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JUNE Staff Picks

Decline and Fall Inner Life of Cats One in Million Boy
Raven Black One Minute till Bedtime The Japanese Lover
Trajectory Following Atticus Ocean Liners Book Cover
Last Painting of Sara De Vos
Frank
“Decline and Fall” by Evelyn Waugh
Jeanine
“The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of our Mysterious Feline Companions”
by Thomas McNamee
“The One In A Million Boy” by Monica Wood
Kathleen
“Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves
Inspector Perez knows his fellow islanders hold on to their secrets tightly. A young girl’s murder sends both Perez and mainland Scottish detectives deep into their lives. The setting and the crime are equally chilling.
Katie
“One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to Send You off to Sleep” edited by Kenn Nesbitt
Kim
“Trajectory” by Richard Russo. 4 short stories from Russo. I found the first one disappointing, but Russo’s distinctive voice and his empathy for his characters shine through in the other three.
Michele
“The Last Painting of Sarah De Vos”
by Dominic Smith
Michelle
“Following Atticus”
by Tom Ryan (re-reading it for the 2nd time…this time via audio. Ryan narrates it himself and it’s wonderful – given his accent and soothing tone of voice).
Sudie
“Ocean Liners” – (Published in conjunction with the current exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum.) The bright red cover got my attention when I was cataloging this hefty “coffee table” book. Usually, that’s as far as I get, but when I opened the book to get the information catalogers need, I caught a glimpse of the wonderful photographs and illustrations, and I was hooked! This book documents the history of the ocean liner, beginning with steamships in the early 1800s— the architecture, the décor, life on board and, of course, all the advertising used to entice passengers to embark! I loved the section on the “floating palaces” of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. When you are perusing our New Book shelves, be sure to look for this and other large books displayed there, and let them grace your own coffee table for a while.

MAY Staff Picks

American Philosophy: A Love Story The Girl Before My Italian Bulldozer
We are in a Book Fish in a Tree The Japanese Lover
Girl Walks out of a Bar A Piece of the World Girl with the Parrot on her Head Book Cover
The Lost Order The Chilbury Ladies' Choir  Earthly Remains
Frank
American Philosophy: A Love Story” by John Kaag
Jeanine
The Girl Before” by J.P. Delaney – a character driven whodunnit vaguely reminiscent of “Gone Girl”
Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – A wonderful children’s chapter book about friendship and differences
Girl Walks Out of a Bar” by Lisa F. Smith – A dark but often comic memoir of career, ambition and friendship in the midst of severe addiction and eventual recovery.
Kathleen
My Italian Bulldozer” by Alexander McCall Smith
Tuscany is meant to be slowly savored, as a writer discovers when his rental car becomes a rental bulldozer.
Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
May marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the first Elephant and Piggie book. Check one out (my favorite is “We Are in a Book“) and read it aloud to a child you know!
Katie
The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head” by Daisy Hirst (Picture Book).
An imaginative and somewhat introverted child copes with the emotions she experiences after her best friend moves away. This is a sweet story with simple illustrations that gently addresses the feelings of loss, and the process of making new friends.
Kim
The Lost Order” by Steve Berry. The nonstop action in this page turner will keep you up past your bedtime!Earthly Remains” by Donna Leon. Commissario Guido Brunetti takes a break from his work but ends up finding himself involved in an investigation.
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
A Piece of the World” by Christina Baker Kline
Historical fiction that imagines the story of Christina Olsen – the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s famous 1948 painting ‘Christina’s World.’ I can’t wait to visit the real place – and see some of the exhibits this year at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland – in celebration of what would have been Wyeth’s 100 birthday.
Sudie
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir” by Jennifer Ryan. If you loved “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” you will certainly enjoy “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.” Set in in the southeast of England during World War II, the story unfolds through the letters and journal entries of the women in the small village of Chilbury, who have been drawn together in the unconventional “ladies only choir.” Both laughter and tears abound as these women discover the power of music to comfort, heal, and empower.

