Staff Picks: Favorites From the John Marshall Branch Library Staff

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There will never be enough to time to get to all the books on our reading lists. For those us us who work in libraries,reading in front of fireplce we are regularly delighted and frustrated by the numbers of books, both new and old, that pass through our hands each day. There are so many good books to consider! Book lovers have to make choices, and that is why it is so helpful to get recommendations from fellow readers. The John Marshall branch library staff would like to share a few of their favorites in hopes that you might find a good book for your next snowy day.

Joan admits that she loves lighthouses, so when she saw the cover of M.L. Stedman’s book, The Light Between Oceans, she knew it had to be her next read. This is a captivating story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Australia. Decisions the couple make after the discovery of a small boat washed ashore with its surprising contents will change their lives forever. Joan found herself desperately wanting to warn the characters  they were making terrible choices, but one can only read on and hope the consequences won’t be too bad. This book is a page turner, from that first fateful decision made in love, to all of those following. You won’t be disappointed with this one. Read it before the movie version is released later this year. Joan, Library Clerk

Another recommendation is Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis And Compromise, 1848-1877. Gloria describes herself as “a gal who was taught only the version of history accepted as true in Old Virginia.” She found this book to be a real eye-opener. Brenda Wineapple has written a very readable, detailed account of the events surrounding the Civil War. Gloria, Library Associate

For those of you who enjoy listening to a book, Ladies of Letters..and More, by Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman is a wonderful choice. Taken from the very funny BBC radio program, it features Patricia Routledge of Keeping Up Appearances and Prunella Scales of Fawlty Towers. The series follows the adventures of two eccentric families, led by their matriarchs who are the best of friends when they correspond and a disaster when they are actually together. This one will have you laughing as you travel. Gloria, Library Associate

Veronica recommends The Golem and The Jinni, by Helene Wecker. Set in New York in the late 19th century, two mythical creatures from very different cultures manage to pass as human. Beautifully written, it raises questions about the meaning of being human, and the importance of religion and culture in everyday life. Part folktale, part fantasy, and even part historical fiction, this book is ultimately a story of how people with such diverse backgrounds learn to get along and even love each other. Veronica, Library Page.

“Can you recommend a good book?” Yes, indeed – we can recommend several.

Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library. For online book lists published prior to January 2015, visit Book Notes, our blog all about books.


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