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Staff Picks

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

May 18, 2017 Jed @ Hughes Main
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo has had enormous success with her recent Six of Crows series, but Shadow and Bone is the first book in the earlier Grisha Trilogy set in the same world. The grisha are magic wielders, rare and prized in a land that resembles a fantasy version of Tsarist Russia. Alina Starkov, the hero, must learn to harness magical powers she never knew she had, while also navigating court intrigue, romance and her own past as an orphan. This book is appropriate for older teens and adults, and is a gripping read that makes a fantastical, foreign land and the people in it seem deeply real to readers.


The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

May 18, 2017 Becca A. @ Pelham Road
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Aerin is the Sol (or princess) of Damar, the only child of King Arlbeth. She is ostracized by most of the royal court, who accuse Aerin’s late mother of using magic to bewitch and betray the king. They base their suspicions on the grounds that Damarians are all brown-skinned and dark-haired while Aerin is fair-skinned and red-haired, like her mother. Aerin also never developed the Gift, a magical ability evident to some degree in everyone of royal blood. After being goaded into nearly poisoning herself, Aerin begins to study the history of dragons and dragon-slaying. This begins her journey from a lonely, reserved girl to a strong, confident woman who slays dragons, wields a magic sword, defeats an evil enemy, and returns to Damar to rule as Queen. Prequel to The Blue Sword.


Vicious by V. E. Schwab

May 18, 2017 Abbe @ Taylors
Vicious by V. E. Schwab

When Victor is released from prison, his only ambition is revenge against the man who put him there. With the help of an unlikely computer hacker, a young girl with the power of immortality and a resurrected dog, Victor endeavors to track down the friend that betrayed him so many years before and stop him from killing anyone else with "unusual" powers. This is a modern superhero story about two former friends who become mortal enemies in their quest for power. Who is the villain and who is the hero?


The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

May 18, 2017 Abbe @ Taylors
The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

Melanie is an extremely intelligent child who also happens to be a zombie. A new, cognitive zombie strain is discovered in this thrilling and poignant survival story. Melanie's favorite person is her teacher at the military compound where she is held in captivity to be studied. When the compound is attacked and a small group is on the run, can Melanie rely on her human intelligence to resist her basic appetites and save the only person she loves? This is a clever and well-executed take on what it means to be human in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.


What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson

May 16, 2017 David @ Hughes Main
What the Dead Leave Behind by Rosemary Simpson

A fine example of historical fiction and a riveting murder mystery.  We are taken back to New York City in the Gilded Age into the life of Prudence Mackenzie, daughter of a recently deceased judge, whose fiance unaccountably dies in the Great Blizzard of 1888.  Could it have been more than an accident?  Was her mysterious stepmother somehow involved?  The author provides the reader with realistic atmosphere through period detail and excellent characters along with the engaging plot. 


The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

May 13, 2017 Kat @ Greer
The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan

The Dust Bowl and the Depression go hand in hand, but the unexpected hope during such desperation is beautiful. Timothy Egan writes about a handful of families who lived during this terrible time; families who stayed and the communities that were held together with the dream that good times would come again. People who survived the storms had such a tenacity for life, and their stories are so important to remember. 


Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

May 13, 2017 Kat @ Greer
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

It's 1829 in Iceland. Agnes is accused of murder and is waiting for her execution date. The family that has to house her wants her gone as soon as possible, but the more they learn about her life - and the life of the man she murdered - the less clear things become. 

The narrative style is really beautiful. Agnes' story is mostly told by the community around her, and their interpretations of what kind of woman she is; rarely do we get the complete story of Anges. So much of the story is grey area and misinterpretations, and it is truly riveting. 


The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

May 12, 2017 Stephen @ Hughes Main
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

This series is sometimes described as "Harry Potter for adults." If you want a rewarding new epic fantasy world to sink your teeth into, you should download these ebooks. (We also have the series in the Library's print collection, of course!) The book has some adult content, but is centered around the magical education of the orphan Kvothe. Author Patrick Rothfuss has created a brilliant fantasy world where magic is powerful, but limited by rules similar to Newton's laws of motion. Students of magic must be both gifted and clever to succeed in the University. And they need to stay out of trouble, which seems to be the one thing young Kvothe does not have a talent for!


Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

May 11, 2017 Debbie @ Augusta Road
Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

This is an unusual work of fiction, a combination of time travel and fantasy, that delivers. Lux is a single mom in 1975 who stumbles upon another place in time. The Greengage community has been stuck in time since 1906, following an earthquake. Lux discovers that, unlike the people of Greengage, she is able to come and go from her world to theirs. However time doesn't flow the same in both worlds, leading to heartbreak.


Moonglow by Michael Chabon

December 19, 2016 Staff @ Hughes Main
Moonglow by Michael Chabon

A grandson sits by his dying grandfather’s bedside as his grandfather slowly reveals the light and shadows of a marriage and of a family that kept secrets as a way of life. He learns of his grandmother’s life growing up during World War II; her coming to America and living with a man who kept to himself, even lying to her about his short time in prison. Chabon’s signature style includes carefully observed characters that are both new and familiar and shimmering prose that reflects and refracts light much as moonlight does.

(Description from NoveList)