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December 2021 Bonus list! Our favorite books of the year.

We couldn't resist, one more list:

Our best/favorite books we read this year!

North: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419750427
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 5th, 2021

Staff recommended: A powerfully moving novel about the intertwined lives of a Vermont monk, a Somali refugee, and an Afghan war veteran. ~Michelle

Fiction/Literary/Cultural Heritage

The Sentence Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062671127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - November 9th, 2021

Staff recommended: In this stunning and timely novel, the award-winning author creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors.  ~Michelle


Damnation Spring Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982144401
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - August 3rd, 2021

Staff Recommended: In the same ilk as "Overstory" and "Deep River," big immnese dreams threaten to swallow everybody up in this struggling logging town. Core to this story is the Gunderson family, whose life in 1970's northern California, crown when the season, health concerns and a foundering livelihood create characters you want to see survive. Many compelling sides to this still palpable issue.  ~Michelle.

Staff Recommended: A well-balanced look at the lives of those in a logging town. Hopes + dreams passed through generations come up against realities of a natural resource. ~Mary Kay

Fiction/Literary/Family Life/Small Town

Once There Were Wolves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250244147
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - August 3rd, 2021

Staff Recommended: As raw and taut as "Migrations" she continues her blend of nuanced characters and a concern for our natural world (wolves and Scotland - two of my favorite things!) A tight paced read. ~Michelle.


The House in the Cerulean Sea Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250217318
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - December 29th, 2020

Staff recommended: Our hero, Linus is a rule-following, by the book caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.
He lives a structured, pretty boring life with a cranky neighbor and a cat that doesn't seem to like him much.
Then one day he receives an assignment from Extremely Upper Management [all capitals] and his life is completely disrupted.
Such a lovely and sweet book. All about accepting yourself and others for who and what they really are, and not relying on preconceived notions. And realizing what makes a family. Completely teared up at the end. Really loved it. ~Elaine

A great book for anyone 14+


We Begin at the End Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250759665
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - March 2nd, 2021

Staff recommended: The best book I’ve read so far this year. Set in a small town on the California coast, this is part mystery, part redemption tale. The small town has secrets, the families all have secrets. All of the characters are so well-drawn and multi-dimensional. As in real-life, no one is all good or all evil… really well done! ~Elaine

Fiction/Literary/Mystery/Thriller/Small Town

The Book of Accidents: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399182136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - July 20th, 2021

Staff recommended: Really great meld of thriller/sci-fi/horror. Lots of familiar tropes from all of the genres masterfully combined in new and unexpected ways. A misfit teenager with ‘special’ gifts [of course] moves back to the small town where his parents grew up [of course]. Into the actual house where his dad grew up, where Bad Things happened [of course]. Many family secrets [of course]. Kept me turning pages late into the night [of course! Hah!]. So good! ~Elaine.

Amazing [free!] Thriller Night with Chuck Wendig and Stephen Graham Jones!
Recorded Thursday, July 22, 2021. View/listen here. They were fantastic!

Fiction/Thrillers/Supernatural/Horror/Suspense/Fathers and sons

Project Hail Mary: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593135204
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 4th, 2021

Staff Recommended: A lone astronaut on a one way mission to deep space to save Earth...along the way he teams up with an alien too!!  If you loved "The Martian" you'll love "Project Hail Mary" as well.  ~Pat

Fiction/Science Fiction/Action & Adventure/Thrillers/Suspense

Hamnet Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984898876
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 18th, 2021

Staff Recommended: One of Pat's favorites of the year! Ditto what Mary Kay said! I also highly recommend it! ~Pat.

Staff recommended: Immerse yourself in household life of the 16th century. I stayed up late to finish this book -- reading through tears. I read many passages out loud to myself, delighting in the words. ~ Mary Kay

Now in paperback!

Fiction/Literary/Historical/Family Life/Shakespeare

The Loneliest Americans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525576228
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - October 12th, 2021

Staff Recommended: This is an important examination of how the term Asian American has been allowed to define a wide array of national and cultural origins under one often oppressive label. In reviewing the history of immigration laws and anti-ethnic attitudes, Kang opens eyes and minds to the array of experiences first and subsequent generations have endured. He uses his own family history as an effective example. ~David

Memoir/Asian American/Cultural

Bewilderment: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393881141
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 21st, 2021

Staff Recommended:  A kind of companion to "The Overstory," builds on that arc, using a more intimate narrative but still taking the reader toward hope, even with the book's references to recent national leadership. ~David

Fiction/Literature/Family Life/Nature + Environment

The Beatryce Prophecy Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536213614
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - September 28th, 2021

Staff Recommended:  From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall comes a fantastical meditation on fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world.
DiCamillo's lyrical tale, paired with resonant black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall, is a true collaboration between masters. ~Mary Kay

Juvenile Fiction [8-12]/Books + Libraries/Historical/Fantasy +Magic/Action + Adventure

The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country Cover Image
By Amanda Gorman, Oprah Winfrey (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780593465271
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books - March 30th, 2021

Staff recommended: This is the inaugural poem, in book form.  It is such a moving and hopeful piece and in the season of giving and lights, what better gift, than a poem about hope and light? ~Eleanor

Poetry/American/African American + Black

Tulalip, From My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community (Naomi B. Pascal Editor's Endowment) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780295995410
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Washington Press - August 1st, 2015

Staff recommended: The author describes her life on the Tulalip Reservation and recounts the myriad problems tribes faced after resettlement. Born in 1904, Dover grew up hearing the elders of her tribe tell of the hardships involved in moving from their villages to the reservation on Tulalip Bay.
Dover herself spent ten traumatic months every year in an Indian boarding school, an experience that developed her political consciousness and keen sense of justice. ~Eleanor

Biography & Autobiography/Cultural, Ethnic & Regional/Indigenous/Social Science/Native American/Pacific Northwest

The Rose Code: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062943477
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 9th, 2021

Staff recommended:  One of Madeleine's favorite of the year!

Elaine also recommends: My favorite WWII stories all seem to involve Bletchley Park. And this is a terrific one to add to the list. Three young women from very different backgrounds find themselves at BP [as those in the know call it!] Real people and events are woven in – hello Prince Phillip! – And if you’ve read Erik Larson’s latest “The Splendid and the Vile” you will recognize the direct hit on a night club – including some of the gruesome details… The young women, their relationships with each other, their friends, lovers, and families – all so well done. Ten years later, can they put aside what destroyed their friendship to save one of their own…? Mysteries and great twists are revealed as the stories, past and present, are told. Loved it!

In paperback.

Circe Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316556323
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

Staff recommended:  One of Madeleine's favorite of the year!