April 2023 Staff Picks

Apr 14, 2023 | News, Staff Picks

Try some of our favorite reads, perfect for Mud season!


Housemaid by Freida McFadden

HOUSEMAID, a psychological thriller, had me on the edge of my seat. Short chapters make this novel a fast, enjoyable read and a perfect beach book (though I read it in the dead of winter).  There’s a major plot twist *I* didn’t see coming. Bonus: I only discovered this after finishing the book, but HOUSEMAID apparently is book #1 in a series. I cannot wait to see where book #2 takes me!



National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

I’m going with a poetry book: National Geography “Book of Animal Poetry”. I love the real photographs paired with poems by some of my favorite poets like Jack Prelutsky and Robert Frost.



A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher

Not only does this charming book have an exceptionally intriguing title, but the cover shows a gingerbread man with a sword. There is no metaphor here – it’s truly about magic dough. Fourteen-year-old Mona is a unique wizard whose magical gifts only apply to baked goods, including an omnivorous sourdough starter named Bob. Mona uses her magic to make bread rise and gingerbread cookies dance at her aunt’s bakery (and makes the best sourdough bread in the city) until one early morning Mona arrives to heat up the ovens and finds a corpse. Of course this is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime for Mona, and while she works to save the city and everyone she loves, she also very rightly wonders why this responsibility falls to her. Why is a fourteen-year-old responsible for a military defense? Why aren’t the adults doing their jobs? What does it mean to be a hero, and does Mona even want to be one?


A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

I am not a big science fiction reader, but this “solarpunk” novella captured my heart. This novella takes place in a world centuries after robots have gained consciousness and left human society for the wilderness and features a tea monk grappling with the idea of purpose and a robot sent to the human world to ask “What do people need?” This was such a cozy read that gave me an optimistic viewpoint that maybe things can change for the better.


Daphne by Josh Malerman

It took me a minute to get into this one, but once the pacing picked up I had a hard time putting it down.  It’s creepy, it’s gorey, it’s perfect for a rainy day. 



Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach


YPL Teen Advisory Board Picks:

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong and The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater.