Staff-suggested materials ahead! RevisedNovember 18, 2021 You can always count on library staff to recommend some of the year's best books, music and movies. Here's hoping you discover new favorites! Library staff loved these 79 titles published in 2021. Audience - Any -All agesFamilies-Babies-Toddlers-Preschoolers-Kids-TweensTeensAdults Format - Any -audiobookbook-board book-chapter book-graphic novel-picture book-readermusicvideo Genre - Any -award winnersbook club pickscomics and graphic novelsfamily lifefantasyfictionfood and cookinghistoryhorrorhumor and satireidentity and culturelove storiesmysterynonfictionpeoplereferencescience fictionseasonalsportsthriller and suspense Jeff R says:In an examination of Black performance that mixes personal experiences with global celebrity, Abdurraqib has crafted a book that speaks to us all. Thad P says:Indiana Jones meets "Star Trek." A well-told tale of cutting edge science following the long-lost travels of our ancestors, as recorded in our genes. Coleman M says:Imagine waking up to an evacuated city where you must fight to survive. Alone. Lucky for Maddie she has her wits, her dog and, of course, her library! Lori W says:One-part Harry Potter plus one-part "Men in Black," mixed with a determined yet unlikely heroine, equals a delightful and action-packed adventure! Heather H says:Oates' poetry is sharp and unrelenting. She cuts into the soul of the human condition and shows us exactly what we're made of. Tin C says:Let your creativity soar in this adorable picture book. Jess P says:A timely, time-traveling saga featuring Ohio's hometown heroine. Meredith R says:This brought back so many vivid memories of childhood hijinks that I bought it and mailed it to my favorite sneakiness cohort, my little sister. Annie C says:When grandad leaves to go to a Better Place, Dylan is determined to find him. Join Kid Cosmo on his journey full of imagination, grief and acceptance. Heather W says:Bodies come in all colors, shapes, sizes and abilities-- and all bodies are cool! Jeff R says:Brimming with helpful insights and practical tips, Chatter will change the way you talk to yourself (and probably others, too). Check it out! Carmi D says:A powerful novel-in-verse for anyone wishing to step out from the shadows and refusing to play small. Meredith R says:"Stranger, whoever you are, open this to learn what will amaze you." This was a triumph of a story, especially on audio. I couldn't stop. Andrew C says:Like its protagonist, this prequel to The Hate U Give shines through its own merits and stellar supporting cast. Love radiates from every chapter. Annie C says:A heartfelt and genuine memoir about the complicated relationship between a daughter and her mother. You'll laugh and cry and crave Korean food. Julie M says:This sweet story shows the value in what others perceive as worthless, and reminds us that all it takes is just one other friend to spread kindness. Kate F says:As if dogs weren't amazing enough, they can also do the most amazing jobs. Warms my little heart! Tin C says:This rhyming picture book will QUACK you up! Marisa W says:Baos and tamales and pierogi, oh my! Upon reading this delightful tale, my stomach may have been grumbling but my heart was plenty full. Morgan H says:At long last, a weeknight-wonder cookbook worthy of a permanent spot in my kitchen (where has sheet pan gnocchi been all my life?!). Dierric R says:Three generations of eyes reflecting happiness, understanding, concern and a vibrant history. Stephanie B says:Best debut title from an author I've ever read. A looking glass into the Ojibwe culture and what it means to be Native American in the modern world. Cora S says:No one can deliver weird, random facts quite like Mary Roach! Amanda K says:More than basketball, behind the Greek Freak's zero-to-hero journey is simply Giannis: humble, sincere, determined and devoted to family. April O says:Magpie steals junk and hearts in this story about friendship and creative thinking. Quirky, punny humor and fun collage illustrations! Kristin D says:I hope reading these stories will leave you inspired to share some of your own with the women in your life. We need to know we are not alone. Kara R says:With shades of Marvin Gaye and D'Angelo, "Steam" is a whole vibe. I've had this album on repeat for weeks. Bryan A says:Have you had a friend say, "You've got to check this book out!"? I'm that friend, saying read this awesome memoir about identity and belonging. Heather W says:When your parent just won't behave the way a parent should, perhaps a little puppy training will do the trick. Morgan H says:Dogs (and people!) come in all shapes, sizes and colors-- and that's just how Lucy-the-Longest-Dog likes it! Amanda K says:One of the best Cinderella retellings I've ever encountered! Fun, fast read with lots of references to the original Disney classic. Hannah E says:Alternating timelines and character points-of-view will keep you guessing what's really going on until the very end! Thad P says:A flower grows through concrete if given enough time, but that's nothing compared to what nature can get up to when we just leave it alone for a bit. Carol V says:Classic Jewish recipes are given a modern twist, and this baker has caramel apple sticky buns for the coming cold months. Sarah L says:I don't read true crime often, but I couldn't put this down. A haunting history of the Last Call Killer, NYC's queer community and the AIDS epidemic. Heather H says:Jamie Conklin has a gift that would give the kid from "The Sixth Sense" some real