Want to know what types 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!

Kid Picks are over here!

November Reviews

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson has been recommended to me by several friends and I recently had a chance to listen to A Walk in the Woods audiobook. It was great. Bryson gives an autobiographical account of his attempt to hike the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail. The book was full of trail...

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Bossypants by Tina Fey

I would highly recommend listening to this book, which is what I did. Tina reads it herself and is hilarious. This book is full of short funny stories about Tina Fey’s life and the circumstances which brought her to writing and starring in the TV show 30 Rock. She...

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I have to be honest: I thought I had read enough books that were set in WWII. But I was wrong. This is a must read. Zusak beautifully tells this complex and difficult story with grace and tenderness. Our narrator is Death and the main character is Liesel, a girl who...

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Grant by Ron Chernow

Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? If you want to learn more about the U.S. General overshadowed by his opponent, Robert E. Lee, try this new biography by respected biographer Ron Chernow. You’ll learn not just about the Civil War, but also about the troubled times that...

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In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson brings his unique sense of humor to Australia, a country with more poisonous animals than any other in the world, and which managed to misplace a prime minister in the Sixties. Australia is full of friendly people and weird geography, and earns much less...

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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

This book was the first book published by wildly successful YA author Green after his 2012 release, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Thankfully, this book doesn’t suffer the teen angst love story that plagues his other novels. Instead, this book focuses more on mental...

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Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

You’re going to be hearing about this book and this author a lot over the next few months. Ward is probably going to rack up a ton of awards for this powerful story of a road trip gone wrong. It’s Southern, it’s racially fueled and it’s really good. Teen Jojo just...

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Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I read this book as part of a class in diversity studies and I was left hoping for so much more. Sure, Coates will get you fired up as he discusses what it means to be black today from his perspective. There’s no denying that violence against blacks is an ongoing...

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Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala

I’ve been reading more stories about grief recently, so when I saw this book, I was intrigued. The author is on vacation in Sri Lanka with her husband, two sons and her parents when an unimaginable thing happens. In just a few pages she has lost the five people she...

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Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Just read this book, as it was referenced in another book as a good read. I did find it interesting in describing a lifelong friendship that developed between very different couples and how it progressed thru the years. I didn’t always agree with the way they dealt...

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Testimony by Scott Turow

Were 400 Roma massacred in the last days of the Bosnian war and buried by an explosion that collapsed a coal mine? Attorney Bill ten Boom leaves his life in Kindle County behind to work for the International Criminal Court in The Hague and to investigate that...

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson has spent his entire life as a lawyer working for the unjustly imprisoned, particularly those sentenced to death. He tells the powerful story of one particular prisoner, Walter McMillian, whom he encountered early in his career, on death row for a...

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October Reviews

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Three stories converge into one in this graphic novel about high-school student Jin Wang, the Monkey King parable, and Chin-Kee, the Chinese stereotype. This graphic novel explores issues of not fitting in, as well as being judged by others. For the Monkey King, a...

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Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

This is a timely and relevant novel about coping after a tragedy. Ten-year-old Caitlin must understand her grief after the death of her older brother, Devon, who was killed in a school shooting. Caitlin and her father struggle with finding closure after such a tragic...

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I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

This book grabbed me from the opening and I couldn’t stop until I finished it in one sitting! This is a literary thriller with an unusual twist at the end. I can’t stay too much without spoiling it, but it’s no wonder this was an NPR Best Book of the Year in 2016. The...

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Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Beartown is a hockey town, as we are told early and often in this book. It is not possible to live there and not be a fan of the junior and senior teams. Beartown is also a small town on the edge of a forest that has seen better days. Its hopes are in its hockey teams...

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The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Three widows and their children form a makeshift family in a crumbling Bavarian castle. Marianne von Lingenfels made a promise to her husband’s co-conspirators to protect the widow and children of those who plotted and failed to kill Hitler in 1944. The novel follows...

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Hunger by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay has written elsewhere about the sexual assault she survived as a child. Now she explores how that assault shaped her relationship with her body. These essays are personal, powerful, and...

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Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton’s hometown and family come to life in this rich and rewarding novel of small town life. Strout tells the interconnected stories of several generations of people living in the same geography, their families, passions, tragedies, and...

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Paris Letters by Janice Macleod

Lots of people dream of quitting their jobs and running away ... how much would that cost anyway? Janice figured out how much she would need to do just that. Bought herself two years in Paris, where of course she falls in love. Wonderful story ... even better that it...

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Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

This may possibly be my favorite book which is saying something. I have a very hard time picking one of anything. How can I say that I like macaroni and cheese better than cherry pie when they are both so different? And it really depends on what I am in the mood...

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