Staff Picks: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Three middle aged, middle income couples – all friends – get together for a backyard barbecue.  What could be more generic?  Boring?  Typical?  How utterly…life-changing?

Moriarty’s timeline zings back and forth from before the barbecue, to after, and before again, building the reader’s understanding of the characters’ lives and creating a tangle of backstories and aftereffects that get deeper and thicker – until the keystone of the story is suddenly dropped into place.  All of a sudden, the tangle becomes a timeline, the action leaves you gasping (and re-reading the passage, to make sure you didn’t misunderstand) and you realize the brilliance of Liane Moriarty.

On the surface, this book is an amazing, character-driven story about how complex relationships can be and how your past affects your future, whether you want it to or not.  In the depth of the tangle, it’s about how one night can affect the entire trajectory of the your life.

Andrea, Circulation

Staff Picks: Favorite Books about Libraries

Happy Library Card Signup month! To celebrate we are sharing some of our favorite books about libraries for all ages.


Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Book! Book! Book! By Deborah Bruss

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric Kimmel

The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

The Little Library by Margaret McNamara

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller

Please, Louise by Toni Morrison

Beatrice Doesn’t Want To by Laura Numeroff

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli

Wild about Books by Judy Sierra and illus. by Marc Brown

Library Lil by Suzanne Williams, Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter


Staff Picks: Banned Books Week

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Ulysses by James Joyce

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by Orwell

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Staff Picks: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The book spans decades, but starts with the main character being introduced to The Library of Forgotten Books. He is expected to choose one book to protect. That book is the beginning of an intriguing, sometimes spooky, journey to learn more about the author and find out why that author’s books are being destroyed. One of my favorite books!

Karen, Children’s Room

Staff Pick: Landslide by Susan Conley

After a fishing accident leaves Jill’s husband injured and hospitalized in Canada, Jill must go it alone with her teenage sons (or wolves, as Jill refers to them) in their small fishing village in Maine. It’s no easy task—seventeen-year-old Charlie is preoccupied with a new girlfriend, and Sam, sixteen, is still reeling from a personal loss, acting out and becoming someone Jill struggles to understand. She tries to mother her boys and support her husband, all while battling doubts about her marriage and the stark realities of what it means to live in an isolated town whose existence is tied to a vanishing way of life.  

Told in spare, poignant, often humorous prose, Landslide is an exploration of motherhood, family, marriage, and the detrimental pressures we put on boys and men to suffer their griefs alone in silence. This novel looks at how the place we are raised—or the place we end up—shapes us into the people we become, for better or worse. Conley also brings awareness to Maine’s dying fishing industry, a theme readers in our community will no doubt recognize and find all too familiar.

Shannon, Tech Services

Be sure to attend Susan Conley’s author talk in the Community Room and on Zoom on Wednesday, September 14 at 5:30 p.m.

Staff Picks: Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

Emma Starling has returned home in disgrace.  Once blessed with healing hands that could cure all manner of small injuries, she has now not so much flunked out of med school as just not shown up.  Now her motorcycle-riding ex-college professor father is dying of a mysterious brain disease, her brother is in recovery from an opioid addiction but has otherwise lost his way, and her mother (her father’s fourth wife) has had enough and might be about to leave her father for his doctor.  Not to mention that Emma’s father has made friends with the ghost of a local historical figure, Emma’s best friend from childhood is missing, presumed dead, and her childhood crush is still living in their hometown.

A novel of second chances, ghosts, exotic animals, and all different kinds of recovery and love, Unlikely Animals is a heart filled novel about life, death, and all the places in between.

Hannah, Program and Outreach Manager

Staff Pick: Let Me Finish by Roger Angell

Known for his writing about baseball, Angell has produced a book of short essays about small moments he has relished in life. Insightful, comforting, and funny. Well worth a read. 

Paula, Circulation

Staff Picks: What We’re Reading this Week

PFL staff love to read! Take a look at the titles we’ve been enjoying this week.


The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Roots for Kids by Susan Provost Beller 

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

The Emma Project by Sonali Dev “The fourth installment of her Rajes Series; a modern Indian – American adaptation of Jane Austen’s works. I really love this series! There’s a lot of similarities between Indian culture and Austen’s time period.”

Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris “A murder mystery with a glimpse into the Muslim culture.”

The Guest List by Lucy Foley “A really great whodunnit murder mystery that takes place on a private island during a wedding party. Foley gets an A+ for a spooky atmospheric setting.”

Oh Crap! Potty Training by Jamie Glowacki

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

The Essential June Jordan edited by Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

A Crown of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah Maas

Shelter in Place by Alexander Maksik

Recitatif by Toni Morrison “A small book with a terrific introduction by Zadie Smith.  It concerns two 8 year old girls, and nowhere in the story are we told which one is white and which is black.”

The Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman

Guide to Genealogy by T. J. Resler

The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life by Richard Russo

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb “A story about a black classical violinist, the racism present in the world of classical music, and a stolen Stradivarius.”

Today Tonight Tomorrow and See You Yesterday by Rachel Solomon

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty

Staff Picks: Beach Reads

Beat the heat this summer by bringing one of these relaxing reads down to the beach or pool!  Unwind with a light comedy, cool off with a spine-chilling thriller, or turn up the heat with a sizzling romance! Whatever your go-to vacation genre is, we have it!  (Just try not to drop it in the water…)


This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison

Wedding Season by Katie Fforde

All the Single Ladies by Dorthea Benton Frank

Folly Beach by Dorthea Benton Frank

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

The Three Wiessmanns of Westport by Catherine Schine

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer

Summer House by Nancy Thayer

Surfside Sisters by Nancy Thayer

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

Staff Pick: The Bear by Andrew Krivak

A gorgeous blend of fairy tale, magical realism, fantasy, and literary fiction. A young girl and her father live in the wilderness after the collapse of civilization. When the girl finds herself suddenly alone in the wild, she turns to the creatures of the forest to help her find her way back home. Krivak’s blend of sensory language and vivid imagery are sure to sweep you away from whatever current reality you might like to escape.

News & Updates

  • October 3, 2022
    JPS Event

    Bath Customs House with Nathan Lipfert
    November 5, 2pm…