Archive for November, 2015

Staff Favorites and Best of 2015

Each November, we survey the staff here at Twin Falls Public Library and ask them about their favorite reads of 2015. And, each year, we’re always amazed at the different responses. It inspires some of us to read outside our favorite genres and we hope it offers suggestions to all our patrons. Below is a list of the staff choices (with a link to the catalog, in case you are interested!).

Additionally, we always like to post the “best of” lists from a few of the literary crowd, so we’re linking to Publishers Weekly’s Best Books 2015,’s Best Books of 2015, and the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2015. We’ve also made booklists of the TFPL-owned books that made the grade, so you can browse our stacks for a recommended read (Amazon, NYT, PW). Here are a few of the titles that made all three lists:

Whatever your source, enjoy a book that’s received a thumbs-up during your holiday vacation this year!



Vision in Silver – Anne Bishop (Kathleen)

Lair of Dreams – Libby Bray (Katie S)

The Unnoticeables – Robert Brockway (CJ)

Awkward – Svetlana Chmakova (Stephanie)

Dark Disciple – Christie Golden (Jason)

Mechanica – Betsy Cornwell (Erica)

The Zig Zag Girl – Elly Griffiths (Jennifer)

The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah (Amy)

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins (Susan, Kate, Stephanie)

Taken – Dee Henderson (Amy)

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World – David Jaher (Cody)

Improbable Libraries – Alex Johnson (Jessica)

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and Finders Keepers – Stephen King (Jessikka)

The Girl in the Dark – Anna Lyndsey (Jennifer)

The Blackhouse, The Lewis Man, and The Chessmen – Peter May (Kate)

Bits and Pieces – Jonathan Maberry (Erica)

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley (Cody)

Echo – Pam Munoz Ryan (Susan)

Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson (Jason)

Fancy Suits and Futuristic Violence – David Wong (CJ)



Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (Amy)

The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate (Stephanie)

Murder of Crows and Written in Red – Anne Bishop (Kathleen)

While Beauty Slept – Elizabeth Blackwell (Susan)

This Alien Shore – C.S. Friedman (Cody, Jason)

American Gods – Neil Gaiman (CJ)

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman (Cody)

The Round House – Louise Erdrich (Jennifer)

Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal (Jessica)

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas (Erica)

Caravans – James Michener (Kate)

Fool – Christopher Moore (Jessikka)

The Book with No Pictures – B.J. Novak (Amy)

Wonder – R.J. Palacio (Erica)

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell (Susan)

Cosmos – Carl Sagan (Katie S)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson (Stephanie)

The Social Lives of Dogs: The Grace of Canine Company – Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (Kate)

The Martian – Andy Weir (CJ, Jennifer)

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin (Jessikka)

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 2006

A quick trip in the Way Back Machine this month – we’re heading to 2006 – so put on your bling, boo, and let’s bounce… Recognize that slang from back in the day? Still with us, I’m afraid. 🙂


Thinking back a mere nine years, you might remember 2006 for:

  • the New Horizons space probe which launched in January, on target for Pluto in 2015 (which happened this July!)
  • the “Twitter”, a new social media network, which launched in July (apparently not just a fad!)
  • the U.S. population hitting 300 million in October (we hit 326 million this year)


For an extra nostalgic kick, pick up one of these books from the New York Times Best Sellers list from the week of November 19, 2006.



1. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

2. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

3. Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

4. H.R.H. by Danielle Steel

5. The Collectors by David Baldacci

6. Act of Treason by Vince Flynn

7. Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier

8. Echo Park by Michael Connelly

9. First Impressions by Nora Roberts

10. Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker

11. The Bancroft Strategy by Robert Ludlum

12. Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani

13. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George

14. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

15. Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich

16. Road of the Patriarch by R. A. Salvatore



1. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

2. The Innocent Man by John Grisham

3. Culture Warrior by Bill O’Reilly

4. State of Denial by Bob Woodward

5. Marley & Me by John Grogan

6. A Hand to Guide Me by Denzel Washington with Daniel Paisner

7. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

8. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

9. The Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook by Steve Doocy

10. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

11. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

12. I Like You by Amy Sedaris

13. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman

14. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

15. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J.Dubner


Take 10: Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, a day when we take time to both remember those who have died in service to our country, and to honor those who currently serve. If you can’t get out to a ceremony today, pick up one of these books tomorrow instead, and learn more about the men and women who have carried out their brave duties in war and in peace (and find one of them to say thank you to today!).


Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence – Jack Kelly

  • A fast-paced military history of the Revolutionary War focusing on the lesser known founding generals who helped win the war.

The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam – Andrew A. Wiest

  • In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company rotated home, only 30 men were not casualties–and they were among the first vets of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protestors as they arrived back the U.S. In this book, the author examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII’s famous 101st Airborne Division.

A Christmas Far From Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival During the Korean War – Stanley Weintraub

  • The dramatic story of the Christmas escape of thousands of American troops overwhelmingly surrounded by the enemy in Korea’s harsh terrain.

Heroes Among Us: Firsthand Accounts of Combat from America’s Most Decorated Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan – Chuck Larson

  • Firsthand accounts of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from decorated soldiers of all branches of the military capture front-line stories of combat, courage under fire, and heroism on the battlefield.

Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812 – David Hanna

  • Recounts the only major sea battle witnessed by people on land during the War of 1812, involving the British ship Boxer and the USS Enterprise, which led to the U.S. Navy’s changed position in the war.

The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War – Richard Rubin

  • Journalist Richard Ruben painstakingly tracked down and interviewed dozens of surviving WWI veterans (aged between 101 and 113 years old at the time of their interviews) over the course of a decade, weaving their stories into a vividly humanized account of the world’s first industrial-scale war, and America’s last days as a rural economy.

Navajo Weapon: The Navajo Code Talkers – Sally McClain

  • Describes the use of the Navajo language in World War II, discussing why it was used, how the code was developed, and the Native Americans who bravely fought for the United States.

They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War – DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook

  • A study of the hundreds of women who disguised themselves as male soldiers to fight on both sides of the Union and Confederate conflict chronicles the stories of Jennie Hodgers, Frances Clayton, and Loreta Velazquez, among others.

Thirteen Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War – John McCain and John Salter

  • The coauthors of Faith of My Fathers present an evocative history of Americans at war through the personal accounts of 13 remarkable soldiers who fought in major military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Unsubstantial Air: American Fliers in the First World War – Samuel Hynes

  • The vivid story of the young Americans who fought and died in the aerial battles of World War I.


Annotations are courtesy of NoveList Plus. For more, such as reviews, series information, and suggestions, log into NoveList Plus using your TFPL card.

We’re Putting the “New” in Newsletters!

If you’re a reader who is always looking for the next good thing, you should be subscribing to the TFPL e-newsletters. With the latest reads in over 25 categories, your sure to find a great suggestion. Plus, it’s free!

All you need to do is sign-up with your email address. Then, click on the topics you want to see, and we’ll deliver them to your inbox; topics include fiction, nonfiction, and even teen and kids’ books – see the picture below for specific topics. Some e-newsletters will be delivered once a month, some bimonthly (and others, like the New York Times Best Sellers, weekly). That’s it! Each newsletter will provide a few new titles in that genre, complete with links to our catalog so you can place a hold on the item. Check back to see if we’ve added any new topics – in fact, we just added a new Poetry e-newsletter for all you aspiring poets.

And, if you’re really wanting to stay current, subscribe to our TFPL News and Events monthly newsletter. Then all you have to do is remember to mark your calendar!