Staff Pick Reads


Linda Frenzel, MSLS

Camden Library Director

Linda's Picks:

March 1817: As winter turns to spring, Jane Austen’s health is in slow decline, and threatens to cease progress on her latest manuscript. But when her nephew Edward brings chilling news of a death at his former school, Winchester College, not even her debilitating ailment can keep Jane from seeking out the truth. Arthur Prendergast, a senior pupil at the prestigious all-boys’ boarding school, has been found dead in a culvert near the schoolgrounds—and in the pocket of his drenched waistcoat is an incriminating note penned by the young William Heathcote, the son of Jane’s dear friend Elizabeth. 

May 1816: Jane Austen is feeling unwell, with an uneasy stomach, constant fatigue, rashes, fevers and aches. She attributes her poor condition to the stress of family burdens, which even the drafting of her latest manuscript—about a baronet’s daughter nursing a broken heart for a daring naval captain—cannot alleviate. Her apothecary recommends a trial of the curative waters at Cheltenham Spa, in Gloucestershire. 

Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has a word for everything, and big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer. 

Erin's Picks:

Admittedly this was hard to get into at first as it starts off a bit confusing and slow. But I recommend you keep going and keep in mind these are the written out as the thoughts of a young girl in a wild situation. Loosely based on a true story as well, it is worth the read.

Brand new from a great author, this book starts off with a bang! Right away you are gripped in this reality show turned psychological suspense. If you enjoyed One by One by Ruth Ware but missed the character development, this is the book for you.

An old favorite next to "Shes Come Undone" by Wally Lamb. His ability to weave a story in such a way that you will go back and re read his books again and again throughout the years. The story of these twins will have you teary eyed and left pondering life when you are done. 

Debbie's Picks: