Staff Picks

Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!

April 16, 2012

Love Finds You In Branson, Missouri

Love Finds You In Branson, Missouri
by Faulkenberry, Gwen Ford

After reading dark mysteries, I thought it was time to brighten things up by reading an inspirational romance novel. Love Finds You in Branson, Missouri is part of the Love Finds You series. The novels in the series inspire romance, history, travel and spirituality. Ellie Heinrichs is an aspiring actress who longs to be on Broadway. She receives a call from her agent to notify her that she was chosen for the lead role of a play, but there is one catch...the play is in Branson, Missouri, whereas Ellie dreams of performing in New York on Broadway. Upon embarking on her journey to Branson, Ellie's mother presents her with her great-grandmother's diary. As Ellie reads her great-grandmother's coming of age story, she soon realizes how closely intertwined her own story is with her great-grandmother's story. Readers are taken on Ellie's journey as she reluctantly fulfills her role in the play. She soon learns that things in Branson are not quite as bad as she thought. Ellie's journey allows her to explore romance, spirituality and opportunity. But Ellie is unexpectedly given the opportunity to audition for a role on Broadway. Readers will definitely be surprised at the twists and turns along Ellie's journey.

— Recommended by Kim Jones, Lawrence Branch


April 9, 2012

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress

Balzac And The Little Chinese Seamstress
by Dai, Sijie; translated by Ina Rilke from French
FIC D1325b

Finishing to the last word, I held the petite volume to appreciate the elegant, exotic cover design and paged through the unique text font style...let the simple, beautiful, and lively story replay in my mind screen by screen.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960's, two city boys were sent to rural Phoenix Mountain village in western China to be reformed. Their love for books and their fascinating story-telling of western literature stories ignited imagination and awakened free spirits that irrevocably changed lives of the little seamstress, the tailor, and themselves.

Readers will appreciate the book in multiple levels--the rustic village life and the natural environmental beauty; the refreshing parade of great writers like Balzac, Victor Hugo, Dumas; and the transformation of characters inspired by western literature. Readers will also learn about an historic episode unknown to most westerners - the massive coerced transmigration of 17 million Chinese urban youths to rural areas from 1967-1978. Check it out!

— Recommended by Sailan Liang, Glendale Branch


April 2, 2012

Highest Duty : My Search For What Really Matters

Highest Duty : My Search For What Really Matters
by Sullenberger, Chesley with Jeffrey Zaslow
B Sullenberger, Chesley SUL

What do we learn of Captain Chesley Sullenberger’s capability in this now famous airliner crisis? We learn there was no great epiphany. The landing was instead the result of years of training and preparation, years as a private, military, and commercial pilot, an accident investigator, and safety consultant, all of which resulted in his "cool" approach to the events of January 15, 2009. This life of "skill honing" is central to our understanding of Captain Sullenberger. Our hero spent many years going to an airplane.

Highest Duty culminates with Flight 1549. We are all aware of Captain Sullenberger’s moment of fame, as he and his crew pancaked the crippled jetliner in the Hudson River and successfully saved the lives of all 155 aboard. Yes, we readers know the outcome, and yet we are a part of the drama as the dangerous seconds pass in the cockpit of US Airways Flight 1549.

— Recommended by Mike Hylton, Irvington Branch, where this book will be discussed on April 12th


March 26, 2012

A Big Little Life: A Memoir Of A Joyful Dog

A Big Little Life: A Memoir Of A Joyful Dog
by Koontz, Dean
636.7527 KOO

If you are familiar with Dean Koontz's fiction titles, this is definitely a change of pace. A Big Little Life is the story of a 3-year-old rescue dog who came to live with the Koontz family. In this true account of his life with Trixie, Mr. Koontz shares many tales of the trickster. During obedience class, trainers would leave the room with dogs on a "sit/stay". Trixie moved down the line of dogs, trying to get one to break the command, running back into place when hearing the doorknob rattle. She was also very bright. While on a walk, Mrs. Koontz tried to get Trixie to leave the tennis court before she found a tennis ball. Trixie spoke, "BAW." She had never uttered anything similar to that before. She was allowed to look again for tennis balls that day, and she found one! Trixie taught Mr. Koontz that joy can be found in the simple things in life. If you want to learn more about Trixie, check out her series of books!

— Recommended by Jill Wetnight, Franklin Road Branch


March 19, 2012

The Cat Sitter's Pajamas

The Cat Sitter's Pajamas
by Clement, Blaize

Don’t let the title fool you. Dixie, our heroine, is a pet sitter (dogs, cats, snakes, etc.). The only way animals are involved is when she goes to feed and exercise them.  However, there always seems to be a body somewhere along the way. In this particular situation, the plot is very convoluted. Why does the "Supermodel" break into a famous football player’s house which is in a very sophisticated, guarded community? How does a dead body appear in the house while Dixie is in her car waiting for the police and the supermodel is changing clothes in the bedroom? Who is the homicide detective who is NOT a homicide detective and causes Dixie nothing but trouble? And, finally, who are the thugs who knock out Dixie and search her home? All of these questions will be answered someplace in the 260 pages. If you enjoy this outing, there 6 other stories in the Dixie series.

— recommended by Kay Smith, Spades Park Branch