Kate - Managing Librarian

Tsundoku Vector

I find myself chronically with "tsundoku," a huge list of books I want to read that grows larger with every recommendation, with never enough time to read all of them. I also enjoy inflicting it on others (possibly a little too much) by tossing books on their "To Read" pile, so consider yourself warned.

Books with humor are mostly likely to hook me in, but I pick from many genres, particularly areas that I want to learn more about. I also have a growing list of picture book favorites from my boys, with really not many at all involving underpants.

Short and Thoughful, Weird and Wonderful

9 months ago

Time seems shorter than ever, but fortunately there's a wealth of books that are perfect to fit into a single evening or weekend. I loved that these books were on the shorter side but still packed with thoughtful explorations of humanity, reality, and relationships.

The details of a hummingbird rescue operation highlight the beauty and fragility of some of our favorite species.

Out of This World Fun

1 year ago

Summer time means lots of reading at our house! My son is going through a science fiction phase and has loved all of the books on this list, or has been eagerly waiting for them. These range from 2nd to 3rd grade in complexity, but they're all fun, fast-paced and have more in the series to look forward to. Kid-tested and librarian-recommended!

After "Amulet"

2 years ago

"My kids love the 'Amulet' and 'Wings of Fire' series. Do you have anything else like that?" Do we ever! Since we get this question so often I thought I would share my favorite followups.

One of my absolute favorites for slightly older elementary and middle school. A fun read for parents as well as kids, and the art is both adorable and just spooky enough.
A little more SF than fantasy, but still a wonderful read. Thought-provoking post-apocalypse world-building (but not too grim!).
This is also a charming TV series, and the books, as usual, are able to delve deeper into the world. Hilda is a kind and thoughtful problem-solver.
Wonderfully detailed art and a thrilling storyline about identity and belonging.

To Boldly Go...

2 years ago

Happy Pride! Science fiction and fantasy have always been the perfect genres for writers to explore new frames of thought and create a vision for what could be. We've seen some great titles with LGBTQIA+ protagonists come through the library in recent years, and I wanted to share my favorites.

Really amazing worldbuilding! An alternate magical/steampunk Cairo with a suit-wearing sleuth who takes no flack about her career or presentation.
One of those read-in-one-sitting adventures with a unique "what-if" premise.
Johnson's exploration of class, identity, and exploitation is set in a fascinating multiverse that pulls you along. An excellent audiobook.
Coming soon! A ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with. I'm looking forward to this one, by the author of "The House in The Cerulean Sea."

The World You Thought You Knew

3 years ago

Like many of us, I spent many days in the last year finding escape through literature, and, despite everything else, 2020 brought us a bounty of compelling stories. I've also included a couple that had been sitting on my to-read pile for a couple of years and found they absolutely justified the wait.


Though the settings are vastly different, I discovered an unintentional theme…

Reader, It's Cold Outside

4 years ago

The best part of winter is cozying up with tea and a book! Luckily many great authors have provided a steady diet of holiday and winter fare to choose from.


(You'll note the lack of Winds of Winter; sorry, George R R Martin fans, still no publication date set on that one.)

Fforde's world-building is amazing with vivid characters and plenty of humor.
I'm a sucker for a retelling, I'll admit. Maguire is renowned for "Wicked," but his other stories are just as richly imagined.
I just recently discovered Connie Willis' Christmas anthology, and it made my day!
Number four in a series but one highly recommended by my staff.

Reading, Leading, Succeeding

3 years ago

There are many management and business authors competing for space on our shelves, but I found that these authors are practical, easy to read, and back up their theories with real experience. There's food for thought on organization-wide strategies as well as tools that are applicable in the every day. Especially in times of change, rethinking your approach can be transformational…

This philosophy speaks to my soul; the best companies treat their staff like family. He recognizes that humans operate on hormones and are always going to form tribes. Sinek also has excellent TED talks on leadership, but the full book allows for greater depth and specifics that are invaluable.
Lencioni structures his books in "fables," which can be an odd read for an adult. But, he has amazing insight into what makes a team really tick or clunk, as the case may be.
Though in a vastly different field, Catmull brings issues to light that will cripple any team's creativity. For movie buffs, this is also a fascinating inside look at one of the most adaptable companies in the industry.
Daniel Goleman's seminal work on Emotional Intelligence is a must if you are new to the concept. Bradberry breaks down the ideas and gives a condensed version that is readable and actionable for busy managers.

When Big Waters Come

4 years ago

Science fiction fans have probably heard of Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and Paolo Bacigalupi and may have read some of their works that fall under the climate fiction, or cli-fi, subgenre. But, there are so many more! The following list highlights my favorites cli-fi stories from authors of color, who come from populations with a higher vulnerability to climate…

This was a stellar debut; think Mercy Thompson meets Michonne. I look forward to where Roanhorse goes from here. Action-packed, a little romance, and intriguing world-building on a reservation that is walled off from the rest of a world consumed by The Big Waters.
Easily one of my favorite books of 2018. An orcamancer arrives on a corrupt floating city where amazing tech and brutal poverty go hand-in-hand searching for her family. A disease called "the breaks" begins to claim both rich and poor, and four unlikely people ally to fight the decay of their world. Plus, the cover glows in the dark!
Dimaline's writing is lyrical and mysterious hinting at things more wonderful and terrible at every turn. Have tissues ready.
Erdrich is another lyrical writer and tends to a more domestic type of story than others on this list. It made me too uncomfortable to be a favorite exactly, but the feeling of terror and lost autonomy was even more haunting than "A Handmaid's Tale."

The Toddler Years: Cuteness and Chaos

5 years ago

Having kids is a major life change, but fortunately any person who routinely seeks inspiration and advice from books has no lack of resources to assist with the transition. The question then becomes, "Which one is correct?" From my experience, the answer is usually, "Whatever works today!" All the following books are wonderful, well-researched resources that helped me work through many…

This was my very first parenting book and was essential in understanding the child's worldview and how to nurture a positive relationship.
Some parents do the whole system; we relied heavily on 10-15 signs, and that got us through some hard days when they couldn't make themselves understood.
The last thing any new parent needs is to spend any extra time in the kitchen. A friend gave me Bittman's "Minimalist Kitchen," and now it's in constant use. And, here comes a new book!
This was another wonderful resource for understanding how your behavior affects your children and how to harness the power of respect for each other.

New and Intriguing Teen Books

5 years ago

Many of my favorite authors and some exciting new writers are putting books out this fall that I can't wait to get my hands on!

With multiple high-profile reviews and killer cover art, Adeyemi is making waves in the world of YA lit with her debut novel.
Who doesn't want to learn more about Leah, the secretive friend of Simon (of "Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda" fame)?
Holy hot topics, Batman, better strap on your seatbelt for this one! Also a box of tissues.
I was thouroughly impressed with the heart and nuance of "If I Ever Get Out of Here," and "Give Me Some Truth" looks like a worthy followup.