Check It Out Category: Staff Picks

What to Read from Home – Staff E-Book Picks

Staff E-book Picks collage

For comfort reads, stories to make you laugh, and books to help you experience a different life, the next in our series of staff picks of what to try through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital services features e-books with little or no wait. Don’t miss parts one and two, and check back twice each week for spotlights of what to read, watch, or listen to. For even more ideas, follow along on Goodreads or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

Spies of Shilling Lane book coverLaura recommends
The Spies of Shilling Lane 
by Jennifer Ryan
“drama, suspense, and humor with enjoyable characters”
ebook (also e-audio)
Worst Best Man book coverJenny and Denise recommend
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
The Wedding Planner meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding in this fun, somewhat steamy romp”
ebook (also e-audio)
Little Book of Hygge book coverCathleen recommends
The Little Book of Hygge
by Meik Wiking
“a cozy blanket of a book that inspires better living”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Storied Life of AJ Fikry book coverNancy recommends
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
“when you want to fall in love with reading again, treat yourself to this bittersweet and quirky story about second chances”
ebook (also e-audio)
Hazel Wood book coverLiz recommends
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
“a character tries to stay a step ahead of a mysterious curse in this compelling contemporary YA fantasy”
ebook (also e-audio)
Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King book coverChelsea recommends
The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King
by Jerome Charyn
“a fun romp featuring Teddy Roosevelt, his upbringing, and his rise to becoming a Rough Rider”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

5 Love Languages book coverDenise recommends
The 5 Love Languages
by Gary Chapman
“partners living in close quarters will find new understanding of each other”
ebook (also e-audio)
Displacement book coverCathleen recommends
Displacement by Lucy Knisley
“themes of cherishing life, laughter, and legacy offer particular resonance in challenging times”
ebook
Chalk Man book coverLaura recommends
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor
“creepy chalk figures, murder, and mystery in a small English village”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

Jane Eyre book coverLiz recommends
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Brontë
“my standby classic comfort read!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Get a Life Chloe Brown book coverChelsea, Denise, and Liz recommend
Get a Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
“charming characters both with their own past life and relationship baggage; a bit on the snarky side, and I want to be Chloe’s new best friend!”
ebook (also e-audio)
Atomic Habits book coverJenny recommends
by James Clear
“digestible yet informative guide on understanding how habits are created and the small steps you can take to form new ones”
ebook (also e-audio)

 

What to Watch from Home – Staff Digital Picks

Staff Digital Picks Movies & TV

Are you feeling separation anxiety from the Library’s extensive DVD collections and need something to watch? Now is the time to explore digital movies and TV available free to you through Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card. Our staff is eager to help with customized suggestions for what you might enjoy watching, and you can begin my taking a look at their first round of personal favorites.

Hearts Beat Loud DVD coverHearts Beat Loud – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

A personal all-time favorite, ideal if you’re looking for a hopeful story about first love, new love, family, grief, and dreams set on top of a soulful soundtrack. As a bonus you get Nick Offerman playing an endearing dad dedicated to connecting with his very hip teen daughter! ~Jenny

Illusionist DVD coverThe Illusionist – available on Hoopla

Something to take you far and away from the troubles of today; a captivating blend of romance, mystery, and wonder, with lots of atmosphere; based loosely on a short story by Steven Millhauser. ~Nancy

Illusionist DVD coverHis Girl Friday – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

When life in this decade seems a little much, I turn to the classics. Watching the dialogue zing between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell is always a mood-lifter. ~Cathleen

Force Majeure DVD coverForce Majeur – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

(Swedish) Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes, this movie plops a perfect family into an avalanche amid their skiing vacation. Humorous, sad, and poignant. Watch with someone who would save you from a catastrophic event. ~Al

Hunt for the Wilderpeople DVD coverHunt for the Wilderpeople – available on Kanopy and Hoopla

A heartwarming adventure story featuring a grumpy man and a mischievous foster child who has been thrust into his life. Written and directed by Oscar winner Taika Waititi. ~Chelsea

Ferrante Fever DVD coverFerrante Fever – available on Kanopy

A few years ago Elena Ferrante’s Italian Neapolitan series took the literary world by storm. Interviewing authors, public voices, and booksellers, director Giacomo Durzi explores how the series became a worldwide bestseller and its impact. This documentary also sheds a light on the Italian literary scene. ~Jenny

