CHESHIRE — You can never have enough books. Conversely, there is never enough time to read. Luckily, if you adore books, the holidays and long winter months are a perfect time to catch up, dive into the books you may not have had time for and those new releases you look forward to getting your hands on in 2021.
The staff from the Cheshire Public Library was happy to help round up a list of their favorites. A few recommendations also come from the New York Times, Good Reads and CPL Bloggers.
First to the favorite books enjoyed by CPL staff. Standouts in adult fiction include “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes. It’s based on the New Deal’s true-life story of Kentucky’s Pack Horse Librarians. Another CPL fiction favorite is “The Lost and Found Bookshop” by New York Times best selling author Susan Wiggs, and a thrilling crime mystery, “All the Devils are Here,” by Louise Penny.
Among the top choices for non-fiction, are “The Splendid and the Vile,” by Erik Larson, a look at the leadership of Winston Churchill during the Blitz; Lenny Kravitz shares personal memories of his life and art in “Let Love Rule,” a biography co-written with David Ritz. Valuable lessons can be found within the pages of Ibram X. Kendi's “How to be an Antiracist.” Kendi proposes that we rethink perceptions, envision a truly just world without racism and work to bring an anti-racist society into being.
For younger ones, the CPL Children's librarians liked the following picture books: “I am Every Good Thing,” by Derrick Barnes; “A Polar Bear in the Snow,” by Mac Barnett with artwork by Shawn Harris; and “The Old Truck,” a book about determination and imagination by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. Chapter books recommended for children include “Maya and the Rising Dark,” by Rena Barron; “Ghost Squad,” by Claribel A. Ortega, a can-do, save the day supernatural adventure for ages 8-12; and “Ways to Make Sunshine,” by Renée Watson.
In the Goodreads Choice Awards 2020, British author Matt Haig captures the award for best fiction for his book “Midnight Library,” a New York Times best-seller. The book's central character finds herself faced with multitude choices and potential outcomes in her life all within the depository of the “Midnight Library.”
Goodreads Choices Award for Horror goes to Silvia Moreno-Garcia”s “Mexican Gothic,” a deliciously spooky, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night chiller set in an isolated mansion in Mexico.
In the CPL Blog, Louise LeClaire, CPL social media coordinator, recommends a full-on attack of book series. “We’re going to be stuck at home quite a bit this winter, so it’s a great time to binge-read a full series beginning to end, no cliffhangers allowed,” said LeClaire.
She submitted the following series to pique your interest. They are Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, “The Golden Compass,” “The Amber Spyglass,” and “The Subtle Knife.” LeClaire also recommends J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, along with the seven-book anthology “The Dark Tower” series from Stephen King.
As something to look forward to in 2021 comes the picks from the editors of the New York Times. Selections include Italy’s “The Children’s Train,” by Viola Ardone who writes the stories of the children who in the wake of World War II Italy, travel via train to northern Italy, where many go on to create new lives with new families. The story of “Ellis Island” by author Georges Perec, himself an orphan, spotlights the immigrants who arrived on the shores of America to meet the strict gatekeeper, Ellis Island. Listings of the individuals and families are included within the pages.