The Selector’s Selections: October 2023

Posted on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 by Brianna

I really can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am that fall is here! This is my favorite time of year to curl up with a blanket and a book, and my geriatric pug agrees wholeheartedly. Her preference is for me to spend as much time as possible on the couch snuggling her, and who am I to argue? If you need some books to accompany your own pet snuggles this month, check out these new titles! This will be my last blog for a little while, so enjoy and I’ll see you again next year with some winter releases!

The Blackwoods coverThe Blackwoods” by Brandy Colbert

 Cousins Hollis and Ardith Blackwood loved their great-grandmother dearly—and so did the rest of the country. Blossom “Bebe” Blackwood was a wildly popular Black actress, and now that she’s passed, her great-granddaughters have to navigate grieving while in the spotlight. Ardith has always loved the limelight, starring in television since childhood and dreaming of following in Blossom’s footsteps. But now that her beloved Bebe is gone, Ardith has lost her mentor and confidante, and the pressures of fame and everyone’s expectations begin to feel like too much. Hollis on the other hand, is content to live life quietly, with as much privacy as a famous Hollywood family can afford. So when personal secrets start appearing in the press, she’s left unsure of who to trust and where to turn. This is told from three different perspectives, that of Ardith and Hollis and of a young Blossom in the 1940s, struggling to make it in Hollywood. Sure to please fans of celebrity novels, this book also offers an insightful and complex look at sexism, addiction and racism. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: October 2023”

You Are Not Alone

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 by Nigel Church

You are not alone with a drawing of a group of people with their arms around each other

Before we get into it, I want to let you know that this is probably a more serious blog than you are used to seeing from the library. As such I want to put two mental health resources front and center before we get into it.

988 is the Missouri suicide and crisis lifeline. 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And here is a link for the directory of certified community behavioral health clinics. Not the most exciting page to look at, but a possible starting point for those who feel they need treatment or would like an official diagnosis.

Being a teenager is rough all around, but for some of us it’s rougher than others and that’s real. You’re not imagining it. Let me repeat myself, you are not alone. They say it gets better, but for some of us, it never does. At least, not without some help and some tools. In case you haven’t guessed it, this one goes out to all my neurodivergents out there. Continue reading “You Are Not Alone”

The Selector’s Selections: September 2023

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 by Brianna

Sometimes I have a theme in mind when I write these, and sometimes it’s just whatever looks amazing. This month, I think you could safely say the theme is women who kick butt.

Champion of Fate coverChampion of Fate” by Kendare Blake

When Reed was orphaned as a child, she was rescued and raised by the Order of the Aristene. The Aristene are a group of immortal women warriors who act as shepherds guiding heroes to glory. All her life, Reed has wanted nothing more than to join their ranks, and she’s finally about to face her Hero Trial. She’s tasked with guiding young Prince Hestion in his fight against a neighboring kingdom. If she succeeds, she’ll have everything she’s dreamed of in an immortal life of service to the goddess of glory. If she fails, she’ll be forced to leave the Aristene Citadel forever. As she embarks on her trial, Reed learns that there’s more to the Order and to Hestion than she imagined, and the price of success or failure increases drastically. This duology opener boasts some phenomenal worldbuilding, expertly paced fight scenes, and well-developed relationships among the women of the Aristene. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: September 2023”

If You’re Playing Starfield

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 by Laura W

If You're Playing Starfield

Within the past week, multiple people have asked me if I’m going to play Starfield. This isn’t surprising considering it’s one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2023. If you have any contact with gamers, you’ve likely heard at least one mention of the new action role-playing game that came out on September 6th. Created by Bethesda, the same studio that crafted the Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Starfield is an open-world game set in the boundless reaches of outer space. If you’re anything like me, playing a really good game can ignite a love for the topic in general. For instance, after playing Red Dead Redemption 2, I became suddenly obsessed with short stories set in the old West. Whether you’re curious what all the sci-fi fuss is about, you suddenly cannot get enough space exploration in your life, or you simply really love Bethesda like myself, these recommendations are for you. Continue reading “If You’re Playing Starfield”

The Selector’s Selections: August 2023

Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 by Brianna

For this month’s theme, I’ve got all graphic novels! I know that the school year has already started for a lot of people. Maybe it seems too daunting to tackle that 500-page novel you’ve been eyeing, but graphic novels are the perfect size book to squeeze in between all of the syllabus introductions.

The Bodyguard Unit coverThe Bodyguard Unit” by Clément Xavier, Lisa Lugrin, Albertine Ralenti and translated by Edward Gauvin

First up is a graphic nonfiction about British suffragettes who were trained in jujitsu! You knew we have a graphic nonfiction section, right? It’s right next to the YA graphic novels, and the books cover a wide variety of topics. This one 100% sent me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole, in the best way possible. Edith Garrud was England’s first female jujitsu teacher, and she was passionate about teaching women self-defense. She and her husband were giving women tools to protect themselves both in the streets and in their homes, at the same time as the British suffrage movement was reaching a crescendo. Women fighting for the vote often faced violent arrests and beatings, and Edith was invited to teach them martial arts. Dubbed “jujutsuffragettes” by the media, and calling themselves the Bodyguard Unit, these women defended each other and their leaders. Never fear that this nonfiction book will be boring, there are plenty of action scenes! Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: August 2023”

The Selector’s Selections: July 2023

Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 by Brianna

How’s your Summer Reading going? If you need a few more books to finish up, try these! I have no theme this month, except general awesomeness.

Give Me a Sign coverGive Me a Sign” by Anna Sortino

Lilah has severe hearing loss, but with hearing aids and lip reading, she’s able to get along well enough. Still, she misses the feeling of connection she had when attending Camp Gray Wolf as a kid, a camp for deaf and/or blind kids. The summer before senior year, she applies to be a counselor at the camp and is accepted. While she never felt like she fully fit in with the hearing world, she also struggles to fit into the Deaf community—especially because her ASL is nowhere near fluent. But she makes patient and supportive new friends as she starts to define and embrace her identity. It doesn’t hurt that her sweet and attractive fellow junior counselor volunteers to help her improve her signing. This debut by a Deaf author explores many different aspects of Deaf culture, including perspectives from people with supportive families and not-so-supportive ones. It also gives good examples of difficulties Deaf folks might face in the hearing world, especially with things like interactions with the police. A summer romance with excellent diverse representation. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: July 2023”

Uneasy Lies the Head

Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2023 by Dana


When Shakespeare wrote “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown,” it was King Henry IV moaning that people with great responsibility don’t sleep very well. While riches and power don’t seem like much of a problem to me, fictional royalty often has a lot of kingdom-saving and evil battling to do.

So if you’d like to forget your troubles and read about queens and princes and knights with some worthy struggles, take a look at some of these titled titles. Continue reading “Uneasy Lies the Head”

The Selector’s Selections: June 2023

Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 by Brianna

If I tell you to guess the theme this month, I think you’ll get it without having to try too hard. Enjoy!

Starlings coverStarlings” by Amanda Linsmeier

Kit just lost her dad unexpectedly, and now she and her grieving mother have been invited to spend Christmas with her paternal grandmother. The problem is that Kit’s dad always claimed his mom was dead. When they arrive in the small town of Rosemont, everything is perfect. Roses bloom all year round, the townspeople are super friendly, there’s a cute boy (and girl!) to crush on, and everyone treats her grandmother Agatha Starling—and Kit by extension—with a deference bordering on reverence. Kit and her mother aren’t planning on staying past the holidays, but everyone else seems to think otherwise. When things start to go wrong, Kit has to discover the truth about the town, and why her father never wanted her to know it existed. With a bisexual main character, nuanced character development and suspenseful plotting, this horror novel has a lot to offer. Continue reading “The Selector’s Selections: June 2023”