Bull Durham DVD coverBull Durham – available on Hoopla

Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner are so much fun. Such a fabulous throwback and so totally 80’s! Best line of the movie: ‘”The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness” Love it! ~Denise

Still Life DVD coverStill Life: A Three Pines Mystery – available on Hoopla

After listening to the book, I was excited to see it was made into a movie. The author served as an executive producer, and it followed the book pretty closely. Entertaining, and similar in tone to a Hallmark mystery. ~Kelda

Lady Bird DVD coverLady Bird – available on Kanopy

Missing your mother-daughter bond during this time of quarantine? Watch Lady Bird for a touching, yet raw, look at a tumultuous and loving mother-daughter relationship during the daughter’s last high school year. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy. ~Al

Bridget Joness Diary DVD coverBridget Jones’s Diary – available on Hoopla

A fun, light-hearted movie with a great cast and lots of laughs. ~Nancy

Mandy DVD coverMandy – available on Hoopla

If you are in the mood for revenge, fury, colorful backdrops, and Nicolas Cage! ~Chelsea

Borgen DVD coverBorgen – available on Hoopla

(Danish) Often characterized as a Danish West Wing, the fascinating arc of a woman who finds herself elected Prime Minister and how she learns to balance her convictions, her family life, her optimism, and her dedication to service. ~Cathleen

 

Bonus: Did you know that you have at-home access to the Great Courses series?  Here’s a timely staff suggestion to start you on your journey for answers:

Great Courses Intro to Infectious Diseases coverThe Great Courses: An Introduction to Infectious Diseases – available on Kanopy

Check out this educational opportunity if, amid our current state, you want to know more about the science of infectious diseases. Course taught by a physician specializing in the field. ~Al

Staff Picks for Digital Reads and Listens

Need a new book to provide comfort, distraction, or insight during this time of social distancing? Our readers’ advisory staff have picked favorites that are available through the OverDrive or Hoopla digital book services with little or no wait! Check back twice each week for fresh digital recommendations of what to read, watch, or listen to, follow along on Goodreads, or contact us for a suggestion that is personalized just for you!

accident book coverLaura recommends
The Accident by Chris Pavone
“a clever and suspenseful conspiracy thriller”
ebook and e-audio
hollywood homicide book coverAl recommends
Hollywood Homicide
by Kellye Garrett
“a fast-paced whodunit”
e-audio
familiars book coverLiz recommends
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
“compelling and delightfully atmospheric”
e-audio

 

i love you so mochi book coverAbby recommends
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
“a sweet YA romance about following your own dreams and reconnecting with friends and family”
 e-audio and ebook
harrys trees book coverDenise recommends
Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen
for fans of A Man Called Ove
ebook and e-audio
book of joy book coverJenny recommends
The Book of Joy
by Dalai Lama XIV & Desmond Tutu
“deep happiness and light humor radiate through this wide-ranging conversation between two individuals who have faced adversity”
e-audio and ebook

 

bel canto book coverNancy recommends
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
“offers escape through fascinating characters and gorgeous writing”
ebook and e-audio
they called us enemy book coverAndrea recommends
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
“really helped to put the discomforts of self-quarantine into perspective”
ebook
spellman files book coverCathleen recommends
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
“crackling narration, interesting twists, and full-throttle hilarity”
e-audio

 

conviction book coverDenise recommends
Conviction by Denise Mina
“delightfully twisty and suspenseful with a dash of humor!”
e-audio and ebook
one more thing book coverJenny recommends
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
“hilarious and smart short stories”
e-audio and ebook
nine women one dress book coverLaura recommends
by Jane L. Rosen
“charming, feel-good story”
ebook and e-audio

 

underground airlines book coverCathleen recommends
Underground Airlines
by Ben H. Winters
“a smart, moody, tantalizing ride”
ebook and e-audio
spin the dawn book coverAbby recommends
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
“for readers who enjoy books by Sarah J. Maas or stories with fairy-tale elements”
ebook and e-audio
yellow house book coverAl recommends
The Yellow House
by Sarah M. Broom
National Book Award winner
New Orleans memoir
ebook

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society cover image
Nancy and Abby recommend
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“a warm-hearted book with likable characters”
ebook and e-audio
The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn HardcastleLiz recommends
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
“the narrator’s voice is superb; you will be immediately immersed in the the world of the story”
e-audio and ebook

 

MPPL Staff Favorites 2019

Staff Favorites 2019 cover photo

The end of the year is an irresistible time to reflect on all the fabulous art each of us read, watched, played, and listened to in 2019, and many of our staff wanted to celebrate those high points together. Narrowing down to only three favorites each has not been easy, but this grand finale has given us lots to debate — and we hope it offers the same to you!

