series."—Submitted by Sarah S., Graphic Designer


His Majesty's Dragon

Naomi Novik
SF Novik

When the HMS Reliant captures a French ship and its priceless cargo, an unhatched dragon egg, Captain Will Laurence is swept into an unexpected kinship with an extraordinary creature and joins the elite Aerial Corps as a master of the dragon Temaraire, in which role he must match wits with the powerful dragon-borne forces of Napoleon Bonaparte.—Baker & Taylor

"Ever since I've been a kid, I've loved dragons. I will read any book with a dragon in it, which is why I originally picked this series up. The book is a retelling of the Napoleonic wars, but in a world where countries use dragons as an Air Force. This series has everything that makes great historical fantasy, from fast-paced action to fully fleshed out characters and well plotted storylines. This book, and the rest of the series are just a delight to read, and you can't help but fall in love with the characters. I also recommend Naomi Novik's fairy tale retelling, as an author she never disappoints."—Submitted by Erica B. Community Engagement Librarian


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
SF Adams

Arthur Dent, mild-mannered, out-to-lunch earth-ling, is plucked from his planet by his friend Ford Prefect just seconds before it was demolished to make way for a hyper-space bypass. Ford, posing as an out-of-work actor, is a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Together the gruesome twosome begin their now-famous inter-galactic journey through time, space and best-sellerdom.—Random House, Inc.

"It's the reason why whenever I'm traveling, I always make sure I know where my towel is."—Submitted by Craig C., Senior Materials Handler

"This was such an off the wall book when I read this around age 10. The wordsmithing, humor, and overall bizarreness of it all was something completely new to me at the time."—Also submitted by Brian L., Building Services and Security Manager


Hopscotch

Julio Cortázar

Horacio Oliveira is an Argentinian writer who lives in Paris with his mistress, La Maga, surrounded by a loose-knit circle of bohemian friends who call themselves "the Club." A child's death and La Maga's disappearance put an end to his life of empty pleasures and intellectual acrobatics, and prompt Oliveira to return to Buenos Aires, where he works by turns as a salesman, a keeper of a circus cat which can truly count, and an attendant in an insane asylum. Hopscotch is the dazzling, free-wheeling account of Oliveira's astonishing adventures.—City Lights Booksellers

"What the hopscotch of the title refers to is that you can read the novel in the conventional manner—Chapter One followed by Chapter Two followed by Chapter Three—or you can follow the numbers at the end of each chapter to hopscotch around the book and experience the story in an entirely different sequence—the way thought moves through the mind."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


The House at Pooh Corner

A. A. Milne
J Mi

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood in A.A. Milne’s second collection of Pooh stories, The House at Pooh Corner. Here you will rediscover all the characters you met in Winnie-the-Pooh: Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Kanga, tiny Roo, and, of course, Pooh himself. Joining them is the thoroughly bouncy and lovable Tigger, who leads the rest into unforgettable adventures.—Penguin Putnam

"Beautiful second story of the characters in the 100 acre wood. A deep sense of friendship and the importance of caring for one another fills each chapter. A.A. Milne's depiction of how a child grows and moves on to new adventures, while retaining the love for their first imaginary world, is a satisfying read for both children and adults."—Submitted by Dana D., Community and Customer Engagement


The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

N. K. Jemisin
SF Jemisin

After Yeine Darr is summoned to the majestic city of Sky and named an heiress to the king of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, she is thrust into a vicious power struggle with cousins she never knew she had, drawing ever closer to the secrets of her mother's death and her family's bloody history.—Baker & Taylor

"All of Jemisin's novels read like poetry. This one is my favorite because the mythology and magic is wonderfully unique, I've found myself growing to love the characters, and the world-building is awe-inspiring. Jemisin has a gift for exploring difficult cultural issues through the lens of fantasy in a way that doesn't feel heavy-handed, but still manages to challenge me as a reader."—Submitted by Shannon B., Senior Information Assistant


I Know This Much is True

Wally Lamb
Lamb

Dominick Birdsey, a forty-year-old housepainter living in Three Rivers, Connecticut, finds his life greatly disturbed when his identical twin brother Thomas, a paranoid schizophrenic, commits a shocking act of self-mutilation.—Baker & Taylor

"A very complex, engaging book that you might struggle to get through but it is well worth the effort."—Submitted by Bobby O., Nonprofit Central Specialist/Community Engagement Librarian


Illuminatus! Trilogy

Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson.
SF Shea

First published in 1975, the trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex-, and magic-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, related to the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third- and first-person perspectives in a nonlinear narrative. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture, numerology, and Discordianism.—Wikipedia 5/14/20

"Back when conspiracy theories were fun, this adventure tried to encompass them all; Secret societies, Satanism, sex and drugs, talking dolphins, alternate currency, psychedelic theories of the universe. Wilson went on to write Cosmic Trigger, his non-fiction culmination of his world view."—Submitted by Ned B., Information Technology


I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Austin Channing
305.896 Bro

The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America's racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God's ongoing work in the world.—Baker & Taylor

"Her stories and perspective made me question racism, diversity, and inclusion in general, but especially in religious settings. What does it mean to go to a church that speaks of racial justice but has no people of color? Her words are a call to action and an invitation to do the hard, uncomfortable work of dismantling racism."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


In the Dust of This Planet

Eugene Thacker
110 Tha

The world is increasingly unthinkable, a world of planetary disasters, emerging pandemics, and the looming threat of extinction. In this book Eugene Thacker suggests that we look to the genre of horror as offering a way of thinking about the unthinkable world. To confront this idea is to confront the limit of our ability to understand the world in which we live—a central motif of the horror genre. Thacker takes horror to mean something beyond the focus on gore and scare tactics.—North by Northwestern

"Thought-provoking and fun. A must-read for fans of horror and philosophy."—Submitted by Paul D., SIA


The Index Card

Helaine Olen
332.024 Ole

The author of Pound Foolish shares 10 straightforward rules about investing and how to apply them to enable 10 to 20 percent of income savings, citing the vulnerabilities of trend-based habits while explaining how to take charge of one's finances to make more informed decisions.—Baker & Taylor

"Great financial advice that fits on a 3x5 index card, expanded upon in this short book of common sense, applicable to all."—Submitted by Ned B., Information Technology


The Jordan Rules

Sam Smith
796.32392 Jordan Smi

A provocative study of the image of Michael Jordan reveals his stormy relationships with his coaches and teammates, his obsession with becoming the leading scorer, and his petty feuds with other NBA stars.—Baker & Taylor

"A behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ first championship season In 1991. A great bookend to the TV series The Last Dance."—Submitted by Bill K., Materials Handler


The King's Stilts

Dr. Seuss
Ej Se

When the King's stilts are stolen and hidden, and he can no longer enjoy his play hour, the whole kingdom is threatened with destruction until a page boy bravely saves the day.—Baker & Taylor

"Loved this book as a kid and found it empowering to see a child become a hero. And who wouldn't want to have Patrol Cats on their side?"—Submitted by Ellen A., Community Engagement Librarian


Know My Name: A Memoir

Chanel Miller
921 Miller Mil

Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting "Emily Doe" on Stanford's campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral, was translated globally, and read on the floor of Congress. It inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Now Miller reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. She tells of her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial, reveals the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios, and illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators.—Baker & Taylor

"Miller describes her assault, the aftermath, and the trial of the Brock Turner. She has a powerful voice and I will not forget the vulnerability, insight, and strength she shared with us through her book."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale

Mo Willems
Ej Wil
Series: Knuffle Bunny

After a day with Daddy at the laundromat, Trixie quickly notices that her cherished Knuffle Bunny is missing and turns to her father to help her get him back.—Baker & Taylor

"This book is a favorite for the way it integrates photographs and illustrations to so wonderfully portray the everyday life of a family with a young child. It also realistically and humorously depicts the panic a parent also experiences when a beloved stuffed animal friend goes missing!"—Submitted by Lisa C., Strategist


The Library

Sarah Stewart
027 Man

Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesn't like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do? Start her own public library, of course! With charming verse and watercolors Sarah Stewart and David Small celebrate one of America's oldest and finest institutions.—Holtzbrinck Publishing

"I remember checking out this book in Kindergarten and wanting so badly to be the main character. The main character is a red-hair with glasses who loves cats and books. She collects so many books that she opens a community library in her home for others to borrow."—Submitted by Amy C., Community and Engagement Librarian


The Licanius Trilogy

James Islington
SF Islingt
Series: Licanius novels

Twenty years after the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed, the Gifted, who were spared only because they accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, are despised and Davian, a Gifted who discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, sets in motion a chain of events that change everything.—Baker & Taylor

"I was a fan of The Lord of The Rings series and the Game of Throne series. The Licanius Trilogy ranks with them for me."—Submitted by Gary L., Financial Officer


Life

Keith Richards
780.92 Richards Ric

The lead guitarist for The Rolling Stones offers a no-holds-barred account of his life, from a youth obsessed with Chuck Berry to his formation of the Stones and their subsequent stardom, in a book where the author frankly discusses his problems with drugs, his relationships, his estrangement from Mick Jagger, bandmate Brian Jones' death and more.—Baker & Taylor

"The Rolling Stones are one of my favorite bands, and Keith Richards is my favorite rock star ever! He and the band have captured the imagination of the world for decades. 'Keef's' behind the scenes stories of the band's career are delicious!"—Submitted by Kevin M., Teen and Digital Creativity Strategist


Little Bear

Else Holmelund Minarik
J-ER Min
Series: I Can Read Book

Meet Little Bear, a friend to millions of children. And meet Mother Bear, who is there whenever Little Bear needs her. When it is cold and snowy outside, she finds just the right outfit for Little Bear to play in. When he goes to the moon, she has a hot lunch waiting for him on his return. And, of course, she never forgets his birthday. This classic from Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak was written in 1957 and remains beloved today.—HarperCollins

"A timeless favorite children's book. The illustrations by Sendak bring the simple stories to life."—Submitted by Marla G., Human Resources


The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
J Saintex

An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life.—Baker & Taylor

"I think everyone, regardless of age, should read The Little Prince. Its message on aging and retaining the joy of childhood stuck with me so much that I chose its dedication as my senior quote when I graduated high school, and years later, I still think about it frequently. There's a reason it's remained a children's classic almost 100 years later!"—Submitted by Em B., Materials Handler


A Little Princess

Frances Hodgson Burnett
J Burnett

When kindhearted Sara Crewe arrives at Miss Minchin's boarding school, she seems just like a teal little princess. Then a sudden misfortune turns her life upside down, and Sara is banished to the school's dreary attic and must work for her living. It takes all of Sara's imagination and a little bit of magic to turn her misfortune around and prove she is, at heart, a little princess.—HarperCollins

"I read this book over and over when I was in elementary school. The story's main character was a girl that kept going no matter how her life changed. It taught me the importance of perseverance and treating everyone kindly."—Submitted by Paula G-O, Web Administrator


The Lord of the Rings

J. R. R. Tolkien
J Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

An epic depicting the Great War of the Ring, a struggle between good and evil in Middle-earth.—Baker & Taylor

"This book creates a diversity of its own. It celebrates life and the 'human' spirit to do good and push oneself to achieve what seems insurmountable, not for fame or personal gain, but in quiet ways for the good of all."—Submitted by Kari E., Board Member


The Lost Coast

Amy Rose Capetta
Y Capetta

Summoned by a spell halfway across the country to the Lost Coast, Danny finds herself among the Grays, a coven of openly queer witches who challenge her perspectives and ask for her help finding a missing group member, before the discovery of a dead boy reveals a malevolent enemy.—Baker & Taylor

"This book is full of lush descriptions of the Pacific Northwest with chapters from strange and wonderful perspectives, like a flock of crows or the redwood trees themselves."—Submitted by Macklin, Librarian


Lost Horizon

James Hilton
Hilton

This classic 1933 novel focuses on one woman and three men who, in a paradisaical community deep in the mountains of Tibet, experience physical, cultural, and spiritual transformation.—Baker & Taylor

"It is the first book to mention Shangri-la."—Submitted by Annise B., Librarian


The Lost Words: A Spell Book

Robert Macfarlane
821.92 Mac

A joyful celebration of nature words and the natural world they invoke. With acrostic spell-poems by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane and hand-painted illustration by Jackie Morris, this enchanting book captures the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.—House of Anansi Press

"I love this book. It is beautiful and, indeed, almost magical."—Submitted by Paula G-O., Web Administrator


The Luster of Lost Things

Sophie Chen Keller
LP Keller

A boy with an uncanny ability to find lost objects embarks on the most important search of his life in order to save his mother's enchanted dessert shop.—Baker & Taylor

—Submitted by Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL


Madame Blavatsky: The Mother of Modern Spirituality

Gary Lachman
921 Blavatsky Lac

Chronicles the life of the cofounder of the Theosophical Society, examining her legacy and the controversy surrounding her.—Baker & Taylor

"Madame Blavatsky (1831-1891) was a Russian occultist, philosopher, author, feminist, and gifted psychic. She was fluent in several languages, traveled worldwide, including Tibet and was/is extremely controversial. The author, Gary Lachman was a bassist for the band Blondie and has authored many metaphysical books. Blavatsky is one of the most fascinating persons I've ever read about. She was very brave and outspoken and I find her life journey very inspiring."—Submitted by Ruth G., Cataloger


Matter : a Culture novel

Iain Banks
Ebook
Series: The Culture Series

MATTER is a novel of dazzling wit and serious purpose. An extraordinary feat of storytelling and breathtaking invention on a grand scale, it is a tour de force from a writer who has turned science fiction on its head.—Grand Central Publishing

"This is one of the later books in the Culture Series but a perfect example of good science fiction."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


The Mistress of Spices

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Divakar

Tilo, an Indian clairvoyant, becomes queen of the pirates who kidnaped her for her powers, and she gains immortality and the skills of a mistress of spices, which she uses to help mortals before falling in love with Raven.—Baker & Taylor

—Submitted by Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL


The Monkey's Raincoat

Robert Crais
Crais
Series: Joe Pike

Ellen Lang's husband has disappeared and has taken with him something invaluable: their son. Ellen hires a detective to track them down, but instead of finding the pair, he stumbles upon Ellen's husband's bullet-ridden body. The child is nowhere in sight and the search for answers brings these characters through the manicured lawns of Hollywood and into the territory of the violent drug trade.—Grand Haven

"I have read all of his Joe Pike crime and suspense novels."—Submitted by Susan F., Acquisitions Technician


Mouse Guard: Fall 1152

David Petersen
Ebook, Electronic Resources, Book
Series: Mouse Guard

The adventures of Lieam, Saxon, and Kenzie, three mice who are part of the Mouse Guard—soldiers and guides for common mice looking to journey from one hidden mouse village to another—and their quest to uncover a traitorous plot against the Guard.—Baker & Taylor

"I fell in love with this series the first time I flipped through the pages. The beautiful artwork is meticulously detailed and the story of tiny mice roaming the pathways of the forest to keep their brethren safe is very adorable. A story for all that I find myself revisiting whenever I want a little adventure."—Submitted by Paula GO, Web Administrator


Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

Jennifer Chiaverini
Chiaver

In a life that spanned nearly a century and witnessed some of the most momentous events in American history, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion.—Penguin Putnam

"An insight to history from a different perspective."—Submitted by Lynda G., Materials Handler


The Murderer's Ape

Jakob Wegelius
Y Wegeliu

When her best friend, the sailor Henry Koskela, is falsely accused of murder, a gorilla named Sally Jones visits the run-down docks of Lisbon, embarks on a dizzying journey across the seven seas, and calls on the Maharaja of Bhapur's magnificent court—all in an attempt to clear Henry's name.—Baker & Taylor

"I've read this book three times in a row! It is so much fun—like an Indiana Jones sweeping adventure, with a Gorilla as lead character! Main setting is Portugal, not quite 100 years ago—listen to traditional Fado music while reading!"—Submitted by Kevin M., TDC Strategist


The Music Lesson

Victor Wooten
781.1 Woo

A teacher arrived. Part musical genius, part philosopher, part eccentric wise man, the teacher would guide the young musician on a spiritual journey, and teach him that the gifts we get from music mirror those from life, and every movement, phrase, and chord has its own meaning. All you have to do is find the song inside.—Hal Leonard

"Yes, this book inspired me to learn bass. I've been playing piano and guitar for years and now bass plays a significant role in my life. I was able to meet Victor Wooten at a jazz event in Louisville, KY, as well as see him perform at the Buskirk-Chumley. This book is about a character, Michael, who changes Wooten's life through questions, practicing, and important lessons. It can be read in a day and you will not be able to put it down once you start reading it. 10/10—would read again."—Submitted by Elias M-S., Materials Handler


My Brother's Husband, Vol. 1

Gengoroh Tagame
MANGA Mybroth v. 1 Tagame
Series: My brother's husband

Yaichi is a work-at-home suburban dad in contemporary Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival at their doorstep of a hulking, affable Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself the widower of Yaichi's estranged gay twin, Ryoji. Mike is on a quest to explore Ryoji's past, and the family reluctantly but dutifully takes him in. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it's been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.—Random House, Inc.

"A heartwarming story about love, acceptance, and family."—Submitted by Lizzy S., Senior Information Assistant


My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Book One

Emil Ferris
Ferris
Series: My favorite thing is monsters

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late 1960s Chicago, and narrated by 10-year-old Karen Reyes, Monsters is told through a fictional graphic diary employing the iconography of B-movie horror imagery and pulp monster magazines. As the precocious Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her beautiful and enigmatic upstairs neighbor, we watch the interconnected and fascinating stories of those around her unfold.—Fantagraphics Books

"So many authentic characters and stories intertwine from past and present. The artwork varies from simpler comic to intricate recreations of masterpieces and hits on multiple topics dealing with prejudice."—Submitted by Laura W., Senior Information Assistant


My Name is Asher Lev

Chaim Potok
Po

Asher Lev is a Ladover Hasid who keeps kosher, prays three times a day and believes in the Ribbono Shel Olom, the Master of the Universe. Asher Lev is an artist who is compulsively driven to render the world he sees and feels, even when it leads him to blasphemy. In this stirring and often visionary novel, Chaim Potok traces Asher’s passage between these two identities, the one consecrated to God, the other subject only to the imagination.—Random House, Inc.

"As a young man, I was particularly excited to read this book about a daring young artist breaking from tradition."—Submitted by Kevin M., TDC Strategist


Naked Lunch

William S. Burroughs
Burroug

Bill Lee, an addict and hustler, travels to Mexico and then Tangier in order to find easy access to drugs, and ends up in the Interzone, a bizarre fantasy world, in a commemorative edition that features restored text, archival material, Burroughs's own later introduction to the book, and his essay on psychoactive drugs.—Baker & Taylor

"Burroughs uses heroin addiction as a metaphor for the way government and corporation control individuals in modern society."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Near to the Wild Heart

Clarice Lispector
Lispect

Near to the Wild Heart, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1943, introduced Brazil to what one writer called “Hurricane Clarice”: a twenty-three-year-old girl who wrote her first book in a tiny rented room and then baptized it with a title taken from Joyce: “He was alone, unheeded, near to the wild heart of life.”The book was an unprecedented sensation—the discovery of a genius. Narrative epiphanies and interior monologue frame the life of Joana, from her middle-class childhood through her unhappy marriage and its dissolution to transcendence, when she proclaims: “I shall arise as strong and comely as a young colt.”—Norton Publishing.

"The first of this Brazilian author's novels, it introduces her highly introspective—and sometimes confounding—style to the world. Truly one of a kind."—Submitted by Ryan S., Selector


The Never Game

Jeffery Deaver
Deaver

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a "reward seeker," traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America's tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.—Random House, Inc.

"The plot involves a devious way to influence voters who like video games and a killer who is obsessed with video games. Takes place in Silicon Valley."—Submitted by Gary L., Finance


The New Moosewood Cookbook

Mollie Katzen.
641.5636 Kat

Since the original publication of the MOOSEWOOD COOKBOOK in 1977, author Mollie Katzen has been leading the revolution in American eating habits. With her sophisticated, easy-to-prepare vegetarian recipes, charming drawings, and hand lettering, Mollie introduced millions to a more healthful, natural way of cooking. This new edition—a companion volume to her latest TV series—preserves the major revisions and additions that Mollie made in 1992, accented with new recipes from Mollie’s current repertoire and 16 pages of beautiful full-color food photography. You’ve seen MOOSEWOOD before, but you’ve never seen it quite like this!—Random House, Inc.

"I found this book when learning to cook. Katzen's down to earth and whimsical approach taught me to treat recipes as flexible guideline instead of rigid requirements."—Submitted by Bara S., Staff Development Strategist


Nitro --The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapes of Ted Turner's WCW

Guy Evans

NITRO is a story about much more than WCW and the Monday Night Wars. It is a story of an era, a time in which the media and cultural landscape precipitated—and later supported—pro wrestling's mainstream popularity. It is a story of how a company made in the image of an intuitively brilliant risk-taker betrayed its original promise. It is a story of how a handful of men, each struggling with their own limitations, facilitated a public obsession that changed television forever.

"Heavily researched and highly detailed, nearly 600 pages of minutia regarding a late 90's Monday night cable tv wrestling program fly by much more quickly than you'd expect!"—Submitted by Jared C., Senior Information Assistant


Oleanna

David Mamet
812.54 Mam

In a terrifyingly short time, a male college instructor and his female student descend from a discussion of her grades into a modern reprise of the Inquisition. Innocuous remarks suddenly turn damning. Socratic dialogue gives way to heated assault. And the relationship between a somewhat fatuous teacher and his seemingly hapless pupil turns into a fiendishly accurate X-ray of the mechanisms of power, censorship, and abuse.—Random House, Inc.

"This should be required reading for all college students and professors in the humanities?"—Submitted by Brandon R., Senior Information Assistant


On A Sunbeam

Tillie Walden
GN Walden On A Sunbeam

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together. Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss. With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love..—McMillan Palgrave

"Beautiful art and colors portray a 'space story' of navigating love, loss, and identity."—Submitted by Laura W., Senior Information Assistant


Once & Future, Volume 1

Kieron Gillen
ebook

The King is Undead! Long live the King! When a group of Nationalists use an ancient artifact to bring a villain from Arthurian myth back from the dead to gain power, ex-monster hunter Bridgette McGuire escapes her retirement home and pulls her unsuspecting grandson Duncan, a museum curator, into a world of magic and mysticism to defeat a legendary threat.—Inscribe Digital

A fun and engaging retelling of King Arthur that twists the tale around, adding depth and fun to a familiar story. Recommended for any fan of graphic novels and Arthurian literature. —Submitted by Sam O., Teen Librarian


One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Dr. Seuss
J-ER Seu

From counting to opposites to Dr. Seuss's signature silly rhymes, this book has everything a beginning reader needs! Meet the bumpy Wump and the singing Ying, and even the winking Yink who drinks pink ink. The silly rhymes and colorful cast of characters will have every child giggling from morning to night.—Random House, Inc.

"It was the first book I read, all by myself."—Submitted by Jacqueline L., COCU Senior Information Assistant (VITAL)


Oreo

Fran Ross
Ross

Oreo, a biracial black girl from Philadelphia, searches for her Jewish father in New York City, navigating the labyrinth of sound studios, brothels, and subway tunnels of Manhattan in a journey of self-discovery.—Baker & Taylor

"A daring, bawdy, witty, irreverent, and hilarious treatment of race and sexuality in the 1970s. This novel exudes a lust for life through its author's unique voice and mastery of language."—Ryan S., Selector


Pantheologies: Gods, Worlds, Monsters

Mary-Jane Rubenstein
211.2 Rub

Why pantheism is viewed by theists and atheists alike as a monstrous amalgam of mind and matter. While theists typically interpret mind or spirit as supernatural, atheists tend to ignore mind altogether. Rubenstein's examination of pantheism renders a comprehensive and pluralistic view of the cosmos that will interest readers curious about the intersection of religion and philosophy.—James Wetherbee, Wingate Univ. Libs.

"Astoundingly well-researched and thought-provoking look at off-beat religious philosophy."—Submitted by Paul D., SIA


Parable of the Sower

Octavia Butler
SF Butler

In California in the year 2025, a small community is overrun by desperate scavengers, as an eighteen-year-old African American woman sets off on foot on a perilous journey northward.—Baker & Taylor

"The Earthseed verses are inspiring and different!"—Submitted by Thax T., Materials Handler


Patriot Games

Tom Clancy
Clancy

While vacationing in London, CIA analyst Jack Ryan saves the Prince and Princess of Wales from a terrorist attack and gains the gratitude of a nation and the enmity of its most dangerous men.—Baker & Taylor

"I love Tom Clancy's writing skill. He gives a very in depth background in his book's beginning. You are several hundred pages in before the plot becomes real."—Submitted by Elsie G., Financial Assistant


Persepolis

Marjane Satrapi
GN 741.5092 Satrapi Sat

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane’s child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.—Blackwell North America

"An incredible graphic memoir of a girl who grew up in Iran during the revolution. It may be a memoir but it is far from what you would expect."—Submitted by Megan W., Communications & Marketing


The Pirate Coast

Richard Zacks
973.47 Za

Describes the 1805 secret mission, reluctantly sanctioned by Thomas Jefferson and led by William Eaton, to stop the Barbary pirates of North Africa from hijacking American ships, revealing how a ragtag group of men, aided by a band of European mercenaries, Arab cavalry, and Bedouin warriors, brought down the government of Tripoli.—Baker & Taylor

"Zachs plays out Thomas Jefferson's administration through failed diplomat William Eaton as he navigates the seas to rescue sailors and Marines in 1803. Eaton has to resolve the hostage crisis, he has to manage supplies, communication in a covert operation, sickness, and betrayal. This historical thriller puts you right there. The rabbit holes Zachs takes you down and back with his detailed research is thrilling to lovers of oddball history."—Submitted by Christine F. Community Librarian


