Staff Reading Picks for September

September is upon us and fall is fast approaching, even if it doesn't feel like it outside. And being September, it means that we are overdue for another Staff Picks blog!

We have a little bit of everything with our picks this time around — Award-winning Science Fiction, True Crime, Modern Classics, and even Picture Books for our younger readers out there. These titles were all enjoyed by our staff, so why not give one a try?

Have you read something else lately you'd like to recommend to others? Feel free to add your own picks in the comments below!


True Grit by Charles Portis

We'd be remiss if we didn't include True Grit in our list of Staff Picks this month. Why? Because it's the focus of our Big Read campaign this September & October! This iconic 1968 Western novel tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross as she seeks retribution for the murder of her father with the assistance of U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf. Join the rest of Kansas City in reading this novel and discover why it is considered a modern classic.

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi

“I read Redshirts when it came out last year, but given that it just won the Hugo, I figure it’s appropriate. A lot of people think that it won simply because it was so popular – but I believe it won because it truly was the best Science Fiction novel of the year (being popular doesn’t automatically mean that isn’t also an amazing book!) Yes, it's hysterically funny! Yes, it's astoundingly clever and brilliantly satirical! It's all kinds of laudable comedic things! But it amazed me because it's also much more than that. It's very, very smart, genuinely thoughtful, and thought-provoking. It's a no-kidding, real Big Idea story (that's also hilarious satire). I suspect I'm going to re-read this book many more times over the years, and it will always delight!” - John, Digital Branch

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan

“Brautigan's book—a perennial bestseller of the hippie era—manages to weave together a novel (well, sort of) from seemingly-unrelated chapters, all incorporating the phrase ‘Trout Fishing in America’ in very different ways. Unfolding both in Brautigan’s childhood and in his adult life in mid-60s San Francisco, this ‘cult’ hit is worth another look.” - Bob, Public Affairs.


Good Kings Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum

“A group of teenagers fall in and out of love with each other, rebel against their elders, and make plans for their adult lives. Except these teens don’t live with their parents, they live in an institution for juveniles with disabilities. An honest, heartwarming, and humorous look at one of society’s most well-hidden groups.”
- Kaite, Reader's Services

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

“Journalist Robert Kolker delves into to the serial murders of of several online prostitutes on Long Island—murders that have yet to be solved. An engrossing narrative, this true-crime book ultimately highlights that even with all the changes that the Internet has brought to the underground world of prostitution, increased safety is not among them, and that victims from this industry still suffer from a lack of attention from investigators.” - Liesl, Public Affairs

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloan

A laid-off tech worker takes a graveyard-shift job at an old bookstore, only to discover that there are secrets hidden in its tomes.

“Interesting and thought provoking but still enjoyable. I especially liked the ending. It reminded me of the conclusion of The Rule of Four: disarming for the simple, true human emotion.” – Jill, Customer Service

Little Chicken's Big Day by Katie & Jerry Davis

“Like many parents, Big Chicken is ALWAYS telling Little Chicken what to do. Like many kids, Little Chicken forgets to pay attention sometimes. Little Chicken's day out with his mama takes a scary turn in this sweet, simple picture book that's perfect for the preschool set.” - Melissa, Children's Associate, Plaza 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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