Library Staff Favorite Books of 2021

By FPL_Ryan

Every year, the library staff goes through our collection, and we find some new favorites that we cannot wait to share with our guests. Below is a curated list of favorite titles that were read by your Frisco Library staff in the year 2021 and some reasons why they were loved so dearly.

Project Hail Mary

“It is the most totally awesome book that I have read all year.  I liked that the main character, Ryland Grace was a middle school science teacher. I used to be a middle school science teacher, and while I did not understand all of the science in the book, I did find it fascinating. I loved his problem solving and his friendship with Rocky. This book made me laugh and cry and it was happy and sad and funny and totally lovable.” –Dana Bjornstad, Administrative Assistant

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“I loved the character of Addie. With the premise of a woman being essentially immortal, but having no connections to anyone, we get to experience just how important human connection is to even someone that is immortal. I loved the vulnerability and strength that is exhibited through Addie and our new character Henry. The issues that are addressed and the phenomenal characterizations make this a favorite of mine.” –Ryan Conner, Library Assistant, Adult Services

Heartstopper

“These books are just about the sweetest books I have read in a long time. This follows two characters growing love story and how both of these characters are coming of age and discovering who they are. The art in this is perfect with the sweet story that is being told here. If you are looking for a quick and light read that will make you smile, I recommend this.” –Ryan Conner, Library Assistant, Adult Services

The Blackthorn Key

“While I don't usually enjoy mysteries (my mind goes into overdrive–too many questions to solve!), I was hooked by the narrator's antics and his cautious, but loyal best friend. When an apothecary is murdered, his young apprentice goes on a quest to discover his master's murderer. I loved the historical setting (during the last Plague) and the interesting details included for authenticity as well as learning about medical remedies during the 1600s.” –Rachel Rodriguez, Librarian Adult Services

A Gentleman in Moscow

“Count Rostov is sentenced by the Bolshevik’s to confinement for life at a hotel. The Count is a charming, sophisticated, and intelligent character caught in difficult times. The life he builds for himself and the characters he meets under such restraints is imaginative and fascinating. At a time when the pandemic has caused many of us to feel our lives have contracted, reading about a character coping with much tighter restrictions provides a chance to reflect on what can be, when one doesn’t allow circumstances to define them.” –Shelley Holley, Library Manager

“I loved the book's main character [Count Alexander Rostov] and the author's style of writing. The Count is sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to live under house arrest for the rest of his life, but handles it with humor and perseverance. The premise sounded a bit dull to me, but in the first chapter I was pulled in to this strange world of odd characters. I enjoyed watching him rebuild his new life and his insightful observations were very entertaining. I also enjoyed the historical glimpses into early 20th century Russian history. Overall the book shows you that just because your life hasn't turned out the way you expected, it doesn't have to be bad. In fact, it can be good in ways you never expected.” –John Alford, Librarian, Adult Services

Blue Period

“Filled with some of the best artwork I've seen, this story follows Yatora Yaguchi as he discovers his passion for art and attempts to get into one of the most competitive art programs at the Tokyo University of the Arts. Yatora is one of the most likeable characters and you can't help but cheer him on, even if the odds aren't exactly in his favor. The entire cast of characters are incredibly endearing and have such an infectious love of art that it will make you want to pick up your own art supplies and get to work.” –Lauren Hough, Librarian, Youth Services

Matrix

“This is a new release from my newfound favorite author whose "Fates and Furies," "Florida," and "Arcadia" I also read this year and loved. This is a story of a 12th century woman whose looks and demeanor are deemed unfit for the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine and is banished to an abbey on the brink of ruin. She soon sees the hidden potential and endeavors to create a utopian society for the abbey's misfit women. It's a timely and moving portrait of sisterhood and the power of women who refuse to fade into obsolescence. Groff's gorgeous, poetic language paints this fictional vision of a past that could have been with a magical bittersweetness.” –Kendall Newton, Librarian, Youth Services

Betty

“This one has a doozy of a first line that pops into my mind constantly: "A girl comes of age against the knife. She must learn to bear its blade." Half white, half Cherokee, Betty and her siblings are raised in rural Appalachia wrapped inside a cocoon of poverty and violence. Her imagination, sparked by her father's beautiful stories, is her refuge. Despite very different upbringings, I saw my young self in Betty as she tried to make sense of a harsh world through her imagination. This book had a strong sense of time and place and felt like looking through a window into a not-so-kind mid-century Appalachia.” –Kendall Newton, Librarian, Youth Services

Cicada

“This adult picture book is a short read with language and artwork that perfectly captures the everyman's journey through corporate life. For only being 32 pages, it packs a powerful message that stays with the reader.” –Amy Gideon, Librarian, Adult Services

In

“This is an astonishing debut graphic novel! It perfectly encapsulates the millennial experience without pandering or over exaggerating. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the writing is incredibly touching!” –Libby Maxwell, Library Assistant, Youth Services

The Thursday Murder Club

“This is exactly the sort of mystery I never knew I needed on my bookshelf! At a sleepy retirement village, four colorful seniors meet on Thursdays to discuss all things true crime. When a real-life murder happens in their community, our rather unlikely heroes ban together to solve the case. I am not a person who typically laughs out loud when reading, but Osman's witty and personable characters had me cackling with each chapter. All in all, this book is funny, charming, and even poignant. The sequel, The Man Who Died Twice, came out this year and is equally delightful!” –Micah Flores, Library Assistant, Youth Services

In the Dream House

“Through lyrical and haunting prose, Machado details her experience being in an abusive queer relationship. This book is unlike any other memoir I have read before, both in terms of format and the distinctive use of speculative horror elements to frame her story. While this memoir certainly reflects Machado's personal experience, it also provides cultural commentary on how scarcely discussed abusive queer relationships are, particularly among women. This work is beautifully innovative, and by far the best nonfiction book that I read in 2021.” –Micah Flores, Library Assistant, Youth Services

Dune

“Last year, I decided to finally conquer this tome of classic science fiction with the release of Denis Villeneuve's movie starring Timothée Chalamet. This book had been on my bucket list for too long! As a fan of the subreddit r/worldbuilding, I quickly saw how this story of political machinations and heroic destiny was the blueprint for writers looking to build and imagine worlds beyond their own. Herbert asks the reader to imagine a civilization so far removed from our own reality that even its human characters transcend what it means to be human.” –Gabriella Gonzalez, Library Assistant, Adult Services

The Paris Library

“This book is based on a true story about the American Library in Paris during WWII. Young Odile joins the library staff in 1939, and as the war progresses, she sneaks books to Jewish readers who are banned from the library in a quiet display of heroism and integrity.  At the end of the war she flees France and ends up in small-town Montana. Years later as an older widow she begins a friendship with a lonely young girl, and their bond teaches them both important lessons, some that reach back into Odile's mysterious past.  It’s a good read for lovers of books, libraries and history.” –Julie Chappell, Library Assistant, Youth Services

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