New year, new to-be-read list! If you’re looking for a book to start your year off right, consider these titles recommended by our staff. Simply click on a title to place a hold request.
Want even more curated recs from our staff? Check out our What We’re Reading page, or complete a short form and we’ll email you a list of personalized recommendations.
“A concentration camp survivor accuses a wealthy philanthropist of being a notorious Nazi from his Polish hometown. Alternating between 2005 and WWII, Once We Were Brothers examines the reliability of memory, family heritage and loyalty, and betrayal. What really transpired all those years ago? Whose story of events is accurate? This book has everything: a historical mystery, an intriguing court case, mistaken identity, and a sweet love story.”
“I love a snarky John Scalzi book and Starter Villian did not disappoint. Charlie seems to only have bad luck. When he inherits his uncle’s business, he (mistakenly) believes things might be looking up. Unfortunately, his uncle was a supervillain with a bunch of supervillain frenemies who now want to take Charlie down. This book has everything you’d expect, like volcano lairs and murder. It also has some things you wouldn’t expect, like spying cats and dolphins who want to unionize. A fun and fast-paced read with a bit of a James Bond vibe.”
“I don’t normally pick whodunnits, and I never pick fascism, but Jo Walton’s Farthing combines the two into a book I think about a lot, seven years after first reading it. Set in an alternate reality where the U.K. made peace with the Nazis, this locked room mystery is about the murder of an English aristocrat who helped broker the alliance with Germany. Farthing was first published in 2006, but the themes running through it – from the mundane bureaucracy of evil, to the struggle between individual safety and the freedom of the oppressed – are timeless and particularly prescient today.”
“The Book of Form and Emptiness is mesmerizing. It amplifies your own awareness of the world around you while you barrel head-first into Benny’s world. He and his mother are navigating fresh grief, beautifully detailed by Ozeki. Benny begins to hear voices from objects, and the book itself becomes a character. No surprise that Benny finds himself at the public library. I could not put this book down, and am enjoying it even more the second time around.”
“A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is the second book in the Monk and Robot series and, boy, it is a healing salve for the heaviness that exists in our world. Continuing their journey across Panga’s human territories, this story follows Sibling Dex, a traveling Tea Monk, and robot Mosscap as they help humans find ease through a simple cup of tea (Sibling Dex) and search for what humans really want and need (Mosscap). If you are looking for a gentle, cozy read that explores humanity and the power of community, this is the book (well, series) for you.”