February Staff Picks

Staff-recommended reading from the Alexandria Library Catalog. Check back each month for a new list. Need some recommended titles? Tell us five titles you have enjoyed and we'll send you a list of five more that we think you will like. Also check out our new Goodreads Group for reviews, online bookclubs, and more!


Heart of Glass


Heart of Glass: a Memoir

By Wendy Lawless

Heart of Glass takes place in Wendy's early adult life after the tale of her troubled upbringing recounted in her previous book Chanel Bonfire. Now that she is free to build her own life, what stops her from coming into her own? The reader is given an amusing and brutally honest journey through the highs and lows of her early career, punctuated at last by an inspiring message: Growing up is not only a process, it is also a decision.


All the Light we cannot see


All the Light We Cannot See

By Anthony Doerr

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris and is blind by age six. Her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, so she can memorize it and navigate the real streets. When the Germans occupy Paris, they flee to Saint-Malo on the coast. In Germany, Werner grows up enchanted by a crude radio he finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, which wins him a place with the Hitler Youth. Werner travels throughout Europe, and finally to Saint-Malo, where his meets Marie Laure.

Oh Florida


Oh, Florida! : how America's weirdest state influences the rest of the country

By Craig Pittman

If you've read any Carl Hiaasen you know that Florida is a special place! His fiction is based on reality and Craig Pittman lays it all out there in this book. Highly entertaining. Carl H. is right when he says it is hilarious, creepy and sobering.

Aristotle & Dante


Aristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe

By Benjamin Alire Sáenz. 

Aristotle and Dante navigate the world of friendship, loneliness, and romance while living in 1985 El Paso, Texas. This coming-of-age story will leave you wanting more.

Pain, parties and work


Pain, parties, work : Sylvia Plath in New York, summer 1953

By Elizabeth Winder

Winder, an accomplished poet herself, illuminates, with gorgeous language and interviews with contemporaries, 21 year old Plath's brief stay in New York City while she worked as a guest-editor for Mademoiselle. This influential experience would later become the inspiration for her novel The Bell Jar.

Ocean at the end of the lane


The ocean at the end of the lane

By Neil Gaiman

In true Gaiman style, we have a story full of reality but with a wonderful mix of fantasy. This is a story of a man who revisits an old haunt which brings back memories of an experience he had when he was seven. I loved the matter of fact perspective of a child in this novel. It is a tale of wonder and horror all in one.

Inventive Weaving



Inventive weaving on a little loom : discover the full potential of the rigid-heddle loom, for beginners and beyond

By Syne Mitchell

A good book for discovering if you really want to learn to weave or not. The author shows what's possible and how, clearly explaining terms so the craft is not intimidating.

The son



The son

By Philipp Meyer

Comanche Indian captive Eli McCullough must carve a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully belong -- a journey of adventure, tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that reverberates in the lives of his progeny. Soon to be an AMC television series. 

All rise


All rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

By Leslie Connor

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth--and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home. When Perry moves to the "outside" world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from .. but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?

Paper covers rock


Paper covers rock

By Jenny Hubbard

This young adult novel explores the life at a boy's boarding school in which a death is more complicated than it seems and secrets are the path of least resistance. Paper Covers Rock will find fans in those who loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Catcher in the Rye, and A Separate Peace with a devastating plot laid out in gorgeous and thought-provoking prose for both young adults and adults.