Below are the staff picks from 2021.
Current Staff Picks
Technical Services | January 2021
1. Dan Brown
Anything by Dan Brown always seems to keep my interest. He does a good job of using history and legend and I have always been interested in the Knights Templars.
2. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
This was a great book as it took place after The Shining! Full of twists and turns, and kept me interested.
3. The Shining by Stephen King
This is a classic Stephen King novel and I always like a good scary story. Distraught family, isolated Snowy Mountain Hotel.
4. Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz
Great series about a strange young man, Odd Thomas, who can see monsters in the world and destroys them.
2020 Staff Picks
1. Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen
I love this book. It is very informative with great personal stories that really help you to see what distinctive type of ADD you might have.
Dr. Amen, through the use of SPECT scan technology, has identified seven distinct types of ADD. First, Dr. Amen shares the core symptoms for all types of ADD. Then he splits out from there, distinguishing the 7 types of ADD based on symptoms and SPECT scans. The beginning of the book is dedicated to sharing the core ADD symptoms and then helping you to identify which subtype or subtypes are impacting you.
Having that knowledge in hand, you can use this book to follow Dr. Amen’s recommended treatment course of medication, supplements, diet, and neurofeedback, with a specific plan for each subtype in each of these areas. The book is full of tips that are useful for those with ADD, and people who work with those with ADD. This book is for parents of children with ADD, adults with ADD, therapists, and physicians.
2. How to Handle a Narcissist: A ultimate guide to recovery from emotional and narcissistic abuse. Understanding and managing narcissism by Melody Romig
I found this book to have very good insight into the psyche of a narcissist, with lots of great ideas on how to handle people at different points in the narcissist spectrum.
Here's WHAT you will find out by reading this book...
- how to identify and distinguish a narcissist and determine if there is a narcissist in your life.
- how to that narcissism is considered an addiction.
- how to deal with narcissists at different points in the narcissistic spectrum, rather than just those who have a personality disorder.
- You will find out what the narcissist wants from you.
- You will discover practical methods to simplify life with the narcissist even when there are children.
3. The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
A must read for everyone. Lasting relationships, like anything worthwhile, take intentional commitment over time. But when you’re just not on the same page, keeping your love alive can feel intimidating – or even impossible.
In his #1 New York Times bestseller, The 5 Love Languages®, Dr. Gary Chapman presents a simple truth: relationships grow better when we understand each other. Everyone gives and receives love differently, but with a little insight into these differences, we can be confidently equipped to communicate love well. This is true for all forms of relationship – for married or dating couples, for children and teenagers, for friends and coworkers, for long-distance relationships, for those brand-new loves and for the romances that are older than the hills.
No matter who you are, there’s a book for you. Explore the complete library of The 5 Love Languages. There are editions for Couples, Singles, Men, Military, Children, and Teens.
4. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
Written in the form of letters, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis is an amusing and insightful correspondence between a senior devil, Screwtape, and his obstreperous and incompetent nephew, Wormwood, a "young fiend." All of the letters are from Screwtape to Wormwood, and the subject of the correspondence is a human being, newly converted to Christianity, whom Screwtape refers to as "the patient." Throughout the correspondence, Screwtape tries to help Wormwood tempt the patient away from Heaven and into Hell. He encourages his nephew's successes, suggests various and devious ways to enter the man's thoughts and influence him, and berates Wormwood for his failures as the man begins attending church, goes through various ups and downs of faith, falls in love with a Christian girl, and is called to service in the War. All in all, the letters and "Screwtape Proposes a Toast," the last chapter of the book, are a witty and cautionary commentary on the state of the modern human soul.
Library Assistant | February 2021
Library Assistant | March 2021
1. If I Run Series by Terri Blackstock
This is one of my favorite mystery series. It tells the story of Casey, a girl whose friend, Brent, was just murdered. She knows she didn't kill him, but her clothes and car covered in blood say otherwise. She's forced to flee as a fugitive until she can discover who actually committed the crime. I couldn't put these books down once I started reading. Each one is very captivating and leads to more and more suspense, while also being wholesome. Plus, when the books are lined up, they create a picture. :)
2. Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis Majors
In this book, Katie Davis Majors writes about her life in Uganda and how she, at the age of 18, left her comfortable life in America and moved to Africa and adopted 13 girls. Her stories are so touching and I enjoyed reading every bit of this book. Her transparency shows her struggles, but also shows the joy she found in helping and loving others. After reading this book, I was ready to pack my bags and meet her in Uganda!
3. Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World by Scott Harrison
This book is very eye opening. Written as Scott Harrison's personal journey from being a nightclub promoter to building charity:water, it shows his struggles and how God helped him through all of the trials. Charity:water is a 100% donation funded charity and this book tells the story of how it all began. I am very interested in missions and this showed me a new aspect of that area of work.
