You likely haven’t had much time for reading for pleasure lately. We feel the same! One of the winter break activities we most look forward to is spending some time with a good book. Here are a few that are on our to-read list for the upcoming break, and some recommendations for books we’ve enjoyed.

Our ‘To-Read’ List:

Trish McPherson, Reference Librarian

The Twelve Monotasks by Thatcher Wine – This book comes out the first week in December, and I’m hoping that it will provide me with some tips and suggestions that will help me be more mindful and productive in the coming year. The description promises this book will tell you how to approach a dozen daily tasks (eating, reading, walking, and playing, for example) with focus and attention, allowing you to flex those mindfulness muscles. As I’ve been known to FaceTime one of my kids while eating and scrolling through my newsfeed, this sounds like something I can use.

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout – I love the work of Elizabeth Strout. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge was one of my all-time favorite books and the follow-up – Olive, Again – didn’t disappoint. Her latest is described on Amazon as “…A masterful exploration of human empathy, Oh William! captures the joy and pain of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that rearrange everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, despite the variety of obstacles we face in doing so.”

What Just Happened: Notes on a Long Year by Charles Finch – Before adding this to my list, I read a lot of reviews of this work. Many of the reviewers first line read something like…” I just lived through this; I don’t know if I want to spend a lot of time reading about the past 1.5-plus years.”  I feel the same but am intrigued by the description of the book….” In a warm, candid, welcoming voice, and in the tradition of Woolf and Orwell, Finch brings us into his own world: taking long evening walks near his home in L.A., listening to music, and keeping virtual connections with friends across the country as they each experience the crisis.”

Three Rooms by Jo Hamya – I haven’t read Jo Hamya, but she’s being compared to Sally Rooney. While I didn’t see the hugely popular streaming version of Rooney’s Normal People, I read the book and found it, like one reviewer described “gutting”. If they’re comparing Jo Hamya to Sally Rooney, I’ll give this novel a shot. This novel tells the story of life during Brexit… “about one young woman’s endless quest for an apartment of her own and the aspirations and challenges faced by the Millennial generation as it finds its footing in the world.”


Books We’ve Read and Recommend:

Jennifer Macaulay, Library Director

Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha

Jennifer says: 

"I can’t resist books that feature librarians as main characters, especially if they are saving the world. Kit Rocha’s Deal with the Devil features a mercenary librarian, or information broker, in a post-apocalyptic world who takes on a corrupt and oppressive government with the help of her girl gang and a band of genetically-engineered super soldiers. This one has action, adventure, romance and a highly satisfying ending."


Lindsay Boezi, Reference Librarian

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Publisher’s Description:

“The small town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is faced with a big dilemma when it is mysteriously sealed off by an invisible and completely impenetrable force field. With cars and airplanes exploding on contact, the force field has completely isolated the townspeople from the outside world. Now, Iraq war vet Dale Barbara and a group of the town's more sensible citizens must overcome the tyrannical rule of Big Jim Rennie, a politician bent on controlling everything within the Dome.”

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult

Publisher’s Description:

“Jack St. Bride was a popular teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school when he was falsely accused of statutory rape. Released after eight months behind bars, he arrives in Salem Falls hoping to start fresh. He lands a job washing dishes at the local diner and even falls in love with the owner, Addie. But then a spoiled local girl accuses Jack of assault, forcing his past into the open and turning the town against him.”


Megan Swezey, Student Worker

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Publisher’s Description:

“The disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, gnaws at her octogenarian uncle, Henrik Vanger. He is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder. He hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, recently at the wrong end of a libel case, to get to the bottom of Harriet's disappearance. Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old, pierced, tattooed genius hacker, possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age- and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness- assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, an astonishing corruption at the highest echelon of Swedish industrialism- and a surprising connection between themselves.”


Liz Jalette, Student Worker

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Publisher’s Description:

“On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It's a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride's oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn't wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?”


Sophia Owen, Student Worker

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher’s Description:

“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone.  Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.”