Welcome to our weekly staff picks! We have a great selection of recommended titles from staff across the library. Looking for more? Check out Part 3 for more titles! This week’s selection comes to you from staff in Administration, Youth Services, and Adult Services!

Connor (Administration) recommends: The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Connor says: From the writer of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, a grim tale of a family, set in Tolkien’s fantasy realm of Middle-Earth. The Children of Húrin details the life and death of the tragic hero Túrin Turambar in his quest to defy a curse put on him by Middle-Earth’s chief antagonist of the First Age, Morgoth.

Rebecca (Youth Services) recommends: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Category: Adult Fantasy

Linus Baker lives a quiet life with just his devious cat and his collection of records. But, as a Case Worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government sanctioned orphanages. When he’s unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management, he’s given a curious and highly classified task: travel to the Marsyas Island Orphanage where six dangerous children reside and determine whether or not they are destined to bring about the end of days. But, the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps…

Natalie (Youth Services) recommends: Sunnyside Plaza by Scott Simon
Category: Juvenile Fiction

Natalie says: The residents of Sunnyside Plaza are dying or becoming seriously ill and it isn’t a coincidence. At least that is what Sally, the narrator and fellow resident of Sunnyside Plaza and two local detectives think. However, it is Sally and the other residents who solve the case! Sunnyside Plaza is a group home, and its residents are adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The novel portrays the residents as well-rounded, sympathetic individuals with back stories, interests, abilities, hopes and dreams. They are not identical cut-outs but fully formed characters. The detectives may be the most likable law enforcement officers in a middle grade novel. Don’t let the fact that this is juvenile fiction keep you from reading Sunnyside Plaza! It is an intriguing mystery whether you’re more a peer to Nancy Drew or Jessica Fletcher. Incidentally, Scott Simon is a well known journalist and the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition.This is his first juvenile novel.

Guy (Administration) recommends: Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison
Category: Adult Science Fiction

Guy says:  Harlan Ellison was a Cleveland native who wrote speculative fiction, often in a dystopian setting. His general dislike for humanity comes through, but he is also quite funny at times. He didn’t like being called a sci-fi writer. He was a fairly successful TV scriptwriter in the 1960s. He died in 2018. I’d start with Strange Wine, a collection of short stories, which seem to be his best metier.   

Chad (Adult Services) recommends: Crash: When UFOs Fall from the Sky
by Kevin D. Randle
Category: Adult Non-Fiction

Chad says: Sometimes things fall from the sky. For Sir Isaac Newton it was an apple. For the dinosaurs: an asteroid.  For Kevin Randle, a well-known paranormal researcher, it is UFOs – as in flying saucers, alien spaceships, or the more current UAP. He chronicles purported crashes of strange vehicles and other aerial phenomena from the Middle Ages, to the numerous crashes of mysterious flying blimp-like vehicles in the nineteenth-century U.S. Midwest and west, as well as the better-known crashes at Roswell, NM and Kecksburg, PA as well as a host of lesser known incidents.  If you are looking for in-depth coverage or analysis you may want to seek out any one of the single subject books out there, but if you are looking for a sampling and bite-sized stories this book will be what you are looking for. 


I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.