The Librarian's Nightstand
Looking for your next great read? Look no further! These picks are more than just librarian-approved. They come straight from the librarian’s nightstand! We asked our six branch librarians to share a great book they are currently reading, and, oh, did they deliver.
Booklovers all, our branch librarians know a thing or two about enthralling stories. So, check out these praiseworthy titles.
Aldershot Branch Librarian Sarah
"I just wrapped up Dark Witch by Nora Roberts. I was looking for something witchy to read this October and this hit the spot! Fantasy isn’t my favourite genre, but I really enjoyed this Nora Roberts story that entwines romance, stunning Irish scenery, and witchcraft
It follows Iona, who arrives in Ireland with an optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath—cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman—and starts falling for him. Iona realizes that she can make a home for herself in Ireland, but nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated
I've placed on a hold on the second book in the trilogy to see what the Cousins O'Dwyer are up to next!"
Sarah's favourite reading escapes are warm and fuzzy romances, contemporary fiction, and any Christmassy story, but she also loves a good dystopian Sci-Fi. Her top picks so far this year are Book Lovers by Emily Henry and Every Summer After by Carley Fortune.
Alton Branch Librarian Emma
“I am currently reading The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell. I was instantly captivated by this haunting and electrifying tale.
Set in 1550s Florence, it follows Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, who is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the duke, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight. The duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf. Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now make her way in a troubled court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed.
With lush descriptions of Renaissance Italy, Maggie O'Farrell brilliantly depicts the complexities of the beautiful and frightening world that Lucrezia lives in. This read is a sure-fire hit for lovers of rich, historical fiction, and family drama.”
Emma likes to tuck into contemporary and historical fiction, young adult novels, and memoirs, and lists Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Lovely War by Julie Berry, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh as her favourite novels.
Brant Hills Librarian Heather
“I just completed We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu, the Chinese-born Canadian Marvel actor.
As an avid audiobook user, I really enjoyed listening to Simu Liu read his own ‘origin story.’ Not all authors voice their own audiobooks and it's especially captivating hearing someone’s memoir in their own voice.
We Were Dreamers is a light yet heartfelt look into Liu’s immigration experience and the struggles faced by first-generation Canadians. Simu captures the voice of Chinese-Canadians in a relatable way for those of us who are not part of this community. This book is inviting, funny, emotional, and educational. I highly recommend the audiobook version so you can enjoy Liu’s comedic timing and warm narration.”
Heather dives into dramatic family sagas and historical fiction as her go-to audiobook picks and reaches for romantic beach novels and light mysteries for her leisure reading. Her favourite authors include John Green, Liane Moriarty, and Edward Rutherfurd.
Central Branch Librarian Tammy
“I recently finished Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Ann Buist.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a smart, funny, and hopeful read. It balances tender moments with comedy, featuring a cast of zany characters who have set out to walk the Camino trail from France to Spain. There’s self-reflection, friendship, and maybe... just a little bit of a romance.
Zoe and Martin are dealing with a LOT. Zoe’s trying to move on after the death of her husband, and Martin is recovering from his divorce. The two happen upon each other as they make their way along the Camino trail, building a friendship despite many hilarious mishaps and misunderstandings. Book 2, ‘Two Steps Onward,' is coming out in November!”
Tammy lets her mood decide what to read next: Will it be a psychological thriller from authors like B. A. Paris and Ruth Ware or a sigh-worthy romance from Josie Silver or Beth O'Leary? A big fan of audiobooks, Tammy has been known to keep driving just to finish a chapter!
New Appleby Branch Librarian Kumkum
“I'm currently listening to The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah. I am usually a 1.5X or 2X eAudiobook speed-listener, but I'm rather entertained listening to Julian Rhind-Tutt’s narration of Sophie Hannah’s The Monogram Murders at an uncharacteristic .95X speed. I am slowly savouring this whodunit, set in 1920s London. It is peppered with red herrings, clues, and suspects galore. Top attraction: the magnificently mustached, eccentric, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and his hapless young Scotland Yard sidekick Inspector Catchpool. The latter is a perfect foil to Poirot’s flamboyant style, and has superb deductive abilities.
An avid cozy mystery fan, I re-read Agatha Christie’s books when nostalgia strikes. Christie’s estate authorized Sophie Hannah’s Poirot series, and I’m so glad I finally dove into it. Does Hannah, known for her domestic thrillers, do justice to this classic character after thirty-three Agatha Poirot novels? Six chapters in, I think so! I encourage you to judge for yourself.”
Kumkum briefly explored the horror genre this year but admits to running scared! Instead, her favourite genres include relationship and historical fiction, historical fantasy, crime and cozy mysteries, police procedurals, and psychological thrillers.
Tansley Woods Branch Librarian Deepti
“I recently finished The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis as part of our Titles Book Club, and really enjoyed reading it! It has strong female protagonists and is set in New York Public Library. That’s a winning combo in my opinion. I love reading books about libraries and books. It reminds me of all the wonderful reasons I chose this profession and gives me a glimpse into how others perceive libraries and librarians.
The Lions of Fifth Avenue has a strong focus on women’s rights and empowerment. The characters are captivating and inspiring. Layer on a bit of mystery, and you’ve got a great read!”
Teacher-turned-librarian Deepti loves a good suspense mystery—especially books by master storyteller Jeffrey Archer—or young adult fiction adventures. Her current favourite read of 2022 (the year's not over!) is One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus.
Finding Your Perfect Pick
Library staff are a great resource for reading recommendations. Of course, they have their personal favourite genres and authors, but they also keep a close eye on top picks from all corners of our collection.
When you visit the library, don’t be shy about asking for your “next great read.” Staff will ask you a few simple questions about your past favourites to help you find a perfect pick.