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Erin's Picks

by Zauner, Michelle

Food and reflection share center stage in this beautifully written memoir. Sumptuous descriptions of Korean dishes are paired against the struggles of a young woman coming of age and the bitter pill that is watching a family member succumb to cancer. Zauner highlights the ability of food not only to nourish us, but also its transcendent power to bring us together in celebration, connect us to our culture, and evoke memories of those loved ones who may no longer be with us.

by Serle, Rebecca

This book tackles the age-old question "Where do you see yourself in five years?" with a twist readers may not expect. This is a love and a life story, and true to both love and life, the characters' journeys are anything but straightforward. In Five Years is a fairly quick read, but you will be thinking about the book after you close its cover.

by Shapiro, Dani

Dani Shapiro’s memoir Inheritance chronicles the author’s personal experience with family secrets. When a spit DNA test reveals that Dani herself is the family secret, Shapiro begins a quest to make sense of and unravel just who she is in light of this discovery. Shapiro pairs moving and honest prose with journalistic inquiry into her family and the questions that surround fertility, sperm donors, medical history, and privacy.

If you enjoy this book and are a fan of podcasts, be sure to listen to Shapiro’s Family Secrets podcast, a project that was spawned from the response to the book and explores family secrets of all varieties.

by Ephron, Delia

Ephron’s memoir offers an intense and tender glimpse at the beauty of second chances for love and life in the face of loss and life- altering hardships. Those who appreciate a good love story will fall hard for the whirlwind affair of Delia and Peter and will find themselves celebrating the magnitude of quality friendships as they turn the pages of Left on Tenth.

by Gabaldon, Diana

A science fiction, historical, romance set in the Scottish Highlands with a strong female lead? Yes, please.

by Randall, David K.

Maybe it is a result of growing up on a steady stream of films like "The Land Before Time" and "Jurassic Park" in the 90s or that jaw dropping feeling that comes over a person standing in front of an exhibit featuring the fossilized bones of a long deceased giant: either way, I knew I wanted to read this book. Inside its pages, you will learn about Barnum Brown, a farm boy turned paleontologist with an almost bull-headed sense of tenacity, who is the man to thank for unearthing the T. Rex and bringing it into the American zeitgeist. One of the most intriguing aspects of The Monster's Bones goes beyond the biography to examine the intersection of men like Brown and his contemporaries and the desires and demands of 19th and 20th century business tycoons with names like Carnegie and Morgan who financed these early fossil excavations, all hoping for the biggest and best finds to be claimed for natural history museums across the country.

by Skeslien Charles, Janet

This book begins with an immediate juxtaposition of two young female characters growing up in different time periods under very different circumstances. Odile’s story begins in Paris as World War II looms on the horizon. She is in her early twenties and an eager lover of books who has just started her dream job in the American Library in Paris. She seems to have it all—looks, books, a boyfriend, and a good family. Lily’s story, on the other hand, begins with the death of her mother just before she is about to enter her formative high school years. With this loss and changes to her family structure, Lily finds solace and inspiration in her curious and slightly reclusive French neighbor. As you may have guessed, both stories interweave together creating a poignant exploration of the impact of choices and the power of the relationships that shape us as we grow all while sprinkling in some love and appreciation for language, librarians, and the books that inspire us.

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