Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog.


Cold Comfort FarmCold Comfort Farm

By Stella Gibbons

A penniless orphan goes to live with her rural relatives. This is an hilariously funny spoof of earthy novels by Hardy and Lawrence full of quirky characters - first published in 1932.

Recommended by Caroline P.


Into the ForestInto the Forest

By Jean Hegland

This is the story of two teen-aged sisters who must depend on each other and their own resourcefulness in a post-apocalyptic world. Hegland did such an effective job bringing the characters and setting to life that I still think about it even though I read it six years ago. Recommended by J. Oliver.



The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber TreeThe Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

By Susan Wittig Albert

On audiobook, the reader has a wonderful voice for this southern mystery. The Darling Dahlias is the name of a garden club in Alabama during the Depression whose members get involved in solving the murder of a woman. Very fun characters and story!.  Recommended by A. Hultberg.  



The Night of the GunThe Night of the Gun: a Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own

By David Carr

In this memoir, New York Times columnist David Carr reminds us how unreliable our own memories can be. Struggling to reconcile his recollections with the evidence, Carr uses the techniques of investigative journalism to recreate the events of his life as an addict, a new father and failing writer. His honesty in telling his darkest secrets is gut wrenching and makes for a haunting read. Recommended Elizabeth S.



Lord Foul's BaneLord Foul's Bane: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever

By Stephen R. Donaldson

The first book of the first trilogy, which is not for the faint of heart. Donaldson writes about loss, alienation, mindless hatred and violence. His book, especially the first trilogy are books of great bleakness and despair. Despair is an important word to keep in mind when reading these books. But if they do speak to you, you will come to know and cherish The Land. Also available as an eBook. Recommended by George C.  



Dancing ShoesDancing Shoes

By Noel Streatfeild

Ten-year-old sisters Hilary and Rachel are adopted by their uncle, and must put up with his hard-hearted wife and her spoiled daughter. Aunt Cora runs a dancing school, so talented Hilary and clumsy Rachel are added to the classes, with cousin Dulcie upstaging everyone. But who ends up surprising them all? A perfect story for children intrigued by show business. Ages 9-12.  Recommended by Beverly S.  




By Matthew J. Kirby

Trapped in a frozen fortress with traitorous guards, Solveig and her siblings must survive until the spring thaw and await word of their father's (the king's) fate in battle. A fantastic mixture of historical intrigue and adventure, Kirby's Norse world is richly created and hard to forget. Also available in audiobook. Recommended by Amy M.



Angle of ReposeAngle of Repose

By Wallace Stegner

A story set in the Western United States during the 19th century, based on the correspondence of the little-known writer, Mary Hallock Foote. Her fictionalized experiences are seen through the view of a contemporary narrator. Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Recommended by A. Williams.




Tales of the CityTales of the City: A Novel

By Armistead Maupin

Tales of the City is a charming, humorous novel set in San Francisco. Started as a newspaper serial, the stories were eventually turned into this novel and a popular television mini-series. Also available in audiobook. Recommended by Renee D.




A Trip to the StarsA Trip to the Stars

By Nicholas Christoper

In 1965, a boy and his Aunt are separated in a crowd-- A Trip to the Stars is the story of how they find each other again. Recommended by Heather M.