Marathon County Public Library

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MCPL Staff Picks of 2018!

December 28, 2018

As you can imagine, most Marathon County Public Library staff members love to read. A lot. And when you’re surrounded by books day after day, your “to read” list only seems to grow.

At this time of the year, we like to reflect back on the past 12 months and think about all of the titles that we read. Though it can be difficult for folks to pick just one favorite out of numerous others, our staff members got together and each selected their favorite read of 2018. This year’s selections include thrilling mysteries, an autobiography of one of today’s most popular comedians, best-selling historical dramas and more.

After taking a look at what we’ve been reading, tell us - what was YOUR favorite book that you read this year? What did you love most about it? Let us know in the comments.

If you like what you see here, you can read our staff review any time of the year. Just keep an eye out for new reviews posted here on mcpl.us, on our Facebook page, on our Twitter page and on our Goodreads account.


"THE LAST BLACK UNICORN" by TIFFANY HADDISH

Dan R., Library Marketing Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "Haddish holds nothing back in this autobiography, which is often explicit but also one of the most hilarious books I have ever read!"

"A SPARK OF LIGHT" by JODI PICOULT

Taylor W., Children's Librarian at MCPL Wausau, says: "This is my favorite book of the year because it takes a complicated, polarizing issue and humanizes it."

"THE NAME OF THE WIND" by PATRICK ROTHFUSS

Ashley A., Rothschild Branch Assistant, says: "This epic fantasy is packed full of magic, alchemy, battles, lore, and romance, with a main character who is a bit rough around the edges but easy to connect with."

"ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE" by ANTHONY DOERR

Mary Jo N., Stratford Branch Coordinator, says: "This is fascinating historical fiction, with inspiring characters and a plot so compelling it reads like a fast-paced thriller. Doerr's writing is so beautiful and deeply moving, I would pause many times just to reread and soak in a sentence."

"STILL KICKIN’ IN THE WILDERNESS" by DOLLY FAULKNER

Kitty R., Circulation Services Lead at MCPL Wausau, says: "Dolly is an Athens native who has lived in the wilderness of Alaska for 40+ years. Her first book was "Forty Years in the Wilderness." I recommend starting with the first book to get her full story of her Alaska adventures.

"THE WILD GIRL" by KATE FORSYTH

Caley E., Rothschild Branch Assistant, says: "This is a beautiful and intricately woven story that drew me in and kept me intrigued with its richly developed characters and its eye opening historical descriptions."

"UNTHINKABLE: AN EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD’S STRANGEST BRAINS" by HELEN THOMSON

Elizabeth L., Marathon City Branch Assistant, says: "Imagine not being able to forget a single day of your life, getting lost in your kitchen—the most familiar of places—or being a doctor who literally feels everyone else’s pain! These true stories of rare brain disorders collected by Helen Thomson are stranger than fiction."

"HOW TO WALK AWAY" by KATHERINE CENTER

Ashley C., Mosinee Branch Assistant, says: "I loved this book because, not only does this book confront some deep and serious questions about life and the will to live no matter what, but it is also witty, positive and very hopeful."

"AFTER ANNA" by LISA SCOTTOLINE

Audrey K., Spencer Branch Coordinator, says: "Lisa Scottoline always throws in such a huge twist that you never expect, and this story does not disappoint." *This book was tied with "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah for Audrey K.'s favorite.

"THE OTHER MOTHER" by CAROL GOODMAN

Sarah M., Mosinee Branch Coordinator, says: "New, struggling mother Daphne is forced to escape from her marriage, leading her to work on her favorite author’s memoir in an old house with a plethora of secrets, in this truly thrilling and atmospheric masterpiece." *This book was tied with "Just Before I Died" by S.K. Treymayne and "The Last Time I Lied" by Riley Sager for Sarah M.'s favorite.

"WATCH ME DISAPPEAR" by JANELLE BROWN

Laura L., Library Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "It's a page-turner that deftly reflects on loss and asks the question - how well do we *really* know the people we love?"

"AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH" by MIKITA BROTTMAN

Kathy G., Library Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "This book was such a fascinating mix of mystery and memoir, with a plethora of psychological and historical anecdotes thrown in for good measure, that as soon as I finished it, I had to read it again!"

