Our Library Staff Favorites for 2014

5 Jan

This year I asked our Library staff to send their five favorite reads in 2014.  The first five titles below received more than one vote. The rest are #1 picks by our librarians. See the full list of over 75 titles in our catalog.  And our library staff have a lot more recommendations. Come by one of our libraries and ask what they would recommend for you!

The Martian by Andy Weir

No less than Four Librarians listed this in their top 5 for 2014!

“My favorite and the one I’ve recommended most this year.” — Susan S., Gayton Branch Library

“A gripping near-future science fiction novel with a McGyver-style protagonist, that doubles as remarkably informative non-fiction explanation of how we’re likely to colonize Mars.” — Steve C., Tuckahoe Area Library

“Robinson Crusoe meets Apollo 13 — loved, loved, loved it!” — Kate C., Dumbarton Area Library

We Were Liars by Lockhart

THREE librarians chose this as a favorite read from this past year.

“Haunting, sophisticated … a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents.” — Wall Street Journal

Eleanor & Park

Tied for second place. THREE librarians voted this as a top read.

“Eleanor & Park reminded me not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.” — John Green, The New York Times Book Review

Cress by Marissa Meyer

TWO librarians listed this as a favorite for 2014.

“This is the third in the Lunar Chronicles, my favorite teen series.” -Susan S., Gayton Branch Library

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

TWO Librarians voted this as one of their top reads of 2014.

“Call it The Hunger Games of Thrones. Erika Johansen’s debut novel is a genre mashup: medieval fantasy meets dystopian future … An addictive and enjoyable adventure.” —USA Today

The Stand by Stephen King –“It was not published in this century even, but it blew me away all the same.”  -Katy B., Fairfield Area Library

Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke –“An exceptional Thriller/Mystery that has its roots in the 16th century. A rare and gruesome manuscript called the Book of John, links together a library in Trondheim, Norway, with the Poe Museum in Richmond VA and may be the diary of a medieval serial killer.” –Julianne S., Glen Allen Branch Library

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley

Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev –“Favorite Romance of the year.” -Alicia A., Library Admin Offices

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

The Supremes at Earl’s All You-Can-Eat by Edward Moore –“From teens  to adult women dealing with midlife crisis the lives’ of  three girls somehow becomes the focus of a small town.  Seems like the whole community, including those in the afterlife are occupied with the coming and goings of the  Supremes’.  Would love to see it made into a movie!” – Sharon C., Fairfield Library

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth –“An interesting re-telling of Rapunzel set in 16th century Italy/17th century France.” -Mike S., Tuckahoe Area Library

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt –“I rarely reread books but I’ve read this one twice. It is such a moving story about the transition to adulthood during the 1980’s. –Desiree, Library Admin Offices

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones –“The author has a unique and beautiful voice with believable characters.” -Kara R., Library Admin Offices

Snicker Magic by Natalie Lloyd –“Everyone in town has a little bit of their own special magic, and Felicity’s is her ability to see and collect words that shine around people and objects. But she’s going to need a special kind of magic to get her nomadic mother to finally settle down and make a home.” –Awnali, Dumbarton Area Library

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare –“This magical middle grade series opener is ideal for fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. Give it to your fourth grader, give it to your teen, give it to your grandma–they’ll all love it!” Mandy A., Tuckahoe Area Library

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

eBook Workshops

22 Dec

ebooksCombo_264x70Did you get a new tablet, smartphone or eReader recently? Yes? Great! Head over to our eBooks page and take a look at all of the FREE eBooks, audiobooks and magazines you can access with your library card. There are tens of thousands of titles for you to checkout, download and read!

If’ you would like to learn more about all of the things you can download from the library come to one of our eBook Workshops in January. Library staff will introduce you to the different ways you can download eBooks, audiobooks and magazines. No registration required! Just bring your curiosity, library card and your device if you have one.

North Park– Monday, January 5, 6pm
Sandston – Thursday, January 8, 2pm
Twin Hickory – Monday, January 12, 6pm
Tuckahoe – Thursday, January 15, 6pm
Dumbarton – Wednesday, January 21, 2pm
Glen Allen – Thursday, January 22, 2pm
Fairfield – Monday, January 26, 2pm
Gayton – Wednesday, January 28, 2pm
Varina – Thursday, January 29, 2pm

Libbie Mill Library Construction Update

3 Dec

Work has begun at the site of the new Libbie Mill Library and we’ve got some pictures of the progress!


We will post more updates as we get them.

Varina Area Library Construction Update

1 Dec

Work has begun at the site of the new Varina Area Library and we’ve got some pictures of the progress!

We will post updates here as we get them.

Shopping with Consumer Reports

19 Nov

Black Friday is only a few days away and many of you will be buying gifts for people over the next few weeks.

Why not check Consumer Reports before you start your shopping? In addition to the thorough reviews of many items on your shopping list, you will find buying guides, video reviews and much more.

All you need to access this premium service is your library card!

Study for certifications and tests or improve your reading, math or writing skills

3 Nov

Getting ready for a big test? Need to brush up on some old skills or want to learn a new one?

Try LearningExpress Library. This premium online resource available with your library card has tests and courses for everything from 4th grade math to air traffic control test preparation and a lot in between. Areas covered include:

  • SAT preparation courses and practice exams
  • Civil service
  • Cosmetology
  • EMS
  • Firefighter
  • GED
  • Law enforcement
  • Military
  • Postal services
  • Real estate
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Much more

Even if you don’t have a specific test to prepare for explore the LearningExpress “School Center” to improve your writing, grammar, vocabulary, spelling or math. Resources are targeted to Elementary, Middle and High School students. There is also help for the GED and ASVAB. Test score reports include explanations of right and wrong answers.

You will need to create a LearningExpress user name and password. They are used to keep track of your progress in courses and as a record for your improvement in test scores.

Give it a try. You’ll be surprised at the things you can learn with LearningExpress!

2014 Book Drive for Henrico Christmas Mother

31 Oct
Christmas Mother 2014 Book Drive

Donate at your library by November 29.

The Henrico Christmas Mother donation season is coming up, and our Teen Advisory Boards are asking for your help. They want to be able to deliver A LOT of books this year to the Christmas Mother and would appreciate your donations of new or gently-used books for children and teens.

Who is the Christmas Mother? From their website:

Even in a relatively prosperous county like Henrico, there are many who struggle to provide basic necessities. Since 1942, Henrico Christmas Mother’s mission has been to provide holiday assistance to Henrico families with children, seniors age 65+ and disabled adults in the form of food, new clothing, books, toys and other gift items to those we serve.

Continue reading


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