Prelude to Bruise

Saeed Jones
811.6 Jon

With rootless cosmopolitanism, formal rigor, and the fluidity of slam, Jones explores questions of sexuality, race, and shifting identity.—Perseus Publishing

—Submitted by Annise B., Librarian


Providence

Alan Moore
GN Providence v. 1
Series: Providence

Alan Moore's quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is being universally hailed as one of Moore's most realized works in which the master scribe has controlled every iota of the story, art, and presentation. The result has been a masterpiece like no other, unparalleled in tone and content, and a true must have addition to his essential works in the field.—Avatar Press

"One of the most interesting and thought-provoking authors in any era, his exploration of the Cthulhu mythos is exhaustive and exhausting."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain
155.232 Cai

Cain questions the modern American business culture that overlooks the positive characteristics of introverts such as persistence, reflection, and sensitivity to others' feelings. She explains the neurobiology and psychology of temperament in plain language. She offers advice for introverts on small talk, networking, and communicating with extroverts, and even shows how to pretend to be an extrovert when necessary. She also tells how to help an introverted child..—Book News

"I have never felt more seen than when I read this book. Cain gives voice to the strengths of introverts and highlights the ways in which our schools, workplaces, and society value extroversion. A great read for anyone who wants to understand more about how introversion and extroversion affect how we interact and respond to the world."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


The Quilter's Apprentice

Jennifer Chiaverini
Ch
Series: Elm Creek Quilts

In this heartwarming debut novel, Sarah, struggling to find a job and a sense of place in her new town, finds herself learning how to quilt from a cantankerous old woman who also teaches her about the deep love that can exist between friends.—Baker & Taylor

"The Elm Creek novels encourage camaraderie between women of diverse talents. —Submitted by Lynda G., Materials Handler


Raintree County

Ross Lockridge
Lockrid

Throughout a single day in 1892, John Shawnessy recalls the great moments of his life—from the love affairs of his youth in Indiana, to the battles of the Civil War, to the politics of the Gilded Age, to his homecoming as schoolteacher, husband, and father. Shawnessy is the epitome of the place and period in which he lives, a rural land of springlike women, shady gamblers, wandering vagabonds, and soapbox orators.—Independent Publishing Group

"This best-selling book by a Bloomington author will give you a good notion of what living in 19th Century Indiana was like."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


The Raven Boys

Maggie Stiefvater
Y Stiefva
Series: Raven cycle

Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own—and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.—Baker & Taylor

"This book (as well as the rest of the Raven Cycle) has an incredible, unique tone that perfectly marries poetic prose and silly teen dialogue. This book is a great example of how YA can be really high quality literature!"—Submitted by Sara, B., Materials Handler


Riddley Walker

Russell Hoban
SF Hoban

A hero with Huck Finn’s heart and charm, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy.... Riddley Walker is haunting and fiercely imagined and—this matters most—intensely ponderable." —Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

"Riddley Walker's post-apocalyptic journey across an overgrown English countryside, told in his own semi-Chaucerian, devolved-English, opened my eyes to the poetic potential of fiction when I read it at 17. Part of me is still in that country, walking through the rainy night with a feral black dog at my side."—Submitted by Joshua W., Community and Customer Engagement Manager


The Road Less Traveled

M. Scott Peck
158.1 Pec

A guide to help achieve spiritual simplicity explores a wide range of emotions and the coping mechanisms for the moral and spiritual dilemmas faced daily, and explains how taking full responsibility for one's actions can lead to renewed consciousness.—Baker & Taylor

"This book is the the first, and one of the few 'self-help' books that I've ever read. I loved it, and I suppose it did such a great job molding me into the fine human specimen that I am today, that I just didn't need to read any further self help books afterwards! —Submitted by Kevin M., Teen and Digital Creativity Strategist


Robin

Dave Itzkoff
791.4392 Williams Itz

The New York Times culture reporter and author of Mad as Hell presents a compelling portrait of Robin Williams that illuminates his comic brilliance, conflicting emotions and often misunderstood character, sharing insights into the gift for improvisation that shaped his wide range of characters, his struggles with addiction and depression and his relationships with friends and family members.—Baker & Taylor

"This was an entertaining biography of an incredible and unforgettable performer. I grew up watching Robin Williams' movies and TV antics and found him endearing. Recently I watched the documentary 'Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,' which was a nice complement to this book because it showed footage of numerous scenes discussed in the text."—Submitted by Leanne Z., Administrative Coordinator


The Room : A Novel

Jonas Karlsson
Karlsso

Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works—a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn's bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.—Random House, Inc.

"Humorous commentary on the modern office."—Submitted by Karen S., Materials Handler


Rural Free

Rachel Peden
630.1 Ped

Rural Free, first published in 1961, beautifully conveys the joys of family life on an Indiana farm. Marked by the slow pace and rich variety of seasonal change, Rachel Peden’s narrative offers an authentic month-by-month chronicle of her family’s daily adventures. Today, as the slow-food movement gathers support and more urban dwellers return to the land to plant roots again in honest soil, Peden’s stories of country life and her lessons on sustainability, frugality, and wastefulness gain a special resonance. Rural Free will be a source of inspiration for all who rejoice in rural virtues and the spiritual freedom of country life.—Indiana University Press

"Reminiscent of better, more leisurely times."—Submitted by Lynda G., Materials Handler


The Shell Seekers

Rosamunde Pilcher
Pilcher

Set in England between World War II and the present, this epic novel details the connections that bind the Keeling family together over three generations and the family's frailties, strengths, passions, and joys.—Baker & Taylor

"I read this book as a teenager and I really enjoyed it. The book takes you through the ages of a young girl into retirement. I would recommend to any young girl or women."—Submitted by Elsie G., Financial Assistant


Shock Value: A Tasteful Book About Bad Taste

John Waters
791.4392 Waters Wat

"To me, bad taste is what entertainment is all about. If someone vomits watching one of my films, it's like getting a standing ovation." Thus begins John Waters's autobiography. Opening with his upbringing in Baltimore, it covers his friendship with his muse and leading lady, Divine, detailed accounts of how Waters made his first movies, stories of the circle of friends/actors he used in these films, and finally the "sort-of fame" he achieves in America. Complementing the text are dozens of fabulous old photographs of Waters and crew.—Perseus Publishing

"All of John Waters's book are hilarious and well-written, and they're all worth a look if you wish to cultivate a taste for the outre, but this is the place to start. Besides, how could you not love a book with a chapter titled 'Baltimore, Maryland — Hairdo Capital of the World'?"—Craig C., Senior Materials Handler


