This Month's Staff Picks


Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Platforms: print book, Libby (ebook and audio)



Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

You can hop right into any book of this long-running series. Becky has the best of good intentions to make this year’s holiday season the best ever for her family and friends, especially her preschool daughter. There’s just a tiny detail to nail down about her husband’s present – about the school Christmas pageant – about the vegan turkey for her sister – and what does Minnie keep saying she wants?

I love how this series makes each adventure fresh and funny. The joy is to see how Becky wriggles out of the consequences of each mistake and winds up with the perfect ending every time.

Platforms: print book, hoopla (audio)



Reacher:  The Killing Floor 

For those of us who have not yet read this series, here you go - here is #1.  Yes, it was a Prime Video show last year but, as always, the book is better.  If you are a fan of murder mysteries with a hero at the helm who is a mystery himself and unique then this is a great series to get into during these winter nesting months.  

Jack Reacher is a former career military police officer with no family ties.  He doesn't have a home or car and doesn't even carry a backpack, preferring to purchase what he needs when he needs it. At 6'5",built like a linebacker, and very intelligent, he coolly calculates his way out of very tough situations.   

I have both read and listened to books in this series and have found both enjoyable.

Platform: print book, Libby (ebook and audio)



Cheap Old Houses: An Unconventional Guide to Loving and Restoring a Forgotten Home byElizabeth & Ethan Finkelstein

If you enjoy tinkering around your home, decorating, perusing thrift stores, attending auctions, or, like this reader, want to return as the owner of a salvage yard, read on!

This book is a pleasure to page through. Make a cup of tea or your favorite wintertime beverage and find a cozy place to turn the pages of this book. The photography alone is inspiring.

Each home has a story: every building has a history. The people who rescue properties like these special structures share their stories of how these forgotten buildings are now sanctuaries and one-of-a-kind homes.

The authors are HGTV Hosts of Cheap Old Houses “Instagram’s Most Enchanting Rabbit Hole.”

Platform: print book



MONTH: December (Christmas) 

TITLE: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time (Merlin Mission #16)

AUTHOR: Mary Pope Osborne

GENRE: Juvenile Fiction - Early Chapter Books

Summary: Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Join Jack, Annie and the Magic Tree House in this historical holiday story that puts a twist on Charles Dicken's classic The Christmas Carol. Jack and Annie must help the famous writer Charles Dickens! The brother and sister are whisked back in time to Victorian England and the foggy streets of London. There, Jack and Annie discover that Charles Dickens has been thrown in jail! How can they help him? They will need all their magic-and help from three ghosts-to keep the great writer from ruining his life!

Rating: 4/5 stars. What is more to love than Jack and Annie?  A Merlin Mission book to help a classic author work through writer’s block.  I loved this Christmas time tale written by Mary Pope Osborn. 

Platforms: print book, Libby (Audio) 



The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

           If you liked the original hunger game books, this book is for you. This book is a prequel to the popular "Hunger Games" Series, set 64 years before the original trilogy. The story revolves around a young Coriolanus Snow, who is struggling with his family's fallen status in the capital. When he's chosen to mentor a tribute from district 12 in the tenth Hunger Games, he sees it as an opportunity to restore his family's glory. However, as he forms an unexpected bond with his tribute, Lucy Gray, he begins to question the brutal games and the society that celebrates them.

It's a great story of ambition, survival, and the difficulties of a dystopian society

Platforms: print book, Libby (ebook and audio)


Past Staff Picks

Staff Picks November 2023
Staff Picks October 2023
Staff Picks September 2023
Staff Picks August 2023
Staff Picks July 2023
Staff Picks June 2023