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Home > For Book Lovers... > Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Staff members of the Boca Raton Public Library share some of their favorite books...
(click on a book cover or title for a link to the online catalog)

Recommended by Deborah, Youth Services:

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

This was flat out an excellent read. It is one of those books, the reading of which, mysteriously and wonderfully transports you in time and place, sets you in the middle of someone else's story, both unique and universal all at the same time. In this case it is the coming-of-age story of Mary Frances "Frankie" Lombard, the youngest in the Lombard clan, owners of a family run apple orchard. Through Mary Frances we learn of the rich family history with all its twists and turns, and come to feel the tension created when a life viscerally rooted in the past and in the earth, faces the changes modern life and technology inevitably bring.

Recommended by Ellen, Public Services:

The Flood Girls by Richard Fifield

Now a woman in her late 20s, Rachel Flood returns home to her small town to make amends for her train wreck past of parties, promiscuity, alcoholism, and teenage angst. But, most of all, she comes back to face her mother and her fiercely loyal pack of women friends. Ironically, she is forced by circumstances to work in her mother's dark, sad bar and to play softball with the Flood Girls, a pathetic local team made up of women who don't forget easily. Despite the pervasive underlying regret, the story is fast-paced, funny and surprising satisfying. Rachel, her mother and their friends begin to recognize the importance of forgiving and working together when a creative, intelligent boy needs their support to overcome discrimination and isolation. While very entertaining, this book subtly questions how communities support, enable or ignore the needs of their members and points out that some hurts can't be mended. I liked The Flood Girls when I read it and still think about it a few weeks later – definitely a good book with well-developed characters, good writing, a meaningful story, and an unforgettable ending.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Not sci-fi, not fantasy, more like magical realism, this was an interesting yet fascinating read. This is an "end of the world" novel seen in two opposing forces of nature – through Laurence, a science genius, and Patricia, a powerful witch. The story follows their childhood friendship and their reconnection as adults as they each tackle their everyday life challenges in the midst of pending doom.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

A suspenseful read that I could envision on the big screen. The story begins with a small plane crash and alternates between the lives of all the passengers before the crash, and the survivors after, while weaving through the mystery of the crash itself. Highly recommend and I'm sure it's going to be a big hit this summer.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

An anticipated debut, about siblings who come together to ponder the fate of their shared inheritance. There's no shortage on books about dysfunctional families, but this one takes it all the way with intriguing characters that you want to root to have a happy ending, and they kind of get it in a unique and warm way.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

A follow up to You, bookstore worker and murderous stalker Joe goes on a cross country trip to get revenge on the latest woman who broke his heart. You have to read You first to fully understand Joe. The subject matter is pretty dark but overall this is a fascinating look inside the mind of a psycho killer, sort of a Dexter in reverse if you like that sort of thing.

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

Snatched by Bruce Porter

An action-packed true crime exposé of one woman's experience with the notorious Cali drug cartel from Colombia. The narrative traces Pilar's path from wealthy Colombian child to drug smuggler to informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which ultimately led to her kidnapping and harrowing escape in Colombia. The book also has a strong local interest, as Pilar lived in Boca Raton and her story is set within the larger drug wars in South Florida.

Recommended by Lynne, Collection Services:

Saving Sophie by Ronald H. Balson

Has a little bit of everything ... an international custodial kidnapping, a terrorist plot, the Russian Mafia, fixing of college basketball games, and the mysterious transfer of funds to an offshore Panamanian account during a multi-million dollar business transaction ... a fast paced read. Maybe wrapped up a little too conveniently at the end, but still worth the ride.

Recommended by Lydia, Account Services:

Keep me Posted by Lisa Beazley

This was a good easy read. I enjoyed it all the way. It's a good portrayal of two sisters' relationship as they communicate long distance via "snail mail". Good read for mothers going through similar trials, but as a grandmother I could still remember and relate. It sums up the trials of raising small children well. I definitely recommend this book.

Recommended by Lydia, Account Services:

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman

Great book! I loved the book all the way through. Grabbed me right from the start and although you can figure out early on what has happened it has enough twists to keep you reading. Shows how family can be close and yet life's choices can change everything. I highly recommend it.

Recommended by Lydia, Account Services:

Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu

An interesting historical fiction that brings us to a time in history that we don't hear much about. A story of two young women torn apart by war and the different paths their lives take. I enjoyed the book and liked how the author brought us into her culture.

Recommended by Nancy D., Collection Services:

The Travelers by Christopher Pavone

When a woman with whom he has shared a harmless flirtation shows up at his hotel door with a gun, travel writer and food expert Will Rhodes discovers the real reason his job occasionally requires him to assume different names and deliver mysterious parcels.

Recommended by Francie, Account Services:

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

Wink, Poppy, and Midnight's three separate voices come together to reveal the secrets and mysteries hiding in the woods around their home.

Recommended by Robbie, Account Services:

Golden Delicious by Christopher Boucher

In _______'s world, life occurs within pages and margins, and we the readers, riding a bicycle built for two, are invited along on his adventures. Golden Delicious is an enjoyable, deep, very unusual read with many layers of hidden meanings, frequently triggering so many different emotions. Some readers may need some time to adjust to Bosch's style, but it is well worth it. You may never again look at a vending machine quite the same way. Highly recommended.

Recommended by Susan H., Administration:

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray

The authors weeded through thousands of letters, books, original documents and other sources to piece together the fascinating life of Patsy Jefferson, the oldest daughter of Thomas Jefferson. This book provides rich detail about a very pivotal time in America’s history through a woman’s perspective. Patsy was an amazingly strong woman who endured numerous tragedies, including the death of her mother, sister and a daughter in childbirth. She married a violent and insecure man, eventually giving birth to 12 children (11 survived to adulthood). Financial difficulties, spousal abuse and issues related to slavery plagued her family throughout their lives. But Patsy was the glue that held everyone together. This story carries the reader from one event to the next, wisely sticking to Patsy's story rather than dwelling too much on historical events that have been examined in detail elsewhere. Rather, we see how Patsy and her family were shaped by what was happening in their lives, and how these events affected their choices and relationships. Patsy's strength and support surely had a great impact on her father and the early years of U.S. history. Highly recommended.