City of Lafayette Staff Picks: Best of 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been an anomalous year. Many of us have given up how we spend our days, or have abstained from how we choose to move through life. Reading books, listening to music, and watching movies are all activities COVID-19 could not take away from us. To end this year’s book recommendation blog on a positive note, we reached beyond the Library to ask all City of Lafayette staff to share their favorite book, DVD, album, or audiobook from this year.

“Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art” by James Nestor

  • Audience: Teens grades 9-12, Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Kevin K.

“This Is Our Story” by Ashley Elston

  • Audience: Teens grades 9-12
  • Recommended by Dominique B.

“The Gravity of Us” by Phil Stamper

  • Audience: Teens grade 6-12, Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Dominique B.

“The Dragons of Dorcastle” by Jack Campbell

  • Audience: Teens grade 9-12
  • Recommended by Jeremy P.
  • Staff Review: “First book of a really good series. The author also writes excellent Sci-Fi.”

“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life” by Mark Manson

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Noah H.

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Noah H.

“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michalides

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Allison T.
  • Staff Review: “A great psychological thriller. An edgy page-turner.”

“The Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus” by Dusti Bowling

  • Audience: Kids grades 3-6
  • Recommended by Allison T.
  • Staff Review: “A good pick for upper elementary kids that supports social/emotional learning with a cast of empathetic characters.”

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

  • Audience: Teens grades 9-12, Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Cassidi G.
  • Staff Review: “This book is about a young girl living in South Carolina that becomes self-sustaining after her family abandons her. She creates a life of her own full with a journey to find love, education, and a place in this world all while experiencing scandals and loss along the way.”

“American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Buff C.

“The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Dinah P.
  • Staff Review: “Set in the first half of the 20th Century, The Lacuna hauntingly parallels issues and stories of today’s American and Mexican societies. Kingsolver never fails to dive deep into her characters and the human experience that connects us all.”

“The Only Good Indians” by Stephen Graham Jones

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Scott F.
  • Staff Review: “So many people have told me that they’ve had a hard time reading in 2020, despite having more free time. My own attention has been scattered, though I’ve been grateful for the distraction that can be had by disappearing into a book, if only for a few minutes.  Here’s hoping 2021 finds us all back on the road to good reading and good health!”

“Recollections of my Nonexistence” by Rebecca Solnit

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Scott F.

“Echo Mountain” by Lauren Wolk

  • Audience: Kids grades K-5, Teens grades 6-8
  • Recommended by Katie F.
  • Staff Review: “Echo Mountain is a thoughtful, engaging read with a bit of history and suspense, perfect for tweens.”

“Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhoades

  • Audience: Kids grades 3-5, Teens grades 6-12, Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Allison T.
  • Staff Review: “Told from the perspective of the ghost of a black teen who was mistakenly shot by a white police office. A devastating but important must-read for everyone.”

-Contributed by Allison

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