Staff Picks 2

When we aren't busy working behind the scenes to keep the library up and running, we're reading!  Library staff are back with more great recommendations for you and your family.


My name is Leigh Robinson and I’m the supervisor of the Lucan Branch of Middlesex County Library. For me, reading is like a vacation, so lately I’ve been “vacationing” in merry, olde England through Life After Life by popular English author Kate Atkinson and which is available through Cloud Library. I’m also listening to the audiobook of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first book in the Flavia de Luce series by Canadian author, Alan Bradley. These are great books for people who enjoy historical fiction. Kate Atkinson uses an interesting narrative element of rebirth and renewal in Life After Life which might appeal to those who enjoyed Audrey Niffenegger’s Time Traveler’s Wife. Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is an entertaining story about a young, gifted English girl who plays the role of amateur sleuth after an unfortunate discovery on her family’s estate. Both books are enjoyable reads for me and I look forward to reading more by both authors.
My name is Shauna, and I am the Child & Youth Librarian for Middlesex County Library. I was very excited when Tumblebooks gifted Middlesex County Library access to their collections until August. I have two young daughters who are 3 ½ and 2, and watching a Tumblebook has become part of their bedtime routine. Our favourites are the Robert Munsch classics: I HAVE TO GO! And 50 Below Zero. There is also a great selection of graphic novels for early readers and advanced readers, and chapter books from fantastic authors including Kate DiCamillo, Eric Walters and Annie Barrows. Children of all ages will find something they love from this collection, and it is a fun way to read familiar favourites! Our family has also been using Hoopla to borrow books, and listen to music. Our favourite books are the Read-Along Storybooks - we really enjoy the added elements of music, sound effects and sometimes, character voices! We have also borrowed many music titles, including the Frozen II soundtrack, Disney Princess: Fairy Tale Songs and Best of Raffi. Whether we are cooking supper, doing a craft, or tidying up the house, it is always much more fun when music is playing! There are so many options including soundtracks, albums and broadway hits - perfect for all ages and preferences!
I am Zoe, the acting Supervisor of the Glencoe and Wardsville Libraries. Recently I’ve just finished the last book in the Athena Club trilogy by Theodora Goss, The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl. This unique series is set in Victorian London during the time of Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel murders. The first book in the series, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, introduces readers to a group of women who are drawn together due to their unique qualities and heritage. Each of these women are related to, and was often experimented on by, the mad scientists from classic gothic literature such as H. G Well’s The Island of Dr Moreau, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The combination of mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction results in a witty, amusing, adventure with hints of a conspiracy. This is the perfect read for anyone looking for a fast paced, character driven novel, featuring strong female leads. Goss’s unconventional writing style is one that lends itself well to audio if you are looking for a great audiobook. Fans of Anthony Horowitz, Gail Carriger, or Jodi Taylor will likely also enjoy The Athena Club trilogy. The series is available on CloudLibrary.
My name is Chris and my position with the library is Information Services Librarian. I have been fortunate to work with MCL for 10 years Most days, I work at the Dorchester Library but I love that I am a resource that can assist all 15 library branches and their patrons. As Information Services Librarian, I get to work on a few committees with the goal of improving access to information for Middlesex County residents on how and where they can access government information, social services, and employment resources both online and in our 15 Middlesex County Library branches. Of late, I have been reading some of my favourite books in my home library including Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. I like to start my day by reading the digital edition of the London Free Press with the library’s online resource PressReader. Without the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, I have been re-watching some classic games on DVD including the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series and the Canada Cup tournaments from the 1980s.
I’m Mallory! I’m the Library Technologies Specialist at Middlesex County Library. Some say that during stressful times, when the brain is running low on processing power, it’s best to do something familiar. Personally, I know that my go-to is young adult fantasy novels with strong female leads! So I recently picked up “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore. It ticks all the boxes for me: Action, adventure, magic and a bit of romance. It didn’t challenge me as a reader, but I don’t care about that right now. And I very much enjoyed it. It’s available on CloudLibrary as an audiobook, and on Hoopla as both an eBook and audiobook. Personally, I love audiobooks because they pace themselves. If you listen to them with headphones in, you can just close your eyes and be swept off into another world. If you haven’t tried an audiobook, now’s the time! While eagerly awaiting the warm weather, I have also been casually browsing some books on vegetable gardening. “Starter Vegetable Gardens” is on Hoopla and it has some great tips on easily converting lawns into food-generating gardens! And I t’s well-laid out with garden design plans to take the guesswork out of everything.
Donna from Library Office is back with more recommendations! First, "My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me" the true story of Jennifer Teege , who at age 38 accidentally discovers her Mother’s hidden family secret. Born in Germany to a German mother and a Nigerian father, she was given up to an orphanage at four weeks old. Later adopted by her German foster family, she deals with her loss of her identity , depression, and cultural trauma when she discovers her birth Mother and Grandmother have ties to Amon Goeth, a Nazi work and concentration camp commandant during WWII. This is a story of reconciliation and how perpetrator’s and victims of the Holocaust both have a code of silence. One, to avoid facing truths, and one to forget truths. A story of how Jennifer comes to terms with her heritage, her shame, and how she comes out to the other side of her depression. A good read for those who enjoy history, and personal memoirs. Second, "Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic" the story of Michael McCreary, a young Canadian performer and comic, who grew up in small town Ontario. Michael was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD ) at age five. This is his story of how it was growing up on the spectrum. Filled with humour and anecdotes of his trials and tribulations while learning how to navigate the world of “NT” people, ( neurotypical, or “normal” people) he discusses being bullied, the growing pains of high school, and his desire to become a successful performer and standup comic. This book gives young adult readers with ASP insight as to how NT people may perceive them. For NT people, a good read to understand how we can help people with ASD navigate their world. A fun read for young adult, and adult readers alike, this book encourages understanding and inclusiveness, and reminds us that we can all live in this world together.