Staff Spotlight – Our Favorite Things 2019
What was your favorite thing you checked out in 2019? Our management team has shared some of the titles they’ve enjoyed from this past year.
In 2019 I have had the opportunity to listen to many awesome audiobooks through Overdrive, books on CD and books on Playaway. My tops this year were Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding and An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris. Time spent driving can often feel like time wasted, but when listening to audiobooks I am able to utilize that time to dig into more books. I am grateful for these services offered by Erie County Public Library. – RG
I spent some time diving into Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher De Hamel. It’s a hefty 632-page book by one of the world’s foremost medieval manuscript scholars. De Hamel recounts the history of twelve amazing manuscripts, and provides exquisite, full color images from each. Seeing illuminated pages that have survived for over a thousand years is a touching moment of the human experience that should not be missed. Umberto Eco spoke of how mystical libraries can seem, saying that it’s almost as if books spoke less to humans and instead whispered to one another; it’s wondrous to know that these manuscripts have been whispering for so long. – AM
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman – Don’t worry, I am not recommending some erudite prose on French Romanticism. This is the long awaited (17 years) return to Pullman’s His Dark Materials Universe! It starts with the very, very early years of our heroine Lyra, as an infant, and spends time with a new protagonist. I don’t wish to spoil plot or premise, but for those who have read the original trilogy, this new dive into this world is welcome. It feels like a slightly old-school narrative, with more attention given to characterization and story. A great new beginning! – SD
I was lucky enough to read two books this year that immediately rose to my list of all-time favorites. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a multigenerational historical fiction novel telling the story of a Korean family in Japan for eighty years. Full Throttle by Joe Hill is a collection of horror (and some just slightly creepy) short stories. Both have exceptional character development, a strong sense of place, immersive and engaging storytelling, and masterful use of language. I was up reading way past my bedtime with both of these. – AG
Scandinavian Classic Baking by Patricia Sinclair. I decided to try some recipes from my family’s roots this year and checked out a number of helpful cookbooks from the library. This book included fun facts about Scandinavian tradition mixed in amongst the recipes and, helpfully, suggested substitutes for ingredients not commonly found stateside. No real surprise, but I learned that not all my ancestors must have had tastes similar to mine. I made a number of the recipes and found some keepers and a few never-ever-make-this-again! recipes. Maybe I’ll try recipes from the other side of the family in 2020. – ST