Staff faves - 2013

Library staff agree; 2013 was a good year for books! If you're in the market for a new favorite, browse these four- and five-star selections, gleaned from this year's Staff Picks reviews.

Kids

Picture books

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Catching Kisses

5

This book takes you on a sweet journey around the United States, and shows the many ways love is expressed. Read more...

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Crankee Doodle

5

A hilarious take on the song we all know, but don't really understand! Read more...

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Don't Push the Button!

5

Don't push the button! Seriously. Don't even think about it. Read more...

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Exclamation Mark

5

A wonderful story about standing out and being yourself with witty, engaging illustrations! Read more...

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Hank Finds An Egg

5

A whimsical woodland creature learns a lesson in kindness in this beautifully photographed, wordless picture book. Hank is sure to win you over! Read more...

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Journey

5

Can an ordinary red crayon take you on a stunning and incredible journey? This flight of fancy says, "Yes!" Read more...

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No Fits, Nilson!

5

I am giving you a gorilla stare. You must read this book. You must read this book. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! I want banana ice cream. Read more...

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That is NOT a Good Idea!

5

When it's a book by Mo Willems, you know to expect the unexpected! Read more...

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The Great Lollipop Caper

4

One cranky caper is tired of being overlooked by kids at the dinner table. His evil plan will have your family laughing out loud! Read more...

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Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great

5

Things were just peachy for Goat until Unicorn moved to town. Read more...

Juvenile

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Boris On the Move

4

Boris is a warthog, and he is just like you. Boris dreams of adventures, and not just the kind you can find in your own backyard, just like you. Read more...

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Destiny, Rewritten

4

If you're looking for a book that's charming and magical, look no further! Read more...

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Doll Bones

5

A creepy tale that seems like it should be told around a campfire. Did you hear the one about the haunted doll made from the bones of a dead girl? Read more...

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

5

It's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" meets "The Westing Game" in this action-packed tale for bibliophiles. Read more...

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Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems

4

Fairy tale poems that make sense whether you read them backwards or forwards-- and tell a different story each way. Read more...

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Fortunately, the Milk

4

Aliens and vampires and time travel, oh my! Dad runs into ALL of these things, plus much more, on a short trip to the corner for some milk! Read more...

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How To Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language

5

This book is fun and informative and full of great pictures! For the dog lover in everyone. Read more...

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Jane, the Fox, & Me

4

What do "Jane Eyre," foxes and little girls who look like sausages have in common? Surprisingly, a lot. Read more...

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Navigating Early

4

If "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" got together with "The Odyssey," their book baby would be "Navigating Early." Read more...

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The Gumazing Gum Girl: Chews Your Destiny

4

A sticky new superhero for fans of Captain Awesome, Captain Underpants or the Powerpuff Girls. Read more...

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The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

5

A striking account of JFK's assassination. I just can't say enough about how fantastic a read this is. Read more...

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The Truth of Me: About a Boy, his Grandmother, and a Very Good Dog

4

There are all kinds of magic in the world and most of them don't involve spells or wands-- only love. Read more...

Teens

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All Our Yesterdays

5

The first time a drain, a time machine and a list have added up to awesome. Read more...

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Boy Nobody

4

Teen assassin? Sign me up! Read more...

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Charm & Strange

4

While this book definitely charmed me with its strangeness, it's not for the faint of heart. Read more...

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Etiquette and Espionage

5

OMG, this is the most delightful book I've read in a long time. Read more...

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Fangirl

5

Not your average coming-of-age story. Read more...

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

5

A powerful and important story about teen depression and suicide that will leave you thinking. By the author of "Silver Linings Playbook." Read more...

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Out of the Easy

5

Great historical fiction with a murder mystery twist. I couldn't put it down! Read more...

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Shadowlands

4

If you like being scared out of your mind by a book, this one won't let you down. Read more...

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Teeth

5

Read this haunting novel while wrapped in a blanket with your favorite cup of coffee in hand. This book will pull you in and chill you to the bone. Read more...

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The Lucy Variations

4

Sometimes being a piano prodigy just isn't all it's cracked up to be. But I sure do like to read about it! Read more...

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The Naturals

4

Oh, what? You wanted to read a super-fun book that's pretty much the "Criminal Minds" of teen fiction? Look no further! Read more...

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The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

5

A striking account of JFK's assassination. I just can't say enough about how fantastic a read this is. Read more...

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The Rosie Project

5

If you like Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory," you'll love Don in "The Rosie Project." Read more...

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The Screaming Staircase

4

Chomping at the bit for the new season of "Sherlock" to start? Try this for a fix. Read more...

