February 2022

Laura's Picks

Himawari House by Harmony BeckerHimawari House

This beautifully drawn graphic novel explores Japan through the eyes of three foreign exchange students. As they navigate language barriers and cultural differences, they discover more about themselves and develop friendships that cross borders.

Terciel and Elinor by Garth NixTerciel and Elinor

What a pleasure to return to the world of the Old Kingdom! In a troubled medieval land where the dead sometimes walk, the Abhorsens are tasked with laying the dead back to rest. Terciel is the Abhorsen-in-waiting, just learning his strength. Elinor is discovering her heritage after unspeakable tragedy. They will need each other in order to face the greatest challenge the Old Kingdom has known.

Amy's Picks

The Matchmaker's Lonely Heart by Nancy Campbell AllenThe Matchmaker's Lonely Heart

A clever and romantic story set in 1885 London. Detective Michael Baker partners with journalist Amelie Hampton to investigate a murder mystery, which starts out as a curiosity and develops into a puzzling - and dangerous - case. Are Michael and Amelie the perfect match to solve the baffling case?

At Summer's End by Courtney EllisAt Summer's End

In this debut novel (set in 1920s England), an ambitious female artist accepts the Earl of Wakeford's commission to paint at Braemore Castle. Bertie finds the Earl's family burdened with pain and secrets from the Great War. She boldly sets out to help the family transform their isolation and heartache into the new realities of post-war aristocracy. But will the Earl continue to torment himself, or will despair make room for romance?

Jen's Picks

Cornbread and Poppy by Matthew CordellCornbread and Poppy

Caldecott Medalist, Matthew Cordell, charms readers with an early chapter book about two mice who are best friends with opposite personalities. This pair sets out together eager to stock up on food and prepare for winter. What extraordinary things will they discover on their adventures? Reminiscent of Frederick by Leo Lionni and recommended for readers 6 to 8 years old.

Picturing a Nation by Martin W. SandlerPicturing a Nation

An astonishing collection of the Great Depression's finest photographers who set out in 1935 under the Farm Security Administration to document the hardships and experiences of the American people throughout the country. These ten renowned photographers including Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Jack Delano and others bring a vivid portrayal of America during this unprecedented time in history. Somehow managing to capture it all - the good, the sad, and the remarkable endurance of those who lived through it all. Highly recommended for ages 10 and up (teens and adults too).

In an Instant by Suzanne RedfearnIn an Instant

A captivating story of a family ski weekend gone wrong. Sixteen-year-old Finn Miller does not survive the car crash that leaves her loved ones stranded in the frigid night at the base of a cliff without cellphone service to call for help. Readers instantly become enthralled as the remaining survivors become desperate to make it to morning. Decisions are made and outcomes endured. Recommended for older teen and adult readers.

Diane's Picks

West with Giraffes by Lynda RutledgeWest with Giraffes

A historical fiction story about two giraffes who survive the hurricane of 1938 while crossing the Atlantic and their journey to the San Diego Zoo in a custom truck. The trip made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America. Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story. I will never look at a giraffe the same way again.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy LefteriThe Beekeeper of Aleppo

A fictional book about Nuri, a Beekeeper and his wife Afra, an artist, who live a simple life rich in family and friends, until the unthinkable happens. This is a moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel that describes a journey never to be forgotten.

John's Picks

In the Blue Light by Paul Simon (2018)In the Blue Light

The fourteenth studio album in Simon's solo career. This album is unique because it features previously released, albeit lesser known songs in Simon's catalogue but with either modernized lyrics and/or reimagined instrumentation. Not one to shy away from pushing musical boundaries, Paul Simon proves with this particular album that it's never too late to reinvent yourself.

The Lockdown Sessions by Elton John (2021)The Lockdown Sessions

In continuing with the theme of pushing musical boundaries, this latest release from Sir Elton John sees him collaborating with a myriad of different artists young and old for a fresh sound. Written and recorded during the height of the pandemic, Elton duets with everyone from Eddie Vedder to Miley Cyrus to Yo-Yo Ma, just to name a few. I will admit that, being more of a fan of classic rock, this album took a bit of dedication at the beginning to listen through. That being said, while some tracks (in my opinion) are better than others, this album shows that Elton John can collaborate with just about any artist out there and subsequently produce a hit.

Unrequited Infatuations by Stevie Van Zandt (2021)Unrequited Infatuations

The autobiographical memoir of the man himself, actor and musician powerhouse, Steven Van Zandt. Best known as a member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos, this book perfectly captures the life and spirit of one of entertainment's most mysterious and enduring figures. A prominent activist as well, you will be surprised and maybe even inspired by the amazing story of Little Stevie, rock music's preeminent consigliere.