Your WFL Staff

Let us connect you to resources - books, music, movies & more!

     Bri        Christina
 (Lib. Assistant)    (Lib. Assistant
)

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Jen (Jennifer)    Kaya
   (Lib. Assistant)    (Lib. Assistant)

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picture of a woman

 

 

 

 

 

     Kathy          Marcia
(Technical Librarian)  (Children's Librarian)

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 Melissa (Mel)    Patrick
(Reference Librarian) (Library Director)

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READER'S ADVISORY STAFF PICKS

October 2022

We love connecting reader's to their next "read."

Please feel free use this link to access the list of the October RA Staff Picks.

RA Staff Picks - October 2022

ENJOY!

 


STAFF PICKS!

Week of 11/28-12/3/2022

  plunger on a flowered hillBri

  Title:  I Want to Be a Vase

  Author:  Julio Torres  Illustrator:  Julian Glander

  Juvenile Fiction Picturebook

By far one of the strangest kid's books that I've read in a while!  It's about a toilet plunger that wants to be a vase. Throughout the story, there are plenty of other objects wishing to be something else, like a hair dryer that wants to be a vacuum cleaner.  In the end, the household objects find creative ways to achieve their dreams!  What really got me with this book are the illustrations.  The art style uses 3-D shapes and a heavily saturated color palette, giving it a visually unique look that reminds me of stop motion animation. 

a man's face in profile silhouetted against a darkened house at twilight  Christina

  Title:  The Last Straw (The Jigsaw Files, no. 4)

   Author:  Sharon Sala

   Mystery 

The series finale brings us back to Charlie Dodge and Wyrick as they scramble to stop a murderer from claiming another victim.  A woman reports that her sister has disappeared from her Dallas apartment and no clues have been left behind to point them in the right direction.  Meanwhile, Wyrick is still grappling with a secretive, corrupt organization from her past that is now threatening her life.  Charlie is deeply concerned for Wyrick and goes above and beyond to help eliminate this threat, but can he put aside his own challenges to save both Wyrick and a missing person?

African American people against a city building backdrop  Jen

  Title:  The Warmth of Other Suns

   Author:  Isabel Wilkerson

   Non-Fiction 

An epic and historical story of how and why millions of Black Americans left the South between 1915 and 1970 to escape the brutality of the Jim Crow Laws and find safety, better pay, and more freedom in what is known today as "The Great Migration."

  set of books on edge with titles outwardKathy

  Title:   The Harry Bosch Series

   Author:  Michael Connelly

   Suspense Fiction

Instead of just one book, I have chosen a series I love this time!  Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch is a Vietnam War Veteran and a tough LAPD Detective fighting for justice, no matter what the consequences.  When you read a series you get a much deeper character background allowing you to really 'inhabit' the story.  Life experience has helped Harry form his own code of justice for all

blue cover with shield device  Kaya 

  Title:   The Testing

   Author:  Joelle Charbonneau

   Thiller/Suspense Fiction

The first in a dangerous and action-packed trilogy set in a dystopian world.  After graduation, the best and the brightest high school students are selected to participate in the United Commonwealth program to become potential leaders in a struggling post-war civilization.  However, as the main character, Cia, is initiated into the program, she quickly realizes that the stakes are far higher than she anticipated and she must fight to survive The Testing

The Testing was a thrilling story that inspired me academically and one that I really enjoyed for the action.  If you enjoyed The Hunger Games or Red Rising, I would absolutely recommend this book.

busy fall day outdoors  Marcia

  Title:   All Around Bustle Town - Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall (Series)

   Author:  Routraut Suzanne Berner

   Wordless Picture Book

This is a four book series that is like Richard Scarry's Busy World, but with a European flair on steroids.  Your child will spend hours pouring over the detailed illustrations and eventual tell their own stories as they follow the busy lives of the people, flora and fauna in a quaint town.  This would make a great holiday gift for a child 2 to 5 years old!!

ice cream cones

  Melissa

  Title:  N'Ice Cream - 80+ Recipes for Healthy Homemade Vegan Ice Creams

  Author:  Virpi Mikkonnen & Tuulia Talvio

  Cookbook

This cookbook of healthy and unusual ice cream, ice pops, sorbets, milkshakes, ice cream cakes & cookies had me drooling before I opened the cover.  I had originally checked out the book for a research assignment without really anticipating the wonderful contents.

With my love of the icy treat, this book written by two Finnish ice cream lovers and food bloggers has me sold on the healthy versions crafted within.  Whether you're vegan or just looking for a way to still include dessert in your daily diet, these super easy and wholesome alternatives will leave you feeling good about taking that bite without a single twinge of regret.  Yummy!


STAFF PICKS!

Week of 11/21-11/26/2022

  turtles traveling up a page - some regularly colored, some rainbow coloredBri

  Title:  Answers in the Pages

  Author:  David Levithan

  Realistic Juvenile Fiction

A children's book about book banning and what happens when books are challenged.  In the story, Donovan and his classmates really enjoy reading a "challenged book" and don't see why there would be any problem with its ambiguous ending.  However, when Donovan's mother reads it, she doesn't think it's suitable for children and asks the school to remove it from the reading list.  This confrontation sparks debate among the school community as parents and students come together to make a final decision on the fate of the book.  I think the story is great for its realistic portrayal of the types of conversations that happen when books get challenged.

a man's face in profile silhouetted against a magenta backgroundd a highway at twilight  Christina

  Title:  Blind Faith (The Jigsaw Files, no. 3)

   Author:  Sharon Sala

   Mystery 

In the third installment of this series, we find PI Charlie Dodge still struggling with the rapidly deteriorating condition of his wife, Annie.  At the same time, a teenage boy vanishes while on a camping trip with friends, and Charlie is brought on to solve the case.  His highly capable assistant is doing all she can to help, but is spread thin when forced to confront a dark part of her past that comes back to haunt her.

Another fast-moving nail-biter that will bring you through the whole spectrum of emotions right to the very end.

a young girl and a black lab against a country background  Jen

  Title:  My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

   Author:  Fredrik Backman

   Fiction

This book is about a young girl named Elsa whose observations of adult behavior are hilariously candid and insightful.  She takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins.  

  an empty country road at sunset with a bicyclist in profileKathy

  Title:   Boy's Life

   Author:  Robert McCammon

   Suspense Fiction

A little mystery...a little spooky....but mostly an excellent coming-of-age story.

 

  Kaya

  Title:   Verity

   Author:  Colleen Hoover

   Thiller/Suspense Fiction

 A must-read if you’re looking for something spooky that will leave you with trust issues.  I opened the book, read the first line, said “oh jeez” out loud, and then proceeded to be shocked, thrilled, and disturbed throughout the rest of the story and even after I had finished it (check the trigger warnings before you dive in).

Verity is a suspenseful thriller about a writer named Lowen who takes over writing a series for a prolific author, Verity, who has been in a terrible accident. As she sifts through Verity’s office materials, Lowen begins to make horrifying discoveries about Verity and the life that she shares with a husband and several children. 

rooftops of a fantasy city  Marcia

  Title:   Gregor the Overlander (The Underland Chronicles Series, no.1)

   Author:  Suzanne Collins

   Juvenile Fantasy

These stories are about a boy who embarks on a dangerous quest to fulfill his destiny in a strange and exciting world beneath New York City.  The tale begins with a laundry room grate, where Gregor drops through in order to save his little sister. They fall, like Alice in Wonderland, into the dark Underland where giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats coexist with humans.

This was Suzanne Collins debut novel for 8 to 12 year olds, before THE HUNGER GAMES series.She started her career as a TV writer and this series has visually fantastical world building along with full character development.

Don't miss this tale of family love, adventure, and suspense! There's loads of subtle humor....I love that she made the giant cockroaches lovable.

painted flowers - peonies and roses - against a dark blue/green background

  Melissa

  Title:  The Shell Seekers

  Author:  Rosamunde Pilcher

  Realistic Fiction

This classic book by one of my favorite authors cemented my love for Porthkerris (Cornwall) and the Keeling family.  An amazing family saga, it's told from a multiplicity of views and beatifully intertwines the history of the main character/family grande dame Penelope with that of her past and present family.  The Shell Seekers is actually the title to a famous painting by Penelope's father, one that she holds dear.  Encompassing three generations, the story begins in the wake of Penelope's unexpected health crisis opening the door to a chain of remembrances - from her bohemian (often unconventional) childhood, her WWII romance and ensuing events, to present day familial struggles and final culmination in an impromptu trip to the place of fondest memory.

Filled with heartfelt emotion, the book explores the secrets, desires, and misfortunes of the Keelings (et al.) and will keep you up late turning pages as you live vicariously through their experiences.  A MUST READ!

 


STAFF PICKS!

Week of 11/14-11/19/2022

  an octopusBri

  Title:  The Soul of an Octopus: a surprising exploration into the wonder of consciousness

  Author:  Sy Montgomery

  Non-Fiction

It's a really interesting book that delves into the lives of various octopi and the way they interact with the world. Sy Montgomery is a naturalist who explores animal intelligence and personality. In this book, Sy visits the New England Aquarium, and meets not only the various animals who reside there, but also the staff of people who take care of them. I thought it was really fascinating to see the relationship between the caretakers and the octopi - anyone who has their own pets at home knows just how much personality dogs and cats have, but we rarely consider the possibility that other animals also have their own personalities.

a man's face in profile silhouetted against a red nighttime road a highway at twilight  Christina

  Title:  Second Sight (The Jigsaw Files, no. 2)

   Author:  Sharon Sala

   Mystery 

After receiving a tip from a mother whose daughter has been abducted, Charlie Dodge and his assistant, Wyrick, embark on a mission to stop a cult whose goal is to breed a race of people with psychic abilities.  The cult has assembled a group of men with supernatural powers, each of whom is given a young girl to marry in exchange for one of their own daughters.  Charlie and Wyrick head to the cult's headquarters and, with the help of the FBI, attempt to infiltrate and release the children from captivity. 

This is a fast-moving story with lots of twists and turns and was nearly impossible to put down!

abstract and colorful riverside landscape  Jen

  Title:  Caleb's Crossing

   Author:  Geraldine Brooks

   Historical Fiction

Inspired by a true story and narrated by an English puritan girl, Bethia.  This writer brilliantly captures the triumphs and turmoil of her friendship with Caleb who is Native American and is the first Native American to graduate from Harvard.  

  an empty road through countryside under a dark threatening skyKathy

  Title:   Heart-Shaped Box

   Author:  Joe Hill

   Horror/Suspense/Thriller

An aging death-metal rock god, Judas Coyne, is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals... a used hangman's noose... a snuff film. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as an item he learns is for sale on the Internet. For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by the deceased's restless spirit. Judas has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts - of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the bandmates he betrayed - so what's one more?  Truly creepy...I loved it!

 old fashioned double-edged razor blade against a black background Kaya 

  Title:  Sharp Objects

  Author:  Gillian Flynn

  Psychological Mystery

A great read about a reporter who must return to her hometown to cover the murders of two young girls. Recently discharged from a psych hospital, the main character Camille Preaker is facing her own demons, made worse as she returns to a dysfunctional home within a disturbing town.

Gillian Flynn has a way of making even mundane things like weather feel disturbing and unsettled that creates a chilling tone, and her plot kept me guessing until the very end. Check the trigger warnings before reading, though.  

grey and white striped background with barbed wire running across Marcia

  Title:  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

  Author:  John Boyner

  YA Historical Fiction

This is a riveting introduction to the atrocities of the Holocaust for young adults.

The story follows a young German boy who lives a happy, privileged life in Berlin in 1942. His high ranking military father gets a promotion and the family moves far away to a new home where there are no other children to play with and nothing to do.

The only thing in his landscape is a tall, tall fence that goes on as far as he can see. It cuts him off from strange looking people, including a skinny boy in striped pajamas. The two young boys become best friends which leads to  horrible consequences for both boys.

I found the juxtaposition of innocence and evil so disturbing that I remember details of this work more than 15 years after I read this book. Outstanding!

bicycle propped against shop front with food displayed on table out front

  Melissa

  Title:  Delicious!

  Author:  Ruth Reichl

  Fiction

Billie Breslin has moved from home and family in California to New York to work at Delicious! - NY's reknowned food magazine.  Homesick and missing her older sister, she just begins to find a new family in the quirky, well-meaning magazine staff and the ebullient and welcoming food vendors, when the magazine is suddenly closed.  Billie is offered the chance to continue to work at the empty office running the reader's complaint hotline (while working part-time at the most WONDERFUL Italian food store), so she can remain in NY and pay her bills.

While working in her new capacity, Billie explores the old office building and discovers letters written from 12-year-old Lulu to James Beard (yes, the great chef) during WW II.  The letters bring to life history through the eyes of a resourceful young girl and the then young famous foodie during a period of fear, deprivation and hardship.  The intertwining of the historical narrative with the modern-day (often random and ridiculous) complaints from the hotline against a rich tableau of food and flavor, provides Billie the chance to finally come to terms with her own fears and to recognize her innermost  strengths and desires.