April Staff Picks

Hen's Teeth and Horses Toes Old Age: A Beginner's Guide The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Hidden Life of Trees Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea The Japanese Lover
The Good Braider Lily and the Octopus The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us Book Cover
Frank
“Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History” by Stephen Jay Gould.
Jeanine
“Old Age: A Beginners Guide” by Michael Kinsley
“Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben
Kathleen
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (also good audio)
If you haven’t read Twain’s masterpiece since high school (and if, face it, you relied on the Cliff Notes), it’s time to open it again and savor a true, funny, and astute American voice.
Katie
“Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea” by Ben Clanton
Fans of “Elephant & Piggie” by Mo Willems will love this hilarious and quirky new graphic novel series by Ben Clanton.
Kim
“The Good Braider” by Terry Farish
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
“Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley
Sudie
“The First Love Story: Adam, Eve and Us” by Bruce Feiler

MARCH Staff Picks

Do not Sell at any Price Old Age: A Beginner's Guide Little Paris Book Shopt
Hidden Life of Trees Katarina's Wish The Japanese Lover
A Gentleman in Moscow Lucky Boy Leaving Lucy Pear Book Cover
Frank
“Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78 RPM Records” by Amanda Petrusich
Jeanine
“Old Age: A Beginners Guide” by Michael Kinsley
“Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben
Kathleen
“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
All of us who work with books know they have magical powers. If you’re stressed by the world around you, a perfect treatment is to re-read something you’ve loved—dig out Pride and Prejudice or Charlotte’s Web or whatever title has meaning to you. George’s book is a hymn to the power of readers- its main character, a bookshop owner, recommends books his customers most desperately need to read.
Katie
“Katerina’s Wish” by Jeannie Mobley
Kim
“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
“Lucky Boy” by Shanthi Sekaran
Sudie
Leaving Lucy Pear” by Anna Solomon
Set in Gloucester and Cape Ann in the roaring 20’s, when the rich were very rich, and the poor were very poor, this beautifully written novel covers many aspects of motherhood. The story revolves around the wealthy young unwed mother who abandons her infant and the struggling mother of several who finds the baby and raises her as her own. Fine character development and haunting scenes makes this a book you won’t easily forget.

February Staff Picks

Hen's Teeth and Horses Toes A Great Reckoning March. Book 1
Before the Fall Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover
Underground Railroad Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril Book Cover
The Bear and the Piano Ms. Rapscott's Girls
Frank
“Hen’s Teeth and Horse’s Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History” by Stephen Jay Gould.
Jeanine
“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny
Kathleen
“March” by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell. This three part graphic novel (book 3 won a National Book Award) documents Congressman Lewis’ struggles as a civil rights activist.
Katie
“The Bear and the Piano” by David Litchfield (picture book)
“Ms. Rapscott’s Girls” by Elise Primavera (junior fiction)
Kim
“Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
 “
Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril” by Margaret Heffernan
Sudie
“Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk” by Kathleen Rooney
Walk alongside 85-year-old Lillian as she takes a poignant walk of recollection through Manhattan on New Year’s Eve of 1984..  Lillian is a wonderful narrator – sharp, witty, charming, provocative and acerbic. She’s led a full and interesting life, not all of it pretty.

January Staff Picks

Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic The Lion in the Living Room A Tale of Two Cities
Lab Girl Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover
Underground Railroad Becoming Wise Book Cover
Frank
“Looking for The Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic” by Alice Kaplan
Jeanine
“The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World” by Abigail Tucker
Kathleen “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens
There’s nothing like retreating into fictional worlds when reality seems far too grim. Knowing there were other periods in history that were the “best of times and the worst of times” offers some comfort. The audio book, read by Frank Muller, brings the listener directly in the Paris of the guillotine and Madame DeFarge.
Kim
“Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead
Sudie
“Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living” by Krista Tippet
Between 2003 and 2015, in her NPR shows “Speaking of Faith” and “On Being,” Tippett has interviewed over 400 extraordinary people—scientists, poets, theologians, activists and others.
She has distilled these conversations into a, engaging book that offers us beauty, vision, and above all, hope. It’s a good read as we enter a new year.

December Staff Picks

A Devil's Chaplain Waking up White" A Christmas Carol
Lab Girl Precious and Grace The Japanese Lover
The Signature of all Things Becoming Wise Book Cover
Frank
“A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love” by Richard Dawkins
Jeanine
“Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race” by Debby Irving
Kathleen
“Precious and Grace” by Alexander McCall Smith
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels are what I read when I am beyond tired of the unkindness in the world. In this installment, modern pressures threaten old Botswana traditions, aided by the likes of the agency’s greatest enemy, the cruel Violet Sopoto.“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
I read this cautionary tale of Scrooge and three ghosts each December as a reminder of what matters in this life.
Kim
“Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
 “The Signature of all Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Sudie
“Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living” by Krista Tippet
Between 2003 and 2015, in her NPR shows “Speaking of Faith” and “On Being,” Tippett has interviewed over 400 extraordinary people—scientists, poets, theologians, activists and others.
She has distilled these conversations into a, engaging book that offers us beauty, vision, and above all, hope. It’s a good read as we enter a new year.

