Staff Picks

All of these books are available at Cortland Free Library or through the Finger Lakes Library System. 

Abigail's Pick
Anne of Green Gables  by L. M. Montgomery 

Eleven-year-old orphan Anne Shirley has just arrived at Green Gables, and already her guardians want to send her back.
First, she’s not the boy the Cuthberts expected. Second, she talks too much. And even with her generous spirit, the
redhead’s a trouble magnet. She gets the neighbor drunk and nearly poisons the pastor! 
Still, despite a rocky start, the fiery Anne wins over her guardians and her new community. She enjoys life at Green Gables,
excels in school, and earns a coveted scholarship. But when tragedy hits, Anne must choose between her dreams and the
only home she’s ever known
.

 

Alyssa's Pick
Pashima  by Nidhi Chanani

  Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago?
What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s
mom avoids these questions―the topic of India is permanently closed.  For Pri, her mother's homeland can only
exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase.
When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film.
But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel
farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew. In this heartwarming graphic novel debut,
Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.


Georgette's Pick
An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry

 In the course of his tenure with the Thames River Police, Commander Monk has yet to see a more gruesome
crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest
with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. Suspecting the murder
may be rooted in ethnic prejudice, Monk turns to London’s Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his
inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn’t speak. Only with the help of a local pharmacist
acting as translator can Monk hope to penetrate this tightly knit enclave, even as more of its members fall victim to
dentical brutal murders. But whoever the killer, or killers, may be—a secret society practicing ritual sacrifice,
a madman on a spree, a British native targeting foreigners—they are well hidden among the city’s ever-growing populace.

 


Jacie's Pick
Moby Dick by Herman Melville

 Moby-Dick is the story of Captain Ahab's quest to avenge the whale that 'reaped' his leg. The quest is an obsession
and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the
crew is on Ahab s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent
on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel's narrator,
ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader. Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all
an education: in the practice of whaling, in the art of writing.

   

 

Jaymie's Pick
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

 Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money,
she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret
bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could
reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

     

 

 

 


Larry's Pick
The Walking Drum by Louis L'Amour

Walking Drum
     Warrior, lover, and scholar, Kerbouchard is a daring seeker of knowledge and fortune bound on a journey of enormous
challenge, danger, and revenge. Across Europe, over the Russian steppes,  and through the Byzantine wonders of
Constantinople, Kerbouchard is thrust into the treacheries, passions, violence, and dazzling wonders of a magnificent time.

 

 

 

 

Lois's Pick
Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer
    
With a will of steel, Polish immigrant Florentyna Rosnovski is indeed Abel's daughter. She shares with her father
a love of America, his ideals, and his dream for the future. But she wants more to be the first female president.
Golden boy Richard Kane was born into a life of luxury. The scion of a banking magnate he is successful,
handsome, and determined to carve his own path in the world-and to build a future with the woman he loves.
With Florentyna's ultimate goal only a heartbeat away, both are about to discover the shattering price of power
as a titanic battle of betrayal and deception reaches out from the past-a blood feud between two generations that
threatens to destroy everything Florentyna and Richard have fought to achieve.

 

 

Renee's Pick
Red Rising  by Pierce Brown

 Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds,
he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. 
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago.
Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves
to a decadent ruling class. Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices
everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation
of humanity’s overlords struggle for power.  He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization
against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . .
even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

 

Steve's Pick
Into Thin Air  by Jon Krakauer

 

 

 A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer,
standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down."
He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more–including Krakauer's–in guilt-ridden
disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.

    

 

 


Tammy's Pick
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

  With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of
World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the
stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on
her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heartbreakingly
beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.    

 

 


Theresa's Pick
The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
  
   Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a
terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious
defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that
terrible night.  Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer
herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves
he whole town traumatized —Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene,
but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the
shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…

 


Tasha's Pick
Haunted by James Patterson

  Detective Michael Bennett is ready for a vacation after a series of crises push him, and his family, to the brink.
He settles on an idyllic, small town in the beautiful Maine woods, a recommendation from a former colleague.
But just when Bennett thinks he can relax, he gets pulled into a case that has shocked the tight-knit community.
Kids are disappearing left and right with no explanation-until several bodies turn up in the woods. As Bennett
investigates, he discovers that the seemingly perfect town is reeling from a deadly addiction, and the violence
is about to reach a fever pitch. Far from the city streets he knows so well, Bennett faces off against a horrific
evil next door that threatens a town, the law, and the family that Bennett loves above all else.