September 2023

Lauren's Picks:Ink Blood

Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs (2023)

The Kalotay family has spent generations protecting magical books that require blood to activate the spells within. Half-sisters Joanna and Esther grew up learning to care for and protect the books, but in adulthood their paths have diverged. Joanna has remained at their family home in Vermont to maintain the wards that keep their collection safe. Esther moves to a new place each year to avoid the fate of her mother, who was murdered because of the books. After their father dies reading a mysterious book, Joanna and Esther reunite, learning that a sinister plot has been set in motion. A dark fantasy perfect for book lovers!


Amy's Picks:Thief liar lady

Thief, Liar, Lady by D. L. Soria (2023)

You know the Cinderella fairy tale, right?  Well, not this one!  This funny and clever retelling turns the traditional fairy tale upside down.  Ashlyn is the lucky princess, and her first-person version includes a hostage prince, a complicated marriage plot, a devious stepmother, a little political sabotage, and a lot of magic.

The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry (2023)Secret Book

A mesmerizing story about a woman who never stops searching for her baby sister who went missing in 1939.  Twenty years later, Hazel, now a London bookseller, discovers a children’s book which features the exact same magical storyland – Whisperwood - that only she and her sister had created and shared with each other.  While she tries to track down the author, she reevaluates her career, her relationships, and her future.


Laura's Picks:Only one

The only one left by Riley Sager (2023)

The Hope family massacre in Maine, 1929, left only one survivor: the teenage daughter. Lenora Hope has always maintained her innocence—but if she didn’t kill her family, then who did? Fast-forward to 1983, and a new nurse has arrived to care for the bed-ridden, reclusive Lenora. Carefully, Lenora taps out a message on an old typewriter: I want to tell you everything. This gothic thriller has so many twists and turns, you’ll get whiplash before you get to the end.

The road to Roswell by Connie Willis (2023)Roswell

Francie doesn’t believe in UFOS or little green men, until she gets abducted by a tumble-weed-shaped alien on her way to her best friend’s UFO-themed wedding in Roswell. Before long, she is joined by a con man, a conspiracy theorist, a nice old lady with suspiciously good luck at playing the slot machines, and a retiree with a thankfully large RV. Road trip! Packed with references to old Westerns and a love letter to the Southwest, this novel is a hoot.

John's Picks:

Now and Zen by Robert Plant (1988)RobertPlantNowAndZen

The fourth studio album by Robert Plant and one which saw him returning to his younger musical roots while still embracing the computer technology of the time.  Plant incorporated more blues and Middle Eastern tones on this record, a fusion of styles that he continues to employ this day.  Jimmy Page also plays guitar on the tracks “Heaven Knows” and “Tall Cool One.”  The album was well received by both fans and critics alike and was considered a comeback for Plant.

The Union by Elton John and Leon Russell (2010)The Union

A collaborative album between Elton John and Leon Russell and produced by T-Bone Burnett.  Containing both solo songs by each respective artist as well as duets between them, the album featured a plethora of guest musicians including Brian Wilson and Neil Young.  It was also responsible for revitalizing Russell’s career, giving him one of his best commercial releases in years.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)Spider man Opens in new window

A computer-animated movie centering on the character of Miles Morales, an alternate version of Spider-Man.   In the film, Miles receives spider-powers akin to Peter Parker and teams up with other Spider-Man-type heroes from parallel universes to fight the crime lord, Kingpin.  A visually stunning film, it combines CGI with traditional 2D animation techniques to look almost hand drawn. Its success has spawned two sequels: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, which was released this year, and the forthcoming Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse.



Jenna’s Back to School Picture Books Picks:Ready for Kindergarten

Ready for Kindergarten, by Bethany V. Freitas (2023)

This colorful picture book is a must read for all the little ones heading off to kindergarten this year. The bright illustrations show school as a welcoming, warm place and the words help prepare new students for some of the fun activities they will experience in their classroom. There is even a “Note to Caregivers” at the end to help guide your reading and discussion. 


We’re Going to School, by Tammi Salzano (2023)Going to school

It is impossible to read this picture book and not get excited for the school year! All students and families will feel seen with the inclusive cast of characters as they follow them throughout their day, from getting ready in the morning to pick up in the afternoon. This book presents the perfect opportunity for parents and caregivers to facilitate a conversation about the different parts of the school day and learn about their child's favorite activities.