Staff faves - 2015

Library staff agree; 2015 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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Billy and Goat at the State Fair

4

A boy, his goat and a trip to the state fair. What could possibly go wrong? Read more...

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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear

4

As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I knew an adventure was going to happen. Read more...

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Gorillas in Our Midst

5

Yes, this is a picture book, but grown-up me could not stop laughing! Read more...

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If You Plant a Seed

5

Fruits and veggies aren't the only things that grow in this sweet story about compassion and generosity. Read more...

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It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon

5

Lost balloons, broken toys? Sometimes we all need a little reminder about looking on the bright side! Read more...

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Leo: A Ghost Story

5

Leo is the most-adorable, least-scary ghost I have ever met. He gives Casper a run for his money. Read more...

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Nerdy Birdy

5

Nerdy Birdy learns a lesson about fitting in, friendship and being true to yourself. Read more...

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Sea Rex

5

What happens when a bunch of dinosaurs spend a day at the beach? An afternoon of toothy delight! Read more...

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The Whale in My Swimming Pool

5

Dying for a swim? It's not that simple when there's a whale in your pool! Read more...

Juvenile

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Buck's Tooth

5

Buck's big front tooth is easy to brush, but that's about the only thing it's good for. It ruins everything! Read more...

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Crenshaw

5

Is it possible to fall in love with a book in the first 50 pages? If it's this book, the answer is "yes!" Read more...

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Echo: A Novel

4

A harmonica + four lives = one amazing story Read more...

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Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary

4

Typhoid Mary, a.k.a. the woman who refused to wash her hands. Read more...

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Fish in a Tree

5

"Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid." Read more...

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Fuzzy Mud

4

A little mud never hurt anyone. Or did it? Read more...

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Roller Girl

5

A graphic novel about friendship and identity, all wrapped up in butt-kicking, roller derby girl power! Read more...

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The Marvels

4

A stunning book with Selznick's trademark mix of page-turning illustrations and a beautiful, complex story. Read more...

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The Nest

4

A creepy middle-grade read about supernatural phenomena and fear. Read more...

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The Penderwicks in Spring

5

This story mixes the modern day family with old fashioned charm and values. Read more...

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The Pirate Pig

5

This is a high seas caper involvin' a skull-and-crossbones-wearin' pig, a stout captain and t' unwanted attention o' Barracuda Bill. Read more...

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The Terrible Two

4

All I can say is-- Prank War! Read more...

Teens

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13 Days Of Midnight

4

A necromancer, a wannabe witch, eight ghosts and an appearance by the Devil himself make this book a perfectly creepy October read. Read more...

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Black Dove, White Raven

4

A look at the 1930s (and aviation!) that I guarantee you've never seen before. Read more...

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Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary

4

Typhoid Mary, a.k.a. the woman who refused to wash her hands. Read more...

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Get in Trouble

4

These genre-defying stories combine fantasy, sci-fi and literary fiction, bringing surprise and delight to their exploration of realistic themes. Read more...

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Goodbye Stranger

5

New (school) year, new you? That is the question. Read more...

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Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir

4

First love. Boy bands. Rifles. "Honor Girl" is a quirky and bittersweet coming of age story. Read more...

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Illuminae

4

Keep your head, hands, arms, legs and feet inside the ride at all times. Please wait to exit until the ride has come to a full and complete stop. Read more...

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

5

Best first line ever: "It's a weirdly subtle conversation. I almost don't notice I'm being blackmailed." Read more...

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Six of Crows

4

For months, I couldn't go anywhere without hearing about this book. Now that I've read it, I know why. Read more...

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The Fixer

4

Clear your schedule for the next few days. This book is going to make you forget about your to-do list. Read more...

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The Marvels

4

A stunning book with Selznick's trademark mix of page-turning illustrations and a beautiful, complex story. Read more...

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The Weight of Feathers

5

"The Night Circus" meets "Eleanor and Park" in this atmospheric, magical read. Read more...

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

4

An entertaining and endearing look into the life of an Internet star. Read more...

