Staff Reading Picks for May

We are starting a regular blog post here at the Kansas City Public Library: Staff Picks!

Every month our staff will list their reading selections. It could be a new release, an old favorite, or just something unique that they have come across. Whatever it may be, it caught the attention of the employees here at the Kansas City Public Library, and we want you to be as excited about reading as we are.

Here are this month’s titles:

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

“Ella lives on a tiny fictional island off South Carolina that prizes literacy and language above everything. On the island is a monument to a deceased citizen, revered because he invented a phrase in which every letter of the alphabet is used at least once. Trouble starts when a few letters fall off the monument. Concerned residents take it as a sign from above, and ban the fallen letters from use. Then the rest of the letters start to fall. It's a quirky story about language and censorship and what happens when society goes to extremes.” – Kate, Missouri Valley Special Collections

The Incident Report by Martha Baillie

In her novel told entirely in the form of library incident reports, author Martha Baillie has created a unique narrative. What is an incident report, you ask? Whenever anything goes sideways in library land, whether it is a disruptive patron, theft, vandalism, or other malfeasance, your hardworking library workers must document the occurrence. Suggested by Kaite, Reader's Services

Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie King

“Right now I am reading the book Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie King. It is a novel/mystery and kind of fun. It seems to be: Sherlock Holmes, meet your new assistant, a young woman who is his neighbor. The two become friends and she begins to help him with his cases. It is the start of a series. This might interest Sherlock Holmes fans.” - Judy, Reference Services

Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

The candid biography of the Vogue magazine creative director, with pen and ink illustrations by Coddington herself.

“I just read Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington. I felt like you did not have to be passionate about fashion to enjoy this memoir or ever had read Vogue magazine. It came out last November.” – Angela, North-East Branch

The Anatomist’s Wife by Anna Lee Huber

The Anatomist’s Wife is a well-paced historical mystery pot-boiler with a very likeable central character. Set in early Victorian Scotland at an estate house party that ends in murder. It's a good read-alike for Before Versailles by Karleen Koen or Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.” – Melissa, Library Service Program

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch

“Fantasy is at its best when it draws upon other types of genre fiction to fill out its stories. Otherwise, you're just reading about a bunch of phony spells, pretend animals, and other assorted made up gobbledygook. The Lies of Locke Lamora is as much a well-crafted heist story with a smattering of Dickens' Oliver Twist thrown in as it is a traditional work of high fantasy. Locke and his friends make up a gang of young thieves who would like nothing more than to go about robbing from and scamming the noble citizens of their city in peace. The city in question is called Camorr and resembles more medieval Venice than say, Camelot with all its gallant knights rushing into battle and whatnot. However, despite their earnest desire to go unnoticed, the scope and success of their operations piques the interest of Camorr’s new crime lord. When both parties aren’t able to reach a mutual agreement, the gang finds its schemes hamstrung by a particularly troublesome warlock for hire.” – Michael, Missouri Valley Special Collections

Hungry Monkey: a Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater by Matthew Amster-Burton

Hungry Monkey details a food writer’s attempt to raise his young daughter to eat something besides processed and bland kid’s food.

“I recently finished Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton. Very funny. It’s not an advice book, because the author doesn’t claim that what works with his child will work with yours. I loved it, and I’m not a parent.”– Bob, Human Resources

Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy

Two men, identified only as Black and White, debate life and death from wildly different worldviews after encountering each another during a suicide attempt on a subway platform.

“Cormac McCarthy's Sunset Limited is one of my favorite books although it is written as a play. I just reread it.” – Angela, North-East Branch

About the Author

Liesl Christman

Liesl Christman is the Digital Content Specialist for The Kansas City Public Library, managing content for the Library's blogs and social media accounts. She is an unabashed enthusiast of comic books, roller derby, and all things food.

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