Staff Picks- December 2019

Not sure what to read over break? Check out the Main Lobby display for books the library staff love!

Mouse-over the “Guess Who!” images below to reveal the recommending librarian.

Through the woods- Emily Carroll

“Beautiful, beguiling, and thrillingly eerie.”–Michael Faber, author of The Crimson Petal and The White

“Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods mesmerizes and inspires; a Victorian Gothic playground haunted by Mary Shelley & Edward Gorey, awash in the dream-like haze of Odilon Redon, and composed with the poetic elegance of Ukiyo-e. I loved it.”–Craig Thompson, three-time Eisner Award-winning author of Blankets

Truly Devious- Maureen Johnson

“An intricately plotted, compulsively readable novel that explores not only fascinating crimes but also the mysteries of anxiety, the creative process, contemporary fame, and so much else.”–John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down

“Stevie Bell is a dyed-in-the-wool true-crime buff…a smart, relatable, self-aware protagonist. Fans of puzzles, boarding school stories, and true crime will tear through this book and love every minute.”–School Library Journal

The Phantom Tollbooth- Norton Juster

“I read [The Phantom Tollbooth] first when I was ten. I still have the book report I wrote, which began ‘ This is the best book ever.'”– The New York Times

“The Phantom Tollbooth is the closest thing we have to a modern Alice in Wonderland.”– The Guardian

“The book lingers long after turning the final page. . . . A classic indeed.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

The Master and Margarita- Mikhail Bulgakov

“My favorite novel–it’s just the greatest explosion of imagination, craziness, satire, humor, and heart.” — Daniel Radcliffe

“From the first page I was immediately beguiled, leading me to my year of reading Bulgakov, drawing me to venture to Moscow to seek out the landmarks in the book, and the author’s grave, which is steps away from the grave of Gogol.” — Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review

“Nude vampires, gun-toting talking black cat, and devil as ultimate party starter aside, the miracle of this novel is that every time you read it, it’s a different book.” — Marlon James, “My 10 Favorite Books,” in T: The New York Times Style Magazine

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto- Mitch Albom

“Albom can say in one sentence what others can spend a lifetime trying to convey.”–The Book Wheel

“Within a few pages, you’ll be as delighted with this sparkling book as I was. Start it, stick with it, and you’ll find ‘The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto to be a book of note.”– Yankton Daily Press

“A beautiful story that forces us to think about the concept of a life well lived…Albom brings his literary magic once again.”–Huffington Post

A Discovery of Witches- Deborah Harkness

“A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight. . . . An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love.” —People

“Romantic, erudite, and suspenseful . . . Harkness attends to every scholarly and emotional detail with whimsy, sensuality, and humor.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

A thoroughly grown-up novel packed with gorgeous historical detail and a gutsy, brainy heroine to match. . . . Harkness writes with thrilling gusto about the magical world.” —Entertainment Weekly

Solitary- Albert Woodfox

“An uncommonly powerful memoir about four decades in confinement . . . A profound book about friendship . . . Woodfox reminds us, in Solitary, of the tens of thousands of men, women, and children in solitary confinement in the United States. This is torture of a modern variety. If the ending of this book does not leave you with tears pooling down in your clavicles, you are a stronger person than I am. More lasting is Woodfox’s conviction that the American justice system is in dire need of reform.”–Dwight Garner, New York Times

“A candid, heartbreaking, and infuriating chronicle . . . as well as a personal narrative that shows how institutionalized racism festered at the core of our judicial system and in the country’s prisons . . . It’s impossible to read Solitary and not feel anger . . . A timely memoir of that experience that should be required reading in the age of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s also a story of conviction and humanity that shows some spirits are unbreakable.”–NPR

The Island of Sea Women- Lisa See

Vivid … thoughtful and empathetic … necessary.” –New York Times Book Review

“Lisa See’s mesmerizing new historical novel…celebrates women’s strengths–and the strength of their friendships.” –O, The Oprah Magazine

“Painstakingly researched…deft…a powerful and essential story of humanity.” –The Los Angeles Review of Books



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