NOVember Staff Picks

Everything that Rises Must Converge When Breath Becomes Air Dinner with Edward
A Great Reckoning Death of a Cozy Writer Today will be Different
Book Cover
Frank
“Everything That Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor
Jeanine
“Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship” by Isabel Vincent
Kathleen
“Death of a Cozy Writer” by G.M. Malliet
There’s nothing quite like a dysfunctional family and a manor house to bring out the worst in people. Mallet’s first book is a romp through mystery conventions. The audio version, read by Davina Porter, accentuates its droll humor.
Kim
“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny
Michele
“Today Will Be Different” by Marie Semple
Michelle
“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

October Staff Picks

The Cave and the Light The Boston Girl My Smart Puppy
A Great Reckoning Everybody's Fool The Japanese Lover
Book Cover
Frank
The Cave and the Light” by Arthur Herman
Jeanine
“The Boston Girl” by Anita Diamant
“My Smart Puppy: Fun, Effective, and Easy Puppy Training” by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson
Kathleen
“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny
Kim
Everybody’s Fool” by Richard Russo
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
“The Boston Girl” by Anita Diamant

September Staff Picks

Are we smart enough to Know how Smart Animals Are? The Violet Hour This I Believe
The Road to Character The One-in-a-Million Boy The Japanese Lover
The Secret History Life Below Stairs Knitting Pearls Book Cover
Frank
“Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?” by Frans de Waal
Jeanine
“The Violet Hour: Great writers at the End” by Katie Roiphe
“This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women”
Kathleen
“The Road to Character” by David Brooks
Kim
“The One-in-a-Million Boy” by Monica Wood
Michele
“The Japanese Lover” by Isabel Allende
Michelle
“The Secret History” by Donna Tartt
Sharon
“Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants” by Alison Maloney
“Knitting Pearls” by Ann Hood

August Staff Picks

Pride and Prejudice The Gene: An Intimate History The Summer before the War
The Boys in the Boat After You Glory over Everything
The Hopefuls The Extra The Return Book Cover
Omaha Beach
Frank
“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Jeanine
“The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Kathleen
“The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson
Kim
“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown
“The Summer Before the War” by Helen Simonson
Michelle
“After You” Jojo Moyes
“Glory Over Everything: Beyond the Kitchen House” Kathleen Grissom
Robert
“The Hopefuls” by Jennifer Close
“The Extra” by A. B. Yehoshua
“The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between” by Hisham Matar
Sharon
“Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944” by Joseph Balkoski

JULY Staff Picks

Shakespeare and Company The Kitchen House The Eyre Affair "Becoming Nicole"
Little Paris Bookshop Homegoing Enchanted Islands
Book Cover
Frank
“Shakespeare and Company” by Sylvia Beach
Jeanine
“The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom
“Becoming Nicole: the Transformation of an American Family” by Amy Ellis Nutt
Kathleen
“The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde. The first of the Thursday Next novels and a grand reminder of the power of a great book.
Kim “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom
Michelle
“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
Robert
“Homegoing” by Yaa Gyas
“Enchanted Islands” by Allison Amend
Sharon
“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George

JUNE Staff Picks

The Power and the Glory Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Plainsong At Home by Bill Bryson
A Man Called Ove Becoming Nicole Crossing to Safety Imagine Me Gone
Before the Wind Soul of an Octopus The Lincoln Project Book Cover
Frank
“The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene
Jeanine
“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce
Plainsong” by Kent Haruf
Kathleen
“At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson
Kim
A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman
Michelle
“Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family” by Amy Ellis Nutt
Robert
Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner
Imagine Me Gone” by Adam Haslett
Before the Wind” by Jim Lynch
Sharon
“The Soul of an Octopus” by Sy Montgomery
The Lincoln Project” by Dan Gutman (FlashBack Four series)(Junior)

MAY Staff Picks

Birding by Impression The Last Painting of Sara de VosBook Cover Breaking Wild When Breath Becomes Air
Dance of the Reptiles The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry My Name is Lucy Barton Journey to Munich
A Doubter's Almanac 1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History The Nightgale Book CoverRed Wagon
Frank
“Birding by Impression: A Different Approach to Knowing and Identifying Birds” by Kevin T. Karlson and Dale Rosselet ; sponsored by The Roger Tory Peterson Institute and the National Wildlife Federation.
Jeanine
“Breaking Wild” by Diane Les Bouquets
“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
Kathleen
“Dance of the Reptiles” by Carl Hiassen
Kim
“My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elisabeth Strout
“Journey to Munich” by Jacqueline Winspear
Michele
“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin
Robert
“A Doubter’s Almanac” by Ethan Canin
“The Last Painting of Sara De Vos” by Dominic Smith
Sharon
“1864: Lincoln at the Gates of History” by Charles Bracelen Flood
“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
“Red Wagon” by Renata Liwska

