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Staff Picks: Skip the Hold Line and Check Out the Express Shelf!

Mon, 02/20/2023 - 3:49pm by emjane

You may gulp when you see the length of the hold list for these amazing titles. They’re deservedly in high demand and are worth the long wait. But sometimes you just don’t feel like waiting for that hot new title! And if you’re lucky, you might be able to snag an Express Shelf copy.

What is the Express Shelf? We get extra copies of super popular books and rather than using them to fill holds, we put them back on the shelf as soon as they’re returned! They check out for two weeks and can’t be renewed, but with books this good, you’ll want to find the time to read them before the due date! It’s a bit of a lottery, but I recommend making a quick perusal of the Express Shelf a part of every library trip. You never know what great thing you might be lucky enough to find!


Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin | Request Now

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle ZevinSam Masur and Sadie Green bonded over video games in a Children’s Hospital in their youth. After a falling out, they lose touch until a chance meeting in a subway station reconnects them at an ideal time for them to begin work as video game designers together. Told from the perspectives of both Sam and Sadie, as well as from their friend and producer Marx, Tomorrow is a page-turner that bops between timelines naturally, moving from their childhoods through the creation and success of their company, not strictly in chronological order, but in the way that best impacts the depth of storytelling. Though some knowledge of video game trends might enhance the reading, it’s certainly not necessary. As cheesy as it sounds, Tomorrow is really all about deep friendship. I only finished the book a week ago, but already know I’ll turn to it in rereads down the line.



Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus | Request Now

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus There’s no doubt scientist Elizabeth Zott knows her stuff, but being a woman in the sciences in the 1960s requires more than knowledge. As she battles for recognition and opportunity, Elizabeth’s life is further complicated by pregnancy and single-motherhood. Starring in a TV cooking show was certainly not how Elizabeth expected her career to end up, but she makes the best of it as an opportunity to teach her housewife viewers the science of cooking. Told with humor and heart, Lessons in Chemistry is one of my favorite sorts of reads – easy, fast-paced reading, but not without depth. This is Garmus’ debut – I eagerly anticipate her next novel!




Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng | Request Now

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste NgCeleste Ng takes a slight departure from her previous contemporary fiction into a slightly dystopian (but all too possible-seeming) world where government censorship is abound and children of people found rebelling are rehomed – for everyone’s protection, of course. Preteen Bird has been living alone with his father since his mother left the family a few years ago. Her works of poetry are used as a slogan among the rebels, and Bird is left to find balance in a household where his father tries desperately to make sure they live above-board, but his mother’s absence weighs heavy. When Bird discovers something that might indicate where his mother could be, he’s left to decide whether or not to risk safety for maternal connection.

Our Missing Hearts is a real page-turner with a beautiful, somewhat unexpected climax that made me cry. Thought-provoking without sacrificing good story-telling, this book’s audience is wide.


I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy | Request Now |

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdyI didn’t grow up watching Jennette McCurdy’s Disney channel shows, but when this book first started getting buzz as being more than your typical “former child star memoir,” I decided to give it a try. McCurdy’s writing is taut; she writes fully as the version of herself who was living the events she shares– be it the young girl attempting to become an actress to please her mother, the “successful” teen and young adult coping with initial romances and substance struggles, or the young woman finding her place and her truth in this world – without letting it be impacted by later knowledge and experience. This purity of emotions gives the reader an immersive experience, making it all the more challenging, yet meaningful, to read the pressures McCurdy faced from multiple fronts. What could read as a “poor me” memoir instead is a powerful piece of writing. I look forward to see what she does next.

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