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Welcome to another round of staff picks! Today, we have suggestions from Youth, Adult, and Technical Services, as well as Circulation and Administration. We hope that you find your next favorite book here! If you’re looking for more, consider checking out the Staff Picks Archive to see all of our previous posts.

Cathy (Youth Services) recommends: Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings
Category: Juvenile Fiction

Cathy says: Rufus really, really, really wants a dog, but whenever he asks about getting one, his dad always responds, “NO! Dogs whine. They bark. They scratch. They eat dead things and then lick your face. They poop and need to be walked. They have fleas.”  Feeling sorry for her son, Rufus’s mom brings home a guinea pig, hoping that this will satisfy his desire for a pet. Much to everyone’s utter surprise, the guinea pig (which Rufus names “Fido”) acts just like a dog, and what ensues is a hilarious tale that will make you laugh until you cry. The short, manageable chapters and easy conversational style of this book makes it a good choice for readers making the transition to longer chapter books and is a wonderful selection to read aloud.

Frances (Adult Services) recommends: Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gysai
Category: Adult Fiction

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate of neuroscience at the Stanford School of Medicine, studying reward-seeking behavior in terms of depression and addiction. In her personal life, she struggles with the loss of her brother, a high school athlete who died of an overdose, and her mother’s depression, which keeps her practically bedridden. Gifty becomes determined to discover the scientific basis of her family’s suffering. But, in the midst of her search, she finds herself drawn back to the faith of her childhood and the evangelical church in which she was raised. This deeply moving portrait of an immigrant family is at its heart a tale of love, faith, and science.

Victoria (Adult Services) recommends: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Category: Adult Fiction

Victoria says: This is Tartt’s first book to gain acclaim, and it garnered a cult following.  A group of college students meet privately with a favorite professor to study Greek history, and in a reenactment of a Dionysiac ritual, someone winds up dead.  There is a lot involved to decipher exactly what happened that night. As a result, the students have a unique bond with each other that is full of dark secrets.  Tartt’s writing just grabs you and won’t let you go.

Rebecca (Circulation) recommends: Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
Category: Adult Biography

Mental illness is generally not something to laugh about. So, why it is that Jenny Lawson’s books are so incredibly funny? Lawsons memoirs (this is book two…to start from the beginning, try Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) take a (mostly) honest, tongue-in-cheek look at the author’s childhood, marriage, and struggles with mental illness.

Rebecca says: Bought my own copy because it’s funny enough to reread anytime you need a giggle. She’s weird and has issues with depression and anxiety, but still tries to make it thru life with humor and funny coping mechanisms.

Guy (Administration) recommends: A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly
Category: Adult Biography

Guy says: I first heard of Bill O’Reilly when he was on the Fox News network.  I’ve never had cable, so to watch his program was kind of a treat.  I liked his commentary books such as The O’Reilly Factor, but my favorite is his memoir A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity. I can just hear the nun calling him that.  His series on violent deaths of prominent persons (coauthored with Martin Dugard) is also accessible and enjoyable. [His newest is Killing Crazy Horse, with Killing the Mob coming out in May 2021 –E.]


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.