Our staff’s favorite books of 2017

What was the best book you read in 2017? This is the question I posed to my fellow staff members at CPL. Interestingly, I got no duplicate answers! We have a wide variety of reading preferences among our staff, which means there’s something for everyone in this list. Maybe your next great read is below:

Our Library Director Ramona  picked the audiobook edition of  News of the World by Paulette Jiles, read by Grover Gardner. In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction.

Teen Librarian Kelley really liked Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. In this urban fantasy, Jenna, who died  too soon, works to regain the years that were lost to her. But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Bill is our Head of Adult Services, and he picked the Bruce Springsteen autobiography Born to Run as his favorite read of 2017. In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s half-time show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it, which is how this extraordinary autobiography began. Springsteen traces his life from his childhood in a Catholic New Jersey family and the musical experiences that prompted his career to the rise of the E Street Band and the stories behind some of his most famous songs.

Children’s Librarian Lauren went with The Sun is Also a Star, a young adult novel by Nicola Yoon.  In this story Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American on his way to a prestigious college admissions interview, cross paths in New York. They unexpectedly fall in love during an intense day in the city.

 

More books our staff loved last year:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas,  Winter of the Gods by Jordanna Max Brodsky, Evicted by Matthew Desmond, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Illusion Town by Jayne Castle,  The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead, Border Child by Michael Stone, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Reads for Students Worried About Fitting In

Everyone faces some level of anxiety about being liked, fitting in, or finding their own place in the world. For children and teens that have just started getting into the swing of school for the year, this is especially true.

fitinThese are some books about children struggling with fitting in and finding their own worth in the face of new situations and bullies. More often than not, our main characters discover that everyone has the same worries and that standing out is not such a bad thing. As a bonus for readers that are not facing some of these fears, reading books about others struggling can help them empathize with siblings or classmates. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinellifitin2
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Renée Russell
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Locker Hero by Rachel Renée Russell
The Detention Club by David Yoo
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yangfitin4
The Loser List by H. N. Kowitt
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
School Spirit by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Callie’s Rules by Naomi Zuckerfitin6
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
The Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Hound Dog True by Linda Urban
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Every Soul a Star by Wendy Massfitin7
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

There are so many wonderful books about fitting in and standing out that I only touched the surface here. Do you have a favorite from your childhood, or that you have recently discovered, that you would like to recommend? If so leave the title in the comments so the rest of us can check it out too.

Get up to Speed on Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are often put down or considered less than traditional books. However, the artistry and creative storytelling that is included in quality graphic novels is simply amazing.

I have to say that I have always loved graphic novels, and both the quality and quantity of available works seems to be increasing. Classic works, popular fiction, and new ideas are all being made into graphic novels at a pace I simply cannot keep up with. Here are some of the best, new, graphic novels available in our adult and young adult collections bestgn1that I would recommend. Keep in mind that if you do not see the titles you are hoping for in our physical collection we have even more available digitally. You could join my husband in reading through a variety of great graphic novels available through Hoopla!

Ms. Marvel. 1, No Normal by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona
Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl from Jersey City who lives bestgn3a conservative Muslim lifestyle with her family, suddenly acquires superhuman powers and, despite the pressures of school and home, tries to use her abilities to help her community.

March. Book One and March. Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
A first-hand account of the author’s lifelong struggle for civil and bestgn5human rights spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, and his sidekick, Nimona, an impulsive young shapeshifter, must prove to the kingdom that Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law bestgn4Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

Lumberjanes. Volume one, Beware the Kitten Holy written by Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis
Best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley spend a fun summer at Lumberjane scout camp where they encounter yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons while solving a mystery that holds the fate of the world in the bestgn6balance.

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
Presents an alternate history in which Charles Babbage and Ada, Countess of Lovelace, build the “Difference Engine” and use it to explore the wilder realms of mathematics and fight crime for the sake of both London and science.

bestgnbottomMore graphic novels that are must reads for anyone remotely interested include: The Sandman: Overture by Neil Gaiman, J.H. Williams III, Dave Stewart, Todd Klein,  The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, Rat Queens. Volume One, Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebet, Roc Upchurch, Black Science. Volume 1, How to Fall Forever by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera, Pretty Deadly. Volume One, The Shrike by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Emma Rios, The Wake by Scott Snyder, Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky, Becka Kinzie, Christopher Sebela, Attack on Titan. 1, The bestgn2Desperate battle Begins! by Hajime Isayama, translated and adapted by Sheldon Drzka, and Saga. Volume 1  by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples.

10 Books We’re Looking Forward to in August

Thrills, history, fantasy, and a bit of romance are all coming to Cheshire Library shelves in August. Just the thing to get us through the lazy, hazy days of summer!

Every month, librarians from around the country pick the top ten new books they’d most like to share with readers. The results are published on LibraryReads.org. One of the goals of LibraryReads is to highlight the important role public libraries play in building buzz for new books and new authors. Click through to read more about what new and upcoming books librarians consider buzzworthy this month. The top ten titles for August are:

  1. One Kick by Chelsea Cain
  2. Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
  3. Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  4. Lock In by John Scalzi
  5. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
  6. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  7. The Truth about Leo by Katie MacAlister
  8. An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd
  9. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  10. The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar

10 Books We’re Looking Forward to in July

How’s your summer reading going – need some fresh ideas? Well you’re in luck!

Every month, librarians from around the country pick the top ten new books they’d most like to share with readers. The results are published on LibraryReads.org. One of the goals of LibraryReads is to highlight the important role public libraries play in building buzz for new books and new authors. Click through to read more about what new and upcoming books librarians consider buzzworthy this month. The top ten titles for July are:

  1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  2. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
  3. The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day
  4. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  5. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian
  6. World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III by Ben H. Winters
  7. California by Edan Lepucki
  8. Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal
  9. The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills
  10. Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman