The Journal Gazette
Sunday, December 19, 2021 1:00 am

Shelf life

Each year brings a new wave of titles destined to end up on bestseller lists. These books generate a great amount of hype, demand is high, and the waiting period to check them out can run several months. The Allen County Public Library takes pride in its ability to offer popular titles in various formats for our patrons: physical books, audiobooks and e-books. At the same time, with so much focus given to a relatively small number of releases, there were many titles this past year that did not receive the attention they deserved. Before we close the book on 2021, staff members of the Allen County Public Library would like to remedy that by offering reading recommendations for all ages.

Adult fiction

“The Rose Code” by Kate Quinn “This is a fascinating fictionalized story of the women who worked to crack the Enigma codes during World WarII at Bletchley Park.”– Amanda, Waynedale Branch

“Son of the Storm” by Suyi Davies Okungbowa “The Nigerian-American author draws on African folklore to create a stunning new world full of earth magic, political intrigue and shifting loyalties. I can't wait for No. 2!” – Edith, Hessen Cassel Branch

“A Marvelous Light” by Freya Markse “This is a historical fantasy set in Edwardian England. The book follows a man who accidentally finds himself employed for England's hidden magical bureaucracy and tries to uncover why his predecessor disappeared. The story is full of magic, mystery and romance–it is such a fun and captivating read!”– Hannah, Aboite Branch

“His Name was Death” by Rafael Bernal, English translation copyright 2021

“It is the story of a swarm of mosquitoes and their plan for domination of the human race. This winter we might just be ready to welcome our new insect overlords.” – Jonathan, Library @ Home

“How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days” by K.M. Jackson“This book was a fast read and a lot of fun, full of pop culture amusement. The main character is Bethany Lu Carlisle, an artist in New York who is forever in love with Mr. Reeves. The book chronicles her journey with her best friend to attempt to stop his impending wedding. Along the way, they face adventures, wacky celebrity run-ins and, of course, some romance. This one is a lighthearted but touching romantic comedy that fans of the genre will enjoy or just anyone who appreciates the magic of Keanu Reeves.”– Becky, Little Turtle Branch

“Black Buck” by Mateo Askaripour

“Inside Man” by K.J. Parker

“Unchartered” by Adriana Anders

“Mary Jane” by Jessica Anya Blau

“Klara and the Sun” Kazuo Ishiguro

Adult nonfiction

“Fox & I” by Catherine Raven“The book is Catherine's own recollection of her unlikely relationship with a fox who frequented the property surrounding her cottage in remote Montana. It gives wonderful insight into the connections that can exist and do exist between people and nature.” – Traci, Reader's Services

“Mixed Plate: Chronicles of An All-American Combo” by Jo Koy “I read a lot of books written by comedians, and often their craft is shaped and honed through years of struggle and strife. Jo Koy's story had all of that. It's a funny, sad and inspirational story embodying Filipino flavor and the American dream. Reading it made me enjoy his October show at the Embassy even more.”– Susan, executive director

“You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism” by Amber Ruffin “Comedian Amber Ruffin shares her sister Lacey's encounters with everyday racism in this funny, sad, thought-provoking and infuriating book.”

– Susan, executive director

“Night Train” by A.L. Snijders“A carefully curated selection of mostly autobiographical pieces that fall somewhere in the space between short story and prose-poem. Snijders is a master at finding the profound in the mundanity of everyday life.” – James, IT Services

“Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics” by Dylan Jones“This book tells the story of a short period in popular culture in the late '70s and early '80s when the 'weird' art school kids ruled, and the book perfectly describes a post-punk time when David Bowie, Roxy Music and the newer bands like Visage, Ultravox, Culture Club, the Human League and Gary Numan managed to shake things up a bit. Of course, it didn't last long and the 'boomers' won in the end, but Dylan Jones describes an era in Britain when anything seemed possible and it allowed odd kids like me to express ourselves at last!” – Fergie, Circulation Department

“This is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race”by Nicole Perlroth“In May of this year, a ransomware attack targeting Colonial Pipeline disrupted service to the American Southeast, causing fuel shortages at gas pumps for several days. ... Perlroth shares her reporting on 'zero day' hacks used by foreign and domestic government agencies and hacker groups, which can allow a hacker unfettered access to a device (or entire network) by exploiting weaknesses in the code.” – Noah, Shawnee Branch

“Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP”by Mirin Fader “This book came out over the summer, just in time to celebrate the MVP of the Milwaukee Bucks, who just won their first NBA Championship in 50 years! This biography will be appreciated both by sports fans and anyone who loves a good underdog story.” – Becky, Little Turtle Branch

“The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self” by Michael Easter

“I Hate Running and You Can Too” by Brendan Leonard

“The Premonition” by Michael Lewis

“The Baseball 100” by Joe Posnanski

“Orwell's Roses” by Rebecca Solnit

“A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” by George Saunders

“Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live – and How Their Wealth Harms Us All” by Michael Mechanic

Young adult

“Arrow”by Samantha M. Clark “Twelve-year-old Arrow was raised by the Guardian Tree in a rainforest protected by a magical veil, but now the veil is deteriorating and humans have entered, changing his life forever.” – Sara, Collection Development Team

“White Smoke” by Tiffany Jackson “Mari and her family move into a creepy old house that may be haunted in a town that harbors many secrets.” – Mari, Teen Services Department

“How Moon Fuentes Fell in Love with the Universe” by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland “Moon embarks on a summer road trip, during which she learns her own value and comes out from under the shadow of her popular, beautiful sister.” – Mari, Teen Services Department

“Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party's Promise to the People” by Fort Wayne native Kekla Magoon

“Fat Chance, Charlie Vega” by Crystal Maldonado

“You'll Be the Death of Me” by Karen McManus

“These Hollow Vows” by Lexi Ryan

“The Girls I've Been” by Tess Sharpe

“Ace of Spades” by Faridah bk-ymd

“This Poison Heart”by Kalynn Bayron

“Firekeeper's Daughter”by Angeline Boulley

“The Taking of Jake Livingston” by Ryan Douglass

“Once Upon a Broken Heart” by Stephanie Garbar

“The Forest of Stolen Girls” by June Hur

“Jay's Gay Agenda”by Jason June

“Defy the Night”by Brigid Kemmerer

“A Snake Falls to Earth”by Darcie Little Badger


“Long Road to the Circus” by Betsy Bird, illustrated by David Small

“This folksy romp introduces the reader to Suzy, a 1920s farm girl in southern Michigan who wants to get out of her small community and see the world. Early one morning she sneaks off the farm and follows her mysterious uncle to see where he's going every day. She quickly discovers that he's a secret ostrich trainer for a retired circus performer! Before long, Suzy wheedles her way into getting permission to ride the grumpy creatures herself, in this hilarious book for older children.” – Edith, Hessen Cassel Branch

“Something's Wrong: A Bear, a Hare, and Some Underwear” by John Jory

“Full Moon”by Camilla Pintonato

“Mel Fell” by Corey R. Tabor

“ROAR-chestra!: A Wild Story of Musical Words”by Robert Heidbreder

“The Wind May Blow” by Sasha Quinton

“Poison for Breakfast” by Lemony Snicket

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