January 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!


This is why you're single



This Is Why You're Single

By Laura Lane & Angela Spera

This is a fun book to read or to give to all your single girlfriends. This Is Why You're Single breaks away from your typical dating guide by taking a page from Aesop's playbook with hilarious modern-day dating fables paired with advice, entertaining quizzes, graphs, and illustrations. Dating will feel a whole lot more doable, a little less weird, and, well, actually pretty fun.

Recommended by Katie D.

On writing : a memoir of the craft




On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft

By Stephen King

Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

Recommended by Allison C.

The Polar Express The Duke diet : the world-renowned program for healthy and lasting weight loss



The Duke Diet : The World-Renowned Program for Healthy and Lasting Weight Loss

By Howard Eisenson & Martin Binks

Planning on making your 2016 resolution to get healthy and lose some weight? Based on the concept of lifestyle change and not being on a diet, the authors give many useful tips on how to choose a healthier lifestyle. Check out this guide today! 

Recommended by Samantha P.

War for the Oaks



War for the Oaks

By Emma Bull

War for the Oaks is a breathtaking adventure set in a world made of real urban grit and the terrifying and gorgeous land of faerie. Pulling from traditional Gaelic folklore, Emma Bull tells the tale of Eddi and her inadvertent participation in a war amongst the faeries. With her peculiar companion, the Phouka, Eddi embarks on a journey of the heart and learns more about the world than she ever knew possible. Bull mixes in the power of music to really bring the power to her story.

Recommended by Abby H.

The grand tour



The Grand Tour

By Agatha Christie

Take a break this winter and travel the world vicariously with the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie, who went on a ten-month trip in 1922 as part of the British trade commission visiting South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Hawaii. You'll meet memorable characters, such as the insufferable Major Belcher, and join Christie in her many adventures, including her surfboarding in Hawaii!

Recommended by Carol P.

The life-changing magic of tidying up : the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up : The Japanese Art of Fecluttering and Organizing

By Marie Kondo

Get on the hold list for this title! This is an interesting read (or listen), taking a new perspective on how we collect items in our houses and how to let go of them. While I furrowed my brow a bit at some of the ideas, I found some solid pieces of advice mixed in. Don't forget to get on the hold list for her upcoming book Spark Joy, due this year.

Recommended by April D.

The smitten kitchen cookbook



The smitten kitchen cookbook

By Deb Perelman

Readers familiar with the Smitten Kitchen blog know there are plenty of reasons to pick up this cookbook by author Deb Perelman. Gorgeous photograph, humorous, down to earth writing and delicious recipes are all waiting here. Both everyday and special occasion dishes are included, to get the New Year off to a great start.

Recommended by Jessica S.

Apartment therapy complete + happy home



Apartment therapy complete + happy home 

By Maxwell Ryan

Get a fresh take on home decorating for the New Year with this book by the author of the popular blog, Apartment Therapy. Ryan helps you discover your specific decorating style and gives practical tips on how to achieve a fresh look for your home, whether it is a house or an apartment. The beautiful color photographs of real interiors are inspiring!

Recommended by A. Williams