Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog.


Africa: Altered States, Ordinary MiraclesAfrica: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

By Richard Dowden

This book is highly recommended for anyone willing to learn about Africa's past and present. It is written with a genuine understanding of the continent's struggles and triumphs.

Recommended by Confidence A.


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, SpyBonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy : a Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich

By Eric Metaxas

Probably the definitive biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this book combines history, biography, theology and analysis of one of the darkest periods in world history. Bonhoeffer is an amazing story of moral courage. Also available as an eBook and eAudiobook.

Recommended by M. Chisholm



Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy ButtonsPete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Created and illustrated by James Dean, story by Eric Litwin

My 3-year old daughter loves this book very much. Every night when we have our story time she always picks this book first to read.

Recommended by Joyce L.  



A Dog's PurposeA Dog's Purpose

By W. Bruce Cameron

A mixture of sweet and sad, this book follows the reincarnation of "Buddy" as he lives and helps his humans through tough times. Dog lovers will appreciate this as it helps "get inside the head" of a canine friend. Also available as an audiobook.

Recommended C. Martin



Devil's CubDevil's Cub

By Georgette Heyer

An unusual romance develops between an infamous titled rake and a young lady determined to thwart the man's attempts on her sister's virtue. The Regency setting gives readers a look into a world where manners are polished and reputation is everything. This well-told story has adventure, humor, swords, pistols & love triumphant. Also available as an audiobook.

Recommended by Lee D.  



Pattern RecognitionPattern Recognition

By William Gibson

The first science-reality story from Gibson introduces new heroine Casey Pollard, a cool hunter with an allergic reaction to company branding, as she scours the digital underworld for the "next big thing" in viral marketing at the behest of an eccentric billionaire. Also available as an audiobook and eBook.

Recommended by Kevin O.  



Hotel Du LacHotel Du Lac

By Anita Brookner

Edith Hope, a romantic novelist, moves to Switzerland to seek peace and to forget her problems--but that will not happen. The author's description of the quiet, unpretentious old hotel is wonderful and funny. This book, which had won the Man Booker Prize in 1984, could be fervently admired.

Recommended by Ruth H.



The Whistling SeasonThe Whistling Season : a novel

By Ivan Doig

I read this with my book group and it was loved all around. It's about three boys growing up in Montana in the early 1900s raised by their widowed father, their cleaning woman, and her brother, the teacher in their one-room schoolhouse.

Recommended by Christian R.





By Christopher Moore

King Lear on its ear! This tragedy is told in comic form from the viewpoint of Lear's fool. Only he can insult and upbraid Lear for his retirement plan and live to tell the tale. Hilariously bawdy yet oddly poignant, you'll find yourself returning to the play to check incidents and passages thinking "that explains a lot." It's like reading a contemporary Elizabethan comic novel. Also available as an audiobook.

Recommended by Virginia P.




The Hemingway Women: Those Who Loved Him: the Wives and OthersThe Hemingway Women: Those Who Loved Him: the Wives and Others

By Bernice Kert

If you read The Paris Wife and found yourself wondering about "the rest of the story," pick up this biography which covers Hemingway's mother, wives and girlfriends. You'll find his mother a more rounded and sympathetic character than in the novel, Hadley in a second and happy marriage but forging a life-long amicable relationship with Ernest, and subsequent wives finding Ernest just not great husband material. An objective view of Hemingway's personal life as seen by women who were closest to him.

Recommended by M. Doherty