Our Favorite Things 2018

2018 was an exciting year for the library, with lots of great things added to the collection and innovative programs for all ages. Our management team each picked a personal highlight from the library to share with you. Here’s some of our favorite things!

I listened to Barbara Kingsolver’s newest book Unsheltered on audiobook while renovating a home. Little did I know the book would take place in a home falling apart at its seams both literally and figuratively. It was the most resonant, familiar fiction I’ve ever read, giving words to the reality of living in community, scientific and political theories and frustrations, and family interactions across the span of a century. Amazing work of fiction mixed with fact! – EW

I was having a great conversation with a patron about illustrated novels, and he suggested that I take a look at Baltimore, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. It was an excellent read and had intriguing black and white graphics drawn by Mignola. The story was the closest thing to Bram Stoker’s Dracula that I’ve come across in tension, atmosphere, and character development. – AM

This November, the remaining members of the groundbreaking hip-hop group Beastie Boys published Beastie Boys Book, a memoir covering their 30+ years making music. Not only is this brutally honest, incredibly funny, and surprisingly tender, this is one of the few books this year that actually made me laugh out loud and also tear up. The amazing photographs, guest writers, and engrossing storytelling make this an absolute must-read for the mixtape generation. –AG

One of the best items that I borrowed this year is What Truth Sounds Like by Michael Eric Dyson. In this call to action, Dr. Dyson challenges America to discuss something that no one wants to talk about – race. Illustrating the parallels of the politics and policies of the 1960s and today, he challenges everyone to get uncomfortable in the pursuit of true democracy. – CMC

Good Neighbor by Maxwell King on Playaway, read by Lavar Burton: The story of Fred Rogers, champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Lavar Burton of Reading Rainbow is an excellent narrator of this the first full-length biography of Mister Rogers. I now love both Fred and Lavar even more than before. – MW

John Dies at the End by David Wong: This book is a genre mish-mash of Lovecraft, Douglas Adams, and Phillip K. Dick. A sort of Bill & Ted and/or Hardy Boys dive into Cosmic Horror via Quentin Tarantino. It is the story of John and Dave and their adventures with “eldritch horrors beyond the veil!” Full of humor, this book is also a bit crude and biting in its terse dialogue. A recommendation for those with a love of funny noir writing with a hint of the scary. John Dies at the End is a culmination of genres that I have enjoyed all my life, and am glad to see a surfacing of current writers who are not bound by one genre’s conventions. – SD