Friday Reads: Goodreads Choice Awards 2018

This marks the 10th year that Goodreads has held a book contest entirely chosen by readers. Each year readers vote on their favorite books in several categories. For a complete list of nominees and previous winners click here. Each of the winners below are available at Danville Public Library.

35396839Picture Books – I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo

Shares a story of loving who you are, respecting others and being kind to one another.



31180248Young Adult Fiction – Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Leah’s drumming may be rhythmic, but her life is a little more offbeat. She’s got a lot on her plate–a fracturing friend group, coming out as bisexual, art anxiety, prom, and applying to colleges.




Debut Author – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Seventeen-year-old Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land of Orisha and activate a new generation of magi. They are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy, but the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she stuggles to control her growing powers.

40004097Food & Cook books – Cravings: Hungry for More by Chrissy Teigan

Presents a collection of healthy, quick, and family-friendly recipes featuring multi-purpose sauces and condiments, comfort foods, and maximum flavor.



Science & Technology – The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Steve Brusatte

A sweeping narrative, drawing on cutting-edge science, that tells the epic story of the dinosaurs, examining their origins, their habitats, their extinction, and their living legacy. Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today. Brusatte re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

History & Biography – The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

The first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development.

Memoir & Autobiography – Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her ‘head-for-the-hills bag.’ In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Nonfiction – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

An account of the unsolved Golden State Killer case traces the rapes and murders of dozens of victims and the author’s determined efforts to help identify the killer and bring him to justice.



Horror – Elevation by Stephen King

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help.

Science Fiction – Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought–and will use her new-found power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other. With Marcella’s rise, new enmities create opportunity–and the stage of Merit City will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.


thekissquotent_200x300Romance – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane, a woman with Asperger’s, thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan. Before long, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

Best of the Best – The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.




Fantasy – Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe, the daughter of the Titan Helios, turns to the world of mortals for companionship and discovers that she possesses the power of witchcraft. As a woman who stands alone, Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, and a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the world of the gods she was born into, and the world of mortals she has come to love.



Historical Fiction – The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

It is 1974 when Leni Allbright’s impulsive father Ernt decides the family is moving to Alaska. But the Alaskan winter is just as unforgiving as Ernt, and life quickly becomes a struggle for survival.




Mystery & Thriller – The Outsider by Stephen King

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens, Terry Maitland — Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. As the investigation expands, horrifying answers begin to emerge. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?

Fiction – Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life. Soon Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. As Lou tries to keep her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets–not all her own–that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances.





Note: All book covers are from Goodreads and all book descriptions are from the SHARE Catalog.

Book Review: Archie Marries Veronica: “It’s Twins” by Micheal Uslan, et al.

archie marries veronica 3 - it's twinsWhat would be a story about having a baby if it were not a story about things going wrong on the trip to the hospital? The babies are born and their life goes on; first steps, first words, first day of school. Then Archie decide to go for another walk in the woods and heads down the other direction on that road he took so long ago, that lead him to marry Veronica. A path that will lead him to the next chapter, an alternative universe called Archie: Marries Betty: “Will you Marry Me?”

What’s New at the Library?



See what’s new this week at the Danville Public Library at:

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There are three new bestsellers, three new movies, and 26 other new books.

The new bestsellers this week are “The Incomplete Book of Running,” “The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive,” and “Atlas of World War II: History’s Greatest Conflict Revealed Through Rare Wartime Maps and New Cartography.” The new movies this week are “The Children Act,” “Kin,” and “Blindspotting.”

Book Review: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin

61yis1393ul-_sx337_bo1204203200_The second book in the Broken Earth trilogy continues to follow Essun as she learns more about what causes a Fifth Season and what can be done about it. Essun decides to stay, at least temporarily, at Castrima so that she can learn from the dying Alabaster. He teaches her what she can do and she becomes more involved in the politics of Castrima life, whether she wants to or not. The book also follows Nassun, Essun’s daughter. We learn what happened when her father killed her little brother for being an orogene and kidnapped her, hoping to find some way to rid her of her orogeny. She meets up with one of Essun’s old antagonists, and throws in her lot with him completely.

Unlike The Fifth Season, the characters are not traveling near so much, so we get to see them as they adjust to life in a village. Essun in particular grumbles at this, but she also flourishes in Castrima. This book teaches us, along with Nassun and Essun, the how and why of the seasons and what can be done to stop the cycle of seasons altogether. The way that mother and daughter’s stories parallel is wonderful. Often, second books in a trilogy are a little weaker than the first and third books, but I’m happy to say that is definitely not the case here.  The Obelisk Gate sucked me in just as much as The Fifth Season and I can’t wait to finish the trilogy with The Stone Sky.

Review by Jessica A.

Friday Reads: Hannukah

This year Hannukah began on Sunday evening, December 2nd and will end the evening of December 10. Since we’re in the middle of the Festival of Lights, enjoy this list of books by and about Jewish people. All of these books can be found in the SHARE catalog through

9780812983586The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn’s own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.

510oahy2galDreidels on the Brain by Joel ben Izzy

“As he tries to survive Hannukah, 1971 in the suburbs of the suburbs of Los Angeles, middle-school magician Joel learns to appreciate life’s small miracles with the help of an unusual stranger he meets on a bus”– Provided by publisher.




51-ohkgrrtl-_sx330_bo1204203200_The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Wecker’s debut novel weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction and magical fable, into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.

51mmjft419l-_sx329_bo1204203200_I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff by Abbi Jacobson

When Abbi Jacobson announced to friends and acquaintances that she planned to drive across the country alone, she was met with lots of questions and opinions. In this collection of anecdotes, observations and reflections, all told in the sharp, wildly funny, and relatable voice that has endeared Abbi to critics and fans alike, listeners will feel like they’re in the passenger seat.


unlikely eventIn the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

GUEST_b5b04249-c8f9-4ad1-ac3e-7aa4cb625a28Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson

In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act. And God help them if their mother finds out.


Note: All book covers are from Google Images and all book descriptions are from the SHARE Catalog.