Picture of JennyFiction: What We Owe
by Golnaz Hashemzadah Bonde
Music: Amidst the Chaos
by Sara Bareilles
Audiobook: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green
Picture of MaryGraphic Novel: New Kid
by Jerry Craft
Fiction: Ninth House
by Leigh Bardugo
Audiobook: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
picture of AngelaNonfiction: The Sun Is a Compass
by Caroline Van Hemert
Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Nonfiction: Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson

 

Picture of MichaelFiction: The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Movie: The Last Suit
Fiction: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
by Anissa Grey
Picture of BrianVideogame: Shadows Die Twice
Fiction: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sánchez
Videogame: Hollow Knight
icon for MichelleAudiobook: Recursion
by Blake Crouch
Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Fiction: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Picture of CaitlinMovie: It: Chapter Two
Book: Angel Mage
by Garth Nix
Music: E-mo-tion
by Carly Rae Jepsen
Audiobook: With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Nonfiction: Born to Fly
by Steve Sheinken
Graphic Memoir: They Called Us Enemy
by George Takei
Picture of JenniferFiction: Since She Went Away
by David Bell
Fiction: The Girl Who Was Taken
by Charlie Donlea
Nonfiction: The Feather Thief
by Kirk Wallace Johnson

 

icon for DevinFiction: Queen of Air and Darkness
by Cassandra Clare
Nonfiction: The Woman Who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone
Poetry: Love Her Wild
by Atticus
Picture of AnneFiction: Beartown
by Fredrik Backman
Fiction: Who Slays the Wicked
by C.S. Harris
Nonfiction: The Pioneers
by David McCullough
by K.A. Holt
Nonfiction: The Undefeated
by Kwame Alexander
Audiobook: The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Picture of Denise
Audiobook: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Audiobook: Internment
by Samira Ahmed
Movie: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Picture of JanineFiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Graphic Memoir: Good Talk
by Mira Jacob
Fiction: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
Picture of EvaNonfiction: Life Undercover
by Amaryllis Fox
Fiction: Redemption
by David Baldacci
Fiction: All the Beautiful Girls
by Elizabeth J. Church

 

Picture of BeccaTV: Stranger Things
Graphic Memoir: Kid Gloves
by Lucy Knisley
Fiction: Song for a Whale
by Lynne Kelly
icon for KellyFiction: The Flatshare
by Beth O’Leary
Fiction: Would Like to Meet
by Rachel Winters
Fiction: No Judgments
by Meg Cabot
Audiobook: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Audiobook: The Beastie Boys Book
by Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz
Fiction: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michelle Richardson

 

picture of CatherineFiction: After the Flood
by Kassandra Montag
Music: Dedicated
by Carly Rae Jepsen
Fiction: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Audiobook: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow
Fiction: A Kind of Freedom
by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Fiction: Lovely War
by Julie Berry
icon for Anne WNonfiction: Our Women on the Ground
by Zahra Hankir
Nonfiction: Visualizing the Beatles
by John Pring and Rob Thomas
Nonfiction: Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal
by Yuval Taylor

 

Picture of DonnaAudiobook: Whiskey in a Teacup
by Reese Witherspoon
Fiction: The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Fiction: The Paris Orphan
by Natasha Lester
Icon for RebecaFiction: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
Fiction: My So-Called Bollywood Life
by Nisha Sharma
Nonfiction: A Dream Called Home
by Reyna Grande
Picture of CathleenFiction: The Memory Police
by Yoko Ogawa
TV: Succession
Poetry: Tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50
by Lee Ann Roripaugh

 

Al staff photoPoetry: 1919:  Poems
by Eve L. Ewing
Fiction: Friday Black: Stories
by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Fiction: The Need
by Helen Phillips
picture of AndreaAudiobook: Nothing To See Here
by Kevin Wilson
Fiction: Fireborne
by Rosaria Munda
Audiobook: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

 


Want more? Take a look at what staff chose in 2018 and 2017 as their favorites.

