Due to restroom ren­o­va­tions, the Redan-Trot­ti Library will be closed Sat­ur­day, April 13.

November Staff Picks



It’s offi­cial­ly Novem­ber, and time for anoth­er round of staff picks! Five of our avid read­ers have chimed in with books they’ve enjoyed recent­ly. See one or more you’re inter­est­ed in? Click on a title to place a request.

Want even 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.

The Spar­row by Mary Doria Russell

Antho­ny says:

In her stun­ning debut, the now-cel­e­brat­ed author Mary Doria Rus­sell mas­ter­ful­ly com­bines ele­ments of moral phi­los­o­phy, sci­ence, reli­gion, and anthro­pol­o­gy into an unfor­get­table tale. A near-future imag­in­ing of first con­tact with a sen­tient alien species, this win­ner of an Arthur C. Clarke Award address­es fun­da­men­tal ques­tions of choice and con­se­quence; of per­spec­tive and cul­ture. With a con­clu­sion of incred­i­ble impact, The Spar­row is an expe­ri­ence that will stay with read­ers for a lifetime.”

Peach Blos­som Spring by Melis­sa Fu

Ardene says:

I enjoyed this nov­el, which fol­lows the mem­bers of a Chi­nese fam­i­ly from the 1930s onward. I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked the on-the-ground view of the Japan­ese inva­sion of Chi­na, and see­ing how it affect­ed the char­ac­ters. The thoughts and feel­ings of the main char­ac­ter – a woman forced to flee her home with her four-year-old son – paint­ed an inti­mate, inside por­trait of Chi­na, which I haven’t seen before in Eng­lish-lan­guage fic­tion. I was also hap­py that the author did­n’t explain the pol­i­tics of the time, but let my own knowl­edge inform my per­cep­tions of what the char­ac­ters were experiencing.”

Firekeeper’s Daugh­ter by Ange­line Boulley

Fran says:

I am so, so in love with this book and want to press it into the hands of every­one I meet. The pro­tag­o­nist, Dau­nis, is a remark­able char­ac­ter whose strength and deter­mi­na­tion in the face of adver­si­ty are tru­ly inspir­ing. The book’s explo­ration of Native Amer­i­can (specif­i­cal­ly Ojib­we) iden­ti­ty and the chal­lenges faced by indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties is both enlight­en­ing and essen­tial. It beau­ti­ful­ly weaves togeth­er a thrilling mys­tery with themes of fam­i­ly, her­itage, and the com­plex­i­ties of iden­ti­ty. If you like smart, dri­ven teen hero­ines like Veron­i­ca Mars, you’ll love Dau­nis. A per­fect read for Native Amer­i­can Her­itage Month, or, hon­est­ly, any month.”

My Year of Rest and Relax­ation by Ottes­sa Moshfegh

Jack says:

This book invites you to indulge an absurd idea: If you could hit the snooze but­ton and sleep for an entire year, would you? And, if you did, how would that work? The melan­cholic unnamed nar­ra­tor hatch­es a plan to do just that. The fur­ther I read, I won­dered if this pre­pos­ter­ous idea would actu­al­ly work. The char­ac­ters – as unlike­able as they are – will stick with you long after you put the book down. If you want to read some­thing dark, gloomy and bizarre, then say, Yes, please,” to this book.”

Moon Called by Patri­cia Briggs

Shantrice says:

This is the first book in a series about a female shapeshifter who can see and talk to ghosts and has an on-again, off-again friend­ship with a Scoo­by-Doo-lov­ing vam­pire. It’s set in a world where secret bat­tles are fought between var­i­ous paranormal/​supernatural enti­ties, and humans are pre­vent­ed from real­iz­ing just how dan­ger­ous things are. The heroes don’t always make it to the end of each book unscathed, and not every good per­son lives through­out the series. This fast-paced series has me want­i­ng to down­load the next book before the book I’m lis­ten­ing to even finishes.”