Sacramento Public Library

Staff Picks of the Year - 2017

    A Gentleman in Moscow

    A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles

    Deemed unrepentant by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he lives in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.
    American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land

    American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land - Monica Hesse

    The Washington Post reporter and author of Girl in the Blue Coat documents the trial of a man who was charged with dozens of counts of arson in rural Virginia county, sharing insight into the perpetrator's struggles with addiction, his relationship with his accomplice girlfriend and the impact of the fires on their community.
    Angel Catbird

    Angel Catbird - Margaret Atwood

    On a dark night, young genetic engineer Strig Feleedus is accidentally mutated by his own experiment when his DNA is merged with that of a cat and an owl.
    Another Brooklyn

    Another Brooklyn - Jacqueline Woodson

    Torn between the fantasies of her youth and the realities of a life marked by violence and abandonment, August reunites with a beloved old friend who challenges her to reconcile her past and come to terms with the difficulties that forced her to grow up too quickly.
    Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders

    Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders - Joshua Foer, Dyland Thuras & Ella Morton

    Offers a tour of the world's most unique and amazing places, highlighting natural wonders, weird and magical structures, and mind-boggling events from around the globe, from New Zealand to Turkmenistan to Virginia.
    Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary

    Black Elk: The Life of an American Visionary - Joe Jackson

    Chronicles the life of the Native American healer and holy man, known for his testimonial "Black Elk Speaks," who fought at the Little Bighorn, traveled to Europe with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, and became swept up in the Ghost Dance movement.
    Britt-Marie Was Here

    Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman

    Walking away from her loveless marriage and taking a job in a derelict, financially devastated town, 63-year-old Britt-Marie uses her fierce organizational skills to become a local soccer coach to a group of lost children, becoming a vital community member along the way. By the author of A Man Called Ove.
    Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

    Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History - Dan Flores

    Examines the natural and urban factors that have caused the spread of coyote through the eastern regions of America, tracing the species' longtime negative connotations in spite of their capacity for living harmoniously with humans.
    Difficult Women

    Difficult Women - Roxane Gay

    A collection of stories explores the hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky human connections experienced by diverse protagonists, including a woman who pretends she does not know that her husband and his identical twin switch places with each other.
    Every Heart a Doorway

    Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire

    Sent away to a home for children who have tumbled into fantastical other worlds and are looking for ways to return, Nancy triggers dark changes among her fellow schoolmates and resolves to expose the truth when a child dies under suspicious magical circumstances.
    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City

    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City - Matthew Desmond

    A Harvard sociologist examines the under-represented challenge of eviction as a formidable cause of poverty in America, revealing how millions of people are wrongly forced from their homes and reduced to cycles of extreme disadvantage that are reinforced by dysfunctional legal systems.
    Fox Hunter

    Fox Hunter - Zoë Sharp

    Unable to forget the men who brutally ended her military career, special forces soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlie Fox finds herself on a mission to the Iraqi countryside amid suspicions that her boss may have pursued a twisted vendetta on her behalf.
    From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

    From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death - Caitlin Doughty

    Describes death customs and rituals from around the world, exploring how they compare to the impersonal American system and how mourners respond best when they participate in caring for the deceased.
    Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939

    Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 - Volker Ullrich

    Draws on previously unseen papers and recent scholarly research to shed new light on Hitler's life, from his childhood and failures as a young man in Vienna to his First World War experience and rise as a far-right party leader.
    Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

    Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI - David Grann

    Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
    Little Fires Everywhere

    Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng

    Fighting an ugly custody battle with an artistic tenant who has little regard for the strict rules of their progressive Cleveland suburb, a straitlaced family woman who is seeking to adopt a baby becomes obsessed with exposing the tenant's past, only to trigger devastating consequences for both of their families.
    Magpie Murders

    Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz

    When she realizes that the final chapter of mystery writer Alan Conway's latest manuscript is missing and Alan later turns up dead, editor Susan Ryeland follows clues buried in the text to investigate the author's suspicious death.
    Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

    Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer

    Chronicles the experiences of several women in Missoula, Montana, who claimed to be raped by University of Montana football players, highlighting the inequities of the law in regard to rape allegations and the treatment of rape victims and perpetrators.
    My Favorite Thing is Monsters

    My Favorite Thing is Monsters - Emil Ferris

    Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.
    My Life on the Road

    My Life on the Road - Gloria Steinem

    A feminist activist and co-founder of Ms. magazine presents a memoir comprised of reflections on definitive events in her career, from her time on the campaign trail and interactions with forefront political leaders to her visits to India and her encounters with civilian feminists.
    Night Sky With Exit Wounds

    Night Sky With Exit Wounds - Ocean Vuong

    A debut collection of poems draws from personal traumas to offer observations on such themes as violence, poverty, depression, and queer sexuality.
    Octavia Butler's Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

    Octavia Butler's Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation - Damian Duffy & John Jennings

    More than 35 years after its release, Kindred continues to draw in new readers with its deep exploration of the violence and loss of humanity caused by slavery in the United States, and its complex and lasting impact on the present day. Adapted by celebrated academics and comics artists Damian Duffy and John Jennings, this graphic novel powerfully renders Butler’s mysterious and moving story, which spans racial and gender divides in the antebellum South through the 20th century. 
    Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

    Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right - Arlie Russell Hochschild

    In an effort to understand why low income conservatives seem to hate the idea of liberal government intervention, a sociologist embarks on a journey to Louisiana bayou country, a stronghold of the conservative right.
    The Bride Price: A Hmong Wedding Story

    The Bride Price: A Hmong Wedding Story - Mai Neng Moua

    A principled decision brings unexpected consequences for a Hmong American woman struggling to reconcile the two cultures—and to be a good daughter while breaking the rules.
    The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West

    The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West - Peter Cozzens

    A history of the struggle between white forces and Native Americans over the fate of the post-Civil War West details the deconstruction of tribal culture to establish the modern U.S., covering such topics as the conditions endured by frontier soldiers and the ethical quandaries of military officials who sympathized with Native adversaries.
    The Half-Drowned King

    The Half-Drowned King - Linnea Hartsuyker

    Betrayed by his usurping stepfather during his return trip to his ancestral lands, young warrior Ragnvald Eysteinsson resolves to exact revenge at the side of Norse fighter Harald of Vestfold, who is rumored to be a prophesied king.
    The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries From a Secret World

    The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries From a Secret World - Peter Wohlleben

    Draws on up-to-date research and engaging forester stories to reveal how trees nurture each other and communicate, outlining the life cycles of "tree families" that support mutual growth, share nutrients, and contribute to a resilient ecosystem.
    The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks

    The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks - Terry Tempest Williams

    Collects lyrical portraits of twelve national parks, ranging from Acadia to Yellowstone, that are part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique.
    The Mothers

    The Mothers - Brit Bennett

    In a contemporary black community, 17-year-old Nadia Turner mourns the suicide of her mother, leading her to take up with the local's pastor's son; but when she gets pregnant, the pregnancy and the subsequent cover-up will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.
    The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

    The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women - Kate Moore

    A full-length account of the struggles of hundreds of women who were exposed to dangerous levels of radium while working factory jobs during World War I describes how they were mislead by their employers and became embroiled in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights.
    The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir

    The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir - Ariel Levy

    A "New Yorker" staff writer shares a hopeful memoir of her own experiences with devastating loss to council fellow survivors about the healing aspects of accepting difficult life challenges that are beyond one's control.
    The Wangs vs. the World

    The Wangs vs. the World - Jade Chang

    A wealthy but fractured Chinese family loses everything in the financial crisis before embarking on a haphazard but ultimately redemptive journey across America as part of an effort to reclaim ancestral lands in China. A first novel.
    Today Will Be Different

    Today Will Be Different - Maria Semple

    Initiating small changes that she hopes will reverse negative patterns in her life, Eleanor Flood is derailed by her family members' unethical practices before an encounter with a former colleague triggers dramas that reveal a buried secret. By the author of national best-seller Where'd You Go, Bernadette.
    We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson

    Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate. This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Lethem.
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