The Silmarillion

J. R. R. Tolkien
SF Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings

The Silmarillion is the history of the rebellion of Feanor and his kindred against the gods, their exile from Valinor and return to Middle-earth, and their war, hopeless despite all their heroism, against the great Enemy.—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"This book is the history of Middle-Earth and details the battles, quests, victories, and defeats that shaped this epic world. I love this book because it answered all the questions I had about Middle-Earth and dove deeply into the epic events that shaped this world, when the elves, dwarves, and other peoples of Middle-Earth were at the height of their power, fighting the forces of darkness."—Submitted by Sam O., Teen Librarian


Simulacra and Simulation

Jean Baudrillard
194 Bau

Simulacra and Simulation is a 1981 philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard, in which the author seeks to examine the relationships between reality, symbols, and society, in particular the significations and symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing an understanding of shared existence.Wikipedia

"... it's a useful tool for 21st century life."—Submitted by Grier C., Access & Content Services Manager


Six Seasons

Joshua McFadden, Martha Holmberg
641.564 Mcf

Joshua McFadden channels both farmer and chef, highlighting the evolving attributes of vegetables throughout their growing seasons. Each chapter begins with recipes featuring raw vegetables at the start of their season. As weeks progress, McFadden turns up the heat—grilling and steaming, then moving on to sautes, pan roasts, braises, and stews. His ingenuity is on display in 225 revelatory recipes that celebrate flavor at its peak.—Workman Press

"I love to cook! The recipes in this book taught me a new way of thinking about ingredients and how to use those ingredients at their best. Its also taught me a lot about seasoning food. Every dish is simple but has really good flavor!"—Submitted by Sarah S., Graphic Designer


Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegu

Billy Pilgrim, a chaplain's assistant during the Second World War, returns home only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, who teach him that time is an eternal present.—Baker & Taylor

"Billy Pilgrim!"—Submitted by Steph N., Assistant Manager ACS


Snotgirl Vol. 1

Bryan Lee O'Malley
GN Snotgirl v. 1
Series: Snotgirl

Lottie Person is a gorgeous, fun-loving social-media star who just happens to also be a gross, allergy-ridden mess.—Baker & Taylor

"Beautiful art and a storyline that will have you questioning what is real."—Submitted by Megan W., Communications & Marketing


The Snow Child

Eowyn Ivey
Ivey

A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own.—Baker & Taylor

"I loved the fantasy and magical aspect of this story which made it a thoroughly pleasurable reading experience!"—Submitted by Leanne Z., Administrative Coordinator


The Snowy Day

Ezra Jack Keats
741.642 Nah

In 1962, Ezra Jack Keats's picture book The Snowy Day introduced readers to young Peter, the first African American protagonist in a full-color children's book, who traipsed alone through the snowy, wondrous sidewalks of New York City. Keats's awareness of the city, its daily hum, and the role of its children are deeply felt and delicately rendered in words and bright collages and paintings.—Yale University Press

"Perfectly paced masterpiece about the universal childhood love and awe for a snowy day. It's over 50 years old but the illustrations and story are as fresh as a newly rolled snowball."—Dana D., Librarian


Spoon River Anthology

Edgar Lee Masters
811.52 Mas

The dead arise from their sleep in the cemetery of a small Midwestern town to tell their individual stories about an entire community caught in a web of scandal, sin, and vice in the early twentieth century.—Baker & Taylor

"Every time I read Spoon River it gives me goosebumps. The poems weave together to paint a picture of the town, cross-referencing each other and contradicting each other and providing different perspectives on the same events. Masters does a fantastic job of creating distinct characters in just a few lines."—Submitted by Lily J., Information Assistant


The Stand

Stephen King
King

A monumentally devastating plague leaves only a few survivors in a desert world who move toward the ultimate confrontation of good and evil, in the expanded original version of King's novel.—Baker & Taylor

"Read this because there's no better time for it!"—Submitted by Bill K., Access and Content Services


Star Wars : from a certain point of view : 40 stories celebrating 40 years of Star Wars
SF Starwar Fro

A collection of short stories and illustrations by some of today's best-selling authors and trend-setting artists commemorates the Star Wars franchise's 40th anniversary and includes contributions by such notables as Meg Cabot, John Jackson Miller and Nnedi Okorafor.—Baker & Taylor

"It's a different look at familiar parts of the Star Wars Universe. I'm a giant Star Wars nerd."—Submitted by Emm P, Information Assistant


The Stardust Road

Hoagy Carmichael
780.92 Carmichael Car

Composer, singer, lyricist, and actor Hoagy Carmichael (1899–1981) was one of America's most versatile songwriters, crossing the boundaries of jazz, Tin Pan Alley, blues, and film.—Perseus Publishing

"Anyone who loves Bloomington will delight in Hoagy's description of life here in the 1920s."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Station Eleven

Emily St. John Mandel
SF Mandel

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people.—Baker & Taylor

"Extremely well-written book about early post-apocalyptic period that is easy to read and understandable to all ages from teenagers on up. There is a key quote from Star Trek: Voyager series, along the lines of, 'Survival is not enough.' This is the book I sent my kids off to college with."—Submitted by Jane W., El Centro Comunal Latino

"Post-pandemic fiction with strong characters in an engaging tapestry of story-lines with a good dose of hope. Not for everyone in our current time, but good stuff nonetheless."—Submitted by Ned B., Information Technology


Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home

Guojing
Ej Guo

In this heartwarming, wordless picture book that's perfect for dog lovers, a woman visits a park and discovers a pup hiding under a bench—scruffy, scared, and alone. With gentle coaxing, the woman tries to befriend the animal, but the dog is too scared to let her near. Day after day, the woman tries—and day after day, the dog runs away. With perseverance and patience—and help from an enticing tennis ball—a tentative friendship begins. But it's not until a raging storm forces the two together that a joyous and satisfying friendship takes hold. Guojing poignantly explores how trust doesn't always come easily, but how, over time, and with kindness and determination, forever love can grow.—Amazon

"If you've ever even looked at a dog through a telescope—much less loved and cared for one—this book is guaranteed to make you cry. Beautiful illustrations!"—Submitted by Paul D., SIA


The Story of Ferdinand

Munro Leaf
Ej Ung

Ferdinand likes to sit quietly and smell the flowers, but one day he gets stung by a bee and his snorting and stomping convince everyone that he is the fiercest of bulls.—Baker & Taylor

"Ferdinand was my first book love. I read and reread it countless times. The illustrations are perfect and Ferdinand is wonderfully relatable."—Submitted by Kim B., Children and Teen Librarian


Strange Planet

Nathan Pyle
ebook

Straight from the mind of New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle, Strange Planet is an adorable and profound universe in pink, blue, green, and purple, based on the phenomenally popular Instagram of the same name!—Overdive

"The popular web comic has been developed into a New York Times bestselling book. Enjoy the musings of alien inhabitants observing the daily ongoings from the absurd to the mundane. I guarantee you'll giggle and guffaw!"—Submitted by Jane C., Associate Director

The ebook of this title is available with an MCPL library card at Overdrive/Indiana Digital Media.


