Alefia Hakim recommends This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel. Alefia shares, "I would love for others to read this book because it's an excellent example of family ties, decisions made as parents, and the love and support from siblings. The author has an amazing depiction of marriage between the main characters. It reminded me of my own relationship and how a supportive and encouraging partner can make a great relationship."

This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook | large print

This is Claude. He's five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.

When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They're just not sure they're ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes.

Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it's about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don't get to keep them forever. 

Janice Ford recommends A Computer Called Katherine by Suzanne Buckinham Slade. Janice shares, "Katherine was a math whiz, who was African American and was instrumental in providing the necessary math calculations for NASA's first human space flights." Janice also shares, "I selected this book because, as an engineer, I want to share Katherine's contribution to the world, especially with young girls and minority children in our community. I want them to be encouraged to dream big and to plunge into the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) fields." 

The inspiring true story of mathematician Katherine Johnson--made famous by the award-winning film Hidden Figures--who counted and computed her way to NASA and helped put a man on the moon!
Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn't have the same rights as others--as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses--as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America's first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world's first trip to the moon!

Zainab Hakim recommends Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Zainab shares, "This book is extraordinary in all aspects! The plot is so unique, main and side characters have amazing arcs, the worldbuilding is, well, out of this world, but above all, it is one of the most exquisitely written books I have ever read. The sentences are lyrical and poetic and will immediately transport you directly into the story."

Strange the dreamer by Laini Taylor
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around--and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams?

In this sweeping and breathtaking novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

The answers await in Weep.

Sarah Perry recommends Christmas at Frozen Falls by Kiley Dunbar. "2019 was an extremely difficult and stressful year for me, personally. By the time I made it to December, I was ready to say 'goodbye' to 2019 and start fresh in 2020. I came across the book, Christmas at Frozen Falls and thought it sounded cute, so I bought it and read it before Christmas. I can't remember the last time a book just made me feel happy." 

 

*Currently unavailable at CPL, but click here for other options.

 

Did you know that popular, bestselling authors frequently have their titles simultaneously released in regular print and large print (as well as in audiobook and e-book formats)? And for those titles, such as J.D. Robb's Golden in Death below, the library has you covered. We strive to purchase enough titles to keep hold lists manageable and in the format that you are interested in. For each book listed below, additional formats are highlighted.

Also available in: print

Levitin looks at the science behind what we all can learn from those who age joyously, as well as how to adapt our culture to take full advantage of older people's wisdom and experience. Throughout his exploration of what aging really means, using research from developmental neuroscience and the psychology of individual differences, Levitin reveals resilience strategies and practical, cognitive enhancing tricks everyone should do as they age.

Successful Aging inspires a powerful new approach to how readers think about our final decades, and it will revolutionize the way we plan for old age as individuals, family members, and citizens within a society where the average life expectancy continues to rise. 

Also available in: print

When they were children in the suburbs of Los Angeles in the 1950s, Diane Keaton and her younger brother, Randy, were best friends and companions: they shared stories at night in their bunk beds; they swam, laughed, dressed up for Halloween. Their mother captured their American-dream childhoods in her diaries, and on camera. But as they grew up, Randy became troubled, then reclusive. By the time he reached adulthood, he was divorced, an alcoholic, a man who couldn't hold on to full-time work--his life a world away from his sister's, and from the rest of their family.

Now Diane is delving into the nuances of their shared, and separate, pasts to confront the difficult question of why and how Randy ended up living his life on "the other side of normal." In beautiful and fearless prose that's intertwined with photographs, journal entries, letters, and poetry--many of them Randy's own writing and art--this insightful memoir contemplates the inner workings of a family, the ties that hold it together, and the special bond between siblings even when they are pulled far apart. Here is a story about love and responsibility: about how, when we choose to reach out to the people we feel closest to--in moments of difficulty and loss--surprising things can happen. A story with universal echoes, Brother & Sister speaks across generations to families whose lives have been touched by the fragility and "otherness" of loved ones--and to brothers and sisters everywhere.

The weather continues to fluctuate, but the arrival of new large print books remains consistent. Check out just a few of the new titles arriving this month.

