Home   Staff Picks

Staff Picks

Here are some of the books library staff members have been reading and listening to.

Amy Lappin, Deputy Director

     everything-i-never-told-youEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

The novel, set in Ohio in 1977, examines the effect 16-year old Lydia’s death has on her family as they try to search for answers. Was it an accident? Murder? Suicide? Did any of them know Lydia as well as they thought they did? Switching between the past and present, family dynamics are viewed from the perspective of each member of the interracial Lee family. How did they get to this point? What affect do parental aspirations have on children? Can we shape our children into the people we wish we could have been? Moving and well written. Would make an excellent choice for a book group.

Carolyn Crocker, Book Discussion Leader and Library Clerk 

boy snow Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Race, gender and identity are refracted through the mirror of the Snow White and Rose Red story, played out in the mid-20th century. A family—wife and mother Boy, stepdaughter Snow, and daughter Bird – struggle to find themselves and fulfill their promise in a society where “passing” was much more than mere appearance. A complex and richly magical novel.


by Lily King

Three fieldworkers in New Guinea at the dawn of anthropology struggle to understand their tribes, their new science, and ultimately themselves in a challenging climate. Nell Stone’s relationship to both men ignites the passion-filled conclusion. Questions of nature or nurture, culture or personality, understanding or exploitation redound throughout this fascinating novel.

 craneThe Crane Wifeby Patrick Ness

A Japanese folktale set in today’s London, in which a nebbishy American divorcé expat and his volatile daughter are touched by the magic. An allegorical origin story runs parallel, with mixed results.

“A story is not an explanation, it is a net through which the truth flows. The net catches some of the truth, but not all, never all, only enough so that we can live with the extraordinary without it killing us.” p.141


Vicky Berdecio, Library Substitute

glass kitchenThe Glass Kitchen
Linda Francis Lee:          

  If you are in the mood for a little light reading, you may enjoy this novel… It is a story of three sisters named Portia, Olivia and Cordelia. As adults they wind up living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The tale is told through the eyes of Portia and a twelve year old girl named Ariel, whose father, a widower, owns the townhouse where Portia lives.
Portia has a sixth sense about culinary matters,and her dream is to open a restaurant she will call “The Glass Kitchen”.
There is also the question of a love interest which develops, as well as the issues which arise among the teenagers in the story.
It is a feel-good tale with a happy ending, which includes a great set of characters and lively dialogues. A very entertaining read.

Tim Sheehan, Reference Librarian

bostonThe Boston Girl [sound recording] by Anita Diamant

An excellent audio book! I’ve heard many narrators butcher the Boston accent. Linda Lavin, the narrator of the book, does a great job sounding like a woman from Boston. The book reads like an autobiography of a woman coming of age in Boston during World War I and the 1920’s. If you like historical fiction, give this book a try.

Philip Wiebkin, Library Substitute

                                                       The Churchill Factor
by boris_churchillBoris Johnson   

This book is a tour-de-force, just like the subject Winston Churchill. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century.

Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II. He was a trailblazer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. He is proof that one person—intrepid, ingenious, determined—can make all the difference. A MUST read!!!

Kathy Carroll, Development Officer

       arsonist The Arsonist  by Sue Miller

Against the back drop of a series of summer fires in a fictional New Hampshire town, a mother and daughter each work through changes and transitions in their lives. The story unfolds as they come to terms with what is most important for personal happiness and fulfillment. The writing is strong, and the title only somewhat misleading. Themes of community, one’s sense of place, and what connects us to each other will both surprise and draw you in.

Francine Lozeau, Library Substitute

    doerrAll the Light We Cannot See  by Anthony Doerr

This story takes place in France and Germany leading up to and including World War II. And what an amazing story! It is well written and powerful. In a nutshell there are radios, a blind French girl, an orphaned German boy, a diamond (with a possible curse!), the invasion of Paris and moral choices. You might want to add your name to the list of patrons waiting to read this book!

Marilyn Breselor, Library Substitute

by Amy Bloom
Away is about a young Russian immigrant woman’s odyssey, early in the 20th century, to reunite with her lost daughter. I read much of it standing up, and was haunted by it long after I’d finished it. It is pitch-perfect and concise, a book that anyone can enjoy, but very few could write.