A Study in Scarlet Women

Sherry Thomas
MYS Thomas
Series: Lady Sherlock novels

When Charlotte's father fails to honor his promise to provide the funds needed for her education, Charlotte takes drastic measures. Caught in a compromising position with a married man, she avoids being banished to her family's country estate by running away. As she settles into her independent life in London, she finds a new benefactress and a way to support herself by opening a private consultation business as "Sherlock Holmes." When her beloved sister Livia is suspected of being involved in a scandalous murder, Charlotte brings all of her powers of observation into play in order to find the real killer. —Library Journal Reviews

"A retelling of the Sherlock Holmes story, but with Sherlock as a woman. This was the most enjoyable series I have read in a long time--there's mystery and romance mixed in with critiques of the patriarchy. What more could you need?"—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


Suttree

Cormac McCarthy
Mccarth

Suttree is the story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there—a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters—he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.—Blackwell North America

"It masterfully blends the picaresque works of Nelson Algren and the modernist, almost experimental interiority of William Faulkner into one extraordinary, harrowing character study. In spite of its grotesqueries, gallows humor, and often-tragic episodes, I find it the most life-affirming work of fiction I have ever read!"—Submitted by Nile A., Master Control Operator CATS


Taproot : a story about a gardener and a ghost

Keezy Young
Young

Blue is having a hard time moving on. He's in love with his best friend. He's also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart's content. But something eerie is happening in town, leaving the local afterlife unsettled, and when Blue realizes Hamal's strange ability may be putting him in danger, Blue has to find a way to protect him, even if it means leaving him.—Diamond Comics Distributors

"This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated and tells the sweet tale of friendship and love between a ghost and a gardener."—Submitted by Lizzy S., Senior Information Assistant


Three Things About Elsie

Joanna Cannon
Cannon

A novel set in England about eighty-four-year-old Florence, a resident in a nursing home, who has fallen in her apartment, leading her to think about her childhood friend and the secrets of their past that are about to come to light.—Baker & Taylor

"This novel is endearing, darkly humorous, and suspenseful. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character while following her journey as an amateur detective and best friend."—Submitted by Katelynn D., Senior Information Assistant


Through a Life

Tom Haugomat
GN Haugoma Through A Life

This powerfully silent graphic novel follows the saga of a boy who grows up to be an astronaut, just like he always wanted, until a fatal space shuttle crash upends his life, and he begins to find solace in beauty here on earth. Told through a series of poignant vignettes, Through A Life is a sweeping story of dreams, expectations, nature, and loss.—Random House, Inc.

"A lovely graphic novel that conveys its story and emotion without dialogue. It follows one person's lifelong aspirations to reach far beyond their immediate surroundings. Dreamers and curious minds will find a little bit of themselves in this book's protagonist. A quick read to be filed under 'mono no aware.'"—Submitted by Foster G., Senior Information Assistant


The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger
Niffene

A most untraditional love story, this is the celebrated tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who inadvertently travels through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate affair endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap that tests the strength of fate and basks in the bonds of love.—Baker & Taylor

"The story of a librarian as he explores love, loss, and relationships while time traveling through his own life. It is simultaneously funny, original, unpredictable, and devastating."—Submitted by Mandy H., Communications & Marketing Manager


To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee
Lee

A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father&;a crusading local lawyer&;risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.—HarperCollins

"It was the first book that made me look at the world differently."—Submitted by Rahgene H., Information Assistant


Travels With Charley

John Steinbeck
Steinbe

Travels with Charley in Search of America was Steinbeck's last published book. A record of his experiences and observations as he drove around America in a pickup truck, accompanied by his standard poodle Charley, it is filled with engaging, often humorous description and comes to a powerful climax in an encounter with racist demonstrators in New Orleans.—Penguin Putnam

"This book takes you through the mid-century U.S. all in Steinbeck's wry guise. It's a travel log in a changing time with a blue French poodle by your side. It's terrific to hear about how Steinbeck gets in and out of conversations with people throughout the country; their takes on life and how they make it. It makes you want to get out there all while satisfying an itch!"—Submitted by Addison R., Master Control Operator, CATS


Tropic of Cancer

Henry Miller
Miller

Now hailed as an American classic, Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934. Only a historic court ruling that changed American censorship standards, ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature, permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller’s famed mixture of memoir and fiction, which chronicles with unapologetic gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer, his friends, and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s.—Perseus Publishing

"This is how people once had to live."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Under the Volcano

Malcolm Lowry
Lowry

A story taking place on a single day, the Day of the Dead in 1938, explores the life of alcoholic British consul Geoffrey Firmin and his wife Yvonne's attempt to save their failed marriage, despite the presence of the consul's half-brother, Hugh, and childhood friend, Jacques.—Baker & Taylor

"Incredible story of a man at the end of his rope. Lowry's description of wandering around a strange city on a hot afternoon while hopelessly intoxicated is harrowing and visceral."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art

Scott McCloud
GN 741.51 Mcc

Praised throughout the cartoon industry by such luminaries as Art Spiegelman, Matt Groening, and Will Eisner, Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics is a seminal examination of comics art: its rich history, surprising technical components, and major cultural significance. Explore the secret world between the panels, through the lines, and within the hidden symbols of a powerful but misunderstood art form.—HarperCollins

"I've been reading, studying, and making comics since I was a child and every time I return to this work I learn something new or discover a new way to think about something I thought already knew. This book is a must for anyone interested in understanding more about comics and how they work."—Submitted by Kim B., Community Engagement Librarian


Unterzakhn

Leela Corman
GN Corman Unterzakhn

A mesmerizing heartbreaking graphic novel of immigrant life on New York's Lower East Side at the turn of the twentieth century, as seen through the eyes of twin sisters whose lives take radically and tragically different paths.—Austin American-Statesman

"This graphic novel is dazzling, dramatic, and devastating."—Submitted by Annise B Librarian


Vanity Fair: A Novel Without a Hero

William Makepeace Thackeray
Thacker

Chronicles the exploits of Becky Sharp, an unscrupulous young woman who is determined to achieve wealth and social success, and her sentimental companion, Amelia, who has fallen for a caddish soldier, in the classic novel set against the backdrop of English society in the early 1800s.—Baker & Taylor

"It is, as they say, a book without a hero. Set in England in the run-up to the Battle of Waterloo, it is the story of two girls, one who seems to have everything handed to her, and her best frenemy, who wants what her friend has and doesn't care how she gets it. I particularly love that one chapter is entitled: 'How to Live Well on Nothing a Year.' The book has all of life in it."—Submitted by Mike B., Bookstore


War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy

Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy’s genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle—all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual’s place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad.—Random House, Inc.

