Charlevoix Public Library  Where your imagination takes flight

Staff Picks


Our staff’s choice of books and movies for each season:

Click Here for all past Staff Picks.


Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell: At age 14 William Shakespeare’s younger brother Richard ran away from a brutal master and sought refuge with his brother in London. After seven years he is tired of playing the parts of women and girls in William’s acting company, but his scornful brother is in no hurry to give him meaningful men’s roles. When Will’s two newest scripts are stolen, it is Richard who retrieves them, putting his life in danger. If you love historical fiction, Shakespeare, Cornwell’s work or all of the above, this is the book for you. I especially enjoyed the audio version. – Beth


How to Stop Time by Matt Haig: Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary forty-one-year-old, but because of a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From performing with Shakespeare, to exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, to sharing cocktails with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tom has seen a lot. But now, after over four hundred years of reinventing himself to escape detection, he just wants an ordinary life. The only rule he has to follow is: don’t fall in love. The author, Matt Haig  has an empathy for the human condition and is an adept storyteller.  This latest book is inventive, clever and wise.  – Linda

 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Set in France during WWII, we follow the stories of two sisters.  Through their eyes we understand what the Nazi occupation of France was like, what they needed to do to protect their family and the decisions they made that would only be necessary during a war.   Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, they are forced to make one impossible choice after another.  Great historical fiction writing. – Linda

 Celine by Peter Heller: Celine grew up in a New England blueblood family. She is 60 years old, an ex-smoker with emphysema, and an artist who lives in a quirky apartment under the Brooklyn Bridge. She is also a private eye, who specializes in tracking down missing persons. When a young woman asks for help in finding her father who disappeared 20 years earlier in the wilds of Wyoming, Celine and her husband Peter set out to follow a now-cold trail, and find out that someone very much wants to keep them from finding their man. Engaging characters, lyrical prose, the wilds of Yellowstone, and the right amount of tension make this a winner. – Beth

Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: A clever prequel for fans of Hoffman’s Practical Magic, which was published in 1995. This tale offers an unexpected backstory of the strange Owens sisters and their magical heritage – Davonne

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (JFIC):  An entertaining and heart-warming story of endearing misfits and unexpected friendships. Winner of the 2018 Newbery Medal – Davonne

 The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman: Anyone who has ever been at a crossroads in their life will probably enjoy this book. I know I did.  Samantha “Sam” finds herself back home in Michigan after experiencing a career setback in New York City. She spends the summer connecting with the women in her family through their shared love of food and cooking. Wade Rouse, writing as Viola Shipman, captures northern Michigan beautifully and I loved the addition of the recipes that accompanied each chapter. All of these elements came together to form a wonderful story of family, food, and finding your way home. – Leanne




 Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad:  A horrific account of the amazing resilience and bravery of women and girls kidnapped and held captive by the Islamic State, and how one women managed to escape – Davonne

 Mercy for Animals: One Man’s Quest to Inspire Compassion and Improve the Lives of Farm Animals by Nathan Runkle:  One person truly can make a difference. Beginning at age 16, Nathan Runkle began working to improve the lives of farm animals by investigating and then publicizing the tragic stories of the brutal life and death of animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses. His dedication has raised awareness, enhanced the lives, and eased the suffering of millions of animals that are raised for food – Davonne

Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben:  Conceptualizes the amazing inner workings of tree life cycles and connections with tree families, forests, people, and the overall environment. A fascinating read that challenges us to fully reconsider the way we think of trees – Davonne

The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible by Simon Winchester:  Follows the American pioneers and inventors who have worked to connect the citizens across the geography of the USA.  Great read on the history of the people and their choices (roads, railways, telegraph, telephone, radio and television) , as well as the journey to connect  beyond the confines of their own town.   Often funny, full of historical trivia, a great read – Sara

Michigan Day Trips by Theme by Mike Link:   Fill up the tank, put your bike on the rack, pack your backpack!  Discover unique attractions around the Great Lake State! Take a simple day trip, or string together a longer vacation of activities that catch your interest. No more information overload! Sections are divided by themes like waterfalls, lighthouses, beaches & dunes, ships & shipwrecks, orchards & vineyards, the fine arts, island destinations, and Michigan history, so you can decide what to do and then figure out where to do it.  This guide encompasses a wide range of interests. – Diane

What Comes Next and How to Like It by Abigail Thomas: A memoir filled with one person’s life and how she lived out her friendships, family issues, creativity and tragedies.  It is a truthful and inspiring account of how to keep moving forward. – Linda *

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion: A classic for grieving widows.  It is a stunning book of honesty and passion.  It is her portrait of a marriage and a life and how they are intricately intertwined. – Linda *

* from Library Director Linda Adams’ “Reading Through Grief” booklist:                                   






Past Picks

2018 Summer
2018 Spring
2018 Winter
2017 Fall

2017 Summer
2017 Spring
2017 Winter
2016 Fall
2016 Summer
2016 Spring
2015 Winter
2015 Fall
2015 Summer
2015 Spring
2014 Winter
2014 Fall
2014 Summer
2014 Spring
2013 Winter
2013 Fall
2013 Summer
2013 Spring