April Staff Picks

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

A dangerous woman : the graphic biography of Emma Goldman



A dangerous woman : the graphic biography of Emma Goldman

By Sharon Rudahl

Emma Goldman took up the cause of anarchism and pursued it passionately. Having experienced firsthand inhumane working conditions and poverty, she fought for the oppressed and powerless only to find the Bolshevik Revolution resulted in more of the same. This graphic format biography tells her story in all its facets, from her unorthodox love life to her dedication to the cause.

Recommended by Julie D.

Born wicked



Born Wicked

By Jessica Spotswood

The women in the Cahill family are gifted with magic. But that gift seems more like a curse to 16-year-old Cate, when the fanatically religious Brotherhood burns witches, and her younger sisters are having trouble containing their magic. Set in an alternate 1890s New England, this first book of the Cahill Witch Chronicles will enchant history buffs and fantasy fans alike!

Recommended by Maddy W.

Half empty



Half Empty

By David Rakoff

In this deeply smart and sneakily poignant collection of essays, the bestselling author of Fraud and Don’t Get Too Comfortable makes an inspired case for always assuming the worst—because then you’ll never be disappointed. Whether he’s taking on pop culture phenomena with Oscar Wilde-worthy wit or dealing with personal tragedy, Rakoff’s sharp observations and humorist’s flair for the absurd will have you positively reveling in the untapped power of negativity.

Recommended by Allison C.

West with the night



West with the Night  

By Beryl Markham

Born in Britain and raised in Africa, Ms. Markham became the only professional pilot in Africa (1936) to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Her autobiography is most enjoyable for its vivid depiction of Africa and its people, and for the amazing adventures of a woman ahead of her time. I found it an empowering story about a woman who sat in a small plane and flew alone in the dark!

Recommended by Ruth H.

Bird Box



Bird Box

By John Malerman

Terrifying thriller about a dystopian world where the enemy is unknown and you can't look outside. The book follows the fall of society and one woman's journey to navigate the world without sight to get herself and two children to safety.

Recommended by Samantha P.





By Kristin Cashore

In this fantasy story, Katsa is one of the Graced - people born with a unique skill. Her uncle, the king, puts her inate fighting skills to use as his enforcer. As the story progresses, though, she develops friendships and romances that help her move beyond her savage reputation and understand her Grace more fully. A wonderful story with a strong heroine.

Recommended by Rebecca L.

The granny square book





The granny square book : timeless techniques & fresh ideas for crocheting square by square

By Margaret Hubert

The rift between knitters and crocheters can be… impassioned. After years of compulsively knitting I decided to try my hands at crochet, starting with the humble granny square. In addition to the different square patterns, each varying in difficulty, from beginner to advanced, I appreciate the layout of the book and the spiral binding that makes it easy to keep the book open on the arm of the couch.

Recommended by April D.

The thoughts and happenings of Wilfred Price, purveyor of superior funerals



The thoughts and happenings of Wilfred Price, purveyor of superior funerals

By Wendy Jones

It's springtime and under its spell, our book's eponymous hero blurts out a marriage proposal to a woman he barely knows, which leads him down a rabbit hole of disastrous consequences. You will root for this undertaker in his travails to right this wrong and finally make the proposal to the woman he truly loves. A delightful and charming read for spring!

Recommended by Carol P.