"I avoided this book for many years but when I finally read it I quickly realized that it might very well be the best novel ever written. Yes, it's big, but every bit as enjoyable as anything your favorite author has written."—Submitted by Bill W., Communications & Marketing


Warrior of the Wild

Tricia Levenseller
Y Levense

How do you kill a god? As her father's chosen heir, Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness. To win back her honor, Rasmira must fulfill an impossible quest: kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year... or die trying.—Baker & Taylor

"Well done standalone fantasy novels are what I live for and Levenseller did such an amazing job with the world building. She was able to take something familiar (Vikings) and use that basis of knowledge to build off of to craft a semi-frightening fantasy world. The monsters our main cast of characters faced were so scary and mythical, I would not want to be in their shoes for a moment!"—Submitted by Lizzy S., Senior Information Assistant


Watchmen

Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
Moore

Exceptional graphic artwork brings to life the story of the Watchmen as they race against time to find a killer, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance—Baker & Taylor

"As basic as it may seem to describe Watchmen as the book that opened my eyes to the possibilities of the comic form, it is definitely that. With its intertwined narratives, colorful characters, and hard-edged story, it's a work that rewards multiple, close readings."—Submitted by Craig C., Senior Materials Handler


Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein
J 811.54 Sil

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings.—Baker & Taylor

"His unique poetry is loved by children and grown ups alike. I loved his books when my kids were little and I still enjoy them today."—Submitted by Susan F., Acquisitions Technician

"I have fond memories of these poems being read aloud to me, then reading them aloud myself, and finally memorizing a number of them. The topics and tone run the full gamut, and the rhythm of the phrases are the best 'earworms.' If you want to fall in love with words (again) try reading these poems aloud—even if only to yourself."—Submitted by Bara S., Staff Development Strategist


Wild Beauty

Anna-Marie McLemore
Y Mclemor

Cursed by a tragic legacy that causes their lovers to disappear if they fall in love too deeply, the women gardeners of an enchanted estate wonder at the appearance of a mysterious boy who does not know who he is and who may be a returned former love.—Baker & Taylor

—Submitted by Jackie L., Senior Information Assistant, VITAL


The Wild Robot

Peter Brown
J Brown
Series: Wild Robot

Initializing for the first time on a remote island where she is all alone, Roz the robot learns survival strategies from the island's hostile animals and finally gains acceptance when she cares for an orphaned gosling. By the Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of Creepy Carrots!.—Baker & Taylor

"I have read many chapter books out loud to my children, and this one tops the list of being enjoyable for young and old alike."—Submitted by Sarah K., Materials Handler


Wired

Julie Garwood
Garwood

A beautiful computer genius reluctantly partners with a bad-boy FBI agent to hunt down a cybercriminal in exchange for leniency for her troubled brother, an arrangement that is compromised by their growing attraction.—Baker & Taylor

"Actually I love all of her books. She once said that she wanted her readers to laugh and cry and to fall in love. Her books are full of family, loyalty, honor. Throw in humor and suspense and some historical or modern times... and you have an adventure. Wired is a good read if you enjoy all above mentioned."—Submitted by Brenda S., Administration Office Assistant


Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel
Mantel

Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price.—Baker & Taylor

"This title is a new take on the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Told from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, the king's chief minister, who rose through his intelligence and grit from a common birth to become one of the most powerful men of his time. Cromwell's humor and outsider's status provides a fascinating look at court life, the people who surround the king, and the king and his mistress. Mantel's depiction of Cromwell's wit and insight creates a new spin to an old story."—Submitted by Elizabeth G., Adult Audience Strategist


The Woman in the Dunes

Kōbō Abe
Ab

The inhabitants of a remote seaside village imprison a Japanese biologist in a deep sand pit.—Baker & Taylor

Translated from the Japanese by E. Dale Saunders. With drawings by Machi Abe.

"During my time at home, I read The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe. It's a psychological portrait of an amateur entomologist who finds himself in an untenable situation when he visits an isolated community on the Japanese coast and is tricked into staying overnight in a house in a deep sand pit with a young widow and is made a virtual prisoner, subject to the will of the community. It's been a few years since I watched the film based on it, but now I'm eager to revisit it to see how Abe adapted it for the screen since so much of the novel takes place in the protagonist's head as his various plans of escape fail and his mental state deteriorates."—Submitted by Craig C., Access & Content Services


The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins
Collins

Wilkie Collins's classic thriller took the world by storm on its first appearance in 1859, with everything from dances to perfumes to dresses named in honor of the "woman in white." The novel's continuing fascination stems in part from a distinctive blend of melodrama, comedy, and realism; and in part from the power of its story.—Random House, Inc.

"An absolute classic, featuring among its characters the only heroine in all of literature to have a mustache. A chance encounter with the titular woman leads 3 friends into a dangerous plot to defraud one of them of her inheritance. So good. A forerunner of the whole 'thriller' genre."—Submitted by Mike B., Bookstore


The Word Is Murder

Anthony Horowitz
MYS Horowit

When a wealthy woman is found murdered after planning her own funeral service, disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, author Anthony Horowitz, investigate.—Baker & Taylor

"One bright day a woman walks into the local funeral parlor and plans her own funeral. She has a list of requirements and pays with her credit card. Six hours later she is dead, someone strangled the life out of her. This was such a highly original and clever read, I honestly can’t recall a book that I’ve read that even comes close to it, it blurs the lines between fact and fiction in the coolest way. Horowitz is actually a character himself in the story and solely narrates things, it was a straightforward, good old fashioned murder mystery while also implementing a fresh, unusual tactic that I enjoyed immensely."—Submitted by Leanne Z., Administrative Coordinator


X'ed Out

Charles Burns
GN Xed Out Trilogy v. 1
Series: Xed Out Trilogy

Doug's strange night begins when he is awoken by a strange buzzing noise and opens his eyes to find his beloved--but dead--cat Inky climbing through a hole in the wall and beckoning Doug to follow.—Baker & Taylor

"This is the first in a great 3-book series. Creepy and psychedelic while still being relatable."—Submitted by Paul D., SIA