With the holidays around the corner, are you shopping for a gift for the reader on your list? Or do these long, cold nights leave you longing for a great read? The Worthington Libraries staff has you covered with its annual list of favorite books, music and movies.
Staff Picks are staff-written reviews that appear Monday through Thursday on the library's website, worthingtonlibraries.org. These starred reviews feature items for all ages, from children through adults. Check the Picks of the Year list on the library's homepage, worthingtonlibraries.org, to see staffers' favorite titles published this year.
This year's picture-book picks introduce important life lessons in sweet ways. Pat Zietlow Miller's "Be Kind" was a New York Times bestseller and, whether read in the wake of a loss or as a primer for comforting others, Cori Doerrfeld's "The Rabbit Listened" strikes a soothing note.
Older children will enjoy stories about the bonds between children and magical creatures in "City of Ghosts" by Victoria Schwab, "The Language of Spells" by Garret Weyr and "Sweep" by Jonathan Auxier. For a more realistic read, staffers also recommend Jacqueline Woodson's "Harbor Me."
Top picks for teens include two graphic novels. The first, a National Book Award finalist, is Jarrett Krosoczka's autobiographical "Hey, Kiddo." The second is "The Prince and the Dressmaker," Jen Wang's fairy tale featuring the cross-dressing Sebastian, a prince who falls for his talented dressmaker and decidedly nonroyal friend, Frances.
For a dose of girl power, teens should try "Grace and Fury" by Tracy Banghart, "The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black and "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi.
Adult fans of nonfiction can dig deeper into hot-button topics with recommended reads such as "Rising" (climate change) by Elizabeth Rush, "The Line Becomes a River" (U.S./Mexico border) by Francisco Cantu and "Brothers of the Gun" (Syrian civil war) by Marwan Hisham.
Fiction picks for adults range from love stories such as Helen Hoang's "The Kiss Quotient" and Gloria Chao's "American Panda" to thrillers from Clare Mackintosh, "Let Me Lie"; Teresa Driscoll, "The Friend"; and Karen Cleveland, "Need to Know." Other recommendations include literary works like Kristin Hannah's "The Great Alone," Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing" and Emma Hooper's "Our Homesick Songs."
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.