It’s been a good year to be a reader, beloved patrons. And a good year for music and movies, and all the other beautiful things that libraries provide! And here, we are celebrating the year in books, music, and movies with as many people as possible! In addition to having a Peabody Library Staff “Best of 2018” List, we will also be featuring some selections from our friends at other NOBLE libraries, as well!
And we’re eager for your input, too! The NOBLE Collection Management Working Group is assembling nominations for a “NOBLE Book Awards”, and NOBLE staff have been asked for their input. So please let us know what books you’ve loved this year, and we’ll be sure to pass them on to the NOBLE Book Awards committee, but also to feature them here on the blog so that other readers can benefit from your recommendations! Nominations will be accepted until December 16, so get yours to us today! You can tell us in person, or via email (click the word “email” for our address).
And so, without further ado, let’s get to our first round of “Best of 2018” selections, courtesy of our marvelous staff! In our request for nominations, we stipulated that books, movies, or albums could be from any year, but they had to have been enjoyed in 2018. So you’ll see plenty of oldies-but-goodies on this list to savor, along with some new titles!
From the South Branch:
The Address by Fiona Davis: Readers looking for a book with a pitch-perfect sense of place will love this selection, which is set in The Dakota–perhaps one of the most recognizable and storied building in New York City. After a failed apprenticeship, working her way up to head housekeeper of a posh London hotel is more than Sara Smythe ever thought she’d make of herself. But when a chance encounter with Theodore Camden, one of the architects of the grand New York apartment house The Dakota, leads to a job offer, her world is suddenly awash in possibility—no mean feat for a servant in 1884. The opportunity to move to America, where a person can rise above one’s station. The opportunity to be the female manager of The Dakota, which promises to be the greatest apartment house in the world. And the opportunity to see more of Theo, who understands Sara like no one else…and is living in The Dakota with his wife and three young children. In 1985, Bailey Camden is desperate for new opportunities. Fresh out of rehab, the former party girl and interior designer is homeless, jobless, and penniless. Two generations ago, Bailey’s grandfather was the ward of famed architect Theodore Camden. But the absence of a genetic connection means Bailey won’t see a dime of the Camden family’s substantial estate. Instead, her “cousin” Melinda—Camden’s biological great-granddaughter—will inherit almost everything. So when Melinda offers to let Bailey oversee the renovation of her lavish Dakota apartment, Bailey jumps at the chance, despite her dislike of Melinda’s vision. The renovation will take away all the character and history of the apartment Theodore Camden himself lived in…and died in, after suffering multiple stab wounds by a madwoman named Sara Smythe, a former Dakota employee who had previously spent seven months in an insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. A building with a history as rich—and often tragic—as The Dakota’s can’t hold its secrets forever, and what Bailey discovers in its basement could turn everything she thought she knew about Theodore Camden—and the woman who killed him—on its head.
From the Teen Room:
The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee is the second installment in the Montague Siblings Series picks up a year after the adventure from Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue,starring our favorite moody sister Felicity! Felicity wants nothing but to be a doctor, but when the subject of her gender is brought into question she embarks on a journey through the German countryside to find Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician, to take her on as a research assistant. This is another adventure story full of action, intrigue, and some truly fearless characters determined to live the life they want. Any fans of Lee’s first book will find this book a sheer delight!
From the Public Service Desk:
The Hunger by Alma Katsu: An unsettling and deeply psychologically insightful fictionalization of the Donner Part’s disastrous journey west, this is a book for horror a history fans alike! Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated travelers to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos. They cannot seem to escape tragedy…or the feelings that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it’s a curse from the beautiful Tamsen Donner (who some think might be a witch), their ill-advised choice of route through uncharted terrain, or just plain bad luck, the ninety men, women, and children of the Donner Party are heading into one of one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history. As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if there really is something disturbing, and hungry, waiting for them in the mountains…and whether the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along.
Stay tuned for more recommendations soon!