Staff Picks

April Staff Picks

The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell
Recommended by Rebecca

When production for the tenth season of the hit cooking competition Bake Week begins at the gothic estate of the show’s host and founder, celebrity chef Betsy Martin, everything seems normal. The six contestants are eager to prove their culinary talents over the course of five days, while Betsy struggles for control of the show with her new co-host, the brash and unpredictable Archie Morris. But as the baking competition gets under way, things begin to go awry. At first it’s merely sabotage–sugar replaced with salt, a burner turned to high–but then someone shows up dead and suddenly everyone’s a suspect.

Available as a book, large print, audio book, e-book and e-audio.

Mythos by Stephen Fry
Recommended by Sam

Ere are the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths, stylishly retold by Stephen Fry. The legendary writer, actor, and comedian breathes life into ancient tales, from Pandora’s box to Prometheus’s fire, and transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder. Classical artwork inspired by the myths and learned notes from the author offer rich cultural context.

Available as a book, audio book, e-book, and e-audio.

How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
Recommended by Sarah

Louise’s parents have passed away, and she’s returning to Charleston, where she grew up, to get their house ready to sell. She doesn’t want to deal with the remnants of her father’s academic career and her mother’s lifelong obsession with puppets and dolls. And she doesn’t want to spend time with her younger brother, Mark: their old grudges make that a terrifying prospect. But childhood hurts pale in comparison to the dangers posed by what still lives inside the house. Some houses don’t want to be sold… and Louise and Mark’s home has other plans for both of them.

Available as a book, e-book, and e-audio.

A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar
Children’s Fiction
Recommended by Denise

Lula, a farm-working girl with big dreams, meets Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong, and other labor rights activists and joins the 1965 protest for workers’ rights.
Lula Viramontes dreams of one day becoming someone whom no one can ignore: a daring ringleader in a Mexican traveling carpa, despite her father’s traditional views of what girls should be. When her family arrives for the grape harvest in Delano, California, Lula meets activist Dolores Huerta and el Teatro Campesino (the official theater company of the United Farm Workers). She discovers an even more pressing reason to raise her voice: the upcoming farm workers’ strike, an event that will determine her family’s future–for better or worse.

Available as a book.

March Staff Picks

Wildoak by C. C. Harrington
Juvenile Fiction
Recommended by Denise

Maggie Stephens’s stutter makes school especially hard. She will do almost anything to avoid speaking in class or calling attention to herself. So when her unsympathetic father threatens to send her away for so-called “treatment,” she reluctantly agrees to her mother’s intervention plan: a few weeks in the fresh air of Wildoak Forest, visiting a grandfather she hardly knows. It is there, in an extraordinary twist of fate, that she encounters an abandoned snow leopard cub, an exotic gift to a wealthy Londoner that proved too wild to domesticate. But once the cub’s presence is discovered by others, danger follows, and Maggie soon realizes that time is running out, not only for the leopard, but for herself and the forest as well.

​Told in alternating voices, Wildoak shimmers with beauty, compassion, and unforgettable storytelling as it explores the delicate interconnectedness of the human, animal, and natural worlds.

Available as a book, and playaway.

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour
Recommended by Rebecca

When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind not only the losses that have shattered her world but the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her.

Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern. In her seventh year and fifth major as an undergraduate, she yearns for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but is unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.

When Sara catches sight of Emilie one morning at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara’s old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.
At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story for our time and a propulsive journey through the lives of two women finding their way in the world.

Available as a book, large print, audio book, e-audio and e-book.

We Are The Light by Matthew Quick
Recommended by Hope

Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero–everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an eighteen-year-old young man whom the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’s backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most importantly, themselves.

Available as a book, large print, audio book, e-book, and e-audio.

Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Young Adult Fantasy
Recommended by Sarah

Adri is finally getting what she’s spent most of her life working towards: a seat on a mission to Mars and a chance to leave an environmentally devastated Earth behind. But in the months before liftoff, she’ll be placed in contact with her only living relative, elderly Lily, and introduced to a mystery about her roots in the Kansas prairie. Her attempt to solve this mystery will introduce characters from the past, including two sisters trying to survive the horrors of the Dust Bowl and a young English woman finding her courage to cross the ocean. As Adri learns their stories, she finds her tethers to Earth are stronger than she ever realized. A beautiful, elegaic book that makes you consider the ways people cope in times of climate crisis and what connects the present and the past.

Available as a book, audio book, e-book, and e-audio.

Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris
Historical Fiction
Recommended by Sam

1660 England. General Edward Whalley and his son-in law Colonel William Goffe board a ship bound for the New World. They are on the run, wanted for the murder of King Charles I–a brazen execution that marked the culmination of the English Civil War, in which parliamentarians successfully battled royalists for control. But now, ten years after Charles’ beheading, the royalists have returned to power. Under the provisions of the Act of Oblivion, the fifty-nine men who signed the king’s death warrant and participated in his execution have been found guilty in absentia of high treason. Some of the Roundheads, including Oliver Cromwell, are already dead. Others have been captured, hung, drawn, and quartered. A few are imprisoned for life. But two have escaped to America by boat. In London, Richard Nayler, secretary of the regicide committee of the Privy Council, is charged with bringing the traitors to justice and he will stop at nothing to find them. A substantial bounty hangs over their heads for their capture–dead or alive…

Available as a book, audio book, e-book, and e-audio.