There’s never an excuse to run out of books, music, or movies to enjoy. Here are some of our staff members’ recent favorites.
By Neil Gaiman
The year is 1602, and strange things are stirring in England. In the service of Queen Elizabeth, court magician Dr. Stephen Strange senses that the bizarre weather plaguing the skies above is not of natural origin. Her majesty’s premier spy, Sir Nicholas Fury, fends off an assassination attempt on the Queen by winged warriors rumored to be in service to a mad despot named Doom. News is spreading of “witchbreed” sightings – young men bearing fantastic superhuman powers and abilities. And in the center of the rising chaos is Virginia Dare, a young girl newly arrived from the New World, guarded by a towering Indian warrior. Can Fury and his allies find a connection to these unusual happenings before the whole world ends?
Recommended by Jessica, Fairborn Community Library
By Martin Pistorius
In January 1988, 12-year-old Martin Pistorius fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin’s parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live. This is the story of his return to life through the power of love and faith.
Recommended by Christa, Beavercreek Community Library: "Martin 'wakes up' one day to find that he has missed most of his childhood and can no longer speak or move most of his body. No one knows he can hear and understand everything that is going on around him but all anyone sees is someone who has very limited mobility and appears to be a vegetable. Thankfully someone comes along and finds a different way for Martin to communicate and his world begins to open up. This is a very inspirational biography."
By Mette Ivie Harrison
Mormon bishop’s wife Linda Wallheim couldn’t be more surprised to learn that her son Kenneth is engaged. Kenneth has left the Mormon church, and met his fiancée, med student Naomi Carter, at a “Mormons Anonymous” meeting. Naomi was also raised Mormon—but her family belongs to a group that practices polygamy. Naomi’s father, Stephen, invites the Wallheims to visit the family compound. Though Stephen and his five wives seem to live normal, modern lives, Linda can’t shake the feeling that the family dynamics are off. When tensions on the compound escalate to murder, Linda delves into the many Carter family secrets to find the killer.
Recommended by a staff member, Xenia Community Library
By Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
In August 1914, England is at war, and Evie Elliott watches her brother Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict. Meanwhile, as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar.
Recommended by Sue, Cedarville Community Library: "Don't be put off by 'Christmas' in the title. This book is about love and the commitment of family and friends through the worst of times."
By Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the “Indian-ness in her blood,” travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.
Recommended by Sarah, Cedarville Community Library
By Robert I. Sutton
Provides strategies for avoiding, outwitting, disarming, and developing protective psychological armor against toxic people.
Recommended by Tina
By Brenna Yovanoff
Mackie Doyle is The Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. He has been raised among us. But he is not one of us. Now, he must face the dark creatures of the slag heaps from which he came and find his rightful place—in our world or theirs.
Recommended by Caty, Beavercreek Community Library
By Shania Twain
Shania Twain’s first studio album in fifteen years is also the first in which she co-produced every track.
Recommended by Abigale, Cedarville Community Library: "After losing her voice, retiring, and taking an indefinite hiatus, Twain comes back with a self-made album that shows just how versatile she really is. Only a quarter of the songs even sound 'country', with a big Elton John feel throughout. Definitely give this a listen."
By Jade Chang
A wealthy but fractured Chinese family loses everything in the financial crisis before embarking on a haphazard but ultimately redemptive journey across America as part of an effort to reclaim ancestral lands in China.
Recommended by Greg, Community Information: "Charles Wang built a fortune turning artificial urine into makeup—and lost it in the 2007 financial crisis. His journey across the country and the world to keep his family together—and reclaim ancestral lands in China—is packed with funny and fully formed characters."
By Joel Sartore
A collection of bird photographs from the National Geographic Photo Ark project depicts more than three hundred species, from tiny finches to charismatic eagles; brilliant toucans, intricate birds of paradise, and perennial favorites such as parrots, hummingbirds, and owls.
Recommended by Brenda: "Another amazing book from the Photo Ark project by Joel Sartore. The photographs are fantastic, with up-close detail that made it seem like I should be able to feel the texture of feather or beak. (Other resources from the Photo Ark project that I have enjoyed include The Photo Ark, Animal Ark, and the PBS series Rare, about the process of creating the photographs. All are fascinating.)"
By Marie Benedict
Clara Kelley is not who they think she is. She’s not the experienced Irish maid who was hired to work in one of Pittsburgh’s grandest households. She’s a poor farmer’s daughter with nowhere to go and nothing in her pockets. But the other woman with the same name has vanished, and pretending to be her just might get Clara some money to send back home. If she can keep up the ruse, that is.
Recommended by Sue, Cedarville Community Library: "If you liked The Other Einstein, this is another of Marie Benedict's imaginings of the quiet but effective role of a strong woman in the life of a famous and powerful man."