Here is a list of just a few of the favorite books our staff has read this year. As you can imagine, working at our Library is a feast of temptation with the many good reads we have! What was your favorite read this year?
Dave Bartos, Reference Department
The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters. An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth; odds of impact… 100%. Humanity has 6 months until the end of life as we know it, and Detective Henry Palace of the Concord Police Department only wants one more thing out of life: to solve a murder investigation. An excellent murder mystery that also questions the real reasons for why we do what we do.
Dawn Schontag, Reference Department
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Quebec Sûreté lands a strange murder case with no obvious motive. A real balance of good versus evil.
Janet Richards, Materials Management & Circulation Departments
Travels With Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life by Daniel Klein. A delightful and uplifting read. Klein uncovers the simple pleasures that are available late in life, as well as the refined pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate.
Karen Perkins, Circulation Department
The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Phillipe-Sendker is a unique love story set in Burma during the 1950’s and the present, the first of the trilogy. The Honey Thief by Elizabeth Graver “is a simple story of an 11 year old girl who lost her father when she was 6, becomes a kleptomaniac living in NYC until she moves with her mother to up state NY where beehives give meaning to her life. Telling the Bees by Peggy Hesketh is another favorite. Hesketh presents with prose, the intricate structure of the beehive along side the life of two octogenarians.
Karol Bartlett, Reference Department
A Piece of My Heart: the Stories of Twenty-Six American Women Who Served in Vietnam as told to Keith Walker, with a Forward by Martha Raye. These stories profile women who experienced the Vietnam war as nurses, volunteers, Red Cross volunteers, and USO workers. Each woman talks about why she went to Vietnam, what her work was and how the war around her work impacted her. Each woman also talks about coming how and learning to live with the psychic wounds that many returned with.
Linda Stetson, Library Director
Woodsburner: A Novel by John Pipkin. Woodsburner springs from a little-known event in the life of one of America’s most iconic figures, Henry David Thoreau. On April 30, 1844, a year before he built his cabin on Walden Pond, Thoreau accidentally started a forest fire that destroyed three hundred acres of the Concord woods—an event that altered the landscape of American thought in a single day.
Kristen Arnold, Children’s Library
The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar is a deeply moving and compassionate and one I enjoyed for its complexity of characters. Big Lies by Liane Moriarty writes a great story which makes you question, “is it a murder, a tragic accident, or just parents behaving badly?
Carolyn Hottle, Circulation Department
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. The writing is beautiful and there are two parallel stories that come together in way I couldn’t have imagined.
Robin Fosdick, Teen Librarian and Reference Department
Here are two teen reads I just finished and really enjoyed, both written by Justina Ireland: Vengeance Bound is the story of a teen girl cursed by the Furies to help them deliver justice and murder the guilty; and Promise of Shadows is the story of Zephyr, a half-Harpy sentenced to Tartarus for killing a god with forbidden power. I also read an adult science fiction novels that I really enjoyed, VN: The First Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby.
Dell Redington, Circulation Department
The Invention of Wings by Sue Kidd Monk. A very wonderful story about 2 extremely progressive sisters growing up with slaves in the South in the early 1800’s. They were really the first women to speak out and write about equality for women, before, way before Seneca Falls.
Demetri Kyriakis, Reference Department
The Victory with No Name: The Native American Defeat of the First American Army by Colin G. Calloway. This is a fascinating read of early U.S. military history, at a time when the U.S. military was still in it’s infancy and was not well funded. I find it interesting that this military disaster led the President and Congress at the time, to go from under funding the military to making sure it was well funded. Within three years of this battle, the United States military went back and took this area and decisively won in the next go-round.
Linda Champion, Children’s Library
My pick for the list is a non-fiction title that I learned about from reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark. The book is Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling through the Dark by Barbara Hurd. Caving becomes a vehicle for personal growth and discovery, in addition to a sometimes physically challenging adventure! I could almost feel the author’s panic when she entered an extremely tight passage for the first time.