June 2018 Staff picks

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

The sad truth is that much of what James Comey has to say in this book has been drowned out by the voices of political pundits on both ends of the spectrum and by ongoing events. This is a very good book about ethical leadership. Throughout his many jobs as an attorney in both the public and private sectors, Comey rises through the ranks but always drifts back to law enforcement as his vocation. A very small portion of the book is devoted to his years at the FBI and his decisions about the investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails and Donald Trump. Comey’s explanations provide insight into how and why he made the decisions affecting the 2016 presidential election. Read it for yourself, and make your own judgements.

Shoot First (Think Later) by Stuart Woods

Stone Barrington is in trouble again (no surprise there). This time he travels to Key West with his friends Dino and Vivian for a meeting, playing a round of golf, when he finds himself in the midst of gunfire. This time the target is a beautiful tech billionaire, Meg, who becomes Stone’s new companion. A disgruntled former employee has it in for Meg, and Stone takes her to Maine and England to escape a hired killer. A typical Stuart Woods jet-setting jaunt; an entertaining, clever plot with amusing characters caught in interesting situations.
Robin H.

I just finished re-reading The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. The play has many autobiographical ties to Mr. William’s life growing up. A powerful play that takes place in an apartment building during the 1940’s. The Glass Menageries refers to the mental fragility of the character, Laura Wingfield – a young girl with a slight limp that has caused her to retreat to a world of fantasy through her glass figures.
Nancy H.

I just started Ghost by Jason Reynolds, one of our Battle of the Books selections. I have been reading about 7-8 so far. It seems like it is going to be really good one like the others I have finished in the last couple of weeks.
Nina E.

I am reading EMPIRE FALLS by Richard Russo. It is funny and bittersweet.
 Cheri S.

May 2018 Staff Picks

The Detective London McKenna mystery series by Alex Gates is dark. I’ve read a few of them, but they are not easy reads. The pace is very quick, though.

Nina E.

I am currently reading Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. For fans of Wonder, but 10 times a better read!

Out of My Mind is narrated by a girl with cerebral palsy who’s very intelligent but unable to express herself verbally or physically. Hoping for the ending I expect, but there have been some unexpected story lines.

2018-2019 Middle School Battle of the book list

Justin M.

I am reading Flat Broke with Two Goats which is a memoir by Jennifer McGahan.  Her book was chosen for The Big Read.  She was at Main St. Books in Davidson on Saturday evening.  I enjoyed seeing her.  The first part of the book is difficult to read as her first marriage was an abusive relationship.  The second part of the book is about homesteading in North Carolina near Asheville.

Cheri S.

I just read The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud.  I read it for pleasure.  It was on the Battle of the Book reading list last year.  This was an exciting fantasy book about young teens that run a ghost hunting agency.  I would definitely recommend it, but it is probably not for everyone since it is can be bit dark and scary. 

Rachel V.


Staff Picks April 2018


Dear Martin by Nic Stone

It was really good, but definitely for teens. About two buddies trying to get scholarships. it’s racially balanced, coming of age book. A good way to get inside the mind of a teenager, especially a guy. #harshlanguage

Vanessa C.

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff

In one of the most controversial political books of our time, Michael Wolff gives us his interpretation of the actions (and inactions) of those cohorts working inside the Trump campaign and White House during the past year.  The closest analogy is a group of puppet masters fighting over which one is allowed to control Donald Trump at any given time.  Most useful to the reader is a description of the various influential figures in the White House, their philosophies, and how they came to be there.  Obviously, those with a left-leaning point-of-view will applaud Wolff’s description of the chaos, perhaps be troubled by the revelations; those on the right will justify and deny the possibility that Trump’s White House could be that bad.  Certainly, this book only adds fire to the fury of the current political climate in Washington.

Robin H.

I just read The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian.  It kept my interest although it was a difficult read as it was a novel about sex trafficking

Cheri S.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce. A feel-good tale that has the love of music ringing throughout without the snarkiness of High Fidelity. I like how the author takes her time unveiling the protagonist’s character, keeping you guessing about the plot until the end. For fans of British fiction, feel good stories, men and women relationships fiction. A light read.

Jenneffer S.