"THE OVERSTORY" by RICHARD POWERS

Chad D., Library Specialist and Library Events Coordinator at MCPL Wausau, says: "The author beautifully weaves the lives of strong characters with the fascinating world of nature that surrounds and guides them."

"THE TRUST" by RONALD H. BALSON

Wendy D., Spencer Branch Assistant, says: "I enjoyed this fast paced mystery about family and their history in Ireland."

"THE GOOD NURSE" by CHARLES GRAEBER

Heather B., Hatley Branch Coordinator, says: "I really liked this book because it was eye-opening and thought-provoking. It made you think about healthcare/nurses and how much goes into their job and how much trust you put in them."

"THE IMMORTALISTS" by CHLOE BENJAMIN

Kate S., Librarian and Adult Collection Development Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "The book starts with four siblings and their strange encounter with a psychic who reveals the date of their deaths. It's interesting to follow each sibling as they either accept or fight their destiny."

"THE ROAD AHEAD" by JANE SEYMOUR

Deb G., Edgar Branch Coordinator, says: "The stories in this book give you hope and encouragement during difficult situations that we all have in our everyday lives, and will help you to find your inner strength and help you to look forward."

"ELEVEN MILES TO OSHKOSH" by JIM GUHL

Chris L., Library Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "It’s about a kid growing up in the early 1970’s, with lots of Fox Cities local color, and a good mystery too!"

"GRANT" by RON CHERNOW

Ben D., IT Technician at MCPL Wausau, says: "I enjoyed this book because it gave me a better understanding of the personal life struggles of Ulysses S. Grant and how it affected his professional life as a general and president."

"BECOMING " by MICHELLE OBAMA

Deb J., Library Specialist at MCPL Wausau, says: "I liked the book because it was written in a very personable manner with a positive message, that we are all responsible for our own story and we have the responsibility to 'become' or grow."

"GRAVE'S END" by ELAINE MERCADO

Robin W., Hatley Branch Assistant, says: "I was captivated by the tale and really enjoyed reading a 'true' ghost story."

"GIRL, WASH YOUR FACE" by RACHEL HOLLIS

Laura D., Library Assistant and Interlibrary Loan Coordinator, says: "This is a book that all women can relate to, and the author writes like she is having a conversation with her best friend who happens to be the reader."

"LOOK ALIVE TWENTY-FIVE" by JANET EVANOVICH

Alyssa S., Edgar Branch Assistant, says: "I have been in love with the series from the start, and once again it does not disappoint and was filled with plenty Stephanie Plum’s crazy antics."

"ELEVATION " by STEPHEN KING

David G., Rothschild Branch Assistant, says: "It’s a very positive and 'uplifting' story about a man who starts losing weight (but not his size), and his relationship with his neighbors and town. Great short read!"

"THE FOURTH MONKEY" by J.D. BARKER

Becca B., Library Assistant at MCPL Wausau, says: "This fast-paced murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the last page!"

"THOSE GIRLS" by CHEVY STEVENS

Deb F., Library Assistant at MCPL Wausau, says: "I tried a new author and the book kept me on the edge of my seat. This mystery was gruesome, but good."

"ARTEMIS" by ANDY WEIR

Laura W., MCPL Rothschild Branch Coordinator and Branch Services Lead, says: "This book, by the author of 'The Martian​,' was so much fun. I loved the narrator - a funny, brave, and clever woman planning a heist on the moon."

"THE WIFE BETWEEN US" by GREER HENDRICKS

Lisa H., Marathon City Branch Coordinator, says: "I really enjoyed all of the psychologically twists and turns. It kept me glued to the pages."

"BEFORE WE WERE YOURS" by LISA WINGATE

Stephanie M., Page at MCPL Wausau, says: "I loved how the story of the past slowly unfolded in tandem with the current lives of the characters in this book inspired by true historical events."

"THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE" by LESLIE CONNOR

Sharyn H., Children's Librarian at MCPL Wausau, says: "Of all the books I read this year, this one continues to stand out. It's a hopeful, honest, heartfelt book about a special brave boy who triumphs in spite of grief and the numerous obstacles he faces."


Reading Recommendations Staff Reviews Books

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