The year is wrapping up, and the Chelmsford Library’s staff have been waiting to share their favorite books with you! From mystery to graphic novels, fiction and nonfiction, we’ve read books from all over. Here are some of our staff’s favorite reads from this past year.
Vickie Assistant Director of Support Services
Profiles in Ignorance, by Andy Borowitz
The winner of the first-ever National Press Club award for humor, Andy Borowitz has been called a “Swiftian satirist” (The Wall Street Journal) and “one of the country’s finest satirists” (The New York Times). Millions of fans and New Yorker readers enjoy his satirical news column “The Borowitz Report.” Now, in Profiles in Ignorance, he offers a witty, spot-on diagnosis of our country’s political troubles by showing how ignorant leaders are degrading, embarrassing, and endangering our nation.
Lesley Assistant Director of Outreach
Balladz, by Sharon Olds
Songs from our era of communal grief and reckoning–by the Pulitzer Prize and T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry winner, called a poet for these times, a powerful woman who won’t back down (San Francisco Chronicle). It is Olds’s gift to us that in the richly detailed exposure of her sorrows she can still elegize songbirds, her true kin, and write that heaven comes here in life, not after it.
Jess Head of Reader Services and Programming
Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, this is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.
Jeff Marketing and Community Relations Specialist
Greywaren, by Maggie Stiefvater
This is the story of the Lynch family. Niall and Mór escaped their homeland for a new start, and lost themselves in what they found. Declan has grown up as the responsible son, the responsible brother–only to find there is no way for him to keep his family safe. Ronan has always lived on the edge between dreams and waking… but now that edge is gone, and he is falling. Matthew has been the happy child, the brightest beam. But rebellion beckons, because it all feels like an illusion now.
This world was not made for such a family–a family with the power to make a world and break it. If they cannot save each other or themselves, we are all doomed
Wes Borrower Services
Revenge of the Librarians, by Tom Gauld
Confront the spectre of failure, the wraith of social media, and other supernatural enemies of the author.
Tom Gauld returns with his wittiest and most trenchant collection of literary cartoons to date. Perfectly composed drawings are punctuated with the artist’s signature brand of humour, hitting high and low. After all, Gauld is just as comfortable taking jabs at Jane Eyre and Game of Thrones.
Jill Adult Services
Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business. Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
Jianna Adult Services
Have I told you this already? by Lauren Graham
Candid, insightful, and wildly entertaining essays about life, love, and lessons learned as an actress in Hollywood, from the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and New York Times bestselling author of Talking as Fast as I Can. Filled with surprising anecdotes, sage advice, and laugh-out-loud observations, Graham’s latest collection of all-new, original essays showcases the winning charm and wit that she’s known for.
Julia Adult Services
Nona the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir
Her city is under siege.
The zombies are coming back.
And all Nona wants is a birthday party.
In many ways, Nona is like other people. She lives with her family, has a job at her local school, and loves walks on the beach and meeting new dogs. But Nona’s not like other people. Six months ago she woke up in a stranger’s body, and she’s afraid she might have to give it back.
Amy Youth Services
Those Kids from Fawn Creek, by Erin Entrada Kelly
There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They’ve been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that’s not necessarily a great thing.
When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni’s chair, the other seventh graders don’t know what to think. Orchid–who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris–seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She’s wearing a flower behind her ear.
Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups–the self-proclaimed “God Squad,” the jocks, the outsiders–just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?
Stephanie Youth Services
A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
Andrea Youth Services
Finding Freedom, by Erin French
Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad’s diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th century mill. This singular memoir–a classic American story–invites readers to Erin’s corner of her beloved Maine to share the real person behind the “girl from Freedom” fairytale, and the not-so-picture-perfect struggles that have taken every ounce of her strength to overcome, and that make Erin’s life triumphant
Here are more selections from our favorite books of the year. Looking for more recommendations? Ask a Librarian!