December 2019 Staff Picks

Updated 2019/11/28

Megan’s Pick: Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related by Jenny Heijun Wills

Cover image for Older sister. Not necessarily relatedOnce in a while I read a book, a really great book, that lingers with me long after I’ve closed it. As I get closer and closer to the end a sense of dread hits me because I know I’ll have to say good bye to it, the narrator and the story that pulled me in for 200ish pages. I felt this way with Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. It’s a memoir, but it’s more than that. It’s prose poetry. It’s lyric essay. It’s a meditation. Whatever name or label you want to give it, what comes through on every page is the power of Jenny Heijun Wills’s voice and storytelling. I will likely have to reread this one again, because I don’t want to forget the beauty held between the covers of this book.

Natalie’s Pick: Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Cover image for Half broke horses : a true-life novelThe author features her fearless and resourceful grand-mother Lily Casey Smith in this true-story account. At age six Lily is breaking horses, at age 15 she travels solo on her horse 500 miles to become a frontier schoolteacher… she overcomes tragedy, learns to fly planes, and survives the Great Depression. Walls is known for her heart-wrenching memoir The Glass Castle, but this story is pure pioneering joy.

Sonia’s Pick: A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Cover image for A big mooncake for Little StarWho ate the Mooncake? This sweet story about a mother and daughter baking a cake together invents its own delicious mythology to explain moon phases. Set against a black backdrop, the yellow crumbs of the diminishing mooncake create a twinkling trail back to the the culprit. Simple, yet multilayered, this story speaks to patience, temptation, natural cycles and mother-daughter relationships.