Staff Picks January 2021

Jan 6, 2021 | Staff Picks


The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg. 

Fannie Flagg returns us to the town of Whistle Stop and continues the story from “Fried Green Tomatoes”. This is a feel-good read about the heart of small towns.


Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz
The sequel to Magpie Murders. Susan, former editor, inherits both a hotel in Crete and a murder in England.


Donut the Destroyer by Sarah Graley

Donut (middle name: The; last name: Destroyer) is the daughter of the world’s most notorius villians. Her best friend Ivy can’t wait to start villain school this year, with Donut as her sidekick. However, Donut has just received the best news of her life – she’s been accepted to Lionheart School for Heroes! Donut is determined to prove that, despite her family connections and her bestie’s expectations, she is a hero in her heart. A fun and playful graphic novel about friendship and embracing your identity. You will fall in love with Donut and be entertained by the epic battles between good and evil in this book!



Afterlife by Julia Alvarez

The complexities of death, sisterhood, identity, and community intersect beautifully in this small book. Set in rural Vermont, we meet Antonia trying to come to terms with the death of her husband while being pulled by her family in one direction and by an undocumented laborer in the other. Both situations interweave as Antonia tries to discover who she is going to be moving forward.


A Promised Land by Barack Obama.
I’m actually listening to the audiobook (all 28 cds) and as with Michelle Obama’s Becoming, Barack narrates his memoir making it a much more intimate and engaging experience.  Unlike Michelle’s memoir, his is understandably heavy on policy.

While running the risk of causing this reader/listener to glaze over, his occasional humor and injection of behind-the-scenes details – in layman’s language – shed a whole new light on how certain decisions came to be made and policies passed (or not).  In the opening pages of his book, he writes he could have simply provided these details via footnotes or endnotes, but he hates footnotes and endnotes and thus made the decision to include the back story in his narrative instead. This has an obvious impact on the audiobook edition, but overall, it produces a narrative that flows instead of one constantly interrupted by the need to flip to the back of the book for context. Five stars. Highly recommend.