Whenever I need to laugh, cry, laugh, salivate over wonderful food, and come away feeling the better for taking the time, I re-read this book.  It is truly one of my all-time favorites and is well-worn and much loved.   Ruth Reichl is a gem of a writer and her books are food for the heart and mind.


STAFF PICKS!

Week of 11/7-11/12/2022

  anime boys in sports uniforms - volleyballBri

  Title:  Haikyu!!

  Author/Illustrator:  Haruichi Furudate

  YA Graphic Novel/Manga

One manga series I really like is Haikyu!! by Haruichi Furudate. Me and my friends actually binge-watched the anime a few years ago and absolutely loved it. Of course, reading the book always adds more to the story! The premise of it is really simple- it’s about a boys high school volleyball club. The story is really character driven, and you end up feeling super invested in every win and loss the team experiences. I knew pretty much nothing about volleyball going into it, and I’m not super into sports either. By the time you finish the series you end up knowing a lot about volleyball, and are convinced you could probably do it too (spoiler alert: you definitely can’t).  The series is a fun, light read, and one that I always end up coming back to as my go-to comfort series.

a man's face in profile silhouetted against a motorcycle driving down a highway at twilight  Christina

  Title:  The Missing Piece (The Jigsaw Files, no. 1)

   Author:  Sharon Sala

   Mystery 

Well-known private investigator Charlie Dodge is all too familiar with having things and people disappear.  His wife, Annie, has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and now struggles to remember parts of their life together and, at times, even Charlie himself.  So when  multimillionaire Carter Dunleavy goes missing, Charlie and his assistant, Wyrick, are more than ready to help find him.  Along the way, they discover that Dunleavy is actually being hunted down by someone he knows and has gone into hiding.  Spurred on by this realization, Charlie and Wyrick race to find answers before Dunleavy disappears for good.

the rear view of a woman's hips & legs and her hand holding a bouquet of flowers  Jen

  Title:  Beneath a Scarlet Sky

   Author:  Mark T. Sullivan

   Historical Fiction

This book is an inspiring and compelling true story of Pino Lello who is a forgotten war hero who joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps after his family home in Milan, Italy is destroyed by Allied Bombs.  In an attempt to protect him, Pino's parents force him to enlist as a German soldier where he would be in a position to spy on the Allies.  

  open window with curtain fluttering with view of oceanKathy

  Title:   Tainted

   Author:  Brooke Morgan

   Suspense/Thriller

A thriller by Brooke Morgan, a Bostonian now living in England. The story is very predictable (and really, is anyone as gullible as Holly?) BUT it is located in good old Wareham (with a little geographical rearranging). Come for the story, stay for the scenery!

 Teenage boy surrounded by explosions and chaos Kaya 

  Title:  Stormbreaker (Alex Rider series, Book 1)

  Author:  Anthony Horowitz

  YA Adventure Fiction

I've only reread a handful of books in my life and the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz was one that was well worth the time. A fiction series for young adults, Alex Rider is an exciting story about a young man who is recruited by MI6 and becomes involved in dangerous and thrilling adventures. The story is full of gadgets, stealthy spy operations, action-packed fights, and nail-biting risks. 

Reading this series as a teenager gave me all of the wonderful excitement that I loved in other stories like Inspector Gadget or Spy Kids, but it was also really impactful for the lessons it taught me at such a volatile age. It was an escape from, but also validating and encouraging in the struggles of teenage life. Even through extreme examples, the story taught me about relationships and finding out how to navigate the stress of life and finding one’s own identity and worth while trying to care for others. I think it was a really impactful read, but also so enjoyable – I would absolutely recommend it for young adults!

picture of a woman's lower leg and red high heel showing interior structure of cyborg ankle bones Marcia

  Title:  Cinder

  Author:  Marissa Meyer

  YA Science Fiction/Fairy Tale adaptation

The center of future Earth is New Beijing where a young prince assumes leadership after his father, the king dies as a result of a deadly plague ravaging the Earth.

Cinder is a gifted mechanic who is part cyborg due to a horrific accident in her mysterious past. She is considered a second-class citizen and is reviled by her step-mother.

Prince Kai and Cinder meet at the marketplace while she repairs his personal robot and Cinder suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle with a forbidden love interest. She must uncover her past, find out why the Lunar Queen wants her dead, and save both the Earth's and the Lunar future.

