Staff Picks You’ll Love (Part 12)

Welcome back to another round of staff picks! If you like what you see here, consider checking out last week’s book list!

Jeni (Technical Services) recommends: Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay
Category: Adult Fiction

A horrible rabies-like disease is spreading like wildfire through Massachusetts. The virus is spread through saliva, but unlike rabies, the incubation period is about an hour, which means that there is a terribly short amount of time between being bitten and turning into a mindless monster. When Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman gets a call from her friend Natalie, she learns to her horror that Natalie’s husband has been bitten and killed, and in her attempt to save him, Natalie (who is 8 months pregnant) was also bitten. Now, she and Rams have only about an hour to get Natalie to the hospital before she turns, too.

Aaron (Youth Services) recommends: Summer of ’69 by Todd Strasser
Category: Young Adult Fiction

Aaron says: My two cents: The are a lot of parallels between the social and political environment of 2020 and the late 1960’s.  Protests for racial equality, authoritarian crackdowns, political instability, urban riots and there was even an influenza A pandemic in 1968!  One key difference between now and the 60’s is the Vietnam War and the draft.  Todd Strasser’s book follows 18 year old Lucas Baker through the summer of 1969 as his life veers off track; a bad acid trip at a Led Zeppelin concert, friends sent to Vietnam, a violent motorcycle gang, parents getting a divorce, his girlfriend moving to Canada and the very real threat of being drafted at any minute.  The story caps off with Lucas going to Woodstock.  It’s a fast-paced nostalgia trip to a time not that different from our own.

Jamie (Youth Services) recommends: Make and Share Random Acts of Kindness by Mique Provost and Alyssa Bazar
Category: Juvenile Non-Fiction

This collection of beginner and kid-friendly crafts provide quick and easy ideas that you can use as ways of spreading happiness all around you. In addition to crafts and recipes, the book is full of stories about random acts of kindness, quotes, and tips to teach kids how to be kind. Also includes designs and template to accompany your projects!

Guy (Administration) recommends: Inside the Mind of BTK: The True Story Behind the Thirty-Year Hunt for the Notorious Wichita Serial Killer by John Douglas
Category: Adult Non-Fiction

Guy says: I was granted the privilege of having dinner with retired FBI agent John Douglas in 2007. He was on a tour to support his book “Inside the Mind of BTK” and stopped here at the Porter Library. Library Director Andrew Mangels invited me to meet Douglas before his talk on the serial killer Dennis Rader. Douglas has written a total of 15 non-fiction books, mostly on horrific crimes.

Chad (Adult Services) recommends: Americans at D-Day by John C. McManus
Category: Adult Non-Fiction

Chad says: In my opinion John C. McManus (military history, Missouri University of Science & Technology) is one of the foremost scholars of America’s experience in World War II writing today. McManus expertly combines a flair for storytelling of the individual soldiers and small group action without losing sight of the larger overall strategic picture. This is on display in his two-book series, The Americans at D-Day and the Americans at Normandy. His main thesis is that American victory on D-Day and in Normandy was far from assured. Airborne forces that landed the previous evening were widely scattered and disorganized.  The Germans fiercely contested the American landings at Omaha Beach, causing some of the highest casualties of the day among Allied forces. Once the Americans moved off the beaches, what followed was a horrific and deadly slog through the Norman bocage, a series of thick, virtually impenetrable hedgerows that served as perfect ambush points for the Germans to attack advancing Americans. While the number of books on D-Day continues to grow readers interested in World War II and America’s role in that conflict will enjoy these works very much.