Serena's Top 5 of 2022

Serena stands in the Children's section, smiling at the camera

Staff Pick Badge
Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel By Bonnie Garmus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385547345
Availability: IN STOCK - On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - April 5th, 2022

What a unique and unforgettable character Bonnie Garmus has created in chemist, mother, partner, and friend Elizabeth Zott! I loved her and this book!!! The early 1960s sexism that Elizabeth and her fellow female humans had to deal with made me want to scream, but the real lessons in "Lessons in Chemistry" -- about how believing in oneself and in the strength and potential of others (dogs included!) -- made this a feel-good, genuine pleasure to read. Looking forward to reading more from Bonnie Garmus!

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Hester: A Novel By Laurie Lico Albanese Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250278555
Availability: OUT OF STOCK - Please contact store for expected availability
Published: St. Martin's Press - October 4th, 2022

I loved this powerful story of female grit and perseverance in early 1800s Scotland and Salem. The earlier witch trials in both locales cast long, dark shadows in this tale that imagines the inspiration for the protagonist in "The Scarlet Letter." Even non-crafters will enjoy the vivid descriptions of needlework and color, which are both essential to Isobel, the talented seamstress -- and married woman -- who has a doomed affair with Nathaniel Hawthorn. Don't pass this one up!

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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel By Gabrielle Zevin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593321201
Availability: IN STOCK - On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022

I was completely drawn into this inventive and touching story centered on a platonic relationship over 30 years. Sam and Sadie, childhood friends and later successful 90s game designers and business partners, love each other's complicated. Another wonderful tale by Gabrielle Zevin ("The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry")! P.S. A passing familiarity with older video games would be helpful, but you don't have to be a gamer to enjoy the book.

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Small World: A Novel By Jonathan Evison Cover Image
Not Available
ISBN: 9780593184127
Published: Dutton - January 11th, 2022

SMALL WORLD took my breath away. This suspenseful epic seamlessly weaves the stories of “outsiders” in America during the 19th century – Irish, African, Chinese, and Indian – and their present-day descendants, all connected to the railroad in some way. Rich with authentic characters and a spectacular sense of place and time, this is historical fiction at its finest.

Staff Pick Badge
Joan Is Okay: A Novel By Weike Wang Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525654834
Availability: OUT OF STOCK - Please contact store for expected availability
Published: Random House - January 18th, 2022

JOAN IS OKAY is so, so good! I loved this contemporary story about family, immigration, and life expectations. As unique as her experience is, it was easy to relate to Joan's struggle against the pressures to conform that come at her from all sides. Wang's smart prose sparkles with spare intensity, just like Joan herself. I can't wait to tell readers about this book!