December Staff Picks
Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back at the beginning of every month for a new list. Look through our archives on the left for past Staff Picks.
By Justin Cronin
Post-apocalyptic and literary, Cronin weaves a tale that is absolutely fascinating. There is a discovery in the jungle, a secret government experiment, and then a devastating security breach; As civilization begins to break down, the story follows two people as they fight to survive in a terrifying world, and tells the story of a distant future when the few survivors struggle to live in a wasteland. The sequel "The Twelve" is due out in October. Also available as an audiobook and eAudiobook.
Recommended by Heather M.
By L. M. Montgomery
The author of Anne of Green Gables loved her Emily more than Anne. Although also a lively Canadian farm girl, Emily has a personality and adventures all of her own. A perfect series to give to literary, smart girls. Ages 10-14.
Recommended by Beverly S.
By Peter S. Beagle
The animated film adaptation of this novel has been one of my favourite movies since I was a child, and when I finally read the novel, it became one of my favourite books. The tone is in turns whimsical and melancholy, and the story and characters will stay with you long after you've read the last page.
Recommended by C. Reynolds
By Michael Capuzzo
Forget "Shark Week!" This is the true story of a series of shark attacks at the Jersey Shore in the summer of 1916. Even in the days before cable television, this great white shark threw the East Coast into terror with its unpredictable movements. Capuzzo brings the panic of beach-goers and the determination of the scientists studying the shark to life.
Recommended by Elizabeth S.
By E.L. Konigsburg
To this day, this book remains one of my all time favorites. I love putting myself in the shoes of Claudia and her brother as they live this great adventure.
Recommended by Samantha P.
By Barbara Kingsolver
Kingsolver's first novel. Taylor Greer leaves Kentucky to head West. When her car breaks down in Cherokee country she's given a Native American infant to care for by a distressed mother. She and "Turtle" settle in Tucson, Arizona and are supported by their colorful neighbors, who are keeping a big secret. "Pigs in Heaven" is the sequel.
Recommended by A. Williams
By David Benioff
During the Nazi's siege of Leningrad, two young men get a chance to save their lives by finding eggs for a Soviet colonel's daughter's wedding cake. At times funny, heartbreaking and terrifying, this is one you won't want to miss.
Recommended by Jessica S.
By Jeannette Walls
A story so riveting of a childhood lived in poverty and neglect that it begs the question, Why?
Recommended by Margo C.
By Richard Preston
A very detailed look at the history of the ebola virus including an outbreak in Reston, VA. This book reads like a novel rather than a work of nonfiction and is enjoyable for high school age and up.
Recommended by James C.
By Simon Winchester
Did you know that an important contributor to the development of the Oxford English Dictionary was locked up in a mental institution? I didn't until I read this fascinating book about the people who helped with the development of this renowned dictionary.
Recommended by Rebecca L.