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New Staff Picks


Staff Picks -  April 2018

Are you interested in what some of the QWPL staff are reading, watching or listening to? Here is a sampling of staff reviews of materials available to library users in our community. We hope that you find these informative and entertaining.  Look for new reviews each month.  


Local girl missing
by Claire Douglas
Recommended by Yvonne

From the author of The Sisters - one of the best-selling debuts of 2015 - comes a tense psychological thriller:
Twenty years ago
21-year-old Sophie Collier vanishes one night.
She leaves nothing behind but a trainer on the old pier –
and a hole in the heart of her best friend Francesca.

A body’s been found.
And Francesca’s drawn back to the seaside town she’s tried to forget.
Perhaps the truth of what happened to Sophie will finally come out.
Yet Francesca is beginning to wish she hadn’t returned.
Everywhere she turns are ghosts from her past.
The same old faces and familiar haunts of her youth.
But if someone knows what really happened to Sophie that night then now’s the time to find out – isn’t it? (Goodreads)

As this book continued I found that I started to doubt every character and saw lies and secrets everywhere, not knowing whose perspective to trust. This worked well in building up tension and I do think that the actual mystery was concealed very well up until the end, as I had not fully come to a conclusion about what had happened, and could not have anticipated the depth of events that occurred in the past. In the end, all of the loose ends were tied up, making this a tightly structured thriller from an author whose work I can’t wait to read more of.

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.
(Bookmoodreviews,Rebecca, edited)

The Purchase
by Linda Spalding
Recommended by Marilyn

This novel of frontier life focuses on one family’s attempt to meet the challenges of antebellum America. At the beginning of the 19th century, widower Daniel Dickinson, cast out of his Quaker community, travels from Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley to the frontier of southern Virginia, taking with him the orphan Ruth Boyd as his new wife, and his five children—from Mary, the headstrong eldest, to the babe Joseph. When Daniel, a staunch abolitionist, inexplicably bids on the 13-year-old slave Onesimus, the purchase has many unfortunate effects. It also introduces freedom, consequence, and the hand of providence as themes Spading will follow with varying success. Onesimus befriends Mary and another slave, Bett, who is terrorized by her own master’s nightly visits. When Bett gets pregnant, the lives of Mary, Bett, Bett’s son, and her master, Jester Fox, become linked by both love and tragedy. Throughout the 15-year span of the novel, the Dickinson family is transformed by their disparate ambitions, though Spalding (Daughters of Captain Cook) struggles to fully develop characters in a book with a large cast. References to Virgil and the Old Testament imbue Spalding’s raw, powerful writing with some hope that “every human success simply requires faith,” but the bleak story lacks enough space to process the endless supply of tragedy.

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.
Review from (Publishers Weekly)

12 Rules for Life: An antidote to Chaos

by Jordan Peterson
Recommended by Emily

Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world's most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers. In an era of unprecedented change and polarizing politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.

In this book, he provides twelve profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticizing others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake, but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.  

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.
Review from the publisher.

The Switch
by Joseph Finder
Recommended by Pauline


A simple mix up throws one innocent man into the crosshairs of sinister government secrets and ruthless political ambitions in Joseph Finder’s timely, electrifying new thriller.
Michael Tanner is heading home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong laptop from security. What he doesn't know is that the owner is US Senator Susan Robbins, and her laptop contains top secret files that should never have been on there in the first place.
And Senator Robbins is not the only one who wants the laptop back... Suddenly, Tanner is a hunted man. On the run, terrified for the safety of his family – he is in desperate need of a plan – but who can he trust? 


This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording, Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.


The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead
Recommended by Robert

The Underground Railroad has always been a metaphor for the system of roads, safe houses and conductors who led escaped southern slaves to the possibility of freedom in the Northern states or perhaps Canada. In Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel “The Underground Railroad”, we are introduced to a real railroad mysteriously dug under the lands of the antebellum South. We follow the adventures of a Georgia slave named Cora, who, after suffering a beating and rape by the plantation owner, has learned about the underground railroad from a newly arrived slave named Caesar.  When both begin to escape, they are confronted by a hunting party and Cora kills s young white boy.  They reach a “station” and catch a train to head north. The two arrive in peaceful, seemingly idyllic South Carolina where slaves and whites seem to coexist fairly well.  This masks a medical genocidal scheme which local whites are imposing upon the black population.  In addition, a persistent slave catcher is hot on their tails.  This time, only Cora chooses to take the train, finding her way to North Carolina. Their roads are lined with the corpses of tortured black people. Each stop in Cora’s travels reveals further horrors of bondage and what is in store for those who attempt to flee to freedom. At every turn, Ridgeway is present and eager to return her to her rightful owner in Georgia.

Throughout her adventure, Cora is assisted by free blacks and white abolitionists who work to keep the underground railroad running. Many pay dearly for their efforts. While Cora’s experiences predominate, the author devotes specific chapters to the viewpoints to other characters, including the slave catcher Ridgeway.  Many of Cora’s adventures mirror true experiences of pre-Civil War slaves.  Colson Whitehead has taken a story of slavery and has injected the fantastic into it. While a real “underground railroad” is impossible, most of the experiences of its users were often only too real.   We really do get the true feeling of what it felt like to be a slave. Recommended for those who wish a deeper meaning of the black American experience.

This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording (CD), Downloadable AudioBook and eBook formats.

That's My Baby
by Frances Itani   
Recommended by Sue

A novel about friendship and personal discovery. Its setting leads us from the dancehalls in tweed to the swing era in London during the 2nd world war. The reader catches a glimpse into the lives of remarkable characters.

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.

Enigma – FBI Thriller #21

by Catherine Coulter
Recommended by Kim

Enigma (FBI Thriller, #21)

The highly anticipated twenty-first FBI thriller by New York Times #1 bestselling author Catherine Coulter presents Agents Savich and Sherlock with two baffling mysteries. Working with Agent Cam Wittier (Insidious) and New York-based former Special Forces agent Jack Cabot, they must race against the clock to catch an international criminal and solve the enigma of the man c The highly anticipated twenty-first FBI thriller by New York Times #1 bestselling author Catherine Coulter presents Agents Savich and Sherlock with two baffling mysteries. Working with Agent Cam Wittier (Insidious) and New York-based former Special Forces agent Jack Cabot, they must race against the clock to catch an international criminal and solve the enigma of the man called John Doe.

When Agent Dillon Savich saves Kara Moody from a seemingly crazy man, he doesn’t realize he will soon be facing a scientist who wants to live forever and is using “John Doe” to help him. But when the scientist, Lister Maddox, loses him, he ups the stakes and targets another to take his experiments to the next level.

It’s a race against time literally as Savich and Sherlock rush to stop him and save both present and future victims of his experiments. In the meantime, Cam Wittier and Jack Cabot must track a violent criminal through the Daniel Boone National Forest. When he escapes through a daring rescue, the agents have to find out who set his escape in motion and how it all ties into the murder of Mia Prevost, the girlfriend of the president’s Chief of Staff’s only son, Saxton Hainny. It’s international intrigue at the highest levels and they know they have to succeed or national security is compromised.

Featuring Coulter’s signature “breakneck plot and magnetic characters” (Huffington Post), Enigma is a shocking thrill ride that will keep you turning pages as fast as you can.

This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording (CD) and Downloadable eBook formats.
This review is from




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