Check It Out Category: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Southeastern by Jason Isbell

Picture of EvanOn Southeastern, singer/songwriter Jason Isbell has crafted soulful, catchy songs with lyrics of dust-coated poetry about finding warmth in love when the world offers none, “Cover Me Up”, watching a friend die, “Elephant”, and a rollicking barn-burner about barely surviving an addiction,“Super 8”. It’s an album that proves the famous quote about how a great country song is only “three chords and the truth.”

Staff Pick: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Dan from Building Services suggests A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Tale of Two Cities book coverCharles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities combines a colorful mixture of history, adventure, and romance set to the backdrop of the French Revolution. The story revolves around 3 characters: Lucie, a British girl of French descent, her lover Charles, a French nobleman seeking asylum from the bloody revolution, and their friend Sydney, a banker who harbors a secret love for Lucie.

Dickens summons up multiple emotions in the reader as Charles is forcefully extradited back to France in order to stand trial for his family’s crimes. This novel is sure to inspire wonder and horror as the author masterfully depicts this tale of love amidst one of the most unsettling times in French history.

Staff Pick: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

Picture of DonnaThe successful HGTV show, Fixer Upper, stars the upbeat couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The Magnolia Story is about their interesting lives and a lot of ups and downs with running their decorating, retail and real estate businesses. In their own words, they have learned that with change comes opportunities and contentment in the journey. Hope you enjoy.

Staff Pick: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Picture of NancyH is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald is a deeply personal memoir about grief, falconry, and T. H. White.  A unique combination for sure, but Macdonald masterfully blends these threads into an engrossing work of art.  I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by the author herself for a particularly mesmerizing experience.

Audio is also available on Hoopla.

Staff Pick: 24 Hour Party People

Picture of JohnLike any number of films “based on a true story,” the docu-comedy 24 Hour Party People frequently exaggerates, distorts, fabricates and otherwise obfuscates the historical truth of its subject matter (in this case, the Manchester music scene of the 80s and 90s).  The difference is, this picture does so openly, amusingly, and with a cheerful wink to its audience.

Staff Pick: The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

Nancy from Administration suggests The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

One in a Million Boy book coverHe is a strange eleven-year-old, with an obsession for Guinness World Records. She is 104 years old, an immigrant from Lithuania, who does amazing card tricks. When the boy appears at the home of Ona Vitkus for a Boy Scout project, they become fast friends, and Ona finds herself sharing things that she’s never told anyone before. Soon, they’ve concocted a scheme to get Ona into the record books, as the Oldest Licensed Driver. However, the boy dies before they can achieve their goal.

Agreeing to continue her yardwork for a few more weeks, the boy’s father, Quinn, is also drawn into Ona’s quest for a world record. As a result, Quinn glimpses the son he never really knew. This is a lovely and amusing story of friendship, love, loss, and dreams pursued, especially enjoyable in audio.
 
 
For other thoughtful and touching stories of self-discovery, try one of these!

Ocean Apart book coverAn Ocean Apart
by Robin Pilcher
Britt Marie Was Here book coverBritt-Marie Was Here
by Fredrik Backman

 

Stiltsville book coverStiltsville
by Susanna Daniel
After You book coverAfter You
by Jojo Moyes

Rosie Thomas

Staff Pick: Hello, My Name is Doris

Picture of DorisHello, My Name is Doris is the hilariously awkward and thoughtfully heartwarming tale of a woman in her 60s deciding to take action in her life, specifically on her crush on a younger coworker. As a result of the depth of characters played by a stellar cast, the relationships Doris had with people rang painful at times, but they felt honest and allowed for moments of realistic redemption. The combination of comedy, drama, and romance in this made it an instant favorite!

MPPL Staff Favorites of 2016

Can you choose only two or three favorite items you read, watched, listened to, and/or played this year? MPPL staff can tell you, it’s hard to do! Check out below what staff members chose for the top of their lists this year and make sure to stop by the Library and share what your favorites have been!

This year three different books written by one author were chosen as staff favorites. Which author was it?

