Check It Out Category: Picks by Barbara F.

Staff Pick: Girl at War by Sara Novic

Picture of BarbSara Novic’s Girl at War is a deeply moving story that deals with coming to terms with the past. Readers move between Ana’s childhood in war torn Croatia to her present life as a college student in New York City. This is a gripping journey that will keep you engrossed introducing issues of war, death and survival.

Staff Pick: Arrow, The Complete First Season

Picture of BarbBillionaire playboy Oliver Queen returns home after being marooned on an island for five years. While away he learns that his father was not the man he thought he was, and he is faced with challenges that threaten his life. Forced to learn new skills just to survive, Oliver becomes a changed man on the island. He returns to his home to fix his father’s mistakes by pretending to be a cavalier playboy by day, but donning a green hood at night to become the Arrow.

Staff Pick: Mort(e) by Robert Repino

Picture of BarbarbaMort(e) by Robert Repino will feed your need for a quirky indulgence this summer. The story chronicles the “war with no name” where human extinction is the goal. A race of intelligent ants has plotted for years to create an army of self-aware animals who will rise up and overthrow their human masters. Mort(e) a former house cat turned war hero tries to discover the origins of a deadly plague while relentlessly searching for his prewar friend Sheba.

Staff Pick: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cover of We Were LiarsBarbara from Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

We Were Liars is narrated by Cadence Sinclaire Eastman, heiress to old money and one of “the liars,” an inseparable group made up of her cousins and their friend. The four liars have made the family private island just off Cape Cod their personal domain of fun and privilege every summer since they were eight. This ends the summer of Cadence’s fifteenth year when she suffers a mysterious injury that leaves her with amnesia, debilitating headaches, and a constant need for painkillers. The story unfolds two years later as she tries to piece together the mystery of that summer and the events that altered her life and her relationship with the liars. Lockhart weaves a hauntingly suspenseful tale of old money, privilege, and family dysfunction.

Looking for more books with hidden secrets? Try…


Cover of The Half Life of Molly Pierce
The Half Life of Molly Pierce
by Katrina Leno
Molly, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, has played host to Mabel, a completely distinct personality, for most her life. When Molly faces a crisis Mabel doesn’t know she can handle, Mabel lets Molly in on her secrets.

Cover of Before I go to Sleep
Before I Go to Sleep
by S.J. Watson
A fast paced thriller in which an amnesiac who, following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form new memories, desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is—and whom she can trust.














Cover of Black Out
Black Out
by Lisa Unger
A woman has to quickly piece together disturbing events–one of which is the murder of her psychologist–before her past comes to claim her future and her daughter.

Cover of Complicit
by Stephanie Kuehn
Jamie’s mother was murdered when he was six. About seven years later, his sister Cate was incarcerated for burning down a neighbor’s barn, and now Jamie, fifteen, learns that Cate has been released and is coming back for him.

Cover of We are the Goldens
We Are the Goldens
by Dana Reinhardt
Since their parents’ divorce when they were young, Nell and her sister Layla have provided each other stability and support. When Layla starts to pull away, Nell discovers a secret: Layla is involved with one of their teachers. Nell struggles with what to do

Staff Pick: Sound and Color by Alabama Shakes

Picture of BarbaraSound & Color is Alabama Shakes follow-up album to their Grammy-nominated debut, Boys and Girls. The music is rooted in bluesy rock with a wide range of influences including elements of punk and heavy metal. What really drives the album is the soulful, raw vocals of Brittany Howard. Adding to the vocals are funky rhythms interspersed with passionate guitar riffs and perfectly timed melodic keyboarding. This album is pure toe-tapping fun.

Staff Pick: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Picture of Barbara F.History comes to life in this darkly haunting narrative of murder, rebellion, and aristocracy. Candace Fleming shares the story of the Romanov family and the lives of the Russian peasant class with the help of diary entries, letters, and photos. The Family Romanov is an intense look at the disparity between wealth and poverty and how this clash ended in violence and political change.


Staff Pick: Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Barb F. Staff picks photoMoonwalking with Einstein follows the year-long journey of one man training to compete in the U.S. Memory Championship. Foer has no previous training, no special abilities, and often forgets where he puts his keys, but he becomes a memory champion. This book includes a fascinating look at the cultural history of memory, a cast of remarkable people, and amazing feats of memory.

Staff Pick: The Gamal by Ciarán Collins

Barb F. Staff picks photoCharlie McCarthy is known in Ballyronan village as a simpleton or gamal. In therapy for PTSD, he tells of star-crossed lovers Sinead and James, his lifelong best friends. Throughout Ciarán Collins’ The Gamal, Charlie’s unique voice weaves haunting flashbacks, insightful commentary, witty Irish dialect, and memorable characters to present a tragic storyline at an engaging pace.