Jenny Grenfell

Jenny Grenfell

Librarians from Ocean Park and Ilwaco Timberland Regional libraries in Washington state recently shared their latest book recommendations for “What’s on your bookshelf?”

Ocean Park library director Jenny Grenfell and librarian Tania Remmers shared their recommendations.

‘Katie the Catsitter’

‘Katie the Catsitter’ by Colleen AF Venable.

1. ‘Katie the Catsitter’ by Colleen AF Venable; illustrated by Stephanie Yue

“(This) is a graphic novel for middle grades. Looking for a fun book to read? Do you like cats? If you liked the style of Raina Telgemeier then you will enjoy this,” Grenfell said. “City girl, Katie, looks for odd jobs to earn money to go to camp with a friend. She finds a job — and as you can probably guess by now, becomes a cat sitter for a neighbor. This is no normal cat sitting job… there are 217 exceptionally trained kitties to watch over. To make matters even stranger the owner keeps leaving the house at times when a mysterious villain is committing crimes in the city. Is this just a coincidence? This book has it all — friendships, mystery, and heroes. And who doesn’t love cute little kitties?”

‘Cozy’

‘Cozy’ by Jan Brett.

2. ‘Cozy’ by Jan Brett

“For fans of Jan Brett, ‘Cozy’ is her latest picture book and it is marvelous,” Grenfell said. “It is about a musk ox (named Cozy) who lives in Alaska and has a warm winter coat. Winter has come, it is extremely cold outside, and he has lost his way from his family. The musk ox becomes lonely, however this does not last long when other animals find out just how warm his fluffy coat is. Cozy ends up with a menagerie of critters who take up residence in his fur. As each different group of animals comes to live with Cozy, ground rules have to be set: no biting, keep your claws to yourself and no pouncing. Eventually, spring comes and his visitors leave with a promise to see him again in the winter. The artwork and storyline of this book are just lovely from the aurora, landscapes, creatures and beyond.”

‘How to be an Antiracist’

‘How to be an Antiracist’ by Ibram X. Kendi.

3. ‘How to be an Antiracist’ by Ibram X. Kendi

“(This) is definitely a book for our times,” Grenfell said. “The author takes a studied look at the societal structures in American society, and differentiates between attitudes and actions that are racist in their effect, then describes what the antiracist version would look like. It is very clear and academic. The author is very passionate about the topic but it is clear that the intent is to educate and help create more equitable systems, not to place blame.”

‘The Host’

‘The Host’ by Stephenie Meyer.

4. ‘The Host’ by Stephenie Meyer

“Yes, this is that Stephenie Meyer but this title is as far from Twilight as one can get and will appeal to science fiction fans who shudder at the mention of vampires,” Grenfell said. “In this post-apocalyptic book, Earth has been invaded by a parasitic alien race known as ‘souls.’ What happens when an Earth ‘host’ refuses to give up to the alien intruder in her head? This is a wonderful story that has it all — science fiction, romance and some new angles on how people (and aliens) get along with each other. I highly recommend it.”

Ilwaco reads

Amy Hitchcock

Amy Hitchcock

Ilwaco library director Amy Hitchcock shared her staff’s recommendations.

“Our reading theme has been escapism,” Hitchcock said. “As the pandemic drags on, we’re looking for ways to take a break from the news and take a vacation in our minds.”

'No Offense'

‘No Offense’ by Meg Cabot.

1. ‘No Offense’ by Meg Cabot

“This contemporary romance for adults by the author of ‘The Princess Diaries’ and the ‘Heather Wells’ mysteries is a terrific escape,” Hitchcock said. “Set on fictional, tropical Little Bridge Island, this book has everything: a sweet and slightly steamy romance between a children’s librarian and the local sheriff; a light mystery to solve; and life lived in public at parties, restaurants, resorts, and of course — the library. Cabot’s books are hit or miss, but this one is an unchallenging, welcome distraction.”

'The Giver of Stars'

‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes.

2. ‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes

“I could not put this novel down once I started reading and I am so thankful for the hours spent in this world,” Hitchcock said. “‘The Giver of Stars’ is about a woman looking to escape her boring marriage and to do so she takes up being a pack-horse librarian in rural Kentucky. Alice learns from a self-sufficient and quite independent woman named Margery and together they prove many wrong and overcome the weather and an accusation of murder all while building a rural library system.”

'Dead to Her'

‘Dead to Her’ by Sarah Pinborough.

3. ‘Dead to Her’ by Sarah Pinborough

“In this thriller from the author of the best-selling ‘Behind Her Eyes,’ much younger second-wives have to keep up appearances in Old Money social circles in Savannah, Georgia, where “bless your heart” really means something other than well-wishes,” Hitchcock said. “Despite fewer twists and turns than Pinborough’s previous books, ‘Dead to Her’ is nonetheless a compelling, sucks-you-in story with a satisfying ending. I spent the day in my PJs reading this — as opposed to spending the day in PJs just because there’s nowhere to go.”

'Sounds Like Titanic'

‘Sounds Like Titanic’ by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman.

4. ‘Sounds Like Titanic’ by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

“This one is a couple of years old now, but if there’s one good thing about staying home it’s having time to dig into my ‘to read’ pile,” Hitchcock said. “A memoir about a professional violinist in an ensemble who Milli Vanilli their way across the U.S. faking performances of music that sounds a lot like the theme to the movie Titanic, this book is both a reminder of a time when “live” musical performances were a thing and a funny, weird exploration of growing up in America and participating in a culture with blurry lines between real and fake.”

'Bake Sale'

‘Bake Sale’ by Sara Varon.

5. ‘Bake Sale’ by Sara Varon

“‘Bake Sale’ is a graphic novel for children about a cupcake and an eggplant who are best friends,” Hitchcock said. “Eggplant is going on a trip to visit his cousin Aubergine in Europe and wants Cupcake to come along to meet the greatest pastry chef in the world, Turkish Delight. Cupcake, a baker by trade and by calling, holds bake sales to raise money for the trip. That’s it. That’s the book. But no child, caregiver, or reader of anything charming can escape this recommendation because I talk about it endlessly. We need sweetness in our lives and ‘Bake Sale’ hits the spot.”

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