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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 Nancy, Collection Services:

Down Among the Dead Men by Peter Lovesey

For Peter Lovesey fans, you will not be disappointed. Superintendent Diamond is sent to Sussex on the coast of England to investigate the grounds for suspending a Sussex detective for failing to follow up DNA evidence which just happens to belong to the Sussex detective's niece (not to mention being an old friend of the Superintentdant). To make matters worse, Peter Diamond is working on this internal investigation at the insistence of Assistance Chief Constable Georgina Dallymore, who has a way of obfuscating even the clearest of truths. The internal investigation itself involves a seven-year-old murder and Superintentdent Diamond believes the suspended detective is only now facing the breach of ethics charge because she is determined uncover a web of disappearances of semi-underworld people that have gone unnoticed and uninvestigated which would bring up the number of unsolved crimes for the areas statistics. Author Lovesey, of course, opens his book with a totally unrelated instance of why an art teacher at an expensive girls school leaves suddenly without any explanation, and still manages to make these mysteries all fall together with his usual humor and pathos. A book to be enjoyed by his fans and new readers alike.

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

The Daughters by Adrienne Celt

Polish ancestral tales shaped by tragedy and curses underscore the themes of motherhood and music in this debut novel. On the day of her beloved grandmother's death, world class opera soprano Luscia gives birth to her daughter and begins a journey into the past to make peace with the present. A masterful tale with masterful pacing, Celt explores the fragility and strength of being both daughter and mother. The Daughters is an unforgettable story.

Recommended by Marcella, Collection Services:

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

A fast-paced, fun psychological suspense novel told from the alternating views of the main characters, a husband and wife and the homeless teenaged mother and infant they take in. The girl's chapters reveal her tragic backstory. Meanwhile, the wife who takes her in becomes increasingly obsessed with the baby while her resentful and suspicious husband seeks to reveal the teen's secrets.

Recommended by Robin, Collection Services:

The Tale of the Rose: the Passion that Inspired The Little Prince by Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry

I grabbed Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry's The Tale of the Rose: The Passion That Inspired The Little Prince when I saw it as I had just seen a gorgeous pop-up book of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry at Anthropologie, and then read that an animated film based on the book received a fairly warm reception in Cannes. The widow Consuelo Suncín Sandoval de Gómez met Saint-Exupéry in 1930 while on a visit to Argentina from France. Saint-Exupéry, an aviation pioneer and writer, was working as a commercial pilot in South America. He proposed to her the night they met. After setting up house together, he wrote the novel Night Flight, which was based on letters he had written for her about the beauty of flight. (Guerlain created a perfume after the book was published - Vol de Nuit!) They were married in 1931. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry abandons her from the get-go, according to her chronicle of their 13-year marriage. His work, his writing, his family, his friends, his mistresses, and then World War II interfere. They lived apart many of their nomadic, married years. Saint-Exupéry fled to the U.S. after France fell to Germany. While living in the U.S., he wrote The Little Prince. Saint-Exupéry disappeared while flying a reconnaissance mission over France in July 1944. Madame de Saint-Exupéry died in 1979. Her book was published in France in 2000.

Recommended by Robin, Collection Services:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

When my sister Nancy won the role of Mrs. Alexander in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, I borrowed the novel by Mark Haddon, which is about Christopher Banks, a brilliant, special-needs teen who uncovers unsettling family truths after he decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog. He bravely goes way out of his comfort zone to talk to Mrs. Alexander and others in his pursuit of justice.

If all goes well, the curtain rises mid-September for Nancy and other new cast members. Broadway - at last!!!

Recommended by Helen, Collection Services:

The Storm of the Century by Al Roker

Combining a little bit of history, a little bit of science, and lots of personal narratives, Roker gives us a gripping, fascinating, heartbreaking, yet persevering account of the devastating Galveston hurricane of 1900. My staff pick of the century!

Recommended by Ann, Library Manager:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest / J. Ryan Stradal

A great summer read! If you enjoy a story with a big heart, well written characters, and quirky humor this is a terrific read. I found myself flying through the pages trying to guess what would happen next. I never guessed correctly! And ultimately I think that’s why I enjoyed the book so much!

Recommended by Christopher, Instructional Services:

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe

During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born.

Recommended by Christopher, Instructional Services:

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart.

Recommended by Christopher, Instructional Services:

Nothing that Meets the Eye: the Uncollected Stories of Patricia Highsmith

The Patricia Highsmith renaissance continues with Nothing that Meets the Eye, a brilliant collection of twenty-eight psychologically penetrating stories, a great majority of which are published for the first time in this collection.

Recommended by Mandy, Youth Services:

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley

Youthful chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce takes her sleuthing prowess to the unexpectedly unsavory world of Canadian boarding schools.

Recommended by Lynne, Collection Services:

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay

A mentally ill man, who has the ability and compulsion to memorize maps, sees what he thinks is a crime being committed. Sending his reluctant brother to investigate wraps both of them in a more complex, deadly web of events than they ever thought possible. Fast action and modern technology rule this mystery.

Recommended by Lynne, Collection Services:

Close Your Eyes Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

In the quiet Vermont countryside, normal life is massively disrupted by the meltdown of the local nuclear reactor. Emily's parents, who both worked at the site, are dead. Where and how she survives on her own is the crux of the story.

Recommended by Lynne, Collection Services:

The Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin

Can you imagine becoming a spy for your country that would be a lifelong commitment? A young woman thinks that she knows the story of her father, a man convicted of spying on the United States for Communist China, until she receives his diary after his death. Going back and forth between her investigation of his life and her own, she finds his life has been full of betrayals.

Recommended by Amanda, Youth Services:

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious.'s how the book works. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say...BLORK or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again, and parents will be happy to oblige.

Recommended by Brittney, Instructional Services:

Thug Kitchen : eat like you give a f*ck : the official cookbook

Thug Kitchen started their wildly popular web site to inspire people to eat some Goddamn vegetables and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever") and named Saveur's Best New Food blog of 2013--with half a million Facebook fans and counting--Thug Kitchen wants to show everyone how to take charge of their plates and cook up some real f*cking food.

Recommended by Brittney, Instructional Services:

Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

The author of PS, I Love You chronicles the ups and downs in the romantic relationship between Rosie and Alex, best friends since childhood whose feelings gradually evolve into something more, but separation, an unexpected pregnancy, dashed dreams, and other romances turn their lives upside down.

Recommended by Brittney, Instructional Services:

Begin Again [DVD]

British songwriter Gretta is adrift in Manhattan after getting dumped by her philandering rock star boyfriend. While playing at an open mic night at a local bar, she is discovered by struggling music producer Dan. Sensing her songwriting potential, Dan pushes Gretta to sign with him and record an ambitious outdoors album all across the city.

Recommended by Iris, Collection Services:

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.

Recommended by Iris, Collection Services:

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

Drawing on the individual experiences of patients, musicians, composers, and everyday people, the author of Awakenings explores the complex human response to music, detailing the full range of human reactions to music, what goes on and can go wrong when we listen to music, and how music can affect those suffering from a variety of ailments.

Recommended by Iris, Collection Services:

Haim: Days are Gone [CD]