April Staff Picks

The Power and the Glory Book CoverThe Color of Water Breaking Wild When Breath Becomes Air
Road to Little Dribbline A Mother's Reckoning The Waters of Eternal Youth Astray
Pax Arcadia This is the Life Book Cover
Frank
“The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene
Jeanine
“Breaking Wild” by Diane Les Bouquets
“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
Kathleen
“The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain”
by Bill Bryson
Kim
“The Waters of Eternal Youth” by Donna Leon
Michelle
“A Mother’s Reckoning : Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy”
by Sue Klebold
Robert
“Pax” by Sara Pennypacker (Junior Fiction)
“Arcadia” by Iain Pears
“This is the Life” by Alex Shearer
“Astray” by Emma Donoghue
Sharon
“The Color of Water” by James McBride

MARCH Staff Picks

High Adventure Our Souls at NightBook Cover The Shepherd's Crown My Name is Lucy Barton
The Burgess Boys   When Breath Becomes Air The Gold Eaters
Seabiscuit: An American Legend The Hired Girl Stealing Freedom Coming on home soonBook Cover
Frank
“High Adventure: Our Ascent of the Everest” by Sir Edmund Hillary
Jeanine
“Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf
“The Hired Girl” by Laura Amy Schlitz
Kathleen
“The Shepherd’s Crown” by Terry Pratchett (his last discworld book)
Kim 
“The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout
Michelle
“Winter Stroll” by Elin Hilderbrand
Robert
“The Gold Eaters” by Ronald Wright
“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi
“My Name is Lucy Barton” by Elizabeth Strout
Sharon
“Seabiscuit: An American Legend” by Laura Hillenbrand
In honor of Black History Month:
“Stealing Freedom” by Elisa Lynn Carbone (Junior Fiction)
“Coming on Home Soon” by Jacqueline Woodson (Picture Book)

February Staff Picks

Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah Year of YesBook Cover Wobble to Death  The Burgess Boys
"Furiously Happy" Winter Stroll A Manual for Cleaning Women Love love
Seabiscuit: An American Legend Stealing Freedom Coming on home soonBook Cover
Frank
“Tesla: the Life and Times of an Electric Messiah” by Nigel Cawthorne
Jeanine
“Year of Yes” by Shanda Rimes
Kathleen
“Wobble to Death” by Peter Lovesey (his first novel)
Kim
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things”
by Jenny Lawson
Michelle
“Winter Stroll” by Elin Hilderbrand
Robert
“A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories” by Lucia Berlin
“Love Love: A Novel” by Sung J. Woo
Sharon
“Seabiscuit: An American Legend” by Laura Hillenbrand
In honor of Black History Month:
“Stealing Freedom” by Elisa Lynn Carbone (Junior Fiction)
“Coming on Home Soon” by Jacqueline Woodson (Picture Book)

January Staff Picks

High Adventure The MartianBook Cover Book Cover Bryant and May and the Burning Man
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher Winter Stroll Find Me Unafraid A Strangeness in my Mind
The Mountain Story A Crooked Heart A Spool of Blue Thread The Girl on the TrainBook Cover
Frank
“High Adventure: Our Ascent of the Everest” by Sir Edmund Hillary
Jeanine
“The Martian” by Andy Weir
Kathleen
“Chapter and Hearse” by Catherine Aird
“Bryant and May and the Burning Man” by Christopher Fowler
Kim
“Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis” by Timothy Egan
“Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum” by Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner
Michelle
“Winter Stroll” by Elin Hilderbrand
Robert
“A Strangeness in My Mind” by Orhan Pamuk
“The Mountain Story” by Lori Lansens
“Crooked Heart” by Lissa Evans
Sharon
“Blue Spool of Thread” by Anne Tyler
“Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

December Staff Picks

God's Bankers Garden of Evening MistsBook Cover "Mistakes were Made" The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine
A Christmas Carol Winter Stroll A Banquet of Consequences After You
A Little Life The Boys in the Boat A Spool of Blue Thread The Girl on the TrainBook Cover
Frank
“God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican” by Gerald Posner
Jeanine
“The Garden of Evening Mist” by Twan Eng Tan
“Mistakes Were Made (But not by me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts” by Carol Tarvis and Eliot Aronson
Kathleen
“The Woman who Walked in Sunshine” by Alexander McCall Smith
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (worth reading annually!)
Kim
“A Banquet of Consequences” by Elizabeth George
“After You” by Jojo Moyes
Michelle
“Winter Stroll” by Elin Hilderbrand
Robert
“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara
“Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics” by Daniel James Brown.
Sharon
“Blue Spool of Thread” by Anne Tyler
“Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

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