Katrina McCurley, Library Substitute

boys in the boatThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics   Daniel James Brown
This story of the University of Washington crew team that won Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics will leave readers mesmerized and inspired. Despite knowing the outcome from the very first chapter, Brown will have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end. The grace and power of rowing is on display within this true tale of perseverance, hope, and trust set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and the reign of Hitler.

Abby Walsh, Library Substitute    

100 days100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake
food babeThe Food Babe Way by Vani Hari
unjunkUnjunk Your Junk Food by Andrea Donsky

The challenge to eat healthy and save money is not mine alone. The following resources have helped me understand the big picture when it comes food production and sourcing;identify the healthy and not-so-healthy ingredients; enjoy the sweet and salty without guilt; and plan meals and shop for my family of five while staying within our monthly budget.
The good news?  Lebanon Libraries own all three.

 Sean Fleming, Libraries Director

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community

by Marc J. Dunkelman


The author addresses concerns Americans have about our future, including the notion of American exceptionalism, and our country’s future prosperity and place in the world. The author attributes our sense of malaise to the erosion of middle-ring relationships,much of which are community and/or volunteer associations, such as Rotary Clubs and volunteer fire departments. He makes a compelling case that our more peripheral relationships are the cause of the withering away of the sense of local community in America.

Arlene Guest, Library Substitute


    brightwellMurder at the Brightwell by  Ashley Weaver

Set in England in the 1930’s among the well-to-do set, this first novel by Ashley Weaver seamlessly intertwines mystery and romance along with witty dialog and memorable characters.  If you enjoy not-too-violent mysteries with an intelligent, complicated, and engaging female protagonist, “Murder at the Brightwell” will leave you hoping the author is already busy working on the sequel!

Olive MacGregor, Library SubstituteFive Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

5 days left

Mara Nichols, a successful lawyer with a loving family and supportive co-workers, is suffering from a progressive disease which is starting to show disturbing effects.
Scott Coffman is a middle school teacher who is completing a year of foster parenting an eight year-old boy whose mother will soon be released from prison.  He is heartbroken at the thought of losing Curtis, but his wife is looking forward to more privacy as they await the birth of their first child.
Although Mara and Scott live far away from each other,  they belong to the same online group where they pour out their concerns in late night sessions.
This is Timmer’s first book,and I hope it isn’t her last.  It has had excellent reviews.

Chuck McAndrew, Library IT Assistant

whiskeyWhiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer

Three deeply flawed characters battle substance abuse, mental illness, and terrifying global conspiracies in this dystopian techno-thriller. As Joseph Heller said in Catch-22, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

Susanne Collins, Young Adult Librarian


by Carol Casella

The plot revolves around an unconscious, unidentified woman being treated in the ICU at a Seattle Hospital. The narrative switches between her fight for life in the present and the story of her life up until that point.  Her doctor, Charlotte Reese, becomes very involved in the care of her patient and the reader soon learns there are more connections between the two women than that of doctor and patient.

“A uniquely involving read” Booklist.

Cheryl Saunders, Library Assistant


densmoreHand of Brick: a Look Back at the Densmore Brick Company

Story of the Densmore Brick Company of Lebanon, NH. This DVD contains local history of where much of Dartmouth College beautiful brickwork originated and the men who made the bricks. You may see your neighbors interviewed as they regale working conditions, camaraderie, and history of brick making in New Hampshire.

Emily Zollo, Library Substitute

ocean gaimanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Back in his hometown for a funeral, the narrator remembers events from his childhood that he had long forgotten, including how he stumbled into a world of magic and the supernatural right in his own backyard.  A wonderful fairytale for grown-ups by master storyteller Gaiman.

Patti Hardenberg, Library Technical Assistant

The Spiral Staircase: my climb out of darkness  by Karen Armstrong

spiral In 1962, at age seventeen, Karen Armstrong entered a convent, eager to meet God. After seven brutally unhappy years as a nun, she left her order to pursue English literature at Oxford. But convent life had profoundly altered her, and coping with the outside world and her expiring faith proved to be excruciating. Her future seemed very much in question until she stumbled into comparative theology. What she found, in learning, thinking, and writing about other religions, was the ecstasy and transcendence she had never felt as a nun.

Goin’ Someplace Special  by Patricia McKissack

mckissackThe author tells an autobiographical story about living in segregated 1950s Nashville. As a young African American girl, she braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town. Can you guess which building is her “someplace special”?