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Outtakes: More (excellent) Librarian Recommendations

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” -Charles W. Eliot, from “The Happy Life.”

I dare say the same could be said about librarians.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I received a tremendous response from other New Hampshire librarians when I asked for recommendations for book groups. Their eagerness to share their favorite books discussed, accompanied by their reasons why, demonstrates the open and thoughtful nature of those who work in libraries.

The book group I lead at the Minot-Sleeper Library chose as many recommendations as we could fit into one year. I would be remiss if I did not share the other titles recommended, as they are sound suggestions for other book groups and individuals.

“Here If You Need Me” by Kate Braestrup

Recommended by Amy Lappin, Lebanon Libraries

“It is hard to say why I love this book so much. I’m neither religious nor a super fan of nature, but Kate Braestrup writes about her experiences as a chaplain for the Maine Game Wardens in a very compelling way. She is also a person with great humanity. I think the key to a terrific memoir is someone with a real story to tell, and Kate definitely has a story to tell.”

“The Mountains Sing” by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

Recommended by Karen Dixon, Hopkinton Town Library

“The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett

Recommended by Sandy Holz, former librarian at Whitefiled Public Library

Other recommendations by Sandy:

“Two If By Sea” by Jacquelyn Mitchard

“Dead Edward” by Ann Napolintano

“The Huntress” by Kate Quinn

“On Pluto” by Greg O’Brien

Recommended by Donna Swett, Goodwin Library (Farmington)

Note: This title was chosen by the Minot-Sleeper Library’s nonfiction book group. The discussion will be held Thursday, March 11 at 3pm on Zoom. Those interested in participating can pick up a copy at the library.

“Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Recommended by Kate Thomas, Hampstead Public Library

“While this may serve a more edgy book group, it is a very interesting view of humanity. It offers humor, and a frank view of Christianity. Library Journal called it ‘Irreverently funny and unexpectedly wise. It is one of my favorite novels of all time.”

“My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult

Recommended by Carol Stafford, Kimball Library (Atkinson)

“You could feel empathy for every family member.”

“Educated” Tara Westover

Recommended by Amy Bain, Baker Free Library (Bow)

“The Bear and The Nightingale” by Katherine Arden

Recommended by Shannon Weber, Seabrook Public Library

“It has a little of everything: action, adventure, romance, some fantasy, historical setting, interesting characters, etc. The author studied Russian folklore, which inspired this book. This is the first of the trilogy, and I found that each book was better than the last.”

“Next Year in Havana” by Chanel Cleeton

Recommended by Sue Fahey, Bedford Public Library

“Our library book club thoroughly enjoyed the book and we had a fabulous discussion about Cuba, dictatorships, revolutionaries, etc.”

Note: I loved the end of Sue’s very-librarian message to me: “I have three other favorites from this year, but I won’t over do. If you need more suggestions, please let me know!!”

“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin

Recommended by Linda Olmstead, George Gamble Library (Danbury)

“Good story, well written, interesting characters, just fun to read.”

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