Solano County Library Staff Picks



Phenomenal : a hesitant adventurer's search for wonder in the natural world
"Phenomenal "reminds us what it is like to feel awe and a connection to our world and the people in it. Henion reconnects with nature and herself after the birth of her son by visiting a variety of phenomenal natural occurrences, such as the Northern lights, the Catumba lightning strikes of Venezuela, the Tanzanian herd migration, bio-luminescent waters, a Hawaiian volcano and it's mystic culture, and others. In doing so, Henion tapped into how her son and children look at the world in wonder and awe and curiosity. This book was spiritual and scientific. Refreshing and soulful to view the world and it's beauty with new eyes and appreciation. (sigh!)
Recommended by: Emily R. Want it? 




The productivity project : accomplishing more by managing your time, attention, and energy better
This is a book about helping to better manage your time, attention and energy. What I really liked was, that on top of giving advice on ways to tweak your workflow, there are also little challenges to help you think about what it is you need to work on and ways to better understand how to make his ideas a reality with your life. The author spent many years on this project trying various ways to manage his time and figured out the ways that he found worked best from reading other authors' books and articles to actually trying various techniques out in real life. He tells you what worked and what didn’t and why. Though everyone is different, he feels a lot of things he found worked for him will work for many other people, including you!
Recommended by: Sarah Lee GZ. Want it? 




13 hours : the secret soldiers of Benghazi(DVD)
If you like movies about war and things of that nature then this is a film for you. It is based on a remarkable true story, and is absolutely a picture of heroism. You will be on the edge of your seat the entire movie; this intense film will give you a new perspective on life.
Recommended by: Mychal T. Want it? 




I'll Be There(audiobook)
This story has made me more emotional than any of the many other books that I have read for awhile. Reading the blurbs I thought this was just going to be another teen love story, but it is really way more than that. It is about the love of two brothers who manage to overcome everything they have going against them and still come out okay at the end. It definitely was a twister and surprised me.
Recommended by: Sarah Lee GZ. Want it? 




Maybe Something Beautiful : How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
This gorgeous book is based on the work of muralist Rafael Lopez. Don't be surprised if the vibrant artwork and heartening narrative get you planning your own neighborhood revitalizations.
Recommended by: Natasha N. Want it? 




Dr. Noel Zone presents Danger is Everywhere: A Handbook for Avoiding Danger
So you're feeling safe, huh? Well, maybe you need this book to open your eyes to the myriad of unimaginable dangers all around you! Plenty of survival experts will tell you how to deal with grizzly bears, and lightning and even the Zombie Apocalypse, but only Dr. Noel can help you with toilet sharks and the hidden perils of ballroom dancing. There's a lot of fun—and fear—on every page of this book. But please, I beg you, ignore what Dr. Noel says on page five. He was just kidding.
Recommended by: Nancy V. Want it? 




The Girl from Summer Hill
This is the first book in a new series from Jude Deveraux. A light-hearted romance novel set as a modern-day Pride and Prejudice, the formulaic story is a classic for a reason. Casey is a lovable Elizabeth Bennet and Tate is a quintessential Mr. Darcy, naturally making them a couple with chemistry readers will enjoy until the very end.
Recommended by: Nanett O. Want it? 




Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back
In 1871, Japan sent five young girls to study abroad in America. Their mission was to learn American ways, return to Japan, and create an education system for Japanese girls. A very daunting task for the girls aged 6 to 14! Upon their return to Japan, they found themselves strangers in their own land. Even though they had been born samurai, they were raised as Americans. Nimura writes a vivid, engaging tale of these extraordinary young women caught between two cultures, and how they worked to achieve their insurmountable task.
Recommended by: Michelle F. Want it? 




Carry On
Rainbow Rowell excels at characters that are realistic and relate-able even in a world that is closer to the Potterverse than our own. This story of four teenagers finding their way into adulthood and unraveling how what happened in the past affects their future will keep you turning the pages and makes it difficult to put the book down. Wonderful writing and world building, even better than Eleanor and Park.
Recommended by: Taaren S. Want it? 




The Orphanage (DVD)
I don’t watch many scary movies, but this one has been my favorite ghost story for years. Laura purchases her childhood home, an old orphanage by the sea. She moves her family into the old house, and has plans to reopen the facility for children with special needs. Before long, her son, Simon, begins speaking to an “imaginary friend.”
Recommended by: Kristina C. Want it? 




Room (DVD)
'ROOM' is my favorite movie so far this year. It is the story of a mother and her five-year-old son held captive in their captor's shed, the 'room'. This is not a typical kidnap story, it pulls at every emotion in a very unique way. Brie Larson's performance was worthy of her Academy Award, and Jacob Tremblay gave possibly the best child actor performance of all time. 'ROOM' is a film you will not regret watching.
Recommended by: Mychal T. Want it? 




Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (DVD)
After the world learns that "the end" will be in three weeks, many people react in very different ways. Two neighbors, Dodge and Penny, go on a road trip with hopes to reunite with the ones they love. This movie will make you think about what is really important to you. The movie is labeled as a comedy, but there are some sad moments as well.
Recommended by: Kristina C. Want it? 




