Staff Picks

Don't forget to check out our staff picks for kids!

November 17, 2014

Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas
by Koontz, Dean

Odd Thomas lives a fairly simple life in Pico Mundo, California. He has a girlfriend, Stormy Llewellyn and works as a short order cook at Pico Mundo Grille but the weird thing about him is…he can see and talk to dead people, but the dead don’t talk back. Because only he can see them, he feels compelled to help solve their untimely deaths with the help of his girlfriend and the Chief of Police, Wyatt Porter.

Odd Thomas also sees halfman/halfdog like creatures he calls bodacks. They signify an upcoming death. So one night when he sees a swarm of those malevolent spirits crawling around a house he knows the family inside is probably going to die . . . unless he does something, fast . . . but what?

Odd Thomas is also available as a downloadable e-book and a downloadable audiobook.

                     --Recommended by Claudine Polley, Fountain Square Library


November 10, 2014

Coming Clean

Coming Clean
by Miller, Kimberly Rae
B Miller K.R. MIL

Kimberly Rae Miller’s youth was quite different from others. Imagine dodging Child Protective Services, a house fire, environmental hazards galore, being dropped off at the corner so your friends don’t see where you live. Why? Because her parents are hoarders. Coming Clean is her story of struggle, acceptance and love. Her honesty is quite revealing as she divulges her family secrets. Kimberly is conflicted: Should she rescue them when the family is forced to move? Is she willing to deal with their wrath if she throws out their “prized” possessions? How will friends and dates react when they find out what she has been hiding? Will she become a hoarder? This book tackles a difficult journey from a voice that is seldom heard, one that has lived it. Hoarding is a family affair. If you enjoy reading books about real people, realities of family secrets, and love that goes beyond all of the clutter, then this book is for you.

This title is also available as an audiobook on CD.

                     --Recommended by Mary L. Weimer, Warren Library


November 3, 2014

 A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings

A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings
by Barks, Coleman
891.5511 BAR

As I mentioned in a blog post last week, Coleman Barks is going to participate in this year's Spirit & Place Festival. Though unable to attend the event, I've been inspired to read this book of days.

366 poems, or fragments of poems, by the Sufi mystic. 2015 won't be a leap year, but a February 29th reading has been included, for years when it's necessary.

It's possible that reading a bit by the same poet, every day, even if he's "a planetary poet," will grow tiresome. I might begin to think, Oh this guy is sappy, working the same rooms all the time. That hasn't happened yet. The "planetary poet" description comes from Barks, who isn't a translator--he doesn't know Persian--but has helped to make Rumi popular with his reworkings of other English translations.    

Just back from Michigan, I fixed breakfast for one of my sons this morning, checked my work e-mail, and took a minute while munching raisin bran to read the November 3rd poem, "Ashes, Wanderers." The parts of me to whom advice was being offered thought the advice was pretty good.

                         --Recommended by Glenn Halberstadt, Information Technology


October 27, 2014

Affectionately Yours: The Civil War Home Front: Letters of the Ovid Butler Family

Affectionately Yours: The Civil War Home Front: Letters of the Ovid Butler Family
by Davis, Barbara Butler, editor
973.7477252 A2565d

Affectionately Yours has the uncommon approach of being constructed around 65 letters sent from home to the Civil War soldier. The reader is allowed that rare opportunity to learn the details of family life on the Indiana home front.

The soldier is Irvingtonian Scot Butler (of Butler University fame). We are grateful he had the foresight and ability to protect and preserve those many letters while on the battlefield.

Scot’s great granddaughter Barbara Butler Davis is to be commended for her editorial skills. As you read, it will become obvious that this book is her labor of love. Scot’s transcribed letters carry the book, and Ms. Davis excellent notations compliment and amplify the story throughout. This is a Civil War book unlike most, and belongs in every Civil War library.

                            --Recommended by Mike Hylton, Irvington Library


October 20, 2014

Nowhere Nice

Nowhere Nice
by Gavin, Rick

If you think that Janet Evanovich isn’t turning out the Stephanie Plum books at a fast enough clip, you could do far worse than to take a trip to the Mississippi Delta with Gavin. He’s got a cast and crew that reads like a mash-up of Plum and her crew with the Crowders of TV’s Justified. They’re rowdy and unintentionally funny and Gavin plays the English language like a country fiddle as he relates their adventures. A random paragraph: “There wasn’t a lot for us to be up to after that beyond giving those guns to the Purdys. As pastimes go, we went at it with concerted energy. It helped that we had a gaudy assortment of firearms in the duffel. Those cops would pull out a Steyr or our M1A, our 93R, our Heckler & Koch, and all our regular pistols too, and those Purdys just couldn’t seem indignant when we insisted they owned them.” Plot? Nick and his sidekick Desmond learn that a meth dealer they helped put in Parchman has escaped and is headed their way, his intent being to do them intense amounts of harm. They’re not afraid for themselves, but that Boudrot also means to harm some other folks and they can’t let that happen. What ensues has got to be one of the strangest—and funniest—road trips through the Mississippi backroads yet.

                      --Recommended by Cheryl Holtsclaw, West Indianapolis Library