City of Lafayette Staff Picks 2021

Collage of book covers

While 2020 may have caused people seek out all forms of entertainment to be had at home, 2021 was a year where many of us recognized the continuing comfort of reading as a daily habit regardless of where we are on the spectrum of the road back to normal.

The Library reached out to City of Lafayette staff to share something they enjoyed reading, watching, or listening to this year. Reserve a copy in the Library Catalog or the Front Range Downloadable Library.

“The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by Victoria Schwab

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

This book was wonderful to listen to for free on Overdrive through the Library! The narrator did a fantastic job of altering the main character’s accent as time (lots of time!) progressed, and the story was so captivating the only time I stopped listening was to charge my headphone batteries.

“These Precious Days: Essays” and “Dutch House” by Ann Patchett

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Susan B.

“Blithe Spirit” (DVD)

  • Rating: PG-13
  • Recommended by Sherlene S.

This black comedy has great acting with Judi Dench, beautiful costumes and sets, and a wild plot with a man’s former wife coming back as a ghost and causing troubles with his new wife. It’s fun to compare this version with the 1945 Margaret Rutherford and Rex Harrison black and white movie. You can also read the original play by Noel Coward to see the differences with the movies.

“Three Plays: Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, Private Lives” by Noel Coward

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Sherlene S.

These plays run the gamut of Coward’s talent with the ghostly black comedy “Blithe Spirit,” the rude and melodramatic family hosting guests in “Hay Fever,” and the toxic relationship between a man on his honeymoon and his divorced wife who is also on hers in “Private Lives.”

“Spain in our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939” by Adam Hochschild

  • Audience: Teens grades 9-12; Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Daniel B.

An engaging collection of individual narratives set against the backdrop of an often forgotten prequel-conflict to World War II.

“Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Daniel McKeown

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Philip K.

Essentialism gives you the tools to say no to the things that are not important so that you can say yes to the things that really matter.

Various works of speculative fiction/fantasy by authors N.K. Jemison, Rebecca Roanhorse, Suyi Davis Okungbowa

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Stacey B.

I’ve been delighted with discovering new authors in the speculative fiction/fantasy category. 2020 and 2021 have been great years for my reading lifestyle!

“Major Labels: A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres” by Kelefa Sanneh

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

“Afterparties: Stories” by Anthony So

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

“Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zavner

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

“Orwell’s Roses” by Rebecca Solnit

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

“Summer of Soul” by Questlove (DVD, Hulu)

  • Rating: PG-13
  • Recommended by Caroline C.

Concert footage and interviews of a multi-day musical event in NYC that took place the same year as Woodstock yet was virtually unknown until now in spite of the line-up of musicians. Questlove purchased boxes of tapes of the event. He created the documentary from those recordings.

“Soul” (DVD)

  • Rating: PG
  • Recommended by Carolyn C.

A sweet animated story. A teacher jazz musician gets his big break and then is killed. He’s trying hard to get back to life and earth.

“When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remained” by Ariana Neumann

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

After he died, Ariana’s father left her a box filled with things from his past including letters, photos and memorabilia. Ariana later begins a long process of putting together his story and his role in the German resistance. Amazing story and unbelievable that she was able to uncover his story with such accuracy.

“The Overstory” by Richard Powers

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

One tree and the unique stories of various people connected to that tree. Over time the reader discovers the stories and the people in them are drawn and connected to each other and to the tree.

“Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted” by Suleika Jaouad

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

Powerful and moving, the story of Suleika’s journey through life with cancer, the struggles, the discoveries, and the getting better.

“The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett” by Annie Lyons

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

“The Great Alone” by Kristen Hannah

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

“Amari and the Night Brothers” by B. B. Alston

  • Audience: Teens grades 6-8
  • Recommended by Kelsey T.

“White Bird: A Wonder Story” by R.J. Palacio

  • Audience: Kids grades 3-5
  • Recommended by Angelique V.

“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

  • Audience: Adults 18+, Teens grades 9-12
  • Recommended by Jenny C.

“Foundation” series by Isaac Asimov

  • Audience: Adults 18+, Teens grades 9-12
  • Recommended by Jeffrey B.

A epic story spanning millennia documenting the fall of a galactic human empire and efforts to save human knowledge to shorten the dark ages that will follow. The books were written over a span of 40 years. The original trilogy’s literary style is dated, but the story and scientific ideas are expansive and engaging.

“Goldenrod: Poems” by Maggie Smith

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Angelique V.

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Angelique V.

“Notes on Grief” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Angelique V.

“Touching the Void” by Joe Simpson

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Morgan S.

“Beyond Possible” by Nimsdai Purja (not available in FLC)

  • Audience: Adults 18+
  • Recommended by Morgan S.

For the weekend adventurer to the elite mountaineers – These books will surely open your eyes to the beauty and dangers of the mountains.

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