On our coffee tables & nightstands: Books for your reading list

Posted on December 18, 2019 at 6:00 am

by Rachel Underwood

Working in a library with all of the books can be beautiful, enriching, and wonderfully satisfying.

Library staff have the privilege of interacting with an enormous part of our community and pride ourselves on finding that just-right book—or movie or CD or audiobook or magazine—for each person’s needs.

However, in order to find the perfect library material for you, we must first know about that topic, genre, format, etc.

Working at a library provides access to titles that many of us may never have known about or wouldn’t have picked from the shelf. Luckily, we hear the praises and comments about our titles from library customers, and we see the books, magazines, and DVDs as we check them in, so if one of them has an intriguing premise, it will catch our eyes.

I recruited my fellow library colleagues to geek-out about books on their shelves that they have checked out. I’m hoping you might see something to add to your to-be-read shelf once you get a glimpse of the fascinating titles we’ve been reading recently.

Amanda T. is currently reading

I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi, by Gina Siciliano

This beautiful graphic novel is rendered entirely in ballpoint pen. It is a biography that chronicles the life of 17th century female painter Artemisia Gentileschi as she breaks social traditions and becomes an unforgettable artist.

More Books on the To-Be-Read (TBR) Pile

Monstress: Volume Four, the Chosen, by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda

Charlotte Bronte Before Jane Eyre, by Glynnis Fawkes

Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake

Heidi is currently reading

The Goose Girl (Bayern Series), by Shannon Hale

This series is so good because Shannon Hale re-imagines classic fairytales in a light and fun way without any creepiness. The Goose Girl focuses on the self-growth of the Crown Princess of Kildenree as she navigates both mutinous servants and her growing magical powers.

More Books on the TBR Pile

The Princess Academy series, by Shannon Hale

Austenland, by Shannon Hale

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte

Return of the Temujai, by John Flanagan

The Joy of Hygge: How to Bring Everyday Pleasure and Danish Coziness into Your Life, by Elias Larsen and Jonny Jackson

Caitlin is currently reading

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold

The main focus of this nonfiction book is not Jack the Ripper but the women he killed. An intriguing tidbit from this book is that Jack the Ripper did not actually target prostitutes. This claim was put forward by newspaper accounts and articles.

More Books on the TBR Pile

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys into the Medieval World, by Christopher de Hamel

On Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears, by Stephen T. Asma

Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite: The Science of Monsters, by Matt Kaplan

Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales, edited by Kathleen Ragan

The Joy of Watercolor: 40 Happy Lessons for Painting the World Around You, by Emma Block

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, by Caitlin Doughty

Loki: Where Mischief Lies, by Mackenzi Lee

This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Jonathan S. is currently reading

The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to be a Master Bartender, with 500 Recipes, by Dale DeGroff

DeGroff is a master mixologist with a treasure trove of vintage cocktail books. He created this book to share his versions of revamped recipes and his general know-how to help you get started serving fabulous drinks of your own at parties and gatherings.

More Books on the TBR Pile

The End of Loneliness, by Benedict Wells

Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

Jera is currently reading

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, by Colin Dickey

Beyond the thrill of reading ghost stories, this book shares an analysis of what ghost stories can tell us historically about the point in time when a ghost story sprung to life. The book’s abstract shares: “Paying attention not only to the true facts behind a ghost story, but also to the ways in which changes are made to those facts and why, Dickey paints a version of American history left out of the textbooks, one of things left undone and crimes left unsolved.”

More Books on the TBR Pile

The Case Study of Vanitas (manga series), by Jun Mochizuki

The Essential Talmud, by Adin Steinsaltz

Robin is currently reading

The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, by Yoram Hazony

Hazony presents the ethics, political philosophy, and metaphysics found in the Bible, while endeavoring to have the text accessible to religious and non-religious readers alike.

More Books on the TBR Pile

The Complete Horse Riding Manual, by William Micklem

Cail is currently reading

Oaxaca: Home Cooking from the Heart of Mexico, by Bricia Lopez

This colorful cookbook includes a delicious cactus salad as well as arroz con leche. As the book shares, this is the “first true introduction to Oaxacan cuisine by a native family” and is sure to leave you craving its award-winning recipes.

More Books on the TBR Pile

Swordheart, by T. Kingfisher

The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix Harrow

Love and Resistance: Out of the Closet into the Stonewall Era, photographs by Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies, edited by Jason Baumann

Are You Listening?, by Tillie Walden

The Gloaming, by Kirsty Logan

I Wish You All the Best, by Mason Deaver

This Wound Is a World: Poems, by Billy-Ray Belcourt

Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers, by Jake Skeets

Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman, by Laura Kate Dale

Amy is currently reading

The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black

The Queen of Nothing, a recent release, is the last book of the Folk of the Air series. Like the books before it, this one is full of mayhem, betrayals, adventure, curses, and, of course, the intimidating and beguiling Fair Folk. Start the series with The Cruel Prince.

More Books on the TBR Pile

Atlas of Monsters and Ghosts, by Federica Magrin

Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories, by Max Brallier

Truck Duck, by Michael Rex

The Institute, by Stephen King

Jenn F. is currently reading

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mr. Rogers, by Fred Rogers

This collection of poetry and songs from both Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and The Children’s Corner are accompanied by charming illustrations and enough nostalgia to warm every heart in the general vicinity. (I gave a small squeak of excitement for this title and I’m thrilled to read it soon!)

More Books on the TBR Pile

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett

The Bookshop on the Shore, by Jenny Colgan

Spark: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, by Angie Morgan

Simple Gatherings: 50 Ways to Inspire Connection, by Melissa Michaels

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

Cheryl is currently reading

How to Fall in Love with a Man Who Lives in a Bush, by Emmy Abrahamson

Abrahamson’s debut novel is a funny and clever (the title may have tipped you off). The main character, Julia, is safe in her schedule, habits, and unoriginal ideas (which could have continued on indefinitely), until Ben, the handsome and exciting man who lives in the local park, comes along. This encounter spurs Julia to take a close look at the constrained life she’s been living.

Note: Cheryl is a devoted audiobook reader, so any of her recommendations are on our shelves or in our digital collection (OverDrive & Hoopla) in audio format!

More Books on the TBR Pile

Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans

Sylvester, by Georgette Heyer

Jeeves and the King of Clubs: A Novel in Homage to P.G. Wodehouse, by Ben Schott

Holmes on the Range, by Steve Hockensmith

Spencerville, by Nelson DeMille

The Window at the White Cat, by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Rachel Underwood

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