4. Losing Brave by Bailee Madison & Stefne Miller
When I started this book, I found it hard to get into. However, I pressed through the beginning and it has ended up being one of my favorite books. It is told through the viewpoint of the struggling twin sister who is left after her sister's disappearance, switching from present to past as she remembers certain times with her sister. As she determines to find out what really happened to her sister, she faces things she never would've expected. The end of the book shocked me with a huge plot twist I never saw coming. This is a great read if you're looking for some mystery.
5. Mr. Lemoncello Series by Chris Grabenstein
This was one of my favorite series in middle school. It has a good amount of action and a little bit of mystery. These books are all about libraries and everyone's favorite game maker, Mr. Lemoncello! If I could actually participate in one of his competitions in the books, I definitely would!
Administrative Assistant | April 2021
1. Free to Believe by Luke Goodrich
The library provides this book in eBook format. It is a nonfiction book written by a religious freedom attorney who has participated in and won several Supreme Court cases. The book provides an understanding of religious liberty and how individuals are to respond with confidence and grace.
2. The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
The library provides this book in large print, eBook and audiobook formats. I truly enjoy this author. This book brings to life stories of “Lost Friends” advertisements that were published by freed slaves who searched for loved ones who had been sold away. In 1987 a first-year teacher is struck by her poverty stricken students and comes to realize that the century old history of three young women and a hidden book could change everything.
3. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
The library provides this book in large print, regular print and audiobook formats. This autobiography of Corrie Ten Boom is a story set in Holland during World War II. Her family hid Jewish people and were sent to the concentration camps. She lost all of her family and this story shows how her quiet faith and courage transformed her life. This is one of my favorite books.
4. Harry and the Terrible Whatzit by Dick Gackenbach
When my kids were small this was one of their favorite books. My oldest grandchild’s favorite holiday is Halloween so I read this book with her. This is a fun preschool book that helps you realize your power to overcome your fears.
5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
I read that the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin developed a list of words that were important for first graders to recognize and he challenged Ted Geisel to use those words and “bring back a book children can’t put down”. I have this book and my second grandchild seems to agree that he succeeded. It sits in our book box and it is one that is repeatedly brought to me.
In the Bible, God encourages me to seek wisdom and understanding. One of the genres that I enjoy is historical fiction because it helps me understand what individuals experienced. Below are some books I have read and would recommend.
Library Assistant | May 2021
1. John Grisham, author
Legal thriller; Crime fiction -- I believe I have read all of his books. They keep my interest by giving a taste of the legal processes and how people's lives are affected by those processes. There have been several movies created from his books: A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, and The Client to name a few.
2. Janet Evanovich, author
Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Mystery – I especially like the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie is a bond enforcement officer and gives you a feel for very interesting ways that they get people back into the court system after they have skipped bond. I find myself sometimes laughing while reading these books – very entertaining!
3. James Patterson, author
Mystery, Young Adult Fiction, Thriller – I haven't read a lot of his books, but I really like the Women's Murder Club series. Of course, all his books revolve around mysterious murders, but I enjoy getting to know the Club members: a police officer, a coroner, a reporter and an attorney. Their personal lives are woven into the stories which I enjoy.
4. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. I really like stories that keep my interest until the very last page. I had not read any of Lisa Wingate's books until I saw this on the Mystery Book Club list and it peaked my interest. I have recommended this book to several others who had the same reaction.
5. A Nest of Sparrows by Deborah Raney
Fiction, Religious – This is the first book that I have read by this author, I really enjoyed her writing style. It is a story of a mother dying and her fiance' is left to care for her three children. He and the children love each other but before legalities can be finalized, the children are placed in a foster home. I really like books that bring me right into the emotions of the characters – this one did! Very well written.
Library Assistant | June 2021
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I read this book in high school and it has stuck with me ever since. Fair warning, I cried a lot. Set during World War II in Germany, Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist – books. With the help of her foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.
2. Phryne Fisher Series by Kerry Greenwood
Phryne Fisher is a wealthy Australian socialite who often finds herself in the midst of some illegal activities. In the 1920s' there aren't a lot of prospects for single women, but Phryne uses her wealth and status to assist her friends, clients, and the police department solve crimes throughout the city.
3. Jane Austen, author
All of Jane Austen's books are such feel good reads where everything turns out well for her characters. Her most famous books are "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility." They all follow strong young women in the early 1800s navigating love and marriage.
4. Neil Gaiman, author
Neil Gaiman writes mostly fantasy and science fiction stories for different ages. My favorite books he has written are "Stardust" and "The Graveyard Book" and I am currently reading "American Gods." A lot of his books have been adapted as movies and I have enjoyed watching them after I read the books. Everything in the worlds he creates is a little bit different and something I never would have considered.
