Top Staff Picks of 2023!

Our last blog post of the year and we are revealings our favorite books of 2023. Curious what tickled our fancy? Check them out!

Ellen Connuck

Children’s Librarian

Ploof by Ben Clanton and Andy Chou Musser

Book cover Artwork for Ploof by Ben Clanton and Andy Chou Musser

“It’s a sweet interactive picture book about a cloud that promotes engagement with reading and social and emotional learning skills.” – Ellen

Ploof is a puffy cloud who’s a little lonely – but now you’re here, and the fun can begin! Can you help Ploof overcome their shyness? Play pretend? Make Ploof laugh with your funny faces, find their hiding spot, give them a high five! Full of imaginative and interactive fun, each page of this perfect book for preschoolers offers a chance to play.


Marcia Eisner

Adult Services Librarian

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

Book Cover Artwork for Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

“It’s a mystery, and so much more! Happiness Falls is a page-turner about Family Drama, Humanity, Understanding, empathy, and respect for those with special needs.” – Angie

When a father goes missing, his family’s desperate search leads them to question everything they know about him and one another in this thrilling page-turner, a deeply moving portrait of a family in crisis.



Fazli Hida

Circulation Associate

Hijab Butch Blues by  Lamya H

Book Cover Artwork for Hijab Butch Blues: A memoir by Lamya H.

“This memoir fused the author’s interpretation of Islamic texts with their own experiences as a person who is brown, queer, Muslim, and an immigrant. I think it’s important for people to read this book and see how Lamya’s unique story is shaped by their intersectional identity.” – Fazli

When fourteen-year-old Lamya H realizes she has a crush on her teacher—her female teacher—she covers up her attraction, an attraction she can’t yet name, by playing up her roles as overachiever and class clown. Born in South Asia, she moved to the Middle East at a young age and has spent years feeling out of place, like her own desires and dreams don’t matter, and it’s easier to hide in plain sight. To disappear. But one day in Quran class, she reads a passage about Maryam that changes everything: when Maryam learned that she was pregnant, she insisted no man had touched her. Could Maryam, uninterested in men, be . . . like Lamya?   From that moment on, Lamya makes sense of her struggles and triumphs by comparing her experiences with some of the most famous stories in the Quran.


Adam Markle

Circulation Associate

The sun and The Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

Book Cover Artwork of The Sun and the Star by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro“This book is a pleasant companion to the Olympian Saga.  It demonstrates ‘Inclusivity’ in an organic and natural way without the pomp and pomposity common in other contemporary works.” – Adam

Nico, the son of Hades, and his boyfriend Will, the son of Apollo, travel to Tartarus, the deepest, darkest part of the Underworld as they attempt to rescue an old friend.




Susanna Beck

Adult Services Librarian

Community Board by Tara Conklin

Book Cover Artwork for Community Board by Tara Conklin“Darcy’s husband leaves her so she decides to move back home with Mom and Dad, but unbeknownst to her they don’t live there anymore. Her parents still own the house that is part of a newly forged community. Darcy’s goal is to isolate from the world since mom and dad aren’t there to take care of her. She instead becomes very busy in the community and learns to get outside of herself. It is a cute, easy to read contemporary story of self growth and self awareness.” – Susanna

Where does one go, you might ask, when the world falls apart? When the immutable facts of your life—the mundane, the trivial, the take-for-granted minutiae that once filled every second of every day—suddenly disappear? Where does one go in such dire and unexpected circumstances? I went home, of course.



Jennifer Cullen

Adult Services Department Head Librarian

The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Book Cover Artwork of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid“It has great flow. The story holds your attention all the way to the end.” – Jennifer

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?




Elaine Lincoln

Adult Services Librarian

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Book Cover Artwork for She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan“The author does an amazing job revealing life and politics of the Yuan Dynasty as well as seamlessly incorporating gender swapping into the flow of this thrilling historical novel.” – Elaine

In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…  In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected. When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate. After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.


Erin Hestvik

Children’s Librarian Department Head

A First Time for Everything by Dan Sentat

Book Cover Artwork for A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat“A funny true story set as a graphic novel.  A delightful coming of age tale.” – Erin

A middle grade graphic memoir based on bestselling author and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s awkward middle school years and the trip to Europe that changed his life. Dan’s always been a good kid. The kind of kid who listens to his teachers, helps his mom with grocery shopping, and stays out of trouble. But being a good kid doesn’t stop him from being bullied and feeling like he’s invisible, which is why Dan has low expectations when his parents send him on a class trip to Europe. At first, he’s right. He’s stuck with the same girls from his middle school who love to make fun of him, and he doesn’t know why his teacher insisted he come on this trip. But as he travels through France, Germany, Switzerland, and England, a series of first experiences begin to change him–first Fanta, first fondue, first time stealing a bike from German punk rockers… and first love.


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