Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

When buried family secrets surface, one thing is certain: once revealed, nothing will be the same. Twenty-five-year-old Riley McPherson has grown up believing her older sister, a talented violinist, committed suicide years ago. But that may not be what happened. An interesting story for readers of light fiction about the rippling effects of family members’ decisions to do what seems best at the time. As Riley finds answers and new secrets, she must ask herself how far she should go to learn the truth. Part mystery, part psychological study, I recommend The Silent Sister to readers who like stories about complex family problems. ~Barbara, HH

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Anxiety disorder is not a laughing matter, but Kinsella's novel about Audrey's struggle amidst a chaotic family does bring more than a few chuckles.  Audrey's brother Frank is passionate about participating with his friend Linus in a gaming competition.  Enter Linus--who befriends Audrey and encourages her to ease back into social interactions.  All the plot lines are tidily wrapped up, and the interactions among the characters offer the reader/listener psychological insight about teen angst and moving forward after a traumatic incident. The underlying theme of this novel is the effects of teen bullying on the whole family, but the adult listener might learn more from narrator Gemma Whelan's deft characterization of Audrey's helicopter mom. The audio is spot on. ~Anna Marie, CCL

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Never have I read a book so fast since the days of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.  In this grim fantasy, six talented, teenage criminals attempt to break into a seemingly impenetrable prison called the Ice Court.  Why?  It's partially because the man they need to find is responsible for a drug that could destroy their world if it falls into the wrong hands...but it's mostly because they want the $30 million they've been promised if they can pull it off.  The suspenseful plot never stops surprising you and the character development is phenomenal. ~Lauren, HH

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

This work of historical fiction, inspired by Norse mythology and legend, unfolds in 9th century Norway just before the land of fjords, farmers, and raiders comes under the rule of a single king. The author tells the story of clever, skilled young warrior Ragnvald and his spirited and strong sister Svandhild as they try to make their way in a difficult and dangerous world.  This distant time period and place come alive as we witness Ragnvald and Svanhild struggle with issues both internal and external. This is a great read for those interested in the Viking age or who enjoy historical fiction that includes both battle scenes and interesting character development.  I loved learning about and being immersed in this new-to-me world, and can’t wait to read the next installment in this planned trilogy! ~Laura, CCL

Cold Betrayal by J. A. Jance

Set in Sedona, Arizona this Ali Reynolds' mystery was a surprising story.  Ali determines who is harassing her daughter-in-law's grandmother while helping a good friend find answers about a pregnant teen who is involved in an automobile accident on a deserted road far from any community.  Who is she, and why is she so scared to go home?  Jance weaves an intriguing story in which a little bit of technology helps Ali find answers. Recommended. ~Beverly, HH