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 fiction, teen fiction and children's reads.

Painted by Kirsten McKenzie

Adult fiction

Picked by Amanda

When art appraiser Anita Cassatt is sent to catalogue the extensive collection of reclusive artist Leo Kubin, it isn't the chill of the secluded house making her shiver, it's the silent audience of portraits clustered on every wall, watching her. The lawyer didn't share the dead artist's instructions for handling his art, and Anita and her team start work ignorant of the instructions designed to keep them safe. Safe from the art. There are secrets hiding in Kubin's house. But as Anita and her team discover, some secrets don't want to stay hidden.

See if Painted is available or place a hold on our catalogue

A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon

Adult fiction

Picked by Maggie

A nice, normal house. Linda has lived around here ever since she fled the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is – pushing the Hoover round and cooking fish fingers for tea is a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy catalogues coming through the door for the house’s previous occupant. A nice, normal husband. Terry isn’t perfect – he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard – until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women start to go missing in the neighbourhood. A nice, normal life... if Linda could just track down Rebecca, who lived in the house before them, maybe some of that perfection would rub off on her. But the grass isn’t always greener: you can’t change who you really are, and there’s something nasty lurking behind the net curtains on Cavendish Avenue.

See if A Tidy Ending is available or place a hold on our catalogue

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby van Pelt

Adult fiction

Picked by Marj

After Tova Sullivan's husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she's been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn't dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors - until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova's son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it's too late.

See if Remarkably Bright Creatures is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Teen fiction, also available as an eaudiobook

Picked by Sarah

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (gleaned) by professional reapers (scythes). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe's apprentices, and despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe's apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice's first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

See if Scythe is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Baa Baa Smart Sheep by Mark Sommerset

Picture Book

Picked by Tania

Little Baa Baa is bored so he decides to play a practical joke, telling Quirky Turkey that the pile of round, brown things on the ground are "Smarty Tablets". Who is smarter, sheep or turkey?

Go to Baa Baa Smart Sheep is available on our catalogue or place a hold

Penguin Bloom by Cameron Bloom

Adult non-fiction 92 BLO

Picked by Wendy

This is a true story of hope and courage. It begins with a shocking accident, in which Cameron's wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed. Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin's rescue and the incredible joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive demonstrates that, however bleak things seem, compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters, ensuring there are always better days ahead. This plucky little magpie reminds us all that, no matter how lost, fragile or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return will help to make us whole.

See if Penguin Bloom is available on our catalogue or place a hold