Staff Picks: Recent Picks by Bealeton Staff
One of the most popular shelves in the Bealeton branch library is the Staff Picks display. Staff members flag their recommendations for patrons to peruse and enjoy. Because staff reading tastes vary so widely, there is usually an interesting mix. Here are just a few recent picks from some of our staff members:
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
“Crooked Heart” begins with Noel Bostock being raised in London by his suffragette Godmother, Mattie. Then, twin tragedies strike. Mattie slides into senile dementia and Britain enters WWII. Noel has been the adult in the house as Mattie’s mental condition worsens and he is able to avoid evacuation until Mattie’s catastrophic death. Now this quirky boy is foisted off on a foster mother, Vee, and her lackluster family in the country.
Vee, with little help from her mute, letter writing mother or careless lump of a son, is always scrambling to make ends meet. She comes up with a plan to solicit donations to the family finances by going door to door for fake charities. As usual, Vee’s get rich quick scheme is a dangerous flop until Noel surprises her by applying his considerable intellect to the problem. Choices made by Vee’s family members and the casualties of war leave Noel and Vee with no-one else to turn to. They begin to make themselves into a family by choice. Despite their flexible morals, Noel and Vee have good hearts, if just a bit crooked.
Jen B., Bealeton branch library
Golden State: A Novel by Stephanie Kegan
The life of suburban wife and mother Natalie Askedahl is abruptly turned upside down when she discovers a shocking connection between her long-lost brother and a string of heinous crimes happening in her state. Natalie’s decision to turn her brother in to authorities has far-reaching consequences, and she finds herself torn between an immediate family that needs her protection, a mother and sister who condemn her decision, and her own struggle to accept what may be true about the brother she always adored. “Gold State: A Novel” will have you asking, what would I do?
Jen S., Bealeton branch library
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I picked it up a little while back, but I’m a sucker for old Hollywood glamour, so the cover really caught my attention. I’m so glad it did! On the surface, “A Touch of Stardust” is a light, fluffy romance set during the filming of ‘Gone With the Wind,’ but you’ll soon find there’s more depth here than meets the eye.
As the story progresses, we get glimpses of the racism and antisemitism that was pervasive in American culture in the 1930’s. Our protagonist struggles first to acknowledge these prejudices, then to find her voice in the fight against them.
Frances, Bealeton branch library
Looking for more book lists and staff suggestions? Stop by the reference desk at your local library. Additional staff picks and book club roundups are available online.