nightmares. Jeff D says:This is a huge book full of huge concepts: family, the military, genetic experimentation and destiny. The art is incredible and the story intense. Stephanie B says:Jade does her best to train perfect-girl Letha to be the "final girl" as their town turns into the slasher movie Jade has always revered. Stephanie B says:An introduction of historic and modern Indigenous peoples. An absolute must read. Right now. Jess P says:A freewheeling anthology from women who have collectively worked on all your favorite comedies. Sarah L says:I will read anything Casey McQuiston writes, even their grocery list. Tin C says:Get ready for a chomping good time with this colorful counting picture book. Jeff D says:Sala passed away in 2020, but not before finishing this book, a perfect example of his wildly inventive and entertaining comics. Jess P says:My jaw dropped, and then stayed on the floor for several days. Meredith S says:Long after you've finished reading this stunning memoir, you'll find that it isn't finished with you. Annie C says:This Africanfuturism novella feels like a sci-fi classic from the start. Sankofa's story is about death, culture, family, technology and life. Dierric R says:Like reliving some of my favorite childhood memories in the kitchen with family. A perfect way to celebrate tradition. Jeff D says:This book is full of weird phenomena and a cult led by a sinister guru. It all comes together in a horror story that is one of Ito's best! Carmi D says:I devoured this funny, sexy, second-chance love story, and loved the smart dialogue, complex relationships and flawed, yet lovable, characters. Ann P says:I miss giving high fives for a job well done. This is the story of the man who invented the move and his struggles to play the sport he loved. Desi T says:Both Xander and Pen are seeking different ways to make themselves whole and complete. I love the way Xander and Pen become safe spaces for each other. Heather W says:"Wouldn't you feel better if ...?" "You'd be so pretty if ..." What's wrong with being who you are? You deserve to take up space. Tin C says:This colorful and vibrant picture book shows the wonders of the solar system, but also the beauty within ourselves. Marisa W says:Travel down millennial memory lane and revisit the cultural touchstones that shaped the author's experience growing up queer in the early aughts. Cora S says:Five stars! Thad P says:Think the classics are old or stodgy? Learn the story behind the stories and the people who wrote them. Some fun, many strange and all interesting. Stephanie B says:Ever wonder what happens to the girls who survive at the end of a horror movie? A humorous look at horror stereotypes and the girls left behind. Hannah M says:A fresh take on typical WWII historical fiction. A great storyline filled with bravery, romance and a little bit of magic! Hannah M says:A must read for 2021. Hannah delivers a storyline that will tug at your heartstrings and not let go. Sarah C says:A gripping story about race, class and what it means to be a mother that will leave a lasting and hopeful Impression on your heart. Amy B says:This mystery had me so hooked, I cleaned my house longer just so I could keep listening! Brian C says:"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." --Mark Twain Meredith R says:It turns out that disappearing for a week into a magical Narnia-like land hidden inside your dresser comes with real-world consequences. Dierric R says:Most charms come with good luck, this charm comes with more than Moth bargained for. Is she willing to pay the price to get what she wants most? Morgan H says:Magic and mystery collide in this intricate and atmospheric tale of a group of strangers and their secrets-- just in time for chilly weather! Morgan H says:This timeless little gem is a sweet reminder that there's a bit of ramble shamble in us all, if we're brave enough to embrace it. Meredith S says:This charming and colorful story shows that even the smallest of creatures need a friend. Sarah C says:Flexing his storytelling chops, Grohl delivers a grounded, humble and completely engaging memoir. Check out the audio; Grohl rocks as narrator! Julie M says:I love everything about this series, and the latest book continues to deliver the humor, warmth and charm that make it so delightful. Amanda K says:Nuanced, surreal, thought-provoking. And, at times, unsettling. A tale of burnout and the threads that start to unravel. Annie C says:Mixing drinks and spells has Tooth, Pearl and Eezy swapping their fins for legs. These mermaids go out on the town and have a whole lotta fun! Ellie K says:A perfect pick for fall, this book felt like a cozy therapy session. Beautifully atmospheric, heartfelt, sad and funny, I couldn't put this one down. Susan A says:Imagine: one minute you're an ordinary teenager, the next a princess! I loved this quirky, funny, coming-of-age adventure with a love story thrown in. Dierric R says:Explore the history of a once thriving Black community and the destruction that followed in this page-turning picture book. Brian C says:Physician, heal thyself! Kelly B says:An extraordinary story of adventure, hope and two amazing giraffes. Leah B says:Buckle up for a riveting saga set in Bangkok, Thailand and Washington, D.C. Julie M says:A powerful and moving story on the impact of family, immigration and home as told through the eyes of a child. Julie M says:With simple text and beautiful collage illustrations, this book provides all the inspiration you need to take a "wonder walk" of your own!