Library Staff Recommended Reading March 2015

Recommended Reading Archive


Snowpiercer (DVD)

A 2014 dystopian sci fi thriller, Snowpiercer was on many critic’s top ten lists last year.  With a $40 million dollar budget, and previous Oscar winners (Octavia Spencer and Tilda Swinton), two Oscar nominees (John Hurt and Ed Harris), and two major stars (Chris Evans, Marvel’s Captain America, and Jamie Bell, Fantastic Four’s The Thing/Ben Grimm), it delivers in all aspects.

This movie is set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills almost all life on the planet.  A lucky few, the last of humanity, board the Snowpiercer.  The Snowpiercer is a train that travels around the globe, carrying humanity’s last passengers, where a class system emerges and one passenger will need to risk everything…                                


~ Lori Kuban ~


The whispering skull

Lockwood & Co.:  The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. 

London has developed a ghost problem and only the young have the talent and sensory perception to combat it.  Lockwood & Co. is one of many organizations with trained agents who can deal with the problems the ghosts are causing, but it is small.  In fact, Lockwood, George and Lucy are the whole company and they have had as many disasters as successes in getting rid of the pesky paranormal visitors.  If they can solve the case of the Bone Mirror before the prestigious Fittes Company does, it will give the business a huge boost. However, everyone who comes in contact with the mirror winds up dead.  Plus, the mysterious skull George keeps around has begun to whisper to Lucy and he has a lot to say about this case.  But is he telling them the truth, or steering them into danger? Second in a series that blends suspense and humor.                                                                                

~ Sue Daniels ~

How to be a heroine, or, What I've learned from reading too much

How to be a Heroine: or, What I’ve Learned from Reading Too Much

by Samantha Ellis

Ellis is a playwright who grew up in an Iraqi Jewish community in London. She has always been an avid reader, and here, she rereads, as a 30-something adult, all of her favorite books with which she identified as a child, teenager and college student. She examines her literary heroines, and explores how her life was influenced and continues to be influenced by them. I agree with one reviewer who states this is a book “. . . that made me want to run to the bookshop to buy copies of novels I’ve never got round to reading and devour those too.” I enjoyed reading Ellis as much as I enjoyed Susan Hill’s and Michael Dirda’s books about reading.                                                           

~ Sarah Muench ~

Puddle jumping : a book about bravery

Yummy ice cream : a book about sharing

Hello, Friends! Series by Emma Quay (board books)

Panda, Owl, and Sheep are the best of friends. Together they conquer fears, learn how to share, get a restful night’s sleep, and develop their imaginations. Clear, expressive watercolor and mixed media illustrations support the simple, playful text in these delightful board books for fledgling readers.  The series includes Puddle Jumping, Yummy Ice Cream, Good Night, Sleep Tight, and Let’s Play House.  Little ones will enjoy the unlikely friends and their adventures, connecting to all the goofy antics.  Meanwhile, parents will have just as much fun enthusiastically reading the silly dialogue and drawing attention to the amusing pictures.  Recommended for infants and toddlers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

~ Abby Landers ~

George W. Bush

The American Presidents Series by various authors

While many of us wish we could accomplish more of it, reading about history can be a daunting challenge, largely on account of the occasionally dry prose and intimidating pagination most its books contain. One great way to learn more about history though, and the ways in which it has shaped our nation, is through reading about the presidents. The American Presidents Series is an excellent collection of books that tell the story of our presidents, and our history, in a manner that is concise, yet thorough and authoritative. Each entry has a different author, and they have been written by such noted historians as H.W. Brands, Robert Dallek, and Douglas Brinkley. All but five presidents have been covered in the series thus far (George W. Bush’s edition was just released in February), and each book is only about 150-200 pages. The pacing is brisk and the content is educational, and from Washington to Grant, the Roosevelts, and the Bushs, the fascinating tales of our heads of state are all covered in The American Presidents Series. The Elm Grove Library has many of the books in this series available for checkout today.                                                                               

~Noah Weckwerth~

Me before you

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.  

This is the story of a young woman whose life was going nowhere and how she became the care-giver of a quadriplegic man.  Once an active, vibrant lawyer who lived life fully, Will became a quadriplegic following a tragic accident.  Louise lived an exceedingly average life and appeared to be perfectly willing to "settle".  This is the story of how these two people met each other and how they changed for the better because of it.  Written with humor and compassion, this very readable book explores the decisions people make, including the moral and religious implications of those decisions.                                                               

~ Milly Strawn ~


Note: Me Before You makes for great book club discussions. Filming will begin for the movie adaptation of this novel with a scheduled 2016 release date. The author is writing a sequel, After You, and it will have a publication date of September 2015.                 

~ Paulette Brooks ~

All the broken things

All the broken things by Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

This novel is a beautiful and captivating story about a fourteen-year-old boy, Bo, wanting to gain the independence and freedom that his family was desperately seeking. Bo arrived to Canada from Vietnam with his mother Rose and younger sister Orange but begins to experience new tragedy, racism, and poverty. People take advantage of their naive and desperate circumstances when they must rely on the charity of the locals. Orange was born disfigured due to devastating effects of Agent Orange used in the war. Rose keeps Orange hidden from the rest of the world, while Bo struggles with both his shame and wanting to introduce his sister to the life she deserves. Bo joins the bear-wrestling carnival entertainment, yearning for a sense of belonging and accomplishment, love and friendship but his family has disappeared for the carnival owner's freak show act. Bo and Bear set off on a extraordinary journey through the streets of Toronto together to find his family. It's delightful, sobering, frightening, and highly readable. You will experience every emotion which can be felt right down to the core.                                                                                                                                                                                    

~ Jin Hur ~

Making Marion : where's Robin Hood when you need him?

Making Marion: where's Robin Hood when you need him? by Beth Moran

Arriving from Ireland and in need of a place to stay, Marion Miller finds herself working at a campground in Sherwood Forest. She begins the process of investigating her father's past and comes across answers to her own present and future. This is an entertaining, fast moving, delightful novel.                                                     


~ Nancy Arevalo ~

“Staff Recommends” Compiled by Paulette Brooks


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