 If you’re interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions… Ask!

Staff Picks: Anticipated Summer 2019 Reads

the word summer written in the sand along the shore
Summer Reading begins on June 1st! If you need ideas for how to spend those long hours at the beach, beside the pool, or on vacation, here are a number of titles you may want to bring along with you.
While planning your summer reading list, take a look at what our MPPL staff is hoping to read this summer!
Chelsea
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

The Last Time I Saw You book coverThe Last Time I Saw You
by Liv Constantine

Chelsea
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

How Not to Die Alone book coverHow Not to Die Alone
by Richard Roper

 

Rachel
South Branch

The Water Museum book coverThe Water Museum
by Luis Alberto Urrea

Rachel
South Branch

David and Goliath book coverDavid and Goliath
by Malcolm Gladwell

Carolyn
Circulation services

The Churchill Woman book coverThe Churchill Woman
by Stephanie Barron

Carolyn
Circulation services

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil book coverMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
by John Berendt

Andrea
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

With the Fire on High book coverWith the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Andrea
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Other Words for Smoke book coverOther Words for Smoke
by Sarah Maria Griffin

Nancy
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

the leavers book coverThe Leavers
by Lisa Ko

Nancy
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Daisy Jones and the Six book coverDaisy Jones and the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Emily W.
Circulation Services

City of Girls book coverCity of Girls
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Emily W.
Circulation Services

The Priory of Orange Trees book coverThe Priory of the Orange Tree
by Samantha Shannon

Marsha
Youth Services

Beneath the Tamarind Tree book coverBeneath the Tamarind Tree
by Isha Sesay

Marsha
Youth Services

The Unbreakables book coverThe Unbreakables
by Lisa Barr

Karen H.
Registration Services

Witchmark book coverWitchmark
by C. L. Polk

 

Karen H.
Registration Services

Middlegame book coverMiddlegame
by Seanan McGuire

Abby W.
Fiction Av/Teen Services

The Night Diary book coverThe Night Diary
by Veera Hiranandani

 

Abby W.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

A Sorcery of Thorns book coverA Sorcery of Thorns
by Margaret Rogerson

Erin
Youth services

The Library Book book coverThe Library Book
by Susan Orlean

Erin
Youth Services

The Great Believers book coverThe Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai

 

Janine
Circulation Services

99 Percent Mine book cover99 Percent Mine
by Sally Thorne

Janine
Circulation Services

The Lake House book coverThe Lake House
by Kate Morton

 

Allison N.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Foolish Hearts book coverFoolish Hearts
by Emma Mills

Allison N.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Disappearing Earth book coverDisappearing Earth
by Julia Phillips

Kelda
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Becoming book coverBecoming
by Michelle Obama

Kelda
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Circe book coverCirce
by Madeline Miller

Jenny
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Foundryside book coverFoundryside
by Robert Jackson Bennett

Jenny
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

How to Write an Autobiograhical Novel book coverHow to Write an Autobiographical Novel
by Alexander Chee

Maria P.
Collection services

where'd you go Bernadette book coverWhere’d You Go, Bernadette
by Maria Semple

Maria P.
Collection services

The Library Book book coverThe Library Book
by Susan Orlean

 

Denise
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Where the Crawdads Sing book coverWhere the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Denise
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Fix Her Up book coverFix Her Up
by Tessa Bailey

Donna S.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

The Identicals book coverThe Identicals
by Elin Hilderbrand

Donna S.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Deep Harbor book coverDeep Harbor
by Fern Michaels

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Mouthful of Birds book coverMouthful of Birds
by Samanta Schweblin

 

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Bowlaway book coverBowlaway
by Elizabeth McCracken

Liz
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Pride Prejudice and Other Flavors book coverPride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors
by Sonali Dev

Liz
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs book coverThe Daughters of Temperance Hobbs
by Katherine Howe

Kelly W.
Collection services

The Bride Test book coverThe Bride Test
by Helen Hoang

Kelly W.
Collection Services

The Farm book coverThe Farm
by Joanne Ramos

 

Donna C.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

Fumbled book coverFumbled
by Alexa Martin

Donna C.
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

The Moment of Lift book coverThe Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates

john
Fiction/AV/Teen Services

the raven boys book coverThe Raven Boys
by Maggie Stiefvater