January Staff Picks: Tsundoku

Tsundoku (積ん読): A Japanese word and characters that translate as “pile up” + “read”. We asked our staff what has been piling up on their to-be-read list. Here are their answers.


Nonfiction


Tunnel 29: The True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall
By Helena Merriman

It’s summer, 1962, and Joachim Rudolph, a student, is digging a tunnel under the Berlin Wall. Waiting on the other side in East Berlin – dozens of men, women and children; all willing to risk everything to escape.
Book


Hallucinations
by Oliver Sacks

Have you ever seen something that wasn’t really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing?
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook


Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside
by Nick Offerman

A humorous and rousing tour of America’s nature spots as well as a mission statement about loving, protecting, and truly experiencing the outdoors, inspired by three journeys undertaken by actor, humorist, and New York Times bestselling author Nick Offerman
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook


Fiction


Under the Whispering Door
by TJ Klune

When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook


Get a Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?
Book/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook


The Library of the Dead
by T.L. Huchu

When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
Books


One Last Stop
by Casey McQuiston

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Overdrive eBook


Walk on Earth a Stranger
by Rae Carson

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.
Book/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook


Light from Uncommon Stars
by Ryka Aoki

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.
Book


Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood–and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook


War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy

In Russia’s struggle with Napoleon, Tolstoy saw a tragedy that involved all mankind. Greater than a historical chronicle, War and Peace is an affirmation of life itself, `a complete picture’, as a contemporary reviewer put it, `of everything in which people find their happiness and greatness, their grief and humiliation’.
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook


1Q84
by Haruki Murakami

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook


Les Miserables
by Victor Hugo

A thrilling tale of narrow escapes, romance in the midst of a revolution, and battlefield heroism, Victor Hugo’s sprawling 1862 novel focuses on the Parisian underworld.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook


Young Adult


We are Inevitable
by Gayle Forman

While his friends have gone to college and moved on with their lives, Aaron’s been left behind in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, running a failing bookshop with his dad, Ira. What he needs is a lucky break, the good kind of inevitable.

And then he meets Hannah. Incredible Hannah
Book


In the Wild Light
by Jeff Zentner

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.
Book


Juvenile Fiction


The Girl Who Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook


The Amelia Six
by Kristin L. Gray

Amelia Earhart’s famous aviator goggles go missing and eleven-year-old Millie has to find them before the night is over
Book


The Beatryce Prophecy
Kate DiCamillo

From two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall comes a fantastical meditation on fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world.
Book/Overdrive eBook

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