February Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back every month for a new list.

Underwater DogsUnderwater Dogs

By Seth Casteel

If you want to be cheered up, this book will do it! The photographs are exactly what the title promises. As a dog lover and someone who appreciates great photography, I can confidently say this is the perfect coffee table book for any occasion.

Recommended by Carol L.


The Wheel of DarknessThe Wheel of Darkness

By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Preston & Child deliver another suspenseful action novel threaded with allure. Character FBI special agent Pendergast thrills and shocks with every page.

Recommended by Tina M.





Blue MondayBlue Monday

By Nicci French

In this thrilling tale, the first of a series, psychotherapist Frieda Klein treats a new patient and wonders whether he is involved in a horrific crime. Drawn into the investigation, Frieda must find out where to draw the line between what her patient dreams and what is real.

Recommended by Elizabeth S.




Bridge to TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia

By Katherine Paterson

This story is set in a rural area near Alexandria, forty years ago. Fifth-grader Jesse is bored and supressed until he meets Leslie. She has hippie parents, and is as imaginative and artistic as Jesse. The children create an imaginary kingdom called Terabithia in the woods, and crown theselves as its rulers -- until tragedy strikes. Ages 9 - 12.

Recommended by Beverly S.



 Overdressed : the shockingly high cost of cheap fashionOverdressed : the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion

By Elizabeth L. Cline

This book demonstrates how Americans end up with below-par garments and imported shabbily made outfits in our closets. How the cheap fashion culture destroyed our textile industry and how domestic production are often ignored. Cline also mentions how the art of sewing and mending is lost in our culture and how we can return to those lost skills while improving the environment.

Recommended by Confidence A. 



The crystal caveThe Crystal Cave

By Mary Stewart

Fans of the Arthurian legends will love this book, which is the first in a series that tells the tale of the rise and fall of King Arthur from Merlin's point of view. I read this first as a teen and recently pulled it off of my bookshelf to enjoy again.

Recommended by Rebecca L.

The first in Stewart’s classic series, "The Crystal Cave" tells the story of Merlin the Magician’s early life and how his fate becomes intertwined with King Arthur. A great introduction to Arthurian legend, Stewart’s magical storytelling will have readers entranced. 

Recommended by Jessica S.



The Improbable CatThe Improbable Cat

By Allan Ahlberg

A better title should be “cute is deadly.” An unusually candid, literal, darkly funny and scary tale of a “stray kitten” taken in by the malleable parents of 12 year old David who, along with his loyal and faithful dog, Billy, has a cat allergy that makes him able to discern the true form and nature of the loveable little kitty cat. David, along with Billy, who can see the “cat” quite clearly decide to take the matter of destroying kitty on their own. It may be labeled as a children’s book but the audience is for older kids to adult.

Recommended by Lynda R.



Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: a novelSaving CeeCee Honeycutt: a novel

By Beth Hoffman

Both laugh out loud funny and heartbreaking, this novel, set in beautiful Savannah, tells the story of CeeCee Honeycutt and the strong women in her life who show her the power of friendship and family. An ideal beach read or for someone looking for a quick enjoyable read.

Recommended by Samantha P.



One for the booksOne for the books

By Joe Queenan

Columnist Joe Queenan, author of the memoir "Closing Time," describes his love of books and how they distracted him from a turbulent family life in Philadelphia. With customary humor he shares his strong feelings on book clubs, ebooks, and libraries.

Recommended by A. Williams



The GreenlandersThe Greenlanders

By Jane Smiley

This novel of 14th century Greenland is written in spare prose, which takes getting used to. However, the style is well matched to the unforgiving climate and era the Greenlanders lived in, and the book quickly becomes a fascinating saga of a very different time and place.

Recommended by Christian R.