Charlevoix Public Library  Where your imagination takes flight

Staff Picks


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



The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer – Her father is dead, her fiancé took her inheritance and no one will employ India Steele, despite years of working for her father, a London watchmaker. Desperate, India takes employment from a newly arrived American, Mathew Glass. Mr. Glass is looking for a particular watchmaker but won’t tell India why he needs that one and not another. Also, India suspects that Mr. Glass is an American outlaw named Dark Rider by the newspapers, but if she notifies the authorities, she’ll find herself unemployed and homeless once again. Book one of the Glass and Steele series. – Carrie’s Pick

The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard by Elmore Leonard – While he would eventually become one of Michigan’s most well-known authors of suspense and crime, Leonard got his start writing pulp westerns. This thirty story, nearly 600 page volume, collects five decades worth of westerns and perfectly displays Leonard’s mastery of setting, language, and gripping narrative. Like most tales of the genre, the usual tropes as well as stereotypes are occasionally on display yet despite that, I easily and happily found myself escaping into another time and place in
everyone of these great adventures. – Ryan’s Pick

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig – When Nora Seed is in the depths of despair between life and death, she discovers a library with an infinite number of books offering an infinite number of lives. Which life is the most fulfilling? Why? – Davonne’s Pick

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman – Two decades after the publication of Philip Pullman’s novel The Golden Compass, (a trilogy that is so much more intensely thought provoking and mature in philosophy than the more traditional and constraining C.S. Lewis trilogy it is often compared to), Philip Pullman has created a new (prequel) trilogy. This is first in the series. This work has opened the door on a universe full of possibilities and avenues for enjoyment and/or fresh new viewpoints, of the human condition and the creation in which the characters (we?) live. In short, Malcom and Alice become the young and determined caretakers of a baby Lyra (the protagonist of The Golden Compass Trilogy). They navigate a retelling of the Biblical Flood, the intricacies of a secret society called Oakley Street, the beginning of the notorious “alethiometer”, a corrupted church and its “Court of Discipline”, imaginative characters and on the edge of your seat storytelling that will grab the attention of young minds
and allow older readers (adults, perhaps…well me anyway…) to adventure right along with Malcolm, Alice, and Lyra. At times, I hope you feel as I did, that you are in La Belle Sauvage (Malcolm’s canoe) navigating the waters of true exploration found in creative storytelling action and thought buoyed imagination.– Dwain’s Pick

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – Twelve-year-old Edward is the sole survivor of a plane crash in which he loses his immediate family. This coming-of-age story also explores an adolescent’s grappling with loss, grief, and survivor’s guilt in the aftermath and publicity of this life-changing event. – Davonne’s Other Pick

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel – This is a timely book about family, forgiveness, and love while contending with terrifying unknowns and hardships of being a young immigrant in a merciless era. Engel writes with control that evokes profound and delicate feeling, which allows you to know and care about the characters and how their lives enfold. – Pam’s Pick

Non Fiction:

Wolf Island – Discovering the Secrets of a Mythical Animal by L. David Mech – In the late 1940s, a small pack of wolves crossed the ice of Lake Superior to the island wilderness of Isle Royale. This created a perfect “laboratory” for a long term study of predators and prey. As a young graduate student David Mech began research that would unlock the mystery of one of nature’s most mythical animals. He spent 3 summers and winters tracking and observing wolves and moose with a spirit of adventure and scientific curiosity. This study still continues today spanning nearly 60 years, transforming wolves into an icon of wilderness health. Mech is also the founder of the International Wolf Center In Ely, MN. Wolf Island is a Michigan Notable Book and was particularly interesting to me because of Isle Royale being so close to Northern Michigan. – Pam’s Pick

Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again by Lysa Terkeurst – A thought-provoking take on forgiving those that aren’t necessarily sorry, or are unable to recognize their wrongs, so you can move on to have a happy, peaceful, and productive life. A reminder to the reader what we will face with global climate change told through a novel about fear and growth. – Leanne’s Pick

The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor – The Body is Not an Apology is an inclusive self-help book, but it’s bigger message is that social change starts with the radical self-love of your body and the bodies of others. “Think of radical self-love as an anti-oppression movement.” You could breeze through it quickly as it’s pretty small, but the author encourages you to slow down and really reflect on her message. Taylor writes with smart metaphors, personal stories, and a dose of humor. I’m not usually a big fan of the self-help genre but this one is an exception. – Alicia’s Pick

Boulders: The life and Creations of Earl A. Young in Charlevoix Michigan – by Charlevoix Historical Society curator and local historian David L. Miles – While the Earl Young name and the Mushroom Houses and Tours are famous, this book tells the story of a once frustrated architecture student who was inspired and then driven by his appreciation of nature and the beauty of our area. His vision led him from building a home that was more modestly influenced by natural stone, to creating homes and real estate developments that are so striking and unique that they amaze visitors from around the world. The story of his life, trials, setbacks and triumphs is told from many perspectives. Nearly 400 historic and new photographs chronicle his life story and the give us a great look at the incredible interiors in addition to the amazing and dramatic exterior shapes and designs that add to Charlevoix’s unique history. – Tom’s Pick

 Past Picks

2021 Spring




2019 Fall

2019 Summer

2019 Spring
2019 Winter 
2018 Fall
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