January 2022 Staff Picks

Dec 30, 2021 | News

What’s the best way to start 2022? With a new book! Check out some of our favorites below. 


On Animals by Susan Orlean
My husband has a running list of “People I’d Like to Have a Beer With.” I’ve since started my own list – though I’ve broadened mine to include wine and mixed drinks because why confine yourself to just beer? – and Susan Orlean is in the top three. 
Her wry wit and funny asides, her descriptions and unique turns of phrase, her conversational tone…all make for an engaging and enjoyable read. 
Though it’s never gratuitous, when she’s filling readers in on the subject at hand, she doesn’t sugarcoat the facts. I’ve become a bit soft when presented with unpleasant facts pertaining to animals and so there were a few lines I simply glossed over. Regardless, this collection of essays is without question ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐️.
I may never enjoy a beer (or wine or mixed drink) with Orlean, but I sure did enjoy these essays. 


Grown by Tiffany Jackson

Tiffany Jackson’s Grown is a must read from the Young Adult shelves. Jackson takes on the difficult subject of emotional, sexual and physical abuse within the music industry. Enchanted, our main character, has one dream and it’s to sing. That dream seems within her reach when Korey Fields, an international superstar, hears her perform at an audition and asks her parents to allow her to go on tour with him. What ensues is a literal nightmare for Enchanted, her family and all the other girls in Korey’s grasp. This book is not easy to read and that’s why it’s important to read.  Jackson offers an inside look into how vulnerable young girls, particularly girls of color, are to this form of abuse and how impossible it is for the families to reach their children once they are in the grasp of these predators. For adults this book shines a light on a very important issue and for teens it helps them understand the warning signs of inappropriate and abusive relationships.


Soomi’s Sweater  by Susie Oh

Now that sweater weather has officially arrived, you can cuddle together with your little ones and read this sweet, beautifully illustrated picture book about Soomi’s new sweater. 


Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

A wonderful collection of poems about our world and ourselves. I have been a big fan of this poet since I first heard her recite her own poetry on a tv show. She had just won a children’s poetry contest many years ago. Now, she’s well known and widely admired for her awesome and inspiring presentation at the presidential inauguration. Highly recommend!


Off the Wild Coast of Brittany by Juliet Blackwell

 A realistic trek off the coast of France, including a historical vision of the Nazi siege of a small island.  Juliet is a lover of all things French!


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Words cannot explain my love for this book. I blew through it in three days and couldn’t get to the end fast enough. An up and coming writer interviews a famous Hollywood actress who is well known for the seven husbands she has wed throughout her lifetime. It made my heart swell with love and shatter with heartbreak.


The Woman with the Blue Star by Pam Jenoff

I listened to the audio book for this and all four voice actresses were excellent. I was shocked and on the edge of my seat consistently throughout the book. The author dangles a mystery from the beginning that is thankfully resolved with a bittersweet ending. This is a grand story of love and friendship during a difficult and frightening time.


Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Award winning author Charles Frazier wrote a tale based on family stories handed down through the generations and local history. An injured Confederate soldier makes his way home to the woman he loves. With the Civil War coming to a close he finds Cold Mountain and the woman he loves are no longer the same. A moving story of war, isolation, and change. 


Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan