With the holidays around the corner, perhaps you need a gift for the reader on your list, or maybe you're looking for a great read to enjoy during Ohio's long, cold nights.
Whatever your reason, Worthington Libraries staff members have you covered with our annual list of favorite books, music and movies.
Staff Picks are staff-written reviews that appear Mondays through Thursdays on the library's website, worthingtonlibraries.org. These starred reviews feature items for all ages, from children through adults. Visit the Picks of the Year list on the library's homepage to see our favorite titles published in 2019.
This year's picture-book picks introduce important ideas to young children.
Peter H. Reynolds' "Say Something" is an uplifting reminder that every voice matters. Jean Reidy's "Truman" proves that big emotions can come from the smallest sources. Susin Nielsen's "Princess Puffybottom ... and Darryl" demonstrates that no sibling rivalry is insurmountable, even between species.
Older children in the mood for a mystery will love "The Strangers" by central Ohio's own Margaret Peterson Haddix, "Eventown" by Corey Ann Haydu and "This Was Our Pact" by Ryan Andrews.
Recommended realistic fiction titles include "The Line Tender" by Kate Allen, "Dear Sweet Pea" by Julie Murphy and "Not If I Can Help It" by Carolyn Mackler.
If you know a teen loyal to books about royals, there are several choices among this year's picks. Dylan Meconis' "Queen of the Sea" is a graphic novel partly inspired by the exile of Elizabeth I. Casey McQuiston's "Red, White and Royal Blue" involves a secret romance between a British prince and the son of a U.S. president. In Hannah Capin's "The Dead Queen's Club," the court of Henry VIII gets new life in 21st-century high school.
For fans of realistic fiction, "Heroine" by another local author, Mindy McGinnis, and "Let's Go Swimming on Doomsday" by Natalie C. Anderson are recommended for teens.
Amid cookbooks full of luscious recipes – "Fast Cakes" by "The Great British Baking Show" judge Mary Berry, "Midnight Chicken and Other Recipes Worth Living For" by Ella Risbridger and the comic book cookbook "Let's Make Ramen!" by Hugh Amano – are inspiring nonfiction titles like "Rough Magic," a memoir by Lara Prior-Palmer, the youngest and first-ever female winner of the punishing horse race known as the Mongol Derby; and "The Lady from the Black Lagoon," a biography of Milicent Patrick, a feminist trailblazer in the horror-film industry.
Fiction picks for adults range from love stories like Alisha Rai's "The Right Swipe" and Helen Hoang's "The Bride Test" to thrillers like Annie Ward's "Beautiful Bad," Samantha Downing's "My Lovely Wife" and Emma Rous' "The Au Pair" to literary works like Ocean Vuong's "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" and Polly Rosenwaike's "Look How Happy I'm Making You."
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.