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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 Marcella, Collection Services

Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

This is a fast-paced suspense novel centered on the disappearance of Esther Vaughan from downtown Chicago. The story unfolds through the alternating perspectives of Esther's roommate Quinn, who finds intriguing clues such as a love letter among Esther's possessions, and teenaged Alex Gallo, who becomes obsessed with a young woman that suddenly appears in his nearby small town. The tantalizing evidence hints at various scenarios that leave you guessing while also making you wonder how well you know the people in your life.

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

Grunt, by best-selling popular science writer Mary Roach, is a well-crafted blend of curiosity, quirky humor, and appreciation for sometimes uncomfortable subject matter. A variety of topics range from lightening weight-bearing loads and dealing with the noise, chaos, heat, pests, and intestinal discomforts of battle to healing the wounded. The book is written in a lighthearted style that makes the science behind keeping soldiers safe both intriguing and clearly understandable. It is also an ever-timely reminder of the extent of the daily sacrifices the military makes for our freedom and safety.

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris:

This was a fun and entrancing read focusing on a marriage that publicly appears to be perfect while privately is anything but. Even though the situation was clearly laid out in the opening third of the novel and the broad outline of the ending easily guessed, it was still fun to see how the build up to the chilling ending ultimately played out. A chilling study of pure evil. The last sentence really gets you!

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This was a fun and intriguing murder mystery set aboard a small ultra-luxury cruise ship's maiden voyage. Travel writer Lo Blacklock tries to uncover the mystery of the woman she briefly spotted in the cabin next door after she is awakened by a late night scream and splash. Meanwhile, no passengers or crew are missing and shipboard security doubts her story. As a plus, I did not guess whodunit before the killer was revealed.

Recommended by Amanda, Youth Services:

With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice is a gripping young adult psychological thriller. 18 year old Jill wakes up in a hospital bed after a serious car accident to find out she has no recollection of the past six weeks of her life and that while she survived, her best friend had not. Jill is slowly trying to piece together the events before the crash as her memory is coming back. Meanwhile she's involved in a massive internal media frenzy, with both the media and authorizes questioning whether or not this was an accident. This book was a page turner until the very end. I would recommend this.

Recommended by Tinetra, Collection Services:

The Life of the World to Come by Dan Cluchey

As Leo Brice is entering law school he meets Fiona Haeberle, an upcoming actress and falls deeply in love with her. After about three years, Fiona crushes Leo's heart when she leaves him for another man. After passing the bar he takes a position at a non-profit advocacy group that provides legal services to inmates on death row. Leo first client is convicted killer, Michael Tiegs, and through that relationship Leo starts to question his own beliefs. I really enjoyed this novel and it made me think about my own life. This would definitely be good as a movie. Great book, highly recommend.

Recommended by Kat, Youth Services:

Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams

The brevity of Joy Williams' latest collection of short stories is not proportional to its impact on the imagination. The content of each story is usually mundane, the context unpredictable and a resolution usually absent. Williams' prose is an education in the craft, drawing uneasiness from a half-empty page like poetry. Ninety-Nine Stories of God is a short book worth a slow, considering read.

Recommended by Lydia, Account Services:

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Great quick read. The main character August comes home for her father's funeral and is faced with childhood memories. Great description of growing up in the 70's era. I would recommend it to those who grew up in the 70's because it may bring back memories and for those who did not grow up then it is still a good description of that time and what girls experience during adolescence.

Recommended by Lydia, Account Services:

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

Ann Hood at her best again. I did not want to put this book down. Story goes back and forth mostly between the two main characters who are mother and daughter. The story also goes back in time as the story unfolds. The book begins with the main character starting a book club where each person chooses a book that mattered most to them. It made me want to reread some of the books along with them. By the end of the book I really felt like I knew the characters. Also great surprise ending.

Recommended by Elisabeth, Youth Services:

The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

It's the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt's wedding shop in Heart's Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.

Recommended by Ellen, Public Services:

Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson

Fantastic read! Three mysteries rolled into one, layered expertly so that all the pieces come together smoothly and naturally at the end. Jude is running from a horrible event (what happened? we don't know yet) with only the clothes she is wearing and her purse. Impulsively, she travels to a small town in Scotland and an old bookstore where she once felt welcome. Lowell, a classic dusty secondhand bookseller and collector, impulsively hires this runaway librarian to straighten the years of accumulated towers, bags, and boxes of books. A young, pregnant woman shows up the next day claiming to be his daughter and he takes her in, too. Jude discovers that the previous tenant in her ex-gravedigger's cottage by the graveyard has written notes in his Book Club books which renews the town scandal. Foggy, stone roads and small town history make this suspenseful. I originally picked this up because it was about a bookstore, a librarian, and a graveyard (?!) and because it was recommended by Charlaine Harris. This was so good, I read in one day. The author Catriona McPherson has a series and several other stand-alone books which I look forward to reading, too. FYI, the cover is a bit darker, creepier than the plot really is.

Recommended by Ellen, Public Services:

The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

Genealogy and mystery, absolutely brilliant book. Unwinds the secrets of Templeton, a town loosely based on Cooperstown, NY. Despite begin the pride of the Temples, PhD student Willie is back home disgraced and disappointed. Her mother, Vi, an ex-hippy nurse and new Christian in love with her preacher, gives Willie a genealogy research project: find her father, a secret Temple. Sweet/bitter stories about town history and belonging, while below it all a lake monster, strange and wonderful.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

At 7 years old Elka was taken by a solitary mountain man Trapper who taught her how to survive in the frozen wilderness. Years later Elka makes a grim discovery that Trapper isn't who she thought and she sets out alone in the wilderness to look for her parents. This was a good story, a bit melancholy because you are on the lonely journey with Elka.

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

A great read about a young girl who survives an attack and is treated with a drug that erases all details of the attack from her memory. She goes under the care of a local psychiatrist and the story is a web of suspense as the doctor tries to help her navigate through her emotions and remember details that ultimately lead to solving the crime, but not without revealing a number of subplots that involve many of the local people in the small town where it all takes place.