July Staff Picks

It prob­a­bly won’t sur­prise you that, as peo­ple who chose to work sur­round­ed by books every day, we real­ly love books. Real­ly REAL­LY love books. Here are a few that our staff have loved the most lately. 

Look­ing for more curat­ed recs from our staff? Check out our Read­ing Rec­om­men­da­tions page, or com­plete a short form and we’ll email you a list of per­son­al­ized recommendations.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Eliz­a­beth says:

This nov­el is about a man who dis­cov­ers abuse at one of Ire­land’s Mag­da­lene Laun­dries. Even though this was a quick read, I found it very mov­ing. The char­ac­ters were well-devel­oped and the writ­ing was ele­gant. A great pick for read­ers look­ing for emo­tion­al­ly res­o­nant his­tor­i­cal fic­tion. This one stayed with me for a long time.”

Scar­let by Genevieve Cogman

Heather says:

This para­nor­mal reimag­in­ing of The Scar­let Pim­per­nel - the clas­sic tale of a fop­pish Eng­lish­man sneak­ing French aris­to­crats out of a blood-soaked Rev­o­lu­tion­ary France — has a new twist … VAM­PIRES! A fun, fast, and well-researched read, this book kept me awake until I fin­ished it. I’m super-thrilled about this new series from the author of the Invis­i­ble Library books.”

My Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor

Les­ley says:

In 1943 Rome, an Irish priest risks every­thing to smug­gle refugees and escaped POWs out of Italy through the Vat­i­can. When we order new books for the library, I keep an eye out for pos­si­bil­i­ties for my fam­i­ly’s book club. This nov­el got a big thumbs up from all of us, includ­ing my mom, who gen­er­al­ly prefers thrillers to his­tor­i­cal fiction.”

The Instant Ene­my by Ross Macdonald

Scot says:

I’m in love with Ross Mac­don­ald’s clas­sic nov­els about pri­vate inves­ti­ga­tor Lew Archer. The Instant Ene­my opens with Archer on the hunt for a 17-year-old who’s run off with her psy­chot­ic boyfriend. Things get com­pli­cat­ed when they kid­nap a wealthy busi­ness­man, and then some­how even more com­pli­cat­ed as the cru­sad­ing Archer pro­ceeds to uncov­er the dam­age done by decades of famil­ial dys­func­tion. Mac­don­ald’s writ­ing is com­pact, his dia­logue is punchy, his plot­ting is sat­is­fy­ing­ly gnarled, and I can’t wait to start read­ing anoth­er one.”

Smokelore by Jim Auchmutey

Sarah says:

This book is for peo­ple who like bar­be­cue, his­to­ry, and learn­ing about the ori­gins of food cul­ture. I’m from South Car­oli­na and my spouse is from Mem­phis, so we don’t always agree on bar­be­cue, but we both enjoyed (and learned some­thing from) this book.”