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Zeroes

4

Ever want to read the story of some zeroes instead of heroes? Yeah, me too. Read more...

Adults

Fiction

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A Little Life

5

Haunting, absorbing, beautiful. This book changed me. Read more...

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A Window Opens

4

Ever read one of those books where you are sure you and the main character would be friends? Read more...

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After the War is Over

4

Romance and rebuilding in post-war Liverpool-- you'll be cheering for Charlotte Brown by the end! Read more...

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Crooked Heart

4

A charming and heartwarming story about two lost souls that form an unlikely friendship in WWII London. Read more...

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Did You Ever Have a Family

5

A subtle, quiet and beautifully written novel about life before and after unbearable grief. Read more...

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James

4

What really drives an 82-year-old woman to walk across Canada with a coyote? Read more...

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Finding Jake

5

So tense. So good. So gripping. My eyes hurt from staying awake all night to finish it. Read more...

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Get in Trouble

4

These genre-defying stories combine fantasy, sci-fi and literary fiction, bringing surprise and delight to their exploration of realistic themes. Read more...

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In a Dark, Dark Wood

4

If you love Tana French and Gillian Flynn, and have an affinity for creepy, suspense-filled novels, then this is a must-read!! Read more...

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Kitchens of the Great Midwest

5

Getting to know Eva Thorvald is a real treat! Read more...

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Pretty Baby

4

No good deed goes unpunished in this sly psychological thriller about another woman on another train. Read more...

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The Book of Speculation

4

Mermaids, carnies, curses and LIBRARIANS! What's not to like? Read more...

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The Bullet

4

This book immediately starts off with a bang. No pun intended. Read more...

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The Magician's Lie

5

Deception, illusion, mystery and magic! This story has it all. Can you see the truth behind "The Magician's Lie?" Read more...

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The Sweetheart

4

A triumphant and unique debut about a shy girl who transforms herself into one of the most infamous female wrestlers of all time. Read more...

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The Truth According to Us

4

Grab some iced tea and kick back in a hammock, because it's a scorcher of summer in 1938 Macedonia, West Virginia. Read more...

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The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

4

A tale of mystery and intrigue, featuring a mechanical octopus that steals socks. Read more...

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We Never Asked for Wings

5

Hold onto your hearts, Diffenbaugh has earned her literary wings in her second masterpiece and she is about to take your breath away. Read more...

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Weightless

4

Cyberbullying. Peer Pressure. Mental Health. These are the weighty topics addressed in Sarah Bannan's debut novel. Read more...

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What She Knew

4

A super-tense psychological thriller about a missing child and a seemingly unhinged mother. You won't put it down until you know whodunit. Read more...

Nonfiction

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Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

4

Grammar nerds will love this witty memoir from a self-described "Comma Queen." Read more...

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Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

4

If you think the heroin epidemic won't reach central Ohio, reporter Sam Quinones has bad news: it already has. Read more...

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Endless Summer Cookbook

4

This fresh, summer cookbook is sure to include something for everyone! Read more...

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Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

5

Fans of true crime and detective stories would do well to pick up this gripping, deeply-reported account of a South Los Angeles homicide. Read more...

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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl

5

Sharp, honest and vulnerable. A perfect pop culture memoir. Read more...

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Injustices: The Supreme Court's History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted

4

You know all that cynicism and contempt you have for Congress? Well, you might want to save some of it for the Supreme Court. Read more...

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Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

4

At a point equidistant from the historical reverence of Doris Kearns Goodwin and the frat-house buffoonery of "Drunk History," we find Sarah Vowell. Read more...

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Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

5

A love letter to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Read more...

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So You've Been Publicly Shamed

4

A breezy book about shame from the always affable and earnest Jon Ronson? Sure, sign me up! Read more...

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Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home

4

This is a great book that illustrates the healing power of food. Read more...

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What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living On Your Terms

5

Holiday parties? Endless shopping? Cookies for days? These tips on healthy living will give you a few reliable tricks to hide up your sleeve! Read more...

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

4

An entertaining and endearing look into the life of an Internet star. Read more...