Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham

This book is an in-depth account of the disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 1986. You'll learn not only what happened that April night, but you'll get the background story that is just as important. You'll learn about the cultural and political pieces of the puzzle that fit together and subsequently allowed one of the world's worst nuclear disasters to occur, in spite of the many intelligent and brave people caught up in the event. And of course you'll get a riveting chronicle of the disaster itself, and of its aftermath that continues today. ~Meredith, CCL

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

In February of 1959, what made nine young, smart, experienced hikers hastily leave the protection of their tent without coats and shoes in howling subzero conditions to die in the night? This event, known as the Dyatlov Pass incident, has generated many theories -- from secret government weapons experiments to supernatural causes -- to explain the hikers' deaths.  In Dead Mountain, American author Donnie Eichar retraces this ill-fated voyage, going to Russia to find witnesses and experts. He retraces the hikers’ steps to piece together their final days, and he offers an explanation, backed by research and science, for what caused their deaths. The result is a gripping but also humanizing and touching account of the Dyatlov Pass incident and a credible theory of what happened that mysterious night. A great book for fans of nonfiction adventure and mystery, and survival true stories. ~Meredith, CCL

Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

Creatively-blocked Meg is a sought-after artist who thinks in letters; stoic Reid is a math genius working on Wall Street who’s gifted at seeing patterns. That includes the pattern in his wedding invites a year ago that warned his marriage was doomed. Single Reid comes back to the paperie where Meg works to find out how she knew it wouldn’t work. Together they explore New York City, grapple with their own issues and each other, and, of course, fall in love. As a former graphic designer, I loved Meg’s descriptions of various art supplies and the typography of her thoughts. Also, Meg and Reid make an adorable couple. I didn’t want it to end. For those who love New York City and slow-build romances. ~Debra, CCL

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer

This clever, fascinating social history of 14th century England is written in the form of a travel guide. What will the people be like? What will you eat? What are the laws, and what might you do for fun? This guide is well-researched (footnotes and a bibliography are included) and hard to put down, with a truly compelling conclusion. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy history, time travel, and thought-provoking reads. ~Laura, CCL

The Pioneers by David McCullough

I found this book started off a tad slow, but provided a necessary background history of the creation of the Northwest Territory in 1787 that opened up the land northwest of the Ohio River to American settlement. Suddenly the US was much bigger, and now anyone who could buy the land could set up a new life in this undeveloped and mostly wild land covered with massive old growth forests. Once McCullough begins to write about these first settlers, the book becomes very lively and hard to put down. It is full of profiles of the very interesting, enterprising, generally optimistic, and sometimes eccentric people who caught "Ohio Fever" and carved out towns and stately homes out of the wilderness, setting up successful systems of government and education that remain today. ~Meredith, CCL