Staff Recommends


 This Month's Staff Recommends



Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Janet Drake, Borrower Services

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Why, when we tidy our homes, do we have so little time to enjoy our new clarity before the clutter comes bounding back? Marie Kondo knows what's going on. This world renowned tidiness guru tells why our usual ways of decluttering don't last and why her repeatedly proven way does. Based on her belief that clearing is for the person we are becoming, not for the person we used to be, the author guides us in refining our possessions to revitalize us in our relationship with our belongings. She shows that putting your home in order with the things that touch your heart is the magic that transforms a cluttered home into a space of serenity and inspiration.
Also available as an E-Book.

The Transition Companion by Rob Hopkins
If you have an interest in helping any community you’re a part of, this is the gem you’ll feel glad you found. Without sugar coating the grave problem of living beyond our earth’s resources, every chapter offers examples of positive change and problem solving in moving away from fossil fuel dependency. With a positive viewpoint born from experience, The Transition Companion offers you help, hope, and problem solving tips to know the ways you can make a difference.

 Reviewed in 2015

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Laraine Worby, Reference Librarian

These two novels, Nora Webster by Colm Toibin and We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas, feature Irish working class women, one in 1960’s Ireland and one in mid-20th century New York. Their lives are somewhat parallel, with each finding their way as an independent woman and both making questionable choices in her journey.

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
Nora Webster’s journey is one of mourning, healing and a slow awakening. As a young widow, she is living a lonely life, wanting only to protect and be surrounded by her children as she grieves and attempts to ignore the society around her. We realize that her whole life has been lived through her beloved husband, with opportunities unexplored and rejected, never having had a chance to form her own self or create her own life.

As she comes to terms with her new situation, she is slowly and cautiously drawn back into a world filled with outside relationships and interests. Through the re- discovery of her love of music she begins to find her own voice.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
We Are Not Ourselves is both a tale of the changing landscape and values of middle class America in the late 20th century, and one of enduring familial love.

Eileen Leary, the main character at the heart of the novel, longs to leave behind the harsh, working class world in which she was raised. She marries a man, Ed, who she believes will facilitate that escape, and is disillusioned when she realizes that he is not interested in the upward climb that she desires.

A strong woman, Eileen embarks on the path to rising mobility anyway, with determination and fierceness. They have a son, Connell, who they both adore. Eileen is constantly pushing Connell academically while Ed is more affectionate.

Along the way, Ed begins to exhibit uncharacteristic, strange behavior and the family dynamic is altered dramatically. His decline occupies the final two-thirds of the novel, as Eileen and Connell struggle for normalcy, but the consequences of his disease are inevitable. Eileen soon learns that plans and dreams have no power over reality as she attempts to maintain his dignity and her control.

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Jennifer T., Information and Research Services

The Return of the Soldier (1918) by Rebecca West
A short but powerful read, this World War I novel tells the story of a shell-shocked soldier named Chris Baldry whose injury during the war leaves him with partial amnesia. After a concussion, Chris wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember anything from the past fifteen years of his life. His cousin Jenny and wife Kitty are strangers to him, but who he does remember is his first love, a woman from his past named Margaret Allington. More cheerful than ever, Chris eagerly telegrams the now Mrs. Margaret Grey to arrange for a meeting, despite not having spoken to her in over a decade. Shocked, Kitty and Jenny watch helplessly as he falls in love with Margaret all over again, as they are left wondering whether he was ever happy living with them in the first place, or if his amnesia unmasked the inner feelings he had been harboring all along.
Read Online: Project Gutenberg EBook

Book Talk: We Recommend
Recommended by Helen Lui, Borrower Services

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Inspiration comes from the least likely of characters in this story about a quadriplegic and his caretaker. What starts out as a menial job for Lou becomes an eye opening experience and the opportunity to discover a life beyond her small English town. The relationship between the two main characters is acerbic in the beginning but develops into one of mutual gratitude.


You'll find more ideas on the Reader Services Page, the Fiction Booklist Section and among our previous Staff Recommendations.


Staff Recommends






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Updated on 12/24/2014 11:26 AM
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