Staff Picks

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Staff Picks

Looking for something new to read? Our staff are avid readers and provide recommendations each month.

This month our recommendations include adult non-fiction and fiction and children's fiction.

Black and White by Ross Taylor

Adult non-fiction 92 TAY

Picked by Braden

When an athlete with an exceptional record of achievement and longevity comes to the end of their career, the numbers can speak for themselves. Ross Taylor has scored the most runs, made the most centuries and taken the most catches by a New Zealander in international cricket. He's the first New Zealand cricketer to play 450 international matches. He's the first player from any country to make 100 international appearances in all three formats of the game: test cricket, one-day internationals and Twenty20. The numbers are extraordinary but they don't tell the whole story. They don't capture the unlikely, if not unique, aspects of Ross Taylor's journey to becoming one of our true sporting greats: the part-Samoan youngster, brought up in humble circumstances and a loving and supportive family environment, who quickly made his mark in a predominantly white sport; the dashing batsman who found fame and fortune amidst the glitz and glamour of the Indian Premier League, then adapted his game in order to realise his ambition of becoming a champion in the most demanding format, test cricket; the young captain whose dream of leading his country turned into a nightmare that took a heavy toll on his well-being; the resilient performer who overcame rejection and adversity to play a central role in New Zealand cricket's golden era. Here is the whole story - in black and white.

See if Black and White is available on our catalogue or place a hold

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves

Adult fiction

Also available as an ebook on Libby and as an ebook and eaudiobook on Borrowbox

Picked by Glenn

Fifty years ago, a group of teenagers spent a weekend on Holy Island, forging a bond that has lasted a lifetime. Now, they still return every five years to celebrate their friendship, and remember the friend they lost to the rising waters of the causeway at the first reunion. Now, when one of them is found hanged, Vera is called in. Learning that the dead man had recently been fired after misconduct allegations, Vera knows she must discover what the friends are hiding, and whether the events of many years before could have led to murder then, and now. But with the tide rising, secrets long-hidden are finding their way to the surface, and Vera and the team may find themselves in more danger than they could have believed possible.

See if The Rising Tide is available or place a hold on our catalogue

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Adult fiction

Picked by Lis and Amanda

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder. Because within the shed is a portal to another world - one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the "Fair One." And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.

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Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel Joyce

Adult fiction

Picked by Lynnaire

Margery Benson's life ended the day her father walked out of his study and never came back. Forty years later, abandoning a dull job, she advertises for an assistant. The successful candidate is to accompany Margery on an expedition to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist. Enid Pretty is not who she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an adventure that exceeds all Margery's expectations, eventually finding new life at the top of a red mountain. This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story and it is also a tender exploration of a friendship between two unforgettable women that defies all boundaries.

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The Girl on the 88 bus by Freya Sampson

Adult fiction

Picked by Nikki

When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, broken-hearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly pensioner Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like her own. They made plans for a date at the National Gallery, but Frank lost the ticket with her number written on it. For the past sixty years, he's ridden the same bus trying to find her. Libby is inspired by the story and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she makes it her mission to help Frank's search. As she begins to open her guarded heart to strangers and new connections, her tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank's dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the 88 bus is slipping away...

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Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup by Andy Sagar

Children's fiction

Picked by Porsche

Yesterday Crumb has always felt cursed by the fox ears she was born with. Forced to work in a circus, her origins are a complete mystery. But when she is rescued by Miss Dumpling and her magical walking teashop, Yesterday learns she's a strangeling who's lost her magic. Surrounded by fantastical customers, a flying teapot-turtle and incredible spells, Yesterday rediscovers her powers and finally starts to feel like she might belong. But a mysterious figure of darkness is working hard to ensure her new life comes crashing down... and it all starts with a deadly shard of ice in Yesterday's heart.

See if Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup is available on our catalogue or place a hold