This Month's Staff Picks


Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

I don’t know what it is about British thriller writers, but I can’t get enough. Clare Mackintosh is known for her twists that totally change your perception of what’s going on. 

Mina’s one of the flight attendants on the inaugural nonstop London to Sydney flight. She’s glad for the distraction from her difficult home life. Then she gets a note: “The following instructions will save your daughter’s life.” No matter what choice she makes next, someone wants to ensure that the plane never reaches its destination.

Platforms: book, Libby and hoopla (ebook)



A Libertarian Walks into a Bear : The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (and Some Bears) by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling. 

“A tiny American town's plans for radical self-government overlooked one hairy detail: no one told the bears.” -Goodreads

I bought this book as a gift for my husband and he laughed out loud through a lot of it. If you’d like a nonfiction book of local interest this book is for you. With humor it touches on town politics and sociology.

Platforms: book



The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel

Who were the Monuments Men?  They were a group of soldiers who served in the Western Allied military effort during WWII (1943-1951).  Initially their job was to assess combat damage primarily to structures such as museums, churches and other important monuments, but as the war progressed their focus shifted to locating actual movable works of art and other cultural items stolen or otherwise deemed missing.  During the occupation of Europe the Nazis and Hitler seized and transported more than five million of these objects to the Third Reich.  Thus began the "greatest treasure hunt in history" by the Monuments Men.  There was a wild race against time as some of the Nazis in possession of them were intent on making sure that if they couldn't have them, no one else would either, which meant probable destruction of these priceless objects.

All totaled, there were only 350 or so men and women from thirteen nations who served in the MFAA (Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives) section.  This book only gives a partial account of northern Europe as the letters, diaries, field journals and wartime reports provided such a huge amount of information that the author had to tell only some of the stories and has promised a follow up book.  There were some amazing stories that were shared in this book and then later became a movie.  Of course, the book is always better than the movie and this one is no exception.  As an added bonus the author has included many photographs of the actual Monuments Men.  This is a great read for anyone who loves WWII era non-fiction.  

Platforms: book, Libby (ebook/audio)



The Lighted Heart by Elizabeth Yates

Opening the pages of this memoir is an invitation to visit with the author and her husband, Bill McGreal. Readers receive a warm welcome to Shieling, their antique home in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Elizabeth and Bill lived in London, England for 10 years prior to moving to Peterborough in 1939. Elizabeth and Bill are devoted to one another and deeply value the relationships they have with their friends, neighbors, community, and the natural world. Much beauty is contained in the covers of this book. Yates closes with a message of hope that is timeless. Especially poignant are that these words belong to Bill. Readers will find meaning and hope in his message. In 1995 Elizabeth gifted her home and Shieling Forest to the State of New Hampshire. Information is available from the Community Forestry and Stewardship Bureau.

Elizabeth Yates was the author of 50 books including books for children.

Platforms: book



Iceberg by Jennifer Nielsen


As disaster looms on the horizon, a young stowaway onboard the Titanic will need all her courage and wits to stay alive. Hazel Rothbury is traveling all alone from her home in England aboard the celebrated ship Titanic. Hazel harbors a secret dream: She wants to be a journalist, and she just knows that if she can write and sell a story about the Titanic's maiden voyage, she could earn enough money to support her family and not have to go to a sweatshop. The danger only intensifies when calamity strikes, and readers will be caught up in the terror and suspense alongside Hazel as she fights to save her friends and herself.

Rating: 4.25/5 stars.  

Platforms: book, Libby (ebook), hoopla (audio)



Eragon by Christopher Paolini

The first novel in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Eragon is the story of a young farm boy turned dragon rider. As such, he embarks on an adventure in a world full of danger, magic, and destiny. For fantasy enjoyers, or for anyone who just wants to dive into a whole new world, then this book - and series by extension, is a must read. With intricate world-building, intriguing ideas and dynamic characters, Eragon is sure to captivate readers and bore none (or very few).

Platforms: book, Libby (ebook/audio), hoopla (audio)

Past Staff Picks

Staff Picks March 2024
Staff Picks February 2024
Staff Picks January 2024
Staff Picks December 2023
Staff Picks November 2023
Staff Picks October 2023