Staff PIcks

Best Books of 2018

Are you looking for an interesting and captivating book to read?  Here are some of the best books from 2018, all of which are available for check out at the Chickasha Public Library (with each book’s shelf location in parentheses).

According to the New York Times, Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Fiction Halliday) is “a first novel that reads like the work of an author who has published many books over many years, and it manages to be, all at once, a transgressive roman à clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.”  There There by Tommy Orange (Fiction Orange) tells the interconnected stories of a group of Native Americans in California who are traveling to a powwow.

If you are interested in award-winning historical fiction, Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Fiction Edugyan) is the winner of the 2018 Giller Prize and is set in Barbados in the 1830s during the last days of slavery.  The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Fiction Makkai) has been nominated for the Booker Prize, and the National Book Award and its story centers around the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

For nonfiction readers, How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan (615.7 Pollan) details the history and science of psychedelic drugs and how it relates to consciousness.  Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston (306.3 Hurston) recounts the life of Cudjo Lewis, who was the last known person to be captured in Africa and sold into slavery in the United States.  If you are seeking memoirs and current events, NPR recommends Becoming by Michelle Obama (Biography Obama), In Pieces by Sally Field (Biography Field), and Fear by Bob Woodward (973.933 Woodward).

Staff Pick

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Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire is the first book in the ten book October Daye series. Don’t let its label as an urban/paranormal fantasy novel discourage you; this book has appeal for all readers.

The fantasy classification comes from the supernatural nature of most of the characters. October “Toby” Daye is a Changeling- half human/ half faerie. Most of the supporting characters also have some degree of fae blood as well. Throughout the series, the author splits the action between modern-day San Francisco and the various lands of the faerie realms.

The book is written in a first-person narrative and begins with a prologue that sets the stage for October’s betrayal by two members of local faerie royalty and her transformation into a fish. The story resumes fourteen years later with Toby working as a checker in the local Safeway. Her attempt to distance herself from the faerie world fails when Countess Evening Winterose, her sometime friend, sometime enemy calls and begs her for help. October rushes to Evening’s home and finds her shot with an iron bullet. Bound by guilt and duty October decides to investigate. Unfortunately, to do this, she must step back into her role as,
“Sir October Daye of the Kingdom of the Mists, once of the Fiefdom of Home, Knight of Lost Words, sworn to Sylvester Torquill, daughter of Amandine of Faerie and Jonathan Daye of the mortal world.”
Because this is the first book in a series, the author needed to provide a significant amount of character introduction and exposition for the reader. October’s mission is the vehicle for this, although it slows down the story at times. The payoff comes as the series progresses and many of the characters she speaks to during her investigation appear in later books.
October as a narrator is sarcastic but sincere. She reminds me of Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series and Izzy Spellman from Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series. Rosemary and Rue is a fun, quick read that will be easy to finish in a few sessions.

Click for a complete list in the series

Click for other reviews 

By Brande

Staff Pick

The current Chickasha Public Library Staff Pick is “City of Light” by Lauren Belfer.

The book “City of Light” is a historical fiction set in 1901.

Staff pick "City of Light" by Lauren Belfer

This historical fiction book seemed to be well researched and historically accurate.  It was about the efforts to make electricity widely available to everyone at a reasonable cost. Of course, there were many issues to be dealt with, safety and profit being the foremost and then there were all the difficulties of actually making it happen.  The setting was Buffalo, NY and the descriptions of the city were beautiful.  The time was the early 1900’s.  Society at that time did things differently than we do now of course, so that was interesting to read about.  It was enjoyable to read and worth a try.

 

The Library’s book club Chapter Chat has read this book and others by Lauren Belfer, and they enjoy her work.

Review

The Library and the Oklahoma Virtual Library have copies of this book if you would like to give it a try.

If you read “City of Light,” we would love to hear your thoughts; please comment below.