Staff Picks: Recent Favorites of Library Staff

Posted by Aaron on

Book ClubsIf you visit the Warrenton central library, you have probably seen one of the adult reference librarians assisting patrons. Answering reference questions and locating materials are just some of the things our reference librarians do. Often they answer the question “What book do you recommend?” All three of us enjoy reading books in all genres, so our answers vary. Here is a sampling of some of our recent favorite reads.

Murder on Gramercy Park by Victoria Thompson
This is the third book in Ms. Thompson’s Gaslight mystery series. Set in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century, the series follows Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy of the New York City Police and midwife Sarah Brandt, who assist him with many of his cases. In this book, famed magnetic healer Edmund Blackwell is found dead, an apparent suicide. But was it? Who might have wanted him dead–his young wife, his wealthy father-in-law, the husbands of his clients or his assistant? Filled with historic details and commentary on social issues, this series reminds me of Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt mystery series.

Vicky, Reference Librarian

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder; edited by Pamela Smith Hill
This is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s unedited and unpublished manuscript autobiography, which was written for an adult audience. It served as the basis for the Little House series of books for children.  I have been a fan of the Little House books since elementary school, and I have waited for many years to be able to read this manuscript. I am not disappointed. Ms. Hill and the Pioneer Girl Project Staff from the South Dakota Historical Society Press have done a wonderful job of researching the names and places in the manuscript and adding the many annotations. This is a book I will read again and again.

Vicky, Reference Librarian

The Teacher Wars by Dana Goldstein
The Teacher Wars is a balanced and engrossing history of educational reform in the United States. Recounting decades of fierce arguments about public education, this book sheds light on the modern controversies surrounding our public education system.

Becky, Reference Librarian

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
I, Robot is a classic novel that blends science fiction with mystery. It follows a technology company’s efforts to create increasingly sophisticated robots–and troubleshoot these machines when their programming produces unexpected results. I, Robot combines a good story with subtle commentary on the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Becky, Reference Librarian

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
This is a powerful story about courage and dreams. It is a historical fiction novel, inspired by actual historical figures (the Grimke family) set in Charleston, South Carolina. Sarah is turning eleven and is given ten-year-old Handful, a child of a slave to the Grimke family. Sarah pleads that she does not want to take ownership of Handful, but in time the two become friends. Sarah teaches Handful how to read and Handful keeps hoping that she will find the wings her mother told her about as a child. The story is told by both Sarah and Handful and we watch the girls grow up, Sarah having left the only life she knows and Handful finding answers in a story quilt left behind by her mother, who has mysteriously disappeared. this is a touching story told by the two girls that pulls at your heartstrings as you cheer them on to find peace for Sarah and wings for Handful.

Jody, Reference Librarian

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