Castle in the Sky
Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki are best known for their stunning animation and rich storytelling. "Castle in the Sky" (1986) is Studio Ghibli's first official feature film. Pazu, a young boy from a small mining town, encounters a girl named Sheeta with a mysterious crystal necklace. They both set out on an adventure to see the Laputa, the mythical floating castle in the sky, while avoiding being captured by air pirates and government soldiers. Anyone who has enjoyed other Studio Ghibli films such as Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away will love this film as well.
Recommended by: Andrea K. Want it? 




One Punch Man 1
One Punch Man is a new hit manga series where the protagonist Saitama has to deal with monsters and disasters that plague City Z on a daily basis. Unfortunately, his super strength is too powerful and he defeats every enemy with just one punch! The series takes a humorous jab at typical shonen action manga by introducing over-the-top, overpowered monsters (and equally absurd heroes) that are crushed almost instantly by a seemingly unremarkable rookie hero.
Recommended by: Andrea K. Want it? 




This fast paced novel takes you around the world from the jungles of South America, to the streets of Paris and Washington D.C. Undercover DEA agent Marshall Everett leads a wild and dangerous life as he tries to bring down a powerful drug cartel. Mild mannered Ariana Grande is living in New York and beginning her career in fashion when her father becomes the U.S. ambassador in Argentina. Two very different lives, but when their paths cross life will never be the same. A refreshing change from Danielle Steele novels I have read in the past. I couldn’t put it down.
Recommended by: Kristen M. Want it? 




Courageous (DVD)
This heartwarming family movie follows a group of police officers as they experience work and family life. When tragedy strikes, they are forced to come to terms with their role as fathers and challenged to make some changes. This positive, uplifting film is a nice change the current box office fare and worth the viewing time.
Recommended by: Kristen M. Want it? 




Descender. Book one: Tin stars
10 years after the Harvesters have destroyed the worlds of the United Galactic Council a young companion bot named Tim-21 wakes up to discover everyone in the mining colony dead. But who will get to the little robot first and why is he so important? Image Comics delivers another outstanding series with this new science fiction story by Jeff Lemire with beautiful watercolor artwork by Dustin Nguyen. Collecting issues #1-6, Descender vol. 1 Tin Stars is an exciting introduction to what promises to be an intriguing and imaginative universe.
Recommended by: Sandy S. Want it? 




Restless (DVD)
“Restless” is a compelling miniseries switching between WWII and the 70s. A daughter is called home because her mother wishes to reveal past secrets. But those old secrets reveal hidden perils for her family now. This film will keep you guessing on whom to trust and what to do.
Recommended by: Jasmin M. Want it? 




The Walk (DVD)
Philippe Petit is a French street performer who becomes captivated. He dreams to walk the high wire between the newly built World Trade Center towers. From learning the high wire, to his trip to NYC you will feel like you are up on the wire with him. The movie is fun, even for those scared of heights.
Recommended by: Jasmin M. Want it? 




Asian Playground (music cd)
Great compilation of diverse and distinct Asian cultural artists. From Japan to Sri Lanka children will get a taste of fun music from various Asian countries.
Recommended by: Ann N. Want it? 




The Fifth Season
2016 Nebula Award nominee. This is how the world ends. The world is the Stillness, and it ends with a death. It is the story of Essun, who is searching for her daughter. It is the story of Syenite, who knows things are not right. And it is the story of Damaya, who is learning her place in the world. "The Fifth Season" is a compelling, character-driven fantasy that takes place in a fully developed world; a world that seems familiar to us, yet is wholly unfamiliar. This is the first book of the Broken Earth Trilogy, with book two due in August.
Recommended by: Sandy S. Want it? 




Thicker than Water
This is a comfy mystery for a rainy day or even before bed. Unlike some books that have very graphic and haunting images that linger, “Thicker than Water” is fun and focused on figuring out how DCI Monika Paniatowski will prove “who-done-it!” from the beginning. Who really clobbered Mrs. Danbury over the head? Can our DCI prove it is the main suspect, the wealthy political husband, Mr. Danbury? … What about the other main characters interwoven within the plot? They definitely keep things interesting and the reader wondering. Adding to the suspense is the author’s knack for adding natural humor. Our DCI periodically tells the reader directly, and only the reader, what is really going on in our character’s head, which, of course, isn’t for the Chief constable’s ears! Most importantly, DCI Paniatowski’s career is on the line, so she better get it right. I think you will agree, she does!
Recommended by: Jennifer M. Want it? 




Tangled Vines
In late 2005, a fire broke out in a wine storage located at the Naval shipyard in Vallejo. The fire destroyed millions of dollars worth of vintage wines. It was devastating for several vintners who had their wines stored at the said place. The book has a lot to offer, including investigative side regarding the arson, fraud in the wine business and the history of wine making in California. I think it is a must read, especially if you live in the bay area.
Recommended by: Loida M. Want it? 




Have You Seen Elephant?
Have you seen Elephant? He’s not that hard to find or is he? This book is like a Where’s Waldo book …okay so not that intense. It’s definitely a hilarious book to read aloud to the seeing impaired, young at heart adults and absolutely children. The details and the beautiful watercolor illustrations are worth placing this book on hold.
Recommended by: Rosemarie C. Want it? 




Made to Kill
Ray is a robot (the last of his kind) and also a private detective. When he's hired to kill a famous Hollywood star he finds more than he bargained for. A fun quirky read in the style of film noir.
Recommended by: Juli H. Want it? 







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