Leonardo, da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson, is a masterpiece about a master artisan.  I am listening to the CDBK read by Alfred Molino.  It’s a large amount of information about the famous Leonardo yet flows easily from one life event to the next and you find yourself waiting for more.  It’s interesting and fascinating just like Leonardo himself.

Sandra Y. 

Staff Picks March 2018

I’ve been savoring, At Peace, by Dr. Sam Harrington. It’s been a pick up/put down book, evoking strong emotion, but been very helpful for me. I lost both my parents, and can recommend this for anyone going through a similar situation.

-Jennifer L.

I’m reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I feel like the only person who hasn’t yet seen it, or watched the movie!
-Nina E.
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg and History of Bees by Maja Lunde.
-Bevin F.
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River. This fast paced thriller is quite good.
-Nancy H.
I just read A World of Three Zeroes by Muhammad Yunus. The creator of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which offers microloans to poor women who want to start businesses, the crux of this book is that capitalism has failed us. If we trust our instincts as entrepreneurs, and try to make our world a better place, even making small steps, we can stop the cycles of poverty, haves and have nots, and also the destruction of our environment. Less of a road map than an essay, this is an inspiring book invoking us to action.
-Jenneffer S.

Staff Picks for February 2018

French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mirelle Guiliano.
-Cheri S.
Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot is a sensitive true story of a granddaughter who tries to discover her family’s history. Both survivors of Nazi Germany, Miranda’s grandparents refuse to speak to each other, or even utter their names, so she has a lot of work to do. The author grew up in Ashville, NC.
-Jenneffer S.
I am reading You’re Worth It! by Danielle Bean. It is one of those ongoing books I keep on my nightstand, and read a little bit, up to 50 pages at a time.
-Nina E.
Moon Women by Pamela Duncan
The author is a North Carolinian and the story is set in the western part of our state. If you enjoy books by Rebecca Wells, Fannie Flagg or Adrianna Trigiani, you’ll like this too. It follows the trials of the Moon sisters and is a light-hearted look at typical family problems. An easy read with likable characters.
-Lynae V.

Staff Picks for Fall 2017

Disarming Beauty by Julian Carron

“Beautiful!” -Joe G.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

“I am reading this for the second time this summer.”-Nina E.

The Guilty by David Baldacci

“It helps to know something about the protagonist, Will Robie’s, background, but it is not essential to feeling the tension in the story. After making what could have been a life-altering mistake in his secret field, Will returns to his Mississippi hometown to help his estranged father fight a murder rap. Obviously, matters become more convoluted, and you don’t know who is going to ‘buy the farm’ next. Besides that, not everything is as it seems! The bad guys eventually suffer the consequences, and Will moves on, ready for the next novel in the series! Plenty of action, and a sufficient amount of suspended reality to keep you reading.” -Neal M.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

“Wow, it was wonderful, and went in so many directions.”  -Marian L.

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

“I just finished Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.  Like many of her books, she incorporates characters from past books.  However, they don’t necessarily have a big role in the story, but they help set up some of the current characters.  This book revolves around the town that her last book’s main character, Lucy Barton, came from.  I enjoyed knowing more of Lucy’s back story and the important role her family played in the current character’s lives. This book is a great slice of life in small town America.” -Lynae V.

October library staff book pics

This fall, our staff is branching out a little, reading books outside their usual genres.  Some are oldies but goodies, and if you can’t find it on our shelves, ask us about an Interlibrary Loan

After hearing an excerpt and interview with the author on Fresh Air, I picked up Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart– I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not reading a dark memoir, that these stories are fiction. Acerbic humor and a tiny bit of self-deprecation mark these short stories that flow together like a memoir. For fans of Amy Tan or Lisa See, those with interest in Chinese American historical fiction will enjoy branching out a little.

-Jenneffer S.

I am reading, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrick Bachman; not done yet, so far so good.

-Jennifer L.

I just finished reading, The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt; it was a long book and it kept my interest. In fact, I stayed up late last night to finish it.

-Cheri S.

I just finished Hunter/Prey by Sid Sisavath. It was quite a ride with thrills and action from start to finish; it was so exciting, I couldn’t put it down to sleep!

-Nina E.