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The Tragedy Paper

4

A bittersweet story of first love. Read more...

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Winger

5

Let's see, a 14-year-old junior at boarding school, living in a dorm for troublemakers and rooming with his archenemy. What could go wrong? Read more...

Adults

Fiction

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Americanah

5

A beautifully-told story about two people born in Nigeria who fall in love, move apart and have to make unexpected choices about their lives. Read more...

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Crazy Rich Asians

4

Ever wonder what it's like to be rich? And not just rich rich, but crazy rich? Think "The Bold and the Beautiful" or "Dynasty" set in Singapore. Read more...

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Drizzled with Death

4

When town nasty, Alanza Speedwell, keels over dead in a plate of pancakes and syrup, the town of Sugar Grove finds itself in a sticky murder case. Read more...

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Fin & Lady

4

I cried at the end, partially because I felt all the feels, but mostly because this beautiful coming-of-age story was over. Read more...

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Life After Life

5

Beautifully written. Makes me go "hmmm," in the best possible way. Read more...

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Longbourn

4

Longbourn is for fans of Jane Austen, "Pride and Prejudice" or "Downton Abbey." If, like me, you love all three, pick this one up immediately! Read more...

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Night Film

4

Fans of Stieg Larsson and Gillian Flynn will enjoy this super-creepy thriller that will keep you up at night! Read more...

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Sea Creatures

4

"Sea Creatures" examines the strength of parental love, and offers proof of our capacity to correct a course and move forward. Read more...

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The Aviator's Wife

4

A glimpse into the private life (and hell) of one of the world's most famous couples. Read more...

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The Husband's Secret

4

My jaw literally dropped when Cecilia read the secret letter. Then I got to the end and it dropped some more. I did not see that one coming! Read more...

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The Lowland

4

Set in India and America, this is a sweeping novel about two brothers, family tragedy and trying to pick up the pieces. Read more...

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

5

Listening to this novel reminds you of being a little kid tucked in tight while your favorite grandparent reads you a dark and magical bedtime story. Read more...

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The Other Typist

4

Who is Odalie Lazar? Intrigue, dark humor and mistaken identitity in this bathtub gin-fueled noir mystery will keep you guessing until the very end! Read more...

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The Painted Girls

5

A story so good I drove an extra block every day just to keep listening. You will never look at Degas' ballet dancers the same way again. Read more...

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The Rosie Project

5

If you like Sheldon in "The Big Bang Theory," you'll love Don in "The Rosie Project." Read more...

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The Shining Girls

5

"The Shining Girls" is a genre-bending thriller that hits every important mark with confidence and swagger. Read more...

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The Sweetheart Bargain

4

This is a sweetheart of a romance about dogs, Coast Guard heroes, girls trying to start over and meddling grandmothers. Read more...

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The Wicked Girls

4

If psychological thrillers are your bag, pick this up and you'll be creeped out in no time! Read more...

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

5

How accurate are our memories? This remarkable novel delves deep into that and more as its pages unfold. Read more...

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We Are Water

5

This modern family drama is thought-compelling, well-written and intense. Read more...

Non-fiction

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Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

5

Practical life advice that reads like a hilarious conversation with your best friend? Yes, please! Read more...

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Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies

4

Thoughtful discourse on topics ranging from football to gun control to songwriting, combined with awesome new and quotable curse words. Read more...

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Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman, King of the B-Movies

4

Never mind the teddy bear and blankie. These are my precious childhood memories. Read more...

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Decisive: How to Make Better Decisions in Life and Work

4

We make decisions all the time, but rarely consider how. "Decisive" changes that and offers a window into the decision-making process. Read more...

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I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp

5

The brilliant/stupid diary of a jerk-genius. Read more...

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Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week

4

I am in love with this cookbook! The recipes are so awesome, I am purchasing my own personal copy. Read more...

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Mastering the Art of French Eating

4

This book will delight the traveling foodie in all of us! Read more...

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My Beloved World

5

A candid and inspiring memoir of Sonia Sotomayor's journey to the U.S. Supreme Court. Read more...

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Pandora's Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal

4

An interesting, educational and sometimes humorous look at the American diet (from processed cheese to boxed cereal), and how it got that way. Read more...

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Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

5

You know how people eat to live or live to eat? This is for us live-to-eaters. Read more...

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Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives

4

Young widows are those unlucky people who have to make second chances for themselves. This is a story of overcoming the unthinkable. Read more...

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Smile at Strangers: And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly

4

Chicken soup for the soul of anyone who takes personal safety and personal growth seriously. Read more...