DMPL Staff Picks - 2019
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Books To Read
I haven’t read a collection of short stories in a very long time (Thank you DMPL 2019 Reading Challenge!), and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Sittenfeld does a good job of creating characters that are believable and to whom I connected in a short amount of time. I didn’t like all her characters, which was also a bonus as it made them more human, but they’ve lingered with me. As an aside, I listened to this in audio and it’s narrated by both female and male voices.
I love to drink hot tea, and this book really took me to a whole other level in learning about its history. From a tribe high in a remote village of China, who’ve been guardians of a very rare and favored tea for centuries to the present-day American adoption of an unwanted girl child this is a story in which tea has shaped a family's destiny for generations. A warm winter read. - Luann
This darkly comic novel tells the story of a Nigerian woman who begins to realize her younger sister is, as the title suggests, a serial killer. Part femme-fatale thriller, part exploration of sibling bonds and rivalries, the book has enough sharp twists and payoffs that you won’t want to put it down and is fast-paced and short enough that you won’t have to. – Tim
This Pulitzer Prize winning novel blends historical fiction and magic realism to tell the story of an architect building the greatest hotel in the world. The hotel could never actually be, but you’ll desperately wish it could. Full of delicious details, this book is all about dreams and fantasies, recreated in architecture. – Cat
While driving home one day, Joe sees his wife’s car enter a hotel parking lot, and he decides to follow her. Joe spends the rest of the story uncovering lies and wondering what the truth is. This is a suspenseful page-turner, full of twists, and I did not see the ending coming! - Steph
Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own... Fresh voices and strong multicultural characters from every rung of the social ladder make Martin's debut novel a must-read for fans of contemporary romance with a sporty twist.
A beautiful graphic novel about taking the night off. Each page has a different character pursuing their hobbies, interests, and dreams from the comfort of their own homes. This humorous book shows that being alone, not lonely, can be a rewarding and rejuvenating endeavor. - Sarah L.
I read this teen graphic novel over the weekend. It has Darth Vader making his new base on the planet Mustafar, where he lost his wife, Padme Amidala, and almost died in his battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi (shown in the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith). This is where Darth Vader was born. Cool!
I really liked this book by the former director of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. From the title it sounds like it's about downsizing or simplifying, but it's more an inquiry into the history, beauty and utility of everyday objects. Knowing how things are made helps us connect to the world around us.
A comic book anthology salute to 50 magnificent women who take names, crack ceilings, and change the game in pop, politics, art, and science. Female trailblazers of yesterday and today are featured in 3-page short stories. Part mini biopics and part personal inspiration this project united over 100 comic book artists from around the globe.
Does it seem like your computer knows too much about you? Like when you look at airfare to another city and the next website includes advertisements for hotels in that city? Artificial Intelligence may be the next threat to humanity. In this imaginative adventure, Rollins ties AI of the future to witchcraft of the past and makes a serious case for putting away those devices.
When a would-be heiress uncovers a murdered body rather than her hidden inheritance in a Highland peat bog, cold case detective DCI Pirie unravels a case where nothing is what it seems. It's an engrossing, twisty thriller and a tight police procedural with a strong female lead. While this is the fifth in the series, newcomers are brought up to speed. Fans of Tana French and Ian Rankin will be delighted.
I liked this nonfiction book because the author gave a lot of insight into South Africa that I was not aware of, in addition to his personal story of growing up during the apartheid. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting.
An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House. Warm, wise, and revelatory, this is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations - and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Lately, I've been reading Sarah Andersen's comics. Her work is incredibly funny because of its relatability and honesty about being so-called adults. Millennials and young people everywhere will especially find the humor in the undoing of the myth of "adulthood." This collection presents many fan favorites plus new ones exclusive to the book.
This is the start of a new series that has the author writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes. He works directly with a brilliant, eccentric private investigator to write about a crime that is revealed as it happens. A new and different twist on the standard mystery.
As a sentimental person, I so enjoyed this book of stories from all sorts of people on why we keep what we do. Like me, many tales related that we have these items in our homes because they reflect who we are and where we came from. Many times, what we keep brings solace to the soul. - Luann
Ellery and her twin brother are sent to live with their grandmother in Echo Ridge, Vermont - a town known for keeping secrets. Their aunt disappeared at 17; five years later, the homecoming queen was murdered. This teen novel will have you guessing until the very end as Ellery tries to solve the mysteries of the past while trying to stay alive. Highly recommended!
A Navajo woman named Maggie hunts down monsters with her supernatural powers in this apocalyptic fantasy. Most of the world is underwater, the result of a massive flood, but Maggie’s Navajo home has survived. Unfortunately, she now shares the land with the legendary gods and heroes of her people…and some wicked monsters. Fast paced with a sequel in the works. - Stephanie
A delightful coming of age story set in 1974 in Chance, Trinidad. Bright 18-year-old Vimla’s prospects are high until she’s caught holding hands at night with the village pundit's son. In this town, everyone knows everybody's business, and the residents all react differently to the chain of events this indiscretion leads to. This novel surprised me at many points and was full of humor, wit, great characters, and a subtle wisdom. - Carrie
Lovers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy this elegant murder mystery set on a holiday at the English seaside. Love, jealousy, and revenge are tangled together in this smart and sophisticated British mystery reminiscent of the genre’s golden age. Book one of the Amory Ames series.
A brand-new book based on the best-selling graphic novel! The definitive story that chronicles the obsession, the burning desire, the manic laughter, and the birth of one of the most controversial and popular comic book supervillains ever created: Harley Quinn.
I was familiar with some of the author’s other fantasy series and decided to try her new one. The story includes lots of court politics and individual skirmishes both physical and verbal, and a potential romance. The main character seems younger than her years, but events conspire to make her grow up quickly. Lots of action and even some pie baking advice. Think Gladiator meets Game of Thrones with pastry as a bonus.
How many of our imaginations have been captured by the timeless work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis? But the tales of Narnia and Middle Earth were born on the battlefields of World War I, and in the post-war despair their stories sparked hope. I was inspired to a new appreciation for these two incredible writers by this exploration of their lives.
This book reads like a spy novel, but every bit is backed up with research and fascinating footnotes. Odette Sansom, a mother of three who never believed she was special, managed to help run a network for the French Resistance, resisted torture and starvation when she was captured, and gained the respect of fellow resistance fighters, regular German soldiers and her prison guards. Perfect for fans of Unbroken, The Nightingale, and Code Girls.