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

In the late 1930s, civil war gripped Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life irreversibly intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them wants, and together are sponsored by poet Pablo Neruda to embark on the SS Winnipeg along with 2,200 other refugees in search of a new life. As unlikely partners, they embrace exile and emigrate to Chile as the rest of Europe erupts in World War. Starting over on a new continent, their trials are just beginning. Over the course of their lives, they will face test after test. But they will also find joy as they wait patiently for a day when they are exiles no more, and will find friends in the most unlikely of places. Through it all, it is that hope of being reunited with their home that keeps them going. And in the end, they will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along.

Hindsight [large print] by Iris Johansen
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Dr. Kendra Michaels, blind for the first twenty years of her life before gaining her sight via a revolutionary surgical procedure, is a renowned investigator known for her razor-sharp senses--honed during her years in the dark--and keen deductive abilities.
Now her skills are needed uncomfortably close to home. Two staff members have been murdered at a school for the blind where Kendra spent her formative years. But the murders are puzzlingly dissimilar: one victim was brutally stabbed, while the other was killed by a bullet to the head. Are the crimes related? Or is Kendra on the hunt for more than one dangerous killer?
With the killer (or killers) still on the loose, Kendra must put her life on the line to unravel a terrifying conspiracy. But Kendra soon discovers that she herself may hold the key to the deadliest secret of all..
 

Fluctuating weather can be difficult to navigate, but don't let it keep you from the library. New titles are available almost every day! Check out a few of the new large print books the library recently added to its collection.

Genesis [large print] by 1940- Robin Cook
Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

 

When the body of twenty-nine-year-old social worker Gloria Montoya, seven weeks pregnant with her first child, shows up on Chief New York City Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery's autopsy table, she's baffled to find no apparent causes of death. With no clues to go on, Laurie enlists the help of Dr. Tricia Albanese, a forensic pathology resident with a background in genetic science, to help her trace the identity of the unborn baby's father using DNA from the mother and child. But when Tricia is found dead in her apartment in a manner strikingly similar to Gloria's death, Laurie realizes she might have two linked homicides on her hands.

Also available in: print

Ellie Sharp left her Boston family with big dreams of making it as an actress in Hollywood. But two years later, she disappears from her Silver Lake apartment without her friends or police knowing what happened. Soon after the Sharps hire Spenser to find her, another person goes missing - this time Spenser's protege-turned-L.A. investigator, Zebulon Sixkill. Spenser and Hawk must hit the ground running on the West Coast to follow a twisted trail into the world of drug cartels, casting couches, hedonistic parties, and a whisper network of industry players looking to take down a legendary producer.

Authors of thriller and mystery titles love to make the babysitter or nanny a shifty character. The nanny seems awfully sweet and capable until someone goes missing--sometimes even the nanny herself.

Why is this a popular trope? What did the caregiver role do to deserve this stereotype? It's hard to know, but it's generated more than a handful of nail-biting titles...including the ones below.

The turn of the key by Ruth Ware
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-video

When she stumbles across the ad, she's looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss--a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten--by the luxurious "smart" home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn't know is that she's stepping into a nightmare--one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn't just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn't just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn't even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant. It was everything. She knows she's made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn't always ideal. She's not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she's not guilty--at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

The perfect nanny : a novel by 1981- Leïla Slimani
Also available in: e-book

When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. 

Serene Succulents

The winter can start to become a time of year when we crave things green and thriving. Succulents can be the perfect low-maintenance plant to introduce into your home or workspace! Exercise your green thumb and creative spirit as we design succulent arrangements. Containers can be decorated and treats will be offered. Come join us in creating a small bit of cozy for your winter home. 

All supplies will be provided. Ages 18 and up welcome. Space is limited and registration is required. 

Upcoming sessions

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Popular opinion tells us that "the book is always better than the movie"...but what do you think? Check out the mystery books and their movie counterparts below.

Kiss the girls : a novel by 1947- James Patterson
Also available in: video

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider, Washington D.C.'s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

The Lincoln lawyer : a novel by 1956- Michael Connelly
Also available in: video

Mickey Haller was afraid he wouldn't recognize innocence if he saw it, but he should have watched for evil instead.Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between Los Angeles courthouses to defend clients of every kind—bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence — it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman hires Haller, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It's a defense attorney's dream, and Haller starts to believe it is the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller finds that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with pure evil. Now he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal to walk away alive.The Lincoln Lawyer is a display of novelistic mastery — as gripping and whiplash-surprising as any novel yet from the writer Publishers Weekly has called today's Dostoyevsky of crime literature.

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