5. Sherlock Holmes, character
My favorite genre is historical mysteries, which started when I first read the Sherlock Holmes stories. I have since read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's entire collection. I enjoy reading about how different the world was and how Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are able to solve seemingly perfect crimes without modern technology. I always like to try to solve the crimes before the end, but I haven't been able to yet.
Library Director | July 2021
If I'm watching TV, I gravitate toward shows that have the same themes I look for in books—a little mystery, a little intrigue—NYPD Blue, The Rookie, Blue Bloods. I find that Marie Force's Fatal series fits that genre for me. You have to read the Fatal series before you can read the State series, so you better get started. It all starts with Fatal Affair.
Sometimes, I want a little romance thrown in and I watch the Saturday night movies on the Hallmark channel. In case you were wondering, they have more than just Christmas movies! In fact, you'll find quite a few authors have had their romance series turned into shows on Hallmark and on Netflix. Remember that the book is always better than the movie! Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is on Netflix and it starts with Virgin River.
I like Nora Roberts (not so much J.D. Robb) and her In the Garden trilogy. Three women live together in the Harper House and just as each of them has a secret, so does the house and its saddened bride from years past who still shares the space with whomever else wishes to live there. It starts with Blue Dahlia.
Randy Wayne White and C.J. Box share similar styles of writing with locations on opposite ends of the United States. Randy Wayne White's Doc Ford is settled on Sanibel Island in Florida (and if you ever have the chance to go there and visit his restaurant, you might catch a glimpse of RWW himself!) where the retired NSA agent just wants a little peace and quiet where he can study fish as a marine biologist. More often than not, those NSA skills come in handy and he's solving mysteries and saving lives on the water. They all start with Sanibel Flats. Joe Pickett is Box's character who is a game warden in Wyoming and is forever running into trouble, murder and mayhem through no fault of his own. With a little help from his friends he's usually able to solve the problem. The challenge is that with each problem he solves, he creates one more for himself, either politically, professionally or personally. His series of unfortunate events stars with Open Season, and I have to say it is not my favorite, so don't let it turn you off of the rest…try Savage Run next, and you might just get hooked.
I have read The Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren. Of course, there's a crisis to solve and the perfect character to make it happen. There's intrigue, suspense and a little falling in love happening at the same time. The characters from each of the books make appearances from time-to-time which makes it fun to stay connected. They are quick, clean reads that start with Wild Montana Skies.
I get invested in the books I read. I guess that's why I enjoy series – I want to see what happens next in the lives of the characters I've shared my time getting to know.
Library Assistant | August 2021
1. When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin
I loved this book! Definitely a page turner! It's a heartwarming and heart wrenching story about a gifted surgeon who leaves his practice of medicine and takes on another identity in order to hide. He carries lots of guilt but when he develops a relationship with a little girl who is in need of a heart transplant ,he has to face his demons and make life changing decisions.
2. Danger In The Shadows by Dee Henderson
Danger In The Shadows is a book that tells the story of a set of twins kidnapped at the age of 6 and the aftermath 25 years later. It is a story of sorrow, fear, trust in God and how someone can turn your life upside down. A must read!
3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
Redeeming Love is my most favorite book. This is a powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea. A story of God's unconditional love. Angel expects nothing from men but betrayal. Sold into prostitution as a child, she survives by keeping her hatred alive. And what she hates most are the men who use her, leaving her empty and dead inside. Then she meets Michael Hosea, a man who seeks his Father's heart in everything. Michael obeys God's call to marry Angel and to love her unconditionally.
4. Missing Molly by Natalie Barelli
Molly Foster disappeared almost 12 years ago seemingly without a trace after the murder of her family. Now as a ploy to save their little newspaper they want to find Molly. Rachel doesn't want anyone looking for Molly. Rachel doesn't want Molly found but why? What is Rachel really hiding? And what will it cost them all to learn the truth?
5. If I Run Series by Terri Blackstock
This book series is well written and will keep you guessing until the end! Find out why Casey is running for her life. Is there anyone she can trust! Who is she running from? Awesome plot! You won't be disappointed!
Collection Development | September 2021
1. The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
I love this book because it is full of female friendship and strength. This quote sums it up nicely, "A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes." - Goodreads
2. Angels: God's Secret Agents by Billy Graham
If you are interested in angels and why they are part of God's plan, this is the book for you! This non-fiction is very informative and gives you a lot to think about.
3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This book is fantastic. It will make you laugh and cry. This book follows the life of Vianne Mauriac and her sister Isabelle who live in France during WWII. They both overcome many losses and obstacles, and discover their strengths even though their paths lead them in different directions.
4. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
This book is about a female firefighter named Cassie. The stigma of being female in a male dominated profession is an obstacle Cassie has to overcome. She also has to learn how to let people in after experiencing trauma as a teen. This is challenging for her to do when she finds she is attracted to one of the other firefighters on her crew and her number one rule is to DON'T DATE FIREFIGHTERS.
5. Know Yourself Know Your Money by Rachel Cruze
This non-fiction is great if you are just starting or need motivation to work on your budgeting. Rachel provides lots of tips on how to budget without feeling like it's a punishment.
Administrative Assistant | October 2021
1. The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles
A very strong historical fiction book written about a dark period of our history. Although written about a historical time the ever present emotions of love, anger, sadness and reconciliation are present in this book. I found this to be a deeply relevant book.
2. Becoming Better Grownups: Rediscovering What Matters and Remembering How to Fly by Brad Montague
Mr. Montague went on a "listening tour" to elementary schools and then nursing homes and retirement communities in order to gain new wisdom on how to become a better grownup. He shares these lessons with us in a playful book that helps us realize that the secret to joy is becoming more childlike.
3. Peacebunny Island by Caleb Smith
This is an incredible true story of a young man who with the support of his family chose to train endangered and rescued rabbits to become therapy animals. Through his kindness he inspires us all toward hope and possibility.
4. The Spot books by Eric Hill
My children had some Spot books when they were small, but I realized the amazing value of the lift the flap board book when I had grandchildren. Eric Hill discovered this concept in 1978 when he was creating a story for his son. Where's Spot was published in 1980 as a children's book and started a new publishing concept of interactive books for babies. There are a variety of Spot books that relate simple stories and adventures for a playful puppy, his parents and friends.
5. How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to preserve family photos, memorabilia & genealogy records by Denise S. May-Levenick
This is a great resource to assist in organizing, cataloging, and preserving family keepsakes. The author is an established authority as a genealogist who has written about this subject and has received awards for her work. As we encounter family history items this book provides us with quality information to help us learn more and preserve these items for future generations.
Library Assistant | November 2021
1. The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by 14th Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams
I chose this book because it united the Catholic Church with Buddhist beliefs. It was enlightening to me to read that you can be a Catholic (or any religion) and follow Buddhist teachings at the same time.
2. Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson
As an archaeologist, this book was a quick read about a lay person's journey into archaeology. The author went on several dig sites (many in the Caribbean!), helped with the process from beginning to end and wrote about her journey. For anyone thinking of going into this field, this is recommended reading.
3. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
I first read this book when I was in 6th grade and it has stuck with me after all these years. A quick read about a boy who lives with his extended relatives for a summer. He learns a lot from his cousin Harris, some good, some not so good, but most importantly he learns how to be a kid, a friend, what family means, and why we watch where we pee!
4. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of Their Lost World by Steve Brusatte
Who doesn't love dinosaurs? I often get the question "Did you find any dinosaur bones?" when I talk about archaeology. Paleontology is actually the study of fossils and this book helps to explain that as well as where different species of dinosaurs have been found in recent years and why the study of fossils is important.
5. Anything by Bill Bryson!
A Walk in the Woods was a previous One Book, One Burg read and what initially brought me to this author. His quick wit, hilarious descriptions of situations, and overall writing style is amazing. The Road to Little Dribbling is also a hilarious tale but focused on his travels in the UK.
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This classic story is not to be missed. If you haven't read the story recently you should give it a try. The library has a dramatized audio version available through Dial A Story. Follow along as the miser Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.
2. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
The book is far better than the movie adaptation.Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without any decorations; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences--and isn't half as easy as they'd imagined.
3. Christmas in Harmony by Philip Gulley
This is the fourth book in the Harmony series. All the books capture the essence of small-town life with humor and wisdom. If you haven't tried any of Philip Gulley's lovely stories, give this book a try.
4. Christmas Branches: Stories of the Season by Jack Kline
Local author Jack Kline writes a Christmas story every year for his family and friends. This is a collection of some of his best stories that will put you in the mood of the season. "Each December we try to practice what He preached. We are kinder, we give more and share more, and in my case, become a little less self-centered. Hatchets are buried or set aside. Families come together, if only for a brief time. Maybe some of the goodwill wears off in the cold of January. But the traditions and memories, which go back as far as we can remember, rest inside us, waiting for a spark."
5. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
Richard Paul Evans is a master of Christmas stories. This is probably his most popular story and may become as popular as the Christmas classic at the top of this list.Richard, a busy and preoccupied father, discovers a Christmas box full of love letters from an old woman to her dead daughter and, with the help of an angel, begins to learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Adult Services | December 2021
2022 Staff Picks
2023 Staff Picks