Staff Picks

Want to know what type of books people who work in a library read?  Check out these recommendations by members of the James V. Brown Library staff – and see what we just can’t put down right now!


Personalized Reading List!

Receive a Free Personalized Book Guide from the James V. Brown Library. This service is for anyone who enjoys reading great books.  Simply fill out a short online questionnaire about your reading habits, likes and dislikes.
When completed, our team will provide you with a list of  titles compiled into your very own BookGuide.

Reader Reviews

Summer Reading

Under Seige

Author- Stephen Coonts

Rating- 4 stars

Review – Published 16 years ago this story still has relevance to today’s headlines.  Yes this is entertaining, but it should make you think about our society and how to try to fix it.  –Ken

Kill Alex Cross

Author- James Patterson

Rating- 5 stars

Review- This is a real page turner that can’t be put down.  Just when you think things are wrapped up-boom.  The other shoe drops.  Can Alex Cross save the day before it’s too late?  Read it to find out. –John

The Girls in the Garden

Author – Lisa Jewell

Rating   4 stars

Review- Engaging mystery in an unusual setting:  a communal garden square surrounded by residences in Central London.  I like the description of setting and characters.  Satisfying ending. –Pascha

Change of Heart

Author – Jodi Picoult

Rating- 5 stars

Review- Didn’t see that coming!  This author is so unpredictable! (and that’s a good thing) – Susan


Author – Diana Gaboldon

Rating- 5 stars

Review- Great summer read.  Addicting, and with a total of 7 novels to go, my summer reading is set!  Romance, history, and conflict, LOVE IT! –Lesley

Off the Grid

Author- C. J. Box

Rating – 5 stars

Review- Another great thriller- all too real- in regards to what is happening in the world today! – Marcia

I Don’t Like Where this is Going

Author – John Dufresne

Rating – 4 stars

Review – This is the first time I’ve read Dufresne and I enjoyed it very much.  It was darkly funny the way I like my books.  Not sappy, even with the happy romantic ending. –Lisa

Flowers for Algernon

Author- Daniel Keyes

Rating – 5 stars

Review – Rarely do I read a book that I can’t stop thinking about and reflecting on throughout the day.  Flowers for Algernonwon’t leave me anytime soon.  Although science fiction, this book has so many real-life themes, such as what makes someone ‘valued’ and ‘liked’ and ‘smart’.  I will definitely reread! – Lynne

Devoured- From Chicken Wings to Kale Smoothies: How What we Eat Defines Us

Author – Sophie Egan

Rating – 4 stars

Review- Written in a causal and modern voice, this book explores the many facets of what and how people eat.  Eating is a at times a chore and other a celebration.  Our culture extends past what we normally see as ‘culture’ and is expressed daily.  Food culture in the US is widely varied and so it his book. –Kathryn

The Girl from Summer Hill

Author – Jude Deveraux

Rating – 2 stars

Review-Not great. –Chris

Playing with Fire

Author – Tess Gerritsen

Rating – 2.5 stars

Review- With an extremely creepy and ‘out-there’ premise, Tess Gerritsen takes us through Julia’s acquisition of a cursed musical composition and its especially bloody impact on her family.  Through tracing the background of the composer, Julia discovers the story of “Incendio,” a waltz for the Jews in the Nazi death camps. –Sally

Property of a Noblewoman

Author- Danielle Steel

Rating – 3 stars

Review – Not up to Danielle’s best novels.  Slow moving and predictable. – Chris

Back in the Day Bakery

Author- Cheryl Day

Rating – 5 stars

Review- This is a fun book of recipes and crafts as well as a history of the couple and how they got started.  I would love to visit the sop the book is based on!  – Patty

Death on Demand

Author- Carolyn G Hart

Rating – 5 stars

Review – Audiobook – Eccentric mystery writers on an island.  How many deaths were murders and who had the most to lose if past secrets were revealed.  Just enough romance, cattiness and suspense.  -Lucinda


Author – Dean Koontz

Rating – 5 stars

Review – Creepy!  – John

Sea Gypsy

Author – Fern Michaels

Rating – 1 star

Review- From about the second chapter, you could almost tell the story,  I wasn’t very impressed with it. – Linda

Go Set a Watchman

Author – Harper Lee

Rating – 4 stars

Review – This book shows that perception is not reality as we watch Scout grow and face her own self discoveries about the people she loves most in Maycomb AL.  –Cheryl

Keep Moving

Author – Dick Van Dyke

Rating – 3 stars

Review- Like its author, this little book is charming, breezy and inspiring.  He gives what seems to me to be some good advice, and it was interesting to read about his childhood and family.  –Susan

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter

Author- Kate Clifford Larson

Rating – 4 stars

Review  –  Without the circumstance of her birth, when may have been perfectly normal and lived a very different life.  How sad doctors practiced that way.  Even in the 1960’s, it still went on.  Out of a bad experience often comes good, Special Olympics etc.  I wonder how many Rosemary’s have existed both then and now.  –Rhonda

Hard Row

Author – Margaret Maron

Rating – 3 stars

Review – My first Deborah Knott mystery.  Well written, but surprisingly gory.  I would read another. -Kim


Author- Heather Graham

Rating – 4 stars

Review – The ending was anticlimactic, but I enjoyed the characters. –George

The Guest Room

Author- Chris Bohjalian

Rating – 3 stars

Review – Thoughtful and gripping.  Realistic and heightens awareness of how easily human trafficking could occur.   – Sue

Guest Room

Author- Chris Bohjalian

Reviewer- Kathy- 5 stars

Review- An immediately engaging story about a bachelor party that goes terribly wrong!  An older, respectable brother agrees to host knowing that ‘strippers’ were to be performing.  But in reality- they are sex slaves and by the end of the night their ‘bodyguards’ are dead and lives are forever changed

Catching Fireflies

Author- Sherryl Woods

Reviewer- Pat- 5 stars

Review- Sherryl introduces her characters in a way that endears them right away.  This book has a truth into how bullying can hurt someone even into adulthood. Teens do not seem to see the harm they cause.

Murder at the Vicarage

Author- Agatha Christie

Reviewer- Fil- 3 stars

Review- Amateur detective Jane Marple once again uses her sleuth talents to uncover the worst side of nature in some unlikely suspects.  Her uncanny ability to use her exceptional powers of observation results in another murder mystery solved!  A good read but not her best.

Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag

Author- Michael Tonello

Reviewer- Leslie- 4 stars

Review- A very fun light summer or vacation read, especially if you like fashion or shopping!