Non-stop excitement! First story in a quartet with an extra novella thrown in.

fall leaves (illustrations) drifting against a green/blue background

  Melissa

  Title:  Olive, Again

  Author:  Elizabeth Strout

  Fiction

Olive is a startling frank and willful character. She is 'of an age' and doesn't hesitate to use her senior status to speak her mind - and she has much to say. Her interactions with her friends, neighbors, former students, and strangers allow the reader a brief glimpse of the essence of their exchanges and the effect the engagement has upon both parties in an original and plain-speaking manner. Love or hate Olive, you will never forget her and her candid view of herself and her world.


STAFF PICKS!

Week of 10/31-11/5/2022

 girl's drawn outline in red against a black book coverBri

  Title:  Uzumaki:  Spiral into Horror

  Author/Illustrator:  Junji Ito

  Horror Manga

My Halloween book pick!  Ito has a cult following for his horror mangas, and Uzumaki was the first one I've read. His manga style relies on an interesting mix of body horror and cosmic horror to create some really insane illustrations. Out of all of his stories, Uzumaki stands out the most for me, because the basic plot is simply a town taken over by spirals. Sounds weird, right? The story gets stranger and stranger the more you read. I'm not a huge horror fan, but Uzumaki was compelling enough for me to finish it in a day.

a woman silhouetted in black against a red background  Christina

  Title:  Invisible

   Author:  James Patterson and David Ellis

   Fiction/Thriller 

After her sister's life is claimed by what appears to be an accidental fire, FBI research analyst Emily Dockery becomes obsessed with a string of similar fires that have taken place across the country.  With each passing day, she is more convinced that these are not accidents but cold-blooded homicides committed by a mastermind criminal.  Her colleagues, however, are not convinced at all.  Can Emily amass enough evidence and change their minds in time before more lives are lost? 

the rear view of a woman's hips & legs and her hand holding a bouquet of flowers  Jen

  TitleThe Language of Flowers

   Author:  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

   Fiction

This book beautifully weaves past and present, creating a vivid portrait of an unforgettable woman whose gift for flowers helps her change the lives of others, even as she struggles to overcome her own troubled past.    

     cross stitch sampler of the books title with skulls and heartsKathy

  Title An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good

   Author:  Helene Tursten

   Fiction

Did you ever want to be of an age when you could say/do anything? Well Maud is, and she's out for revenge. In a series of vignettes you will learn the crime and the punishment.This is the first in a series and it's really fun.

 silhoutte of red feathered wing against a black background Kaya 

  Title:  Red Rising

  Author:  Pierce Brown

  Science Fiction/Dystopian Earth

A global conflict on Earth has left society divided into color-coded tiers, with the lowest classes serving the upper classes in territories throughout space. The story follows a young man in the lowest class, the ‘Reds,’ who works in the mines on Mars until something happens that drives him to infiltrate high society and destroy it from the inside. I love this book because the author does an incredible job at taking real current and past events and creating a fictional future that is believable, with enough familiarity that it isn’t overwhelming. The plot is fast-paced and exciting, with plenty of action. It has really cool references to mythology, and the characters are complex, each with their own depth and development. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys things like The Hunger GamesEnder’s Game, or Lord of the Flies.

Animals in silhouette against an African sunset, etc. illustrated pictures of animalsMarcia

  Title:  CROSSINGS:  Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals

  Author:  Katy S. Duffield    Illustrator:  Mike Orodan

  Title:  Make Way for Animals! A World of Wildlife Crossings

  Author:  Meeg Pincus    Illustrator:  Bao Luu

Juvenile Non-Fiction Picture Books

I look around my world and see construction everywhere and notice more wildlife around me because they’ve been displaced.  Two recent nonfiction picture books address this problem with gorgeous illustrations and unique solutions for our animal friends all around the world. The books showcase fascinating illustrations, many unique animals, and exotic habitats!

cloaked and hooded person with an arrow in a long bow

  Melissa

  Title:  The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice Series - Book 1)

  Author:  John Flanagan

  YA Science Fiction/Adventure

It's choosing day and time for the 15 year old orphans of Redmont Castle to pick an apprenticeship or area of study.  Will is desperately hoping to get selected for Battleschool...but is rejected.  See what happens when his actual apprenticeship with the Rangers, with their mottled cloaks and mysterious ways, leads him into an epic adventure with heroes, villains and wonderful friendships.  A fabulous coming of age story with the least-likely characters saving the day - regardless of gender, age, experience - using their own practical know-how and the strength of their friendships.  Flanagan has created a wholly believable world peopled with rich characters and excellent challenges.  I didn't expect to like this book when I first picked it up (National Book Day, 2012), but have been a huge fan of the series and the author ever since.