Staff Picks

APLS staff members are often asked what books or videos or other items they like. As a rule, the library works with the patron to find what that person likes to read or watch. We have many resources that compare authors or works with others to help recommend items.

Nevertheless, we have our favorites too, and have been asked about them. Over the next few months, we will introduce you to some of them. For the month of April, three APLS staff members were asked to share their choices!


Adult Services - Decatur

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Chosen by Heather Swisher

Set in the 1940s, a young heiress enlists the help of her fiancée to find her grandfather's murderer before she will say "I do".  
But with three generations of family living under the same roof and a house full of staff to boot, he may be in for a challenge. 

A suspense thriller, with a hard to guess killer all the way to the end. 

Agatha Christie herself admitted to being partial to Crooked House and called it one of her favorite books.  

When you read this book, it is definitely the case. She wanted her readers to have the same level of enjoyment reading - as she did writing. 

If you need a stand-alone book between series or a quick read, this one is a good choice! 






Children's Services - Decatur

It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee

Chosen by Melissa Pence

1. What were the main themes of this book?  

Stanley the dog works on the family home all night. The family thinks he is fixing all the broken things in the house, but he is really making a rocket ship. 

2. What surprised you about this book?  

That Stanley built a rocket ship to visit his girlfriend on the moon. 

3. What is the mood of this book? Happy? Funny? Dramatic? Scary?  

This is a very cute and funny story. Definitely have to pay attention to the cat, Max. 

4. What made this book stand out to you?  

The writing style is in rhyme and it flows very nicely. 

5. Are there any books you would compare this one to? 

Another book that I believe is kind of like this one, is a book titled " Stuck" written by Oliver Jeffers. It's funny and unexpected. 

6. Who would you recommend this book to? 

Even though this is a kid's book, I would recommend this book to everyone. Kids will love it and as well as the adults. It makes you laugh. 





The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Chosen by Shannon Coblentz

This is the first book in the Cormoran Strike mystery series written by J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter books) under a pseudonym. I normally don't read mysteries because I prefer dystopian, sci-fi, fantasy and horror (especially zombie fiction), but another clerk at the library badgered me until I gave this series a try. 

This book really surprised me in that I actually really liked it. It re-triggered my old love for mysteries from my teenage years. I ended up reading the entire series that has been published so far, and then about a month later, I reread the entire series again. I look forward to the next book in the series. 

The Cuckoo's Calling is about the tragic death of a young model which was considered a suicide by authorities. An injured veteran turned private detective named Cormoran Strike is hired by the model's adoptive brother to learn the truth. The brother is certain that she was murdered. Having always dreamed about detective work, a young woman named Robin Ellacott starts out as a temp secretary at Strike's office and ends up being more help than he expected in the case.  

I did not want to put the book down and finished in a day or two. I recommend it to everyone who enjoys an exciting mystery without an easy to guess ending. Just as in Harry Potter, Rowling creates interesting characters and situations which grab your attention. It is written in the English of the UK, so it helps you learn more about the differences in our languages as well. 

Again, I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys mysteries or J.K. Rowling's other work. Even if you've never read a mystery, give it a try. 



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