Avalon Library Staff Picks – December 2016

Probably one of the biggest questions we get asked at the circulation desk is “What do you recommend?” Well, we decided we’d compile a list of everything the staff is reading/watching/listening to so you can enjoy the staff’s recommendations when you’re not in Avalon!

If you’re interested in placing a hold on one of the staffs picks, visit our online catalog. Remember, if you are an AVALON PROPERTY OWNER you are eligible for our Library by Mail program. For more information about our Library by Mail program, visit our website.

Not sure how to reserve library material online? Check out our informational video here:


Michelle’s Pick:

Arrow

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“Great superhero show that draws you in and always has you guessing what’s next.”

Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.

Description provided by IMDb

Reserve Michelle’s Pick:

Season One: DVD

Season One: Blu-Ray

Season Two: DVD

Season Two: Blu-Ray

Season Three: DVD


Heather’s Pick:

Tractor Mac: Countdown to Christmas by Billy Steers

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“Fun-filled children’s book about animals getting ready for Christmas!”

Preparing for Christmas is lots of fun, and no place is cozier in the wintertime than Stony Meadow Farm. Join Tractor Mac and his animal and vehicle friends as they wrap gifts, bake holiday treats, decorate a tree, and get ready for the big day.

Description provided by Goodreads

Reserve Heather’s Pick:

Board Book


Terri’s Pick:

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

before-the-fall-by-noah-hawley

“Suspenseful! Intriguing back story and keeps you guessing until the end!”

On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

The fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

Description provided by Goodreads

Reserve Terri’s Pick:

Print Book

Large Print Book

Books on CD

OverDrive eBook

OverDrive Audiobook

This title is available on our Check it Out Now shelf!


Erin’s Pick:

Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

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“Greenspan is a baking legend! Her recipes never fail to impress. Perfect inspiration for holiday baking!”

Over the course of her baking career, Dorie Greenspan has created more than 300 cookie recipes. Yet she has never written a book about them—until now. To merit her “three purple stars of approval,” every cookie had to be so special that it begged to be made again and again. Cookies for every taste and occasion are here. There are company treats like Portofignos, with chocolate dough and port-soaked figs, and lunch-box Blueberry Buttermilk Pie Bars. They Might Be Breakfast Cookies are packed with goodies—raisins, dried apples, dried cranberries, and oats— while Almond Crackle Cookies have just three ingredients. There are dozens of choices for the Christmas cookie swaps, including Little Rascals (German jam sandwich cookies with walnuts), Italian Saucissons (chocolate log cookies studded with dried fruit), and Snowy-Topped Brownie Drops. And who but America’s favorite baker could devise a cookie as intriguing as Pink-Peppercorn Thumbprints or as popular as the World Peace Cookie, with its 59 million Internet fans?

Description provided by Goodreads

Reserve Erin’s Pick:

Print Book


Jen’s Pick:

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

small-great-things-by-jodi-picoult

“It’s the kind of book that makes you question things. Very thought provoking!”

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

Description provided by Goodreads

Reserve Jen’s Pick:

Print Book

Books on CD

Playaway Audiobook

OverDrive eBook

OverDrive Audiobook


Sean’s Pick

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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“One of the best books I’ve read all year!”

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.

Description provided by Goodreads

Reserve Sean’s Pick:

Print Book

Large Print Book

Books on CD

Playaway Audiobook

OverDrive eBook

OverDrive Audiobook


Ryan’s Pick

The Legend of Tarzan

tarzan

“Thoroughly entertaining, special effects are awesome!”

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Description provided by IMDb

Reserve Ryan’s Pick:

Blu-Ray

DVD

This title is available on our Check it Out Now shelf!

About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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