Picture of Allison

Book: The Bone Clocks
by David Mitchell
Book: Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coats
Book: Unexpected Afghans
by Robyn Chachula

Picture of Amy

Audiobook: The Fireman
by Joe Hill
Audiobook: The Night Gardener
by Jonathan Auxier
Book: Last Days
by Adam Nevill

 

 

Picture of Anne

CD:Traveller
by Chris Stapleton
Book: All Involved
by Ryan Gattis

Picture of Caitlin

Video Game: Dragon Age: Inquisition
DVD: The Descent
Book: The Opposite of Loneliness
by Marina Keegan

Picture of Carol

CD:  Blackstar
by David Bowie
DVD: L’Atalante
Book: Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

 

Picture of Cathleen

Book: Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
Audiobook: Hag-Seed
by Margaret Atwood
Graphic Novel: Daytripper
by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Picture of Claire

DVD: Jane the Virgin
Book: Furiously Happy
by Jenny Lawson
Book: Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson

Picture of Colleen

Book: Man Made Boy
by Jon Skovron
Book: Kill the Boy Band
by Goldy Moldavsky
DVD: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

 

 

Picture of Dale

CD: Hopelessness
by Anohni
Book: No One Gets Out Alive
by Adam Nevill
Book: Wolf in White Van
by John Darnielle

Picture of Denise

Book: First Star I See Tonight
by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
DVD: Playing House
Book: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
by Fredrik Backman

 

Picture of Donna

Magazine: Time
Book: The Perfect Horse
by Elizabeth Letts
DVD: The Blind Side

Picture of Donna

Book: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
Book: The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion
DVD: The One I Love

Picture of Erin

Book: 11/22/63
by Stephen King
Book: As Brave as You
by Jason Reynolds
Book: How to Grow Up
by Michelle Tea

 

Picture of Eva

Book: Daughter of Australia
by Harmony Verna
Book:Pokochalam Wroga
by Miroslawa Kareta
Book: A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Picture of Evan

DVD: Sing Street
Graphic Novel: Paper Girls, vol. 1
by Brian K. Vaughan
Book: The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture
by Glen Weldon

Picture of Helgi

Audiobook: The Japanese Lover
by Isabel Allende
Book: The Spellman Files
by Lisa Lutz
DVD: The Jungle Book

 

Picture of Janine

Music: Hamilton: The Original Broadway Cast
Book: The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne
Book: The Trespasser
by Tana French

Picture of Jennifer

DVD: Somm
Book: Stiletto
by Daniel O’Malley
Book: La Davina
by Maria Callas

Picture of Jenny

Audiobook: Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
Book: My Brilliant Friend
by Elena Ferrante
Book: The Mothers
by Brit Bennett

Picture of Joe

Graphic Novel: Darth Vader vol. 1
by Kieron Gillen
Graphic Novel: Killing and Dying
by Adrian Tomine
Graphic NovelLove and Rockets No. 7
by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez

Picture of Julie

Book: Alice Adams
by Booth Tarkington
Book: The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
DVD: War & Peace

 

Picture of Linda

Book: Last Night in Twisted River
by John Irving
Book: Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch
Book: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
by Fredrik Backman

Picture of Marsha

Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
by Haruki Murakami
Book: The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi
Book: Karolina’s Twins
by Ronald H. Balson

Picture of Mary

Book: Pretty Girls
by Karin Slaughter
Book: The Soul of an Octopus
by Sy Montgomery
DVD: About Elly

 

Picture of Mary

Book: Crazy Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan
Book: Still Foolin’ Em
by Billy Crystal
Book: A Great Reckoning
by Louise Penny

Picture of Nancy

Book: Tenth of December
by George Saunders
Book: The One-In-A-Million Boy
by Monica Wood
Book: Language Arts
by Stephanie Kallos

 

Picture of Nancy

Book: How to Party With an Infant
by Kaui Hart Hemmings
CD: Blurryface
by Twenty One Pilots
DVD: Longmire

Picture

DVD: Secrets of Selfridges
Book: Empty Mansions
by Bill Dedman & Paul Clark Newell Jr.
DVD: Central Intelligence

Picture of Rachel

Book: Irena’s Children
by Tilar Mazzeo
DVD: Amy
Book: The Book of Unknown Americans
by Cristina Henríquez

 

 

Picture of Rosemary

Book: 11/22/63
by Stephen King
Audiobook: Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris
Book: Wilde Lake
by Laura Lippman

Picture of Sam

Audiobook: Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch
Book: The Martian
by Andy Weir
Book: The Residence
by Kate Andersen Brower

Picture of Taylor

Book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon
Book: Library of Souls
by Ransom Riggs
Book: The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
by Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil

 


Want more? Take a look at what staff chose in 2014 and in 2015 as their favorites.

We would love to hear from you!
Write to us on Facebook or Twitter and share what your favorites of the year were. If you’re interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions… Ask!