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February staff picks: I'm Talking as Fast as I Can, Wishtree, and The Underground Railroad

Valentine’s Day may be over, but love (of books) is always in the air. Here’s some books and music that library staff have enjoyed recently—maybe you’ll love them too.


Snow Crystals

Snow Crystals

By W.A. Bentley and W.J. Humphreys

For almost half a century, W.A. Bentley caught and photographed thousands of snowflakes in his workshop at Jericho, Vermont, and made available to scientists and art instructors samples of his remarkable work. This is an unaltered reproduction of the American Meteorological Society’s 1931 publication of 2,000 of his best photographs. They reveal the wonder of nature’s diversity in uniformity: no two are alike, yet all are based on a common hexagon.

Recommended by Greg, Community Information: "You know the idea that no two snowflakes are the same? That idea originated with Wilson Bentley, who took some of the first photographs of snow crystals starting in 1885. Originally published in 1931, this collection could be a bit more user-friendly with some modern organization, but it’s still an awfully neat bit of scientific history."


Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)

By Lauren Graham

A collection of stories about the author’s experiences on the set of “Gilmore Girls” and her decision to reprise her role for Netflix’s revival also shares insights into the realities of being an actress in Hollywood and New York.

Recommended by Jessica, Fairborn Community Library


Chasing Lincoln's Killer

Chasing Lincoln's Killer

By James L. Swanson

The story of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

Recommended by Anjanette, Beavercreek Community Library: "This is a neat nonfiction children's book about the chase to find John Wilkes Booth. It was very interesting to see the path that was taken to try and catch him after he shot Lincoln."


My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black Holes

By Jasmine Warga

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness. But as her suicide pact with Roman, a teenage boy haunted by family tragedy, becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

Recommended by Kendra, Jamestown Community Library


Trouble Will Find Me

Trouble Will Find Me

By The National

The National’s highly anticipated sixth album.

Recommended by Caty, Beavercreek Community Library


Raven Rock

Raven Rock

By Garrett Graff

A presidential, military, and political history of American doomsday plans traces the evolution of global threats and the government plans to protect high ranking officials.

Recommended by Tina


The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

By Colson Whitehead

After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.

Recommended by Amy, Resource Sharing: "This was a Xenia Book Club book, reminiscent of 'magical reality' literature. Very well written and compelling in every sense. I listened to the audiobook."


Wishtree

Wishtree

By Katherine Applegate

A wise old oak tree that stands as the neighborhood’s “wishtree,” where people write wishes on cloth and tie them to her branches, shares her days with her crow friend and helps the community embrace differences when new neighbors move in and are not warmly welcomed.

Recommended by Sharon, Outreach Services: "I enjoy the occasional juvenile book and this one was a good pick, especially in this day and age. No spoilers, just worth the time. By the author of The One and Only Ivan."


Army Camels: Texas Ships of the Desert

Army Camels: Texas Ships of the Desert

By Doris Fisher

In this strange but true historical tale, 34 camels were imported to Texas to work as pack animals for the army in 1856. Many people had never seen such strange animals; they didn’t believe that these smelly beasts could possibly be useful. Despite many Texans’ initial doubts, the camels thrived in the state’s desert and transported important military messages and supplies.

Recommended by a library staff member, Xenia Community Library


The Little French Bistro

The Little French Bistro

By Nina George

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as “the end of the world.” Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life’s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it’s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

Recommended by a library staff member, Beavercreek Community Library: "Pure escapism. Marianne is a German woman stuck in a loveless marriage. Taking drastic measures to end her unhappiness, she ends up in the French seaside village of Kerduc."


The Almost Sisters

The Almost Sisters

By Joshilyn Jackson

Swept off her feet by a costumed man at a comics convention, graphic novelist Leia discovers that she is pregnant with a biracial child. Before she can tell her conventional Southern family, her grandmother slips into dementia and Leia discovers that the elderly woman has been hiding a secret linked to the Civil War.

Recommended by Christa, Beavercreek Community Library: "This book has all the elements of a good drama: a pregnant 30-something, a marriage unraveling, a grandmother suffering from outbursts in church and seeing rabbits, and a town not ready for change. This novel will make you laugh, cry, and shake your head as the story twists and turns."


The Letter

The Letter

By Kathryn Hughes

Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours she can to save up enough money to leave him, and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. While going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life forever.

Recommended by Elizabeth: "Fun book with a little bit of mystery from a letter found in a coat jacket."



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