Current Picks – Staff Recommendations

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis (2018)

Have you ever told yourself a lie and believed it? Maybe that you’re not good enough, don’t know how to be a mom, or should be further along by now in reaching your goals? In her most recent book, Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis opens each chapter with a lie she once believed about herself, telling personal stories and sharing what helped her overcome those lies. Covering a wide variety of topics from relationships to parenting to careers and more, Hollis’ life experiences will touch women in all different walks of life. Hollis reads the audio version (available on CD or downloadable on hoopla and eMediaLibrary), which I highly recommend!

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles (2016)

When the Bolsheviks rise to power in Russia in 1922, they decide Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is an unrepentant aristocrat, but he also wrote a poem that made him quite popular among the revolutionists. Opting for a weaker punishment than death, Rostov is sentenced to lifelong house arrest in the Metropol Hotel, directly across the street from the Kremlin. While Rostov is imprisoned, he is not entirely disconnected from the world, as the grand international hotel hosts many important guests within the Bolshevik party and from all over the world. Over the next three decades, Rostov meets with a large cast of characters, including a high-ranking KGB officer, a chef, a formerly famous actress, and a ten-year-old girl named Nina. Each has an effect on Rostov’s life, but perhaps not as large as the one Rostov has on everyone else. Whether you read for characters or historical events, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is sure to please. With its winning combination of personalities, humor, secrets, and an excellent narration style, this novel is nothing short of charming. Want to read more books like A Gentleman in Moscow? Check out our lists of readalikes.

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American Street by Ibi Zoboi (2017)

Fabiola and her mother are leaving Haiti and coming to live in Detroit. But when Fabiola’s mother is detained in New Jersey, Fabiola is left to travel onward to her aunt and cousins’s home. I fell into the world that Ibi Zoboi created; blending an American city with Haitian Vodou. Where the average person might see a homeless man on the corner, Fabiola sees Papa Legba. Fabiola’s struggles immediately draw you into the story and when she is presented with an opportunity to help her mother by spying on her cousin’s boyfriend, readers will feel for Fabiola. It’s been several months since I’ve listened to American Street, and I can hear Robin Miles’s beautiful narration when I think of the story and the characters. This Abe Lincoln nominee (PDF) will possibly break your heart (it did for me), and everyone should read it.

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Intercepted by Alexa Martin (2018)

A modern romance featuring a delightfully snarky heroine. In Intercepted, Marlee vows not to date another athlete after her 10-year relationship with an NFL player goes south. Then she meets quarterback Gavin, and you can guess what happens next. What makes this story shine is Marlee’s independence and individual growth, her witty inner dialogue (coupled with hilarious hashtags), and her fabulous support system. Alexa Martin is a new author perfect for fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jasmine Guillory, and Julie James.

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The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George (2018)

This very long detective story from Elizabeth George brings in multiple characters with detailed descriptions of each, challenging the reader to keep up with who is involved with what evil deed. The death of a prisoner in custody is first thought to be a suicide but then closer study introduces doubt that this cleric would have taken his own life. The principal detectives (Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers) have a long history of working together, and the reader might do well to read an earlier novel in this series first (such as A Great Deliverance) to gain understanding of their relationship. In The Punishment She Deserves, you’ll enjoy making predictions as to what will happen next and who will be involved.

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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (2018)

In 1969, the Gold siblings of Manhattan seek out a woman who is said to be able to tell you the day of your death. While it begins as innocent curiosity, the children are not ready for the weight of the knowledge. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin follows the four siblings over the next fifty years as they attempt to live with prophecies hanging over their heads. As they depart to live their own lives, each sibling handles the information differently and their lives are shaped by their interpretation. Divided into four sections (each one following a sibling), the novel intertwines their stories. This book paints a portrait of the hardships of trying to live when you know when you will die and examines the fine line between destiny and personal choice. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys books with a hint of magical realism and books with a strong family dynamic.

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